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Which customs have the most out of the head soundstage (like ie8 or better)? - Page 2

post #16 of 31

seriously, have none of you heard the mx980??

 

If you have how do you think the move from these to say jh13's in terms of soundstage would turn out.

post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidVictory View Post


I respect your opinion but I've got to disagree with you on this. I've owned the IE8 for over a year and though it has a very wide soundstage and good forward projection, I think the JH16 easily beats it in those two attributes. The IE8 has a large soundstage, but the soundstage only appears that way because of a lack of cohesiveness in the imaging. I think this makes it more susceptible to "wow" at first but the IE8 has a lot of difficulty with the resonance of sound in a hall where sound bounces off the walls. I found that with good jazz or classical recordings, the IE8 does not even recreate the actual sound resonating within the soundstage. What I mean by this is, where the sound is actually supposed to stop resonating the IE8 cuts that very short where the JH16 extends it completely to the outer edge of your right, left, or front.

 

I think because of this lack of precision in soundstage, sometimes the IE8 sounds like it has a bigger soundstage, but when you listen carefully with very good recordings it is apparent that the IE8 soundstage is not as wide as the JH16. Because of the precision of the JH16 in rendering the position of instruments in a soundstage, it may not sound like it has a wider soundstage on just "OK" recordings. It takes a really good recording or a binaural recording to show that the JH16's soundstage is indeed larger than the IE8. The airy/spacious feeling that you experienced with your IE8 is definitely there on the JH16/JH13, it just takes very good recordings/binaural recordings to bring it out. If the audio signal does not require a sound to be positioned all the way in front of you, then the JH16 will not position it there whereas the IE8 will position it farther than it really is--thus creating a constant larger soundstage than the JH16 until a recording actually calls for the JH16 to position the sound all the way in front of you (60 feet or farther out), this is where it is very apparent that the JH16 soundstage is larger than the IE8.

 

All this being said, I respect your opinion and I do agree that the IE8's soundstage is very large.



Well, positioning and soundstage are different attributes and I'd accept a little less accuracy with the former for the benefit of more airy spacious feeling with the latter.

Again, let's not confuse soundstage dimensions and forward projection. It's quite easy for IEMs with little or no forward projection (like the SM3 and according to Joker also the UM Miracle) to sound wider than the IE8, since they put you into first row or even on stage and the angle between the listener position and the left/right soundstage boundaries is much wider than with the IE8, that put you further away from the actual stage. So looking for the most out-of-head soundstage is definitely not the same as asking for the widest possible soundstage.

Last not least regarding "what's in the recording": while I agree that soundstaging is part of the recording, forward projection is definitely not. Think about it, the same recording may be reproduced by speakers which are already positioned in front of the listener and need no forward projection in the mix. Therefore forward projection (if desired) has to be an attribute of the headphone/IEM and the IE8 are so far the best at it among the IEMs I've heard.
post #18 of 31
^ Sorry for the bad format of my above post, I'm on my mobile phone and Huddler neither lets me use paragraphs in the first place nor edit afterwards, to make it more readable. Rather pathetic if you ask me, considering how long they've been trying to make this platform compatible for mobile users...
post #19 of 31

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Well, positioning and soundstage are different attributes and I'd accept a little less accuracy with the former for the benefit of more airy spacious feeling with the latter.

 Last not least regarding "what's in the recording": while I agree that soundstaging is part of the recording, forward projection is definitely not. Think about it, the same recording may be reproduced by speakers which are already positioned in front of the listener and need no forward projection in the mix. Therefore forward projection (if desired) has to be an attribute of the headphone/IEM and the IE8 are so far the best at it among the IEMs I've heard.

 

Yes, positioning and soundstage are different, but when the positioning of an instrument is heard farther out in the soundstage on the left, right, or front, it is safe to assume that if another headphone cannot recreate that same distance in soundstage, then that headphone/IEM has a smaller soundstage than the former. If the space is not there to position the image, then it must sound closer than it sounded with a larger soundstage, which is what I hear on my IE8 when compared to the JH16--especially with resonating sounds.

 

And the thing about the forward projection in recordings, this is not right. Just because speakers are positioned in front of the listener does not mean that recordings do not concentrate on forward projection. If a recording did not consider forward projection, then everything would sound mushy/muddy out of the speakers in front of you since it is simply projecting forward everything contained within the recording and not just what was intended to be projected forward.


Edited by SolidVictory - 5/16/11 at 8:46pm
post #20 of 31

As far as sound stage width I believe an open iem like the ie8 / ep-10 plus / um merlin will outshine all the others. 

 

OP, I would really listen to average joe's opinion as that guy has more customs than every single person combined on his thread. 

