I picked these up a week ago and have been listening to them fairly exclusively ever since.
I put off a review until I'd had a chance to get over the gee-whiz, new toy period and had a chance to listen to a variety of different music.
I'm relatively new to this hobby. Most of my gear is mid-fi. Although I had the chance to listen to very high level set ups at the Bay Area Meet, I'm not coming to these iems with a ton of experience with customs. That said, I'm a music lover and have been listening to music on setups from my dad's DIY amp and reel-to-reel set up to the crappiest boom boxes for more years than I care to think about, so I know something about listening to music and have decent ears.
Ok, done with the qualifications. People seem to want customs for three main reasons: isolation, fit, and sound quality and I want to talk about the triples in that context first.
Isolation: Ok, but not stellar. The best isolation I've experienced with iems is the ER-4P. Nothing gets by those triple flanges. The triples block a lot of ambient sound, but not everything. It's functional, but if you're in a noisy place, you'll notice.
Fit: The best. If you have trouble getting iems to fit in your ears, customs are the way to go. I know people have had trouble with getting a good fit, but once I figured out that the nozzles go into your head and not down, I was good to go. Getting them in and out takes practice, but gets easier after a while. I can eat with them, walk with them, pretty much do anything without losing the seal. This solid consistent seal delivers the
Sound quality: The triples are all about sound stage and detail. There's a lot of room in here, given the right recording. On classical live performances, the orchestra or ensemble is well spread out in my head and instrument separation is very good. On some studio recordings (Cassandra Wilson's "You Gotta Move" on Belly of the Sun), the impression of people performing in a physical space at different distances from the microphones is very strong. The detail is also v/ good. On one hand there's hearing details that I hadn't heard in recordings that I thought I knew, but more than that, it's the way the details are delivered. I was listening to The Complete Birth of the Cool and the sound of the cymbals (Max Roach is riding them) is crystal clear in both the attack and the shimmer and decay. On other phones, the cymbals are a bright blur, but not here.
Are they perfect? No. The bass doesn't extend as deep as my TF10s, (though what's there is quality). I think that the UE Reference Monitors probably beat them on the detail end and build is a little funky compared to UE and UM, from pictures. But it's a lively, clear phone at a very reasonable price. It's even-handed across all levels, without anything being pushed back. And the 1964-Ears people have been a pleasure to deal with.
Edited by rroseperry - 3/25/11 at 10:07pm