At the top level, there’s really no “best“…it comes down to preference.
A Mastering Engineer friend talking about professional monitors
You have to find your sound.
Note: I received the Pro Turbine Copper In-Ear-Monitors as a generous “sample pair” in the recent MONSTER CHALLENGE by my own request…in exchange for an honest review. I had always wanted to hear them and so I jumped at the chance to put them through the paces. I feel incredibly lucky that I have been able to listen to and even own some incredible high-end gear, all within about a year and a couple of months of using Apple iBuds! There’s a lot to learn about and enjoy in this hobby (audio, music, gear). One of the things that I’m most thankful for is knowing that I’ll never be going back to "bad" sound again…
Here I also want to put in a plug for finding your "community" too. It feels great to be around people who are passionate and interested in the same things and can share to help you “find your sound.” If I didn’t have the opportunity to be a reviewer, I could put a call out to my area and say that I was interested in these or find a good retailer that allowed a return under a trial period. I have gone back to those retailers that stood behind those guarantees and purchased other things from them. Keep trying and get a listen!
I found it really interesting to see “break-in” covered in the Monster Quick Start Guide:
I used (brown-pink-brown-white-brown+10 silence) noise loops downloaded from dweaver’s link in his signature for 2 nights and my iTunes music library for 2 nights to “burn-in” the drivers with my Benchmark DAC1.
Here you can see a detailed investigation into the effects of burn-in on the Coppers and also get the files from dweaver’s signature:
As for earphones, I have had all of the Yuin PK Series earbuds, the HiFiMan RE-0’s, Sennheiser IE8’s, and have settled on the Ultimate Ears Triple-Fi 10’s and the Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors.
For Large Headphones, I have settled on the Grado RS2i, the Grado HF-2, the Alessandro MS1 (being modified), and the Sennheiser HD600.
I did less comparing and more listening to understand what the Coppers sounded like. If I compare to the Triple-Fi 10 often it is because I actually have them right now as opposed to making comparisons by memory.
BASS: Warm, lots- some really good slam. These “ear speakers” go low and give some rumble like I have not heard a Balanced Armature iem do (yet). Wouldn’t want more bass than this. Great amount of full/fun bass to me.
MIDS: Good amount of midrange, very warm though…not the clearest.
TREBLE: Here they seem “just right” or “just north of neutral” (which I seem to prefer in my treble). I think they balance well in the presentation to add detail to the warm bass and midrange. A little peaky. I tend to like treble so some might think it a bit much. I certainly don’t think it’s too much, I think it is necessary. (But then I like Grados!)
OVERALL: A nice balance/amount of everything, but a bit warm/natural/relaxed in the midrange and full in bass so the Coppers can give a feeling of a lack of speed/clarity. Lush, warm, relaxed, enjoyable listening without “digital” harshness. Sounds like a nice warm speaker set-up with some “Loudness” and some treble EQ’d up instead of a “bright” or “analytical” neutral monitoring system to me.
In comparison to my Triple-Fi 10 which many have heard and are not <too> far off in price ($188 vs. $233 on Amazon.com):
- Coppers win on warm bass + slam by a bit and TF10 win for sparkly treble/upper mids by a bit.
- Coppers win for natural or laid back listening presentation and TF10 win for speed/clarity (though there is bloom in the TF10 bass too).
I recently found this updated repository of Frequency Response and other data:
This chart won’t tell you everything but it seems pretty consistent with what my impressions are, here is an excerpt from a much bigger data sheet that you can find at the link above...
(continue below for Section II.)
Edited by CEE TEE - 5/11/11 at 11:32pm