 

 

post #21 of 31

@SolidVictory, I think we're still talking about different things here, you mean positioning and forward projection within the soundstage and I'm talking about forward projection of the soundstage itself. Let me illustrate this with a diagram from my SM3 review:

 

LL

 

The IE8 project the whole soundstage forward, that's why they're not good at portraying intimacy, because everything seems to sound more distant than on most other IEMs. This kind of forward projection is not dependent on the recording, it will put you further from the stage than with other phones regardless of the recording you're listening to. The diagram also explains why you might perceive the SM3 as wider, because as you move away from the actual stage, the angle between your position and the instruments at the left and right side of the soundstage decreases. So in my book the SM3 may well sound wider than the IE8, but the IE8 will still offer a better out-of-head experience.

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetik View Post

 

OP, I would really listen to average joe's opinion as that guy has more customs than every single person combined on his thread. 

 

 

thats an ignorant thing to say. As if you are saying to the OP"dont listen to the crap they are saying."

you are not only not contributing to this thread but are also insulting others opinions.

 

i respect Joe's opinion and he knows that,but we all hear differently ,and more people opinions means that the OP will have an idea of what we are talking about and give him a close idea of what customs sound like.

 


 

 

post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by midoo1990 View Post

thats an ignorant thing to say. As if you are saying to the OP"dont listen to the crap they are saying."

you are not only not contributing to this thread but are also insulting others opinions.

 

i respect Joe's opinion and he knows that,but we all hear differently ,and more people opinions means that the OP will have an idea of what we are talking about and give him a close idea of what customs sound like.

 

 


I agree with the above post. Although I find average_joe's opinions interesting, we seemed to disagree quite strongly on how we both heard the SM3 (& UM3X), and to a lesser extent how we heard the IE8 & CK10. So, if I were considering to get a second set of customs, I'd like to hear Joe's take but would personally like to hear more views from other experienced HF'iers. 

 


Edited by music_4321 - 5/17/11 at 2:52am
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by midoo1990 View Post



thats an ignorant thing to say. As if you are saying to the OP"dont listen to the crap they are saying."

you are not only not contributing to this thread but are also insulting others opinions.

 

i respect Joe's opinion and he knows that,but we all hear differently ,and more people opinions means that the OP will have an idea of what we are talking about and give him a close idea of what customs sound like.

 


Did you really find that offensive? I typed that without a hint of anything offensive or ignorant in it.  I'm not sure how my statement bruised your ego but you're looking into it the totally wrong way.  All I'm saying is the FACT that he has a ton of experience with iem's and he owns more customs than everyone on here.  Would it be in the OP's best interests to get the opinion of someone with with a ton of experience, especially in the realm of customs?  I'll leave that up to you to decide.

 

Also I never once said that your opinion was "crap" or anything to the likes of that.  I'm assuming you mistook my praise for the opinion of average_joe as a shot against you and others.  I swear people are a little too sensitive on here sometimes.


 

 

post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

I agree with the above post. Although I find average_joe's opinions interesting, we seemed to disagree quite strongly on how we both heard the SM3 (& UM3X), and to a lesser extent how we heard the IE8 & CK10. So, if I were considering to get a second set of customs, I'd like to hear Joe's take but would personally like to hear more views from other experienced HF'iers. 


True, you and I don't share how we hear the SM3 and UM3X, which are two IEMs that seem to have a love/hate relationship on here.  You also didn't hear much difference between your ES3X and your UM3X from what I remember whereas I hear what I term moderate to large differences between the only universal I still have, the SM3, and my customs.

 

I do agree that getting other opinions is a smart move, but equally as important, if not more important is to try to figure out who hears things the same way you do and then the experience of that person will be much more relevant.  For example, |joker| and I pretty much hear things similarly, at least with what we have both heard, but there are differences.  I would trust his reviews for my hearing to the extent of where I know we differ (amount of bass).  But, we don't differ consistently so I think our hearing differences are more than likely due in large part to fit, tips, and insertion depth of universal IEMs.  Which brings me to my next thought...will the differences from person to person for customs be as large as it is for universals?  Customs should, at least for a much higher percentage of people, take out the fit/insertion depth issues of universals.

 

@ Poetic: First, thank you very much for the compliment.  I believe that sound signature plays a part in perceived space as well as being open backed among other things.  I have heard many warmer IEMs that have sounded spacious and when the mid-bass is EQed down the soundstage shrinks a bit.  From my logic of A > B and B > C therefore A > C, I would say the IE8 has a smaller presentation than any of my custom IEMs.  Of course, I can't verify that unless someone wants to send me an IE8 for comparison, but the EP-10 Plus is a step above the other customs and it is both warm and open.  My other open custom, the TS842 has a soundstage size that is about the same as the Kozee X3, which uses vented BAs.  And project86, a reviewer I respect and trust, said the Merlin did not have a larger soundstage than the Miracle, if memory serves.  So, does venting a BA into the hollow shell affect the overall space?  Not to mention the particular track as I have experienced situations where for one track, one custom will sound larger, but for another track things are flip flopped.  While I can rank my customs in terms of size of the soundstage, the source and track could cause the results to change.

post #26 of 31


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post


True, you and I don't share how we hear the SM3 and UM3X, which are two IEMs that seem to have a love/hate relationship on here.  You also didn't hear much difference between your ES3X and your UM3X from what I remember whereas I hear what I term moderate to large differences between the only universal I still have, the SM3, and my customs.

