Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Review & Appreciation: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review & Appreciation: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted... - Page 40

post #586 of 1941

Hello Joe,

 

I am very perplexed here. The SE5 really seems to be awesome. I love the silicone build and the fact that it is 5-way. Besides, I own Miracles that are very balanced, so I think an IEM with a stronger bass focus but great detail still would be great. However, when asking all SE5 owners (not so many!) I get very mixed returns.

 

Some love it and have an opinion close to yours. Some really hate it, find it much too dark, small sounding...I know that certain sound sigs are not for everyone but I am having a hard time understanding how such a high quality IEM could entail such mixed opinion. On the other hand I have heard people hating the Miracle and I do not understand how that is possible...

post #587 of 1941
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Hello Joe,

 

I am very perplexed here. The SE5 really seems to be awesome. I love the silicone build and the fact that it is 5-way. Besides, I own Miracles that are very balanced, so I think an IEM with a stronger bass focus but great detail still would be great. However, when asking all SE5 owners (not so many!) I get very mixed returns.

 

Some love it and have an opinion close to yours. Some really hate it, find it much too dark, small sounding...I know that certain sound sigs are not for everyone but I am having a hard time understanding how such a high quality IEM could entail such mixed opinion. On the other hand I have heard people hating the Miracle and I do not understand how that is possible...

 

I too am perplexed by some of the people (I only know of one) that say the 5-way is dark, small, etc.  How can it be?  I can't say, but it sounds like expectations, or more than likely a bad fit.  There are some people that have sold their 5-ways and since they can't be reshelled as far as I know, maybe people are getting a bad fit.  If they are being reshelled, you never know what you may get.  Most people don't have multiple data points with the same CIEM, but I have compared 2 5-ways.  They have different fits as one has a longer canal than the other, and while they both sound good and share characteristics, there are differences.  In my experience, I have received CIEMs that didn't fit properly and sounded poor and after a refit, they sound much different.  

 

It is quite difficult to pinpoint why some people like a CIEM while others strongly dislike it.  Preference, expectations, fit (and possibly even build issues), sources, and poorly mastered tracks can all play a role in it.  All any of us can do is state our experiences and hopefully people will be forthcoming about their listening parameters and other factors that can affect the sound and perception.

post #588 of 1941
Thank you very much for your answer. I want to try it anyways...I am confident in my impressions as I already have two good fitting CIEMs based on them...besides, I want something very different fromy Miracles and this sounds like it.
post #589 of 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucket View Post

Thanks Joe,

 

I tried the Sensaphonics seal test from their website. Not sure what they mean by hearing both tones on the same level.

But I hear both tones but feel the high pitch one is louder... although I think that's just because it is high pitched.

That said, I tested it against my older iems which I had no problems with and it sounded the same though, so I'm guessing there is no fit issue unless I've never had a good fit before!

 

And during the test, again, felt louder on the left side than on the right side...

 

I've emailed Grzegorz about it to see what he thinks...

 

Cheers,

R

 

Joe,

 

Sorry, it's been a while since I posted about the problem I was having with the SE5 (been rather busy and haven't jumped on headfi forums for a while). But I ended up sending the iem back to Grzegorz a while back and he mentioned that he remade the right monitor, so I'm just waiting for them to be shipped back now. Will report back but feeling pretty confident there'll be no issues.

 

In the mean time, I know the stock cable that comes with the SE5 doesn't fit through my phone case (I use my phone regularly although it's not my main choice of portable player). I've tried using using a male to female extension to sort this problem out but the new problem is it breaks every few weeks and becomes quite costly.

 

I've read Joe's review on the various cables but was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on a cable for the SE5 specifically? I was initially thinking a pair of Whiplash cables even if it was costly but Joe seemed to have connection issues so I'm not too sure...

post #590 of 1941

Got my SE 5-way Reference today. Now Spiral Ear ships their IEMs with Otter Boxes instead zipper cases.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Joe. Your review is excellent and very useful.

post #591 of 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopp View Post

Got my SE 5-way Reference today. Now Spiral Ear ships their IEMs with Otter Boxes instead zipper cases.







Thanks, Joe. Your review is excellent and very useful.

Nice!

How do you like the SE5?

Mine is still in the making as well,
But Grzegorz hasn't replied to my email in a week! Makes me worried frown.gif
post #592 of 1941
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopp View Post

Got my SE 5-way Reference today. Now Spiral Ear ships their IEMs with Otter Boxes instead zipper cases.

