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~$60 IEM, Vsonic GR06 vs SM E30 vs FA Eterna vs MEE A151

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi, I’ve been a member of this forum for ages but I’ve never posted anything! I think now it’s the right time for a comparison thread.

 

I would like to buy my first “audiophile” IEM and after a lot of search and reading I think that I tracked down my 5(+4) models. I have read almost all the reviews available in Head Fi and a special thank to ljokerl and ClieOS for all the detailed reviews.

 

My budget is limited so strictly under $100 range, also being in Europe and in a hurry I would prefer a model that is immediate available and shipped in short time.
Fischer Audio Eterna v.1 vs Fischer Audio Consonance
MEElectronics CC51 vs MEElectronics A151

Vsonic GR06

Sunrise Xcape IE vs Sunrise Xcited

HiFiMan RE0 vs HiFiMan Re-ZERO

I feel closer to the 5 bolded models judging by the reviews and general discussion, but I wouldn’t mind into going to the “second” option if these are more suitable for me. Of course any third option is more than welcome since I am not an expert by all means.

The “DAP”: Samsung Wave Smartphone


The Format: mainly 320kbps CBR MP3s and sometimes FLAC too.


The Music: All formats of Rock (Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, U2), Grunge, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Garage. Live and Studio versions. I also enjoy Blues, Country, Soul, and Folk. So I want to hear clearly the guitars.


The Place: 90% outdoors use, walking, buses, travel with train, plane.


What do I need?


Accessories: I don’t really care about the cases or the packaging. The only thing that matters is the variety and quality of the tips. I would prefer a full set but even a Spartan version would not bother me.


Build Quality: I really like the idea of non-plastic housing and better-reliable cords.


Isolation: Since I am using this for outdoors I would prefer a 4/5 Isolation. I am a bit scared of using 5/5 outdoors.


Microphonics: I prefer the Straight Down wear so I know it’s a bit difficult to find low mic.


Sound Quality: Unfortunately I don’t have any hi-fi IEM experience so far and I don’t have any comparison to make. Till now I’ve been using the cheap Creative EP 630 so any of the suggested IEMs will be a major upgrade. I think that I am not into the analytical sound since my music is kinda louder and aggressive. I don’t know if I’m a basshead, but I would really appreciate firm good bass that is clear and doesn’t muffle the whole music experience. I also would like to have Great and Wide Soundstage since I listen to bootlegs and official live concerts so the in-concert experience is a huge plus for me. From the reviews that I have already read I think that if I had the budget I would go for VSONIC GR07 since as it is described I think this is exactly what I need. I would also like the UE TF10 but who doesn’t?
 

I hope that I gave an almost clear idea of my needs. I can only add that now I would go for the FA Eterna but I wouldn't like to loose something more advanced over a model that has been in the market for a couple of years.


Edited by vsls - 1/30/12 at 10:03pm
post #2 of 28

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-NE-700X-Audiophile-Grade-Earphones-Silver/dp/B004GFNDDG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327446397&sr=8-1

 

An upgrade for me from klipsch s4.  Very solid headphone with good wire tension release.  Slightly bass heavy.  Not analytical.  One side shorted aftetr about a year & 1/2 with heavy rough use.  Nuforce replaced, no questions asked, and paid for shipping.  Great customer service. 

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwange04 View Post

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-NE-700X-Audiophile-Grade-Earphones-Silver/dp/B004GFNDDG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327446397&sr=8-1

 

An upgrade for me from klipsch s4.  Very solid headphone with good wire tension release.  Slightly bass heavy.  Not analytical.  One side shorted aftetr about a year & 1/2 with heavy rough use.  Nuforce replaced, no questions asked, and paid for shipping.  Great customer service. 


Thanks for the propose. I didn't include in my list because it seems that lacks a bit in isolation and SQ compared to the others. Also I don't know if the Soundstage is superior than others as I read it is not as wide as Eternas. I am also a bit concerned on the microphonics since it's rated a bit low for straight down use.

 

post #4 of 28

Alright, I haven't done too much research into iems, but I think that is a good headphone at its price point.  Microphonics were a tad annoying, but only when running.  There really was no soundstage, but I don't expect one for a iem.  I did think that the isolation and sound quality were very good though.  I'm suprised that there are not more responses by now.

