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[Review] Impressions of the Sony EX1000 versus the FX700, GR10 and e-Q5 - Page 14

post #196 of 3000
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

lol Unless I actually hear the EX1000 and AB it against the FX700 extensively in a quiet environment, I don't think I will sell FX700 to fund EX1000. I simply find it too hard to believe that EX1000 will be worth it as I can't imagine it beating the FX700 in key aspects, like dynamic range, soundstage, timbre, speed, clarity, detail.

 

Both are among the very best I've heard and I can easily imagine you preferring the FX700 over the EX1000. For me the Sonys come out first, but it really is a close call.

 

With most of my other phones on loan somewhere, I had been listening to the FI-BA-SB all last week and these are really superb IEMs. I thought well, if I only had this single pair I'd still be pretty content and not missing much. But with my EX1000 back from dfkt, I took them outside for some classical music today morning, and what can I say, the Sonys just do everything right to my ears. I sat there in the mild spring sunshine for two hours, listening to Brahms and grinning like an idiot. Ok, I'm aware of their downsides like tricky fit, subpar isolation and *cough* wind noise, but I'm ready to forgive it all for that grand, wonderful sound.

 

I believe it was cn11 who mentioned that the EX1000 can make other IEMs sound pretty inferior in comparison, and I agree. Switching back to the FI-BA-SB later today, I thought yeah, of course, these are nice too. Then I slowly started to coil up their cable again and reached for the Sonys ... smile_phones.gif

post #197 of 3000
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

 

Both are among the very best I've heard and I can easily imagine you preferring the FX700 over the EX1000. For me the Sonys come out first, but it really is a close call.

 

With most of my other phones on loan somewhere, I had been listening to the FI-BA-SB all last week and these are really superb IEMs. I thought well, if I only had this single pair I'd still be pretty content and not missing much. But with my EX1000 back from dfkt, I took them outside for some classical music today morning, and what can I say, the Sonys just do everything right to my ears. I sat there in the mild spring sunshine for two hours, listening to Brahms and grinning like an idiot. Ok, I'm aware of their downsides like tricky fit, subpar isolation and *cough* wind noise, but I'm ready to forgive it all for that grand, wonderful sound.

 

I believe it was cn11 who mentioned that the EX1000 can make other IEMs sound pretty inferior in comparison, and I agree. Switching back to the FI-BA-SB later today, I thought yeah, of course, these are nice too. Then I slowly started to coil up their cable again and reached for the Sonys ... smile_phones.gif

 

But not FX700 right? Although I can see how for electronic music or other music using a lot of synthesized sounds the FX700 may fall short for some people. They were really made with real instruments in mind IMO and have the right timbre for that, but with electronic sounds it's all just a matter of preference what coloration one wants to hear from them.

post #198 of 3000


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

 

Both are among the very best I've heard and I can easily imagine you preferring the FX700 over the EX1000. For me the Sonys come out first, but it really is a close call.

 

With most of my other phones on loan somewhere, I had been listening to the FI-BA-SB all last week and these are really superb IEMs. I thought well, if I only had this single pair I'd still be pretty content and not missing much. But with my EX1000 back from dfkt, I took them outside for some classical music today morning, and what can I say, the Sonys just do everything right to my ears. I sat there in the mild spring sunshine for two hours, listening to Brahms and grinning like an idiot. Ok, I'm aware of their downsides like tricky fit, subpar isolation and *cough* wind noise, but I'm ready to forgive it all for that grand, wonderful sound.

 

I believe it was cn11 who mentioned that the EX1000 can make other IEMs sound pretty inferior in comparison, and I agree. Switching back to the FI-BA-SB later today, I thought yeah, of course, these are nice too. Then I slowly started to coil up their cable again and reached for the Sonys ... smile_phones.gif



  Reminds me of the Atrio's a bit.

post #199 of 3000


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

 

Ok, maybe the bass is indeed not the strongest side of the FX700, although I think it's superb with the right tips - very tight, detailed and changes from track to track and passage to passage really showing the low end doing its job in a recording. It may be a bit overemphasized with some music, tips and sources, but that is its only real weakness IMO.

 

I disagree that the mids are sucked out on the FX700. Again, fit is crucial with these IEMs. The midrange can sound distant and murky if you are using tips that are too large or push the IEMs too deep into the ear. But with a shallow fit, the midrange is wonderfully present, articulate, extremely detailed and just so natural it's unbelievable.

