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Phonak Audeo PFE 232 Impressions.

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Looooooong time lurker, first time poster...

 

I was fortunate enough to get to stop by Phonak's "booth" (was really a meeting room) at CES and try out their range of earphones. Being that I had never heard of the company before, I was intrigued. Naturally, I took a liking to their flagship model, the PFE 232. After using them for the last week and a half non-stop I must say, they are nothing short of amazing. 

 

Comparing them to other higher-end earphones I've used -- Sure e4s, Super.fi 5 Pros (and EBs), Sure E2C, and Westone 4s (which I heard very briefly at CES, but don't consider really "using" them since I had no control over audio content, it was loud, etc.) -- there isn't really any comparison. The only pair I'd say came close was the W4s. 

 

I've found myself using the gray filters almost exclusively, occasionally switching out to the black filters. The green filters are kind of a waste on these earphones in my opinion. I'm interested in knowing what other people think of these as well -- which filters are your favorite, and/or if you swap them out depending on genre. I've found the grays handle all the genres I through at them wonderfully. 

 

 

Above is a very compact sum of my much longer thoughts/review which can be read here - http://gadgetsteria.com/2012/02/06/review-phonak-audeo-pfe-232-earphones/

post #2 of 34

Don't see how you could be such a along time lurker and not have heard of Phonak before. Their cheaper PFE-132 model would be a better comparison for what you've used previuosly. Both these models or previous versions have been often and well discussed here. Always nice to read another opinion but from the comparisons available in the link, there's not much context. I also don't think the advantages of long term durability being enhanced with replacable cables and filters was addressed nearly enough and it's apparent that you missed that very important aspect of IEM design in the build rating. Slight mention of tangled/cut but that's it. Also the fact that it comes with 2 cables, one for Iphone etc. was not even mentioned. Same goes for backup filters besides the different types.


Edited by goodvibes - 2/7/12 at 5:47am
post #3 of 34

Nice, thank you!

 

But yeah, being a long-time lurker on Head-Fi and never having hear of the PFE ... eek.gif


Edited by Sinocelt - 2/7/12 at 5:58am
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 

I've been coming here for 4-5 years, though over the last 12-18 months haven't really visited. I didn't really have any care to listen to the lower-end model. I've been in that area for several years and would much rather move up than sidways.

 

What aspect of design do you think I missed? They're made out of plastic and the cables come apart. I covered that. There's no reason to have 5 paragraphs talking about something that is quite honestly, not unique (especially for a high end earphone). While Phonak managed to do a rather nice job using plastic, they're still....plastic. A cheap material.

 

I mentioned all the included accessories in the "Specs and included accessories" section. We could go back and forth about discussing the each piece individually, but I didn't feel that I needed to walk through every included accessory in detail or with separate paragraphs for each. Right underneath the picture with all of the box contents I mentioned a second cable sans microphone is included. Again, I don't feel this needs much more explanation.

 

Throughout the article I mention the different filters, specifically voicing my choice of the gray filters as the best (read: most neutral) and acceptance of the black filters for some music.

post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 

Somehow I haven't seen them before. Terrible. I know. Also, as I said before, until this morning I haven't visited in over a year.

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 

And for the record, I'll admit I'm new to the high (really high) end earphone market like the Audeo's are in. That said, I'm looking to change that and expand my knowledge on the sound characteristics of competing high-end earphones. 

post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegadgeteur View Post

And for the record, I'll admit I'm new to the high (really high) end earphone market like the Audeo's are in. That said, I'm looking to change that and expand my knowledge on the sound characteristics of competing high-end earphones. 


Welcome to Head-Fi. Sorry about your wallet. tongue.gif

 

The previous PFE has been Head-Fi's darling for quite a while, which is why goodvibes and I were surprised at your not knowing them already. I don't think I've ever seen another IEM so loved here, in spite of durability issues. Head-Fiers have long waited for Phonak to correct those issues, which is why goodvibes wondered why you didn't mention them. And I admit that, though his post was a little harsh and even a tiny bit scary, I too would have liked more context and comparisons.


