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TF10 causing me headaches? Advice please!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

Alright so here is my situation; I've been researching for a couple months on this website and others trying to find out where would be the best entry point into the hi-fi world.  I made a post a couple weeks back looking for advice on what I should choose and I wound up ordering the TF10, MTPC, and the SM3s.  I am attempting to audition the three against each other and figure out which one I prefer the most, keeping that pair. 

 

As luck would have it the MTPC were bad out of the box (right earbud shorted out almost immediately) so I haven't gotten to give them a fair listen.  The other two however, I have been able to listen to for the past few days.  I started out with the TF10 and found right away that it sits uncomfortably in my ear.  Even with the smallest silicon i tend to have to shove it back in my ear every so often, and even when it does stay it is generally fairly uncomfortable.  I prefer the sound out of the silicon tips as opposed to the complys however and so I am trying to deal with the fit in order to get the best sound to my ears out of the phones. 

 

That said, after sometimes even short periods of listening I tend to get a headache listening to them.  I think the headaches are predicated to certain types of music, as genres such as classical or rap don't tend to cause my any headaches.  Conversely, any music that has a lot of highs (pop, some alternative music, I've noticed it happens with a lot of female vocalists, some rock even) give me headaches relatively fast. 

 

IIRC, I've read that in the beginning the TF10 can have some sibilance, the fit issues as I mentioned before are also quite bothersome.  In addition to being fairly bright, could these attributes be causing the headaches?  Or has anyone else experienced something similar to this when using the TF10?  I'd like to try and give each of these headphones equal listening before making a decision on which ones I would prefer, but if my ears are extremely opposed to the TF10 I guess that makes it a little bit easier! 

 

Anyway, I'd appreciate any input you fellow hi-fi'ers are willing to give!  Happy listening!

 

Edit:  I didn't add in my main post that when I remove the TF10s from my ears the headache lessens notably.  I can insert another pair of headphones right after even and the headache will continue to get better. 

 

 

P.S.  Even given my relative inexperience with hi-fi, I must say that I find the SM3s to be an absolute joy to listen to thus far.  I'm in the process of upgrading my music quality to properly appreciate these phones :).


Edited by Warlax - 5/13/11 at 5:21pm
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

 I didn't add in my main post that when I remove the TF10s from my ears the headache lessens notably.  I can insert another pair of headphones right after even and the headache will continue to get better.  Edited it in now.  Thanks!

post #3 of 11

Well, from what I understand, some people suffer from fit issues with the TF10.  Never heard of headaches though.

post #4 of 11

I have had headaches caused by bad fit issues, and the TF10s are notorious for poor fit.  Actually I have found all the old UE Pro series to have relatively poor fit characteristics until...

 

I recently tried the standard Monster standard silicone tips (not the SuperTips) on my SF5EBs and then on my MA IE40s (a re-badged TF10).  As a warning the ones I have look different from the replacements I see on Amazon as they are rounder; a Monster dealer gave them to me when I was looking for replacement tips for my UE.  Fit issues are vanquished and I now get exceptional seal.  The TF10s had been giving me slight headache issues with the Sony Hybrid tips, but not the standard UE tips.

 

As for TF10 sound, sibilance and other treble harshness are not at all what I hear.  I think they tend towards the warm side.  Recordings that I know to be on the harsh side like: Susan McKeown's "Prophecy," RHCPs "Blood Sugar Sex Magik," and The Sunday's "Blind" sound much more balanced than they have via any of my other portables or any of my reference home systems.  And likewise, those recordings that I know to be on the overly warm side like: TRS' "Let it Bleed," Red Man's "Doc's Da Name 2000," and BM&W's "Exodus: Deluxe Addition" all are just a tad muddy sounding relative to my other reference set-ups.  Overall, though, the TF10s are very revealing of recording quality and high quality but punchy recording's like DMB's "Stand Up" or Seal's "Seal IV" sound marvelous, if a little artificial, whereas DMB's "Before These Crowded Streets," BM&W's "Natty Dread," or any of the Harmonia Mundi label baroque recordings are spot-on perfect, just like they are in my reference systems.  That being said, the TF10s benefit greatly from quality amplification which lessens the above described warming effect and brings the mid-range forward.  Like all the UE universal Pro series, they need volume to sound their best with a typical DAP's headphone out but unlike the SF5EBs they do sound balanced at lower volumes and not overwhelmed by the bass. 