 

I am very skeptical about EX1000 having better soundstage and timbre than FX700. I may be wrong of course, but I don't think that a larger soundstage than what FX700 produces is possible in an IEM and even if it is, I don't think it would sound very natural. FX700 already sounds huge and I don't think I would want to loose more intimacy with even more distant sounds. Or do you mean that EX1000 has better imaging? Well, that's possible, but again the imaging on FX700 is already very sharp and realistic. I don't see how it can get much better than that.

 

Now, regarding timbre - I think FX700 is pretty much perfect in this regard. Or at least I haven't heard anything better. Real instruments and vocals ring out absolutely true on this IEM to my ears. Ok, maybe there is a little bit of added warmth here and there, but IMO that's actually what makes these such a musical and involving IEM, but with the right tips, the coloration is minimal and overall I find the sound more accurate than even Etymotic ER4. Again, I have a hard time believing that EX1000 can do timbre "quite a bit" better. If it really does, I would be amazed because it is not a wooden IEM and right now I am convinced that only a wooden housing can produce the kind of accurate timbre that FX700 does.

 

But still - I would love to try the EX1000. I also read on Headphonia that its frequency balance is similar to that of SE530. I really like that.

 

Oh yes, one important thing I forgot to mention about my experience with FX700 is that I don't find the treble on them emphasized at all. In fact, I wouldn't want any less treble that what FX700 produces. I think its balance between mids and treble is flawless. The transition is seamless and the highs extend really far in a velvety smooth manner with a ton of detail and perfect tonal balance. I found SE530 lacking treble a bit, so if EX1000 has a similar sound to SE530, and it really seems like it does, then I would probably be reaching for EQ quite often. I find the highs on the FX700 somewhere between ER4P and ER4S in quantity - more present than with the former, but not too bright like the latter can sometimes sound. The ER4 are known for their great accuracy and with this in mind plus my own feelings on how music is really supposed to sound like, I feel that the FX700 outputs an ideal amount of high frequencies.



I think you possibly mistook my post as a knock on the FX700-- I really didn't mean it that way at all. They truly are a top tier IEM, with some of the best attributes out there. It had just been a good while since I heard them, and I got the opportunity to do so again, in direct comparison to the EX1000, at the UK meet. And the first things which struck me were the much larger bass, and recessed mids (again, this is in direct comparison to the EX1000-- I doubt you'd notice it otherwise). That's what I heard, no doubt. I don't think the bass is bad at all on the FX700... I owned them for a good long time and highly enjoyed them. 

 

All I'm saying is that in the demo at the meet I came away preferring the EX1000, and glad that I have them currently. As is always the case in this hobby, ymmv. 

post #200 of 3000

To those who have listened to both the FX700 and EX1000. Not trying to stir anything but do you think that the EX is more detailed than the FX? I've actually thought that for a long time already and I'm just curious to see if anybody share this opinion. Nobody has actually mentioned it yet so I'm wondering if it's just me?

 

I'm not a EX fanboy or anything and tbh I prefer the FX signature with is nice strong bass but every time I put on the EX, I always have that feeling that I'm listening to more things that I missed out on the FX.

post #201 of 3000

To me it seems, in a comparison the phone with more treble quantity appears to be more detailed to some people, even if it's not the case in reality (for example, SM3 have less treble than many other IEMs, but are extremely detailed). From memory, both the FX700 and EX1000 are top-notch as far as detail/clarity is concerned, I couldn't say that one is truly better than the other. I should hear them side by side, though - which I can't at the moment, since James444 got his nice toys back. :)

post #202 of 3000
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuahogary View Post

To those who have listened to both the FX700 and EX1000. Not trying to stir anything but do you think that the EX is more detailed than the FX? I've actually thought that for a long time already and I'm just curious to see if anybody share this opinion. Nobody has actually mentioned it yet so I'm wondering if it's just me?

 

I'm not a EX fanboy or anything and tbh I prefer the FX signature with is nice strong bass but every time I put on the EX, I always have that feeling that I'm listening to more things that I missed out on the FX.



I only listened briefly to both back to back at the meet, but it seemed to me they were very very close in terms of ultimate detail. I think the EX1000 gives the impression of slightly more detail because they seem to have a bit more air/space/layering. The FX700's treble was indeed very highly extended when I heard them there on Saturday. Just like I recalled. 


