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Headphone user looking to switch to IEMs, which IEM? - Page 2

post #16 of 34

ER-4S with a Sony D-11 Discman probably is going to be the best combo, no joke. With the bass boost on low, I was able to get more bass than I'd ever experienced in any headphone or IEM. All while preserving the incredible detail of the ER-4.

 

Amping the '4S with a Fiio E11 isn't a bad second choice wink.gif

post #17 of 34
I'm almost certain you want the TripleFi 10. Prepare to torture your ears because the great sound comes with the high price of discomfort!
post #18 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by some1 View Post

OK, my apologies, so to be clear, i want analytical, neautral sounding iems, but they should be able to produce sub bass, or is that too much to ask


From my experience, analytical signatures tend to be rather thin, opposed to a thicker sound that potentially masks details (to varying degrees). There is certainly an appreciable difference between dynamic and BA, especially with regards to bass, where the former more often than not conveys a thicker overall sound, with noticeably greater bass body/impact, while BA's convey bass that's lean, with better detail and clarity (again, to varying degrees). In other words, they most certainly are able to produce the low frequency notes just fine, but they're channeled more towards quality than quantity. The W4 is a prime example, with it's dual low drivers, that boast much more quality than quantity. In that regard, the W4 has no trouble producing the lower frequencies either. Nevertheless, in regards to bass, there's more heard than felt, so to speak. Though that's only in regards to what I've heard, based upon the in-ears I've owned, and may very well be contrary to what another listener hears. In any case, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the W4, which while slightly over your budget, is quite fit for what you're after IMHO.

 

I'd also strongly recommend the EX600/EX1000 (if you're willing to compromise on isolation, else SQ is just about as good as it gets), CK10 (again, no trouble producing lower frequencies, but certainly MUCH more heard than felt), and the ER4S. I'd recommend the RE252, but it's just recently been discontinued, and no longer readily available. All the best my friend! smile.gif

post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by i2ehan View Post In any case, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the W4, which while slightly over your budget, is quite fit for what you're after IMHO.
 

 

I agree. Just didn't want to be the first to say it, since I happen to be selling one.

 

post #20 of 34
I disagree with the W4 although I'm loving mine.
I noticed something that I've never read anywhere else, but it's quite apparent:

All IEMs alter the sound a little, but it's more obvious with the W4. In this case, the perceived frequency range is cramped or pushed together. The W4 can very well play a 10kHz tone but what reaches my eardrum is perceived as a much darker 7kHz tone (wild guess). The same happens on the other end. A very low 40Hz tone comes out as a brighter 60Hz tone.
Speaking sub-bass only, this means that the Westone makes you hear bass that you shouldn't be able to hear but just feel as a rumble.
This presentation is easy on the ears but not what you're looking for if you want sick sub-bass.

I still recommend you the TF10.
post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thank you all, i have quite a few leads now

post #22 of 34

While the TF10 is among my most favorite musical in-ears around, it's not by any means analytical sounding, nor is it neutral for that matter. Rather, it boasts a warm, extremely fun and musical, v-shaped signature. In my most humble opinion, as a complete package, the W4 is MUCH better fit for the OP.

post #23 of 34

Checkout the analytical thread in my sig. There's a list of neutral iems that I have gathered.

post #24 of 34

Sony EX1000 for around 300 from Amazon

post #25 of 34

When talking about bass, we have to discuss three parts: sensitivity, body, and impulse.

 

Sensitivity has to do with the earphones ability to maintain volume down into the lower octaves or does the frequency response roll off on the low end.  In order to have well represented bass, we certainly do need to retain some level of senstivity relative to the rest of the frequency spectrum or it gets overshadowed in output by higher frequencies and is lost.  So, we want good low end extension, preferably an earphone that can get down to 30Hz without issue.

 

Body has to do with note thickness and is mainly a byproduct of decay.  You could certainly relate this to how strongly damped the driver is, but it can also include motor strength.  For a solid bass note, we not only need the sensitivity there but also a good robust note, something with presence and weight, full and thick.  We want that sense of weight.

 

Impulse has to do with energy, the punch.  To feel the bass we not only want the thickness of note but also force behind it.  We want that visceral sense, the hit and impact force.

 

Good bass comes from the mix of all three of these aspects combined.  We seek extension and good decay and good driving power.

 

Now when we talk about analytical, we don't really have to correlate anything to bass operation.  I will agree that one may gear an earphone not to be analytical.  The driver might be loosely controlled and slop, bass heavy, or colored in some way that detracts from the overall balance and presentation.  When we talk about analytical, we simply seek accuracy.  We want excellent control, speed, dynamics, and balance.  These things are technically good for bass too as long as we don't go too far with something.  Now if we over damp the driver in order to keep the sound squeaky clean, we run the risk of creating a lean or weak sounding bass response where the decay ends up too short.  However, a powerful motor can create high control over doing so with high damping, plus we can often get better articulation, fine detail, and authority behind the notes doing so.  There's really just a lot of freedom to the designs that allow one ot create certain sound signatures as well as sound quality, price points, and so on.  In the end. we can certainly get something that's quite analytical and still provide excellent bass response.  There's nothing stopping anyone from doing so.

