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More expensive top tiers vs 'bargain' top tiers

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I spent hours reading posts. I would categorize some popular choices like this

$200ish top tiers:
TDK BA200s, DBA02, B2, Re262, Re272, Triple Fi, ER4P/S

$400ish top tiers:
SE535, w4, um3x, XBA4, IE80s


I can observe that generally $400 top tiers have awful lots of armatures, nice appearance and produced by famous brands. OK as in any other consumer products with better brand it usually sells at higher price. Just that I haven't read enough to generalize what particular sonic difference does quad/triple BA IEM make vs really good dual BA IEM. I wonder if it is hard to generalize to this extent as with my short audition SE535 sounded different from xba4 quite a lot. I am just kinda wondering if I listen to the likes of DBA02 what more (or different) will I get with 535 or w4 sonically. I have searched many threads and most of the time it is specific dual BA IEM vs a 3/4 BA IEM. I haven't really made up my mind about what I will really go for after getting BA200s so I am not asking about specific triple/quad IEM. Please enlighten me. smile_phones.gif

post #2 of 34

The higher up you go, the smaller the differences get between each product. Although I haven't reached that high up in the universal IEM ladder, I'm assuming that with those prices, it's no longer about which one is "better", but which one "suits" you more in terms of its sound signature. Yeah one could still be better than the other, but it's still going to be a very small increase (law of diminishing returns).

Also, just because one IEM costs more than double than another IEM doesn't mean it's going to be twice as good. This is why I'm "stopping" at my GR07 (and GR01) because based the many opinions I've read about them, they can perform somewhat on par to some other offerings priced at around double its price. The only reason now that I would buy any more IEMs would be purely out of curiosity..


My 2 cents. smile.gif


Edited by Reomero - 6/24/12 at 3:02am
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reomero View Post

The higher up you go, the smaller the differences get between each product. Although I haven't reached that high up in the universal IEM ladder, I'm assuming that with those prices, it's no longer about which one is "better", but which one "suits" you more in terms of its sound signature. Yeah one could still be better than the other, but it's still going to be a very small increase (law of diminishing returns).

Also, just because one IEM costs more than double than another IEM doesn't mean it's going to be twice as good. This is why I'm "stopping" at my GR07 (and GR01) because based the many opinions I've read about them, they can perform somewhat on par to some other offerings priced at around double its price. The only reason now that I would buy any more IEMs would be purely out of curiosity..


My 2 cents. smile.gif

 

I have the impression that GR01, GR07, DBA02 and so on are Japanese turbo cars and 535 w4 ie80 are Ferrari and Porsche for a sports car analogy. Maybe customs are Veyrons :D Each has different unique characteristics and you might want to try them all if your wallet allows. darthsmile.gif

post #4 of 34

heh.. that's a good way to put it. rolleyes.gif

post #5 of 34

Drivers do not make that much difference depending on how they are used. I have a fair few of the listed above earphones and the likes of the TDK BA200 is perhaps preferable to some people than the Shure and IMO better than the TF10. If you want a super bright super analytical IEM then the DBA-02 is probably your best bet out of any of them. 

 

When you go up the prices you do notice and increase in the package you get as well and the sound signatures are normally more neutral and well rounded. That is still not always the case.

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post

Drivers do not make that much difference depending on how they are used. I have a fair few of the listed above earphones and the likes of the TDK BA200 is perhaps preferable to some people than the Shure and IMO better than the TF10. If you want a super bright super analytical IEM then the DBA-02 is probably your best bet out of any of them. 

 

When you go up the prices you do notice and increase in the package you get as well and the sound signatures are normally more neutral and well rounded. That is still not always the case.

 

If USD400 is 'barely anything' to me I would really like to get a pair of SE535s for the sake of my love of the brand image... Maroon 5 has got a page in Shure to list the products they use. Must admit this is some groupie behaviour similar to some avid football fans spending a fortune in buying football uniforms. 

post #7 of 34
See I have the 530 and I have to say it is technically better and much more preferable to me. Compared to the TDK it has much more open and forward mids, similar laid back treble but more detailed and extended. And slightly less mid bass but punchier and better impact. I just can't seem to find it comfy so either have to sell it for a 535 or reshell which I don't think would be worth it.
post #8 of 34

To me price is but one factor. My little eph100's  more than hold their own against higher end iem's.

 

So much so i haven't bought another pair since, though that can always can change.

 

Sometimes less is more.

post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huxley View Post

To me price is but one factor. My little eph100's  more than hold their own against higher end iem's.

 

So much so i haven't bought another pair since, though that can always can change.

 

Sometimes less is more.

 

It seems that when a manufacturer lists a phone as its flagship then it can be very good top tier ignoring the price. It seems to me return is quite diminished after hitting USD 130-150 or so for IEMs

post #10 of 34

IMO TF10s can compete with any of those $400 universals out there and depending on your preferred sound sig, are even better than some of those. remember they used to be $400 as well

post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerid View Post

IMO TF10s can compete with any of those $400 universals out there and depending on your preferred sound sig, are even better than some of those. remember they used to be $400 as well

 

Reading threads here and some Chinese sites I visit I have the impression that a lot of people have bad fit with it and find it inferior to expensive top tiers like 535s in terms of SQ. Similar to XBA4's low price of 220USD in Amazon Japan (in Hong Kong shops are still selling close to MSRP) as xba4 is also barely favoured.

post #12 of 34
Although I thought the TF10 was very nice it does not compete as it has a heavy flaw being the mids and most top tiers don't have any flaws as such, all technically awesome but excelling in different areas.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 

If I knew I could get Yamaha EPH-100 at less than HKD1000 (USD 130) in computer malls I would have gone for that instead of TDK... Not that TDKs are bad just that I am desperate to minimize my expense as I have got a pair of Shure 215s already (banging head into wall)

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver View Post

If I knew I could get Yamaha EPH-100 at less than HKD1000 (USD 130) in computer malls I would have gone for that instead of TDK... Not that TDKs are bad just that I am desperate to minimize my expense as I have got a pair of Shure 215s already (banging head into wall)

Kinda sounds like the phrase that pays...

WoW, I coulda had an Ety !!!

LOLz, Jim
post #15 of 34
Thing is silver, from looking at your posts you just want some big name IEMs which is the reason your so obsessed with the Shure and Sonys. The shures are better yes but not enough to warrant another purchase. The TDKs may not have the big name in the world of audio but they are darn good IEMs and I think you should be happy with them. Also you want an iPod classic. That is not an ideal source either unless your planning on getting expensive portable amps. Your better of getting a Cowon J3 for the same price.

Also it matter what audio quality your using, FLAC, AAC or MP3?
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