 

I do agree that getting other opinions is a smart move, but equally as important, if not more important is to try to figure out who hears things the same way you do and then the experience of that person will be much more relevant.  For example, |joker| and I pretty much hear things similarly, at least with what we have both heard, but there are differences.  I would trust his reviews for my hearing to the extent of where I know we differ (amount of bass).  But, we don't differ consistently so I think our hearing differences are more than likely due in large part to fit, tips, and insertion depth of universal IEMs.  Which brings me to my next thought...will the differences from person to person for customs be as large as it is for universals?  Customs should, at least for a much higher percentage of people, take out the fit/insertion depth issues of universals.

 

@ Poetic: First, thank you very much for the compliment.  I believe that sound signature plays a part in perceived space as well as being open backed among other things.  I have heard many warmer IEMs that have sounded spacious and when the mid-bass is EQed down the soundstage shrinks a bit.  From my logic of A > B and B > C therefore A > C, I would say the IE8 has a smaller presentation than any of my custom IEMs.  Of course, I can't verify that unless someone wants to send me an IE8 for comparison, but the EP-10 Plus is a step above the other customs and it is both warm and open.  My other open custom, the TS842 has a soundstage size that is about the same as the Kozee X3, which uses vented BAs.  And project86, a reviewer I respect and trust, said the Merlin did not have a larger soundstage than the Miracle, if memory serves.  So, does venting a BA into the hollow shell affect the overall space?  Not to mention the particular track as I have experienced situations where for one track, one custom will sound larger, but for another track things are flip flopped.  While I can rank my customs in terms of size of the soundstage, the source and track could cause the results to change.



 

"You also didn't hear much difference between your ES3X and your UM3X from what I remember whereas I hear what I term moderate to large differences between the only universal I still have, the SM3, and my customs."
 
I don't know what the above comments have to do with what we're discussing in this thread. Yes, my UM3X provided 85-90% of the SQ I got from my ES3X, and this difference seems to be consistent with what other experienced HF'iers have reported hearing from their high-end customs and their top-tier counterparts, ie this is a perfect example of the so-called "law of diminishing returns". 
 
If I remember correctly you said your custom Earsonics EM3Pro sounded 35% better than your universal Earsonics SM3, both being triple-BA IEMs. At the time the EM3Pro was the only custom IEM you owned and I was very surprised at, and pretty sceptical about, your reporting such BIG percentage difference in SQ. But I haven't heard the EM3Pro and you haven't heard the ES3X. Also, it's been confirmed by Westone that both UM3X & ES3X have exactly the same drivers & crossovers. I don't know if the same is true for the 2 Earsonics IEMs.
 
"Which brings me to my next thought...will the differences from person to person for customs be as large as it is for universals?
 
The answer is no. You already answered that in the next sentence. Reading any thread dedicated to a particular IEM will make it obvious to people pretty soon that different tips, ear (and ear canal) shapes & insertion depth can make a significant difference.
 
"I do agree that getting other opinions is a smart move, but equally as important, if not more important is to try to figure out who hears things the same way you do and then the experience of that person will be much more relevant."
 
Isn't there some kind of contradiction in the statement above seeing that if, for instance, I'm looking for a custom IEM that sounds closer to the IE8, and let's say your fit and mine with the IE8 may ultimately be different even when using the same sleeves and perhaps even reporting similar sound characteristics? This isn't even taking into consideration personal sound preferences, type of music we listen to and how each of us tends to 'measure'/define sound, ie we may both call an IEM bass light using the same tips but it may well be that we have different concepts of what a bass-light IEM is and ultimately be hearing things differently.
 
So, all I said was that that yes, average_joe's advice is useful, but the OP should not limit himself to AJ's views or any other particular HF'ier. This is more relevant if the IEM in question happens to be an expensive one.

Edited by music_4321 - 5/19/11 at 2:45am
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

"You also didn't hear much difference between your ES3X and your UM3X from what I remember whereas I hear what I term moderate to large differences between the only universal I still have, the SM3, and my customs."

 
I don't know what the above comments have to do with what we're discussing in this thread. Yes, my UM3X provided 85-90% of the SQ I got from my ES3X, and this difference seems to be consistent with what other experienced HF'iers have reported hearing from their high-end customs and their top-tier counterparts, ie this is a perfect example of the so-called "law of diminishing returns". 
 
