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If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you... - Page 288

post #4306 of 4782
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by luisdent View Post


Regarding transients. No, the ex85 is not as good. It has more of a softness to it from the slowness there. But that is only one aspect to the sound. Regarding bass, remember, i did not day frequency respone equals bass quality. Be careful not to take things out of context. I merely said it has a larger effect than most people think on the sound quality. Try my ex85 eq and tell me the actuall bass doesn't sound better. Not just less, but better, tighter, etc.
Does that mean it frequenct can make any bass perfect? No. That involves a lit of factors, but again, the ex85 is no slouch either. :-)

 

Ok, you are right that frequency response can improve sound quality in the sense that it can increase bandwidth and can unmask frequencies to make more details audible. However, the bass won't get tighter, becuase tightness is not related to frequency response but the other sound quality factors that I described in the previous post. Basically, if a headphone has bass that's somewhat slow, muddy and loose, you can't fix it with FR changes IMO - it will still be muddy and loose, albeit maybe with more apparent depth and detail. This is because muddiness and lack of bass control is most often the result of poor damping in the housing, impedance mismatch between the amp in the source and the headphone's impedance (low damping factor), and sometimes (but less often) just plain poorly designed driver.

 

In some (rare IMO) cases, a headphone may sound muddy because the frequency range that is muddy was amplified beyond the headphone housing's or driver's capability when the headphone's FR was tuned at the factory. In this case, lowering the FR can indeed make reproduction of those frequencies to actually be of higher quality. I can't think of some real world examples like this though, but imagine that Phonak took the PFE that already has some possibly audible distortion in the mids, boosted the mids another 10db and shipped it out to consumers that way. In this case, the mids will be even more distorted at even lower volumes, but if you then manually EQ the mids down, the distortion will decrease and the sound quality will increase. I suppose in a way, this applies to every headphone - if you EQ a certain part of the spectrum down, the distortion will decrease and sound quality will thus increase and the other way around. This is pretty ridiculous though in most cases and there are many other factors affecting sound quality apart from distortion levels.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

I think ba drivers sound more precise in some ways even dusregarding frequency response, but not direct in actual details. I hear more nuances in every little part of an instrument with th re272 than any other. Yet the er4s pulls out precision in a different way in one sense. You can gave two different iems give the same amount of audible texturing and detail while still sounding different imo.

 

I gotta be honest - I always felt that armature drivers have something missing, mostly in the high frequencies. It's not extension, but seems more like resolution. At the same time, I could never put my finger on what exactly that I feel BAs are missing. And yes, I did hear something more with RE272, and many other dynamics as well, than I could with ER4 or any other BA, but not the other way around. I never felt that BAs really had more resolution than dynamics, although it often seemed that way, but I very often did feel that dynamics are more resolving of the subtle details than BAs are. With that being said, for the past 2 years, I have settled for only one dynamic IEM, the RE400, and three BAs - HF5, ER4 and PFE. Why? Because I still think that even thought it is possible that dynamics actually have an advantage in detail resolution, this advantage was always somehow overshadowed for me by BA's clearly superior (to my ears) transients, precision and overall clarity, and fidelity.

 

Yes, I recognize that dynamics can do a hell of a great job pulling out those really fine subtleties from music that seem to escape my ears for whatever reason with BAs, but at the same time, I always felt that all those tiny details were usually not precise and clear enough for me to enjoy them. Maybe it's a matter of listening preferences and not outright superiority of BAs or dynamics. I know that I want to hear every sound as well defined, and as clearly and precisely reproduced as possible. Lack of definition quickly puts me to sleep - I can't stay alert and listen critically when I can't focus sharply on each sound that I listening to. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating slightly, but I do expect a certain level of precision from headphones, below which I can't enjoy the sound anymore.

 

Many dynamics are precise enough for me to enjoy, at least in some parts of the spectrum. RE272 was precise enough in the treble for me, but too blurry in the mids and bass. I loved DT990 Pro for their breathtaking finesse, clarity and precision in the treble that blew away every BA I heard, except maybe the ER4S, in airy presence and abundance of subtle details, but I sold them eventually, mainly because the bass was nowhere near the level of definition and precision of the highs and sounded unacceptably slow and muddy to me, compared to BAs and other cans I had at the time - the HD650 and, especially HE-500.

 

So one thing is audible detail, which you seem to care about more, and the other is sharp detail, which I seem to dig more, hence your preference for dynamics and my preference for BAs.


Edited by Pianist - 5/3/14 at 12:23pm
post #4307 of 4782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post
 

Graphs are objective because they don't depend on one's subjective preferences and beliefs.

