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Multi-Custom In-Ear Monitor Review, Resource, Mfg List & Discussion (Check first post for review links & information) - Page 191

post #2851 of 4815
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post

I dig this thread, but what's up with what's happening in it now? (That was a rhetorical question, so please don't answer it.)

 

I'm going to get it back on track. That means some posts are going to disappear.

 

Thanks, less "stuff" to sift through!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alias Gu View Post

I guess i have enough budget for either JH13 Pro FP or NT6 Pro. I have to pick up one of them. What a tough choice. 

Do you think NT6 Pro is at same level as SE 5way? Or either one is better.

 

JH13 pro FP will be more neutral (from what I have been told) while the NT-6 Pro will be more fun and exciting.  I really can't say much about how they would compare technically, but the JH13 FP is supposedly around NT-6 performance, and I hear the NT-6 pro as offering slightly superior performance to the NT-6.  It could be a wash technically, which goes back to neutral vs more fun (based on what I know, not an actual comparison wink.gif).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tupac0306 View Post

This is what I find from erji.net. A thread originally made by a guy from Hongkong kevin_cartier

I found it's quite useful, specially for people who wants to get a basic idea of Compact Ear Stage CIEMs, so I borrow it to here.normal_smile%20.gif

 

 

                                    1                         2           3            4            5            6           7            8            9           10          11

 

1. number of drivers,

2. treble resolution,

3. treble brightness, 

4. mid resolution, 

5. mid density,

6. bass reproduction,

7. bass depth,

8. coherence? (not sure, basically how bass, mid, and treble are balanced, and presented),

9. soundstage,  

10. speed, 

11. note decay.

 

TF is for FP

 

8 and 6 for the last two rows for 1964 V6

 

Nice little chart, thanks for sharing.  Knowing the source is also important biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post

Hey Joe,

 

First of all, thank you so much for such an unbelievable job you have done there.

 

However I am looking for one flagship, Westone ES5. Do you have any plan about adding it to the list?

 

I don't know if you listened to ES5 before but I am actually very curious about comparison between SE 5-way. Both in presentation and isolation aspects since Westone uses a special technology for their ciems ear canal section. It is basicly hard as acrylic in the room temperature but when it is inside of your ear, with your body heat, it softens and becomes like a silicone material.

 

Thanks to the Inner Fidelity review (and other head-fi members), I have heard many very good things about the ES5.  I believe it is similar to the SE5 in presentation, but not the same.  My current plans are to finish all the reviews I have on my plate, but I would love to review the ES5.

 

The vinyl tips are supposedly very comfortable and offer very good isolation, but from what I understand, not quite to the level of silicone.  But, unless isolation is your #1 concern, the difference probably doesn't warrant making a decision based off one or the other.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

average joe, any interests or plans for a 1964 ears custom?

 

See above wink.gif.  I would love to, but must focus on reviewing what I currently have.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

Getting back on track, I'm looking forward to this technology becoming widely available:

 

http://www.lantostechnologies.com/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild View Post

Average Joe, this thread is amazing and your reviews have been a pleasure to read, thanks for all your time and effort put into making the world of ciems less daunting beerchug.gif

 

I'm currently in the market for a ciem and I think I've narrowed it down to a few options, but I'd love to hear what the experts think. My priorities are:

 

1. Soundstage/Imaging:  I'm used to open headphone soundstages so the larger the stage the better, but the imaging has to keep up as well.

2. Bass depth:  Seriously deep bass extension.  Not necessarily a large amount, but definitely bumped up a bit from neutral. More sub bass than mid bass > I consider Denon DX000 bass awesome if that means anything.

3. Warm but neutral mids:   I really don't like distant mids that make it sound like the singer is standing across an auditorium from me, but also don't like them to be in my face either.

4. No sibilance please: I don't mind treble having an elevated presence, as long as they're smooth.

 

As far as music goes, most of my music is Rock and Alternative, but I listen to everything from classical to soundtracks.

 

I'd also love it if the company had good customer service/build quality, and being in the U.S. would be a plus because then I wouldn't have to worry about overseas shipping.

 

Thanks for any help guys. 

 

Thank you!

