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post #4246 of 4258

I wanted to ask a general question about isolation and CIEMs.  I had a bad experience previously with CIEMs.  They were hollow acrylic and the fit was fine, but they only extend to about the first bend of ear canal.  The isolation was disappointing (worse than some of my universals). The audiologist is one who is recommended by JH Audio, Noble Audio etc and the ear impressions he taken extended to the second bend.  Well, the company would not do a refit, because they said they do not make the canals to the second bend for reasons of comfort.

 

So my question is that provided the impressions are good and the fit is correct, which provides better isolation - hollow acrylic shells that have long canals (say to the 2nd bend) or shorter canals but with filled acrylic shells?  I’m trying to pick a CIEM and if the sound signature is more or less the same, the best isolation would be the decider.

post #4247 of 4258

When you ask for a longer canal, it doesn't mean they are supposed to do, because it will change the sound too up to some point + there is a chance of discomfort. So they usually measure their sound tube lengths and build the ciem according to it.

 

Having said that, some companies usually build their ciems pretty long. Spiral Ear comes to my mind first as I own one. I think Hidition also builds pretty long too.

 

As for the isolation. Silicone earpieces are the best I think. Acrylic shells with silicone or acrylic filled inside comes second. Acrylic shells with empty inside comes the last. When the canal is shorter, the isolation goes lower.

 

To your question (long canal empty shells + short canal filled shells), I think I can say it all depends on how good your ear impressions as well as how the manufacturer builds them. Some of them makes them tight while some of them makes a little bit more comfortable while sacrificing from the isolation factor.

post #4248 of 4258

I seem to get a slightly better sq  with a seal that is not airtight (you know, the whole suction thing).  Maybe you get a little more ambient noise coming through, but it always seems to open up the upper registers to a more natural sound.  I suppose it depends on the iem, but generally speaking, I do not prefer a tight seal.  Anybody else experience this?

post #4249 of 4258
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 

When you ask for a longer canal, it doesn't mean they are supposed to do, because it will change the sound too up to some point + there is a chance of discomfort. So they usually measure their sound tube lengths and build the ciem according to it.

 

Having said that, some companies usually build their ciems pretty long. Spiral Ear comes to my mind first as I own one. I think Hidition also builds pretty long too.

 

As for the isolation. Silicone earpieces are the best I think. Acrylic shells with silicone or acrylic filled inside comes second. Acrylic shells with empty inside comes the last. When the canal is shorter, the isolation goes lower.

 

To your question (long canal empty shells + short canal filled shells), I think I can say it all depends on how good your ear impressions as well as how the manufacturer builds them. Some of them makes them tight while some of them makes a little bit more comfortable while sacrificing from the isolation factor.

My EM32 are the most isolating CIEMs, and they're based on an empty acrylic shell ;) . Your last sentence is exactly what I think ;)

post #4250 of 4258
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 

 

Two Questions:

- What IEMs have you heard that you like and dislike, and why?

- How did you narrow your choice down to those three?

 

This may help your thought process.

I have tried out a lot of IEMs!

 

IEMs I didn’t like:

JH Audio Roxanne & 16PRO FP – too dark and veiled

Klipsch X10 – bass was too prominent and not well controlled (actually hurt my ears)

Sony XBA-H3 – too dark and veiled

Unique Melody Miracles – sounded veiled and mids were a bit recessed

 

IEMs that were okay:

Audio-Technica CK100 – overall I liked them, but too bass light.

Etympotic ER4 – overall I liked them, but too bass light and somewhat thin sounding

Shure 435 and Westone 4 – too “smooth” for me, not lively enough

Sony XBA-40 – sounded veiled

 

IEMs I liked:

Audio-Technica CK100PRO – only downside was they were a bit too revealing

Audio-Technica IM03 – could sound a bit veiled depending on the source

Fischer Amps FA-4 – only downside is the mids are a bit dry and recessed and difficult to get a good seal

Grado GR100 – probably my favourite, but wouldn’t fit in my ears and isolation was below average

Sony XBA-10 – lacking in bass control and quantity, but otherwise decent for a low-end earphone

 

To be honest, I narrowed down to those 3 choices based on reviews and the fact that I haven't had a chance to hear them yet.

post #4251 of 4258

Dunno about the Roxannes, as I haven't heard them, but I certainly have heard the UM Miracles and I know they can sound dramatically different, depending on the OI of the amp stage.