 

I don't agree with that, there tonnes of subjective choices related to graphing, starting with the belief that graphs are objective, the interest in graphing data, the choice of data to graph and what not to graph, the choice how to graph it. Then there are heaps more in terms of the subjective interpretation of the graph. Quoting from the wiki page on Latour I linked before: "In the laboratory, Latour and Woolgar observed that if a typical experiment produces only inconclusive data, then that is attributed to failure of the apparatus or experimental method, and that a large part of scientific training involves learning how to make the subjective decision of what data to keep and what data to throw out. Latour and Woolgar argued that, for untrained observers, the entire process resembles not an unbiased search for truth and accuracy but a mechanism for ignoring data that contradicts scientific orthodoxy. 

 

I have no problem whatsoever with you using graphs and discussing them with others who are also interested. I object to your claim that the graphs "prove" anything, let alone that they prove you're right.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post
 

I already explained it. Accurate to me means high fidelity, which basically means true to the original recording. The more neutral and better measuring a headphone is, the closer it will sound to the original recording (provided that the source is sufficiently hi-fi as well, of course).

You've made my point for me here by saying "accurate to me". Accuracy is not an objective concept. In fact it is really just a word and like any word is open to a complex competing set of meanings depending on context, experience, belief, culture and so on. Even on head-fi, where we often reach relatively shared understandings of certain terms and concepts, accuracy is a very vague term with many different meanings. Again, that doesn't mean we can't talk about it, but I'd prefer if people recognised its subjective nature.

 

On my last point about your opinion of the RE-400, I never pretended to have anything other than anecdotal evidence, but I've read a lot about both phones on here and you are the only person with this opinion on the two. If I remember correctly, you also seemed to have a pretty unique position on a particular version of the RE-0 that you modified in some way as well. So maybe there's a pattern there, maybe not?

 

But despite all the above, you have made me try the RE-400s again and I'm about to dig out the double flange tips :o


Edited by redrich2000 - 5/3/14 at 7:23pm
post #4308 of 4782
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redrich2000 View Post
 

I don't agree with that, there tonnes of subjective choices related to graphing, starting with the belief that graphs are objective, the interest in graphing data, the choice of data to graph and what not to graph, the choice how to graph it. Then there are heaps more in terms of the subjective interpretation of the graph. Quoting from the wiki page on Latour I linked before: "In the laboratory, Latour and Woolgar observed that if a typical experiment produces only inconclusive data, then that is attributed to failure of the apparatus or experimental method, and that a large part of scientific training involves learning how to make the subjective decision of what data to keep and what data to throw out. Latour and Woolgar argued that, for untrained observers, the entire process resembles not an unbiased search for truth and accuracy but a mechanism for ignoring data that contradicts scientific orthodoxy.

 

Ok, I contradicted myself in that first sentence. Yes, you are right, graphs do depend on subjective beliefs to some extent, but read what I wrote below that please. The reason for the contradiction in the first sentence is that I sort of wrote it in a rush before I finished my thoughts. lol :o What I really think is that the data that is being graphed doesn't depend on subjective beliefs, but that the way it's graphed can certainly be biased. But actually... I suppose that the data used for graphing can also be the result of subjective bias if the test/experiment used to obtain the data is manipulated in some way to increase the chance of a certain expected outcome I suppose. But I think that it certainly doesn't apply to headphone measurements, at least not to those conducted by a serious guy like Tyll Hertsens, who I think cares about the accuracy of the data quite a bit (if you disagree with this, please explain why and how you think headphone measurement procedures may be biased).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by redrich2000 View Post
 

You've made my point for me here by saying "accurate to me". Accuracy is not an objective concept. In fact it is really just a word and like any word is open to a complex competing set of meanings depending on context, experience, belief, culture and so on. Even on head-fi, where we often reach relatively shared understandings of certain terms and concepts, accuracy is a very vague term with many different meanings. Again, that doesn't mean we can't talk about it, but I'd prefer if people recognised its subjective nature.

 

hehe. Well, again, I didn't think when I wrote "to me". I always write "IMO", "in my opinion", "to me", etc everywhere to specify that everything I write is just my opinion, so it has become a habit for me and it screwed me over in this case. What I should've written is that accurate means high fidelity, implying that it's a fact. What else could accurate mean? Accurate means correct or exact, which in relation to sound reproduction basically means true to the original sound/recording. However, what qualities are required for accurate reproduction in headphones is certainly still debatable, especially the most correct frequency response required.

 

On second thought, "true to the original sound/recording" is not an accurate definition of sound reproduction accuracy IMO. This is because if the recording is made using fake $5 earbuds with no bass and no treble, and the recording engineer (lol) then boosts both ends of the spectrum by 50 db to compensate for the fake earbud's crappiness in an attempt to create a neutral sound, the recording will obviously blow your teeth out and drill right through your brain if you listen to it with your high end, accurate cans. In this case, you can't say that your cans are true to this recording, because they are not in the sense that you won't hear what the artist intended you to hear. No, an accurate headphone is the one that is capable of reproducing sounds the way a person with average normal hearing would hear them in real life. So if the sound of a piano is perfectly recorded so that it can be reproduced with complete accuracy, then you should hear exactly that same piano sound through a perfectly accurate headphone.