 

What's your price range?  If the UE PRM falls within your budget, you can have it all, especially since you can tune it yourself!  Another options is the aud-8X, which has a fairly neutral sound signature, but does have excellent bass and is on the richer/thicker side of things compared with something like the IERM.  Of course, the most spacious is the M-Fidelity SA-43 from Norway, but that needs good amplification and the bass isn't as deep as the others.  Let me know what you think of these suggestions and if you have more questions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

The company just got FDA clearance to market in the US in March.  Hopefully, audiologists start using it soon if they aren't already. 

 

I remember when that first made the news around a year ago.  That looks fantastic, however I would guess it will only be for the big guys like UE and possibly Westone/JHA due to cost and requirements for manufacture. It makes more sense in a high volume business like hearing aids.  But, I am all for it!

post #2852 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Thank you!

 

What's your price range?  If the UE PRM falls within your budget, you can have it all, especially since you can tune it yourself!  Another options is the aud-8X, which has a fairly neutral sound signature, but does have excellent bass and is on the richer/thicker side of things compared with something like the IERM.  Of course, the most spacious is the M-Fidelity SA-43 from Norway, but that needs good amplification and the bass isn't as deep as the others.  Let me know what you think of these suggestions and if you have more questions.

 

I was hoping to keep my max budget in the $1200 range, with the Heir 8.a being about the most I can swing for, but preferably less than that.  Your suggestions are surprising! I never really considered the aud-8x to be honest, I never imagined it would fit my style personally, but I'll definitely look into that. I'll also take a look at the SA-43. Thanks for the suggestions.

 

Just as an FYI the ones I was originally looking at were the JH13/16, Aud-5x, AS-2, 8.a, and the Merlin (which is why I'm suprised at the suggestions biggrin.gif)

 

Oh and is there a review of the Aud-8x floating around somewhere? Quick search didn't find anything. 


Edited by Wild - 5/16/13 at 12:10am
post #2853 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

 

 

Nice little chart, thanks for sharing.  Knowing the source is also important biggrin.gif

 

Thanks joe. Sorry the source is AK100 as you probably already know.  I thought if this guy could make a nice and detailed (and looks real to me) chart, he is probably a experienced audiophile with lots of gear and spend time playing around with them. So I didn't bother to read into it too much even when I knew AK100 isn't ideal for driving sensitive CIEMs. That's why I never lay my hand on one before. Anyways.

 

Since I heard ak100 pair with SE5 very well (even surpass dx100), so I guess 22 Ohm is probably good for 130 Ohm's SE5? But then, the AK120 was released like 2 days after I ordered my ak100.redface.gif. So now I have both coming soon, although I already agreed to the seller than I would need to return the ak100, because AK120 is a better sounding DAP that even surpass RWAK100 (I heard, from my friend, not stolewink.gif). But let's see, I will let you know how they sound, especially with SE5. So far I haven't find a sweet point for SE5 with DAPs. DX100 and 901 both have their strength, can drive SE5 very well, but not perfect like SE5+ Anedio D2, or SE5+ Anedio D2+627. DX100 is spacious, but it can be lacking a bit of weight sometimes (bassline, vocal presence and etc), and treble can get picky at times (not a lot). 901 has all that, but it sacrifices its transparency by doing that. For a extreme neutral CIEM like SE5, only extreme neutral source with enough healthy power can bring out most of it IMO. I don't put my hope too high for ak100 or ak120 though.


Edited by tupac0306 - 5/16/13 at 4:23am
post #2854 of 4815

@Joe,

 

You have been most helpful mate, thank you again. 1 last question I have.

 

SE 5 way is amazing that's obvious. Spiral Ear developed SE 3 way pro model. SE claims technically  as powerful as 5 way reference but more in analytical sounding.

 

I am curious about this one too, is it in your plate too or we will have to wait a while before you actually test it?

 

Isolation is unfortunately one of the most important things for me. That's why I am considering either full silicone shell or Westone's special flex canal. However, Westone's technology is somewhere in the middle as far as I understood. Very comfortable indeed but isolation is better than acrylic, less than silicone.

post #2855 of 4815
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild View Post

I was hoping to keep my max budget in the $1200 range, with the Heir 8.a being about the most I can swing for, but preferably less than that.  Your suggestions are surprising! I never really considered the aud-8x to be honest, I never imagined it would fit my style personally, but I'll definitely look into that. I'll also take a look at the SA-43. Thanks for the suggestions.

 

Just as an FYI the ones I was originally looking at were the JH13/16, Aud-5x, AS-2, 8.a, and the Merlin (which is why I'm suprised at the suggestions biggrin.gif)

 

Oh and is there a review of the Aud-8x floating around somewhere? Quick search didn't find anything. 