 

So can you please tell us what DAP (and amp, if you use one) you were listening to these IEMs/CIEMs with, please?

 

 

Also, did you own the Miracles and the JH16 Pro FPs?      CIEMs sound different if they are not custom fitted to the listener's ears.

 

 

.


Edited by Mython - Yesterday at 7:51 am
post #4252 of 4258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

Dunno about the Roxannes, as I haven't heard them, but I certainly have heard the UM Miracles and I know they can sound dramatically different, depending on the OI of the amp stage.

 

So can you please tell us what DAP (and amp, if you use one) you were listening to these IEMs/CIEMs with, please?

 

 

Also, did you own the Miracles and the JH16 Pro FPs?      CIEMs sound different if they are not custom fitted to the listener's ears.

 

 

.

 

The majority of them I tested with an iPad Air, iPhone4/Sony Xperia Z1 Compact or Sansa Clip +, so all low-end sources unamped. I've been holding off on getting a DAP, as I wanted to find the CIEM first and then pick one that would pair well with it.  I will probably get the Fiio X3 or upcoming Sony NWZ-A17.

 

The Miracles I owned, but the JH 16 Pro FPs were a universal demo.

post #4253 of 4258

I've found a deeper fit definitely results in better isolation.  For me this is a highly desirable CIEM quality.  However it should also be noted that my canals are straight and don't change too much with the movement of my jaw; if someone has more of a curve/movement change, a deeper fit might be more uncomfortable (i'm speculating here based on talking to a few people with this issue).

post #4254 of 4258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post
 

For those curious, I posted an in-depth discussion about the Noble 4C and the UERM in a separate thread here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/739512/in-depth-comparison-ultimate-ears-in-ear-reference-monitor-noble-audio-4c-wizard-design

 

Whew, that was a long time coming... so tired --- ready to sleep.

 

Very very nice, thanks for sharing!

 

So, the IERM fits better?  I wonder if that plays into the SQ at all.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drakhen View Post
 

I wanted to ask a general question about isolation and CIEMs.  I had a bad experience previously with CIEMs.  They were hollow acrylic and the fit was fine, but they only extend to about the first bend of ear canal.  The isolation was disappointing (worse than some of my universals). The audiologist is one who is recommended by JH Audio, Noble Audio etc and the ear impressions he taken extended to the second bend.  Well, the company would not do a refit, because they said they do not make the canals to the second bend for reasons of comfort.

 

So my question is that provided the impressions are good and the fit is correct, which provides better isolation - hollow acrylic shells that have long canals (say to the 2nd bend) or shorter canals but with filled acrylic shells?  I’m trying to pick a CIEM and if the sound signature is more or less the same, the best isolation would be the decider.

 

To me it seems the larger manufacturers make the canals shorter/thinner, most likely in an effort to avoid refits.  There is a definite ranking for shells as such: silicone > silicone filled acrylic > solid acrylic > acrylic.  Also, your anatomy will determine the level of isolation, and a deeper fitting IEM may isolate better than a shallower fitting CIEM of any type.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 

When you ask for a longer canal, it doesn't mean they are supposed to do, because it will change the sound too up to some point + there is a chance of discomfort. So they usually measure their sound tube lengths and build the ciem according to it.

 

Having said that, some companies usually build their ciems pretty long. Spiral Ear comes to my mind first as I own one. I think Hidition also builds pretty long too.

 

As for the isolation. Silicone earpieces are the best I think. Acrylic shells with silicone or acrylic filled inside comes second. Acrylic shells with empty inside comes the last. When the canal is shorter, the isolation goes lower.

 

To your question (long canal empty shells + short canal filled shells), I think I can say it all depends on how good your ear impressions as well as how the manufacturer builds them. Some of them makes them tight while some of them makes a little bit more comfortable while sacrificing from the isolation factor.

