Sorry to drag this up just to ask for a comparison, but I'm having a tough time deciding between this and the original Phonak PFE 1xx. Obviously they're different sonic signatures, and with its filters the PFE can take on different tonal balances, but I like the descriptions I've read of both and think, based on what I've seen so far, I might like either one.
So here's just a few things I'd like to know from anybody who has had both the A161 and one of the 1xx PFE models. Inks, I know you mentioned the PFE in your initial posts as a direct competitor of the A161, so perhaps you have some thoughts.
-Both are reputed to be comfortable, but has anybody slept while wearing the A161? I can't stay asleep in headphones, but music helps me drift off. It's one of the reasons I'm considering a pair of IEMs.
-How boosted, in relative terms, is the bass on the A161? I'm trying to place the level on a spectrum of things I'm familiar with, so here's a few benchmarks. I find a DT880 to be a bit light in the bass (I add a 3dB shelf below 130Hz to help it out a bit) and an SRH440 to be about the right level, though not very extended. I found the M50 to have too much bass, particularly in the midbass. While we're at it, how does the bass on the A161 compare in both quantity and quality to that of the PFE using the grey filter? I expect the A161 has more bass quantity, but how big a difference is it?
-Almost every comment and review I've read suggests that the soundstage on the A161 is rather small. How big of a deficit is it compared to the PFE?
-A few people, including ljokerl, have suggested that the treble of the A161 is a tiny bit grainy, whereas the PFE is often described as remarkably smooth throughout its range. Is this your impression, and if so, how noticeable is the difference? While we're at it, how much more prominent is the treble of a PFE with the grey filter than that of the A161? I'm sensitive to sibilance, but at the same time I like well-extended treble. In the case of the A161 I'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of air and extension compared to strictly neutral, but if the treble is noticeably south of neutral, then I'd rather pass.
That's quite a lot to read through. Answer everything or anything you like.