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Warm/Balanced IEM with Good Bass Under $200?

Poll Results: Based on my description of my preferences and intended usage, what would you recommend?

 
  • 25% (3)
    HiFiMan RE262
  • 50% (6)
    VSonic GR07
  • 0% (0)
    Numark PHX Professional
  • 8% (1)
    Audio-Technica ATH-M50
  • 8% (1)
    Other IEM
  • 8% (1)
    Other Headphone
12 Total Votes  
post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've previously owned the MEElectronics CC-51P and I really enjoyed them: the bass was extremely satisfying, the smoothness and sweetness were pleasant and the timbre was impressive for ~$100 I paid at the time.

I'm not necessarily looking for something with the same sound signature, but I'm partial to anything between warm and balanced that has bass comparable (slightly less at minimum) than the CC-51's. Bass quality is more important to me, but the quantity needs to be there. They don't need to be as mid-forward though, and I'd prefer something with a more open soundstage. I will not be using a separate amp. I don't mind a bit of equalizing, but I like to limit this to the bass and treble tone knobs in PowerAMP.

My listening will fall into these categories most of the time (in no particular order): metalcore/melodic death metal/symphonic metal, rock/alternative/jazz-rock, electronic/trance/dubstep, pop/j-pop/hip-pop/R&B, classical/instrumental/soundtrack, anime/anime soundtrack. A detailed presentation is important to me, but what really appeals to me is a realistic timbre (primarily drums and female vocals) and a natural, realistic sound. I'll generally prefer something that is forward and has more impact and 'wow' factor than something laid-back or relaxing.

After looking at a lot of reviews, I've come up with this list:

IEM's: VSonic GR07, Sony MDR-EX600, FutureSonics Atrio M5 (MG7), Radius HP-TWF11 DDM

I'm a bit worried though, as I've read that the RE262 has a 'soft' presentation and seen the GR07 described as 'boring'. I have almost no experience with headphones, aside from some gaming headsets and cheaper Sony headphones that I didn't particularly care for. I'd like some feedback and suggestions from owners of one or more of the phones listed, although I'm open to any other suggestions under $200.



Edit: VSonic GR07's on their way smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by GGXtreme - 9/14/11 at 7:16am
post #2 of 17

You should also consider the Future Sonics Atrio. They are ~$150-170 and have the most impressive bass. The sub-bass is something you will just need to experience.

 

People say they are too dark and bassy but I disagree. The mids and highs are presented very clearly and nothing is hidden and no sibilance or harshness at all! Everything sounds good with the Atrio's.

 

Read some Atrio reviews from some well-regarded head-fi members and you will see what I am talking about.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by navmau View Post

You should also consider the Future Sonics Atrio. They are ~$150-170 and have the most impressive bass. The sub-bass is something you will just need to experience.

 

People say they are too dark and bassy but I disagree. The mids and highs are presented very clearly and nothing is hidden and no sibilance or harshness at all! Everything sounds good with the Atrio's.

 

Read some Atrio reviews from some well-regarded head-fi members and you will see what I am talking about.


I did originally look at some more bass-oriented headphones, and my main concern is how natural they would sound. Even if they are detailed, do the Atrios present instruments or voices naturally and realistically? Any strengths/weakness with different instruments/drums/male vocals/female vocals you can speak of? Considering that my previous phones were a tier lower than what I'm looking at now, I don't doubt I'll be impressed, but I want something that'll keep the buyer's remorse away as long as I own them wink.gif
post #4 of 17

I just bought the MTPCs from Amazon for $189 a week ago. They're out of stock now but expect them to be back soon. Do consider those!

 

P.S New to head-fi, been a lurker for a while now but decided to finally join the community, Hi everyone! smile.gif


Edited by RealSlimSeto - 9/12/11 at 11:00pm
post #5 of 17



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGXtreme View Post



I did originally look at some more bass-oriented headphones, and my main concern is how natural they would sound. Even if they are detailed, do the Atrios present instruments or voices naturally and realistically? Any strengths/weakness with different instruments/drums/male vocals/female vocals you can speak of? Considering that my previous phones were a tier lower than what I'm looking at now, I don't doubt I'll be impressed, but I want something that'll keep the buyer's remorse away as long as I own them wink.gif


The realism of instruments and vocals is something special! I find guitars, pianos and strings in particular sound AMAZING on the Atrio's. Vocals are very life-like and natural. I find the presentation over the whole spectrum is "where it should be" e.g. if there are high notes in the track, they will come through as intended, not hidden behind the bass. These really are very true timbre IEMs.
 

 

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealSlimSeto View Post

I just bought the MTPCs from Amazon for $189 a week ago. They're out of stock now but expect them to be back soon. Do consider those!

 

P.S New to head-fi, been a lurker for a while now but decided to finally join the community, Hi everyone! smile.gif

Wow, $189 is a steal. Currently, they're still out of my price range, or I'd definitely have them in my list. And welcome to the community smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by navmau View Post



 


The realism of instruments and vocals is something special! I find guitars, pianos and strings in particular sound AMAZING on the Atrio's. Vocals are very life-like and natural. I find the presentation over the whole spectrum is "where it should be" e.g. if there are high notes in the track, they will come through as intended, not hidden behind the bass. These really are very true timbre IEMs.
 

