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Heir Audio 4.Ai - Appreciation/Impression/Review Thread - Page 121  

post #1801 of 2528
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokyung View Post

Personally, I'd say 4.Ai is tad warm, but not "very warm".

+1, a tad is the word i would use, 'very' warm would be something else. I think the word very entitles that it is not a little warm but a rather large amount, if something is 'very' bassy then it would be something you recommend to bassheads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

Do you know what happens to the IEMs when their ports get clogged (by earwax, oil secretions, etc)?  This happens:

 

1000

 

Note the flat frequency response of the bass.  Source of graph is innerfidelity.  Furthermore, Rin even confirms this in his own findings...  He manually filled the port, I know Tyll didn't...  Tyll's 900s naturally filled (as I asked for you to use and let them do, but I have a feeling you never did ;)). 

 

 

Please compare raw graphs, not compensated ones... 

I have been using them a lot, mine have not naturally filled because my ears are extremely clean, i have them washed out for two hours every morning and night when i swim and i do not have a very big wax build up because of this. Anyway, done it manyally like rin now so we shall see. 

post #1802 of 2528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post

+1, a tad is the word i would use, 'very' warm would be something else. I think the word very entitles that it is not a little warm but a rather large amount, if something is 'very' bassy then it would be something you recommend to bassheads.

 

I have been using them a lot, mine have not naturally filled because my ears are extremely clean, i have them washed out for two hours every morning and night when i swim and i do not have a very big wax build up because of this. Anyway, done it manyally like rin now so we shall see. 

 

Oh yeah, I forgot you swim...  Again, very warm vs warm is a personal statement (reason why ideas remain subjective).

 

But the clogged nozzle is the full reason that our impressions are different. 

 

EDIT: I'm curious, what did Rin use to clog the port? 


Edited by tinyman392 - 11/23/12 at 11:43am
post #1803 of 2528

Nice thoughts.

 

Comments in Bold:

Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

Two days listening, at this point, I've heard very little change in the last 20 hours of burn in.  With that said, I'm going to post my first few impressions.

 

Bass

  • This IEM is mid-bass focused, similar to the W4R that I have.  Quantity is less than the W4, but more than the UE 900. I still can't tell what has more bass, the UE900 or the 4.Ai. I actually haven't A/B'ed the two, but I did compare the UE900 with my 4.A. I think it has to do with the small port design and changing variances in sealing pressure of the ear canal, but the UE900 is at times even more of a chameleon with the bass in that in can swing from overwhelming bass levels (to the point of more than the TF10) down to quite a bit less than the 4.A.  Very close to neutral despite the small bump in the mid-bass.  The low bass shows an ample, and strong impact with good definition.  When we begin going down deep, we find that the bass presence in the sub-bass is lacking a bit. This is one big difference between the 4.Ai and the custom 4.A. It's just a lot easier to hear the bass extension with the 4.A. It doesn't impact texture too much, but some of the minute sub-bass detailing is loss due to the lost of depth in the low end.

 

Mids

  • The midrange is very smooth and warm.  Detail retrieval is very strong despite that, this being one of the bigger strengths of the midrange.  The vocals have a nice lush sound to them creating very inviting, warm tone to them. The 4.Ai tries to add sweetness to the vocals.  For the most part, the sweetness is there in most singers.  There are a few (female and some male) where the 4.Ai can't catch the height of their voice.  Similar to the vocals, the 4.Ai can do clarity, but again, don't get it all.  Overall though, what happens is that it does still do ample sweetness and clarity, but doesn't provide the energy that these areas entail. I think the mids on the 4.Ai can be polarizing in that people expecting the sparkle, clean clarity of the PFE232-type sound are not going to find the same type of sound here. People who love the 4.Ai for its clarity are actually also looking for forward body, rather than well-separated, clean space, and that's going to disappoint some folks that hear the oft overused phrase, "the 4.Ai is so clear and neutral!" and expect the typical Phonak or Ety clarity. In this sense, the 4.Ai gives the feeling of neutrality while splashing in color at the same time. If I had one criticism of the 4.Ai, it'd be that it's not really optimized for the universal shell. As both Sinocelt and I could attest to, the sound signature of the 4.A works better in a 4.A. While outwardly trivial, the custom shell provides intangibles that translate to the betterment of the sound signature, which is not to say that the 4.Ai doesn't sound nice, because it does, but it's just not as good as a custom 4.A.