Edited by cn11 - 4/4/11 at 11:26am
post #203 of 3000
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post

To me it seems, in a comparison the phone with more treble quantity appears to be more detailed to some people, even if it's not the case in reality (for example, SM3 have less treble than many other IEMs, but are extremely detailed). From memory, both the FX700 and EX1000 are top-notch as far as detail/clarity is concerned, I couldn't say that one is truly better than the other.


I agree, and tbo at this extremely high level of detail I don't care anymore whether I would hear some faint cough or sneeze more clearly with phone A over phone B. wink.gif The main two things that make me gravitate more towards the Sonys than the JVCs are better isolation (though still far from really good) and less mid-bass.

post #204 of 3000

Thanks for the feedbacks! I'll have to go listen to them again and see what I'm missing from the JVCs etysmile.gif

post #205 of 3000
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudi0504 View Post

Dear James 444

 

When you can make comparison between Sony EX 1000 vs Westone 4 ?

I ilke to hear your comment for this comparison, because your comment are very clear and neutral for all Party's

Thank you James

 

Cheers


Ok, I've only had the Westone 4 since Thursday evening, so keep in mind these are provisional impressions. Nevertheless I've been almost exclusively listening to these vs. the EX1000 at home, in bed, out while walking and during bus/subway rides, so I've been covering pretty much all my common usage scenarios. Since I've never experienced much of a burn-in effect with BAs, I feel confident enough to give a first account.

 

In short, the W4 are extremely good IEMs and they hold their own against the EX1000 very well. They are nicely balanced, very relaxed and perfect for non-fatiguing long listening sessions. They remind me in many ways of the SM3, yet with a bit leaner (but still slightly forward) mids, a tad more present highs and a soundstage that puts you into first row rather than on stage like the Earsonics'. They also remind me a bit of the e-Q7 with their slightly mid centric and relaxed presentation. Overall a kind of sound signature that fits my taste like a glove and isn't that far from the EX1000's too. Last not least, the W4's timbre is worth special mentioning, they are the first multi-BAs I've heard that have very realistic timbre with most instruments. The SM3 were already pretty good in this regard, but the W4 managed to exceed my expectations for multi-BAs and are significantly better than the CK10, CK100, SF5 pro and SE530.

 

So where are the main differences to the EX1000? Well, for starters, getting a good fit and seal was much easier for me with the W4 and Shure Olives, a matter of minutes whereas I struggled for hours and needed a special tip construction with the Sonys. As expected, isolation is significantly better on the closed W4 vs. the vented EX1000, about as good as with the SM3 and only slightly short of the SE530. The W4's body fits snugly into the concha, which makes them very comfy and hassle-free even to sleep on the side with them, a sheer impossibility with the EX1000. Since they're all rounded and don't protrude from the ears, wind noise is a non-issue with the Westones vs. the Sonys.

 

Ok, all this would make the W4 much better suited for outdoor use than the Sonys, right? For the most part yes, but (as with everything about IEMs) there's also a downside. If you're like me and do a lot of walking, you'll notice pretty obvious occlusion effects on the Westones, like thumping from your steps and at times your own pulse beat. These effects are pretty much non-existent on the Sonys due to their vented design, so in absence of a stiff breeze and for places where I don't need high isolation I'd take the EX1000 over the W4 for walking. If you're mainly using public transportation there's no question that the W4 are better suited for that.

 

One word regarding the cables: like the SM3 the W4 have highly flexible braided cables, which are generally regarded as being among the least microphonic and best for mobile use. I agree with that, but with one noteworthy exception. If you happen to wear your bag's leather shoulder strap across your chest, or perhaps the cable just might rub against your jacket's zipper, anything made out of harder material than just soft cloth will make microphonics go nuts on these braided cables. Imagine drawing your fingernails over sandpaper and you'll get the picture. That said, there are some who reported microphonics with the EX1000's ear guides, but I don't have this issues and for my part am pretty happy with the Sony's Kevlar-reinforced cables.

 

Back to sound descriptions, the W4 impress with excellent detail and meticulous instrument separation, which makes them perfect for analytical listening. That's quite a feat if you ask me, being relaxing, non-fatiguing and analytical at the same time. The EX1000 don't miss out any detail in comparison and don't fall much short in separation either, but (as I wrote in my review) they have a more holistic presentation and don't call your attention to detail as much as the W4.


