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Cardas Earbud / Hearing Aid Project (aka Cardas Mirrors) - Page 6

post #76 of 87
12 hrs of listening in various environments and the only difference has been with the Comply's which I enjoy MUCH more than the duel flange tips that came with them. There is a major change in sound dynamics in relationship to insertion depth the bass reminds me of a loudness switch when inserted deep as they are pulled back the bass recedes and the mids and treble become more prevalent my personal preference is deep insertion After a few more hours I will compare these to price equivalent Heir 350 czars which I also enjoy and have used for nearly 1 year I don't think it would be fair to compare them tell 24 hrs of burn in on the Cardas . I apologize for not having the ability to photograph my rig but if interested I would be happy to keep you posted as to if the burn in opens up the sound as has been suggested I've really enjoyed the Cardas warm sound signature
post #77 of 87

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post #78 of 87
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Edited by audionewbi - 8/1/13 at 12:34am
post #79 of 87

any updates or impressions anyone? 

post #80 of 87
I am very intrigued by these, I am hoping for more impressions/reviews. Especially against others in this price range, like RE 600 and the upcoming VSD 7 or 9...
post #81 of 87

Mine arrived last Weds.  Some first thoughts: the sound's just not good out of the box.  I'm hoping the 72 hours I left them cranking in my office at work this weekend will have done something.  By "not good" I'd say (again, out of the box) muffled, muddy, not just treble roll-off but really like anemic treble.  

 

A few other impressions given that the sound may very well open up with time.  I find these to be odd in that they seem almost uniquely unsuited for what I initially hoped to use them for.  Intended use: on the go (iPad Mini-->CCK-->ALO Audio Int'l DAC/AMP-->EM5813s).  

 

Here are the issues I've had on the go in NYC, which may be a different flavor of 'on the go' than other places, not sure:

1. Isolation is relatively non-existent for an in-ear thanks to the vent on these.  Perhaps that's a tradeoff to give it the more open sound it's alleged to have, or maybe to give your ear canal a break as you're getting an otherwise tight seal.  In practice it's like having a semi-open headphone.  Doesn't work for me on the subway--too noisy.  Doesn't work on the street--has an amplifying effect on any wind/breeze.

2. speaking of microphonics, the cable is a nightmare, easily the noisiest of any ear/headphone I've experienced $9 to $900.  Breathing makes enough movement that the cable rubbing against itself is loud.  I haven't figured out a trick to get the cord over my ears, seems like it would really help but thus far can't get them to stay.  

3. speaking of the cable, it's extremely heavy; the earpieces themselves, being large-ish and metal, are heavy.  it's hard to get them to stay in your ears, and when you do you feel the downward pull.  the only thing that's been a help has been to tuck the cable in near my neck under a backpack strap--relieves the weight and some of the cable microphonics.  but then if I move my head suddenly i pull on it, they pop out of my ear.

 

So basically I bought IEMs that sound bad at first, that I can't use on the subway or outside, or moving pretty much, that have trouble staying put, and whose cable while I'm sure quite good sounding defeats the point of sounding so good by creating massive amounts of noise.  At least they don't tangle.

 

Not too encouraged so far!  That's why I had no problem leaving them burning in at work over the weekend.

Any tips, anyone?

post #82 of 87

I'm unsure how well they work with an over-ear insertion, but try that.  It should allow for more stability and microphonics generally. 

post #83 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydavid View Post
.... 

 

So basically I bought IEMs that sound bad at first, that I can't use on the subway or outside, or moving pretty much, that have trouble staying put, and whose cable while I'm sure quite good sounding defeats the point of sounding so good by creating massive amounts of noise.  At least they don't tangle.

....

Just a little update since I had a lot of negatives the first few days.  Been burning these (and my ears) in fairly aggressively, and I have to say they sound lovelier by the day.  Compared to other in-ears I'd say these feel a bit like going to open-back headphones from closed-back for the first time.  There is a sense of air starting to come through, and a lovely smoothness all throughout.  I'm sure there are more rewards to come as the burn-in continues (the instructions say hundreds of hours[!]), but on the current flight plan these are on I'm sure they'll live up to the many great reviews I read.