 

Do I have some suggestions?

 

Certainly, but it really depends on what you're looking for specifically.  There are a lot of options out there, so specifics are important.  Understand that any suggestion I can make without a lot of details from you about exactly what you want are quite general and open to interpretation by myself.  It's more of what I think might fit rather than what actually fits you best.

 

A first suggestion would be the FX700.  It's an earphone that offers excellent bass response both in extension and presence.  It's a touch warm overall.  The presentation is textured and very detailed and is very revealing.  For people thinking about earphones like the IE8 or MTPG, this is sort of the better choice as it simply does most things better.  It's a very likeable sound, not super aggressive, pleasant and warm, but also highly detailed and accurate.  It's a very good mix.  It's a safe bet.  Price is also in the ballpark.

 

Let you want something more studio monitor like.  Ok, the GR07 certainly fits the bill.  This is the most balanced earphone I've used to date.  It is ruler flat and evenly balanced in frequency response as well as presence.  A close second is the RE252, but the GR07 offers more bass and is a little less stark in detail.  The GR07 is clean, detailed, extremely transparent, and offers a well bodied note.  The only real shortcoming of this device is the motor is a little weak.  It's great for quiet listening, but it lacks raw power.  As a side effect, it doesn't carry some of the dynamic breadth and raw power that it should in order to be really stellar.  However, this is actually a nice trade off for some.  This lack of absolute power does tame the presentation down to a non-fatiguing level and helps make the sound signature less stark.  It allows one to listen to a highly analytical and actually reasonably aggressive earphone for hours without getting fatigued at all.  It's actually really nice in this regard.

 

What about the classic IE8?  It certainly is an excellent earphone in its own right.  The presentation is clean and detailed, powerful and articulate, and if you're worried about bass the earphone has it in spades.  It's actually a really decently balanced earphone.  The only real shortcoming from a balance standpoint is that there is a medium bass hump that's very wide, centered at 100Hz and covers all the way up to 1kHz.  It makes for a warm, bassy experience that from an analytical standpoint is just a little off.  The driver is highly capable and can get very loud.  It's power hungry though, although it doesn't sound it.  The only serious shortcomings of the IE8 is that wide bass hump which can be fixed via EQing, that the driver does end up getting a little sluggish on the top end smoothing finer details, and that while the IE8 is a big sound stage it only has a big sound stage with no sense of intimacy or layering of sounds relative to distance.  From a personal standpoint, I do kind of see the FX700 as sort of the better overall product, so despite the IE8 being good I would still suggest the FX700 as the one to ponder.

 

One of my favorite analytical earphones is the UM3X.  The speed, accuracy, texture, power, everything is really quite good.  However, this earphone has a high price for its professional stage monitor gearing.  The frequency response is crap in relation to balance.  It needs a good bit of EQing to flatten out.  However, if you do have the EQing power to flatten the response, the sound quality is stellar.  There are very few faults with this earphone outside of the starting frequency response which is bass and lower treble heavy.  It's an earphone you can do really well with if you have a 10 band graphic or highly adjustable 3 to 5 band parametric EQ to run it through.  Adjusted it's ridiculously good.  Stock, it's quite bassy, with recessed mids, and an oddly warm treble.  This is just a byproduct of its gearing as a stage monitor rather than a pesonal music device.  For consumer music, the W3 and W4 are the ones geared for this market.  Both are well liked and offer different sounds.  I have used neither, so I can't really comment on either specifically.  Westone has always offered high sound quality, but they have never really been geared as a flat sounding earphone.  They all tend to be a little colored, so plan to EQ if you actually want something analytical.

 

The Triple.Fi 10 was mentioned.  I'm actually a huge fan of this earphone as I feel it is a comprehensively good earphone.  The downside is I don't quite consider it to be analytical.  From a BA standpoint, it's thick and borderline muddy.  From a general standpoint, it's still really clean and crisp.  It's a neat mix actually.  It offer some of the better note weight as well as impact force and enegy of most any BA based earphone.  Lows are thick and weight but also with solid drive.  Highs are clean, detailed, and high energy yet still sweat.  Some consider the mids to be recessed, but it's really not that bad.actually, not as bad as other earphones that people actually complain less about.  This is another earphone that can take advantage of EQing to balance out.  The Triple.Fi 10 is one of the most mindlessly fun earphones I've used, and while colored it's quite enjoyable.  The thick note does have its shortcomings as it does lose some micro detail and texturing, but we're talking about this on a BA scale which is overall quite detailed and accurate even if thick or muddy by BA standards.

