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Need Advice for First High-End IEM: Shure SE535, PFE 232, Westone 4R, Heir 4.Ai - Page 5
Poll Results: Which IEM has the best combination of sound quality, isolation, comfort, and sturdiness (most overall value)?
21% (19)SE 535
39% (35)Westone 4R
25% (23)PFE 232
13% (12)None of them, I have a better idea (see below in comments)!
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Great impressions. I haven't heard either set but from your descriptions I understand exactly the predicament you were in. I've experienced the same problem but with different iems. I would be very interested in your impressions of the ER4S now that you've gotten such a good grasp of the 4r and 232. I would predict you would find the mids and treble prefect, while wanting a bit more bass emphasis.
I haven't heard the er4s but I've heard the h5 i believe it was. They were precisely that. Great treble and miss but not much bass. The high treble was rolled off too much for me too, but they still sounded very flat and smooth. I'm assumig the er4 s are like a nicer version if those...
I'd be glad to compare them if you want to send me some hahaha ;-P
I've been playing with accudio and very very very closely matched the "flat/hi-fi" setting with the parametric eq. I could probably get it a little better, but I tried to keep it as simple as possible for people, with the fewest band adjustments. Hopefully this will allow the flattest response (based on accudio) with any parametric eq app, assuming accudio settings translate to other apps...
You can set the bass db 1 or 2 db lower to match the flattest accudio setting, but I find my settings sound flatter to my ears. The only thing I want to work out is a very very slight raspyness in comparison to the nasaly accudio setting (both very slight). Mine is leaning towards raspy, because I was trying to eliminate the nasalness... :-P I want to make it less apparent so to be more neutral anyway.
But alas, so far...
Westone 4R Parametric EQ settings:
-6db overall gain (this was just to match the accudio hi-fi volume)
Hi-Fi with +1 sub bass/+1 bass equivalent setting:
40hz +3db 2.80 oct.
220hz -6db 4.00 oct.
1300hz +2db 1.80 oct.
3300hz +3db 2.40 oct.
Edited by luisdent - 2/1/13 at 3:52pm
I've been using these a while now with the accudio, and I believe it does an excellent job with neutrality, although I add a bass notch or two and sub bass. But even without the bass notches I wouldn't mind it at all, very nice.
However, I have been listening a lot today with the default music player and no eq at all, but using the headphone volume control it came with. I find that if I set the ipod touch volume to about 80-85% and use the volume adapter to control it, it actually increases the overall treble in the same way the accudio reduces the midbass revealing the treble. What's odd, is that ironically it keeps a lot of the sonic properties that you get with accudio.
Basically, because the volume adapter is adding impedance to the cable signal, it reacts according to this graph:
If you look at my eq settings which reflect the sound of accudio's neutral setting very closely, you'll see it is essentially the same as this graph. Keep in mind this graph is a high impedance range, the volume adapter is probably a lot less based on what I'm hearing. So, what you get is a slightly boosted treble region as the graph shows.
With accudio the neutral setting reduces the mid bass/bass which relatively speaking would be like boosting the other frequencies, as in the graph. The corrective cuts that accudio makes are almost exactly the boosted areas affected by higher impedance.
Anyway, bottom line, I have found that at the 80-85% ipod volume level the volume adapter allows the 4R to sound very similar to the accudio neutral setting, thus requiring no accudio or eq at all. It is not identical, but moves in the same direction. The accudio has a more distinct and separated sound, but at the cost of the mids a bit, although as you listen to it for a while you stop noticing it really. The adapter is a more gradual or smooth boost of the default signature. So, while it isn't a flat treble boost, but rather as you see in the graph, it is less "adjusted" sounding than accudio. I'm not sure which I prefer, but I can say I'm completely happy without EQ using the adapter
:-) It's like having a bonus impedance adapter included. haha.
For what it's worth, I can't stop listening to "Sailing" by Christopher Cross. Haha. All the cymbals and triangles and whatnot sound so awesome. Very dingy and clear but not overly bright. And the kick drum and bass are very neutral but have detail to them. It's like sonic ear candy.
I think I've got a really good EQ for the 4R on an ipod touch. I tried to replicate the accudio Hi-Fi setting again, which I believe really makes the phones sound flat and better. However, I like to have the ability to EQ the headphones anywhere in any app and get the same quality. I've been using the denon app, as the quality seems good and it's free and easy to use. It's too bad none of these apps play drm itunes music. Anyhow, I'm trying to get the settings down here, but it doesn't have any easy way to select points without moving them. I'll try to post the settings if anyone is interested.
I've moved my EQ article over to my blog if anyone is interested:
I'm going to stop posting about the 4R unless anyone has any specific questions. I don't want to turn this into a 4R only appreciation thread. :-)
Edited by luisdent - 2/4/13 at 10:36pm
I'm selling my westone 4r if anyone is interested:
I also got the sennheiser hd600, and they are a lot better to my ears. So I find I'm not listening to the 4r much. Therefore I'm having a hard time justifying the cost of both. So I am planning on selling these and using a cheaper pair for portable use when I can't have the hd600. I do like them, I just like the hd600 more. :-)