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Concise Multi-IEM Comparison (FINAL UPDATE March. 1st, 2013) - Page 76

post #1126 of 1231
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Because people with little experience on IEM often want the 'most accurate, cleanest, most detailed sound', which lead to an analytical sounding IEM. But the truth is, many of them really have no idea what their real preference are. It is the assumption that 'an accurate, detailed sound must be the best choice' misleads them to pick an analytical sounding IEM. The common sense dictates that the opposite of an 'accurate' sound must an inaccurate sound, but common sense doesn't work on actual human preference - let alone those who have no idea what they prefer in the first place.

 

Wonderfully stated.

 beerchug.gif

post #1127 of 1231

CLie have you tried the new sony XBA? Do they sound good ? and If I am going to upgrade my iem to the 200 bucks level , which one should I go for ?

I like the sound of Final adagio 3, or the shure se 215, I also like the JVC FXD 80 you reccomended me before , anything like a straight upgrade from those ?

post #1128 of 1231
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

Because people with little experience on IEM often want the 'most accurate, cleanest, most detailed sound', which lead to an analytical sounding IEM. But the truth is, many of them really have no idea what their real preference are. It is the assumption that 'an accurate, detailed sound must be the best choice' misleads them to pick an analytical sounding IEM. The common sense dictates that the opposite of an 'accurate' sound must an inaccurate sound, but common sense doesn't work on actual human preference - let alone those who have no idea what they prefer in the first place.

 

Got it, it does make sense. Thanks for the explanation!

post #1129 of 1231

This is a good comparison, but I have some reservations. The first really isn't a fault with the comparison itself, just the language of headphone description. The definitions for "analytical" and "balanced" are just bad language that directly contradict their established English definitions. 

"Analytical" describes a highly-reasoned and logical way of thinking. This way of thinking typically results in conclusions that are closer to the truth. The "truth" in the audio world is the accuracy of reproduction. Analytical headphones should be defined as balanced headphones that also have the speed, low distortion, and overall technical proficiency to accurately replicate the source. The interpretation of headphones under the current definition often presents the stigma of being "cold," "lacking musicality," "thin," and "lacking musicality." (all of which are nonsense). Accurate headphones should never be considered to be any of those things unless the master itself is. Analytical headphones should be categorized as balanced headphones with top-tier technical proficiency. 

For example, I'd absolutely not consider the RE0 to be analytical. It has high levels of detail and is solid technically, but there is more emphasis on the mid-to-treble than there is on the low frequencies. I'd categorize them as a very good mid-treble headphone, with a slightly shelved-down bass.

"Balanced" headphones should simply be headphones where all frequencies are perceived as being of equal loudness, but maybe lacking the speed and overall technical ability to be considered "analytical." If IEMs need elevated bass for bass to sound balanced due to lack of bone conduction, then that would still fall under the category of balanced. I can't, however, see a scenario in which elevated treble (and thus a U- or V-shaped response) makes a headphone balanced. By definition, headphones which you deem as "warm and sweet" are likely closer to actually being balanced. 

For example, the GR07 have a touch of a bass emphasis (enough to make it sound balanced), but overall is still more balanced than it is warm. It would probably be analytical if the bass had better linearity while maintaining overall quantity, and if the treble was more even, because they're quick, well-controlled, and have fantastic distortion performance. I'd say that they're much closer to being balanced/neutral than the TF10, which even sounds distinctly U-shaped.

Other than that, I feel as if headphones are graded as much on their sound signature as they are on their objective technical ability; there's a bit of personal preference sneaking in. These types of reviews aren't as useful because people have wildly varying tastes. It's more effective to explain the sound signature, and then evaluate the technical ability. 

Overall, though, this is a nice clean, concise comparison. Just want to provide some constructive criticism. For now, though, I'll be sticking to ljokerl's thread as my primary reference. 

post #1130 of 1231
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrias View Post

CLie have you tried the new sony XBA? Do they sound good ? and If I am going to upgrade my iem to the 200 bucks level , which one should I go for ?

I like the sound of Final adagio 3, or the shure se 215, I also like the JVC FXD 80 you reccomended me before , anything like a straight upgrade from those ?

 

Only the XBA-10, and I prefer it over the XBA-1.

 

If you like SE215, I'll recommend TDK BA200, Westone UM3X or Westone 4. I can't think of a upgrade for FXD80 for now, and I haven't listened to Adagio 3 before.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alondite View Post

...

Other than that, I feel as if headphones are graded as much on their sound signature as they are on their objective technical ability; there's a bit of personal preference sneaking in. These types of reviews aren't as useful because people have wildly varying tastes. It's more effective to explain the sound signature, and then evaluate the technical ability. 

Overall, though, this is a nice clean, concise comparison. Just want to provide some constructive criticism. For now, though, I'll be sticking to ljokerl's thread as my primary reference. 

There you hit a problem - everyone has an interpretation of their own. The goal of this comparison is not to set a hard definition of each sound signature, but to show that there is some observable difference within the seemingly chaotic IEM world and can be categorized in some loose but logical way. It is meant to be a starting point for a search - might not be the best or most correct place to start, but definitely better than just asking 'I have $xxx budget, please recommend me an IEM'. That's really not helpful or useful to both the people who ask or those who try to help.