 

The reason I didn't recommend the 8.A is because it doesn't have the largest soundstage and the bass and mid-bass are elevated, so it wasn't a great fit for your #1 and #2 criteria.  

 

From what I know, the JH13/16 are going to give you something different from a note presentation perspective than what you would get with the aud-5X, 8.A, and Merlin.  I still don't have the 8X review done, but can answer questions about it.  Other owners have discussed it in the 5X thread.

 

I haven't heard the DX1000 for quite some time, but from what I recall it is bass heavy (V shaped) with clarity and a relatively fast note in contrast to something like the LCD-2 (V1) or HD650 for example.  What headphones or IEMs do you like and dislike, and why?  That will hopefully help with the recommendation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tupac0306 View Post

Thanks joe. Sorry the source is AK100 as you probably already know.  I thought if this guy could make a nice and detailed (and looks real to me) chart, he is probably a experienced audiophile with lots of gear and spend time playing around with them. So I didn't bother to read into it too much even when I knew AK100 isn't ideal for driving sensitive CIEMs. That's why I never lay my hand on one before. Anyways.

 

Since I heard ak100 pair with SE5 very well (even surpass dx100), so I guess 22 Ohm is probably good for 130 Ohm's SE5? But then, the AK120 was released like 2 days after I ordered my ak100.redface.gif. So now I have both coming soon, although I already agreed to the seller than I would need to return the ak100, because AK120 is a better sounding DAP that even surpass RWAK100 (I heard, from my friend, not stolewink.gif). But let's see, I will let you know how they sound, especially with SE5. So far I haven't find a sweet point for SE5 with DAPs. DX100 and 901 both have their strength, can drive SE5 very well, but not perfect like SE5+ Anedio D2, or SE5+ Anedio D2+627. DX100 is spacious, but it can be lacking a bit of weight sometimes (bassline, vocal presence and etc), and treble can get picky at times (not a lot). 901 has all that, but it sacrifices its transparency by doing that. For a extreme neutral CIEM like SE5, only extreme neutral source with enough healthy power can bring out most of it IMO. I don't put my hope too high for ak100 or ak120 though.

 

I appreciate the additional information from the chart as it is good to see others perspectives, especially when they have many CIEMs for comparison.  Trying to gather the big data, lol!

 

The AK120 seems like a nice source!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post

@Joe,

 

You have been most helpful mate, thank you again. 1 last question I have.

 

SE 5 way is amazing that's obvious. Spiral Ear developed SE 3 way pro model. SE claims technically  as powerful as 5 way reference but more in analytical sounding.

 

I am curious about this one too, is it in your plate too or we will have to wait a while before you actually test it?

 

Isolation is unfortunately one of the most important things for me. That's why I am considering either full silicone shell or Westone's special flex canal. However, Westone's technology is somewhere in the middle as far as I understood. Very comfortable indeed but isolation is better than acrylic, less than silicone.

 

I will talk to an owner and get a better feel of the difference between the ES5 and a SE3.  Some acrylic shells can isolate very well, such as the M-Fidelity products, since they are filled with silicone.  I think the dual material may actually give an advantage at some frequencies.  Another thing to consider when you are looking for isolation is to get a musicians fit (long canals) as the more material in your canal, the better the isolation.

post #2856 of 4815
Quote:

I will talk to an owner and get a better feel of the difference between the ES5 and a SE3.  Some acrylic shells can isolate very well, such as the M-Fidelity products, since they are filled with silicone.  I think the dual material may actually give an advantage at some frequencies.  Another thing to consider when you are looking for isolation is to get a musicians fit (long canals) as the more material in your canal, the better the isolation.

 

You are an amazing guy. You help people in here like all of us your friends, seriously thank you very much.

 

I'm looking forward to hear more from you about ES5 and SE3 way pro. If there is something you don't want to spoil for your review, you can pm me no worries.

 

In the meantime, I will try to read/search as much as possible about the isolation factor. Musicians fit indeed sounds awesome. Maybe I don't have to force myself for getting silicone shell, but Westone's technology with musicians fit will do the trick too.

