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Ortofon eQ5 in review - possibly the last earphone a man (or woman) could ever want in his (or...

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 

eQ5-iphone.jpg

 

It's years past now, so no reason to get excited over a review, or an 'old product', right? I borrowed the eQ5 from Musica Acoustics back in like February or March. It's dangerous game. I borrowed the Grado GR10 from someone else and now have the GR8. That's a lot of money to throw around. I'm done with this borrowing game! Haha.

 

This is a liberal summary of the full eQ5 review at TouchMyApps.

 

Anyway, the eQ5 is now about two years old, and has been forgotten by headfi, I'm quite sure. Thank god for tardiness. I'm so glad I wasn't lent this earphone after I reviewed the eQ7. Why? Because I was a little upset that any earphone besides Final Audio could cost so much and be so silly for portable use.

 

It seems Ortofon thought along similar lines.

 

The eQ5 is a complete re-think of the eQ7, and blimey, I swear it sounds better. If I'm wrong about the last part, it is probably down to fit. I couldn't get a good fit with the eQ7. The eQ5 slides right in like a bullet to the brain pan. Lovely. The silicon and comply tips are the same, and the accessory package is still bereft of anything useful for a day out. There's no carrying case, too few ear tips, and no real way to organise filters.

 

Oh well. 

 

Complaining is done. 

 

Apart from that, this earphone is the finest money can buy at its price range. Construction quality is top notch, even the lack of rubber strain relief isn't strange. The cable sticks out and doesn't touch the face, so it won't pick up nasty face grease and sweat. The cable is made well, but still, less grease isn't a bad thing at all.

 

The plug, as you know by now, has a nice stress relief that is supple and resistant to breakage.

 

And the entire cable is thick and exudes quality. Well, after the y-split, the two trailing left/right cables are a little flimsy, but I expect them to last till I have to pass this earphone back. I'll be honest here, I've not been too careful with it. The eQ5 I borrowed has got some knicks and scratches here and there. I listen to earphones, not baby them.

 

But what everyone cares about is sound. And the eQ5 does sound very good. It has a powerful, but rather flat low end that is reminiscent of a bass-biased dynamic driver that still manages a neutral frequency response. Make no mistakes: the eQ5 isn't a bass boom headphone, but it drives the frequency spectrum harder and with more poise than the midrange or treble does. 

 

The other two frequencies are simply stunning, though, with good space, but more intimacy, perhaps down to a slight smear or decay in upper bass response that hangs on for the last millisecond. I'm game. Ah hell, I'm ready to pay the referees as I want this earphone. 

 

This is of course just an off-kilter and poor summary of what I've written at TouchMyApps. Head there for the full review of the eQ5.

post #2 of 79

Intrigued.

post #3 of 79

Can you compare them to the DBA02?

I like the DBA clarity and treble extension, but otherwise they are a bit too bright and aggressive and lack some bass. Is the e-Q5 better in those aspects?

post #4 of 79
Thread Starter 

I think in the treble region, the DBA are a bit 'clearer' but that impression could come because the eQ5 has a thicker, sturdier low region, which  masks some of the high frequency range. However, overall, the DBA is more focused on the upper frequencies. It has a slightly more liquid midrange, too, while the eQ5 is in some ways starker, and more powerful. 

 

There is no arguing, the eQ5 have definitely more apparent bass, and better slam, than the DBA-02 MKII. I love the former and not had it been for the cable, I might have found truly an earphone to replace the CK10 if the excrement hit the air conditioning. As it is, I've still not found it, but the eQ5 is enough like my ideal that I can forgive the fact that the CK10 is a bit more ergonomic.

 

Phenomenal earphone by every metric.

post #5 of 79

nice review.

i too think the eq5 sounds amazing.

shame i use iems when i walk about and felt it was not comfy enough.

would also be pulled from my ears too easily without intention.

post #6 of 79
Thread Starter 

Did you try putting the cable under your shirt? I do that with most of my earphones, but then again, I live and work in Tokyo, a city so full of people, that stray cables get snagged on bags, coats, and handles. Each of those protrude from every corner every square metre of the city.

post #7 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Did you try putting the cable under your shirt? I do that with most of my earphones, but then again, I live and work in Tokyo, a city so full of people, that stray cables get snagged on bags, coats, and handles. Each of those protrude from every corner every square metre of the city.