 

Good points.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollk2 View Post
 

My EM32 are the most isolating CIEMs, and they're based on an empty acrylic shell ;) . Your last sentence is exactly what I think ;)

 

AmberOzl does make a great point, but EarSonics uses solid acrylic, not hollow acrylic shells.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by malifact View Post
 

I have tried out a lot of IEMs!

 

IEMs I didn’t like:

JH Audio Roxanne & 16PRO FP – too dark and veiled

Klipsch X10 – bass was too prominent and not well controlled (actually hurt my ears)

Sony XBA-H3 – too dark and veiled

Unique Melody Miracles – sounded veiled and mids were a bit recessed

 

IEMs that were okay:

Audio-Technica CK100 – overall I liked them, but too bass light.

Etympotic ER4 – overall I liked them, but too bass light and somewhat thin sounding

Shure 435 and Westone 4 – too “smooth” for me, not lively enough

Sony XBA-40 – sounded veiled

 

IEMs I liked:

Audio-Technica CK100PRO – only downside was they were a bit too revealing

Audio-Technica IM03 – could sound a bit veiled depending on the source

Fischer Amps FA-4 – only downside is the mids are a bit dry and recessed and difficult to get a good seal

Grado GR100 – probably my favourite, but wouldn’t fit in my ears and isolation was below average

Sony XBA-10 – lacking in bass control and quantity, but otherwise decent for a low-end earphone

 

To be honest, I narrowed down to those 3 choices based on reviews and the fact that I haven't had a chance to hear them yet.

 

Reading through your list, I would say you like what I consider brighter sound.  What concerns me is your CK100PRO comment (although I haven't heard them) as many TOTL CIEMs are very revealing.  Here are my thoughts:

- Hidition Viento-R:  From reading what you liked and didn't plus your description, I think this is the best fit.  You will have some control of the sound signature.

- Custom Art Harmony 8 Pro: Also very good, and while the bass is more capable than the Viento-R, there isn't as much with the Viento-R bass boost on.  Also, the Viento-R treble is less revealing but still detailed.

- Hidition NT-6 Pro: One you are looking at, but it is on the colder side (at least mine is) despite its deep bass emphasis.  It is also very revealing.

- Rooth LS8+: Warm, but still fitting what you are looking for with good liquidity while retaining detail.

- Lear LCM BD4.2: Quite neutral with adjustable bass you can tune to your liking.  The presentation is laid-back, closer to headphones than earphones.

- Perfect Seal Fusion 11: If you don't want to spend the cash, the Fusion 11 doesn't sound horrible compared with the above CIEMs, which is a feat for the price point.  I have other CIEMs that are more expensive that pale in comparison to the Fusion 11, which has bass adjustment via tuning vents.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

post #4255 of 4258

No Joe, EarSonics uses hollow acrylic ;) look at your EM4 and EM32 they're hollowed but not your EM3pro.

post #4256 of 4258
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post  Very very nice, thanks for sharing! So, the IERM fits better?  I wonder if that plays into the SQ at all.

 

Thanks. Fit definitely should impact SQ, but it's not like my other CIEMs have a poor fit. They just take more time to get into the right position because my right ear canal has a tendency to allow monitors to slide in and out. Once they get settled, the sound is good. So it's more of a psychological thing, the confidence that you don't have to fiddle around with the fit to get a consistently good sound.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 

Reading through your list, I would say you like what I consider brighter sound.  What concerns me is your CK100PRO comment (although I haven't heard them) as many TOTL CIEMs are very revealing.  Here are my thoughts:

- Hidition Viento-R:  From reading what you liked and didn't plus your description, I think this is the best fit.  You will have some control of the sound signature.

- Custom Art Harmony 8 Pro: Also very good, and while the bass is more capable than the Viento-R, there isn't as much with the Viento-R bass boost on.  Also, the Viento-R treble is less revealing but still detailed.

- Hidition NT-6 Pro: One you are looking at, but it is on the colder side (at least mine is) despite its deep bass emphasis.  It is also very revealing.

- Rooth LS8+: Warm, but still fitting what you are looking for with good liquidity while retaining detail.