Edited by NewAKGGuy - 5/14/11 at 10:43am
post #5 of 11

As a TF10 owner, I'd say that if you like the sound of them in the short periods that you are able to listen to them, you should think about custom tips for them. It was the only way I found I was able to wear them..

 

If the fit is poor, the TF10s can be quite punishing in this respect, as the bore is quite wide. It will hurt your ears, pressure on the entrance of the canal, and can lead to these headaches.

 

As, a recent SM3 owner, I've found them to be very comfortable with stock tips, but I just don't know if I'm getting any bass leakage from an imperfect seal, with these pair earphones, it doesn't seem to matter too much with which tips I use, the sound remains fairly consistent, but as a bass lover, I'd like to eke out every bit of bass I can.

 

With the SM3s, its a very pleasant experience listening to any type of music, very smooth. TF10s are both sparkly and hit harder on the bass. Different soundstages on both too.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yea, I was not able to find anything about them causing headaches on here, hence my need for a new post.  I think the fit issues may just be what are causing the headaches.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

Well, from what I understand, some people suffer from fit issues with the TF10.  Never heard of headaches though.



I think you and I had the same problem with the fit in that case.  I may try the monster tips, as I do have them from trying out the MTPCs, however the more I listen to the SM3s the more I find myself favoring them over the others (could be due to the bad fit though on the TF10 of course).  Much appreciate the advice :).  As for the sound, I don't know how to describe it besides saying that at higher volumes the higher notes seem really harsh to my hearing, so the SS just may not be good for me.  Again though, I think i will try the monster tips, need to give everything a fair shot! 



Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAKGGuy View Post

I have had headaches caused by bad fit issues, and the TF10s are notorious for poor fit.  Actually I have found all the old UE Pro series to have relatively poor fit characteristics until...

 

I recently tried the standard Monster standard silicone tips (not the SuperTips) on my SF5EBs and then on my MA IE40s (a re-badged TF10).  As a warning the ones I have look different from the replacements I see on Amazon as they are rounder; a Monster dealer gave them to me when I was looking for replacement tips for my UE.  Fit issues are vanquished and I now get exceptional seal.  The TF10s had been giving me slight headache issues with the Sony Hybrid tips, but not the standard UE tips.

 

As for TF10 sound, sibilance and other treble harshness are not at all what I hear.  I think they tend towards the warm side.  Recordings that I know to be on the harsh side like: Susan McKeown's "Prophecy," RHCPs "Blood Sugar Sex Magik," and The Sunday's "Blind" sound much more balanced than they have via any of my other portables or any of my reference home systems.  And likewise, those recordings that I know to be on the overly warm side like: TRS' "Let it Bleed," Red Man's "Doc's Da Name 2000," and BM&W's "Exodus: Deluxe Addition" all are just a tad muddy sounding relative to my other reference set-ups.  Overall, though, the TF10s are very revealing of recording quality and high quality but punchy recording's like DMB's "Stand Up" or Seal's "Seal IV" sound marvelous, if a little artificial, whereas DMB's "Before These Crowded Streets," BM&W's "Natty Dread," or any of the Harmonia Mundi label baroque recordings are spot-on perfect, just like they are in my reference systems.  That being said, the TF10s benefit greatly from quality amplification which lessens the above described warming effect and brings the mid-range forward.  Like all the UE universal Pro series, they need volume to sound their best with a typical DAP's headphone out but unlike the SF5EBs they do sound balanced at lower volumes and not overwhelmed by the bass. 



I'm not sure I like the sound enough to fork out for custom tips, at least not when compared to the Sm3 or MTPC, as I mentioned to AKGGuy, at louder volumes the TF10 just comes off as harsh to my hearing.  That said, as you and he said, the fit could be the primary contributor to the headaches rather than the SS so I think I will do what he suggested and at least give the monster tips a try.

 

I agree with your statements on the SM3 though.  Very comfortable with the stock double flanges for me.  The bass on it I think is tighter (if Im describing it right) than on the TF10, which is good for me.  I definitely find them a most pleasant listen, the soundstage on the SM3 being one of my favorite aspects of them.  Anyway, thanks for your input! 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illquid View Post

As a TF10 owner, I'd say that if you like the sound of them in the short periods that you are able to listen to them, you should think about custom tips for them. It was the only way I found I was able to wear them..

