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Clarity One EB110 Review

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

This is my first review so bear with me if I sound less than accurate for I am just an aspiring audiophile tight in budget.

 

I totally disagree with reviewers that says these canalphones are average. The sound they provide is superb. They render instruments naturally, have a wide and deep soundstage. Voices come out clear crisp and natural. I did my test using my trusty old Pioneer a330 connected to a LG DVD DVS-9513N via analog custom cabling and used a fifth generation Ipod with 8GB of 258-320K bit rate tracks.

Build:

These earphones are constructed using very good materials. the buds themselves are made from very sturdy machined aluminum. The cable is ok but look a little flimsy. The stress reliefs got me wishing for more but they seem good enough to last a while. The cable looks good but no eternal and it could be improved. the mini jack TRSS connector could be much beefed up (considering the price) but works fine, The left side control looks plasticky and a tad cheap but it works fine one click makes the track play or the call accepted. click again for pausing and three times to skip one track it leaves room for improvement by adding volume control and a TRSS adapter from mee electronics enables the mic and the rest of phone functions to be used beyond Idevices (it should be included I know a lot of Iphone haters that need to take and place calls mad.gif.)

Isolation:

Without music on you can still hear voices and high frequency noise but when music is on you hear nothing else unless commuting in a very noisy tube or bus. In spite of the rated low impedance you have to listen to these a notch or two over the middle volume of an ipod to avoid outer noise getting in you music


Due to their low impedance there is a very low hiss when no music is played but that's normal for an 8ohms earphone. My testing setup included  [[ASIN:089524506X Joe Satriani - Flying in a Blue Dream (Play it Like it is)]], Ianis Xenakis and Pascal dusapin works for flute published by the Salabert label, [[ASIN:B00000DRXH Beethoven Symphony No. 6 Pastorale (CBS Great Performances)]], [[ASIN:B000W268Q6 Fever To Tell [Explicit]]], [[ASIN:B00006AAVZ Charango]], [[ASIN:B000W25K3I Reading, Writing & Arithmetic]], [[ASIN:B005PMNBNG Hurry Up We're Dreaming]] and Chilean Band Saiko's first album "Informe.saiko"


For the digital part I used my fifth generation Ipod with Mercury Rev's live album Beyond The Swirling Clouds in 320K mp3 format


Sound quality.:

This is the best boring part

Listening to Beethoven's Pastoral n.6 and Romance and Romance for violin and Orchestra made this earphone sound exceptional, the instrument separation is great with an airy touch provided by the extra crispy highs these deliver. instruments sounded natural but in overly complex parts they became a little closer to each other so for regular classical orchestras there are better options like the magnificent Brainwavz B2, the Ety's or the Hifiman RE0, However, their rendition were above par anyway.

Xenakis and Dusapin`s recording of flute works is ideal to test positioning and separation of sounds as well as the high frequencies. The Clarity Ones allowed a very good extension for the highs and there is spark to it too. The flutes and string instruments sounded natural and not aggressive enough to cause pain (it happened to me listening to this record using a V-Moda Crossfade LP's). Separation and clarity were really high in this record. Each individual instrument could be easily located and placed and nothing sounded muddy or distorted.Even the performers exhalations and respiration can be heard and that's a WOW condition.

Joe Satriani's "Flying in a blue dream" selftitled track sounded close to perfection. All instruments were in their right place and there is acceptable layering when the rithm guitar is added to the mix. The drums kicked as deep as needed and the cymbals sounded perfect. The bass guitar also could be easily picked. "I believe" sounded intimate and the contrast between the guitar arpegios and solos and the drums is correctly rendered.Distorted guitars sounded great but not entirely perfect still natural though.

The SUNDAYS record is mainly middle frequencies and female voice so I use it to test that side of the spectrum. "here's where the story ends" sounded crudely natural almost linear but a bit dry. Harriet Wheeler's voice came out beautifully out of the Clarity's.

Strangely enough Morcheeba's Charango's "Otherwise" track sounded like there were few instruments in the mid freq spectrum. Heard mostly Bass, the singer`s voice and keyboards or synth notes but little else mids were up-front and head to head with the bass and I expected to hear more instruments but there were little else. Other tracks were more interesting providing more meat to the barbecue.

