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REDONE, REVISED, & UPDATED - Ortofon e-Q5: The Super Sweet IEM (Review)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Updated review will be at the bottom.
Edited by Austin Morrow - 9/24/11 at 8:05pm
post #2 of 22

Great review though wishing some real time comparison to other BA monsters like FA A1 or SB or even CK10..

post #3 of 22

It's a MA not BA and breaks in like a dynamic so if you don't have much time on them, they may still change a bit. I'm not familiar with the Final tips but I find the Eq-5 slightly upper mid/lower treble prominent with the stock silicone tips which makes the bass less apparent. I think when you find the right tips, they become very slightly mid prominent (not upper, general) with the highs falling into place and nice punchy bass. Haven't heard them with complies but try some Sony Hybrids.


Edited by goodvibes - 5/23/11 at 4:29am
post #4 of 22

'Weak' is not what I would describe e-Q5 (or e-Q7 in the matter) bass response, but I guess we all have our own interpretation.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yello131 View Post

Great review though wishing some real time comparison to other BA monsters like FA A1 or SB or even CK10..


Thanks for the compliments. I will have a comparison of some other similar priced BA's soon.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

It's a MA not BA and breaks in like a dynamic so if you don't have much time on them, they may still change a bit. I'm not familiar with the Final tips but I find the Eq-5 slightly upper mid/lower treble prominent with the stock silicone tips which makes the bass less apparent. I think when you find the right tips, they become very slightly mid prominent (not upper, general) with the highs falling into place and nice punchy bass. Haven't heard them with complies but try some Sony Hybrids.


I burn in my balanced armature's for 50 hours and my dynamics for 100 hours. When using the Final tips I noticed no difference at all with the stock silicone tips from Ortofon. I'll update them as I listen with the stock tips, which seem to be working now.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

'Weak' is not what I would describe e-Q5 (or e-Q7 in the matter) bass response, but I guess we all have our own interpretation.


I refer weak to laid back, just another word for laid back. I'll change it if there two different things. Bass is detailed and nice, but still lacking, that's why I said weak. Can you tell me your impression of weak so I can have a better understanding? Thanks. :)

 

post #6 of 22

If someone is telling me something has a weak bass I would assume a roll off, possibly missing all the sub-bass and most of the mid-bass. I would think being weak is a step lower than being laid back. Well, that's my definition anyway and not necessary the most correct.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

If someone is telling me something has a weak bass I would assume a roll off, possibly missing all the sub-bass and most of the mid-bass. I would think being weak is a step lower than being laid back. Well, that's my definition anyway and not necessary the most correct.



Alright, I'll change that then, thanks! 

post #8 of 22

Quote:Austin Morrow


Bass lovers will definitely not enjoy the lower end frequencies, but when it comes to listening to rock metal, and any other genre that excels in high and mid range frequencies, the Ortofon e-Q5's will not disappoint.

 

 

 

Thanks for the review it's especially helpful as I'm probably going to test the e-q5 out for myself .And I'm not a rock metal Fan.Though way back when I was into a band called ' Rage against the machine' which were kind of  a pseudo rock metal pop band of sorts .

 

By reading the many many reviews I'm confident that I will not find the mids to highs lacking whilst listening with the E-q5's .Some genres of music don't make as full use of the frequency spectrum as others, your assessment may be correct in that a majority of people whom prefer the E-q5 sound signature may be either rock,jazz,classical,pop etc fans or lean towards a Mid -high Dominant I.E.M in whatever they listen too . 

 

 

 


Quote:Austin Morrow
. While bass was very laid back 

 


 

 

 ........ . 

 

 I have read quite a few reviews that give me a impression that  the e-Q5's  don't equally share the velocity between Low-mid-high. It seems the e-Q5's favor the Mids to highs just like the CK10's though not quite as aggressively .

 

Though I found on  first listening to the CK10's that these mid -high tuned I.E.M's seem to have more clarity than compared to other high end I.E.M 's .It maybe more the case that the dominant high frequency that I could hear from these I.E.M 's was sightly de sensitizing my ears to a more balanced reproduction of the overall frequency spectrum .Hence when I compared the CK10's  to the westone 3's the latter sounded  veiled . Possibly because I'd been listening too high frequency I.E.M's thus had high frequency sense  override  .