 

Highs

 

  • When we step into the treble, we do find that it doesn't show off the energy like the midrange.  This combination of high-end energy and midrange energy creates the smoothness, warmth, and lushness described before.  Detailing and splash are still there for sure though with a nice strength in the upper highs.  Despite rolling off a little earlier than I'd like, the highs still keep a nice splash with strong separation up in the higher treble. It might be that I've been used to the 4.A, but I've never had a problem with treble roll-off, despite what the graphs purport. Again, this might be a discrepancy between the universal fit of the 4.Ai and the 4.A; I don't know for sure. I had to do my comparisons between the two quickly because I didn't have a lot of time when I had both. The lower treble does contain a small problem with extension in the snap. Presence is no problem though.  The end result is that the treble as a whole, in the upper and lower are nicely detailed but also very laid back at the same time.  The treble is entirely inoffensive to anyone.

 

I can see why a lot of people love this headphone.  I don't find it perfectly neutral as others have stated though. I think it's something that got tossed around early on and got abused. Someone said something that led to another person saying something else, and the rest is history. As I stated in my W4 comparison against the 4.Ai, I thought the 4.Ai sounded more like an improved W4 than an improved ER4. And yes, I do find it technically superior to the W4. I think the upper highs of the W4 give the illusion of refinement that people like to attribute to the W4 sound, but I think its mid-bass hump, which is quite a bit stronger than the 4.Ai's, combined with its lower treble drop-off, sacrifices its ability to articulate details because of its sinusoidal sound signature. I think I mentioned in my W4 comparison that existing W4 owners may still prefer the sound of the W4, though. It's a very warm and lush headphone that invites you to come in an listen more.  The 100% non-fatiguing signature can hold up with hours of listening.  All of this and that fact that it doesn't sacrifice that much accuracy does do loads for it.  Does it stand up against the big guns?  Well, we'll have to wait and see.  I don't feel the actual competition is as one-sided as Swimsonny put it. When it comes to the 4.Ai versus the UE900, I think it can go either way, depending on the listener's tendencies and preferences. To me, they're pretty much on equal terms. I personally prefer the, well, 4.A (rather than the 4.Ai), but you get the point.

post #1804 of 2528
Thread Starter 

I covered the port with tape and i will upload a picture or too later. It is regular tape so maybe it will let a bit of sound through, i am no expert here but what i can see its stupid how much these IEMs have changed. 

 

Mid-bass has dropped a rather significant amount and yes it is now less than the 4.Ai and yes i now see were your coming from...... more to follow and i will do yet another comparison.

post #1805 of 2528
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

Good point.  I'll edit it now :)

 

Ahha, that was a fast edit :P

post #1806 of 2528

I do want to clarify my a few of my statements.  I wasn't making a direct comparison (that is still to come). 

 

As for bass, I was just giving general bass quantity (overall).  Let's put it this way, ignoring sub-bass, the 4.Ai is always >= to the bass quantity of my UE 900s.  This was done under direct comparison.  Regarding sub-bass of the 4.Ai, the extension is really what is lacking, not the texturing.  Texturing is still strong with good presence and overall decent detailing down in the sub-bass.  A small bump in the lower sub-bass could help it a bit though.

 

Tom nailed my ideas on the upper midrange though.  I was expecting a more clean, clear sound.  A small bump in the upper midrange (2k range) could help this quite a bit. Please do note though, this doesn't mean I'm saying that hte 4.Ai has no clarity, and no sweetness.  It has them both.  However, it doesn't go up into the higher midrange like it should. 

 

Regarding the upper highs, the highs do still show a strong splash (actually, at times stronger than the UE 900s).  However, some extension would still be better in this regard.  It isn't a "oh it kills the IEM", no.  But the problem is there.  Otherwise, the treble is very cleanly shown, but also laid back. 

 

I do like this signature a lot.  It reminds me a lot of what I would've expected the ASG-1 to sound like after the revision.  That's not putting down the 4.Ai either :) These IEMs are great, but I still feel it's overstated how great.  Originally reading through the thread, I read like these were absolutely perfect with no shortcomings.  I, myself, feel that these are absolutely great IEMs, with few shortcomings.  All IEMs I've tried to date (all headphones for that matter) have a short coming somewhere.  The UE 900 has it in the treble, midrange, and somewhat in the bass.  The Westone has it in the highs, and somewhat in the bass, and even a little in the midrange (small veil).  The Phonak 232s have it in the lower mids (a rather large weakness here).  I can keep going on. 

 

Tom's last statement about the UE 900 vs 4.Ai is almost word for word how I feel about the two.  I believe I used the statement that it isn't as one sided as Swim made it seem.  When I made this statement, I meant both ways (although I didn't say it directly).  My comparisons will reflect that. 


