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post #886 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by HumanSaurusRex View Post

I'm just curious if you would recommend the PFE232 for portable use? Do they leak sound due to their open design?

Do they benefit from amping?

 

Can't decide wheither to gut a pair of MDR7750, PFE232, Westone 4R or Heir Audio 4.ai.

 

The Phonak PFE232 are NOT open.  That vent you see is not actually a vent (there are actually no holes in it; rather dimples).  That said, they don't leak (I have only tested reasonable levels).  The isolation is average at best.

post #887 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by HumanSaurusRex View Post

Can't decide wheither to gut a pair of MDR7750, PFE232, Westone 4R or Heir Audio 4.ai.

 

Quite a different sound between the pfe232 and 4r.  The 4r is more flat sounding, more accurate and neutral, but also on the softer side with less treble clarity. Details are great, but the treble has a slightly soft almost muffled quality to it, primarily because the mid bass is boosted.  The pfe are v-shaped.  Some people say not that much, but the more you get used to them, if you're familiar with a flat sound, they are actually pretty v-shaped.  Not in a bad way, but the bass and treble are very prominent.  The mids aren't missing, but they become more noticeably recessed as you get used to the signature.  I ended up with the etymotic er-4s and would chose those every time over the rest.  Even if the others were cheaper.  They are very neutral and accurate.  Open sounding. Incredibly detailed.  But they might not be for everyone.  The 232 have a lot more bass, the 4r is sort of between the two in bass.

 

Just my thoughts, but if you can get a good fit and seal the er-4s are just incredible.  Second would probably be a tie between the 232 and 4r, as they are different but both very good.  They both sound better amped, but neither are a large difference un-amped.  Haven't heard the heir audio, but graphs would indicate they aren't flat, which isn't my cup of tea personally, which is why i prefer the er-4s over the other two.  But they might be in the same vein as those two, good quality but different signature?  Not sure.

post #888 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by djhitman View Post

which foam plugs did you order?

 

I use the medium ones specific to the PFE products.  I don't use any other sources because fit appears different.  Diameter might be different from the usual foamies from usual sources based on what I've surveyed, not sure.  The length of the foamies are shorter, which gives much better respnose in my ears.  But they degrade somewhat quickly.  Helps if you roll them each and every time, so they don't get sheared and eventually torn as you insert them.  

 

If I had to listen using only the silicones, I wouldn't use them at all... the difference is not subtle!  Much too bright and a bit sibilant; I've found this on most all non-custom IEMs.  

post #889 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

The pfe are v-shaped.  Some people say not that much, but the more you get used to them, if you're familiar with a flat sound, they are actually pretty v-shaped.  Not in a bad way, but the bass and treble are very prominent.  The mids aren't missing, but they become more noticeably recessed as you get used to the signature.  

 

Even with the gray filters (stock a shipped), there is a v shape.  But it does not strike me as a notch, nor does it break a voice in two as some headphones do.  Instead, it strikes me as a way to tailor the sound to seem more distant, more outside of the head.  

 

A full middle range can honk a bit and seem like someone is singing directly into your ear.  My SE530s are an example of that, even worse: plump from upper bass through upper midrange, and not much else there.  I can no longer listen to them. (Do they sell used well?)

post #890 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

The isolation is average at best.

 

I like to have 2 types of headphones: one with minimal isolation use in a doctor's office (chemo infusions take awhile!) and still hear the nurses asking me questions over the music.  For that, I use Senn HD650s.  Big but surprisingly lifelike (if not ultimately revealing) with my Arrow 4G and iPad 3.  


The other is for noise isolation such as on a plane.  The PFEs are barely adequate if b/g noise bothers you.  I carry my PFE 232 with a FiiO E7 (cheap and portable) and feed it with my iPhone 4s line out; somehow that combo gives a good spectral balance (complementary errors).

 

Come to think of it, my PFE 232 on the iPad setup is a bit dark and rolled off on top.  So the relatively bright E7 amp compensates.  Also, the D/A out on this iPhone is a bit more wide-band compared to my iPad, which is less extended but more musically convincing (spacious, dimensionality of images, that phase-coherent kind of sound that makes you suspend disbelief).  I guess one never gets away from doing both (1) quality of components and (2) component matching.  