 

A bit like shinning a very bright light in your eyes . After you take the bright light from your eyes natural light seems 'dull' in comparison.Until you allow your ears to re-adjust to the natural light .Not that westone 3's are quite as close to the natural sound reproduction I'd wish for from a I.E.M .......? . That natural sound comes from just listening to instruments being played using my ears .A I.E.M or headphone will only ever be a practical substitute when the  real thing isn't readily at hand .Such is all too often the case in many cultures .

 

 

 

So ,More pronounced mids - treble is not the same as clarity . Though to some it may give them that impression especially if there sensitivity to high frequency's has been subject to sense over ride for extended periods of time by listening to I.E.M that shine the light too brightly on the high frequency range .

 

 

 

Of course Opinions on personal taste vary from person to person.One persons favorite colour is pink whilst another blue . But there are more physical characteristics we share in common than there are difference's with subjective tastes or beliefs.Though these Differences  give us our diversity and individuality lets not let them "veil" us as humans from the Transparent Truth :-) .

 

 

 

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post




 For those who love to wear there earphones over the ear, these are cross compatible, and can be worth facing down or over the ear. 

 

All that happens for me if I try and put the eq-5 cable over my ears is it springs off my ears as soon as I move frown.gif

post #10 of 22

I think the cable does it better with time, but I never really had an issue with that as long as I make sure its tight. 

 

These have nice texture, depth and decay in the bass, but I can still see some calling it "bass light" because the punch isn't that great. The bass is a bit laid back for my taste as well but nothing too bad.  

 

Austin, wow would you compare them between the A1 in terms of sound? These are said to sound very alike but what are some differences you found? Also, is there  a big isolation difference?


Edited by Inks - 5/25/11 at 2:26pm
post #11 of 22


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post







.. Unfortunately, since lower end frequencies are quite laid back with very little impact and don't produce enough power for bass lovers to fully enjoy it. Mid bass was also very good and while still not being very powerful, did in fact have a very good amount of detail and clarity. In fact, if you are a person who loves and deep and fulfilling bass, I suggest to look elsewhere, as you will not enjoy the balanced signature that these offer.
 
Thankfully, the e-Q5's make up for weak bass with excellent midrange and absolutely outstanding highs. 
 
. While bass was very laid back and not as powerful as I would have liked, the e-Q5's make up for that with very balanced sound all across the sound spectrum. Overall, the e-Q5's are a excellent set of cans and have some pretty spectacular audio quality. Bass lovers will definitely not enjoy the lower end frequencies, but when it comes to listening to rock metal, and any other genre that excels in high and mid range frequencies, the Ortofon e-Q5's will not disappoint.

Rating: 4.5/5


 

The above just about sums up the bass production of the e-Q5's .

 

Last night I was comparing them with the westone 3's . I began listening to a track full of native percussion . The bass line of these types of dance tracks  can come from the African Djun-djuns drums which produces a clear, resonant, deep bass tone & the African Djembe ,when hit in the center, which produces a clear, resonant, mid bass tone.

 

The westone 3's did a Good Job of accurately reproducing these Bass tones in relation to the whole of the spectrum .The deep resonating bass that underpins these style of music sounded organic and powerful as it naturally does .I  play a Djembe, so I know how they naturally sound .

 

When I listened to the same track on the e-Q5's the Rhythms nature has been slightly altered.Like the velocity of the percussion playing in the mid-high frequency spectrum had increased  . The Djembe's slap ,produced when the drum is Hit on the edge, was now most prominent .So much so that after a while most of my attention was being drawn towards the mid-high frequencies that these slaps were in along with some snares .

 

 

 

Quote:
. While bass was very laid back and not as powerful as I would have liked, the e-Q5's make up for that with very balanced sound all across the sound spectrum

 

I Disagree! if the lower bass regions are lacking no amount of brightness will make up for that unbalance.

