Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › TDK IE800 Dual High-Performance Dynamic Micro-Drivers IEM
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

TDK IE800 Dual High-Performance Dynamic Micro-Drivers IEM - Page 3

post #31 of 375

I got these for Christmas. 

 

I have never used other IEMs in this class - I've had the RE0s, the Brainwavz M2s and most recently the Sony MH1Cs - so I don't really have a great point of reference for how 150 dollar IEMs should sound. I am also a novice to this hobby as my brief review will surely reveal. But I thought I should try to say at least a few words given how many questions I've asked about these IEMs.

 

I have heard people say that the MH1Cs can compete with IEMs costing 5 times their price. If that's the case, then the IE800s must be well above above average for their price range because they sound far superior to the MH1Cs. Where they most differentiate themselves most to me is in four areas.

 

1) The soundstage is more expansive with the music not sounding nearly is an your head as with all the other IEMs I've used. One possible concern, and it may just be psychological, is that while the soundstage is very expansive it may not be accurate. I hear instruments all around me, but for some reason the space doesn't feel real - spacious but somehow chaotic and not coherent so that if I had to point to where the instruments were coming from I'm not sure I could. Maybe its just an adjustment period my brain needs to go to get used to the increased space and details? More on this below.

 

2) The instrument separation and "black background" of the IE800s is excellent. 

 

3) The highs are much more prominent and airy than the MH1Cs.

 

4) The bass is much tighter and more controlled than on the MH1Cs. However its not lacking at all, as it was on the RE0s.

 

I've started a separate thread about build quality so I won't rehash too much but in short these feel pretty cheap to me. Cheaper than the M2s and MH1Cs. The housings are very lightweight plastic with a visible seem. The jack is straight and tiny. The cable is thin. Hopefully that's just the feel and not the reality.

 

They don't seem quite as smooth or liquid-y as the MH1Cs, but that seems to be improving with use/burn-in.

 

Overall, outside of possibly only OK build quality and  perhaps the less than accurate soundstage these are excellent. They are remarkably balanced from low through highs and have a spacious soundstage with excellent instrument separation. 

 

 

One question I have for others is whether it should be expected that a higher end IEM would initially be more fatiguing than a lower end IEM. These feel a bit like that to me and I'm wondering if its just because they reveal more auditory information than any other IEM I've used which will take my brain more time to adjust to? Is it because of the somewhat disorienting soundstage? The brighter highs? Or maybe I'm listening extra hard because they're new and nice? 


Edited by Stuff Jones - 12/27/12 at 12:04pm
post #32 of 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post

I got these for Christmas. 

 

I have never used other IEMs in this class - I've had the RE0s, the Brainwavz M2s and most recently the Sony MH1Cs - so I don't really have a great point of reference for how 150 dollar IEMs should sound. I am also a novice to this hobby as my brief review will surely reveal. But I thought I should try to say at least a few words given how many questions I've asked about these IEMs.

 

I have heard people say that the MH1Cs can compete with IEMs costing 5 times their price. If that's the case, then the IE800s must be well above above average for their price range because they sound far superior to the MH1Cs. Where they most differentiate themselves most to me is in four areas.

 

1) The soundstage is more expansive with the music not sounding nearly is an your head as with all the other IEMs I've used. One possible concern, and it may just be psychological, is that while the soundstage is very expansive it may not be accurate. I hear instruments all around me, but for some reason the space doesn't feel real - spacious but somehow chaotic and not coherent so that if I had to point to where the instruments were coming from I'm not sure I could. Maybe its just an adjustment period my brain needs to go to get used to the increased space and details? More on this below.

 

2) The instrument separation and "black background" of the IE800s is excellent. 

 

3) The highs are much more prominent and airy than the MH1Cs.

 

4) The bass is much tighter and more controlled than on the MH1Cs. However its not lacking at all, as it was on the RE0s.

 

I've started a separate thread about build quality so I won't rehash too much but in short these feel pretty cheap to me. Cheaper than the M2s and MH1Cs. The housings are very lightweight plastic with a visible seem. The jack is straight and tiny. The cable is thin. Hopefully that's just the feel and not the reality.

 

They don't seem quite as smooth or liquid-y as the MH1Cs, but that seems to be improving with use/burn-in.

 

Overall, outside of possibly only OK build quality I can't any flaws with these. They seem remarkably balanced and have excellent soundstage and instrument separation. 

 

 

One question I have for others is whether it should be expected that a higher end IEM would initially be more fatiguing than a lower end IEM. These feel a bit like that to me and I'm wondering if its just because they reveal more auditory information than any other IEM I've used which will take my brain more time to adjust to? Or could it just be the brighter highs? Or maybe I'm listening extra hard because they're new and nice? 