.

post #891 of 1011

My 232's arrived a couple of days ago. To begin with I was disappointed, lots of sibilance with the silicon tips, and I generally only want silicon tips since I tend to remove/re-insert all day long. However, after relenting and trying the included Comply foams the sound transformation was dramatic. There is a single UK supplier of T-130 in the UK and they charge double what Comply charge in the US :(

 

Are there other suitable replacements? Or suitable triple silicon flanges? My other active IEMs are a pair of Westone 2's with trimmed Shure EA306, but those won't stay attached to the 232's and I've already enjoyed digging them out of my ear once... 

post #892 of 1011

I use Shure white triple flanges or similar,  which provide great isolation. I had to shorten the stem a bit though:

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Triple-flange-silicone-ear-tips-for-use-with-earphones-pack-of-6-free-delivery-/330783014525?pt=UK_CE_MP3Access_RL&hash=item4d04343e7d

post #893 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

 

Even with the gray filters (stock a shipped), there is a v shape.  But it does not strike me as a notch, nor does it break a voice in two as some headphones do.  Instead, it strikes me as a way to tailor the sound to seem more distant, more outside of the head.  

 

A full middle range can honk a bit and seem like someone is singing directly into your ear.  My SE530s are an example of that, even worse: plump from upper bass through upper midrange, and not much else there.  I can no longer listen to them. (Do they sell used well?)

 

I would essentially agree with this.  Instead of going for accuracy, which ironically their pfe112 has more of for a lot less money, they go for simulating a speaker using some techniques that are subjective.  The bass is boosted, the mids are recessed, but well done so as you say they provide a more out of head soundstage, and the treble is boosted to give more airiness and possibly (my theory anyway) compensate for the large majority of people of lack a flat curve of high frequency hearing ability.  Especially since they are hearing aid designers.  I figure they probably accentuate the areas they know people are most likely to not hear the best.  Not drastically, but enough that to most people they sound excellent.  To someone with very good hearing the treble should be sibilant even with foamies, just not as bad as the silicone.  It isn't all the time, but enough that a lot of songs cause issues for me.

 

Anyway, they are really incredible quality, but I wish they had toned down that sibilant area and the bass just a teeny bit and they're probably be the best I've ever heard.  As for now, I actually prefer the pfe112.

post #894 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

As for now, I actually prefer the pfe112.

 

Interesting.  Can you say a bit more about the sound of the 112, including what downside there is for a 232 owner? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qtunce View Post

T-130 ...

 

I was told by the Audeo folks that their foam tip is a bit proprietary.  Are you saying that the T-130 is the right model exactly?  Or just a close model?  If the latter, how well would you say it fits on the driver tube?  Harder/easier to get off?  Any other differences such as total length?  

post #895 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

 

Interesting.  Can you say a bit more about the sound of the 112, including what downside there is for a 232 owner? 

 

 

I was told by the Audeo folks that their foam tip is a bit proprietary.  Are you saying that the T-130 is the right model exactly?  Or just a close model?  If the latter, how well would you say it fits on the driver tube?  Harder/easier to get off?  Any other differences such as total length?  

 

Interesting, their site lists the foam tips that they come with as "comply" tips.  Why would they modify them?  Odd.

 

As for the pfe 112 vs. 232.  They are both incredible quality, but different presentations.  The pfe 112 is a very very flat and accurate phone.  On graph is is one of the flattest there is.  In real world listening most people find them bass light.  They offer a very smooth very detailed presentation.  They lean towards an etymotic sound but a little more forward and warm in the treble.  But overall, they are very smooth from low to highs and have no real boosted frequencies.

