Exactly what I thought when I was told that was the only difference between the two. But then you recommended them and I thought you may know something I don't
- productHeir Audio 4 Aitagged by System, 11/28/12
- productJVC HA-FXT90tagged by System, 11/28/12
- productLogitech UE 900tagged by System, 11/28/12
- productOrtofon e-Q5tagged by System, 11/28/12
- productUltimate Ears TripleFi 10 Noise Isolating Earphonestagged by System, 11/28/12
- productVSONIC GR07tagged by System, 11/28/12
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So, I did a lot of reading when it came to this purchase, however, no amount of reviewing can objectively explain what you are actually going to hear when you plug them in - so I said 'screw it!'...
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This review was copy pasted from the Sound Blaster X7 thread with minor edits to make it appeal to broader audience. Intro First of all, I would really like to thank Andrew Sparks, the man...
Metal/Progressive Rock/Alternative Rock/Post Rock IEM - Page 4
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Removable cables are nice and everything but if you just take care of your IEM's and don't say wrap them around your player or phone and jam them in your pocket the fixed cabled IEM's will be fine. Most all my IEM's have been fixed cabled and I've never had anything happen to one yet, really they all still look brand new pretty much
I have the X-IE and the R07. I've also heard the EX600 and the UM3x. All of these are quite good performers in the genre stated. The X-IE offers a fun sounding signature which is warm with laidback treble. The GR07 in all regards is an upgrade over the X-IE, better bass and treble presentation with the midrange a middleground between the two.
Being from the Metal music era and loving that sound, I love the natural analog smooth detailed yet edgy sound from our new AS-2 and soon to be released ASG-2. I know I am a sponsor and will look like I am touting our products and I am. Sorry for the intrusion if I offend anyone, I just know you will Love them with Metal /Progressive music. Dream Theater, Queensryche, Skid Row, Iron Maiden and the like are what I listen to on them daily.
Looks like I will be getting my IEM's around January/February.
Techno Kid, could you let me know how the UE900's fare if you are still intending on loaning them?
Also could someone let me know how the SE535's compare to the W4's and if there's a difference in sound between the SE535's and the SE535 LE?
im kinda looking into the same area, but i also like some acoustic stuff and occasionally some prodigy etc...
Ive owned Triple Fi 10s but ive damaged them.
they were great but the fit wasnt always good for me.
Ive since been doing some research and originally looked at the Shure models but more lately the Westone 2 & Westone UM3x.
can anyone tell me if theres much difference between the W4 and the UM3x?
I already think im pushing my $$$ range with the UM3x if i go for them, and going for the W4 will just be that little bit higher.
myaman, any reason you didnt consider teh UM3x instead of the W4?
ive also just started going through the massive review list by Joker found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-266-iems-compared-rock-it-sounds-r-50-added-11-29-12
im hoping to narrow it down at some stage over the next week to try and make a decision....i want quality and i trust quality between 200-400 dollars.
If your willing to spend $300 or $400 the Earsonics SM3 is very very good. They have a mid-centric sound like the UM3X and the mids are the best I've heard from the 50 or so IEM's I've listened to. Good bass, nice crisp but not harsh treble and a very good soundstage thats wide along with an awesome 3D presentation and for $299 from a good 3rd party seller on Amazon its well worth the price. I was choosing between the SM3 and W4 and I like the SM3 more because of the mids and the 3D presentation but both are great IEM's. In your price range the SM3 and W4 would be the 2 best imo and Joker gave both a 9.4 in sound quality so good luck on making a choice. There's plenty of reviews on both IEM's from other well respect Head Fi'ers in the Head Gear section so just search and research.
Sounds like im on the right track with my narrowing down, and thats half the fun!
will get stuck into the reviews of the SM3, UM3x, W4 and potentially a couple others from Jokers list and really try to nut out which one makes the most sense for me.
I guess when it comes down to all 3, i probably cant go too wrong...!
Hey Portable Mink
The UM3x's sound was described as warm on a couple of threads I read. Also, when compared to the W4's and the SE535's it was said that it's sound stage was small. Those two points are the main reasons I'm looking at the W4's instead of the UM3x's as I prefer a more neutral or maybe somewhat "cold" sound and would like an excellent sound stage and 3D presentation.
But the UM3x, the W4's and the SE535's were all recommended for this price range. It's simply a matter of sound preference, but I have no way of testing them so I can't really tell.