 

Of course, nothing is perfect and there can be no such thing as perfectly accurate sound, nor such thing as perfect reproduction of everything an artist intended you to hear. You can even argue that, as it is the case in the extreme example I provided above, you may not hear anything even resembling what the artist intended you to hear even with the most accurate headphones possible. However, the example is really too extreme and most respectable musicians and recording engineers, at least those whose music a normal person who appreciates high quality audio gear will want to listen to, usually use at least reasonably accurate, usually time approved studio monitors. Thus, in most cases, the more accurate your headphones will be, the more you should still be able to hear of what most (ok, maybe not most... arghh... let's just say many lol) artists intended you to hear.


Edited by Pianist - 5/3/14 at 11:09pm
post #4309 of 4782

Let's not get bogged down in philosophy. We disagree about the objectivity of graphing and science in general.

On the question of accuracy, the knots you just tied yourself in trying to put your position IMO just further prove my point. Even a live acoustic performance is subject a range of factors like ambient temperature, wind, room construction etc. but more importantly, the performance is experienced in the individual brain of each attendee via their individual sensory perception and influenced by their understanding of what music is and how it should be heard and understood.

 

In terms of the RE-272 v RE-400, I think what's going on is one of three possibilities, a) you get a poor seal with the 272, b) you have a preference for a smoother, warmer sound sig and so enjoy the 400 more and hear (or perceive that you hear) more detail and resolution, c) Me and the other folks who prefer the 272 have a preference for a sparkly fast sound sig and/or associate that sound sign with detail and resolution and therefore enjoy the 272 more and perceive more detail and resolution.

post #4310 of 4782
after couple of days of burning and listening, i have to say these are pretty bassy... weirdly enough not enough mids for me, not enough air. highs are there so are the lows but mids are very compressed.

over all, not a big fan.
post #4311 of 4782

Im with Redrich 2000, I also find the 272 better for my tastes over the 400...That's why I enjoy the ER4S so much....

I never use EQ, nor can I ever get my head around graphs etc....I just know what I like :D

post #4312 of 4782
Plain and simple. The re272 is the best earphone "i" have ever heard. It fullfills all of my desires as best as any have. The er4s is pretty equal with it, but in different way, and for just listening to music i'd grab the 272. And everyone here knows i love my er4s to death.

But both are so good and the differences pretty small overall i would recommend either as the best there is unless i find something better.
Edited by luisdent - 5/4/14 at 8:12am
post #4313 of 4782
Thread Starter 

Just a double post...


Edited by Pianist - 5/4/14 at 10:59am
post #4314 of 4782
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redrich2000 View Post
 

Let's not get bogged down in philosophy. We disagree about the objectivity of graphing and science in general.

On the question of accuracy, the knots you just tied yourself in trying to put your position IMO just further prove my point. Even a live acoustic performance is subject a range of factors like ambient temperature, wind, room construction etc. but more importantly, the performance is experienced in the individual brain of each attendee via their individual sensory perception and influenced by their understanding of what music is and how it should be heard and understood.

 

In terms of the RE-272 v RE-400, I think what's going on is one of three possibilities, a) you get a poor seal with the 272, b) you have a preference for a smoother, warmer sound sig and so enjoy the 400 more and hear (or perceive that you hear) more detail and resolution, c) Me and the other folks who prefer the 272 have a preference for a sparkly fast sound sig and/or associate that sound sign with detail and resolution and therefore enjoy the 272 more and perceive more detail and resolution.

 

So what does sound accuracy mean to you? Or what do you think are some meanings that people can give to it depending, like you wrote previously, on their culture, beliefs, preferences, etc? Just give me an example or two.

 

BTW, do you own an Ety and if you do, then why did you decide to get one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

Plain and simple. The re272 is the best earphone "i" have ever heard. It fullfills all of my desires as best as any have. The er4s is pretty equal with it, but in different way, and for just listening to music i'd grab the 272. And everyone here knows i love my er4s to death.

But both are so good and the differences pretty small overall i would recommend either as the best there is unless i find something better.

 

Well, what about accuracy? You are not dismissing it, are you? I mean, you surely believe that Ety researchers were at least onto something, don't you? Do you agree with me that sound accuracy should ideally be a clearly defined, objective quality? I am saying "should be" because it obviously still isn't perfectly defined yet, and may never be, but I think that people need to at least attempt to define it to the best of our ability and come up with at least some standard based on some average parameters that will at least be reasonably accurate, like what Etymotic attempted to do.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maguire View Post
 

Im with Redrich 2000, I also find the 272 better for my tastes over the 400...That's why I enjoy the ER4S so much....