 

However I must say, if SE 3 way pro, has the same technical "miracles" of SE 5 way reference, but sounds more analytic than fun, I think I have a winner in here.

post #2857 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

JH13 pro FP will be more neutral (from what I have been told) while the NT-6 Pro will be more fun and exciting.  I really can't say much about how they would compare technically, but the JH13 FP is supposedly around NT-6 performance, and I hear the NT-6 pro as offering slightly superior performance to the NT-6.  It could be a wash technically, which goes back to neutral vs more fun (based on what I know, not an actual comparison wink.gif).

 

 

 

Now i am only considering NT6 and NT6PRO. Does NT6Pro has a very V-shape sound, or just a little? Any details loss in mids?

From what i heard from Miracle, which also has a slightly v-shape sound, it loses some details in mids. 

post #2858 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

The reason I didn't recommend the 8.A is because it doesn't have the largest soundstage and the bass and mid-bass are elevated, so it wasn't a great fit for your #1 and #2 criteria.  

 

From what I know, the JH13/16 are going to give you something different from a note presentation perspective than what you would get with the aud-5X, 8.A, and Merlin.  I still don't have the 8X review done, but can answer questions about it.  Other owners have discussed it in the 5X thread.

 

I haven't heard the DX1000 for quite some time, but from what I recall it is bass heavy (V shaped) with clarity and a relatively fast note in contrast to something like the LCD-2 (V1) or HD650 for example.  What headphones or IEMs do you like and dislike, and why?  That will hopefully help with the recommendation.

 

 

That makes sense about the 8.A. I just figured it had a decently large soundstage based on the reviews. And I don't mind 5-10 dB of bass boost, so long as it is more sub bass than mid bass.

 

 

 

Here's two frequency responses of headphones I, for the most part, loved. The Denon D5000, and the HE500.  I loved the HE500's quickness, but also loved the D5000's sub bass rumble. HE500 mids and Sennheiser HD598/558 mids are my standard, but the Denon's were no slouch either. I also really liked the V-Sonic GR-07 Mk II, but the ear comfort wasn't there (same with all Universals for me.)

 

Oh and I found the thoughts on the Aud-5x/6x/7x/8x.  I think I'd lean towards the 7x, if the bass isn't crazy over the top, or the 8x, if it isn't bass light. Thanks for all the help Joe!

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Wild - 5/16/13 at 11:54am
post #2859 of 4815
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post

 

You are an amazing guy. You help people in here like all of us your friends, seriously thank you very much.

 

I'm looking forward to hear more from you about ES5 and SE3 way pro. If there is something you don't want to spoil for your review, you can pm me no worries.

 

In the meantime, I will try to read/search as much as possible about the isolation factor. Musicians fit indeed sounds awesome. Maybe I don't have to force myself for getting silicone shell, but Westone's technology with musicians fit will do the trick too.

 

However I must say, if SE 3 way pro, has the same technical "miracles" of SE 5 way reference, but sounds more analytic than fun, I think I have a winner in here.

 

My friend said that both of his silicone CIEMs (SE3 reference and 3MAX) isolate better than the ES5, but the differences aren't huge, maybe 10%.  Is that a difference?  Yes, the isolation for silicone is better, but the difference doesn't seem huge.

 

So, if you really need the absolute most isolation, silicone is the best choice, although the SA-43 with a musician fit, if Alf will do so, would probably be equal since the relatively shallow fit SA-43 has similar isolation to the ACS T1! Live, which uses a deeper fit.  However, the SA-43 would probably lose some of its spaciousness with a musicians fit.

 

That last part may be a bit confusing, so let me explain that the fit (musicians or not) will affect the sound signature of the CIEM.  A musicians fit will make the sound signature a bit more mid-forward and presented closer, generally with a bit more bass than the non-musicians fit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alias Gu View Post

Now i am only considering NT6 and NT6PRO. Does NT6Pro has a very V-shape sound, or just a little? Any details loss in mids?

From what i heard from Miracle, which also has a slightly v-shape sound, it loses some details in mids. 

 

 

From my NT-6 pro review:

Quote:

NT-6 vs. NT-6 pro: The NT-6 and pro are torn from the same cloth as they share many characteristics and with some songs you will be hard pressed to hear a large difference.  Those songs are the ones with low levels of bass and treble that doesn’t extend too far, not to mention not the largest soundstage.  But, there are differences.  The NT-6 is the reference with a pretty neutral bass and treble combined with a balance in the midrange making for a presentation that doesn’t push any one portion of the spectrum forward.  The pro, on the other hand, enhances the bass and treble region and also has a more 3D space.  The good (due to the treble) is that much of the treble is brought forward, improving upon the super clear NT-6; but the negative is the tone can sound a bit off in comparison as you know the treble is being enhanced.  I gave the NT-6 the highest marks for clarity, but the pro steals that honor from the NT-6. 

