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Budget IEMs review--Panasonic RP-HJE355 posted 18 February 2013 - Page 7

post #91 of 103

You should review the ue200

post #92 of 103

Just want to add that RE0 is currently $49. HifiMan is trying to do a clearance sale before discontinuing the model.

post #93 of 103

I never understood why the Re0 only came with 2 silicone biflange. Not sure if they sent me a 'dud' but yeah...

I think they're $49 now, on clearance @ Head-Direct.

Whether it will now be discontinued altogether, I don't know, but the Re-ZERO is gone.

 

 

**edit**

Well ClieOS beat me to it xD

post #94 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalbee View Post

I never understood why the Re0 only came with 2 silicone biflange. Not sure if they sent me a 'dud' but yeah...

I think they're $49 now, on clearance @ Head-Direct.

Whether it will now be discontinued altogether, I don't know, but the Re-ZERO is gone.

 

 

**edit**

Well ClieOS beat me to it xD

 

You mean they should come with 3 sizes?

I really want to listen to the RE-ZERO.  AstralStorm says they have the same sig as the RE0 with a smoother high end.  If true they may be my ideal IEMs!

post #95 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

 

You mean they should come with 3 sizes?

I really want to listen to the RE-ZERO.  AstralStorm says they have the same sig as the RE0 with a smoother high end.  If true they may be my ideal IEMs!

I don't know, but both sizes were way too large for me so I would assume they were supposed to come with a smaller one. They used to sell a package of the tips + filters, and I think there was a 3rd pair of silicone biflange. This is all said in somewhat blurry memory so I cannot be quoted for... Maybe someone else can comment on that.

 

Supposedly with larger sound stage too (the Re-ZERO)!

post #96 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

 

You mean they should come with 3 sizes?

I really want to listen to the RE-ZERO.  AstralStorm says they have the same sig as the RE0 with a smoother high end.  If true they may be my ideal IEMs!

Joe... don't take the bait on the RE-ZEROs. They are so supremely upper/mid forward, you will hear nothing else. The RE0's are an amazing IEM that are much more balanced right out the gate. Heck, I consider the RE0's (in my supremely untrained opinion) to be a few steps up in overall sound quality from the Sony's: tighter bass, but can make it punchier with some very minor EQ... highs sound clearer, less veiled than the Sonys though the Sonys NEVER get sibilant. I owned the RE-ZEROs for less than a week because all I could hear was 2kHz+ on them. Who knows, maybe they are amazing with some tweaking but I'm of the mindset that an IEM should sound at least good out of the box and then great after burn-in/EQing. Or maybe I just got a defective set.

post #97 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

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.


when I take a look at the fr curve of mh1c low end looks flat, but I also double that the midbass part is not as detailed and punchy like other iems I have. how can I proove it by just looking the diagram

post #98 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

I am a firm believer in EQ.  Thanks to PiccoloNamek's EQ guide, and with some inventions of my own, these days I can spend less than an hour with just about any new pair of IEMs and tweak them to sound better than anything I've heard without EQ, at any price. (and I've heard up to $400 IEMs)  The main reason for this easy improvement is that I can use EQ to tame half-wave resonances, as explained for example by Siegfried Linkwitz, who's responsible for a lot of loudspeaker inventions:


http://www.linkwitzlab.com/reference_earphones.htm


A side product of this is that I can profile the frequency response of the phones much like a spectrum analyzer, but with my own ears.  A raw FR chart coming from e.g. headroom often looks like a stock market chart on Black Friday in the treble frequencies, because of resonances.  It is hard to translate such a graph into actual listening impressions.  The smoothed and compensated graph is easier to read but smoothes out some of the important resonance frequencies.  I believe my "FR charts" provide a happy medium: they show the main resonances in an easy-to-read chart, backed by the impressions of a human listener.  They also have the advantage of not requiring any measurement equipment that I don't have redface.gifThe FR charts are, greatly simplified, generated by feeding sine tones through an equal-loudness compensation EQ filter that mimics the frequency response of the human ear listening to an external sound source placed in front, then I tune a second EQ filter until I hear a flat FR.  I then tune the EQ some more by listening to actual music, then the EQ is inverted to provide a frequency response graph of sorts compared to the ideal frequency response for my ears. (My own sound signature preference can be characterized as a W sound sig, with prominent mids, scooped out midbass to provide clarity to the rest of the spectrum (the opposite of what's usually termed a "warm" signature) and recessed highs at the sibilant frequencies to avoid sibilance)