I never use EQ, nor can I ever get my head around graphs etc....I just know what I like :D

 

Are you with redrich2000 on the accuracy discussion too? If so, what do you think about accuracy?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachkebia View Post

after couple of days of burning and listening, i have to say these are pretty bassy... weirdly enough not enough mids for me, not enough air. highs are there so are the lows but mids are very compressed.

over all, not a big fan.

 

You probably got a bad fit. Could also be your source or music, but that's less likely. It may be that your ear canals are of an odd, twisted shape (lol, no offense- mine are like that) and the IEM opening gets partially closed off by hitting the wall of the ear canals. Try experimenting with as many different tips as possible. Also, try lubricating the tips for easier insertion.

 

Oh wait. You didn't mention which IEM it is. lol If you are talking about ER4, then the above applies. If you are talking about RE400, then I felt exactly the same as you sometimes when using the small, dual-single flange hybrid black tips. Try tips with a larger opening. I get good results with the large/long bi flanges personally.


Edited by Pianist - 5/4/14 at 11:23am
post #4315 of 4782

Sorry to chime in like this, but for me - the ER4S betters the RE-272, not the other way around..

it's less musical and more accurate to my ears. also, I needed the extra air. 

post #4316 of 4782

too bad that 272 got discontinued - especially when seeing that it can see eye-to-eye with a landmark iem like er4s

then again , IEMS are like music sales - there are the U2s of the world (mediocre musicians that are selling much more than what they deserve) and there are the Porcupine Trees of the world (terrific musicians that are selling much less than what they deserve)

272 is in the PT category ;) 


Edited by proedros - 5/4/14 at 11:32am
post #4317 of 4782
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyal1983 View Post
 

Sorry to chime in like this, but for me - the ER4S betters the RE-272, not the other way around..

it's less musical and more accurate to my ears. also, I needed the extra air. 

 

Yes, I think ER4S has significantly more treble than RE272 and at least the Innerfidelity graphs clearly show this. I don't understand those people who find RE272 bright and analytical. To me it was on the warm, smooth, but dry side with a noticeably uneven treble (dip in the lower treble, then some emphasis, then a dip again). It sounded to me like RE272 attempted to sound analytical, but the driver didn't quite have the technical chops to pull it off well. The result was an IEM that's not what I would call properly analytical (too warm, uneven in the treble, lacking transient speed/blurry) and not properly musical either (too dry, a little too light on bass, not enough depth to the sound). Now, ER4S is the perfect analytical IEM IMO. It doesn't pretend to sound fun, but can sound beautiful and involving if the recording is, because it's so accurate. RE400 is primarily a musical IEM - big, punchy bass, warm, lush mids, gentle, inoffensive treble and great depth to the sound. Yet at the same time, I actually feel that RE400 is technically better than RE272 was without attempting to be such at all. RE400 is naturally musical AND naturally quite technically competent - it's really involving and all details are there if you decide to focus on them, but without being artificially emphasized in any way. That's why RE400 is a real winner in my book. I think many people think that it's technically lacking because it doesn't emphasize it's technicalities in any way and more effort from the listener is thus required to hear RE400's technical capability than is often the case. ER4S is a winner too - in a different way. ER4S also just does its thing like RE400, but it's primarily superbly technically capable, ending up being naturally musical too, due its technicalities and accuracy.


Edited by Pianist - 5/4/14 at 11:50am
post #4318 of 4782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post
 

 

Now, ER4S is the perfect analytical IEM IMO. It doesn't pretend to sound fun, but can sound beautiful and involving if the recording is, because it's so accurate.

 

I agree with everything above, especially this statement. When the ER4S is on, it's on. That is, when the recording is allowing the music to come through, there's nothing quite like it in terms of resolution and timbral accuracy.

 

I can appreciate the RE400 (or its ilk) for what it is. Ultimately some people aren't going to want that reference studio sound, either because they have different preferences or they listen to too many grating recordings. I hate to call these sorts of IEMs more "musical" though, because that would sort of imply that the ER4S isn't as capable at rendering music.

 

If we can forget the traditional definition for a moment, I would like to call the ER4S one of the most "musical" transducers that can be found. Period. Simply based on the fact that it digs deeper into the music than anything I've experienced yet.


Edited by OJNeg - 5/4/14 at 12:42pm
post #4319 of 4782
Quote:
RE400 ... gentle, inoffensive treble 

 

I'm sorry, I felt suffocated on sessions with the RE400... hard to describe really... a feeling of no air at all...:(

Other than that, it's a great musical IEM, as you described.

post #4320 of 4782
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eyal1983 View Post

I'm sorry, I felt suffocated on sessions with the RE400... hard to describe really... a feeling of no air at all...:(

Other than that, it's a great musical IEM, as you described.

 

What did you think about RE272 treble?

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