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The final choice.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


When I started my first thread I was total confused by the huge offer in IEMs. Now I finaly have 3 great IEMs left to choose from.


Fisher DBA 02

Hifiman RE 262

Ultimate ears 700

Brainwavz B2


I red this two reviews (one, two) that shows the RE 262  and the DBA 02 are one of the best for about $150 

The Brainwavz B2 is not tested yet (so neither the ue 700) by one of these review makers, but seems to have the same quality as the DBA 02. Both are the same from outside and have good isolation. The only problem with the B2 are, are that the new version is coming after at least 3 weeks! (Btw, I don't know the diffrence between the first B2 and the second one. only other colors I think)


So, it's actually DBA 02 vs UE 700..

(unless somebody has a beter idea???)


Who can help me decide? This are my sound preference:


- Great SQ (ofcourse, haha)

- Good for rock music

- Clear vocals, guitar, drums but not immense much treble (a good balance)

- A nice round bass that gives a good "boom" but not huge

- Also good for hiphop, metal and classic music. (So, all other genres)

- Does not need an amp for best performance!


Maybe someone can help me decide? 

And if there are unexpectedly better buds that match my taste, please let me know.


It would be great to order the best choice tomorrow :D 


Thanks so much. And sorry for my bad english... 



Edited by david8090 - 4/10/11 at 11:54pm
post #2 of 18

I am sorry for the offtopic, but what do you mean by "first B2" and "second B2"?

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

First B2 almost looks like the DBA 02 



The second one just have other colors. But sound is the same I think?

post #4 of 18

If I am not mistaken, first B2 is for loan program only.

It was said somewhere in the B2 impressions thread, I guess.

post #5 of 18

Same looks doesn't mean same drivers.  Many manufactures use oem components, so the look can end up pretty much the same, but manufacturers have freedom to modify the internal drivers, even have custom speced versions only to that company, and can tune them uniquely with different crossover settings and filters.


I've used the DBA-02 but not the B2.  I can't say how they're different, but some hints already point to a review/impressions thread out there for it, so I'm sure the answer is in there.  I personally don't feel the DBA-02 is a good choice for what you seek.  It is treble strong, balanced, but aggressive and dominant.  Bass is ok but lean and thin.  You will find it lacking some texture and note thickness for things like guitar and bass drums.  The low frequency driver used is simply too short on note.


The RE262 is an entirely different sounding earphone.  It is mid-centric, very dynamic.  It's very transparent, clean, effortless, but not so balanced.  You'll find the treble sweet and enjoyable but also laid back versus the mids.  The bass can be a little thin, giving good energy from great dynamic range, but lacking heft from a thin, clean note.


I have not used the UE700.  The only UE I've used is the Triple.Fi 10.  My understanding is their product line does carry some similarities including a weight note that will give you that heft and boom you want for drums and bass notes as well as good texture for the guitar.  The rest I can not say.  My understanding is the UE700 is a bit different than the Triple.Fi 10.  There is a thread other there describing and comparing both in some detail though.


I might point you to the Ortofon earphones.  The e-Q5 and e-Q7 may be more what you're looking for.  I might suggest the RE252, but I think the treble may be more aggressive than you seek.  It's similar to the DBA-02 in presentation but a little fuller in note, both highly detailed, both aggressive though, so I would rather shy you away from those.  The Ortofon is likely a better fit.  I may also suggest the Klipsch Custom 3, another excellently balanced earphone, well textured and hearty note, excellent dynamics, not the greatest clarity for a BA based earphone but not bad overall, should be similar to what the UE700 would give you though.  It's just been discontinued for a long time and the little stock that are still being sold are being sold at somewhat expensive pricing.  The cord is junk too, and that earphone is better suited for a recable or conversion to custom molds in its future.  It will last a while though before you would be concerned about doing anything.  Most are selling near full retail now, and they were half that price a year ago.  And we're back to the Ortofon.

post #6 of 18

erm remove the UE700 from your list, it doesnt belong in the company you have placed it amongst

post #7 of 18

is there a price range? isn't TF10 close to those you chose?