Sound score will be on a 0-10 scale for unEQed sound and 10-20 scale for EQed sound, to reflect the fact that just about the worst EQed sound I've ever heard on any "proper" IEM (from any trustworthy brand, that can be bought for $10 and up) sounds better than the best unEQed sound I've heard at any price.


LIST OF REVIEWS TO DATE


(Prelude) Etymotic MC2/3/5


(C1) TDK Clef-P, vocal tune edition, $32

(C2) Panasonic Ergofit RP-HJE120, $7

(C3) Philips SHE3580, $10

(C4) Sony MH1C

 


... More reviews will be coming out soon redface.gif While you're waiting, here's a compilation of almost all the frequency response graphs I've made to date, all referenced against the original $10 headphones that could for me, the Philips SHE3580:

 

I admire your reviews. They're very personal and at the same time very well-informed. I prefer reviews that clearly state upfront a personal signature bias than those making sweeping absolutist claims. I share the same belief in EQ and extend that preference to postprocessing filters such as a stereophonic-to-binaural DSP and a few others (I should say that I am a beginner in the whole headphone experience as I only began exploring headphones 2 months ago). This is why, upon your review, I bought a Philips SHE3580. I didn't like them--which was perfectly okay since they're dirt cheap haha. Reading your review of the SHE3580 again it seems that I might have received a fake or broken pair as I bought them open box on ebay (for $6 I thought it's worth a try) and they were in a very disgusting condition. But then I didn't like the RE0 either, and although I love the MH1 now I initially rejected it. Well, the main reason for my rejection is my priority for the capability of the headphones to drive quality bass to loud volumes with minimal muddiness and without distortion. To me, that demand is as legitimate as having a headphone with a flat frequency response that can produce "accurate" sound. If I can't drive the headphones to whichever sound I desire--may it be flat, w-shaped, or with exaggerated party loud bass--I give them a failing score. Strictly speaking, my demand can qualify under the general definition of high-fidelity given that the overprocessed signal I am sending the headphones should be reproduced without problems. I am a huge fan of the Sennheiser CX300, and the CX500 (CX400 with volume control) is noticeably several leagues above the CX300 in terms of bass quality and quantity and clarity (while I love the CX300, it sounds veiled compared to the CX500 despite the more powerful bass of the latter). I'm going to try the CX95 next; I finally found a reliable seller that sells authentic discontinued Sennheisers, which I confirmed by comparing with my authentic CX400. I'm done checking other brands as I've spent more than $500 in the last 2 months in hyped budget-fi alone so I'm sticking to discontinued classics. Anyway, so yeah, our personal preferences obviously differ but your approach in headphones coincide with mine, which stands in violent contrast against anti-EQ purists that comprise the majority of snobs at head-fi.

post #99 of 103
Thread Starter 
Nice to see that you like my reviews. I'll see when I get around to writing another one. Have you ever visited the Asian Anime Manga and Music lounge?
http://www.head-fi.org/t/586040/official-asian-anime-manga-and-music-lounge

Where's your avatar from? (can't read the title on the thumbnail)
post #100 of 103
Thread Starter 

Interested by JK1's recommendation of the HJE355 over the HJE120 and SHE3580, I got the HJE355 when I finally saw it on sale locally.

