...aaaand... I've just got my pair. burning em in as i type.
very, very initial impressions:
- stock tips aren't the best. cycled through a bunch and the comply T-500 seem to fit the best (at least i *think* they're T-500s, not too sure cos i just swiped a pair off chern's desk :p sorry mate.)
- as with all IEMs, a good seal is paramount. i'm dead sensitive to seal - which is why i switched to customs a few years back - and I fully hate it when a pair of IEMs don't seal properly. FWIW, couldn't get a proper seal with the stock tips.
- That "shouty" character is immediately present on first listen. can be very disconcerting if you're not prepared. Caveat emptor! That said, the vocals don't jump out that much after a bit of burn in, and after letting your ears acclimatise to the signature. I'm no audiophile or sound engineer, but i reckon there's a significant high-mid hump to let vocals and guitars pop out a bit more. I can see how this would be very useful in a live monitoring situation - oftentimes I have to push my vocals pretty high in the mix to actually hear myself, to the detriment of hearing everyones else. I suspect that bone conduction causes some sort of phase cancellation in the critical freqs. This just might be the ticket to hearing myself sing better onstage. guitars sound a bit nasally with this mid-hump. I'm gonna give it a couple weeks to burn in and settle and see how this midrange hump develops. Its very pronounced on some songs, not that pronounced on others - some of my earlier recordings with one of my previous bands sounds dreadfully midrangey, whilst my more recent demo recordings (shameless self-promo: see link in my sig :p) sound more or less like what I remember, though that mid hump is definitely there. Might try using these instead of my DT1350s when tracking vocals.
- Definitely not a reference monitor. I'm not anal about accuracy and all that, but I definitely would want to use something with a flatter midrange response to do my mixing. Some music seems to turn out a bit boxy-sounding as well.
- Bass - i'm slightly disappointed with the quantity of bass on tap, considering the advertised freq response and driver size. yes, specs aren't everything, but i did take them as an indication of some thumpin' low end goodness. that said, they do go deep and low, so I know i can probably dial in moar bass on the aviom system when i'm onstage. i'm not losing hope though, i reckon the low end will come out a bit more with some burn in - much like how my DT1350s sounded a tad anemic in the first few days / weeks, and are positively lovely low-end wise now. Do note that I've been using a pair of custom tipped Atrios for years now, and have grown very accustomed to that sort of mad low end.
- These IEMs are sensitive... I'm hearing a strange background hum / hiss in my laptop rig when i don't have music playing. Am running a MBP into a Line 6 UX1 - mainly for home demo recording, and i run music out to my nEar 04 nearfields. amazing. and now i'm going to go try and trace the source of that hum.
- soundstage / seperation - very, very immersive. seperation is very good, almost reference quality seperation. stereo imaging is very wide, i'd daresay its even wider than my DT1350 (which isn't that wide to begin with). definitely wider than the Atrios, even with the custom tips. listening to my demo recordings, instruments that i've panned hard left and right are REALLY hard left and right. whilst I won't use these as primary reference cans to dial in tones, i'll definitely be using these to check and adjust my stereo placement.
That's it for now. Need to give myself (and my ASG-1s) a rest.
TL;DR: midrange hump can be off-putting, might sound nasally and boxy out of the.. box. stereo spread / soundstage is wide by my standards. bass isn't brain-thumpingly heavy but there's potential for this to blossom in the days to come.
Will post more impressions in a week or so, once i've burnt these in and gotten used to the signature.
Pictures coming soon!
p/s that otterbox really is hard to open and close! i reckon i've got pretty strong hands but man, these boxes sure are tough to open. i suppose its built that way for a good reason but maybe us mere mortals could have an easier-to-open option?
Edited by kangcore - 3/12/12 at 11:01am