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. Especially mvw2.. You brought me back to the beginning :( But rather that then buying IEMs for a big price that does not match my taste..



@mark2410: what do you mean? which company? 


Ok... At this point I really don't know what to buy anymore. I am a noob in this case but I like to have great IEMs anyhow.


My price range is at the very most $160. But it must have a good build quality and isolation as well for this price.



Now we are talking about the difrence between DBA 02 and B2, I found this very promising about the B2:




As I listen to this type of music more than any other, I'll start off with it. I tried every type of classic rock I have in my over 500gb collection, with high bitrate(320)mp3's, and a few flac ones thown in for good measure. All were reproduced with aplomb, with even and powerful (NOT overpowering)bass, strong detailed mids(vocals shine especially), and wicked nice highs(screaming guitars/vocals). No sound seemed like it was the predominant one, making these the most balanced in-ear headphones I have ever listened to. Quite literally every piece of classic rock I threw at them sounded great, from AC/DC to Queen, these played them back with ease....these are the best headphones I have ever used for listening to classic rock, and I will be ordering myself and a few friends a pair just for this purpose, five+ smileys :) :) :) :) :) +



If MVW2 is right about the DBA 02 for rock music, and the guy about the B2 either.. then there is a big diference between them... 


I can wait at least 3 weeks for the B2 because it match my taste, but it would be better to order an other pair of buds tomorrow that is even beter! 


Please help :( 




Edited by david8090 - 4/10/11 at 2:29pm
post #9 of 18

UE700's are decent, but not worth it for over ~$90

Rather poor bass and distortion at high volumes :S

Would be looking at triple fi's instead, or any others that you were looking at.

post #10 of 18

Have a read.


I would also say his comments about treble brightness and 'mainstream' music likely is a result of more compressed and poorly mastered 'mainstream' recordings.  Solid recordings do no wrong on the DBA's treble and a proper fit.

Edited by Anaxilus - 4/10/11 at 3:09pm
post #11 of 18

The issue with the DBA-02 is not in the highs but rather the lows.  It's simply that the low frequency driver used can not really match the aggressiveness and presence of the high frequency driver.  It has a similar kind of speed and presentation, but it doesn't quite match the output of the high end.  The low frequency notes are simply too short and end up lacking body and presence.  The low end sounds lean and unfortunately starts way up in the midrange and all the way down.  The DBA-02 is a good earphone, just not quite the godly thing it is made out to be.  From a personal standpoint, I would rather use the RE-Zero.  It doesn't have the speed and aggressiveness of the DBA-02, but it's better balanced and even.  Notes are more natural in presentation and lower frequencies carry better body and texture which helps fill out the lower frequency sounds better.  The DBA-02 is an excellent analytical tool, but from a casual listening standpoint, it can be a touch aggressive.  As well, the short note with a significant lack of texture and decay does cause problems in presentation of sound.  It ends up lacking some information, and this is unfortunately common among many BA based earphones that aren't geared towards a thicker, more moderately presented note.  A better filled out note means more information, regardless of speed.  I would be more inclined to suggest something like the ER4P rather than the DBA-02 for this reason or simply step to well balanced and capable dynamics like the RE-Zero or RE252 if you want something more aggressive and detail abundant like the DBA-02.


This is your set of critera:

- Great SQ (ofcourse, haha)

- Good for rock music

- Clear vocals, guitar, drums but not immense much treble (a good balance)

- A nice round bass that gives a good "boom" but not huge

- Also good for hiphop, metal and classic music. (So, all other genres)

- Does not need an amp for best performance!


I'm not sure what you're used to, so I can't really say how good of SQ is required to actually impress you.  If you've come from crap, it's not hard to impress.  A good mid level product will blow you away.  However, if you know your stuff, it may take a slightly more serious product to really impress you.