 

(C5) Panasonic RP-HJE355

reviewed 2013-2-18 (pictured with shure grey flex used for review put on the earphones, stock tips on the left)

 

Currently available at: ~$20

Driver: Dynamic, 10.7mm

Impedance: (higher is better) 16ohm

Minimum volume setting required from Fiio E17 (lower is better): without EQ: 23/60 with EQ: 29/60

Cable: Y-split rubbery plastic cable with 90 degree plug, length down to trouser pocket

Nozzle Size (widest part of tip): 4.5mm | Preferred tips: aftermarket shure grey sleeves
Wear Style: Straight down

 

Accessories (2/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), chin slider
Build Quality (3.5/5) – ample strain relief all around, respectable looking and handling cable
Isolation (3.5/5) – two small vents over the drivers decrease isolation but at the same time prevent driver flex
Comfort and fit (3/5) – I had a hard time finding the right tips that would seal properly with these.  None of the stock tips sealed my ears.  The nozzles on these are so small that my Shure grey sleeves which usually fit on Etymotics also fit on these and happened to give the best seal.  Once a good pair of tips was found comfort was good.  Thankfully these "Shure grey sleeves" can be had in Hong Kong for $5 a pair.

 

Sound without EQ: (5.3/10) (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 have an inoffensive signature if you like thumping midbass that bleeds well into the midrange.  To me it sounds very congested and claustrophobic.  They just manage to squeak by the bottom-of-the-range HJE120 with better treble timbre, but the difference is not significant.  A pity because if it were not for that bloated bass, these should have been good sounding IEMs, with one of the better corrected IEMs in the treble range.

 

FR curve (on my ears, using shure grey sleeves)

10dB midbass hump

Two 5dB treble peaks at 5200 and 7600Hz (will vary by ear and tips)

5dB dip at 9000Hz (will vary by ear and tips)

 

Sound with EQ: (16.5/20)

I don't feel that the "sound with EQ" is a reliable differentiator of earphones on this review list these days, after I've been spoiled by the superior spatial presentation on the lowly Somic MH463 full size open-back headphones.  Nevertheless, this is a rough indication of the amount of improvement you can expect to find from these phones with an EQ tailored to your needs, in particular with treble spikes smoothed out with EQ and that big midbass hump taken out.  The soundstage fills out considerably.

 

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): 5/10

Value (10-band graphic EQ): 6.6/10

Value (with parametric EQ): 7/10

 

Pros: relatively low price for the build quality, well-behaved treble

Cons: midbass bloat


Edited by Joe Bloggs - 2/17/13 at 7:20pm
post #101 of 103

RE: MH1C / MH1 compatibility with iPhone - For all your information: 

 

Just got MH1C Smart Headset from Sony to use with my iPhone 5. Works amazing. Love the depth of sound and excellent (for an IEM) sound isolation (comes in handy on the noisy London tube). The buttons don't work. Volume buttons don't work. Play/pause doesn't work. When I press the play/pause button Siri comes up. LiveKey does nothing as well. 

 

For the rest - the sound is amazing and the mic works very well too. I have also had some acid green buds left from my previous MH1 (not MH1C, it's not my first pair of these lol) which I mounted on my new MH1C and now it looks very cool and I get compliments on it (now that the messy SonyEricsson logo is off it as well lol). 

 

I have also tested the quality of sound of these compared to iPods and Beats and would still go for Smart Headset. Sony doesn't write it in the specs anymore, but they use some sort of extra long anodised drivers for MH1 and MH1C which improves the depth of sound. 

 

Hope this helps anyone who is looking for excellent quality, stylish headphones compatible with iPhones. 

 

PS MH1 - won't work with any Apple device. It has different wiring then MH1C. 

post #102 of 103

You should review the rha ma150

post #103 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post
 

Well it's a bit hard to tell what you want more out of the 3680. Everything? XD Since every slider is positive...

 

Does it sound anything like this if you set it to 0 -3 +3 -1 +1?  Since the average of those numbers is 9...

 

I used this EQ setting for my Sansa, and this really opened up the detail in the treble, while seemed to round out the bass quite a bit. I love how forceful yet clear this made my Brainwavz Delta's sound. Thanks Joe. 

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