Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Armature(?) type IEMs in the lower-mid price range?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Armature(?) type IEMs in the lower-mid price range?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of Cresyn C750 buds. They had an accident and I can now with my own eyes see the little rectangular unit the Korean makers of this odd-ish brand call a "micro-max transducer" – which I believe is what is more commonly known as an armature driver.

 

I liked the sound quality the gave me for about €35, but what I liked most was the listening comfort. I have slight tinnitus, but I could use these for hours on end without any discomfort. I'm guessing that there's something about the armature->acoustic filter design that is less violent on the eardrums than a traditional driver.

 

The distributor seems to have to dropped Cresyn here in Sweden, there are a few on sale but I'd like to look for more options and maybe a small step up.

 

I want something that I can carry daily without worrying too much about snags. Maybe somewhere in the €50-70 range. Any ideas?

post #2 of 20

I'm currently starting to test the Meelec A151, their first balanced armature, and although I should test more before recommending, they sound amazingly good for the price. They have basses, for a start. Not for a basshead, but well, they're there.

 

Another, cheaper, option is the SoundMAGIC PL50. They are very accurate, detailed and bright, and tolerate foamies quite well because there is no basses to steal from, for a start.

 

If you don't mind basses and mediocre building quality and want to save some bucks, go for the PL50. Otherwise, go for the Meelec A151. Since you won't be saving too much with the PL50, I would try the A151: much better building quality and IMHO better sound (better basses, more balanced sound, although I should test them much more to evaluate sound quality).

 

I haven't used myself other armature cheap phones, sorry :(

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

I would definitely not consider myself a basshead. I like to hear the bass, but I don't want to get physical with it. I listen to music like Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Regina Spektor to name a few familiar names, maybe a bit of electronica in the Portishead and Air range and plenty of acoustic/low key indie stuff. I guess what I want is something fairly neutral, but with a bit of space in the sound.

 

I'll see if I can find the ones you mentioned, or if it's something I have to order from abroad...

 

I'm currently looking at site that offers Audio-Technica ATH-CK9 for just a bit more than the range I mentioned. Anything worth checking out?

post #4 of 20

Well, I also like Air, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits, and I've listened to Regina occasionally.

 

For that kind of sound I would choose the A151 over the PL50, as the sound signature is more intimate and fits what you describe better.

 

I don't know where you live, but probably Meelec ships to your country.

 

The ATH-CK9 I haven't listened to, sorry. Check the amazing IEM shootout from fellow member ljokerl: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/478568/multi-iem-review-150-iems-compared-jvc-ha-fx700-fad-fi-ba-ss-1964-t-added-02-27

 

Mmm, looks like ljokerl has not reviewed the CK9. But you have another review here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/262422/my-audio-technica-ath-ck9-experience-review

 

Another option would be Apple armature phones, known here as ADDIEM. Check prices and be careful, there are many fakes sold on the web.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I'll have a look around.

 

I'm also trying to figure out more about what made the Cresyns work so well on my ears than anything else that I've tried. Something else that might be significant is that the sound comes out of a relatively tiny 2mm opening (the "stem" of the business end in is about 3mm in diameter, which also means that there's plenty of room for a good fit between that and my ear canal). Maybe it's something about focus, and not only about the driver type?

post #6 of 20

+1 on A151 - very easy-going sound and generally convenient as an all-rounder. The PL50 uses a similar driver but the build quality and isolation are a notch below the Meelecs. Both have thin nozzles and should be comfortable for a wide range of ear shapes & sizes.

post #7 of 20

As ljokerl says, both the PL50 and the A151 have a similar nozzle, 3mm if I recall correctly, so fitting them shouldn't be a problem.

 

For me, the A151 fits much better than the PL50 due to the rounder housing. I can actually rotate the housings when the phones are inserted to allow for a deeper insertion and better seal. I'm surprised.

 

BTW, ljokerl, the voices in the A151 reminded me of the PL50, only a tiny bit darker: when you say "similar driver", do you mean the armatures in both phones have a known manufacturer? I wouldn't be much surprised if both phones share armature, but Meelec has managed to give basses to the A151, which I really missed in the PL50. I'm not a basshead but I want "body" in my music!

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DervishD View Post

BTW, ljokerl, the voices in the A151 reminded me of the PL50, only a tiny bit darker: when you say "similar driver", do you mean the armatures in both phones have a known manufacturer? I wouldn't be much surprised if both phones share armature, but Meelec has managed to give basses to the A151, which I really missed in the PL50. I'm not a basshead but I want "body" in my music!


I mean that they both use Knowles Siren transducers with different tunings. The siren does have its own basic sound signature but there are variations between implementations. It is generally a good performer in the <$100 bracket going off both what I've heard myself and what I've read about the other siren-based earphones.

post #9 of 20

Just ordered some SuperFi 4's for $29.  Will see what that's about.  If I like them and they fail they will get the custom remold treatment.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hmm, I see d-Jays for £55 on Amazon UK. That about half of prices I've seen before. Anyone who can point me to good opinions?

post #11 of 20
+1 to A151. I've had them for about two weeks and they are fabulous. The cable, the comfort level and the sound is simply fantastic.
Oddly I used to think I was a basshead but the bass on these is sufficient for my taste. For $75 a pop these are worth every dollar.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Seems I've ordered something dynamic and bassy anyway as I found a good deal on the Klipsch Promedia IEM Headset – which as far as I can tell is the Image S4:s with mic, Y-adapter for PC and more red and black (would have gone great with the red/black iAudio 7 that was sold out and left me with the regular one).

 

I do need a headset, and since they also have thinner nozzles I'd thought I'd try to see how that works for listening comfort. Probably good enough for the 20 minute bus ride down town, and I'm sure my iAudio friend can do at least something to tame the bass for longer listening periods. In the worst case, I guess they'll be good for movies and games even if they can't do music properly. :)

 

Still interested in your suggestions, though, and I'll probably go for the A151:s next. The SoundMagics do seem interesting as well but I noticed the 55 Ohm impedance, and that doesn't seem too promising considering the output limit on my phone. I'm sure they'd work well with the iAudio, but nowadays I only bring that when I'm away for more than the daily commute.

post #13 of 20

Impedence figures below three digits are not a good reference point. Most DAPs should drive them with no problem. 

Sensitivity should be what you are looking at. At 109±2dB, the Soundmagic PL50 are not an issue

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post




I mean that they both use Knowles Siren transducers with different tunings. The siren does have its own basic sound signature but there are variations between implementations. It is generally a good performer in the <$100 bracket going off both what I've heard myself and what I've read about the other siren-based earphones.

 

Thanks for the information, ljokerl :) Aren't these transducers used in some Jays model? I've read about it but I can't remember...
 

 

post #15 of 20


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anodyne View Post

Still interested in your suggestions, though, and I'll probably go for the A151:s next. The SoundMagics do seem interesting as well but I noticed the 55 Ohm impedance, and that doesn't seem too promising considering the output limit on my phone. I'm sure they'd work well with the iAudio, but nowadays I only bring that when I'm away for more than the daily commute.


 

Don't get too obsessed with impedance. Both the A151 and the PL50 are very easy to drive. The PL50 I've used with some iAudio models and noone had problems moving the phones to extremely high volumes. With no hissing, by the way, at very low volumes ;)

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Armature(?) type IEMs in the lower-mid price range?