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post #7771 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by mugen3 View Post

Ds, I'm already on it. Been using the Sony Hybrids with my CKN70s and the sound is definitely better. Now get ready for a long post guys. It's time to compare my CKN70s with my Sonys.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

Now I know why I thought the CKN70s could be my new favorite IEMs. They sound a lot like my current fave XBA-30s. Both have a similar balanced presentation and complement each other well. The Sonys show their armature side and sound like a relaxed, cleaner, and smoother version of the ATs.

 

The bass on the XBA-30s is flawless. It is as complete a bass I could ever ask for. Body, texture, impact, fullness, they have it all and excel at every aspect of bass. However, the CKN70s have managed to blow my mind with the same level of bass. If the CKN70s are dynamics with armature-like speed and control to the bass, the XBA-30 are armatures with dynamic-like fullness and decay. Both have bass that reminds me of moving armatures like the e-Q5, which combines the best qualities of dynamics and BA in its tech and sounds effortless. Ultimately though, neither the Sonys or ATs stray too far from their tech roots, and only edge each other out in the areas they should. The bass on the ATs has slightly better punch and decay, while the Sonys bass is more surgically precise and clean.

 

The mids on the XBA-30s are sweet and full like the CKN70s with a touch more clarity and liquid smoothness. Vocals are isolated nice and clear and sound sublime. I feel like I'm in the same room with the singer. The Sonys are just absolutely perfect with music that focuses on the mids. In comparison, the CKN70s mids are slightly drier and more intimate. I do enjoy rock with the AT's a little more. Their extra punch and decay beefs up the drums, and guitars have more presence, with more crunch and better reverb.

 

The biggest difference between the two is in the highs. The XBA-30s have a lighter note and are more delicate sounding. Their highs will never draw your focus from the mids or bass, and just perfectly complements them in the music. Sibilance and fatigue is nonexistent. Don't think for a second that the Sonys are recessed or laid back, though. The highs are in line with the rest of the music, they just exhibit incredible control and smoothness. The extension and detail is all there and easily seen, if you bother looking. On the other hand, the highs on the CKN70s are forward with great energy and crispness, and will not be ignored. Cymbals sound amazing with an effortless airy shimmer and crash. The ATs are more in your face and exciting, a nice contrast to the Sonys. They can be a little sibilant and overwhelming if the recording is bad, though.

 

The stage on the CKN70s is quite a bit larger than the XBA-30s, it is wider and deeper. The ATs have the edge in live music as the larger stage gives them a more airy outdoor sound. Both have pinpoint imaging that gives a holographic effect to the sound. The XBA-30s have a darker background and are a bit clearer and more precise.
Both of these IEMs are incredible and I can't say which one is better than the other. My general preference is more in line with the Sonys, but the ATs sound impeccable and I like them better for some genres.

 

 

I'm just glad and lucky to have both of these as my final IEMs.

 

Thanks for the comparison/review. We'll see how long that final sentence lasts beerchug.gif

post #7772 of 27040
I think I already called you a lucky punk, so no harm in doing it again ;-)

Great comparison... they are both winners!
post #7773 of 27040

Thanks guys, I was happy to write it up. The XBA-30s and CKN70s are on another level compared to the other stuff I've heard. I'm going to shift my focus on getting a new DAC or a full-size. I don't need to waste time trying to find better IEMs than these two. Cause I know I won't. Not without destroying my wallet.


Edited by mugen3 - 3/3/13 at 12:22am
post #7774 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by mugen3 View Post

Ds, I'm already on it. Been using the Sony Hybrids with my CKN70s and the sound is definitely better. Now, get ready for a long post guys. It's time to compare the CKN70s with my Sony XBA-30s.

 

Now I know why I thought the CKN70s could be my new favorite IEMs. They sound a lot like my current fave XBA-30s. Both have a similar balanced presentation and complement each other well. The Sonys show their armature side and sound like a relaxed, cleaner, and smoother version of the ATs.

 

The bass on the XBA-30s is flawless. It is as complete a bass I could ever ask for. Body, texture, impact, fullness, they have it all and excel at every aspect of bass. However, the CKN70s have managed to blow my mind with the same level of bass quality. The CKN70s are dynamics with armature-like speed and control to the bass. The XBA-30s are armatures with dynamic-like fullness and decay. Both have bass that reminds me of moving armatures like the e-Q5, which combines the best qualities of dynamics and BA in its tech and sounds effortless. Ultimately though, neither one strays too far from its tech roots, and they edge each other out in the areas they should. The bass on the ATs has slightly bigger punch and decay, while the Sonys bass is more surgically precise and defined.

 

The mids on the XBA-30s are sweet and full like the CKN70s with a touch more clarity and liquid smoothness. Vocals are isolated nice and clear and sound sublime. I feel like I'm in the same room with the singer, it is that clear. The Sonys are absolutely perfect with music that focuses on the mids. Strings sound amazing on both. The CKN70s are slightly drier and more upfront. I do enjoy rock with the AT's a little more. Their extra punch and decay beefs up the drums, and guitars have more presence on the stage, with bigger crunch and stronger distortion.