 

The 232 on the other hand has noticeably boosted bass and treble causing a slightly recessed mid range.  To some this might sound more "natural" or "real", but in terms of complete accuracy it is boosted in those areas.  I think, however, that they did an incredible job of making a v-shaped IEM that sounds awesome.  There is some slight treble sibilance depending on your ears and the tips you use, but some aren't bothered by it and some are.  I find they make everything sound more open and speaker like, but they don't present everything in as much of a neutral smooth way.  Not that they aren't smooth in general, but not in a flat neutral way.

 

I have them both. :-P  I know it's pricey, but I just still couldn't live without them even after I got my etymotic er-4s, which so far I find to be my favorite...


Edited by luisdent - 4/6/13 at 1:42pm
post #896 of 1011

Thanks, Luisdent.  

 

I'm a bit confused by the phrase "warm in the treble".  I've only heard "warm" used to mean that the lower midrange, and possibly below that, are a bit prominent. Perhaps you mean "forward" treble, or "emphasized" treble?  

 

Regarding sibilance, I've done some tests in the last day.  I was able to tame the emphasis in the sibilance region and just above by two things:

 

One is using Comply tips, the smallest size that still provides a seal, so that insertion is as deep as possible.  This seems to reduce a resonance both by damping material and by pushing it up in frequency (perhaps into a dip where it isn't a negative). 

 

The other is selection of amplifier (and source: my old Nano was splashy out of the box). I switched from the E7 and E17 to the Arrow 4G (in all cases, using the interal DACs of my iPhone 4s and iPad 3).  

 

The settings of the arrow are very good at minimizing the v-shaped response to where it is a virtue (outside the head image) not a vice: I set all EQ flat, crossfade off... and set the gain at the "|" or middle setting.  This last bit is ultra-important.  This all-analog amp seems to use the amount of negative feedback as a way of setting gain, as many analog amps do. On the lowest setting, the feedback is high; this causes some artifacts: a bit of overshoot in the treble that makes it feel hard and emphasizes if not creates sibilance.  It also makes the tonal balance flatter, meaning relatively cold, tilting in the direction of analytical (but not so in absolute terms).  The medium gain/feedback does not induce an overshoot or emphasis in the treble, and also allows the midrange to bloom a bit, compensating for the 232's v-shape.  And, the highest gain just doesn't provide enough negative feedback to tame a different splash/brightness in the treble.  So only the middle gain setting makes for natural treble and for natural midrange. Some (but probably not all) of this characterization applies to my high-impedance HD650 as well as the low-impedance (47ohm) PFE. This would perhaps be due to changes in output impedance of the Arrow with changes in gain, i.e. negative feedback.  

 

Sourcing foam tips: I did not find, in a cursory search, any inventory of Phonak-labeled tips.  But I checked the Comply stores in a comple of countries.  I found at complyfoam.com that Phonak was listed (though not on the PDF, only on the web interface), and that PFE 232 was one of those listed (probably most PFEs use the same tips).  Price is better than at the defunct Audeoworld; you can order 3 or 5 pairs, light or black in color, S M or L.  

 

PS: the reason I argued that the Phonaks might not use a standard size is because the folks at Audeoworld told me so.  They might have been wrong though.  

 

T-130 - Comply™ Foam Tips:

http://www.complyfoam.com/products/T-130/

 

I had seen, IIRC, someone mention T-150 here, but can't find any mention of that anywhere in the interwebs including Comply's site. 


Edited by Stoney - 4/6/13 at 4:53pm
post #897 of 1011
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

Thanks, Luisdent.  

 

I'm a bit confused by the phrase "warm in the treble".  I've only heard "warm" used to mean that the lower midrange, and possibly below that, are a bit prominent. Perhaps you mean "forward" treble, or "emphasized" treble?  

 

Regarding sibilance, I've done some tests in the last day.  I was able to tame the emphasis in the sibilance region and just above by two things:

 

One is using Comply tips, the smallest size that still provides a seal, so that insertion is as deep as possible.  This seems to reduce a resonance both by damping material and by pushing it up in frequency (perhaps into a dip where it isn't a negative). 

 

The other is selection of amplifier (and source: my old Nano was splashy out of the box). I switched from the E7 and E17 to the Arrow 4G (in all cases, using the interal DACs of my iPhone 4s and iPad 3).  