 

My issues with true portability, however, persist.  For me these may end up being an office earphone--when I'm not on the move but looking not to make noise.  The lack of isolation from outside is still a deal breaker while commuting etc.  

 

Anyway, sounding great already and better each day.

post #84 of 87
Very interesting to hear of your experience of burning these in. Helps to explain the split on the forum about these.

I'm just waiting to receive my pair, as a contrast to ER-4's. I had been planning to see if I could find a triple flange tip or DIY custom mold for better insulation - but from what you say these are not closed so there is little point ?
post #85 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

I'm unsure how well they work with an over-ear insertion, but try that.  It should allow for more stability and microphonics generally. 

I have always used mine "over-ear". They stay firmly in place and the weight of the cable disappears.
post #86 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojtek View Post

Very interesting to hear of your experience of burning these in. Helps to explain the split on the forum about these.

I'm just waiting to receive my pair, as a contrast to ER-4's. I had been planning to see if I could find a triple flange tip or DIY custom mold for better insulation - but from what you say these are not closed so there is little point ?

 

They have what appears to be a small pinhole on the end which is what makes them an open IEM.  The hole is tiny, so isolation should actually still be very good in contrast to a closed IEM (it won't be as good as a closed, but should be relatively close).  I would recommend foam tips if you want isolation.  Even Etymotic says that their triple-flange tips have nothing on a foam-based one. 

post #87 of 87
Thanks Tinyman,

Having received them, it has been an interesting few days. These are definitely picky. Deep insertion into the ear like etymotics just doesn't work - the sound is dark and bloomy. For me they take a little bit of tweaking and sit further out of my ear than I am used to (with etymotics you insert them in as far as possible for a tight, earplug-like seal).

And there is a lot of 'cognitive burn-in'.

The treble sounds way too attenuated on first listen. But listening for several hours you start to note that actually you hear the jangling of the guitar strings, the resonance of the wooden body of a cello, within that reduced range of upper extension, once you get a feel for how they like to sit. And then they start to present you with a musical experience, which as others have noted, is much more like listening to loudspeakers even if through a valve/warmish setup. I still think the treble is quite rolled off for my taste, but actually it is a very convincing musical experience that makes me feel that the etymotics are bit more hyper-real in their depiction of detail. Don;'t get me wrong, I'll not be getting rid of the ety's, but these are a compelling contrast. My only other experience is with headphones ( I was hoping these would sound like Grado SR/RS's, but they lack the sparkling treble), so I cannot place the Cardas in the context of other iem's. But honestly, I get weird flashbacks of sitting at friend's , listening to his EAR/Yoshino vinyl set up ( I'm not saying these are anything like that good - just that they are evocative of that different sound; memory can be very kind to details).

I am picking up an Apogee One (mac version) which struck me as a good iphone 5 option for a clean and detailed DAC/amp that should partner these phones. And given Tinyman's comments, it may yet be worth trying a home-made custom mold for these, even though I suspect that may make the bass bloom too much.

By the way, I must say I really like the build of these. It does have the feel of a 'Mk I' product, eg. the unlined leather pouch leaves small grey flecks on your tips, should have been lined, or made of a more inert material. Someone else mentioned the driver bending/distorting on insertion - I can hear a 'crinkle' sound on inserting them sometimes which I suspect is this, time will tell if it is of significance. But the heavy cable and copper body have an appealing solidity, which I suspect may have something to do with evoking the world of hifi which is about reassuringly big heavy plinths and equisitely machined tone-arms. In any case, I have found that the y-splitter sits nicely on top of my jacket zipper without using the clip, and I dont get any more microphonics than with the ety er-4pt. Definitely less sound isolation, but Edinburgh is a lot less hectic than NYC, where one previous headfier had issues with commuting noise. The tiny pinhole port at the back does mean you hear the wind whistling when it is up though.

Overall, I am reassured that the industry reviews were not a total insider hype job, but I am surprised they did not emphasise their maverick love-it/hate-it nature. A niche product, but really worth trying. I haven't made up my mind, but really looking forward to listening to a lot more music through these.

And that, after all, is very much the point.
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