So today (an hr ago, & I'm still in the vicinity typing this away at the closest Starbucks before I forget!!), I popped my head into Fujiya to have a listen at these UIEMs to see what the fuss is all about.
Whilst commuting to Fujiya, I was pretty much listening to my UM Merlins off my DX100 most of the day. I asked for the MH334 universals & spent a short but good 20-25 mins listening to them. For the immediate reaction (i.e. first 10 seconds), it was like, meh...these are warm and somewhat treble recessed. But of course judging within 10 sec is the silliest thing anyone would do & I had just popped the Merlin's off my ears.
What cam after was a jaw dropping awe. So the treble extensions aren't what I'm personally used to (Merlin's & Ed8's for a start) but then the soundstage, the imaging, & the detail all 3 hit me at the same time! The soundstage was not just w-i-d-e but deep too! And instrument separation & placement also clearly defined. I closed my eyes & I felt like I was in a hall with the stage something like 10 row in front of me. The vocals were coming from the front rather than inside my head.
Ok,my noobness about to show here but I felt like I was listening from a tube amp - warm, natural. But this is off my DX100 & I didn't think earphones could even present such kind of sound since usually it's the amp that does it.
The bass was pretty much approaching the Merlin's; which I highly respect, but didn't think BA's could get to that level. So that impressed me too.
One thing though, I will say that at least to me, these IEMs aren't all genre. I listened to Bill Joel's The Stranger & Just The Way You Are (24/192 FLAC ripped off my recently purchased SACD), Buena Vista Social Cub (24/96), & Dave Brubeck's Blue Rondo a la Turk (24/192) & they sounded brilliant. Switching over to Black Eyed Peas' Boom Boom Pow & Kenny Login's Footloose, the MH334 didn't do too well in my ears. But I think the MH334's are most comfortable with Jazz & some rock (if you classify Billy Joel as Rock). I wished I tried some Classical but didn't have time.
I should say something aout the fit. These things are big. But their isolation was better than my CIEM Merlin's. In fact for my left ear I was a little concerned it was sucked into my ear canal. I actually tried putting it on 3 times. But once in,they were comfortable. The workmanship was impeccable (but that's to be expected from Japan ). To be honest, I probably prefer to save some ¥¥¥ & dispense of the Pelican-like durable case.
I usually try not to get too excited & try to present what I hear more calmly but with theMH334 off the DX100, it was hard not to get excited - especially as presented initially, I had no enthusiasm with FitEar at all. This has been a surprising but pleasant trip. Now I'm curious if they will have these on some kind of sale in the Headphone Festival in May.