 

 

 

Quote:
Bass lovers will definitely not enjoy the lower end frequencies, but when it comes to listening to rock metal, and any other genre that excels in high and mid range frequencies, the Ortofon e-Q5's will not disappoint.

 

I Agree! if you listen mainly to genres of music that usually lack the lower end frequencies you won't know what your missing .

 

 

 

Though for the price, they don't even have a case. And the rubber cables just stick out of the end of the I.E.M waiting to be snagged on something .you can wear then down in which case the weight of the cable can pull at the I.E.M's.And when you turn your head the I.E.M  gets slightly tugged .also wearing them down the micro-phonics are audible at all but loud volumes .

 

Some people have wrote they wear them over the ears . Though as can been seem by pictures the cables aren't really angled well for this and there is no cable adjuster to fit them snugly . So I'm guessing the actual weight of the cable pulling down on the ears is what keeps the cable in place.

 

 

To sum up the SQ of the eq-5's . eXcellent in the mid lows , mids and highs. Undermined by a weak  laid back sub bass blink.gif .

 

IMO or this is what I hear to be a matter of physical fact.


Edited by ib1dance - 5/26/11 at 8:17am
post #12 of 22


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

 but I can still see some calling it "bass light" .


Isn't that a contradiction !.Not you Inks the term "bass light". Bass and light rolleyes.gif   Good job they haven't got a heavy Treble or the audio world would be turned upside down hehe .

post #13 of 22

I would say the focus is not the bass with the e-Q5.  To many, they will more readily notice the mids and highs, so bass light is acceptable, although this is a minimal level of lightness.  Versus the e-Q7, the e-Q5 is a bit more high frequency focused.  The e-Q7 sounds a lot warmer and bassier, thicker and fuller too.  On a grand scale, they aren't a lot different, but relative to each other, they vary a bit in gearing.  The e-Q7 is low frequency dominant, bottom end notes are easier to distinguish, and extension is noticeable all the way down.  The e-Q5 is more mid and high frequency focused with the bass sounding just a hair light in the overall mix, and there is less sense of that very bottom end heft and fullness.  Extension is still good, but the presence isn't all that noticeable on the bottom end.  Where bass is the forefront of the e-Q7, bass takes a back seat with the e-Q5.  Some might take this as a frequency response difference.  In part, it is a tiny bit.  However, the response differences between the e-Q5 and e-Q7 are a couple dB at best.  More so, it's how the note is presented that is influencing why the e-Q5 sounds bass light.  The e-Q5 is short and clean, crisp, and energetic.  This brings forth improved high frequency presence and detail versus the e-Q7.  In comparison, the e-Q7 sounds thicker, smoother, softer up top.  One could say the e-Q5 offers a touch more clarity and brings out some of that sparkle and bite on the top end that some people wanted from the e-Q7.  At the same time, the note thins out which does end up detering from the lower frequencies.  The e-Q7 is fuller, punchier, more robust on the low end than the e-Q5.  The e-Q7 is more natural in the lower frequencies while the e-Q5 comes across slightly lean.  Bottom end notes with the e-Q7 are  more meaningful, have more heft, and come forth better in the overall mix.  Overall, I see the e-Q7 as a little more natural than the e-Q5.  The e-Q5 isn't a big deviation from the e-Q7 really, but it is tilted enough towards the high end to make people notice the low end isn't quite as fully represented as they may like.

post #14 of 22

 And it shouldn't be either .

 


A well balanced I.E.M should not be focused on the bass ,mids or highs . But equally represent them all in the context of the original music . Just like with well balanced monitor headphones no part of the spectrum has dominance . For me this makes listening to music more pleasurable .Unlike the e-Q5 , on some tracks I had to keep concentration entirely on the bass to re-adjust for the I.E.M's lack of a sub bass frequencies . I sincerely doubt this sub bass presence is in the e-Q7's .

 

Monitor headphones should allow you to pick & choose either to focusing on a individual instrument or instruments within a certain freq band.Or just open up your ears and let the whole of the music blend together . 

 

This is the character I want in a I.E.M . Westone 3 is  Good(But music lovers always want more musicality :-) ) So I'm researching if there is better . 

