Sorry, I haven't heard the R-50.
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Sorry, I haven't heard the R-50.
Well the MH1C has more subbass, less midbass and more forward mids, so that fits your EQ. It may have less treble than the 3680 but the main difference is it's smoother treble,
which is easier on the ears but more detailed-sounding. I'd say they're worth your try even if you can't EQ them for some reason.
I have to agree here. IMHO thats the main diference (treble), the treble on the Mh1 sounds more natural.
Even if the Mh1 has more foward mids i could live with my 3580 just how it is, also whe must remember that the 3580 still goes for under $20, the MH1 prices are going up, so under $20 IMHO the 3580 is one of the best /the best iem you can buy.
OK, so I've tried the EQing as suggested and, well, its a little time consuming, geeky as all heck and totally effective. I love it. One problem: How do I do the same thing system wide on my computer? Sure this works great when listening to music in Winamp, but what about Netflix, a movie, music off pandora or video games? Is there such a thing as a system wide parametric EQ? Would it require a real soundcard purchase instead of my on-board Realtek? Thanks!
@bhima: for watching a movie, you can use PotPlayer, which supports winamp plugins.
For system-wide EQ, you can install Virtual Audio Cable and VSTHost.
The closest thing to a walkthrough on the installation was here:
Ignore the bit about 5ORCERY as that's for a multiband compressor, not EQ.
Having installed VAC and VSTHost the way to tune a pair of phones to your sound is sorta kinda outlined in this thread
BTW, the graphs posted in this review thread are FR graphs--ie. how the sound deviates from my ideal frequency response, derived from INVERTING my EQ curve for each phone. So if you want to replicate the EQ curve for a pair of phones, you need to invert the graph--or you could tell me which phones you own and I could send you my eq file. Although for best results you should still tune the phones to your own ears.
Thanks Joe! I will definitely give those a try. I own the Sony MH1Cs and will probably buy the RE0's for gaming (I owned the RE-ZEROs, didn't like the thin sound, but the detail was really quite enjoyable while gaming but I have since returned them). Love the Sonys, and I've basically dropped 3db on 50Hz and 6db on 6916Hz... they sound great to me but I would love to try your settings that you use on your MH1Cs.
The RE0 are similar to the RE-ZERO by all accounts. Here's a graph of the RE0 I made (I recently got them), you can use it to compare with the other phones here
I find its bass just right but that means it's got much less bass than almost everything on my review list. Except the etys.
Here's my EQ file for the MH1C:
Here, everybody, make this your next audio purchase:
It's the deal of the century and they won't back out I swear!
Well, I found a not perfect way to EQ system-wide that is MUCH easier than going the VST route... though the EQ isn't as tailored though it will help reduce some of the boom on the MH1C to bring out the highs and will probably help clip out some of the highs when I get the RE0's to bring in some warmth. If you have a Realtek audio chip on your Mobo, you download the Realtek 2.7 drivers, install them, then run the Realtek HD Audio Manager. In here is a system-wide EQ. Unfortunately you can't pick any other frequencies besides the ones given: 31 62 125 250 500 1k 2k 4k 8k 16k. Still, its better than no EQ at all.
Joe, good stuff! Budget IEMs reviews wouldn't be complete without the infamous Monoprice 8320 (MEP-933). I thought I found the good enough IEM (7.5 by joker should be good enough for me:) for my casual listening needs as the 8320 fits my ears perfectly. I love the open and airy feel and the relatively balanced and clean sound. However there seem to be a peak around 5khz that causes certain female vocal to sound hard and metallic, which bothers me a lot. A song that exhibit the issue is Adele's Rolling in the deep (the back up vocal is especially unbearable). The treble "smear" (lack of high end detail) also leaves much to be desired. I suck at EQ as I can't seem to fix the hard edge. Can you do a review with the graphs and EQ for the 8320 as well?
BTW, I just got the Sony MH1c ($26 shipped) based on the good things I heard here. It's exactly what you described: just EQ the bass down a little and it sounds almost perfect... I think it should get a score of 8.8 without EQ (after a few hours burn-in) and 9.1 after EQ. EQ essential changes the sound signature to personal preference. No amount of EQ can fix the inherent THD and resolution issues in the driver.