Deep bass extension is where the Sonys have a slight upper hand, and they also have a bit more bass presence and texture in general. Speaking of texture, here's the exception to the overall great timbre of the Westones, instruments that require a lot of texture in the low range, like cello or double bass, don't quite sound as large and real to my ears as on the Sonys, but a bit smoother and smaller. At the other end of the frequency spectrum treble extension is great on both phones, violins sound ever so slightly smoother on the EX1000 and edgier on the W4. Since I'm more the romantic type I prefer the Sony version, but can easily imagine it being the other way round for someone else.

 

Last not least, soundstage: the Sonys have an unfair advantage here due to their vents. The W4's soundstage is already very generous and among the best I've heard from closed IEMs. Width is as good as it gets, depth slightly less so, but overall there's a great sense of 3D space and ambience which is further enhanced by the stellar separation of these phones. Yet compared to the EX1000 the W4's soundstage still feels confined to a certain sized room or venue, whereas the Sonys seem to be playing out in the open, or at least without no discernible limiting walls. Since it's a poorly kept secret that I'm a soundstage junkie, there's no question which one I prefer in this regard.

 

There'd be some more points worth mentioning, like speed (which of course is slightly better on the BA driven W4) and some other details, but for an interim impression I'll leave it at that. These were the main points that grabbed my attention and to give a short summary, most sonic differences are rather slight to my ears. The W4 are tremendously good IEMs and I can easily imagine anyone picking these over the Sonys for their better ergonomics or isolation alone and not missing out much on sound quality in doing so. Or even just preferring them over the EX1000 for their better analytical qualities. As for my part, I feel genuinely privileged being able to have both of these phones and not having to make that decision... smile_phones.gif


Edited by james444 - 4/10/11 at 5:38am
post #206 of 3000

James444 - Very nice impression. How would you compare the W4 to the SE530 (especially on musical material that's a bit too bright/fatiguing)?


I'm still waiting for mine to arrive. Should be a few days.

 

 


Edited by Lunatique - 4/10/11 at 1:06am
post #207 of 3000

Great comparison James. I look forward to more impressions. And though at this moment IEMs like the ex1000 and w4 are out of my price range, one can always live vicariously, yes? wink.gif So do keep up the good work. Plus, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to dfkt eventually getting them and also comparing them to his sm3. biggrin.gif

post #208 of 3000

Holy hell, James444 - you sure make the W4 sound like they would be the right ones for my taste. Ouch.

post #209 of 3000
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique View Post

James444 - Very nice impression. How would you compare the W4 to the SE530 (especially on musical material that's a bit too bright/fatiguing)?


I'm still waiting for mine to arrive. Should be a few days.

 

 


Thanks Lunatique. I may not be the best person to ask, since I seem to have rather high tolerance for treble. Anyway, even though the W4 have more treble presence than the SE530, they're far from sounding bright/aggressive to my ears, so I wouldn't expect anyone to get fatigued by their highs. (But of course I could be wrong.) I in turn found the mids on the Shures a bit too much for long term listening, like a very rich and delicious cake with cream that makes your mouth water at first, but fills your stomach in no time. The W4 are no diet food in that regard, but certainly easier to digest. So, bottom line, if anything there may be some who'll find the W4 too polite, but fatiguing - not very likely, if you ask me.

 

Please report back with your impressions when you have yours.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post

Great comparison James. I look forward to more impressions. And though at this moment IEMs like the ex1000 and w4 are out of my price range, one can always live vicariously, yes? wink.gif So do keep up the good work. Plus, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to dfkt eventually getting them and also comparing them to his sm3. biggrin.gif


Thanks JxK. As for dfkt - right on cue, he's popped up. biggrin.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post

Holy hell, James444 - you sure make the W4 sound like they would be the right ones for my taste. Ouch.


Hi dfkt, don't worry. You have a record of finding the faults that escaped my notice. wink.gif

post #210 of 3000
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


Ok, I've only had the Westone 4 since Thursday evening, so keep in mind these are provisional impressions.

 

 

Last not least, the W4's timbre is worth special mentioning, they are the first multi-BAs I've heard that have very realistic timbre with most instruments. The SM3 were already pretty good in this regard, but the W4 managed to exceed my expectations for multi-BAs and are significantly better than the CK10, CK100, SF5 pro and SE530.


Nice first impressions! I was a bit worried that you would not like the W4 but thankfully I see this as well as nothing in my inbox about how another BA has failed you. Now you know why I like them so much although they haven't seen much use in the last 2 weeks or so.

 

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