I did a little session with bassy music this evening (by bassy I mean with a strong and detached bass line) filled with a strong female voice (France Gall, a French singer from the 70-80s) and alternated between my EPH-100, ASG-1 and SE535Ltd.
Of course, I had 3 EQ settings, one for each IEM (flat for EPH-100, -5 to -3dB in the mids for ASG-1, V-shaped for SE535Ltd [+2, 0, -2, 0, +2dB]), since I'm looking for a pretty lively sound. You may wanna stop reading now if you want comparisons without EQ, I don't see the point of comparing IEMs flat when I don't like them flat (except the EPH-100). My conclusions haven't changed.
- EPH-100 still sound fairly neutral, with nice bass impact, precise mids and nice treble (although some drums still sound a bit strange, but this is the trademark of the Yamahas). Sound is overall laid back, non fatiguing, with excellent layering and separation. In 2 words: easy listening, although the forward cymbals may shock some.
- ASG-1 sound more fatiguing, even with the big EQ dip in the mids: the bass is very profound, goes very deep without being overshadowing the rest. Mids are precise and rather cold, except for the huge spike in the higher mids in the area of female vocals. Even at -4/5dB, female vocals are way too loud in my opinion, it destroys the overall sound balance which is otherwise very nice (on songs without female voices, ASG-1 are just excellent). Treble are relatively laid back, so are drums, which sound very relaxed. The best part is the forward projection (180°), which is excellent. Everything would be excellent if not for the piercy female voices, these are still difficult to bear even after heavy EQ-ing (mainly at 1.1kHz).
- SE535Ltd, equalized with this light V, are completely on the fun side. Bass is well controled, could go deeper but it fares more than well already for BA-based IEMs. Mids are a masterpiece of precision, smoothness and separation, voices are gorgeous (and very much in your face), piano is never lost in the background like it can sometimes be with the other 2 IEMs, drums are very fast which I like a lot (although people will prefer the more smooth drums produced by the ASG-1s). Treble, with any aftermarket cable except the stock one, are extremely precise as well, with a good extension and no sibilence at all. Overall, very dynamic sound, while still being clean and amazingly layered. No real forward projection, it is more 2D and close, but this provides an intense immersion.
I keep the ASG-1 in the hope of getting a more "universal" sound signature with the mid filters, but I still prefer the SE535Ltd by a large margin so far, they're so much fun and so precise.
I would put EPH-100 and ASG-1 at the same level, they're good IEMs but less homogenous in nature. While drums sometimes sound a bit too forward with EPH-100, on ASG-1 it is the same with female voices. Other than that, they share similar abilities (I didn't say they sound the same): good isolation, excellent bass, clean mids, laid-back treble and a nice forward projection. EPH-100 sound a bit more fun while ASG-1 are a bit more clinical (although clarity is roughly on the same level).
My 2.5 cents.
I hope Aurisonics will let us know when filters are available for the masses. Preferably soon otherwise I might sell them.