 

In the bass region, the bass enhancement is slightly noticeable with light and background bass tracks, but when a heavy bass line kicks in, the pro kicks it up several notches.  Since the pro is enhanced, the bass isn’t quite as clean as that of the neutral NT-6, which is due to the additional rumble.  The midrange of the pro is a slight bit further back, but then there is more depth of the soundstage space, allowing the NT-6 to present vocals a bit closer and more personal, while the imaging of the pro is improved over the NT-6. 

 

As one would expect, technically these two are quite close with the pro having a bit better transparency due to the more 3D soundstage, but the midrange and treble of the NT-6 sounding slightly more natural.  Detail and resolution is ever so slightly higher on the pro and due to the boost in the treble, the coherence isn’t quite what it is with the NT-6.  Dynamics, speed, and note attack/decay are the same.

 

Both the NT-6 and the pro version offer an extremely high technical performance with an analytical yet musical performance in different flavors.  The NT-6 is excellent as a reference monitor, something you want when you want to hear all the details with great clarity but don’t want enhancements in the bass region.  The pro turns the reference into a more exciting and even clearer sound with a bass and treble boost and a bit more depth to the soundstage with a slightly less forward midrange.  Hidition gives excellent choices depending on your tastes.

 

No lost detail, actually improved imaging from the pro, which improves instrument placement and separation and in general, detail levels.  As far as the differences, they would show up depending on the track; sometimes there was little difference, sometimes the differences were profound when the song had a lot of bass/treble.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild View Post

 

That makes sense about the 8.A. I just figured it had a decently large soundstage based on the reviews. And I don't mind 5-10 dB of bass boost, so long as it is more sub bass than mid bass.

 

 

 

Here's two frequency responses of headphones I, for the most part, loved. The Denon D5000, and the HE500.  I loved the HE500's quickness, but also loved the D5000's sub bass rumble. HE500 mids and Sennheiser HD598/558 mids are my standard, but the Denon's were no slouch either. I also really liked the V-Sonic GR-07 Mk II, but the ear comfort wasn't there (same with all Universals for me.)

 

Oh and I found the thoughts on the Aud-5x/6x/7x/8x.  I think I'd lean towards the 7x, if the bass isn't crazy over the top, or the 8x, if it isn't bass light. Thanks for all the help Joe!

 

Thanks for posting about the other headphones and the charts.  I would say the 8.A would be in the same class as the 7X, which was tuned to be similar to the ES5 but with more bass capability.  The 8.A is indeed a very good CIEM, and you could be very happy with it, but something such as the EM4 has a bit quicker note with similar bass and a bit brighter top end.  I do have to say that both the 8.A and EM4 sound a bit more tonally accurate to me than the 8X, although I really do like the 8X for its neutral style of presentation with a bass emphasis vs. most neutral reference CIEMs having a treble emphasis.  

 

Here is my comparison of the EM4 and 8.A:

 

Quote:

EM4: These two are quite close in both presentation and frequency response, at least until the upper midrange region and higher.  The 8.A is slightly warmer, a bit more mid-forward, more laid back treble region, and has a thicker average note which gives the 8.A an advantage in presenting with richness while the EM4 has a better sense of speed and dynamics.  Depth and width of the presentation are very similar, but the EM4 is has slightly more depth, superior imaging and a slightly cleaner presentation, but the 8.A has better layering and internal resolution of the presentation giving a more real feel to music. Instrument detail levels, clarity, and transparency are all similar, but the 8.A pulls ahead in coherence as the bass enhancement and treble presentation are integrated better within the overall presentation.  The 8.A is more forgiving of poor masters. 

 

Deep bass quantity is close, but the EM4 is a bit more enhanced with more deep bass rumble at the expense of control, which is superior with the 8.A.  In the bass region up through the mid-bass the 8.A has a bit more emphasis, but not too much.  While the midranges are similar, the 8.A midrange is slightly more forward and thicker yet has equal clarity due to the superior layering.  The upper midrange is a bit more emphasized by the 8.A, but the treble performance is quite different as the EM4 becomes brighter in comparison to the laid back 8.A. The quality of the 8.A treble is less offensive, especially with less than perfect tracks.

