Joe, here it goes! Bear with my English.
Copied and pasted from 1+2 thread, I focused more on 1+2, but there are impressions of JH13.
1+2 vs SE5 vs NT6 vs JH13:
Sorry about my bad English, I might have to use the same word again and again. And everything I say here will just be my opinion and my own experience only.
Desktop: Anedio D2
Portable: Ak120 + portaphile 627
1+2: Before I describe how 1+2 sounds, I would like to address about the tips issues. I have been doing the tip rolling since I got them. I tried about 20 pairs of different tips (and will keep on trying more). I won’t be surprised if people say 1+2 sounds bright, or not detailed enough. Because from my experience, tips play a huge part in presenting the 1+2 sound. I am sure people have mentioned this in the earlier thread too. Tips can change 1+2 from sounding very bright, harsh to neutral to very dull and dark. People hear different things and have different ear shapes, so they will use different choice for tips. Therefore this makes it very hard to speak on the signature of 1+2. I find ortofon ones make the sound very bright and comply foam ones make the highs roll off a lot with recessed mid. Luckily, I was able to find my sweet point for it which is “small sized comply T500 with 1/4 of tip ends being cut off”. This will gives me the most linear frequency response to my ears with just enough space and treble without going bright. The mid sits right in the middle and the bass is super deep and punchy. So all my comparisons below will be done using this tip. IMO 1+2 is more suitable to more experienced and patient audiophiles that know about what sound they want. For those who don’t know or don’t want to know about the tip rolling, there is a good chance that you may love it very much or hate it very much.
Sound: 1+2 with the right tips sounds super neutral to me from the top to the bottom. It has a very accurate sound to me. The bass can go very deep with amazing texture and very natural decay. The mids have great density and layering. It doesn’t sound forward or recessed to my ears. The treble, again super flat with great clarity and smoothness. Making the sound very transparent and airy without going to the edge in any part of the treble spectrum. The combination of low, mid and high create one of the largest spaces I have ever heard in earphones. It really manages to generate an outer hand soundstage rather the in head sound. It fooled me so many times on certain songs making me think the sound is actually really from outside. There are just not many words I can use to talk about the characters of the sound because it’s just so realistic and neutral, and truly doesn’t have any color. I am very impressed that this small universal IEM can produce a very BIG sound like speakers.
JH13: I wanted to burn in the JH13 for some more time since I just got it today and only running for like 7 hours. But JH13 has such a typical JH audio sound that I find myself confident enough to describe the sound. So any further change will be too subtle to change my opinion on its overall sound. The new FP jh13 is really something. It has its typical JH forward presentation with great clarity and smoothness. I have been having my JH16 for almost 2 years so I am very familiar to it, the new JH13 sound like a bass light version of my JH16, but better in almost every way. The bass on the new JH13 is very tight and fast with great decay and punch. The new jh13 has almost the same amount of sub-bass as JH16, which rumbles a lot! Some might like it some might find it messed up some bass light songs. The new jh13 has less mid/upper bass presentation, that makes the mids sound more neutral and forward than JH16. With that said, JH’s products still don’t present vocals very forward. It has a more pronounced upper mid/lower treble (4-10k Hz), so the instruments are thrown at you directly with all the details. This will give the presentation a very large width of soundstage, but somewhat lacking depth. JH13 does a better job in this area by adding more depth into the soundstage making the vocals less sibilant. Although JH13 has a better treble extension than JH16, the treble still rolls off quicker than it should have (about 12k, it starts to roll off).
Hidition NT6: This has been the benchmark of studio mixing type reference IEM for me. The spectrum is flat all the way, except a small hump at 11k, which takes the presentation to the brighter side to some extent. Although, it has such a liquid and smooth sound, some will find it bright period. I will not talk about it too much here. If you want to read about it you can go to average joe’s NT6 review.