Edited by Sinocelt - 2/7/12 at 6:33am
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 

I can see the point about comparisons. But honestly, the only other earphones I've heard that I'd even consider comparing are the Super.fi 5 pros and Klipsch X10s which I did compare a bit. I've had numerous encounters with $50-$120 earphones, though all of those would be a waste of a comparison as they're a completely different playing field/market. As I physically hear more of the high end options, I'll be able to add in comments and comparisons. 

post #9 of 34

Can't you go to a store? That's what I did recently. I spent a few hours listening to a bunch of headphones and IEMs -- in an imperfect environment, of course, but that was still very interesting. One of the universal IEMs I listened to, the Piano Forte VIII, was a good deal more expensive than the PFE 232, though I wasn't all that impressed by the sound. It was quite good, but not $1000 good. For quite a bit less, my Heir Audio 4.A performed better in nearly all respects (the Piano Forte VIII was more open and its bass had more weight; those were its two advantages).

post #10 of 34



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post


Welcome to Head-Fi. Sorry about your wallet. tongue.gif

 

The previous PFE has been Head-Fi's darling for quite a while, which is why goodvibes and I were surprised at your not knowing them already. I don't think I've ever seen another IEM so loved here, in spite of durability issues. Head-Fiers have long waited for Phonak to correct those issues, which is why goodvibes wondered why you didn't mention them. And I admit that, though his post was a little harsh and even a tiny bit scary, I too would have liked more context and comparisons.



Scary? Really? I didn't even mention it was a first post with a link to another site. wink_face.gif

 

I don't think I was rude or said anything other than what may have been omitted which I believe could enhance his review if he were willing to edit it with his take on those issues. Wouldn't have said a thing without the link to a site trying to appear more professional than a headfi review. Gotta start somewhere and he may have happened on the best IEM for him anyway but I even think it was inappropriate to mention the Westone 4 as auditioned under the circumstances of his listen to it. It's much like the looong time lurker comment. Too much to embelish a position and actually detracts from the comments. I think reviews of professional looking linked sites with ads review is fair game.


Edited by goodvibes - 2/7/12 at 7:32am
post #11 of 34


.


Edited by music_4321 - 3/5/12 at 10:57am
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post

Can't you go to a store? That's what I did recently. I spent a few hours listening to a bunch of headphones and IEMs -- in an imperfect environment, of course, but that was still very interesting. One of the universal IEMs I listened to, the Piano Forte VIII, was a good deal more expensive than the PFE 232, though I wasn't all that impressed by the sound. It was quite good, but not $1000 good. For quite a bit less, my Heir Audio 4.A performed better in nearly all respects (the Piano Forte VIII was more open and its bass had more weight; those were its two advantages).



Unfortunately I don't have any stores with any good IEMs or headphones open to readily try. It's a time consuming process of buying, taking home, and then returning. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post



 



Scary? Really? I didn't even mention it was a first post with a link to another site. wink_face.gif

 

I don't think I was rude or said anything other than what may have been omitted which I believe could enhance his review if he were willing to edit it with his take on those issues. Wouldn't have said a thing without the link to a site trying to appear more professional than a headfi review. Gotta start somewhere and he may have happened on the best IEM for him anyway but I even think it was inappropriate to mention the Westone 4 as auditioned under the circumstances of his listen to it. It's much like the looong time lurker comment. Too much to embelish a position and actually detracts from the comments. I think reviews of a professional looking linked sites with ads review is fair game.


I didn't think it was rude. Blunt. But that's expected and appreciated. As for the W4s, I mentioned that I had heard them briefly, but not enough to give a dedicated comparison to them -- I provided a very basic comparison of their sound properties based off of looking at many other comparisons between the W4 and PFE 232, so someone looking for a comparison between the two could at least have a general idea. At this point, I can't pop for the W4s to add my own opinion, but merely say what many other people (many from here even) have said about the W4s being comparable in several aspects to the 232s.

 

post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post



Not just another site, but his site -- "Editor-in-Chief: Mike [Norris]"..." I have quickly come to the conclusion that I want Gadgetsteria to be my job, my sole source of income"



 

If it's a dig against me for linking, I'm sorry. I fully expected to get burned to some degree here as it isn't the most in depth or complete (in terms of listend to IEMs to compare with). Many a times I've seen similar posts, and even simple head-fi reviews posted just here get pretty negative comments.  

 

So why post it?  I like this site and consider it one of very few sites worthy of reading when it comes to personal audio. I take the opinions and arguments of the community hear higher than most other sites simply because it's been around so long and it has time and time again provided a ton of useful, relevant, and factual information. Having everyone here criticize me sucks. But it also makes me a better writer as well as a reviewer of personal audio. 

post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 

In short: I care what you guys (and gals) have to say.

post #15 of 34

Where's my sharpening stone? LOL Good luck with your site, I've noticed it before.  As another point. The use of a word that would get blocked on forums also seemed out of place and way too blunt and unprofessional in a site looking to be so. 3/4 through the build section.

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