If I remember correctly you said your custom Earsonics EM3Pro sounded 35% better than your universal Earsonics SM3, both being triple-BA IEMs. At the time the EM3Pro was the only custom IEM you owned and I was very surprised at, and pretty sceptical about, your reporting such BIG percentage difference in SQ. But I haven't heard the EM3Pro and you haven't heard the ES3X. Also, it's been confirmed by Westone that both UM3X & ES3X have exactly the same drivers & crossovers. I don't know if the same is true for the 2 Earsonics IEMs.
 
"Which brings me to my next thought...will the differences from person to person for customs be as large as it is for universals?
 
The answer is no. You already answered that in the next sentence. Reading any thread dedicated to a particular IEM will make it obvious to people pretty soon that different tips, ear (and ear canal) shapes & insertion depth can make a significant difference.

 

Thank you for reinforcing my point about the difference between customs and universals with your experience.  Since the ES3X seems to be just a reshelled universal, and you heard a 10-15% difference, that means there is some room to improve the universal fit for you since it seems the rest is the same.  That difference might be smaller or larger for me, depending on the universal fit.  The similarities between the EM3 Pro and SM3 come down to the number of drivers as everything else is different as the SM3 has an extra crossover point and they don't share any drivers.  I did compare a universal TF10 directly with a reshelled TF10 and found the differences to be small, but an improvement none the less.  On a side note, what is the price difference between the UM3X and ES3?

 

What I was doing was expanding on your comparison of how we/others hear things building up for my future points.  I am not refuting you.

 

 

Quote:
"I do agree that getting other opinions is a smart move, but equally as important, if not more important is to try to figure out who hears things the same way you do and then the experience of that person will be much more relevant."
 
Isn't there some kind of contradiction in the statement above seeing that if, for instance, I'm looking for a custom IEM that sounds closer to the IE8, and let's say your fit and mine with the IE8 may ultimately be different even when using the same sleeves and perhaps even reporting similar sound characteristics? This isn't even taking into consideration personal sound preferences, type of music we listen to and how each of us tends to 'measure'/define sound, ie we may both call an IEM bass light using the same tips but it may well be that we have different concepts of what a bass-light IEM is and ultimately be hearing things differently.

 

I don't see the contradiction.  Simply, if someone consistently hears/describes things differently than my experience, there would seem to be a higher probability that, while the person's experience is 100% valid for them, it won't necessarily be applicable to me.  This is shown by your bolded statement above.  I am not saying you shouldn't gather all the data you can, but some if more applicable to each individual.  

 

 

Quote:
So, all I said was that that yes, average_joe's advice is useful, but the OP should not limit himself to AJ's views or any other particular HF'ier. This is more relevant if the IEM in question happens to be an expensive one.

 

And again I agree, however this raises another thought: perspective.  From a statistical analysis standpoint, more data points result in more statistically accurate data.  In my experience having multiple competitors at approximately the same performance level that you can compare helps accentuate the strengths and weaknesses that you might not notice without the perspective.  When I only had the EM3 Pro, I had to take others word that the EM3 Pro performance was respective of others in the price range (and there was one comparison), but having other data points from reviews by other people and now my own experience I can make a more accurate determination.  

post #28 of 31


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sofastreamer View Post

hi,

 

i am looking for a custom iem, that has a soundstage experience like that of the ie8 or even better. after testing most of the high end universals, there is none, that has such a deep, wide and out of the head projection as the ie8. so i hope to find that in a custom with the clarity and precision of ba drivers. 

 

when it comes to sound signature it should be equal to the ie8 also, but maybe a tad less midbass emphasis (but more pronounced sub bass).

 

which custom would you recommend?

There is no question, the Future Sonics MG6Pro Ear Monitor is exactly what you want and far better than the jh16 demo I listened to.

Click the link at the bottom of my post for a review. The third post in that thread has my comparison with the jh16 demo.

 

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetik View Post



 


Did you really find that offensive? I typed that without a hint of anything offensive or ignorant in it.  I'm not sure how my statement bruised your ego but you're looking into it the totally wrong way.  All I'm saying is the FACT that he has a ton of experience with iem's and he owns more customs than everyone on here.  Would it be in the OP's best interests to get the opinion of someone with with a ton of experience, especially in the realm of customs?  I'll leave that up to you to decide.

 

Also I never once said that your opinion was "crap" or anything to the likes of that.  I'm assuming you mistook my praise for the opinion of average_joe as a shot against you and others.  I swear people are a little too sensitive on here sometimes.


 

 


x2. I don't see how midoo1990 found your post offensive at all. I thought it was a good suggestion. Funny how one's tone can be lost over text.

post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 

after everyone cooled down a couple of days :-), could someone owning an ie8 and customs compare their way of soundstage projection?

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