 

These two are quite similar in many ways and the decision will come down to the little things such as more deep bass or cleaner bass; a faster overall note or richer presentation, and a brighter sound or more laid back treble.  However, one of the largest differences between the two is that the 8.A has a better integration of the bass enhancement into the sound signature resulting in less of a feel of added bass, but more coherent of a presentation.  On the other hand, the EM4 has a more spacious and airy feel to it.  Looking at other factors such as customer service, build quality, etc. make these a close call, however Heir Audio does have more artwork options.  They are quite close in technical performance and essentially both are very good and capable CIEMs with similar strengths and sound.

 

How I see it is, the 8.A, EM4, ES5 or 7X/8X all sound amazing in their own right and I am just trying to help figure out which would be the closest to your favorite headphones.  Unfortunately I don't have them for comparison, but someone like Project86 or others might be able to help more.  Whichever one you pick, I am sure you will be impressed as they are all very capable and offer excellent quality.  Compared with headphones, top-tier CIEMs offer different strengths and have an overall different presentation, as they are more closed in due to their nature, but typically have better across your head coherence and improved resolution and control.  Let me know if you have any additional questions for me.

post #2860 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

My friend said that both of his silicone CIEMs (SE3 reference and 3MAX) isolate better than the ES5, but the differences aren't huge, maybe 10%.  Is that a difference?  Yes, the isolation for silicone is better, but the difference doesn't seem huge.

 

So, if you really need the absolute most isolation, silicone is the best choice, although the SA-43 with a musician fit, if Alf will do so, would probably be equal since the relatively shallow fit SA-43 has similar isolation to the ACS T1! Live, which uses a deeper fit.  However, the SA-43 would probably lose some of its spaciousness with a musicians fit.

 

That last part may be a bit confusing, so let me explain that the fit (musicians or not) will affect the sound signature of the CIEM.  A musicians fit will make the sound signature a bit more mid-forward and presented closer, generally with a bit more bass than the non-musicians fit.

 

You made me interested in SA-43, def. will read your review about them. Right now, I am suffering extremely from my full sized headphones (German Maestro GMP 8.35D with Oval Pads). Price/Performance one of the best deal I believe, but it is not very useful to put them on with buses, trains etc with these pads. Pads are extremely comfortable, makes the sound more transparant and clear. I do like it but it is no good for outdoor use.

 

So for on to go, I am looking for extreme isolation. I must say it is really hard to choose. You have been incredibly helpful. I think I will be in between Spiral Ears, Westone and M-Fidelity (Starkey?). Also the sound has huge importance too. On isolationwise I think all of these options will provide the isolation I need.

 

Looking forward to read more about SE 3 Way Pro (fingers crossed for these little diamonds, I hope they have the technical advances of 5 way but sounds more analytical without losing it is magic).

post #2861 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Thanks for posting about the other headphones and the charts.  I would say the 8.A would be in the same class as the 7X, which was tuned to be similar to the ES5 but with more bass capability.  The 8.A is indeed a very good CIEM, and you could be very happy with it, but something such as the EM4 has a bit quicker note with similar bass and a bit brighter top end.  I do have to say that both the 8.A and EM4 sound a bit more tonally accurate to me than the 8X, although I really do like the 8X for its neutral style of presentation with a bass emphasis vs. most neutral reference CIEMs having a treble emphasis.  

 

How I see it is, the 8.A, EM4, ES5 or 7X/8X all sound amazing in their own right and I am just trying to help figure out which would be the closest to your favorite headphones.  Unfortunately I don't have them for comparison, but someone like Project86 or others might be able to help more.  Whichever one you pick, I am sure you will be impressed as they are all very capable and offer excellent quality.  Compared with headphones, top-tier CIEMs offer different strengths and have an overall different presentation, as they are more closed in due to their nature, but typically have better across your head coherence and improved resolution and control.  Let me know if you have any additional questions for me.

 

I wasn't sure if the frequency response charts would really mean anything on their own with so many other factors that contribute to sound quality, but I figured it would give you an idea of what I was after wink.gif

 

I know you're right about probably loving every one of your recommendations, it's just we always want to get things right on the first try.  Especially something like customs. Thanks for all your help, I'll make a decision in the next few weeks and I'll post some impressions whenever I finally have my own pair of customs in my hands.

