I think I'll write a comparison review of the EX1000 and XBA4.
As a kind of teaser, here's a pic I took of the two duellists :)
Edit: Hmm, 1800 posts. This one seemed appropriate!
Edited by a_recording - 5/1/12 at 5:54pm
Um.... yeah. That's a real 'head scratcher' all right.
Excuse me??? Please don't tell me Sony is pulling it's flagship IEM from the N. American market. It's already hard enough to find in Canada without Sony making it near impossible.
I'll hopefully be finished with my TH900 impressions by tomorrow. I've got pictures and notes, and most of what I feel I want to convey has been written out more or less. Did I mention I love these headphones? Because I do.
After that I'll be posting more FitEar TG 334 impressions / comparisons. Then I'll be getting around to my Edition 10 vindication article and musings on the Piano Forte IX and X.
Oh, and I've got the Heaven IV and the Ocharaku Flat-4 coming in the next few weeks, so expect some impressions for those too.
Well this is big news to me, directly taken from ClieOS IEM thread
Has anyone here heard anything about the OXOO? Although limited production for 1600 bones VSONIC just entered the ranks of pricey universals alongside FAD and AKG.
Do you guys feel that with iems, there are always new iems coming out, be it custom or universal, as compared to headphones.
As a whole, I feel that iems development is always sizzling, and in some ways, always exciting and on-going. Of course headphone development is no less exciting or involving per say, but the iems thread is always whizzing by, and that made me feel that iems development is, in a sense,
more volatile as compared to headphones. Of course, I can't deny that there are more and more 'higher end' headphones coming out this 2 years, where companies are jumping on the bandwagon created by the widespread of Beats headphones. It made people appreciate good sound, and as a result more and more people are willing to pay more for headphones. Nevertheless, there just aren't just as many headphones coming out.
What more, custom iems apart, universal iems tend to produce more polarized and diverging impressions from members as compared to headphones. We all know that in headphone design there are always issues with pinna amplifying certain frequencies and causing certain resonance, thus producing unwanted peaks in the response. And this varies by person. I have seen some people who EQ out the peaks, while some others just prefer not to do so. Apart from this, headphones, like loudspeakers, have natural resonance due to the material used, the size of air chamber, etc. Not just the sound, there are tonnes of other factors, like power, durability, etc etc, which needs to be considered when designing headphones.
Earphones are different in that they don't have issues with pinna causing peaks in the response, still they have resonance too. This is something that I didn't really realize before, because there aren't many CSD plots for earphones around. After looking at websites like http://www.geocities.jp/ryumatsuba/ and http://sonove.angry.jp/, it seems that earphone response isn't always cleaner than that of a headphone. I had always thought that earphone distortion is usually lower than headphones, and there shouldn't be problem with resonance or ringing, which of course isn't true. Earphones with BA drivers seems to do better on this, because the enclosure don't affect the response as much as those with dynamic drivers (and of course, again, there are exceptions because there are vented BA drivers now). Another thing that I notice, is that the response of iems typically varies more compared to headphones, with peaks and valleys in the response here and there. Meanwhile, on reference level headphones, the response usually follow some common curve. I don't mean that they are the same, but look at some of the measurements for high end cans, and look for enough headphones, you will see the trend. And with enough experience, one can actually deduce how something would sound from the response (tonally), meanwhile looking at the square waves plots will give one some ideas for the transients and imaging ability of the headphone. I think, because earphones don't have the pinna effect, their response can vary more, and it's up to the designer to decide it.
To me, earphones and speakers are two opposite polar, with headphones in between. Good earphones can put you in the position of the mic, and you can get an really immersive 3D presentation where you are literally put in the music. Whereas with speakers (I am talking mainly about 2 channels), things are nicely panned out in front out you, which to some, can be the most natural presentation because that's how you listen to stuff when you go to cinema, orchestra, etc. On the other hand, headphones lies somewhere in between.
Part of the fun of using iems is that there are always something new coming out here and then, especially now there are more and more new players leading the development of newer iem technologies (FAD, Vsonic, Hifiman, and tonnes of other companies). On top of that, compared to like 2 years ago, new custom iem brands are mushrooming everywhere. The technology that trickles down from these iem also spurs the universal iem in quite a few ways, I would assume.
I think part of the reason why iem development is 'faster' than headphone is due to the small size, and the lack of pinna effect. With smaller transducer, you have a lot less limitation, less power, less area, supposedly higher bandwidth (high natural frequency for smaller transducer), so in some ways there are more freedom in iem design. Still, with smaller size, comes other restriction too. For example, people usually want decent level of isolation on iems, and that will restrict ventilation for the drivers. I guess, iems development is less established as compared to headphone development, and headphone development is less established as compared to speakers development.
Feel free to ignore me. Just me rambling at 4am in the morning because I feel moody about the coming graduation. Still so many things to do before I am done. I have had enough of this, I haven't seen my family for almost 4 yrs. Should have gone to some easier univs so my life will be much easier.. :|