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First custom IEM - recommendations?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've been wanting a custom in ear for quite a while now but hesitated due to the high prices.

The main problem I have with universals is that I just can't to get a "perfect fit".

I'm hoping that a custom inear can help me resolve this problem and of course deliver better sound.

 

Since this is probably the only custom IEM that I'll ever buy I am willing to spent a bit more on them.

Therefore I've looked at the recent flagships of the different manufacturers:

 

Westone ES5X

JH13 / JH16

UE18

UM Miracle

 

I've read a couple reviews but and they all had kinda different opinions on them which confused me a bit. Of course sound is subjective.

Most likely noone will have heard all of them but I'm hoping you guys can at least give me an idea on how the above IEMs differ from each other (soundwise) and the preferred type of genres (more ideal/leaned towards a specific type of music).

 

 

Cheers,

post #2 of 13

You should add em3-pro to that list. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gastronomic View Post

You should add em3-pro to that list. 

ok thanks! i read that they "only" got a triple driver system though.

what's their sound signature like?

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by fL. View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gastronomic View Post

You should add em3-pro to that list. 

ok thanks! i read that they "only" got a triple driver system though.

what's their sound signature like?


Enjoy reading this: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/473930/against-jh-ue-driver-wars-a-first-view-of-earsonics-em3-pro-customs

and this http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/499143/earsonics-em3pro-impressions-and-review-thread.

 

About your problem with the fit, i would say that um3x and sm3 are very very comfortable, and etymotic will give you a tight fit.

 

I'm in a similar situation aka "have the intention of buying the first custom".

Anyway, my indecision is between the es5 and the um3pro.

 

post #5 of 13

I like dynamic driver iems, so I went with the Future Sonics Ear Monitor--their president was the first guy to make custom in-ear monitors for use on stage.

 

They are well worth checking out.

http://www.mcssl.com/store/futuresonics/ear-monitors-brand-personal-monitors-blue

post #6 of 13

Someone used studio monitors to compare the JH13 and JH16. The JH13s are like the nearfield monitors that the engineers use to initially mix the audio, while the JH16s are like the big speakers. 

 

For me, the JH16s are great. I listen to jazz, a wide range of rock, symphony orchestra, and choral music. My pair perform flawlessly through all of it.

post #7 of 13

fl. I know I just responded to your PM but I forgot to include this info. It is an interesting read:

 

https://www.editorsguild.com/FromTheGuild.cfm?FromTheGuildid=176

 

I realize it doesn't include the Miracle but it does have the others. For what it's worth, I agree with his opinion of the JH13, but disagree about the E.A.R. Z5. His Z5 seems to have much better build qualty but worse sound than mine.

 

It's also worth noting that the differences between the best models is not huge. Sure, the overall flavor might be different, but often times that is only evident when comparing them back to back. I get a lot of PMs from people agonizing over which custom to buy, and I really think that most people could be happy with JH13, JH16, Miracle, ES5, UE18, or UE-ref. Just find the one that seems to fit your preferences. Even the older or cheaper stuff is worth looking at like ES3X, JH10X3, Mage, Aero, 1964-Q, 1964-T, etc. Most of them are quite good so it is hard to go wrong.

post #8 of 13
Check ACS T1 and T2 as well. Since you mention looking for comfortable fit.

Also Sensphonics.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

first of all thank you guys for your comments!

 

I've lately been doing a lot of research. As far as I read, a lot of people really like the sound of the JH13/16.

My concern with it though is that it tends to be sibilant which has just been confirmed once again while reading the review link that project86 posted. I'm wondering what kind of sibilance it is though.

For example I got some Beats by dre studios here (full size headphone with active noice cancellation) and when I turn them on there is a high-pitched sound in the background which is what I guess you guys call sibilance.

As soon as I start playing music though, I don't hear any sibilance anymore. Don't know if this is comparable with the JH13/16 though.

Another concern is that the spot where the cable plugs into the IEM isn't recessed. I'd be worried to accidently break the cable and then have to send it back to JHaudio because the pin connectors got stuck in the IEM.

 

Apart from that, I've also came across another company called Starkey (Tunz), here's a link:

http://shop.listenhearstore.com/collections/for-musicians

 

Just watched a video on youtube where someone was talking about an IEM from Starkey  but I have never heard of them.

I think they're specialized on hearing aids though.

 

Other than that, I'm leaning towars UM right now as I've heard nothing but positive about their products so far.

Build quality and cable are supposed to be one of the best and the sound quality seems to be very good as well.

It's also cheaper than JHaudio's and UE's.

Really curious what the Merlin will sound like.

 

Thanks so far!

post #10 of 13

Sibilant: Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh):

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibilant_consonant

 

http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/Sibilance.html

 

Strictly speaking, it is just the sound, nothing more. But in audiophile lingo we usually mean that there is a pronounced emphasis on the "S" type of sounds, and that is a bad thing. Some people are extremely sensitive to that sort of thing and find that it ruins the whole listening experience for them. Others find it a minor annoyance and can ignore it.

 

I don't find the JH13 to be terrible in that area, but the UM Miracle is smoother.

 

Starkey is a top notch company for hearing aids and such but I wouldn't buy custom IEMs from them (especially at that price). There is a review around somewhere of those products, and they didn't really stand out as being anything special.

 

post #11 of 13

Sensaphonics 2MAX is my unsurprising recommendation -- best fit & seal, best comfort (all-silicone earpieces),highest isolation, neutral/reference standard sound signature.

 

Review: http://www.avguide.com/review/sensaphonics-2max-custom-fit-ear-monitor-playback-36

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKontney View Post

Sensaphonics 2MAX is my unsurprising recommendation -- best fit & seal, best comfort (all-silicone earpieces),highest isolation, neutral/reference standard sound signature.

 

Review: http://www.avguide.com/review/sensaphonics-2max-custom-fit-ear-monitor-playback-36


Why do you recommend the 2max over the 3max?

post #13 of 13

What did you pick?

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