Hey all :) Having been a reader here for a while, I decided to become a member and see if you can maybe answer a few questions that I have. I've tried to search for answers here, but my searching skills/patience did not amount to the answers I was looking for... so apologies from here if the questions seems too trivial ^_^ ... also, I'm somewhat new to this world, still trying to figure out what many of the expressions means. :)
After a lot of thought on which IEMs to buy, I decided to go for the Shure SE215. Before those, I've had some Argon EP-4002 (very much like most USD 20-30 Sennheiser IEMs; boomy and amplified mid-level bass, transparence almost non-existent) and some Beier Dynamic DTX-80 (sound was OK, with nice clarity and seperation. Not a warm mid-tone, but crispy trebles and overall nice punch and interesting sound). Well, nothing lasts forever, and the reason I bought the Shure SE215's, was that the DTX-80's broke after 2 years of heavy usage. I don't complain about them breaking - I'm a little surprised that they didn't break before that...
The same day that the DTX-80's broke, I bought the Shure SE215, after reading a lot of reviews - among those, a *lot* from members in here.
It wasn't because I thought the SE215's were the very very best at the price - but they seemed a pretty sure bet, and I could buy them right away at a local store, which for me was crucial, as walking around in town without IEMs would be like... eating spaghetti without ketchup... :)
The SE215's comes with 6 pairs of eartips; 2 types in small, medium and large.
After a lot of experimenting, I've found the medium plastic single-flange to be ones I prefer by far. They fit and isolate really well, and they don't affect the sound in any negative way.
1) However, after reading general opinions on this matter, I thought the olives (black foam) were supposed to be better...? My problem with the olives is that the olives makes the sound extremely thin, with almost no bass and definitely no sub-bass at all, with even the middle range bass being only barely noticable. Is this very unusual? Does it take a certain time for one to get used to black foam / olives, compared to the plastic single-flanges?
2) Many people write that triple-flanges should be better in regards of isolation and sound quality. Where can I buy some that matches my SE 215's, and do you agree that they are better than the stock single-flanges, or...?
3) I paid around 100 USD for my SE 215's, which is a normal price for these in Denmark where I live. If I want better sound quality, could this be bought at twice the price of the SE 215's? I know that the more expensive the IEMs, the better the sound gets (typically), but will it be only barely noticeable at this price, or should I scale higher? I'm thinking Sony MDR-EX600 and upwards, regarding price. I'm very satisfied with the SE 215's for the price I paid, but more wants more, so I would very much like to eliminate (or reduce) the following issues:
- The SE 215's sounds a little too boomy in the higher bass and lower midtones.
- The SE 215's are the some of the most dynamic IEMs I've ever heard, but I still don't find them doing great here. I'd say that they're doing "ok" and tolerable. My old DTX 80's were actually a tad better here.
- The SE 215's midtones are too laid back for my taste. I'm against equalizing the midtones, but doing so makes the midtones more pronounced as I want them, but with a very digital sound as a result. Would be better if they behaved better here. My old DTX 80's behaved a lot better with the midtones.The SE 215's midtones are more detailed than the DTX 80's however.
- The SE 215's lacks crispy trebles a lot. They're not as sparkly as I'd prefer, and sounds too "closed".
- The SE 215's sounds narrow, as opposed to wide. If I should place the musicians and singers in my live/unplugged recordings, they'd be standing shoulder-to-shoulder and/or sitting on eachother's shoulders. Not a great performer here.
=> These impressions are based on listening to the SE 215's on my LA 100 DAC, which is a fairly ok quality DAC. It usually connects to my PRIMARE i21 amp, but as the DAC 100 has its own headphone out (which I've always used for testing headphones of any kind), the PRIMARE doesn't play any role here.
=> The impressions are in comparison Sennheiser HD 555, Sennheiser eH-350, Beyer Dynamic DT-770 PRO (80 ohm), Supreme CD-90 and IEMs Argon EP-4002 and Beyer Dynamic DTX-80.
=> Requirement: No more resistance than 32 Ω, as I want to be able to use them with portable equipment, in this case my iPhone.
=> Will be used with: iPhone 4, probably iPhone 5 very soon. 256 kbit AAC or better (AAC lossless).
=> Will be used for: Live/unplugged, jazz, rock and heavy metal, (and hip-hop & dance). I listen to many different genres, but I've listed some of them here in priority order.
4) Last question; where can I buy Fischer Audio DBA-02 mk II? I've googled my keyboard keyless, but to no avail :D - I simply can't find *anywhere* where I can be these supposedly great IEMs! I'd also like to buy the V-SONIC GR01, if the Fischer Audio DBA-02 mk II can't be found anywhere - but these are extremely hard to find also! I live in Denmark, so the headphones must be bought from a shop within the EU, if I'm not to risk our toll system catching them (because thus, I'll have to pay extra 25% or more to get them).
Some stuff about what I use, and what I'm used to:
- I'm primarily looking at these IEM reviews:
- When listening to music at my computer, I'm used to a M-Audio Firewire Solo soundcard (ok D/A converter quality, decent amp) and PRODIBE PRO-5 monitors (mostly used for when I make music). The issue here, is of course
- When testing headphones of any kind, I use my LA DAC 100 (see ealier description), which connects digitally (bit-perfect) to my digital sources, which plays 256 kbps AAC or AAC lossless (or in rare cases, FLAC).
- The best headphones that I have (in my own opinion) are the Sennheiser HD 555's. I know many people probably prefer the closed DT-770 PRO, but the HD 555 is so much more spatial and open sounding (well, they ARE open as opposed to the DT-770 which is a closed headphone).
- Mostly, I use my stereo (LA DAC 100 => Primare i21 amplifier => KEF Q55.2 speakers) for listening to music. It performs adequately, with the old and out-dated speakers being the weakest link (new really great sounding speakers are on their way as I write).