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Advice please, Phonak Audeo PFE 112 or Shure SE215?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

First things first, I'd like to say huge thanks to everyone here at the Head-Fi forums. I've been using these forums as a source of (excellent) information and reviews for what seems like forever so a big thank you for all the help you've unknowingly given me over the years and can hopefully continue to give me now that I've finally joined up to ask a question directly.

 

With that said, onto the matter at hand. Long story short I'm in the market for a new set of IEMs to replace the bundled Apple buds with my ipod classic. After looking around at various options for a fair old while I've narrowed it down to either the PFE112's or the Shure SE215's and was hoping for any opinions or insights you could offer.

 

If it makes any difference I can tell you that my tastes in music are pretty varied, I'll be listening to just about a bit of everything, rock, pop, metal, classical and maybe even a light smattering of country/folk music.

 

One other thing, I've been toying with the idea of picking up a portable headphone amp,probably a Fiio e5, so any advice on whether either of these headphones would even really benefit from this addition would be appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance :) 

post #2 of 16

I'm still pretty new to head-fi, but I have the Phonak PFE 012 which is just the 112 with green filters. I'm pretty happy with them, but from what I know they have a different signature than the Shures. I'd say if you're looking for something with good bass the Shure would be a good choice, while the Phonaks would be better if you want something more neutral. As far as amping I'm not sure about Shure (heh), but the Phonaks are supposed to respond to amping very well.

post #3 of 16

I have both. PFE is clean, transparent and detail; SE215 is warm, lively and upfront. It is almost a classic debate over balanced armature vs dynamic sound. Neither is a bad choice for their price and they can do most genre of music well, but PFE will be better with classical and while SE215 is better with vocal.

 

Neither needs extra amping.


Edited by ClieOS - 5/6/11 at 7:33pm
post #4 of 16

Heh, is there an IEM you don't have ClieOS?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

I have both. PFE is clean, transparent and detail; SE215 is warm, lively and upfront. It is almost a classic debate over balanced armature vs dynamic sound. Neither is a bad choice for their price and they can do most genre of music well, but PFE will be better with classical and while SE215 is better with vocal.

 

Neither needs extra amping.



 

post #5 of 16

Haha, I'll like to own them all but don't have the budget for it. biggrin.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocswing View Post

Heh, is there an IEM you don't have ClieOS?
 



 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input everyone. Would it change anything if I said I'm now also considering the Ultimate Ears 700's? They're only slightly more expensive than the Phonaks so they're a possibility.

 

Alternatively if anyone has any suggestions as to a better pair of IEMs in the under £150 region, that'd be appreciated also.

post #7 of 16

The VSONIC GR07 is a great choice, I must say.  It's very balanced but also has a sort of...nice and pleasant signature to it.  To me, it has a very pleasing sound.  Definitely recommended.  (Also, it's about $150 from lendmeurears, so that's below your price point)

 

I quite like them for classical, and they're pretty good for electronic music and pop too.  I don't listen to metal or folk/country though, so I can't comment on that.  Rock sounds quite good too, though I don't have a huge collection of rock music (mostly classical and electronic, really. :P).

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

I have both. PFE is clean, transparent and detail; SE215 is warm, lively and upfront. It is almost a classic debate over balanced armature vs dynamic sound. Neither is a bad choice for their price and they can do most genre of music well, but PFE will be better with classical and while SE215 is better with vocal.

 

Neither needs extra amping.



I think a better comparison would be the SE215 to the PFE Perfect Bass. How do those two compare?

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post

I think a better comparison would be the SE215 to the PFE Perfect Bass. How do those two compare?


PFE-PB is obviously cleaner sounding, better at laying out detail and layer. But for sheer bass punch and fun factor, I really like SE215 better. It has a more dynamic sound that draws me into the music.

 

post #10 of 16

Though, I think the PFE-PB is quite dynamic with my Sony S639 and quite interesting, fun, and engaging. Out of Sandisk players the PB are quite blah. Might depend on the match of the source for the PB as far as fun. Impact and punch would always go to the Shure. 

