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$200-$300 IEMs? - Page 2

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by supersleuth View Post


I'm afraid this sort of thing is usually said by people who actually don't have much experience of what a live classical orchestra or chamber group sounds like. I have an HF5, not an ER4, but the sound that comes out of them when fed a good recording is exceptionally realistic to my ears and in particular is incredibly accurate at reproducing convincing instrumental timbres. What people call "dryness" is actually what real instruments in a real hall sound like. Equipment that adds "lushness" to the sound only detracts from that kind of realism. All IMHO of course; these things are a matter of taste.

 

My thing is, how good is it compared to iems with a good soundstage? I heard the HF3, and it sounds amazing. However, SS is not it's best quality.

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 

My thing is, how good is it compared to iems with a good soundstage? I heard the HF3, and it sounds amazing. However, SS is not it's best quality.


"Soundstage" with headphones, and especially IEMs, is very subjective and not at all a straightforward concept. Frankly there's quite a lot of BS surrounding the topic. And its relation to live classical performances is again not at all straightforward. Sit in the center (let alone the back) of a large concert hall and listen to an orchestra, and tell me how much "separation" and "soundstage" you really hear.  Sit near the middle of a smaller auditorium where a string quartet is playing, and tell me if you hear the exaggerated spatial separation that many recordings of string quartets provide. Whatever "soundstage" in IEMs really is, comments on headfi  typically exaggerate its importance to most listeners whose musical diet is heavily classical. Most of us are primarily concerned with accuracy of timbre, detail, and ability to retain complete clarity when reproducing complex orchestral textures. Those things are Ety's strong suit.


Edited by supersleuth - 7/1/12 at 12:04pm
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by supersleuth View Post


"Soundstage" with headphones, and especially IEMs, is very subjective and not at all a straightforward concept. Frankly there's quite a lot of BS surrounding the topic. And its relation to live classical performances is again not at all straightforward. Sit in the center (let alone the back) of a large concert hall and listen to an orchestra, and tell me how much "separation" and "soundstage" you really hear.  Sit near the middle of a smaller auditorium where a string quartet is playing, and tell me if you hear the exaggerated spatial separation that many recordings of string quartets provide. Whatever "soundstage" in IEMs really is, comments on headfi  typically exaggerate its importance to most listeners whose musical diet is heavily classical. Most of us are primarily concerned with accuracy of timbre, detail, and ability to retain complete clarity when reproducing complex orchestral textures. Those things are Ety's strong suit.

 

I listen to a fair bit of classical. As far as SS goes, I want to feel like I'm sitting in the music hall and the Ety's simply cannot do that. Those other things are just as important, but you're forgetting dynamics and power. During those grand movements, they ety will fail to capture the gravity of what's being played. I did not really understand the concept until I heard it for myself. A good dynamic like the IE8, EX600/1000, ASG-1, or FX700 will be able to capture ALL these requirements far better than the HF3. This is from someone who became infatuated with the HF3 within seconds of listening to it.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 

I listen to a fair bit of classical. As far as SS goes, I want to feel like I'm sitting in the music hall and the Ety's simply cannot do that. Those other things are just as important, but you're forgetting dynamics and power. During those grand movements, they ety will fail to capture the gravity of what's being played. I did not really understand the concept until I heard it for myself. A good dynamic like the IE8, EX600/1000, ASG-1, or FX700 will be able to capture ALL these requirements far better than the HF3. This is from someone who became infatuated with the HF3 within seconds of listening to it.


I am a serious amateur orchestral musician as well as a frequent concertgoer and I completely disagree. So it goes.

post #20 of 26
Disagree with my comparison to the other iems?
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

This is from someone who became infatuated with the HF3 within seconds of listening to it.

Really?

How long did you own the HF3?

Thanks, Jim
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by supersleuth View Post


I am a serious amateur orchestral musician as well as a frequent concertgoer and I completely disagree. So it goes.

Well, what instrument do you play? 

It might explain your taste. 

Ety's are far from true neutrality. As much as I like them, they simply are nowhere near accurate or detailed like electrostats. 


Edited by Sil3nce - 7/1/12 at 3:59pm
post #23 of 26

I'm a violist (and sometime violinist), and you're simply wrong about the neutrality (wrt to frequency response) of Etys- that's something that IS objectively measurable and not just a matter of subjective taste. Are there more accurate cans? Of course (at a price), but HF (and presumably ER) Etys are well above average, and heads and shoulders above typical consumer cans and IEMs in accuracy.

 

As for convincing reproduction of spatial cues, headphones of any kind are just the wrong place to look for that (unless you're listening to true binaural recordings). I've owned a full-size can known around here as having "good soundstage", the Beyer DT990. I eventually sold them because they always sounded unnatural to me compared to my Grados. Part of the problem was that they're too bassy, but what I found even more irritating was that, regardless of recording, they imposed a very artificial-sounding feeling of empty space between me and the performers, resembling nothing I've ever heard in a concert hall or from a  good speaker setup. No thanks.

 

Anyway, de gustibus non est disputandum.
 

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by supersleuth View Post


I'm afraid this sort of thing is usually said by people who actually don't have much experience of what a live classical orchestra or chamber group sounds like. I have an HF5, not an ER4, but the sound that comes out of them when fed a good recording is exceptionally realistic to my ears and in particular is incredibly accurate at reproducing convincing instrumental timbres. What people call "dryness" is actually what real instruments in a real hall sound like. Equipment that adds "lushness" to the sound only detracts from that kind of realism. All IMHO of course; these things are a matter of taste.

 

The last bit is something worth reiterating; music doesn't always sound "lush and/or rich", especially classical music, among other similar genres. I had the ER4P/Ss about 1.5 or so years ago and loved them for their accuracy and neutrality. However, that's saying with the knowledge that I have never heard a live orchestra. 

 

What people have to understand is that, if they haven't had adequate, first hand experience in live performances of their music, they don't truly know how it sounds, regardless of what headphones/IEMs you have. From my list, the most accurate phones I would assume I've owned are the UM3Xs in terms of separation, K702s, and ER4Ss. 

 

Again, I can only assume that the actual sound of the recording is, and using a wide variety of headphones (those among others) allows one to better pin down what something really sounds like, to a degree, of course. 

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hmm....so....
post #26 of 26

I have HF2s and I wouldn't say that their sound stage is the best.  I would say that other than the sound stage they're absolute fantastic for the money.  Etymotic offers up a level of detail that can be highly addictive.
 

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