M83 record was a surprise I could actually recognize details I haven't heard before like the notes on the looped high pitched sound that is overly present throughout the song "Midnight City". I got a little upset by the exaggerated highs repeated in the song so I had to turn the volume two notches down. Voices sounded intimate and somehow distant but that's the overall tone of the voice for this record so that was expected.

Regarding Yeah Yeah Yeah's record. I found myself wanting more energy from the distorted guitars the way I get it from my AKG-K518LE but they are very different headphones they aren't canalphones at all so they cannot be compared with the Clarity One earphones. Having said that, Karen O's voice sounded great and the bass guitar and the drums were superbly heard in every song I tested from "Maps" to "Date with The Night".

Finally my impression with Saiko's record is very similar than the impression I got from Joe Satriani's record. Very well embodied, good separation of sounds and Denisse malebran's voice sounds clear and almost intimate.

These earphones clearly depicted the live recording of Mercury Rev's Beyond The Swirling Clouds album. The 320K tracks showed every nuance of the performance plus the crowd antics.


Conclusion

These earphones are almost v-shaped in presentation. Bass is powerful but not boomy. The mids are a tad recessed and the highs are dominant and sometimes a little tiring. Separation is good but positioning not entirely correct. These phones are airy but far from UM3 airiness based on the reviews I read here. They are very musical though and somewhat "fun" in terms of signature. People endemically treble unhappy should steer away from them like the house is on fire.
 

post #2 of 18
Nice review. A store near me is selling them. Are those worth $150?

The JVC fx700 and westone 4r are two of the best earphones I have ever heard. Does the clearity one share anything in common with those?
post #3 of 18

I just bought a pair of the Clarityone EB110's from Staples actually. Surprisingly, Staples has some good buys sometimes. To put it simply, these are the best headphones I have ever listened to. My only gripes with them are the lack of volume control and supplied ear tips; none of them fit perfectly, but the smallest is the best fit. When I first put them in my ears, I was truly uninspired by the sound, for they were shrill and lacked any depth. This was clearly due too large of tips, but also because they needed burn in. Right from the start though, I noticed they were louder. I tend to like my music loud, and I also listen to older music, which isn't digitalized in high db levels like newer music is. I changed tips almost immediately, but the sound still was that of a pair of stock earbuds. I started the burn in process using pink noise, as I have heard it is much more effective, and frequency span sounds on the iPod. I was playing this during my 8 hour shift at work, listening to the ear phones periodically. After a few hours, I heard the shrill sound diminish and the bass and mids come out more. This happened continuously and now the headphones are near perfect. The sound is accurate, well balanced. My testing was done on the iPod, with the Radsone music player set on Hi-fi (audiophile) mode, which makes music sound much cleaner on any set of headphones, and removes any enhancements that Apple imputs into the the "flat" eq setting on the stock app. The equalization of the headphones are nearly even, slightly U shaped, edging on the bass. The soundstage on the headphones are incredible and you can feel the depth in the sound. The bass has a good punch to it, but it isn't a boom, it is a pop, where you can feel the drum being hit and the actual tone of the bass guitar, not just the note it makes. Throw in some rap, for I like a few rap songs, and it has no issue booming the bass out, but absolutely no distortion. The mids are milder, which I prefer, for it gives character to the sound. The highs are proper as well, where you can hear everything so clearly, yet they aren't pushed and cause the sound to become annoying and shrill. Overall, the headphones produce an accurate, pleasant sound, putting to shame any other headphones I have used, even the B and W in ears, which are very good headphones as well. They are not DR. Dre Beats or any other mass produced, rap artist sponsored headphones that sell because it is pumped into everyone's head that they are the best. I am saddened that these headphones have a poor rating on many sites, simply because they weren't allowed to go through burn in, or are called crap because they don't have the bass like Beats. I am largely a bassophile, but I know that too many people relate sound quality to the booming bass, even though Beats have overemphasized, muffled bass and absolutely no clarity. The Clarityone EB110's are truly a gem delivering the cleanest, most accurate and pleasant sound I have ever heard in any pair of headphones, in ear, on ear or over ear.

