Originally Posted by iamthem
I posted some impressions awhile back.
Apple Earpod first impressions: A surprisingly balanced earbud, certainly worth $35 for those who are unwilling to use an IEM. Severely lacks refinement (not that I expect it..), VERY bad soundstaging (again not surprised) and there's an issue with the treble - it's recessed and peaky at the same time, especially close to the upper mids. The mids are also "dry and harsh", partly due to the treble, they lack the smoothness found in more expensive sets. Bass is excellent for an earbud, but gets uncontrolled near the bottom.
Well that's funny. I think the soundstaging and imaging is one of the high points of the EarPods. Additionally, the Mids are my second favorite part, right after the soundstaging.
Let me explain, while I have not used any expensive iems, I have used the Meelec M6p fairly extensively. Around head-fi the M6 is known as "good for the money" and known for having good bass and a v-shaped signature. The soundstage on the M6 is primarily right-left-center, with the sounds creating a virtual triangle inside my head. The EarPods have better bass than the M6, as well as much, MUCH better mids. The bass is smooth and pleasantly impactful, the EarPods have as much quantity of bass as the M6 without the punch to the ear of the M6. The midrange is more forward and more liquid than the M6. Guitars and vocals sound life-like and fun on the EarPods.
As far as the soundstage: when I say I hear a "triangle" when I listen to the M6, I mean that I hear the centerstage at the top-front of my forehead, and all other sounds originate near my ears. This means the imaginary triangle is tilted forward. Now, the reason I say the EarPods are so great with soundstage is because the shape of the stage is more like an oval which is tilted forward towards my forehead. The reason I feel like it's an oval instead of a circle, is because the sounds and instruments separate themselves in an arc across the headstage with the long part of the arc (or oval) extending slightly outside and below my ears on either side. Stereo effects literally sweep across the arc of the soundstage in 3D compared to the jumping-between-the-ears which occurs with the M6p. Sometimes there even seems to be two arcs of sound inside the staging, with background vocals and instruments positioned behind, but still properly separated in an arc behind the primary instruments which are separated along the first arc.
Anyway, I hope this helps to explain the soundstage I am hearing, even though I haven't heard an LCD-3, I think the sounds of the "arcs" I am hearing do belong in the category of "good" soundstage or imaging. And I would say my findings seem to back up those of dragoonf144. My only questions would be: did you try extensive burn-in, and have you tried using foam earbud covers? As I have mentioned, the midrange got MUCH better after burn-in. And for me the sound and fit has always been a little bit better with the earbud covers, especially if you can cut the small hole in the front of the cover.
Originally Posted by dragoonf144
Originally Posted by dragoonf144
It could possibly be the type of music I listen to. Mainly vocals.
Remember, this is just my opinion. I personally found the ER4 mids to be better than the SE530. That is what my ears are telling me, despite everybody saying they were the MID kings.
Price doesn't always dictate everything
I agree about making the EarPods my full time earphone. I took the shirt clip from my Meelec M6p and put it on the EarPods, since I have big ears the shirt clip helps with keeping the EarPods in my ears.