 

yeah, i tried a lot of things. alas did not work

i live in seoul atm, so just as busy as tokyo.

post #8 of 79
Thread Starter 

Ah, Seoul. I just got out of there myself. I find the trains much less busy than Tokyo, but the streets more dangers with the motorcycles running the sidewalks, etc. But things are much more spread out and it is a car paradise. It seems more people per capita than even canada drive to work there. 

 

Anyway, too bad you couldn't get a good fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ss2625 View Post

 

yeah, i tried a lot of things. alas did not work

i live in seoul atm, so just as busy as tokyo.

post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Ah, Seoul. I just got out of there myself. I find the trains much less busy than Tokyo, but the streets more dangers with the motorcycles running the sidewalks, etc. But things are much more spread out and it is a car paradise. It seems more people per capita than even canada drive to work there. 

 

Anyway, too bad you couldn't get a good fit.


Really?  I just arrived here.  It's very nice and what you say is true, I guess.  I personally haven't run into any issues but my relatives always tell me watch out.

post #10 of 79
Thread Starter 

If you've just arrived, head to earphone shop. Don't remember where it is, but by far the most impressive place to demo earphones I've ever seen, bar none. It's in a uni town, so lots of cool people looking for ways to make the train commute better. Bucket seats to sit on whilst demoing earphones, etc. 

 

Anyway, don't want to get off topic too much. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassadian View Post


Really?  I just arrived here.  It's very nice and what you say is true, I guess.  I personally haven't run into any issues but my relatives always tell me watch out.

post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Ah, Seoul. I just got out of there myself. I find the trains much less busy than Tokyo, but the streets more dangers with the motorcycles running the sidewalks, etc. But things are much more spread out and it is a car paradise. It seems more people per capita than even canada drive to work there. 

 

Anyway, too bad you couldn't get a good fit.

 

ive been to tokyo a couple of times, and yes, trains are normally less busy. but rush hour its the same. its hard to even expand your lungs. the subway trains are shorter (less carriages) here than in tokyo.

lots of cars. and yh, big cars, unlike tokyo where they actually have the common sense to ride smaller cars in such a densely populated city...

 

and yeah, shame about the fit. the sound was great for my classical music

post #12 of 79

I think these are among the most underrated IEMs out there. I see recommendations for the common big-names being thrown around all the time for your Westones and Shures and whatnot, but the e-Q5 costs less than your standard "top-tier" offerings yet has a sound that easily competes with the best. Build quality is right up there, isolation is good and ergonomics are solid (I have small ears and don't suffer from any fit issues, but I guess YMMV). It also looks extremely classy, especially with the red or silver finish. I'm guessing their lack of availability is to blame for this lack of exposure, but then again I own a pair and could care less if others don't have the fortune of doing so tongue.gif

 

 

 

Quote:
 
Phenomenal earphone by every metric.

 

This about sums it up. 

post #13 of 79

I sold my e-Q7s last year and would say they're probably my favourite universal IEM. I've never heard the e-Q5 and this thread has reminded me that perhaps I should pick some up.

I may well sell some of my universals and do that.

post #14 of 79

Hey Shigzeo, it's awesome to see you here in the forums again! :3

 

Unfortunately I was not quite so keen on the E-Q5 myself, mainly because the cable design drove me insane - flopping out of my ears and making all kinds of noise. Great, natural sound though. My friend has them now and she loves them!

post #15 of 79
Thread Starter 
I've met a few people who have had trouble with the eQ5 and another bunch who live it. Not quite the polariser that the eq7 is but has its detractors, eh?

It's nice to be back. Thank you for the greetings.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Ortofon eQ5 in review - possibly the last earphone a man (or woman) could ever want in his (or her) collection. Approved by Lorretta, Judean People's Front