Which Etymotic IEM is that?
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[Review] Brainwavz HM5, A New Neutral Champ - Page 26post #376 of 16801/5/12 at 7:31pmpost #377 of 16801/5/12 at 8:10pmQuote:
Before today I could never even find them on amazon, but they're there now, looks like there's three left. I had debated paying more and getting the fischer fa-003 for the felt pads, but decided to order these once I saw them on amazon. Can't wait to get them.post #378 of 16801/5/12 at 8:13pm
I have the HF3 which is the same musically as the HF5 and HF2. I LOVE the mids and treble but do have to admit I occasionaly miss the bass. These HM5 gives me back my bass and most of the treble and midrange detail. The HM5 is more balanced though because of the added bass and not as forward a midrange.
I have the custom ACS tips coming for my Ety's though so hopefully they give a bit more bass, more comfort and probably even more isolation which is another area the Ety's excel at.post #379 of 16801/5/12 at 8:32pmThread StarterQuote:Originally Posted by dweaver
OK my pair arrived this afternoon and I have been having a listen for a little over an hour. So here's some first impressions.
- They squeeze quite a bit out of the box but are already getting comfortable. I wear glasses and they have not bothered me like most isolating headphones I have owned.
- Excellent isolation, I am thinking I will even try these on the train tomorrow (I don't care if I look like a geek because I am one :-))
- The sound stage is VERY GOOD and definitely feels like an open headphone without the associated sound leakage associated with that style of headphone. I also think these have above average imaging and instrument placement.
- Out of the box I do not feel the bass is bloated in any way. Someone suggested these were like the AD900 with the bass done right and I have to say I agree with that sentiment completely, except I also like the midrange and treble better as well.
- Excellent midrange with lots of detail, not quite as much as my Etymotic IEM's but then again they don't have the bass to compete with like these. (Note this does not mean the bass is impeding the HM5 other than it's present which the Ety's are known to be lacking in).
- The treble seems to be lacking extension a bit but is still sounding very good. There is no pingy or tinniness to instruments like cymbals and my experience with headphones suggests this area will likely improve over time but is usually the slowest to come to fruition.
- I think these are definitely going to be one of the best full size headphones I have owned with only the Denon D7000 being better and the Denon's were only better in the areas they exceled at. (BTW I sold my D7000 for economic reasons just before ordering these so I won't be doing a direct comparison). So that means I think they do compete comfortably with my old HD600 and AD900. I am going by memory on those headphones but I sold each of them for specific reasons in regards to their sound signature which I am not hearing with this headphone, so I do feel comfortable making that statement.
Ok thats enough gushing, I think my feelings are now known .
Happy listening to those who have their headphones and sweet dreams of musical bliss for those of you still waiting.
The clamp does loosen a bit over time, without loosening them over books I've found they're fine after a while.
I let my friend try them in the car and I didn't hear anything on the outside. Definitely able to be used portable.
I agree 100% with the soundstage, very nice presentation and width.
That was me that said they are basically Ad900 with better bass. Glad you also agree!
Glad you're enjoying them, especially coming from the D7000!post #380 of 16801/5/12 at 8:38pm
dweaver, if the HM5 is anything like the FA003 then they absolutely compete with the HD600 and even does it better in certain areas.
I kinda wish I could get myself to buy one of these just to try them out but I've spent enough money on this hobby lately and have a few headphones on the way so it's out of the question.post #381 of 16801/5/12 at 8:44pmI hate to say it because I don't have the D7000 here to directly compare but I think I might like their signature a bit more than the D7000 but this may be because I have grown used to my HF3 and other more neutral style products.
Btw thanks for the comments about the AD900 as that actually pushed me to buy these and you were definitely spot on the money in my opinion.
Just having a listen to New Blood by Peter Gabriel and is simply amazing, prior to these I prefered my Ety's but I think the album is better with these.post #382 of 16801/5/12 at 8:51pmHowdy Rawrster :-)
Yes I think they handily compete and in my opinion beat the HD600.
Maybe if feel like I can part with these for a couple weeks I will send them down to you so you can have a listen. I suspect they are essentially the same as the FA-003 and am glad people have some choices on an excellent headphone design. If they are not the same though IT DOES NOT MATTER as they are a great sounding headphone regardless of their lineage.post #383 of 16801/5/12 at 8:52pmQuote:
Yeah Im still deciding to get this or 003 with the velour.. and thats what giving me a hard time deciding.post #384 of 16801/5/12 at 8:53pmQuote:Originally Posted by dweaver
Howdy Rawrster :-)
Yes I think they handily compete and in my opinion beat the HD600.
Maybe if feel like I can part with these for a couple weeks I will send them down to you so you can have a listen. I suspect they are essentially the same as the FA-003 and am glad people have some choices on an excellent headphone design. If they are not the same though IT DOES NOT MATTER as they are a great sounding headphone regardless of their lineage.
Thanks but I wouldn't worry about it :) I'm very happy with my current line up and if it sounds very similar to the FA003 then there really is no point since I did own those previously and loved them but moved on to other headphones. A pair of the HM5 would be nice but I'm running out of space in my room and desk space is pretty much done.post #385 of 16801/6/12 at 3:00am
The original content of this post was a mostly quite positive review. I've deleted it and instead am posting what my later thoughts on these headphones were before I sold them, as my view had changed rather dramatically.
