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Ath-m50 vs IEM's

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I need some cans that isolate sound for portable use but still sound great.

 

I know this gets asked alot but; what's the difference in sound quality between something like the ath-m50's or shure 840's and say the shure- 425 or the etymotic er-4p?

 

I know isolation is better on iem's and sound stage is better on full size ones but as a general rule which are going to sound better?

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJguitar View Post

I need some cans that isolate sound for portable use but still sound great.

 

I know this gets asked alot but; what's the difference in sound quality between something like the ath-m50's or shure 840's and say the shure- 425 or the etymotic er-4p?

 

I know isolation is better on iem's and sound stage is better on full size ones but as a general rule which are going to sound better?



Full-sized cans will reproduce much higher-quality bass than IEMs of equal price, mids tend to also be in favor of large cans. Treble is comparable, some cans/IEMs have darker sounding treble, others sparkly. Also instrument separation tends to be overwhelmingly better in the cheapest cans compared to the priciest IEMs simply due to the difference in audio conduction.

 

It makes sense too, earbuds/IEMs are all for portability and sometimes very high-quality monitoring of treble details (due to the sound source being so intimate to your ears). If they sound just as good as a whole as cans several hundred times their size and weight, no one would get cans any more.

post #3 of 3

I tend to agree with the former member in general.

 

To add an example, I own both ATH-M50 and Shure SE530 IEMs. The M50 have better bass and more extended treble. The SE530 are somewhat warmer, less treble, never fatiguing. The M50 can be, if the sound quality of the original recording is bad (waveform compression in remastered cds mainly). 

 

The SE530 are what I use during plane travels all the time. They are lighter, smaller and, above all, isolate much better. I can hardly hear the drone when no music is being played.

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