Well, I ain't no Shure fan either.
- productEarSonics SM3 Universal Fit IEMtagged by System, 7/27/11
- productEtymotic Research ER4S MicroPro Reference Earphonestagged by System, 7/27/11
- productGrado GR10 In-ear Headphonestagged by System, 7/27/11
- productGrado GR8 In-Ear Headphonestagged by System, 7/27/11
- categoryIn Eartagged by System, 7/27/11
- productKlipsch Image X10 Noise-Isolating Earphonetagged by System, 7/27/11
- productShure SE530 Sound Isolating Earphonestagged by System, 7/27/11
- productSony MDR EX600tagged by System, 7/27/11
- productUltimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro Earphones (Clear)tagged by System, 7/27/11
- productVSONIC GR07tagged by System, 7/27/11More
- productWestone UM3xtagged by System, 7/27/11
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Are We At The End Of The Line For IEM SQ Improvements? - Page 3post #31 of 487/27/11 at 9:04am
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #32 of 487/27/11 at 9:11am
Wow, very subjective indeed on all fronts. I lean more with Anax in not being a huge fan of the TF10, And agreed that the mids sucks. I thought vocals were the most unnatural sounding out of any IEM I've ever heard. Now, I do agree that the TF10 was quite decent with jazz (instrumental music where there weren't ANY vocals). But while not sounding bad with jazz, I thought many other IEMs sounded much better than the TF10 (pretty much all of those listed in my signature).post #33 of 487/27/11 at 9:11am
Not to belittle your question, but similar inquiries have been made in regards to almost every aspect of consumer electronics from tv's to computers to cellphones. Technology is constantly evolving with human needs and in some cases shaping the direction of these needs (who would have thought in 1999 that someone would need a touch screen phone with a full browser). It is hard/impossible to tell where this is going except that it will improve. Perhaps better materials will come out for dynamic drivers ( i think the sony ex1000 uses some new type of material but don't quote me on that) and, as tronz mentioned, crossover implementation for BA's will probably be the next big focus as with the jh3a. I am excited to see if new types of drivers are created (an iem with electrostat drivers!? sounds insane but maybe...) and even more than that, I am excited to see prices for these technologies continue to fall :)post #34 of 487/27/11 at 9:15amQuote:Originally Posted by Anaxilus
Couple things. I really don't see the TF10 as a bargain for its sound. Sure it goes on a blowout sale once a year but it's still pretty pricey. You've got $100-$150 IEMs that can punch at it's weight class or better. The biggest flaws of the TF10 are fit and mids. Two huge problems to have if you want to reign in the top teir. They really have some of the most lackluster mids I've heard especially at the price. I also have it on good authority the TF10 is not a true JH piece. Sure he conceptualized the phone but never did anything further than that once Logitech got involved. The complete design and implementation is basically Logitech through and through. I also think the bass sucks tbh. Fat, one note bass, bland and boring. No natural dynamics at all. A good example of why I disliked BA's for so long. The fact that the sample I heard had a ringing in the right treble driver I could reproduce 100% of the time also didn't inspire confidence for me. Unless you are really enamored w/ it's SS it doesn't keep up w/ the Joneses for me. This is all subjective of course.
Dear Mr Anaxilus,
That was quite a response!
While I don't have the 'insider' information you seem to have, I have to wonder whether your statements re Jerry Harvey's involvement in the final TF10 product are accurate. The TF10 has been around for quite a while, way before JH parted ways with UE/Logitech. But even if you're right about JH's involvement in the final product, I still think the TF10 is a great IEM. As you well know our views may differ depending on the fit we get - the TF10s, unfortunately, are infamous - and quite rightly so - for their fit issues/form factor and I was 'lucky' to get a fairly decent fit and seal.
Granted, the mids are not the best out there - and I suppose you could say I'm a 'mids-head' - but even though mids were a little recessed on the TF10, they were still 'articulate', or for lack of a better word, they were quite passable. And while the bass is not, to these ears, EX1000/W4/UM3X-bass quality, there was something about the whole sound presentation of the TF10s that I found surprisingly good. Yes, surprisingly, because when I owned them, I didn't expect them to be that good. Still, the UM3X (at the time) was ultimately more convincing, but I was quite puzzled at the time how Jerry Harvey (or whoever it was that managed to design the TF10) had managed to create such pleasing sound signature that was not only enjoyable but top-tier in my book.