 

As always, go with what you think is best, :D.

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks again pwange04, Of course as I mentioned above I am not an expert not even experienced with all these IEMs so all the info that I have is purely based on other people's reviews and/or posts here and in other fora. I am just trying to get the best I can out of my limited budget and for me now this choice should be a definite one since I can't buy earphones every 6months.

As far as the soundstage part I know that I can't have something special with an IEM but I just hope for the best among these low end phones.

Probably this is a topic often discussed over HeadFi so there's a lack of responses till now!

I hope that I will arrive to a conclusion pretty soon since now I only have a broken pair of Creative so no music on the go for me now!

post #6 of 28

Fischer Audio Eterna v.1 vs Fischer Audio Consonance
 

Eterna are capable iems with very fun sound but maybe the bass quanities they produce my become tiring after some time especially with yuor music preference.

 

 

Vsonic GR06

 

This is a good option i believe and looks like a budget gr07, take a look to the gr04 as well.

Sunrise Xcape IE vs Sunrise Xcited

 

Both of them look interesting but Sunrise confused thing a little. i think their sound will be suitable for you.

 

HiFiMan RE0 vs HiFiMan Re-ZERO

 

Maybe the luck of bass makes you feel a bit confused.

 

I would also reccomend the soundmagic e30.. Great all around iem without spending a fortune and many people said they sound exactly like a budget gr07. Soundstage is also great and isolation average but not mediocre.

 

Most of the iems you refer have to be worn over the ear including the e30.. i dont know why you want the straight down but you limitating your options this way.. Dont worry about the over the ear design. U get used to it in 1 week and you will love the benefits of it..

 

 

post #7 of 28

I use the GR07 and actually prefer them greatly over TF10s.  I actually only have one other pair of IEMs, I really thought TF10s would be great (and they are) but I rarely find myself wanting to use them and instead consistently go straight for GR07.  Based on this I'd say the GR06 is probably a good choice.  If you plan to be active the Fischer Consonance looked pretty durable, and people seem to love the Eterna specifically for it's base.  I saw you wanted good soundstage, and from things I've read the Sunrise Xcape Impressive Edition have a huge soundstage.  The Xcape IE are vented [I believe] so they should have a nice soundstage.  All I know about the HiFiMANs are that everyone seems to love them, and their higher end models seemed to be recognized among the best out there.  You have some good choices already picked out, I hope you find the right set.  Also, GR07 are extremely comfortable and I like the over-the-ear style so I might say GR06

 

daev


Edited by X i l i X - 1/25/12 at 4:44am
post #8 of 28
+1 for the E30 (great fast all round very nice sound)
or Dunu Tridents (lack speed, overall very good for the price, very well built).
A151 are good too, mid forward and bass, highs lacking.
post #9 of 28

I'll just suggest to avoid Xcape as they have terrible build quality, mine broke only after a couple of days of using.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelopsaro View Post

Fischer Audio Eterna v.1 vs Fischer Audio Consonance
 

Eterna are capable iems with very fun sound but maybe the bass quanities they produce my become tiring after some time especially with yuor music preference.

 

 

Vsonic GR06

 

This is a good option i believe and looks like a budget gr07, take a look to the gr04 as well.

Sunrise Xcape IE vs Sunrise Xcited

 

Both of them look interesting but Sunrise confused thing a little. i think their sound will be suitable for you.

 

HiFiMan RE0 vs HiFiMan Re-ZERO

 

Maybe the luck of bass makes you feel a bit confused.

 

I would also reccomend the soundmagic e30.. Great all around iem without spending a fortune and many people said they sound exactly like a budget gr07. Soundstage is also great and isolation average but not mediocre.

 

Most of the iems you refer have to be worn over the ear including the e30.. i dont know why you want the straight down but you limitating your options this way.. Dont worry about the over the ear design. U get used to it in 1 week and you will love the benefits of it..

 

 

Eyxaristo poly Angelopsaro!
I had the same "fears" about Eterna Bass depth but the great Soundstage as is reported gained my attention.

About the GR04, almost everybody agrees that is inferior to GR06 so that's the reason that I lean over GR06

I think that I will eliminate Sunrise since I have already read many quality issues and the disp is low now on them

HiFiMan products look that they lack the bass I need and also seem to analytical for me so maybe I will leave them as a second option.