 

There's certainly a lot of other earphones out there that I am not listing.  These are just a few.  As with most products, the choice is a compromise of one sort or another.  In the end we have to pick the balance that best fits our needs and goals.  We even have to consider scale.  For example, how much bass is enough bass?  How thick a note is thick enough?  How much detail, speed, and accuracy do you seek in order to be considered acceptable by your standards?  How much do you care about overall balance and how much coloration do you like, prefer, or can stand?  What shortcomings can you live with?  What aspects do you consider a must have?  It's these things that will determine what product actually fits best.  I can ramble off stuff as I did above, but really this is just generic rambling.  In the end, it's still a matter of personal preference.

post #26 of 34
What an excellent, insightful post!
post #27 of 34

You might want to wait for the sony xba-4 to come out, dont know IEM's well but it seems like exactly what you are looking for.

post #28 of 34

What a great post, mvw2! I highly respect your opinion.

Too bad you didn't include the Westone 4.

 

I did some extensive comparing between TF10 and FX700 last week. At first I was blown away by the speed of the TF10 (coming from dynamics), but soundstage, timbre and body of the JVC was just much more appealing - especially in the even stronger recessed mids. The FX700 just feels like a well-rounded complete package - from a consumer standpoint, it lacks absolutely nothing. In comparison, the Ultimate Ears do sounded analytical and too dry.

 

For me, W4 + FX700 covers all my needs, but the TF10 is a nice balance between the two. Except that it's not an option. It's the most painful thing I ever shoved into my ears.

 

Going by your thorough explanation the Westone 4 does seem to be the best option for the TS. It's the only BA IEM I know that has great weight in the bass department.

 

Edit: Oops! I confused this thread. Nevermind my recommendation.


Edited by Ultrazino - 10/6/11 at 3:24am
post #29 of 34

One of the greatest achievements an audio device can have is not the ability to be amazing in some particular way but rather that it simply does nothing terribly wrong.  Some earphones are amazing in particular ways, but many fault seriously in some regard.  Realistically there is no perfect earphone.  They are all just a series of compromises.  In the end, it really just comes down to best fit for your personal preference.  Some of the more universally liked earphones are the ones that simply do everything quite well, and as a result they fit most people's preferences and goals well.  The FX700 is certainly one of these.  This isn't to say it's the only option out there that's like this though.  It's simply one choice, and in accordance to the interests of OP it both carries excellent bass extension and presence as well as a high level of clarity, transparency, detail, balance, and all the other things that make for a pretty accurate earphone that suits the analytical side of things.

 

I too wish I could comment on the W4, but alas I simply have never owned one.

 

The fitment of the Triple.Fi 10 is a matter of tip choice as well as getting the memory wire shaped right to position it well.  The older ones hardly came with any tips, but at leas the newer ones do come with Comply tips which helps ease fitment.  Still, it is useful to have a variety of tip options to help make a product fit well.  This also aids the performance of the product by having a good seal.  I feel the Triple.Fi 10 gets a bad rap simple from the lack of willingness to make it work.  Sure I wish Logitech provides more tip choices with the earphone.  It's certainly one that can benefit from such things.  With the large body, it's sort of ridiculous that the earphone doesn't come with bi-flange tips instead of the short single flange ones that promote the issue in the first place.

post #30 of 34


This is really, really well said. It is a rare earphone that does everything really well, and I've yet to see one that does everything excellently. Closest I've experienced is the W4. I look forward to the day when you can review it, mvw2. Your description makes me want to try the FX700.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

One of the greatest achievements an audio device can have is not the ability to be amazing in some particular way but rather that it simply does nothing terribly wrong.  Some earphones are amazing in particular ways, but many fault seriously in some regard.  Realistically there is no perfect earphone.  They are all just a series of compromises.  In the end, it really just comes down to best fit for your personal preference.  Some of the more universally liked earphones are the ones that simply do everything quite well, and as a result they fit most people's preferences and goals well.  The FX700 is certainly one of these.  This isn't to say it's the only option out there that's like this though.  It's simply one choice, and in accordance to the interests of OP it both carries excellent bass extension and presence as well as a high level of clarity, transparency, detail, balance, and all the other things that make for a pretty accurate earphone that suits the analytical side of things.

 

I too wish I could comment on the W4, but alas I simply have never owned one.

 

The fitment of the Triple.Fi 10 is a matter of tip choice as well as getting the memory wire shaped right to position it well.  The older ones hardly came with any tips, but at leas the newer ones do come with Comply tips which helps ease fitment.  Still, it is useful to have a variety of tip options to help make a product fit well.  This also aids the performance of the product by having a good seal.  I feel the Triple.Fi 10 gets a bad rap simple from the lack of willingness to make it work.  Sure I wish Logitech provides more tip choices with the earphone.  It's certainly one that can benefit from such things.  With the large body, it's sort of ridiculous that the earphone doesn't come with bi-flange tips instead of the short single flange ones that promote the issue in the first place.



 

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