 

So far whilst testing the ck10's and eq-5's, I haven't heard a better I.E.M. .Just I.E.M's  which have lean more towards the mids to highs which makes them sound brighter which isn't a better SQ.In fact they do not accurately re-produce many percussive genre of music only the music which suits there signature . Mid to high like electric guitars and such .

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

I would say the focus is not the bass with the e-Q5.  

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

DSC02815.JPG

 

The Ortofon e-Q5 was a very uber popular headphone for a short period time, that is until bigger and better IEM’s took the market by storm, like the Westone 4 and the Earsonics SM3. While I may be a little late to the party when it comes to auditioning these little marvels, this will definitely be sticking in my book for a very, very ling time, as they are one of the most unique and beautifully tuned IEM’s I have ever in my short lifetime.

 

The Design

Unlike the Westone 4’s or the Earsonics SM3, which use an all plastic body, the Ortofon e-Q5’s have a very pristine aluminum housing that not only manages to look very modern and sleek, but it is also one of the most durable IEM’s on the market. The cylindrical housings on the e-Q5’s have an almost futuristic look to them and manage to prevent scratching and dings, even after a harsh fall to concrete, in which I was very surprised. Just don’t take these in the pool, and you should be just fine with them. Now, there is one of aspect of the e-Q5’s that fails to me impress me at all, and that’s the cable coupling. While the rubber coating has a much better strain relief over the e-Q7’s lower cable, the e-Q5’s are a lot more tangle prone and is quite susceptible to scratches and tears. To me it confuses me that Ortofon would combine the ultra durability of aluminum with the tenderness and fragile-ness of a slim rubber cable, when a kevlar reinforced or even a sheath coated one would have sufficed much more.

 

Comfort & Fit

The cylindrical design is unique, that’s for sure, and some would think that there may be problems when it comes to these aspects, and it’s actually quite the opposite. While the e-Q5’s are certainly not as comfortable as the likes of the Radius HP-TWF21R (the infamous half in ear, half out of ear IEM), they offer as good, and if not better, isolation than the Westone 4, Earsonics SM3, and Final Audio Design Heaven series. Ear fatigue is almost nonexistent as these nearly fade away in your ears just as high quality chocolate give you that melt in your mouth feel and taste.

 

Sound Impressions

The e-Q5 gives off a very spacious vibe and presents in it in a manner that excites me more than any other top tiered IEM I have tried. While not as wide as the e-Q7, the e-Q5 is more spacious, deep, and gives off better transparency all throughout. The highs are more extensive, sparkly, and forward, with the e-Q7 being more laid back, smooth, and warm sounding. When compare to the W4 and the ESM3, the e-Q5 just can’t compete, as those higher end IEM’s have better extension, are a bit brighter, and have much better micro detail retrieval. The mids of the e-Q5 mimic the e-Q7, are a tad less forward, a bit less sweet, but more full bodied. The e-Q7 was known for acoustics, and Ortofon has tweaked the driver ever so slightly to recess to the vocals slightly, but still keep fantastic clarity.

 

The low end is more prominent than the e-Q7, has more rumble, and is a tad bit deeper, especially when amped with a decent portable amp like the SoundMagic A10 when bass boost is turned on. Let’s say you were to have the e-Q5 and the Radius HP-TWF21R on hand. They would sound pretty different, and the HP-TWF21R, while definitely taking the prized possession in terms of low end sonic precision, would definitely have a rival in terms of bass body when the e-Q5 is properly driven and amped.

 

Final Thoughts

The Ortofon e-Q5 sells at an MSRP of $349, which is $30 less than it’s older brother. For $30 less you get more extended treble, less silky mids, and more bass body. In my opinion, that makes for a much better IEM. Here is a quick tip though, if your are in the market for the e-Q5’s, hit up Wicked Digital, as they are holding a sale were you can get the e-Q5’s for $249 (no promoting by me) on their website. The link for the e-Q5 will be at the bottom.

 

Ortofon e-Q5 @Wicked Digital


Edited by Austin Morrow - 12/22/11 at 8:00pm
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