SE 5 way: The best earphone I have ever heard and that still remains true till now. It’s just incredible in every way. It’s very dependent on different songs, so it really show you what the artists intended to do. The bass capacity is insane, no matter how much bass is required in the song, it will delivery. It has the resolution of the top class full sized headphones. Every time I put on any earphone after SE5, I will notice the resolution difference right away. Se5’s treble extends forever that I feel like I can even hear 19k with it. The whole presentation is just natural, musical and liquid like. It presents details in one of the cleanest and clearest ways. It feels like all the detail is delivered on a black and clean background while other earphones will need to lift brightness in order to do that. Anyways, again go to average joe’s SE5 review for more information.
1+2 vs JH13: Both sound super in their own ways. You will be impressed easily by either of them. They are both very dynamic with good speeds. The bass is equally tight and deep. 1+2 has more bass presence, so it punches a bit harder. The sub bass decay of 1+2 is faster than JH13. The mid region of 1+2 is more linear than JH13. JH13’s vocal is a bit recessed but the edge of vocal is more forward (if you know what I mean here). Also the vocals on JH13 have a bit more sibilance than the ones on 1+2. The soundstage of 1+2 is larger than Jh13’s. The depth is about the same. The detail is presented in different ways between the two. JH13 throws the detail directly in your face with great clarity. 1+2 has more transparent and airy presentation. Instrument detail is presented with great clarity but not as forward as JH13. JH13 has a unique tuning. It uses its rolled off upper treble to balanced out the forwarded lower treble, leading to a forward sounding, but with certain liquidity and smoothness. So although the presentation is forward, I still wouldn’t call JH13 bright (I will rather call it sibilant on vocals). 1+2 isn’t as forward, but has better treble extension, so it’s more linear and neutral. Both sound very smooth when well driven. For me, JH13 will be more suitable to today’s pop, electronic type of music, where as 1+2 is more capable of doing more genres.
With various tips, 1+2 can sound either worse than jh13, or better than JH13 IMO.
1+2 vs NT6: When I first put on the 1+2 with the stock tips, I find it sound almost identical to NT6. They share so many similarities. But when I switched to my “best” tips, 1+2’s treble becomes more neutral in terms of clarity, decay and brightness.
NT6 has a slightly more liquid lower treble, but as I said, its peak at 11k just make it too clear for my taste that I will have to take a rest after long period of listening. They both have very large soundstage, 1+2 has about +10% width and -10% depth. Both have great controlled bass with 1+2 having a bit more presence. The mids are sitting at very similar positions. They are just sounding more similar than different.
1+2 vs SE5: With the best tips, 1+2 can certainly perform at the level of SE5. Technically I still think SE5 is superior due to its complexity of 5 ways crossover system. But 1+2 really keeps it up to the maximum extent. They both have incredibly bass extension. They both have the ability to create earthquake like 20hz full note. SE5 has a bit more mid/upper bass presence than 1+2. So 1+2’s bass decays a little bit faster while SE5 has a layer more of “body” to the whole sound signature. SE5’s is more mid forward than 1+2 giving SE5 fuller, denser vocals. The treble is very different between the two. Compared to se5, 1+2 has more forward treble with instantly better clarity while SE5 has more linear and extended treble that can provide the same level of clarity in another way. So as a result, 1+2 will present detail with combination of brightness and clarity where as SE5 will present detail with its extreme neutrality and resolution. The detail level is slightly higher on SE5 due to its more extended treble. The soundstages are about the same sizes for 1+2 and SE5 on poorly mixed tracks. But when it comes to well mastered songs, 1+2 surpass the soundstage width of SE5 without losing much depth. They both require large amount of healthy power to shine IMO, with SE5 being more power hungry.
These two IMO complement each other very well just like HD800 and LCD 3. 1+2 is neutral, se5 is natural, you try to tell the difference I am trying to express here. Both well balanced. I wouldn’t call SE5 dark and wouldn’t call 1+2 bright, but 1+2 is brighter than SE5. They can basically cover every genre of music you want to listen. For pop, hip hop and vocals I will pick SE5 first, and for classical and jazz, 1+2 will be the first (although they are both good on all genres).
Overall sound score (for me only):
SE 5 WAY: 98
1+2: 86-96 (with good tip rolling)
Thanks for reading~
Edited by tupac0306 - 5/31/13 at 5:23pm