- Lear LCM BD4.2: Quite neutral with adjustable bass you can tune to your liking.  The presentation is laid-back, closer to headphones than earphones.

- Perfect Seal Fusion 11: If you don't want to spend the cash, the Fusion 11 doesn't sound horrible compared with the above CIEMs, which is a feat for the price point.  I have other CIEMs that are more expensive that pale in comparison to the Fusion 11, which has bass adjustment via tuning vents.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

For a more budget-minded option, I'd also throw in the Custom Art Music Two. It's somewhat similar to the NT6, but a little bit warmer in the mids, a little less bright up top, and slightly stronger bass. It's not as technically proficient as the NT6, so it's not quite as "revealing", but for a dual driver silicone monitor, it's pretty darn good.

post #4257 of 4258

Well got an audiologist appointment this afternoon and I'm still on the fence with who I want to go with this time.  It's between Cosmic Ears (who I am very familiar with) and Custom Art right now.  Final decider will be if I want acryllic or silicone.  Wonder if I can be cheeky and ask for a second set to be done at the same appointment? 

post #4258 of 4258
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 

 

Reading through your list, I would say you like what I consider brighter sound.  What concerns me is your CK100PRO comment (although I haven't heard them) as many TOTL CIEMs are very revealing.  Here are my thoughts:

- Hidition Viento-R:  From reading what you liked and didn't plus your description, I think this is the best fit.  You will have some control of the sound signature.

- Custom Art Harmony 8 Pro: Also very good, and while the bass is more capable than the Viento-R, there isn't as much with the Viento-R bass boost on.  Also, the Viento-R treble is less revealing but still detailed.

- Hidition NT-6 Pro: One you are looking at, but it is on the colder side (at least mine is) despite its deep bass emphasis.  It is also very revealing.

- Rooth LS8+: Warm, but still fitting what you are looking for with good liquidity while retaining detail.

- Lear LCM BD4.2: Quite neutral with adjustable bass you can tune to your liking.  The presentation is laid-back, closer to headphones than earphones.

- Perfect Seal Fusion 11: If you don't want to spend the cash, the Fusion 11 doesn't sound horrible compared with the above CIEMs, which is a feat for the price point.  I have other CIEMs that are more expensive that pale in comparison to the Fusion 11, which has bass adjustment via tuning vents.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Thank you Joe.  I should clarify about my comment on the CK100 PROs being revealing.  Maybe I used the wrong terminology.  I just found compared to other earphones that I could hear more clearly on a few songs some distortion or shrillness (I don’t know how else to describe it) on the vocals. It wasn’t exactly unpleasant, but I just wasn’t used to it. Also, Katy Perry’s song Firework (which I use to test IEMs as it’s so badly produced) sounded awful. Good thing I don’t like that song.

 

Thank you also for the suggestions.  I should be able to demo the Rooth LS8+, which would be great.  The isolation also seems to be good as they have long canal tips.  The Hidition Viento-R was not on my radar, as I had assumed it was significantly technically inferior to the NT6-PRO.  I do have a few questions and I thought I’d post them in the thread, as there isn’t a great deal of info on these earphones:

 

1) Since I can’t demo any of the Hidition range, would you say the Viento-R is a “safer” choice than the NT6-PRO as it’s not so bright and revealing?

 

2) I read that the Viento-R has vented shells.  Does that mean its isolation is not as good as the Rooth LS8+ or NT6-PRO?

 

3) One thing that appealed to me about the NT6-PRO is how it scales up depending on the source, which I thought would be good if I decide to upgrade sources in the future.  Is the Viento-R the same?

 

4) Could you give a brief comparison of the Viento-R and the Rooth LS8+?  Do they very similar sound signatures and do they have different advantages and disadvantages over the other?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollk2 View Post
 

No Joe, EarSonics uses hollow acrylic ;) look at your EM4 and EM32 they're hollowed but not your EM3pro.

 

I spoke to Earsonics in the last few weeks and they said they do not produce their earphones with the filled acrylic shells now as standard.  However, they are willing to do so, but it depends on which earphone it is in their range.

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