What's good for rock music?  That might be a bit of a personal preference, as in how you prefer to hear your music.  In a basic sense, you have vocals, guitars, drums, cymbals, etc. that need to be decently presented.  Overall balance may or may not be all that important.  If you're a drum guy, you may want the drums emphasized a little.  If you like guitar riffs, you may focus more on the mids or maybe the midbass if you like the bass guitar.  Maybe you really like to hear the screaming, edginess of the guitars, and the cymbals crashing.  The highs may carry some more importance.  At the very least, a well balanced earphone will be good in a general way.  Personal preference may reshape that a little bit towards a little extra bass, mids, or highs, and you will have to decide what you want for that.  You do say that you want a good balance overall, so my guess is balance is more key than emphasis.  You pretty much want to hear everything even in presentation.  You also make extra note for good bass presence, not amount, and that the highs are there but not too much.  This hints at least to me towards an earphone with a thicker note, something a little smoother and full-bodied.


Bass can be many things and depending on earphone may not be certain things.  Boom implies some heft, body, and good presence.  You don't get boom without weight and authority.  If the earphone rolls off on the low end, is too lean in note, or lack some dynamics on the low end, you may be out of luck here.  You don't sound like you're a bass head, so I'm guessing you don't actually want a lot.  It's simply that you don't want lacking.  For that you will want to avoid earphones that roll off early and earphones that lack note thickness.  It will be preferable to pick options that have a thicker note with more decay and texturing.  You want that kind of presence.


Many earphones do fair well without an amp.  Many do benefit to some degree with an amp, but the need and level of improvement depends on the source player.  If the player is weak, you may have some shortcomings in terms of loudness and control in the bass.  Even a small, affordable amp like the FiiO E5 can become helpful.  However, if the player is a competent device and you don't listen to your music at high volume all the time, then amping will not be all that needed for a majority of the products out there.  For the most part, you simply avoid products that have a high ohm load, and that's pretty easy to do.


Earphones that I've used that come to mind with this information is the RE-Zero, Custom 3, e-Q7, and MTPG.  These carry good balance overall, good note body and weight for the low end, extended treble but not dominant.  The MTPG is the heartiest of the bunch, thick and heavily textured.  Treble is smooth, bass is well controlled.  The only shortcoming is that the earphone is a little sluggish.  It gets slightly muddy with complex stuff but sounds great with simpler music.  The Custom 3 is one of the few BA based earphones with a thicker note but this is dynamic, textured, articulate, and simply well done. Low frequencies carry a lot of presence and energy, mids are well balanced, highs are smooth yet energetic.  It is unfortunately discontinued and now very pricey, plus the cord is very crappy and a problem point for the product.  The RE-Zero is more mild-mannered.  It's actually slightly aggressive but natural and playful.  The presentation is clean and light.  Bass is only slightly lean with a little roll off but not all that much really and still offers good bass punch but maybe not as much thickness as you may seek.  The e-Q7 is the better mix of everything.  It's well balanced, has a thicker, textured note but is very clean and quick.  Treble is extended and detailed but mild.  Bass carries good extension, note thickness, and heft.  It can be deep and authoritative if the music calls for it.  I kind of see the e-Q7 or MTPG as the two better options for you.  The e-Q7 is the lighter and quick option while the MTPG is the more thick and robust option.


That's the way I see it anyways.

post #12 of 18

Let's just say some of us get a nice rounded, natural note in the low end w/ the DBA and others don't.  Such is Head-fi.  It is not the perfect, neutral $150 giant killer that makes me want to sell my IERM.  Though not far off honestly.  If you can hear what they can do and like it that's all the matters.  If not, try something else.  Compared to the RE0, CK10, ER4S the DBA is by no means lean to my ears.  It has the most natural sounding bass presence of what I consider the analytical IEMs.  This despite the more truncated extension and lack of low end texture.