 

I asked myself the same question as you have when I started this comparison - does it even make sense to categorize IEM? Who to say I will be the best person to categorize them? Surely everyone has a bias and I can't be that ignorant not to acknowledge it? But then, who to say he/she is the best person to do it, and can do it without any doubt or bias? I really don't think there is such a person, and won't trust a person who would claim such a thing. However, that's exactly the beauty of Head-fi. We don't just come here to set the right and wrong (though sometime we do try as hard as we can), but to discuss the difference among us and trying to be understanding. I know there are people who impression I can totally trust and those who I can't, and I take both side in equal weight because I know I can learn from both, for all the pluses and minuses. It will be foolish to think there is such a thing as absolutely unbiased opinion - we all are product of our own experience, and it is our experience that limits our understanding to this world.

 

My opinion is just my opinion, whether it is useful for another person or not should be the result of that person's careful evaluation. The better way to do it is to encourage other to write review and comparison of their own, then reader can have better standing for cross reference. This comparison is merely served as one of the reference point within the sea of Head-fi. As I have said in the disclaimer, the reader 'shouldn’t take it as it is'. It is easy just to believe in someone blindly, and that's often the first mistake a newbie will make, trying to take the quick and easy way out that leads to the wrong path. Not to say that I don't think making mistake once in a while is a good thing to 'reset' our prospective, but new comer should be able to learn from old timer and find a shorter path to the right sound. If not, why are we even bother to be in a forum at all?

 

I was trained as a scientist, and I still remember one thing I learn in graduate school - there is not such thing as absolute truth, but the interpretation of what seems to be the truth.


Edited by ClieOS - 4/14/13 at 8:13pm
post #1131 of 1231
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

Only the XBA-10, and I prefer it over the XBA-1.

 

If you like SE215, I'll recommend TDK BA200, Westone UM3X or Westone 4. I can't think of a upgrade for FXD80 for now, and I haven't listened to Adagio 3 before.

thanks clie , I have tried westones before I bought the ak100 before , and I didn't really like them, they are just not my kind of sound , I will see if I can find tdk ba200

 

I will give the XBA-10 a try too later once jaben have stocked them

post #1132 of 1231
ClieOS,
which of the 3 NuForce you got there is the better?
post #1133 of 1231
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelda View Post

ClieOS,
which of the 3 NuForce you got there is the better?

 

NE-700m of course.

post #1134 of 1231

Could somone point me to an iem that has the sound sig of the Sennheiser HD598?

 

ive been looking at: Re-400, IE800

 

not really sure? I like that mid centric sound without sibilance, and not really 'lacking' bass.

I dreadfully hate V shaped sigs.

post #1135 of 1231
+1 Sounds like we hear much the same.
post #1136 of 1231
Thread Starter 

Haven't heard the IE800, but RE400 will fit the bill.

post #1137 of 1231

Hi ClieOS,

 

I'm looking for some new IEMs. Based on the below can you tell me IEMS (Multiple - whatever fits - so I have a choice - There's lack of availability here) you would recommend me? Budget is max $100 but if it's lower it'll be nice. I might even buy a couple just to keep myself busy.

 

1) I like the sound of the Brainwavz M1

2) I don't like the fatiguing treble on the KSC-75 - too harsh

3) I like the sound reative aurvana live headphones - and anything that MATCHES the sound of these would be very nice (Everyone says these are with recessed mids but I like where the mids are on these.. balanced with the drums compared to the Brainwavz R1)

4) I hate the Brainwavz R1 as the vocals sound too distant and recessed and can't stand that signature. Can't listen to them.

5) I tried the XBA-1 but I thought I couldn't FEEL the bass even the slightest

6) I like the sound of the SHM750 (Ordering the MH1C as well)

7) I have the Sony MDR-1R headphones and I like the sound signature on those. (Maybe the mids are slightly too forward but I want them to be forward instead of recessed)

 

I've bought a lot of these based on your recommendations and appreciate all the effort you put in. Thanks a LOT for your help.

post #1138 of 1231
Thread Starter 

If you are already ordered the MH1C, then wait till you listen to it first since it seems to fit most of your requirement.

post #1139 of 1231

wow wow wow! this forum and its users are a well of knowledge.. ty :DDD

post #1140 of 1231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jozurr View Post

Hi ClieOS,

 

I'm looking for some new IEMs. Based on the below can you tell me IEMS (Multiple - whatever fits - so I have a choice - There's lack of availability here) you would recommend me? Budget is max $100 but if it's lower it'll be nice. I might even buy a couple just to keep myself busy.

 

1) I like the sound of the Brainwavz M1

2) I don't like the fatiguing treble on the KSC-75 - too harsh

3) I like the sound reative aurvana live headphones - and anything that MATCHES the sound of these would be very nice (Everyone says these are with recessed mids but I like where the mids are on these.. balanced with the drums compared to the Brainwavz R1)

4) I hate the Brainwavz R1 as the vocals sound too distant and recessed and can't stand that signature. Can't listen to them.

5) I tried the XBA-1 but I thought I couldn't FEEL the bass even the slightest

6) I like the sound of the SHM750 (Ordering the MH1C as well)

7) I have the Sony MDR-1R headphones and I like the sound signature on those. (Maybe the mids are slightly too forward but I want them to be forward instead of recessed)

 

I've bought a lot of these based on your recommendations and appreciate all the effort you put in. Thanks a LOT for your help.

 

 

Hi again ClieOS. 

 

I've ordered the MH1C. I wanted to check one thing, based on what I've explained how good (sound and comfort wise) will be the XBA-2, XBA-3? They're available for $60 and $75 respectively and I'm temped to buy them.

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