Edited by tinyman392 - 11/23/12 at 12:07pm
post #1807 of 2528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokyung View Post

 

Ahha, that was a fast edit :P

 

I'm a ninja, don't forget that :p  I do make mistakes though, let me know if you see any "very warm" or anything that implies that :)

post #1808 of 2528
Thread Starter 

I will say right now that after i have closed this bore, things are going to be different. In fact they are close now when i think it was rather one sided before. Mine have not been clogging up but have been listening a lot, probably to do with me swimming so UE900 owners have to think of how the UE900 sounded out of the box which is a rather bassy IEM which the 4.Ai neatly puts in place. 

post #1809 of 2528
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

I'm a ninja, don't forget that :p  I do make mistakes though, let me know if you see any "very warm" or anything that implies that :)

Haha, sure will. Nah, I am just pulling your leg. 

post #1810 of 2528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post

I will say right now that after i have closed this bore, things are going to be different. In fact they are close now when i think it was rather one sided before. Mine have not been clogging up but have been listening a lot, probably to do with me swimming so UE900 owners have to think of how the UE900 sounded out of the box which is a rather bassy IEM which the 4.Ai neatly puts in place. 

 

Yeah, I forgot that you swam, so it'd be hard to clog up your nozzle (I have no clue how I forgot that, it's in your darn username!)  Sorry about that though (that was my mistake) :p  And yes, out of the box, the UE 900 aren't that engaging with a bit of bass behind them and dull vocals (yes, this was my initial though...).  I heard the spike in the 2k range, it helped a bit on the 900s, but the vocals still sounded dull.  I still feel the 4.Ai are at the level of the UE 900 (my initial impressions of the 4.Ai made today weren't supposed to be a direct comparison). 


Edited by tinyman392 - 11/23/12 at 12:16pm
post #1811 of 2528
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

Yeah, I forgot that you swam, so it'd be hard to clog up your nozzle :p  And yes, out of the box, the UE 900 aren't that engaging with a bit of bass behind them and dull vocals (yes, this was my initial though...).  I heard the spike in the 2k range, it helped a bit on the 900s, but the vocals still sounded dull.  I still feel the 4.Ai are at the level of the UE 900 (my initial impressions of the 4.Ai made today weren't supposed to be a direct comparison). 

Yes, mine still sound like that, i guess you can now see why i am not being impressed. Modding them with tape seemed impossible as it is so fiddly so what i have done is used candle wax, my dad reckons he can remove it easily so yes, it works. I know they were not but you still talked of them. I am not saying either way now, gonna go with a bit of a/bing again. 

 

Accutone Taurus Review can wait heheh!

post #1812 of 2528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post

Yes, mine still sound like that, i guess you can now see why i am not being impressed. Modding them with tape seemed impossible as it is so fiddly so what i have done is used candle wax, my dad reckons he can remove it easily so yes, it works. I know they were not but you still talked of them. I am not saying either way now, gonna go with a bit of a/bing again. 

 

Accutone Taurus Review can wait heheh!

 

Candle wax can be removed...  But you have to heat it up.  Hopefully the plastic doesn't melt in the process (it shouldn't though).  When removing it, try not exceeding ~160 F (70 C).  Be safer to stay even lower (60-65 C). 


Edited by tinyman392 - 11/23/12 at 12:29pm
post #1813 of 2528
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

Candle wax can be removed...  But you have to heat it up.  Hopefully the plastic doesn't melt in the process (it shouldn't though).

Yes, with the sound difference i will not be removing too soon. Just a/bing them to RHCP - Nothing to lose (live), FLAC through my desktop rig and i cannot help think that imaging of the 4.Ai in live recordings is just surreal but they also now have more bass. They are actually evening up on trade offs, i will get into them later. However it much be remembered that i am using the 4.Ai stock, the UE900 with the included 75 ohm adapter and the small mod (that most ears should do for you). With the adapter everything just seems a bit tighter with nicer detail retrieval rather than any dramatic FR changes.

post #1814 of 2528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post

Yes, with the sound difference i will not be removing too soon. Just a/bing them to RHCP - Nothing to lose (live), FLAC through my desktop rig and i cannot help think that imaging of the 4.Ai in live recordings is just surreal but they also now have more bass. They are actually evening up on trade offs, i will get into them later. However it much be remembered that i am using the 4.Ai stock, the UE900 with the included 75 ohm adapter and the small mod (that most ears should do for you). With the adapter everything just seems a bit tighter with nicer detail retrieval rather than any dramatic FR changes.

 

The 75 ohm adapter helps the 900s quite a bit.  I'm running straight (less variables, and I also like the remote and mic functionality :p).  The 4.Ai does improve with the 75 ohm adapter as well (controls bass a bit, helps the upper mids a little more).  It doesn't solve the problems though, but no denying it helps them (IMO). 

post #1815 of 2528

I was listening to this on my iPod: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjfWYKe3baU (AAC, 256k, from iTunes).  But the 4.Ai captures the intro perfectly.  The lushness, the depth, in her voice is really just beautiful.  I haven't heard that raw lushness in her voice in a while. 

 

EDIT: full-length here I guess: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLH_kw-LHKE&feature=related

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