 

The biggest difference between the two is in the highs. The XBA-30s have a lighter note and are more delicate sounding. Their highs will never steal your focus from the mids or bass, and just perfectly complements them in the music. Sibilance and fatigue is nonexistent. Don't think for a second that the Sonys are recessed or laid back, though. The highs are in line with the rest of the music, they just exhibit incredible control and smoothness. The extension and detail is all there and can be easily found, if you bother looking. On the other hand, the highs on the CKN70s are forward with great energy and crispness. Notes have an effortless snap to them, and cymbals sound fantastic, airy and shimmering. The ATs are in your face and exciting, a nice change to the Sonys.

 

The stage on the XBA-30s is wide and spacious, with great height and depth. However, the CKN70s sound even larger. I think AT added a new air chamber at the back of the aluminum body. These have a sound that is even wider and deeper than my Sonys. The ATs have this amazingly real airy outdoor sound with live music. Both have pinpoint imaging that gives a holographic feel to the sound. The background is darker on my XBA-30s, making things a bit clearer and more precise.

 

Both of these IEMs are incredible and it's hard for me to say which one is better. My general preferences are more in line with the Sonys, but the ATs sound impeccable and I prefer them for some genres and live music. I'm just lucky and glad to make both these my final IEMs.

 

Finally! The comparison I've been waiting for... Thanks Mugen!beerchug.gif I can't wait for my CKN70s to arrive... 'will have to settle with my XBA3 for now. biggrin.gif

post #7775 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by mugen3 View Post

Thanks guys, I was happy to write it up. The XBA-30s and CKN70s are on another level compared to the other stuff I've heard. I'm going to shift my focus on getting a new DAC or a full-size. I don't need to waste time trying to find better IEMs than these two. Cause I know I won't. Not without destroying my wallet.


^ HOLY MACKEREL HYPED!!! Great stuff mugen.

post #7776 of 27040

+1. Nice comparison mugen3. The 70's are really special phones. Had the XBA-3's, but haven't heard the 30's yet. It must be a nice upgrade though.


Edited by kahaluu - 3/3/13 at 2:01am
post #7777 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by mugen3 View Post

Thanks guys, I was happy to write it up. The XBA-30s and CKN70s are on another level compared to the other stuff I've heard. I'm going to shift my focus on getting a new DAC or a full-size. I don't need to waste time trying to find better IEMs than these two. Cause I know I won't. Not without destroying my wallet.

 

How about factors other than SQ? How do they compare in terms of isolation, comfort/ergonomics, build quality, microphonics, etc.?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #7778 of 27040

DAmn! . .

 

the only thing keeping me away is that j-cord!!@#!@#

post #7779 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by virus12345 View Post

DAmn! . .

 

the only thing keeping me away is that j-cord!!@#!@#

 

'had the same reservations with the MH1c... but after attaching a clip it actually felt a lot more comfortable than Y-cord types.

In addition to that, you get to hang them around your neck when they're not in used... pretty handy!

post #7780 of 27040
Thread Starter 

Good stuff mugen3..I want to eventually pick me up a XBA-30 or maybe the XBA-40. I agree with your assessment of the CKN70s. As for the dac. I was listening to my Meridian Explorer last night using my CKN70s. I don't know if you was planning on spending that much but I can tell you the ME is a piece of kit that makes all my earphones and cans sing like nothing else I own...It has a surprising amount of power to boot. If your looking for a nice higher end dac.. That is certainly a good choice.

post #7781 of 27040

Saw this in the Deals thread, FXT90 for $69 shipped. Only 3 left, do I buy it if I have the CKN70's on the way?

 

post #7782 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by boost3d View Post

Saw this in the Deals thread, FXT90 for $69 shipped. Only 3 left, do I buy it if I have the CKN70's on the way?

 

 

Is that Internationally too?? eek.gif

post #7783 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by geko95gek View Post

 

Is that Internationally too?? eek.gif

 

Looks like they only ship within Canada.mad.gif

post #7784 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by mugen3 View Post

Thanks guys, I was happy to write it up. The XBA-30s and CKN70s are on another level compared to the other stuff I've heard. I'm going to shift my focus on getting a new DAC or a full-size. I don't need to waste time trying to find better IEMs than these two. Cause I know I won't. Not without destroying my wallet.

 

Great job man!

 

Can't wait until I get my XBA-40 and CKN70. Let's see how it stacks up against the Capsule's and  which one ends up being my permanent solution.

 

Then I can just concentrate on scoring a Meridian Explorer and build a nice cmoyBB and call it a farewell.

post #7785 of 27040
Quote:
Originally Posted by boost3d View Post

Looks like they only ship within Canada.mad.gif

Aww man that sucks. frown.gif

I'd be happy to pay for shipping International, especially if the IEM is at that price!
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › The discovery thread.! NEW DannyBai's take on the new Yamaha EPH M200 PG 1769!!