I didn't include the SoundMagic E30 because I read about the mediocre isolation. Is it possible to fix that problem using different tips? I would like a GR07-entry level but I haven't seen anywhere if GR06 is better than E30 since their price is identical.

I am a bit concerned about the over the ears wear because I am not used to it and I don't know if using the plastic drives will be comfortable. I also read that GR06s are quite difficult to stay in ear without the plastic drives. Of course I don't mind wearing them this way!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by X i l i X View Post

I use the GR07 and actually prefer them greatly over TF10s.  I actually only have one other pair of IEMs, I really thought TF10s would be great (and they are) but I rarely find myself wanting to use them and instead consistently go straight for GR07.  Based on this I'd say the GR06 is probably a good choice.  If you plan to be active the Fischer Consonance looked pretty durable, and people seem to love the Eterna specifically for it's base.  I saw you wanted good soundstage, and from things I've read the Sunrise Xcape Impressive Edition have a huge soundstage.  The Xcape IE are vented [I believe] so they should have a nice soundstage.  All I know about the HiFiMANs are that everyone seems to love them, and their higher end models seemed to be recognized among the best out there.  You have some good choices already picked out, I hope you find the right set.  Also, GR07 are extremely comfortable and I like the over-the-ear style so I might say GR06

 

daev

Thanks daev. As I explained above maybe I would eliminate the Sunrise models. From your experience could you suggest the next best thing in soundstage?

I am glad to hear that GR07 are better than TF10s, I just hope that someday soon I could afford them. Also I read that GR07 are more studio IEM than on the road so probably they would not cover me in that spec. If the GR06 is so similar I would consider it towards the others.Maybe an Eterna vs GR06 comparison would be useful.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by randomkid View Post

+1 for the E30 (great fast all round very nice sound)
or Dunu Tridents (lack speed, overall very good for the price, very well built).
A151 are good too, mid forward and bass, highs lacking.

Thanks randomkid. I couldn't find DUNU immediately available in my area so I will have to make some research on these.

As I posted above I am a bit concerned about the mediocre isolation that E30 offer. Also a GR06 vs E30 as budget GR07 would be interesting

Maybe I will also eliminate CC51 too even if the sound sig seems closer to my tastes, due to quality issues too so I will leave only A151 from MEE. Does the BA affect the soundstage experience?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by nipit View Post

I'll just suggest to avoid Xcape as they have terrible build quality, mine broke only after a couple of days of using.

Thanks nipit. I am also worried about this issue so probably no Sunrise ATM.

 

After some more research maybe I will have to select among these in order of preference. Unfortunately availabillty will play an important part since I need them ASAP

 

Fischer Audio Eterna v1
Vsonic GR06
MEElectronics A151
SoundMagic E30
Fischer Audio Consonance

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsls View Post

 

Fischer Audio Eterna v1
Vsonic GR06
MEElectronics A151
SoundMagic E30
Fischer Audio Consonance


Kalispera..

 

I can only help you with guidance and prices but not specific opinion about their sound because i dont have any of them..

 

Fischer eterna are only available by a russian site and the Fischer Audio doesnt make me very confident about their aftermarket support. They sometimes disappear and then appear again. Same is for their sellers.. some times they were praised and other times received bad feedback for not replying to our emails.

There is a new seller called frogbeats who seems pretty legit and responsive but has them out of stock and states that he will stock them. But as i said before i wouldnt count on that because Fischer never managed to restock their sellers fast.

 

Meelectronics from frogbeats are around 65 dollars but again out of stock. If you buy them straight from Meelec they will cost you $80 therefore the price is their disadvantage over the others.

EDIT: the a151 are back in the game since meelec sells them in ebay for $50

 

Soundmagic E30 (are my favourite together with the vsonic so dont be affected by my opinion). I had the pl30 which was stated that has less isolation than the improved e30. It was enough for daily use. Clieos doesnt event state their isolation as a disadvantage. Foam tips also help. I am not sure if they are included. photos from mp4nation looks they are included but some reviews said they didnt have them.. If you decide to buy them pick them from mp4nation for 39 dollars (-5% with a code they have on facebook) or focal price for 34.. i never had experience with focal price before.