 

What you describe with the soundstage is what I'd call artificial soundstage.  The thing is, there is very little soundstage put into the raw recording; very few records are recorded and mastered with soundstage in mind.  That said, the majority of soundstage is created, by artificial means, by the headphone itself, rather than being in the recording.  

post #33 of 375

Hey, Stuff Jones!

Although its sparkly treble is clear and pleasant to listen to, it might be what's tiring you.

I don't really have that problem, though.

post #34 of 375

I'm so tempted to buy these but I know I wont use them as much as my SM3, dam# you for ruining other IEM's for me. biggrin.gif  

post #35 of 375
.

Edited by xProvidence - 1/10/13 at 11:42am
post #36 of 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post

I got these for Christmas. 

 

I have never used other IEMs in this class - I've had the RE0s, the Brainwavz M2s and most recently the Sony MH1Cs - so I don't really have a great point of reference for how 150 dollar IEMs should sound. I am also a novice to this hobby as my brief review will surely reveal. But I thought I should try to say at least a few words given how many questions I've asked about these IEMs.

 

I have heard people say that the MH1Cs can compete with IEMs costing 5 times their price. If that's the case, then the IE800s must be well above above average for their price range because they sound far superior to the MH1Cs. Where they most differentiate themselves most to me is in four areas.

 

1) The soundstage is more expansive with the music not sounding nearly is an your head as with all the other IEMs I've used. One possible concern, and it may just be psychological, is that while the soundstage is very expansive it may not be accurate. I hear instruments all around me, but for some reason the space doesn't feel real - spacious but somehow chaotic and not coherent so that if I had to point to where the instruments were coming from I'm not sure I could. Maybe its just an adjustment period my brain needs to go to get used to the increased space and details? More on this below.

 

2) The instrument separation and "black background" of the IE800s is excellent. 

 

3) The highs are much more prominent and airy than the MH1Cs.

 

4) The bass is much tighter and more controlled than on the MH1Cs. However its not lacking at all, as it was on the RE0s.

 

I've started a separate thread about build quality so I won't rehash too much but in short these feel pretty cheap to me. Cheaper than the M2s and MH1Cs. The housings are very lightweight plastic with a visible seem. The jack is straight and tiny. The cable is thin. Hopefully that's just the feel and not the reality.

 

They don't seem quite as smooth or liquid-y as the MH1Cs, but that seems to be improving with use/burn-in.

 

Overall, outside of possibly only OK build quality and  perhaps the less than accurate soundstage these are excellent. They are remarkably balanced from low through highs and have a spacious soundstage with excellent instrument separation. 

 

 

One question I have for others is whether it should be expected that a higher end IEM would initially be more fatiguing than a lower end IEM. These feel a bit like that to me and I'm wondering if its just because they reveal more auditory information than any other IEM I've used which will take my brain more time to adjust to? Is it because of the somewhat disorienting soundstage? The brighter highs? Or maybe I'm listening extra hard because they're new and nice? 

 

Thanks Stuff - an interesting and thought provoking post.

 

Although I've not heard the ie800s, I have owned a fair few other universals it's price range, and from a personal viewpoint, would say that fatigue-factor does not necessarily scale with price range. Perhaps your experience is a good example of the power of brain burn in (i.e. the brain / mindset adjusting to appreciate newly presented sound)?

 

Fatigue is something I'd normally associate with enhancement of any given part of the sonic spectrum, combined with a forward, more intimate soundstage. But others (including yourself) may experience things entirely differently.   

 

In your position, I might put it down to analytical listening, expectations, or new toy syndrome... at least until my brain had adjusted a week or so later. That said, I definitely think that "more auditory information" is key factor, as I experienced with my first CIEM, which was initially fatiguing. The increase of details meant that I listened to all the parts, whilst missing the song.

 

Whatever... your experience is as valid as anyone else's, and you've the skill to articulate it, so keep the impressions coming ;)

post #37 of 375

I had a chance to compare ie800 to my brother's ha-fxt90...

Wow, Ha-fxt90s are a pair of very engaging headphones. I definately like them!

I have to admit that I would prefer fxt90 over ie800 with most contemporary music.

 

Nevertheless, my impression is that ie800 is ahead of fxt90 in a several ways: bigger soundstage, more detail, and a tad better mid. I came to appreciate ie800 even more after listening to fxt90. Ie800 just sounds remarkable with quite and emotional tunes.tongue.gif


Edited by Cornucopia - 12/27/12 at 7:35pm
post #38 of 375
The fxt90s were my favorite iems for a long time. I kept them over much more expensive phones such as the FX-700, and SM3. I remember them being particularly good for genres such as metal and punk.