Keep up the amazing work. It's threads like this that keep me entertained every day on head-fi.  beerchug.gif

post #2862 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

My friend said that both of his silicone CIEMs (SE3 reference and 3MAX) isolate better than the ES5, but the differences aren't huge, maybe 10%.  Is that a difference?  Yes, the isolation for silicone is better, but the difference doesn't seem huge.

 

So, if you really need the absolute most isolation, silicone is the best choice, although the SA-43 with a musician fit, if Alf will do so, would probably be equal since the relatively shallow fit SA-43 has similar isolation to the ACS T1! Live, which uses a deeper fit.  However, the SA-43 would probably lose some of its spaciousness with a musicians fit.

 

That last part may be a bit confusing, so let me explain that the fit (musicians or not) will affect the sound signature of the CIEM.  A musicians fit will make the sound signature a bit more mid-forward and presented closer, generally with a bit more bass than the non-musicians fit.

 

 

 

From my NT-6 pro review:

 

No lost detail, actually improved imaging from the pro, which improves instrument placement and separation and in general, detail levels.  As far as the differences, they would show up depending on the track; sometimes there was little difference, sometimes the differences were profound when the song had a lot of bass/treble.

 

 

Thanks for posting about the other headphones and the charts.  I would say the 8.A would be in the same class as the 7X, which was tuned to be similar to the ES5 but with more bass capability.  The 8.A is indeed a very good CIEM, and you could be very happy with it, but something such as the EM4 has a bit quicker note with similar bass and a bit brighter top end.  I do have to say that both the 8.A and EM4 sound a bit more tonally accurate to me than the 8X, although I really do like the 8X for its neutral style of presentation with a bass emphasis vs. most neutral reference CIEMs having a treble emphasis.  

 

Here is my comparison of the EM4 and 8.A:

 

 

How I see it is, the 8.A, EM4, ES5 or 7X/8X all sound amazing in their own right and I am just trying to help figure out which would be the closest to your favorite headphones.  Unfortunately I don't have them for comparison, but someone like Project86 or others might be able to help more.  Whichever one you pick, I am sure you will be impressed as they are all very capable and offer excellent quality.  Compared with headphones, top-tier CIEMs offer different strengths and have an overall different presentation, as they are more closed in due to their nature, but typically have better across your head coherence and improved resolution and control.  Let me know if you have any additional questions for me.

hmmmmmmmm, really hard to pick either of them. NT6 or NT6Pro.

Generally speaking, when two CIEMs or IEMs sound really similar, i will pick up the little more expensive one.

But in this case, oh my god

post #2863 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild View Post

Average Joe, this thread is amazing and your reviews have been a pleasure to read, thanks for all your time and effort put into making the world of ciems less daunting beerchug.gif

 

I'm currently in the market for a ciem and I think I've narrowed it down to a few options, but I'd love to hear what the experts think. My priorities are:

 

1. Soundstage/Imaging:  I'm used to open headphone soundstages so the larger the stage the better, but the imaging has to keep up as well.

2. Bass depth:  Seriously deep bass extension.  Not necessarily a large amount, but definitely bumped up a bit from neutral. More sub bass than mid bass > I consider Denon DX000 bass awesome if that means anything.

3. Warm but neutral mids:   I really don't like distant mids that make it sound like the singer is standing across an auditorium from me, but also don't like them to be in my face either.

4. No sibilance please: I don't mind treble having an elevated presence, as long as they're smooth.

 

As far as music goes, most of my music is Rock and Alternative, but I listen to everything from classical to soundtracks.

 

I'd also love it if the company had good customer service/build quality, and being in the U.S. would be a plus because then I wouldn't have to worry about overseas shipping.

 

Thanks for any help guys. 

 

 

UM Miracle.

 

Treble doesn't have the ultimate level of organic realism, but in almost all other respects, it matches your list of desires rather well (source - personal experience of UM Miracle, driven with iBasso DX100).

post #2864 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

 

 

UM Miracle.

 

Treble doesn't have the ultimate level of organic realism, but in almost all other respects, it matches your list of desires rather well (source - personal experience of UM Miracle, driven with iBasso DX100).


+1 except that the Miracle does not have warm mids...

post #2865 of 4815

One other point to add is that (IMO) the Miracle is absolutely devastatingly good with Soundtracks (OSTs). Bladerunner, Gladiator, etc. have a fabulous sense of scale through the Miracles. 

 

Damn.... I really need to get my finances back on-track so I can replace the Miracles I had to sell! rolleyes.gif

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