 

The vsonic gr06 which are also my favourite looks like they have a great allaround package and cool accessories. I only hope they have improved the cable from gr07. Some member like mark and clieos can clear this up. I would buy them from here.  Best price, free shipping, authorized. Bought from them again.

 

Regarding the Consonance: i only heared them from clieos, none else. I didnt bother with them for the reasons i said before. They could worth it but Fischer Audio marketing didn't win me or others (lack of reviews).

They are rated above  your other options a little bit by Clieos, but sound is subjective and i can tell you that if you buy an iem with 60% sound quality in the sound signature you like they will sound better than a 75% sq iem wth the sound  signature you dont like. Plus the comfort is important to enjoy sound.

 

Regarding the cable worn over the ear, have no worries. If the e30 cable is as good as the pl30 which i believe it is and the vsonic is improved (people must chip in to this) over the gr07 which is untammed then you will wear them and you will live happily ever after. I talked more about these 2 because i know more stuff than what i know about the A151........

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Unless you get the virus which lurks around Headfi and is called "upgraditis".

 

 

 

EDIT: This is the russian seller i was talking about. 64 dollars for eterna and the consenance. Both of them look bass oriented and i wouldnt buy them. If people can convince you they worth the extra money over the other options go for it but my discriminatory opinion they wont satisfy you. They could be ok to listen to moody songs but not for a long time listening with different genres of music.

 


Edited by Angelopsaro - 1/25/12 at 8:13pm
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 

Angelopsaro thanks again for the thorough reply and all the research.


Fischer Audio Eterna & Consonance: I have done some more research on these (yeah it’s my new pass time activity the last couple days!) and I have 2 major concerns. The first is exactly what you have mentioned plus their after sales policy and warranty. I don’t feel that comfortable with them since I have read so many negative posts on their replacement service. Also the quality seems to be medium since there are so many issues with housing, cords etc after a couple of months. I have already contacted frogbeats they seem really legit and professional but I understand that the restock issue is something that FA is responsible and not the resellers. For all that reasons and since I have the “fear” that all that bass will not fit so good to my music preferences I will be moving away from FA without eliminating them yet.


Meelectronics A151 on the other hand seem to be praised for their after sales and customer care support. Fast responding company many reviews probably the only one that I could find so many resellers I also found the A151 around $62 in Amazon UK and that is even better for me. Judging by availability and time I would grab them my only concern now is again the bass since as BA phones it is usually low. I would prefer the sig of CC51 but many issues are reported on the ceramic housing quality that I've lost my confidence over these.


Soundmagic E30 seem pretty fair and I think they have the right sound for me since they are compared to GR07. I have already found them available in Europe for $40 too so I am tempting into getting them ASAP. I will do some further search on the isolation issue, for example in Joker’s review they got only 2,5/5 which is the lowest if we compare  it to 3,5-4/5 of all the others.  

 

Vsonic GR06 also not available now from frogbeats, it seems that mark’s review blew away all the stock! Otherwise lendmeurears seems my only alternative or ebay and I can’t really wait for 10 days for the delivery. I think that a straight comparison of E30 and GR06, will help me a lot into deciding. I am willing to wait a bit if I will receive a better product.

 

You are right about reading the reviews, as to me at the moment are just pure numbers and nothing more since I don’t have any experience with any of the models so I don’t know what would be my favourite sig.But as I have already stated above any of the models will be a huge upgrade for me and I would be happy, it's just a matter of the right decision since the prices are so identical.

 

Virus Spoiler (Click to show)

Don't worry I am already infected by the virus in so many other fields and I was holding myself and upgraditis from the audiophile area because I can’t afford it (yet). Although I am already lurking over some Fiio mini amps!

 

 

To sum up

 

Fischer Audio

+ Positive Reviews, Wide Soundstage, Rich Sound, Isolation

-  After Sales Support, Quality, Availability

? Bass

 

Meelectronics

+ Warm Sound, Microphonics, Cord, After Sales Support, Availability

-  Bass, Soundstage

? BA, Quality

 

SoundMagic

+ GR07 sibling, Neutral Sound, Microphonics, Availability

-  Isolation

? Better than GR06, After Sales Support, Quality

 

VSONIC

+ GR07 sibling, Neutral Sound, Soundstage

-  Availability

? Better than E30, Cord, After Sales Support, Quality
 


Edited by vsls - 1/25/12 at 9:22pm
post #13 of 28
E30 isolation is about average, good for normal public transport and walking around, nothing serious so they are not dangerous to wear. I prefer them over A151.
A151 bass is very good, well textured not typical BA sound, very warm smooth non fatigueing sound, bass is very present and fast, good extension but not sub-bass like.