 

That's good news. I'll add them into the running, although I'm a bit confused as to which Atrio I should be looking at. The M5 rev. 2? The M8 v1 (MG5)? The Atrio X?
post #7 of 17
Nothing boring about the GR07 in my opinion. Think of them as a cross between MTPC and a BA IEM. All for way less money than a 3 driver BA and the MTPC at regular retail.
Edited by dweaver - 9/13/11 at 5:56am
post #8 of 17

I will highely recommend the Sony EX600(uses dome type dynamic drivers) because they sound natural, clean, offers wide soundstage and bass is punchy n deep. The UE TF10Pro are also very good sounding IEMs with plenty of deep, punchy bass, overall very clear n natural sounding with wide soundstage. BTW both serve various genres equaly well and they are easy to wear(stay in outer ear)n easy to drive with above average noise cancelation.

post #9 of 17

GR07 or TF10 are my suggestions.

post #10 of 17

Sorry, going abit off topic here. But whatever happened to all the "Pro Copper Hype"? It's as if it all died off. Three months ago, MTPCs were recieving raving reviews, but now, it's just so...so and @ their MSRP, people consider them expensive. Why did everyone change opinions over the coppers?

post #11 of 17
Try the radius ddm?
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post

I will highely recommend the Sony EX600(uses dome type dynamic drivers) because they sound natural, clean, offers wide soundstage and bass is punchy n deep.


Is there much of a difference between the EX600 and the GR07? I couldn't find a direct comparison of the two.
post #13 of 17



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGXtreme View Post


That's good news. I'll add them into the running, although I'm a bit confused as to which Atrio I should be looking at. The M5 rev. 2? The M8 v1 (MG5)? The Atrio X?



Newest to Oldest Atrio's:

 

- M5 with MG7 drivers

- M5 (the M8 is just the M5 with blue casing) with MG5pro drivers

- Atrio FS1 with MG5 drivers (same drivers as the "new" Atrio X)

 

You can no longer get the Atrio FS1 (although Future Sonics were selling them for $119 a few months ago so maybe you can email them to ask if they have them and if you can get a good deal on them) and I wouldn't recommend the Atrio X due to that extremely large mic hanging on the cable!!! The MG7 drivers are the latest and will be perfect from what I gather you are after. People who really "understand" the Atrio will say they are bassy but in an extremely good way and in no way do the mids or highs get hidden behind the bass...so overall, they are excellent!

 

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by navmau View Post



 



Newest to Oldest Atrio's:

 

- M5 with MG7 drivers

- M5 (the M8 is just the M5 with blue casing) with MG5pro drivers

- Atrio FS1 with MG5 drivers (same drivers as the "new" Atrio X)

 

You can no longer get the Atrio FS1 (although Future Sonics were selling them for $119 a few months ago so maybe you can email them to ask if they have them and if you can get a good deal on them) and I wouldn't recommend the Atrio X due to that extremely large mic hanging on the cable!!! The MG7 drivers are the latest and will be perfect from what I gather you are after. People who really "understand" the Atrio will say they are bassy but in an extremely good way and in no way do the mids or highs get hidden behind the bass...so overall, they are excellent!

 


Thanks for clarifying.

The RE262 and ATH-M50 are out of the running. I've determined I can't do them justice since I will not be investing in an amp. I might drop the Numark as well, since it doesn't seem quite up there with the others.

Considering that the GR07 is highly regarded for overall sound quality (but is also a bit more expensive than, say, the Atrio), where it stands in the end depends on how it compares to the MEElectronics CC51 in terms of fowardness, musicality, 'fun'-ness and bass—a pretty hard comparison to come by. If it at least matches in all 4 or surpasses in at least the first 2, I'll seriously consider them; otherwise, they're out on factors of value and personal taste.

I've heard that the EX600 is almost identical to the GR07, but has removable cables, non-adjustable nozzles, and loses to it in fit and comfort. Since it's cheaper, I'll still consider it based on how well the GR07 stacks up.

The PFE and Radius DDM might be off my list due to availability and...well, appearance. I'll only consider them if they outperform the other phones by a noticeable margin (which doesn't seem likely).
Edited by GGXtreme - 9/14/11 at 4:29am
post #15 of 17

Our friend navmau is spot on about the Atrio G5 (mg7). As sub-bass oriented as it is, it sounds very natural.  As per my own personal recommendations, based strictly upon the universals I've owned, in particular order:

 

  • GR07: jack of all trades; unmatched price:performance ratio (with the EX600 being a close second), not good but great bass; top tier SQ that's well balanced, natural and fit for any genre
  • EX600: second best to the GR07, in terms of price:performance ratio; isolation is sub-par to average at best (varies based upon tips applied); closer to balanced than not, albeit presents with a slight treble spike; works well with any genre; again, not good but great bass
  • Atrio M5: simply unmatched eardrum shaking sub-bass, with no noticeable midrange bleed whatsoever; very well balanced with great overall treble and mid presence; fit can be a bit cumbersome owing to their rather unique design
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