That said, the EX1000 & 7550 are clearly a step up SQ-wise and, to a lesser extent, so are the EX600, W4, UM3X. Of all universals I've heard the TF10 occupies a very honourable 5th position right now, but only 4 months ago (Feb 2011) they were the second best universal I'd heard after the UM3X.
Edited by music_4321 - 7/27/11 at 9:19ampost #35 of 487/27/11 at 9:19ampost #36 of 487/27/11 at 9:20am
Well I mean balanced armatures are a relatively new technology, correct? I would think improvements are going to keep coming, it'll just take more time since you're trying to squeeze so much SQ from such a small devicepost #37 of 487/27/11 at 9:24ampost #38 of 487/27/11 at 9:25am
Hmm, then maybe balanced armatures have reached their peak performance. In uper uper tier IEMs manufactures seem to be stuffing as many drivers in as possible.post #39 of 487/27/11 at 9:26am
With Shure, the best thing about their IEMs have been the mids (the ones I've heard anyway). I think only two universals have come close to getting mostly everything right for what I require in a sound signature: GR07 and Sony EX600. This doesn't mean they"re favorite universal (or not). Next would be the FX700 and SM2. The following is what I would need from each one to be my absolute favorite:
GR07 - Slacking just a little bit for me on strings. Would like to hear them broader, and a bit tighter focus on acoustic guitar. Everything else (piano, electric guitar, bass and especially drums) sound marvelous to my ears).
EX600 - If the bass was about two notches deeper in quantity these would be perfect. I would also want a little bit more life in the electric guitars, but can live with it as it is. Everything else sounds wonderful to my ears.
FX700 - It would be perfect if the mids were forward by about two notches, and the bass was tamed about a half a notch or so. Really my only complaints (I don't care about the isolation).
SM2 - Good quantity in bass, but could be tightened up some. I would require a touch bit more details in the mids (maybe up by a notch), but those are okay otherwise. Treble can be a little bit more extended, but not by much.post #40 of 487/27/11 at 9:28ampost #41 of 487/27/11 at 9:45amQuote:
Well I am too @ Anax, but I did say it's slacking (or lacking) a bit for me in acoustic guitar and string instruments (such as violin and cello). But drums are another story! in universals, the best drums i've heard were in the FX700 and (mid-drums and percussion) e-Q7. The GR07 is like a hybrid of those two IEMs to my ears for drums. GR07 produces some of the most natural sounding drums I've heard in an IEM with the right timbre. So it must be something about that driver and the special multi-layered bio-cellulose diaphragm that is so agreeable to my ears.post #42 of 487/27/11 at 10:14amThread Starter
As far as TF10 versus UM3X, I love UM3X because of the best in class instrument separation and texture as well as the viciseral weight while still being considered balanced. But I love TF10 because of the more open and spacious sound with a slightly brighter presentation.post #43 of 487/27/11 at 3:07pm
UM3X is better than the TF10 in my opinion, the UM2 is already better if you're comparing the two.
The TF10 is my favorite IEM at it's current price level, not only do they sound awesome, but they are very receptive to cable upgrades. I prefer them to the SE530/535 series of IEM's since the treble extends a little further. A lot of other people did back in the day. The TF.10 appreciation thread is QUITE long as well.
That being said, I've always wanted to try the Grado IEM's.post #44 of 487/27/11 at 7:58pmThread Starter
If UM3X were just a pinch brighter and the soundstage a little larger I would consider it a "perfect" IEM. Couldn't begin to pick out any other faults with it. And quite frankly, they are not faults. Westone purposely made it sound the way it does since it is a stage monitor. Talk about achieving their goal. Well engineered piece of audio equip.post #45 of 487/28/11 at 10:45amQuote:Originally Posted by Spyro
If UM3X were just a pinch brighter and the soundstage a little larger I would consider it a "perfect" IEM. Couldn't begin to pick out any other faults with it. And quite frankly, they are not faults. Westone purposely made it sound the way it does since it is a stage monitor. Talk about achieving their goal. Well engineered piece of audio equip.
I have good news my friend, according to your preferences, the perfect IEM is the Westone ES5.
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- Are We At The End Of The Line For IEM SQ Improvements?
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