R-50 has got better soundstage in width, better treble, very smooth and not much brightness, particularly very non-fatiguing for me, Rest of em all, MH1C owns it.
Mid-bass, bass just has a good amount of punch and deepness than R-50. Instrument seperation is great and so close to TF10, a lot better than R-50. Mids are clear and detailing with the bass not overwhelming it.I often find R-50 bass light for my liking and mids are pretty much similar to the MH1C. Vocals and treble could be harsh on MH1C compared to R-50 but the bass part really compensates it.
Highs become more smooth and less fatiguing for me after burn-in with bass having the same impact but still R-50 gains the upper hand in treble. Overall, R-50 are great for long sessions, but not much of a Fun type of signature where as MH1C just makes the music much more enjoyable and lively..
Not exactly a budget pair but... I'm not going to start another whole new thread on non-budget IEMs am I? Not like I'll get enough of them to justify its own thread
(B1) Hifiman RE0
reviewed 2012-11-30. Thanks to kalbee for exchanging these and a pair of Hisoundaudio Popo for a pair of MH1C!
Currently available at: ~$49
Impedance: (higher is better) 64ohm
Minimum volume setting required from Fiio E17 (lower is better): without EQ: 24/60 with EQ: 26/60
Cable: Y-split slick plastic cable with 45 degree plug, length down to trouser pocket
Nozzle Size (widest part of tip): 5.5mm | Preferred tips: stock biflanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over ear
Accessories (3.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), biflange silicone tips (2 sizes), replacement nozzle filters, shirt clip
Build Quality (5/5) – All metal housings and long strain reliefs, solid (but not too solid) plastic cable
Isolation (3/5) – two vents on the back of the housing apparently connect to the ear side of the housing as vacuum seal does not occur with any tip combination.
Comfort (4/5) – Light and small housing, medium sized nozzles and a generous selection of tips should mean that you will find a comfortable fit.
Sound without EQ: (9.0/10) (expect to see some low scores even from many $200+ heavyweights here; I am not tolerant of sound not matching my sound sig preference here. That's for sound *with* EQ)
These phones have a very neutral sound signature, matching my tastes very well. The lower mids and bass will tend to the lean side for most people, making for a cool note presentation. The treble is not the smoothest (that crown currently goes to the MH1C) but it is very well proportioned. The sound with and without my custom EQ for these share more similarities than differences, something that can not even be said for the MH1C (because of its bass boost). The main difference lies in a higher tendency toward sibilance, mainly explained by a peak above 10kHz using the stock small biflanges. However it is better in this regard than the Etymotic series with similar sound sig, mainly because the latter's main resonance peak is lower in frequency and higher in magnitude (unless you manage the past-the-second-bend deep seal that the etys were designed for. kiteki calls it "Earrapic" I believe )
FR curve (on my ears, using small biflanges)
Gentle subbass rolloff
Various small peaks and dips in the treble
Main peak over 10kHz (higher is better)
Sound with EQ: (19/20)
The RE0 finds the usual gains in refinement with EQ applied but the difference is less than with most other phones. The main difference lies in a reduction of sibilance and an improvement of timbre, and a darker sound in the sense of better blackness between instruments for better detailing:
On the other hand, because of the ported design, there is more air to the sound and a more reliable seal (doesn't become muffled in the first few minutes as sometimes can be the case with completely sealed models) over the likes of the MH1C and the Etymotic MC5.
Standard disclaimer: sound with EQ of course changes with the EQ used. Despite the use of tone sweeps and the equal loudness filter standardizing much of the EQ process (and the resulting FR charts), it is still possible to get better sound with further fine tuning of the EQ to real music. The score with EQ is affected by how well I've profiled the EQ for a particular pair of phones. Still I find it worthwhile to dedicate a section of each review to EQ because phones always sound so much better with EQ (reason).
Value (no EQ available): 9/10
Value (with parametric EQ): 5/10
Pros: fantastically neutral sound signature; highly detailed; quite smooth
Cons: not exactly budget