perhaps i need to post a small review for Shure se215 and MF eb50 to rule out any confusion that could be associated with my prior posts.
to begin with i would say comparing sound of se215 and eb50 is like comparing upright Yamaha to Yamaha grand piano... both are nice sounding but grand piano has its own.
Shure se215 (dynamic driver IEMs):
trebles: nicely layered highs with a bit roll off, overall pleasing sound but lacks sometimes necessary aggression and cymbals might be not clean enough sometimes.
mids: se215 truly shines in midrange, superbly nice warm but also well articulated with good bass texture create truly open sound.
bass: solid bass body, rich and deep, but warm presentation of se215 sacrifices some lower octave details for coloring overall presentation, as a result bass lacks some transients complexity and immediacy in attack.
stage: nicely layered but sometimes i found it little bit congested because of warm and colored presentation style. instrument separation is good but not top notch.
overall sound: harmonically rich and warm, great mids, good highs and warm full bass. PRAT (pace-rythm-attack-timing) is Ok but is not the best since lower registers suffer from coloration.
nb: se215 are easily driven and C3 drives them well too, you can enjoy nice sound without a need of adding the amping solution. with volume between 25-30 on C3 you already receive a nice musical presentation.
Musical Fidelity eb50 (single armature balanced driver):
please note that MF is completely different animal compared to Shure se215.
trebles: very precise, detailed with great immediacy but very neutral and even bit too cold sounding. eb50 makes cymbals sound like real cymbals but... a poor record will also sound awful. eb50 is no compromise solution here.
mids: nicely textured and detailed mid range and mid bass. HOWEVER without amplifier mids on eb50 can sound dry and thin. se215 renders mid tones more nicely thanks to warmth and bass coloration they have. with amplifier midrange opens up on eb50 while all details remain intact. again eb50 excels in PRAT here.
bass: perhaps a similar story but... eb50 offers very refined and detailed bass rendition while lacking overall weight... this gives the impression of a bit clinical presentation. still pace and attack are excellent on eb50 even when not amped. adding amp truly reveals what eb50 are capable of. bass gains bodily weight but this comes without losing any detail, bass remains tight at the same time, pace of rhythm remains excellent, transients are precise, you literally feel the air moving around...
stage: hm..... without amping you might feel the stage is wide and open but is a bit far away... with amplifier stage moves on you and you feel like being immersed in the centre of performance. truly excellent, airy and wide open.
overall sound: very detailed, also cold and neutral. no coloration whatsoever... when not amped eb50 can sound almost clinical with C3. when amp is added to eb50 this truly excels in all areas and ticks most of the audiophile demand boxes. however amp matching will require some effort since i am not sure if every amp would do them justice.
nb. eb50 are more difficult to drive, more picky at source, and on C3 you need turn nearly full volume to gain good presentation. more so bass on eb50 without amping will remain thin tough excellently textured. even amping eb50 will not blow your socks away, so bass-heads must abstain from eb50. however audiophile lovers will find amped eb50 with C3 as marriage in heaven.
if i would have to say how they compare i would put it the following way:
se215 - universal solution for casual listening without the need of adding an amp, very good all rounder and a true workhorse, plus good bass and warm sounding overall :-)
eb50 - audiophile solution for revealing all fine details, very neutral and revealing at the same time... eb50 will come at twice the price of se215 plus you will need invest in good amp to boost lower octaves. however once you willing to invest you will be truly rewarded with the amazing result :-)))
for what is worth every product finds its own buyer.
Edited by Gintaras - 1/27/13 at 4:08pm