Edit September 13, 2012:I liked these when I first got them but over time as I listened to more and better headphones realized they are not very good. They're not all bad but I think the cons outweigh the pros. There are already enough hyped up positive comments from tons of people, so I'm just going to list what the problems were for me.Not really all that neutral. Perhaps more balanced relative to some of the wilder headphones out there and mostly non-offensive, but that's about it. Overall balance is actually a little bit on the dark side. I'm no treble head and hate any spikes in the higher frequencies, but even for me these sounded a little bit veiled and lacking clarity. The treble on its own is very smooth and had the most accurate tonality for cymbals I've heard, but the bass/lower mids are quite muddy and smeary and get in the way. There is a dip in the lower mids and then a hump in the upper bass which I think contributes to this. The muddiness sometimes creeps up into the mids as well unfortunately, because the mids are actually pretty nice. I noticed that frequency response graphs actually confirm the slightly dark balance I was hearing.The soundstage is wonky with a hollowed out center image. At first I mistook this for depth, but it's not, it's just shaped weird. Basically, things which are panned in the center sound farther away, while things which are panned in the left or right ears sound closer. Kind of like a "V-shape" where your head is staring down into the point of the V if you can imagine that. Other headphones with more evenly shaped soundstages do not do this so much. I also found these to lack punch and attack both in the bass and the mids/highs. I find too much punch to be fatiguing, but these just sounded kind of flat and boring.The other thing about these headphones is the cup sound or echo as some have called it. If you take a look at the way the cups in combination with the pads are shaped, you'll notice they form a cylindrical or tube shape. Listening to music on these headphones sounds like that--listening to music through a tube. It sounds like there is some kind of reverb added on to the music, which makes you feel you are listening inside of a cave or a subway tunnel or something. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but frankly it is pretty strange. It is less noticeable on some recordings, but on others it is very obvious and weird if you have other headphones to compare to.Also while they come with a bunch of neat accessories, the build quality is not all that great. It's not outright bad, but questionable. The sliders for adjusting the length of the headband are kind of loose and wobbly, the cups sometimes snap out of the hinges, and the headband is so rigid every time I stretched it to put these on my head it felt like it was going to snap.If you can find some rebrands of these for less than $100 and you like a slightly dark and very laid back sound, these might be decent, but overall I don't think I'd recommend them to anybody, especially if you think you're going to get a "neutral champ."
Edited by manveru - 9/13/12 at 4:11pmpost #386 of 16801/6/12 at 4:10amQuote:Originally Posted by manveru
Once again I have to ask, where are you getting this from? That description sounds a lot more like this thread, haha. I've read through the entire FA-003 thread and don't remember reading anything like what you're describing. A search of that thread for "boomy," "bloated," or "spike" turns up next to nothing. But either way, that doesn't really have anything to do with quality control. I think there was one FA-003 owner who had channel imbalance, but it turned out to be the cable or something, so I don't really think there's any quality control issues there to worry about.
I might be hallucinating, but II think all those words were used by Hanpost #387 of 16801/6/12 at 4:49am
Order placed on 29th Nov, shipped out on 16th Dec, left Singapore on 22th Dec, held by customs since 4 Jan. It's not the worst; my last mp4nation order from early last year was returned due to either laziness or rage on the part of a post office delivery guy.
This time I know where it is. Let's see if the same horrible thing will happen again. And....I'm moving out tommorrow. On the bright side, I won't damage the HM5s when moving.
Am I the last man standing?
Edited by kingpage - 1/6/12 at 4:52ampost #388 of 16801/6/12 at 5:40amQuote:Am I the last man standing?
Not if I order a pair. I just now read through this thread in its entirety. On Dec 31st I put in an order of FA-003's through *wince* GD-Audiobase, which has since had their website put back onto the interwebs. I am now wondering if I should order a pair of these headphones from somewhere else, as I am unsure if my package from Russia with Love will ever actually reach me. I still have yet to get ANY sort of confirmation from GD-Audiobase that they have confirmed my order, let alone shipped it. All I have seen is Moneybooks assuring me my money is gone. Fun times.
One question I think that deserves to be asked across all of these threads is, "If money was no object, which set of CLOSED headphones would cleanly beat the FA-003 (and its replicas) in isolation as well as sound?"
I put isolation in that question specifically as I had to return a pair of D7000's because of leakage. Has anyone here ever demo'd a pair of Ultrasone Edition 8's? How about Beyer T5P? I'm really looking to get my hands on one of the best closed headphones money can buy, but you would be surprised how many people might claim that these would give any of those sets a run for their money. I am not saying they are wrong, to be sure. I just have trouble believing that there is nothing better that can be reliably pointed to in the closed headphone market that cannot beat the FA-003 cleanly if you're willing to pay money for them. How about the flagship closed Sony headphones?
Edited by Evarin - 1/6/12 at 5:42ampost #389 of 16801/6/12 at 5:55am
I was refering to the preorder bunch....I think I might be the last guy waiting for the preorder, it seems like every one else has got theirs. It's ironic, really, because I was the first head-fier who made a thread about them to let everyone know about them.post #390 of 16801/6/12 at 6:16am
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