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepiper92 View Post

I just bought a pair of the Clarityone EB110's from Staples actually. Surprisingly, Staples has some good buys sometimes. To put it simply, these are the best headphones I have ever listened to. My only gripes with them are the lack of volume control and supplied ear tips; none of them fit perfectly, but the smallest is the best fit. When I first put them in my ears, I was truly uninspired by the sound, for they were shrill and lacked any depth. This was clearly due too large of tips, but also because they needed burn in. Right from the start though, I noticed they were louder. I tend to like my music loud, and I also listen to older music, which isn't digitalized in high db levels like newer music is. I changed tips almost immediately, but the sound still was that of a pair of stock earbuds. I started the burn in process using pink noise, as I have heard it is much more effective, and frequency span sounds on the iPod. I was playing this during my 8 hour shift at work, listening to the ear phones periodically. After a few hours, I heard the shrill sound diminish and the bass and mids come out more. This happened continuously and now the headphones are near perfect. The sound is accurate, well balanced. My testing was done on the iPod, with the Radsone music player set on Hi-fi (audiophile) mode, which makes music sound much cleaner on any set of headphones, and removes any enhancements that Apple imputs into the the "flat" eq setting on the stock app. The equalization of the headphones are nearly even, slightly U shaped, edging on the bass. The soundstage on the headphones are incredible and you can feel the depth in the sound. The bass has a good punch to it, but it isn't a boom, it is a pop, where you can feel the drum being hit and the actual tone of the bass guitar, not just the note it makes. Throw in some rap, for I like a few rap songs, and it has no issue booming the bass out, but absolutely no distortion. The mids are milder, which I prefer, for it gives character to the sound. The highs are proper as well, where you can hear everything so clearly, yet they aren't pushed and cause the sound to become annoying and shrill. Overall, the headphones produce an accurate, pleasant sound, putting to shame any other headphones I have used, even the B and W in ears, which are very good headphones as well. They are not DR. Dre Beats or any other mass produced, rap artist sponsored headphones that sell because it is pumped into everyone's head that they are the best. I am saddened that these headphones have a poor rating on many sites, simply because they weren't allowed to go through burn in, or are called crap because they don't have the bass like Beats. I am largely a bassophile, but I know that too many people relate sound quality to the booming bass, even though Beats have overemphasized, muffled bass and absolutely no clarity. The Clarityone EB110's are truly a gem delivering the cleanest, most accurate and pleasant sound I have ever heard in any pair of headphones, in ear, on ear or over ear.

In staples.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by basketball View Post


In staples.


lolz.

post #6 of 18

yeah i can confirm they have them in staples indeed

post #7 of 18
I returned them awhile ago now, the cable as poor stress relief, as does the overear w102. The sound of the eb110 seems worth it, and they are well built other than the cable. One week and it went. Of course it was used while walking and on the bus, but they were never tugged on.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepiper92 View Post

I returned them awhile ago now, the cable as poor stress relief, as does the overear w102. The sound of the eb110 seems worth it, and they are well built other than the cable. One week and it went. Of course it was used while walking and on the bus, but they were never tugged on.

I listened to the clarityone headphones and they sound OK. But they are built cheap and not worth $179.99.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by basketball View Post

I listened to the clarityone headphones and they sound OK. But they are built cheap and not worth $179.99.

 

i agree, esp when you can get a stellar iem such as e-q5 for the same price in korea.

post #10 of 18
I liked build, other than cable. Sound wise, comply tips helped. I went for them because they were Canadian. Also, where are you that you had to pay 179. I got it for 129.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepiper92 View Post

I liked build, other than cable. Sound wise, comply tips helped. I went for them because they were Canadian. Also, where are you that you had to pay 179. I got it for 129.

I tired the headphones not earphones. And I never knew they were canadian.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

I think the Westone 4 is a much better iem. Take a look at Joker's multi iem review and ponder. The W4 is a quad-driver top of the line so it is not comparable to the eb110. I think the sm3, Shure SE4XX or even the TF10 are better matches for the W4, the Westones are clearly in a different league than the EB110.


Edited by egosumlux - 5/22/13 at 6:38pm
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by egosumlux View Post

I think the Westone 4 is a much better iem. Take a look at Joker's multi iem review and ponder. The W4 is a quad-driver top of the line so it is not comparable to the eb110. I think the sm3, Shure SE4XX or even the TF10 are better matches for the W4, the Westones are clearly in a different league than the EB110.

yeah but the W4 are 4 times as much as the clarityone

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

If you have an issue with the cable ClarityOne will promply send you another pair of headphones no questions asked. It happened to me so I think they will last a year at least.

post #15 of 18

Just bought these for $40 at Winners - burning in now but pretty good at first listen.  Only complaint pre-burn-in is that the highs are a little harsh.

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