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Joe. Your review is excellent and very useful.

 

Thanks for reading and I am looking forward to your impressions of the 5-way.  Thanks for letting me know about the Otter Box, but the zipper case is great.  I love it!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ace8888 View Post

Nice!

How do you like the SE5?

Mine is still in the making as well,
But Grzegorz hasn't replied to my email in a week! Makes me worried frown.gif

 

No need to worry, Grzegorz will reply.  He sometimes has delays in responding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucket View Post

 

Joe,

 

Sorry, it's been a while since I posted about the problem I was having with the SE5 (been rather busy and haven't jumped on headfi forums for a while). But I ended up sending the iem back to Grzegorz a while back and he mentioned that he remade the right monitor, so I'm just waiting for them to be shipped back now. Will report back but feeling pretty confident there'll be no issues.

 

In the mean time, I know the stock cable that comes with the SE5 doesn't fit through my phone case (I use my phone regularly although it's not my main choice of portable player). I've tried using using a male to female extension to sort this problem out but the new problem is it breaks every few weeks and becomes quite costly.

 

I've read Joe's review on the various cables but was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on a cable for the SE5 specifically? I was initially thinking a pair of Whiplash cables even if it was costly but Joe seemed to have connection issues so I'm not too sure...

 

I think the cable didn't fit since the shell connector is quite large and not typical, plus the shape of my sockets isn't perfect.  I really haven't tried too many aftermarket cables with the 5-way.

 

Let us know how your redone 5-way performs.

post #593 of 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

I too am perplexed by some of the people (I only know of one) that say the 5-way is dark, small, etc.  How can it be?  I can't say, but it sounds like expectations, or more than likely a bad fit.  There are some people that have sold their 5-ways and since they can't be reshelled as far as I know, maybe people are getting a bad fit.  If they are being reshelled, you never know what you may get.  Most people don't have multiple data points with the same CIEM, but I have compared 2 5-ways.  They have different fits as one has a longer canal than the other, and while they both sound good and share characteristics, there are differences.  In my experience, I have received CIEMs that didn't fit properly and sounded poor and after a refit, they sound much different.  

 

It is quite difficult to pinpoint why some people like a CIEM while others strongly dislike it.  Preference, expectations, fit (and possibly even build issues), sources, and poorly mastered tracks can all play a role in it.  All any of us can do is state our experiences and hopefully people will be forthcoming about their listening parameters and other factors that can affect the sound and perception.

Well, I have a kinda "reference" approach. I'd like my CIEM/headphone to match "my flat" signature reasonably close.

SE-5 doesn't even attempt to do that, presenting bass-boosted, shelved-highs sound. Mids are accurate. It's a weird combo too, like note thickness of the various armatures does not match, with bass being far thicker than the mids, which still are thicker than the highs.

Bass has the dynamic driver IEM's note thickness and power (whether equalized or not) and is very low distortion. Only a notch below the hard hitting RE-ZERO (both equalized) or new Atrios.

Soundstaging is a bit off (slightly more when not equalized), but not a lot, probably due to phase issues inherent in the multi-crossover design - instruments playing at different ranges sound "separate" even if they should be blended together - I'd call it analytic if it wasn't fake.

 

It's more shelved than RE-272 for example (there are 2 shelves instead of one) - but linear to my ears in the midrange (500Hz - 3kHz), whereas RE-272 has humps and dips. However, it is less linear elsewhere and in total than TWFK-based Brainwavz B2. (which has a 1k dip plus wide hump centered on 6k)

Extension is top notch, unlike TWFK, but like RE-272.

 

This issue might be due to the fit being too shallow, but if so I'd expect Grzegorz to tell me the impressions are not deep enough - also they fit great. I'm pretty sure I've posted a picture of my pair somewhere around. If not, PM please and I'll do that.

 

The real tricky part with the CIEMs is that setting up an appointment with an audiologist is time consuming and has to be done in weekdays - some people work full time, you know.

post #594 of 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

Well, I have a kinda "reference" approach. I'd like my CIEM/headphone to match "my flat" signature reasonably close.

SE-5 doesn't even attempt to do that, presenting bass-boosted, shelved-highs sound. Mids are accurate. It's a weird combo too, like note thickness of the various armatures does not match, with bass being far thicker than the mids, which still are thicker than the highs.

Bass has the dynamic driver IEM's note thickness and power (whether equalized or not) and is very low distortion. Only a notch below the hard hitting RE-ZERO (both equalized) or new Atrios.