Also cable over the ear is much more comfy, and you soon get used to it.

Regards
post #14 of 28

Hi vsls,

 

I have been lurking on this site for the past 1 year and this is my first post.

Likewise, I have been infected by the 'virus' and I have succumbed to the temptations of Brainwavz M1, Mee cc51, Soundmagic E30 and Vsonic gr06.

 

E30 is very comfortable, good for non fatigue listening. Don't worry abt the plastic casings. They may look cheap but they are durable. Cables stay over the ears easily. As for sound, tonal balanced and 'lean' they are but smooth and enjoyable. My only complaint is I can't get a deeper insertion into my ear canals. Isolation is average, This also means at times I can only 'hear' bass and not feel the bass. I have tried Sony hybrid tips but they seem to be abit small for E30, can't fit the nozzle. No comply tips in the bundle. At times they sound distant and airy.

 

Vsonic Gr06 does not have the tonal balance of E30 but it has a more dynamic presentation. Lusher sound as compared to E30. It sounds airy and spacious. I agree the cable does not stay behind the ears easily but I don't use the plastic drives. I just pin the cables behind the arms of my glasses. The arms help to keep them in place.

 

Aesthetics wise, cable and strain reliefs I prefer vsonic gr06 and the array of ear tips is impressive.

 

Sonically, I think Vsonic gr06 is more superior than E30, imho. But I like them both.

 

I bought my Vsonic gr06 through a spree with China online store - Taobao around 2 months ago and recently I found out that the online stores have raised the selling price by approx. 33%, all thanks to the raving reviews online. I wonder if Frogbeats will raise the price when they get the stocks.

 

I hope you will get what you want fast and enjoy your music on the go.

 

Cheers,

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomkid View Post

E30 isolation is about average, good for normal public transport and walking around, nothing serious so they are not dangerous to wear. I prefer them over A151.
A151 bass is very good, well textured not typical BA sound, very warm smooth non fatigueing sound, bass is very present and fast, good extension but not sub-bass like.
Also cable over the ear is much more comfy, and you soon get used to it.
Regards


 

Thanks again randomkid. I would like the "everyday" isolation but the reviews scared me about its level..

I have some second thoughts on A151s but they still remain a great alternative if plan A goes wrong!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jyoof View Post

 

I have been lurking on this site for the past 1 year and this is my first post.

Likewise, I have been infected by the 'virus' and I have succumbed to the temptations of Brainwavz M1, Mee cc51, Soundmagic E30 and Vsonic gr06...

 

 

Welcome aboard Jyoof, we are all infected here!

This is really helpful comparison since till now I couldn't find it anywhere else.

My biggest concern is exactly the fitting issue of E30. I think that this is a problem that everybody mentioned and I see that has to do with the design of the phones. I have read that generally SM products are durable and of good quality that last in time, so this is another plus. Does GR06 seem to have a better quality over the E30, or are they on the same level?

 

I think that I would prefer the lusher sound and the spacious feeling of the GR06! Since I am not wearing glasses I think that the plastic guides are my only option. I don't know if someone else has anything to suggest on this.

 

I also prefer the GR06 aesthetically they also seem more professional and minimalistic without the silver "touch" of E30.

 

Could you recommend the soundstage offered by GR06?

If it's not much of a trouble could you just tell me if Born To Run sounds better on GR06 or E30? It has the significant sound of what I generally hear.

 

I am still in touch with Frogbeats, but due to Chinese New Year's holidays everything seems stalled. I have seen the chinese site and it is funny that the Vsonics are more expensive there than in the Western markets!

 

I think that after all these days I am closer to choose the GR06 over the others, unfortunatelly with only one European distributor it is really difficult to find them. I hope that I would not have to compromise by choosing something only due to its availability.

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