 

If the fit is poor, the TF10s can be quite punishing in this respect, as the bore is quite wide. It will hurt your ears, pressure on the entrance of the canal, and can lead to these headaches.

 

As, a recent SM3 owner, I've found them to be very comfortable with stock tips, but I just don't know if I'm getting any bass leakage from an imperfect seal, with these pair earphones, it doesn't seem to matter too much with which tips I use, the sound remains fairly consistent, but as a bass lover, I'd like to eke out every bit of bass I can.

 

With the SM3s, its a very pleasant experience listening to any type of music, very smooth. TF10s are both sparkly and hit harder on the bass. Different soundstages on both too.


 

Happy listening guys, thanks!

post #7 of 11

Cheap option: use the Comply tips. They improve the comfort and can lessen the sibilance (and the fatigue that it ultimately causes).

 

Not-so-cheap option: Sell your TF10s and get the UM3X (what I did smily_headphones1.gif). Life's too short to suffer with an IEM that doesn't stay in your ears.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Tried the complies, even then I couldn't find that perfect fit for myself.  I must wholeheartedly agree with your second statement!  I ordered them from amazon directly so I can return them no problems!  I do want to try the UM3X, but I think for now I'm going to stick with the SM3....my wallet can't take even more of a hit right now haha. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by calipilot227 View Post

Cheap option: use the Comply tips. They improve the comfort and can lessen the sibilance (and the fatigue that it ultimately causes).

 

Not-so-cheap option: Sell your TF10s and get the UM3X (what I did smily_headphones1.gif). Life's too short to suffer with an IEM that doesn't stay in your ears.



 

post #9 of 11

It is a pity that your MTPC weren't working out of the box, since IMO they are a lot better than the tf10 for me. For the tf10 I'd recommend that you try doing the flip mod (search it), that's what i did for mine and it was comfortable for me. I was using the sony hyrbid with the tf10 too btw. 

 

Regarding the headaches, its probably got to do with getting used to the seal or the way you wear the IEM. When I first got my ie8 I had some headache while using it but when I got used to the fit of the iem, the headaches are gone. The tf10 did gave me headaches too because I found the highs to be way too harsh for me. 


Edited by JeFFz - 5/16/11 at 8:08pm
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, as I ordered from Amazon I was able to get them to ship out a replacement pair even before I sent the other ones back.  I've had the second pair of MTPCs for a few days now and have been working on burning them in.  Even out of the box however I agree with them being much better for me than the TF10s.  The MTPCs have been giving me some trouble with finding a good fit as well though....even the smallest supertips tend to irritate my ears, but I find the SQ with the supertips better than the single flanges.  The triple flanges go to deep for comfort in my ear and I tried the double flange that comes with the SM3, but I feel like that degraded the sound quality noticeably.

 

That said, at least I don't get headaches from the MTPCs!  I ordered the three pairs originally in order to audition some different sounds and pick one that is best for me, that one at this point is definitely the SM3.  The issues with the TF10 just turned me off to them.  I did do the flip mod with the TF10s, though it didn't seem to help me very much unfortunately (the fit *was* more comfortable, but the headaches remained).  As to your last statement, I believe that is the exact problem I am having with them.  Just not the sound signature for us I suppose.  Glad to know I'm not the only one that ran into this issue. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeFFz View Post

It is a pity that your MTPC weren't working out of the box, since IMO they are a lot better than the tf10 for me. For the tf10 I'd recommend that you try doing the flip mod (search it), that's what i did for mine and it was comfortable for me. I was using the sony hyrbid with the tf10 too btw. 

 

Regarding the headaches, its probably got to do with getting used to the seal or the way you wear the IEM. When I first got my ie8 I had some headache while using it but when I got used to the fit of the iem, the headaches are gone. The tf10 did gave me headaches too because I found the highs to be way too harsh for me. 



 

post #11 of 11

I experienced this issue couple times before, and i really had no ideas what cause that,

Kinds of music? wearing to long in ears? All I do is take it off for a while.

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