Would you say the ie800 are comparitively more laid back? And how does the bass compare?
post #39 of 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nulliverse View Post

The fxt90s were my favorite iems for a long time. I kept them over much more expensive phones such as the FX-700, and SM3. I remember them being particularly good for genres such as metal and punk.
Would you say the ie800 are comparitively more laid back? And how does the bass compare?

Would you mind posting a comparison between the FXD80s and the IE800 when you receive it? Would be much appreciated.

post #40 of 375
Sure thing. It's a shame I don't have my re-262s any more, as they'd make another interesting comparison (given Clieos' and Eric10s brief descriptions).

Eric10, if you can pull yourself out of tbe fxz thread for a minute, elaborate for us a bit ;-)
post #41 of 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno Kid View Post

I'm so tempted to buy these but I know I wont use them as much as my SM3, dam# you for ruining other IEM's for me. biggrin.gif   

Haha... SM3 was my gateway top tier, but I ended abandoning it for cheaper mid focused phones, such as the re-262. The re-262s clarity blew me away, but the bottom end always left me wanting. It would appear that, apparently, the ie800 remedies that.
post #42 of 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nulliverse View Post

The fxt90s were my favorite iems for a long time. I kept them over much more expensive phones such as the FX-700, and SM3. I remember them being particularly good for genres such as metal and punk.
Would you say the ie800 are comparitively more laid back? And how does the bass compare?

Laid back to me is hard to say... I am not exactly sure what laid back means. 

I would say that ie800 does not have fxt90's intoxicating low-rumble. However, ie800 is not lacking too much in bass presence compared to fxt90. Bass is more punch on fxt90.


Edited by Cornucopia - 12/31/12 at 8:01am
post #43 of 375
Ok. And how would you compare treble?
post #44 of 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nulliverse View Post

 

Thanks Stuff - an interesting and thought provoking post.

 

Although I've not heard the ie800s, I have owned a fair few other universals it's price range, and from a personal viewpoint, would say that fatigue-factor does not necessarily scale with price range. Perhaps your experience is a good example of the power of brain burn in (i.e. the brain / mindset adjusting to appreciate newly presented sound)?

 

Fatigue is something I'd normally associate with enhancement of any given part of the sonic spectrum, combined with a forward, more intimate soundstage. But others (including yourself) may experience things entirely differently.   

 

In your position, I might put it down to analytical listening, expectations, or new toy syndrome... at least until my brain had adjusted a week or so later. That said, I definitely think that "more auditory information" is key factor, as I experienced with my first CIEM, which was initially fatiguing. The increase of details meant that I listened to all the parts, whilst missing the song.

 

Whatever... your experience is as valid as anyone else's, and you've the skill to articulate it, so keep the impressions coming ;)

 

Thanks Nulliverse. 

 

After about a week of owning these I've got a few more impressions. Again the disclaimer that I'm amateur and also not very confident about my ability to distinguish real from placebo or imagined changes... disclaimer, disclaimer...

 

At first I found these a bit grating, and to use loose language, having more of a digital sound rather than the analog sound I prefer. Whether its brain or IEM burn in, that's seemed to change some. While they do still sound much more high-focused than the MH1Cs, the sound is much more natural and, again, analog, than at first.

 

I switched from the long to the short comply tips. That seemed to sort out the kind of "ethereal" soundstage that previously seemed to send notes scattershot from afar without particular focus or accurate representation of where the instruments were on the soundstage.  I haven't however switched back and forth between the tips to really experiment. 

 

One thing I've noticed, and maybe this is generally the case with nicer IEMs, but these make more transparent the difference between sources. I've listened from three sources - my J3, my crappy Dell work computer and my personal Thinkpad X230 computer. They sound by far the best from the Thinkpad, by a margin I didn't notice with my MH1Cs.

 

I'm still really impressed by how balanced these are, not just in quantity but also quality. If I had one complaint, other than still a bit of a "loose" sound stage, it would be that the sound is still a bit more digital than analog. What I mean by this is that that you're not always entirely convinced by the timbre of the instrument. For example, cello doesn't sound completely like it is coming from something made of wood. I know this is a very inexact explanation, and maybe my expectations are unrealistic, but this is my impression. Nevertheless, on whole, I am very impressed.

 

Here's an example of music for which these really shine, IMO.

 


Edited by Stuff Jones - 12/31/12 at 5:55pm
post #45 of 375

Thanks for the impression Stuff Jones,

Yes, I too think some instruments do not sound very convincing. For example, violin and cello as you've mentioned, won't sound as 'emotional' and realistic as akg701's.

To compensate for this, you can try to mess around with equalizer like electri-q. I heard you can use it as a winamp plugin.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › TDK IE800 Dual High-Performance Dynamic Micro-Drivers IEM