Soundstaging is a bit off (slightly more when not equalized), but not a lot, probably due to phase issues inherent in the multi-crossover design - instruments playing at different ranges sound "separate" even if they should be blended together - I'd call it analytic if it wasn't fake.

 

Funny since I find 5 way present instruments possibly with the most accurate way in all my CIEMs, even more accurate than NT6. And no way it has boosted bass. To me 5 way's bass is very neutral if not a tiny bit light. It is really dependent on songs too.

post #595 of 1941

What devices are each of you using to drive the SE-5?
 

post #596 of 1941

DX100, 801, ANEDIO D2 Dac and lots of others. 5 way is the only CIEM I have I can hear above 17k Hz

post #597 of 1941
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tupac0306 View Post

Funny since I find 5 way present instruments possibly with the most accurate way in all my CIEMs, even more accurate than NT6. And no way it has boosted bass. To me 5 way's bass is very neutral if not a tiny bit light. It is really dependent on songs too.

 

I have to agree with this for the most part.  My ears tell me the 5-way is more accurate than the NT-6, but the NT-6 is much closer to the presentation of the ER4, which many think is the most accurate thing out there.  My ears don't hear it that way, but I just try to bring the info to light for people to decide.

 

Astralstorm, I think I understand where you are coming from, but I don't hear the issues you have and agree with tupac as well as many others that I have interacted with.  

post #598 of 1941

Except ER-4S has zero added warmth and relatively thin, fast, coherent presentation all around.

 

SE-5 is a similar signature in midrange, but way different in bass (thick and somewhat boosted) and treble (two shelves corresponding I think to the driver crossovers) Maybe it uses Knowles ED like Etymotic ER-4S for midrange. (It is used in some other CIEMs too, typically as a treble driver)

I'd hazard a guess SE-5 uses 2x Knowles CI for bass with one having something done to its phase response - so it sounds like longer decay, but not slower. Except this makes bass texture entirely different from the rest of the spectrum. Some 2 BAs that look like Knowles FK. Perhaps those are driving the treble.

It doesn't seem to use any dampers.

 

I've been driving SE-5 from: FiiO E17, FiiO E10, Audiotrak Prodigy Cube, Leckerton UHA6S mkII and some other lower end sources. The behavior generally remains the same - the main difference is in upper midrange around 3k (slight peak flattens with higher impedance) and the amount of 8k shelf (increases with impedance - least with the Leckerton).


Edited by AstralStorm - 2/15/13 at 8:07am
post #599 of 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

I think the cable didn't fit since the shell connector is quite large and not typical, plus the shape of my sockets isn't perfect.  I really haven't tried too many aftermarket cables with the 5-way.

 

Let us know how your redone 5-way performs.

 

Just wanted to dig up this thread and report back. I just got my SE 5-Way back and absolutely no more issues! Thanks Grzegorz!

It's a breath of fresh air after using a broken pair of em3pros. Really spacious and detailed though my S9 probably doesn't do it justice. 

But sounds great and absolutely no complaints.

 

 

While I'm at it posting here, I'm still considering aftermarket/replacement cables (in particular the TWag v3 and TWcu v3 Hybrid cable from Whiplash).

Partly considering this also as I'm getting a fair bit of microphonics with the stock cable, the connector won't fit through my phone case without an extension of some sort, and I really don't like memory wire...

 

I know Joe has mentioned he hasn't tried too many aftermarket cables with the 5-way but does anyone else have any suggestions or comments?

post #600 of 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucket View Post

 

Just wanted to dig up this thread and report back. I just got my SE 5-Way back and absolutely no more issues! Thanks Grzegorz!

It's a breath of fresh air after using a broken pair of em3pros. Really spacious and detailed though my S9 probably doesn't do it justice. 

But sounds great and absolutely no complaints.

 

 

While I'm at it posting here, I'm still considering aftermarket/replacement cables (in particular the TWag v3 and TWcu v3 Hybrid cable from Whiplash).

Partly considering this also as I'm getting a fair bit of microphonics with the stock cable, the connector won't fit through my phone case without an extension of some sort, and I really don't like memory wire...

 

I know Joe has mentioned he hasn't tried too many aftermarket cables with the 5-way but does anyone else have any suggestions or comments?


I have Tralucent silver  and silver and gold cables and like them a lot in terms of sound. I will have the SE5 in a while, so if you can wait I will tell you how they pair. The Beat Audio Cronus is great in terms of ergonomics.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Review & Appreciation: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12)