 

I have a question about the 215 vs. other immersive dynamics of it's kind like the Eterna, Silver bullet, or even RE262. How do the 215 draw you in and let you explore the soundscape in comparison to those types? Similar or different ways in which it does it? Of course just in general, I'll get the drift and you won't end up writing a small novelsmile.gif.

post #11 of 16

The PFEs are tough to drive...for me, and the listening level I like, you need an amp.  I ultimately had to sell mine because they simply just didn't go loud enough.  They were very comfortable and I liked the sound when amped, but I do most of my listening at the gym where an amp just doesn't work for me.  I loved the sound of the 215s as well, but unfortunately I have messed up ears so they didn't fit correctly in my ears.  :)  I'm a glutton for punishment I guess.  That's why i've tried like 20 different IEMs at this point.  

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

Though, I think the PFE-PB is quite dynamic with my Sony S639 and quite interesting, fun, and engaging. Out of Sandisk players the PB are quite blah. Might depend on the match of the source for the PB as far as fun. Impact and punch would always go to the Shure. 

 

I have a question about the 215 vs. other immersive dynamics of it's kind like the Eterna, Silver bullet, or even RE262. How do the 215 draw you in and let you explore the soundscape in comparison to those types? Similar or different ways in which it does it? Of course just in general, I'll get the drift and you won't end up writing a small novelsmile.gif.


PB needs a bit of volume and something smoother on the top at the top to sound st its  best, IMO. Fuze and Clip+ has this odd roughness on the treble that can reveal itself when the right (or wrong) IEM is used.

 

One thing about Eterna, SB or RE262 are they have smooth treble, but not very lacking treble. This tends to move my attention from treble detail back to mid. They also has a more intimate,  surrounding soundstage which help to immerse me into the music. The issue with SE215 so far is that the treble is a little rough on the top, but not all bad and it doesn't quite have a surrounding soundstage. It is in comparison a little more fun and forward than it is more intimate and relax, That is, I am still aware of the music, and not fully immerse in the music. But compared to something like PFE-PB, SE215 is still going a better job at making the music more intimate to the listener..
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbdynsty25 View Post

The PFEs are tough to drive...for me, and the listening level I like, you need an amp.  I ultimately had to sell mine because they simply just didn't go loud enough.  They were very comfortable and I liked the sound when amped, but I do most of my listening at the gym where an amp just doesn't work for me.  I loved the sound of the 215s as well, but unfortunately I have messed up ears so they didn't fit correctly in my ears.  :)  I'm a glutton for punishment I guess.  That's why i've tried like 20 different IEMs at this point.  

You might want to dial down the volume at some point. I know gym can be loud, but high volume damages hearing in the long run and eventually you will higher and higher volume.
 

 

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbdynsty25 View Post

The PFEs are tough to drive...for me, and the listening level I like, you need an amp.  I ultimately had to sell mine because they simply just didn't go loud enough.  They were very comfortable and I liked the sound when amped, but I do most of my listening at the gym where an amp just doesn't work for me.  I loved the sound of the 215s as well, but unfortunately I have messed up ears so they didn't fit correctly in my ears.  :)  I'm a glutton for punishment I guess.  That's why i've tried like 20 different IEMs at this point.  



What about the PFE and what about the SE215 did you like? What differences would you say there were between the two, and which did you prefer?

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

You might want to dial down the volume at some point. I know gym can be loud, but high volume damages hearing in the long run and eventually you will higher and higher volume.
 


Obviously dialing it down is a good idea, but I'm mostly talking about older tracks that I no longer have the CDs for that are at slightly lower bit rates and significantly lower volume.  I can listen to newer stuff that I've ripped recently because the sound is much better/higher, it's the old stuff that is impossible to really listen to at the gym.  At home they are perfectly fine but out and about the PFEs are just too quiet.  Every other pair of headphones I've tried have been perfectly acceptable.  They were the first to bother me and I refuse to re-buy all of the CDs i had previously...I've completely done away with CDs because I'm all digital and I can't go back now!

 

post #15 of 16

CDs are digital tongue.gif

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