 

The settings of the arrow are very good at minimizing the v-shaped response to where it is a virtue (outside the head image) not a vice: I set all EQ flat, crossfade off... and set the gain at the "|" or middle setting.  This last bit is ultra-important.  This all-analog amp seems to use the amount of negative feedback as a way of setting gain, as many analog amps do. On the lowest setting, the feedback is high; this causes some artifacts: a bit of overshoot in the treble that makes it feel hard and emphasizes if not creates sibilance.  It also makes the tonal balance flatter, meaning relatively cold, tilting in the direction of analytical (but not so in absolute terms).  The medium gain/feedback does not induce an overshoot or emphasis in the treble, and also allows the midrange to bloom a bit, compensating for the 232's v-shape.  And, the highest gain just doesn't provide enough negative feedback to tame a different splash/brightness in the treble.  So only the middle gain setting makes for natural treble and for natural midrange. Some (but probably not all) of this characterization applies to my high-impedance HD650 as well as the low-impedance (47ohm) PFE. This would perhaps be due to changes in output impedance of the Arrow with changes in gain, i.e. negative feedback.  

 

Sourcing foam tips: I did not find, in a cursory search, any inventory of Phonak-labeled tips.  But I checked the Comply stores in a comple of countries.  I found at complyfoam.com that Phonak was listed (though not on the PDF, only on the web interface), and that PFE 232 was one of those listed (probably most PFEs use the same tips).  Price is better than at the defunct Audeoworld; you can order 3 or 5 pairs, light or black in color, S M or L.  

 

PS: the reason I argued that the Phonaks might not use a standard size is because the folks at Audeoworld told me so.  They might have been wrong though.  

 

T-130 - Comply™ Foam Tips:

http://www.complyfoam.com/products/T-130/

 

I had seen, IIRC, someone mention T-150 here, but can't find any mention of that anywhere in the interwebs including Comply's site. 

 

 

 

I agree on both parts.  Amping them not only helps, but brings out their clarity.  Not treble clarity but resolution clarity.  The comply foam tips definitely help the treble sibilance, but I've always had a hard time dealing with the fact that they need to be replaced so often.  Although, I like my er-4s foamies so much that I might be overcoming that mentality.  I'm not sure.  They also stink when someone wants to talk to you and you need to re-insert them afterwards.  Ugh.  When they get warm they don't squish well, because they just bounce back out to their original shape too quickly.  Blargh.  It's weird, because the er-4s foamies don't do this.

post #898 of 1011

I hope some of you can help me. I just bought a brand new Audeo pfe232 from earphonesolutions.com and I was putting it into my ear and trying to enjoy the music. However, I was very disappointed because the sound was little harsh. Is that expected? or I am getting a defective one? Or this thing just need some time to burn in for let's say 100 hours? Please let me know for those of you who have experience on this. thanks
 

post #899 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by hc167 View Post

I hope some of you can help me. I just bought a brand new Audeo pfe232 from earphonesolutions.com and I was putting it into my ear and trying to enjoy the music. However, I was very disappointed because the sound was little harsh. Is that expected? or I am getting a defective one? Or this thing just need some time to burn in for let's say 100 hours? Please let me know for those of you who have experience on this. thanks
 

 

If you mean harsh in the treble, yes, some people find them that way.  The two things I find help are using the foam tips and pulling up on your ear lobe and pushing the tips in about twice as far.  Both of those may reduce the harshness completely if you're lucky.

post #900 of 1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

Thanks, Luisdent.  

 

I'm a bit confused by the phrase "warm in the treble".  I've only heard "warm" used to mean that the lower midrange, and possibly below that, are a bit prominent. Perhaps you mean "forward" treble, or "emphasized" treble?  

 

I thought I had replied to this part, but essentially what I mean by warm treble is that the treble is slightly spiked or boosted around the 10k area somewhere that results in vocals and instruments sounding a bit forward.  I wouldn't call them warm as a whole, but the treble when compared side-by-side with something like the er4s which is a little more flat in the treble, sounds a little warmer or more intimate.

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