Has anyone ever heard of the Britz Edifier H850? They go for $89.00 and look pretty decent.
These people own Stax...so...
These people own Stax...so...
They received some favorable reviews on PC-Home. http://product.pchome.net/digi_accessories_headphone_edifier_h850/353925.html
also already reviewed on golden ears. http://en.goldenears.net/14836
Interesting, the reference price on PChome says ¥ 299, which equates to about $50 USD.
My CKN70 came today around noon! Pretty quick... I ordered them on eBay Thursday morning, they shipped from Japan late Friday night (Saturday afternoon Japan time), scanned in NYC Sunday afternoon, spent a day in customs (presumably), and made their way down the east coast and to my door this morning. Right now, they're burning in.
Open box impressions: the sound signature reminds me of my Brainwavz M2 with everything I didn't like about them fixed, or maybe an R1 with a fuller, better midrange (without the R1's shrill upper-mid resonant peak). The character is TOTALLY different from the Sony MH1C. Those are very smooth and easy to listen to and adequately detailed, but switching to the CKN70 sounds like a veil has been lifted. Way more detail, and the vocal frequencies are much more forward. Vocals and acoustic instruments sound fantastic. So do Andy Wallace's hard rock mixes, incidentally, which I don't like as much on my other sources. Transient response and speed are great across the spectrum. These are very capable earphones. The lows dig deep and the highs continue up out of my hearing range.
Compared to the MH1C, the cable is longer and easier to wind. It also seems less microphonic and wears more easily. I don't have a problem with it, but it is more tangle prone than the Sony's. Fit is easier, as the soft rubber rings position the housing consistently in the ear every time. These are probably the most comfortable and secure-feeling IEMs I've tried. They seal easily but aren't as sensitive to overpressure or underpressure like the Sony's, and "skull microphonics" aren't an issue like they are with the MH1C.
That's the good. The bad: a slight mid-bass/upper bass/lower mid hump (or series of humps) that narrows the otherwise huge soundstage and slightly overpowers the more than adequate sub-bass. If I notch at about 125 Hz and at 250 Hz each with a 0.5 octave width down 1.5 dB (which is not very much), the bass and lower mids open up nicely. Now everything sounds full, amazingly deep, and even.
Also, there's a couple of slightly overzealous frequencies in the treble; around 6.6 kHz and 8.6 kHz seem to be the main offenders. A couple of fairly narrow 3 dB notches there leaves the detail airy and intact but tames the icepick a bit.
Keep in mind, though, that these are raw drivers. Maybe the frequency problems I'm hearing will improve with burn-in, and even if they don't, they take to EQ very well and require far less drastic EQ than any other IEM I've tried besides the MH1C, which has no peaks or humps that I can hear besides a slight, unoffensive one at 3.4 kHz that I EQ out but don't really need to. Like I said, though, the MH1C cannot touch the dynamics and transient response of these.
If they even out later, I'll let you know!
^ Good stuff Dis, when i 1st got the MH1Cs i felt that their highs were too smooth coming from the JVC camp, smooth to a fault almost. But i have learned to really enjoy it's crazy smooth, not fatiguing sound. I really love these MH1Cs and it seems like the ATH CKN70 is like a mix of the JVC and the sony sound but improves on all the departments that were lacking from those, the cheaper micro JVC/ Sony drivers that is.
Just got my CKN70's today, still in box, looking forward to trying them out. Have the AD-900x in my Tenso/Amazon Japan cart, still haven't pulled that trigger, though. Hard to listen to all this stuff (especially with all the time reading about them on Head-Fi)
Some early favorites with the CKN70 (make sure to switch to HD):
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The vocal harmonies sound amazing on the CKN70s. The banjo and guitars tickle my ears. I love this. Not the highest quality source, but if you have the album and CKN70s, you have to listen to this track.
The detail and space in this are unreal.
Again, not the best source, but atmosphere and bass are really nice.
Source-limited of course. I just like this song and the way it builds, and the vocals sound quite good. And while we're on Anathema,
The piano sounds like I'm in the room.
I would say the bass is adequate.
Karnivool covering a fellow Aussie. I love the space in Forrester Savell's productions.
And how about some metal?
Some Steven Wilson to round things out. Everything sounds impeccable here.
Well, that should cover it for now!
Dis, did you use the stock at tips to hear those songs, or did you switch them? Also, do you guys insert the ckn70s deeply or shallowly? I did it a bit too deep and feel as though I may have injured my ears. :S
I'm using the large Brainwavz R1 tips, which are almost identical to the stock large, but they're a lot easier to put on and take off while tip rolling. I gently insert the IEMs to where they naturally want to stop (which is about where the top of the ring barely touches my ear) and don't force them any farther.
BUT WAIT! I just put on the R1 double flanges, which to my ears have made every other IEM I've tried sound like crap. But here they seem to be curing all the problems I had with bass and treble! They add a slight bit of shrillness in the extreme upper mids, but nothing that really bothers me much. Pretty much everything else sounds smoother. No more icepick highs. Now they sound to me like an incredibly precise set of MH1C with extra treble and maybe a bit more midbass. Not quite as high-end as before, but this sounds *FUN*.