I personally like the MTPG w/ an amp myself though Coppers would be more up your alley I think.  The rest of mvw2s suggestions are great.  Check them out.

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks again! Thanks mvw2.. I am using the iPhone buds at this time.. (No IEM) and they are bad ofcourse. Ok, for what I am used to it's just average. I also had the Creative ep-630 ($25) and I loved them at that time (lost them).. Because I never tried buds that are more expensive then $50 ...


The only good audio monitor I own are the Harman Kardon Soundsticks desktop speakers.. Really, I love the soundquality of these. Especially the nice round bass and clear tones and vocals..  (I also have the Logitech Z2300, that gaves a huge volume but not great SQ, just fine) 


I am quite sure what I like but it's hard to describe. Second try: Sound that gives vibration (Cinema style), based on good bass and a nice "vrmmmmmm" sound, but in such a way that the guitar is still sharp, and the voice of the singer is good present without sound that gives sharp edges that hurt your ears -> same effect when you put the treble extra high. Don't like too much treble and don't like to low bass.


My Harman Kardon soundsticks do sound exactly like above... 



So you still recommend me the RE-Zero at the first place?


Here, some of the music I listen to: (<- Guitar)


Thanks again !!! I am impressed with all the help I got here.


Anaxilus thanks for the link











Edited by david8090 - 4/11/11 at 11:36am
post #14 of 18

Well the RE-Zero is an excellent budget product.  Along with the Sunrise Xcape, these are some of the nicer earphones within the $100 price point.  I have not used the Xcape personally, so I can't really comment on them.  There are enough reviews out there to guide you though.  Once you start spending more, other options open up, and you start picking and choosing what fits you best.  Personal preference plays a big role, so it's tough as someone is not you to tell you what you'll like.  We can only guess.  I can only suggest based on my experience.  I can really only comment and suggest on what I've personally used, and that is somewhat limiting for you.  I know the Xcape is good, but I haven't used it.  Another is the VSONIC GR07, again a very good product, so I read, that I have yet to use.  These may be great options, but I can't comment on them.  I can only read the same reviews and user comments that you can read, so anything I say will be no additional help.


Did you have a budget for this?  Is $150 your max?  Would you be willing to spend $200, $250 if it meant a more fitting product?


I will also note that head-fi, well many hobbies like this, isn't so much about finding that one ideal earphone right away.  It's more of a journey.  Don't expect to be done with this purchase.  Expect to be curious and try out more products in the future.  This is really more a start than a finish point.  In a way don't feel too serious about this purchase.  Pick something that might be fitting, but expect that you will likely own more products in the not too distant future.  Buy and sell used to keep costs and losses minimal.  Try whatever interests you, keep what you like.  There is no better way than first hand experience.  As much as we can tell you, it isn't us that these earphones have to satisfy.  It is you.


What would I suggest?  I say try the RE-Zero.  It's well priced for what it offers.  It is well balanced and does most things appropriately.  It has very few faults.  I've used a lot of very expensive earphones, and I would be content owning only the RE-Zero.  I feel it offers enough of the right qualities to be happy with playing most music.  Is it the best out there?  No.  Then again, best is relative.  Even when you get into the very expensive earphones it's all about personal preference.  Many are not holistically better than the others.  It's more so each brand and model are offering a different flavor to the user, and you as the end user has to pick and choose what fits you best.  That is the inherent challenge, understanding what you like and finding the products that fit that well.

post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Let's just say some of us get a nice rounded, natural note in the low end w/ the DBA and others don't.  Such is Head-fi.  It is not the perfect, neutral $150 giant killer that makes me want to sell my IERM.  Though not far off honestly.  If you can hear what they can do and like it that's all the matters.  If not, try something else.  It has the most natural sounding bass presence of what I consider the analytical IEMs.  This despite the more truncated extension and lack of low end texture.


I fall into that category. Far from bass monsters, they are more than adequate in that department... IF the fit is right (and there are bound to be some HRTF caveats to boot).



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