I listen to almost nothing but all genres of metal and have over the course of 2-3 years concluded that dynamic drivers are definitely more enjoyable. I do not have anywhere near that kind of money to spend on headphones, so almost all headphones I've tried have been in the sub-$100 range, and there is a lot of great IEMs out there for all subgenres of metal (death,black,thrash,prog,etc). Every IEM I've bought over $100 I ended up returning or selling. I think BA do metal much justice in providing the detail you need for the genre. Dynamic drivers can provide almost as much detail and clarity if you know what to look for. And usually, these genres of metal/rock really require a "fun" signature, as in a powerful and punchy bass (no midbass veil) and strong mids (not recessed). I have a lot more fun experimenting in the sub-$100 range and have found a lot of enjoyable IEMs. Shockingly enough, I've found I enjoy much of the budget earphones for metal over the more expensive, like the Philips SHE3590 and Monoprice 8320. These have the detail, mids, and powerful sound that metal requires for a throwaway price. This is of course my own take, and obviously you may want to spend that kind of money. I've owned the UE700, which were dual BA, and they were great, but I ended up preferring much cheaper dynamic models for on the go listening and even just at home. I just don't see the need in spending anywhere near $400, let alone $200, unless you're doing serious critical listening to every micro detail.
This is the only post that makes sense in this thread when I got here. Although I've tested the SHE3580 and I was massively disappointed; but now I'm considering I might've received a fake for $6.
I'm new the audiophile world and have been reading these forums for a while now and they have helped enormously in providing me with information on what to look for when buying headphones.
I'm wondering if you could advise me on a good pair of IEM's for listening to metal, post rock and alternative rock music. Since these genres can sometimes cover a wide variety of sub-genres, here's a list of some of my favorite bands and artists:
Dark Empire, Agalloch, Primal Fear, Savage Circus, Buckethead, Anathema, Leech, Sleep Dealer, Long Distance Calling. I also sometimes listen to classical music and rock (AC/DC, UFO, etc) but not as much as the rest.
I have read through similar threads on this forum but started this one because I wanna try and be as specific as possible about what I want. Hope it doesn't seem redundant :)
I'm interested in IEM's that really showcase the guitar solos and riffs and provides excellent sound stage and separation with tight punchy bass (don't like anything that would sound bassy or boomy). Something that's very comfortable to wear as I'll be having them on for 4 -6 hours a day. I would prefer something that doesn't need an amplifier, however, if there's something that would fit my criteria with the addition of an amplifier then I have no problem considering it.
On a side note; I won't be able to try on any of the suggested IEM's as there aren't any high-end headphone brands available in my country.
A lot of the threads I read were recommending the FXT90 and the GR07 for these music genres but I did not like their looks.
My price range is up to $400.
Thank you all in advance.
P.S. It would be great if someone could tell me how Agalloch, in specific, sounds on their recommended IEM
I hope it's not too late before I share my experiences in both metal and IEM's. I won't tell you what to do and merely describe what I did or do or will do, as a fellow metalhead. I am not an audiophile not just by my student budget, but because fidelity is not my top priority: I believe that all music are not made equal, and I prefer boosting the lower frequencies using equalizers and DFX filters as music in various eras for mass production follow industry standards that are not suited for me.
Currently I'm exploring the world of Denpa music (anisong, chiptune, the Akihabara musical) but I am proud of my encyclopædic knowledge of metal. While most metal and rock music are driven by distortion guitars--thus the reduced need for clarity--some of the best bands are more versatile and include clean vocals (Opeth, Anathema), classical guitar/clean amp (Yngwie), a full orchestra (Rhapsody, Nightwish), other musical instruments and modern computer generated sounds/post-processing.
If you love Savage Circus, you must also love Blind Guardian. The vocalist of Savage Circus was the vocalist for Persuader, the band who won the Young Metal Gods competition in huge part due to Jens Carlsson's voice being uncannily and miraculously similar to Hansi Kursch, the vocalist of Blind Guardian. Hansi's voice can be considered the manliest in power metal, quite a feat considering that metal is dominantly a masculine expression with a few exceptions. Hansi has that rasp and power in his voice that surpasses that of Ronnie James Dio (just compare Blind Guardian's Dio cover of Don't Talk to Strangers to the original). Blind Guardian's drummer, Thomen "The Omen" Stauch, left the band and formed Savage Circus with Jens. Thomen is among the world's greatest drummers (just listen to the intro of Script of My Requiem), up there with Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy, Stratovarius's Jorg Michael, and Tool's Danny Carrey.
One of the best things about the music of Blind Guardian is the production: Their albums were produced and mixed by the same engineer behind Metallica's best albums. Comparing the production of various metal albums, Blind Guardian features the best bass kick with the perfect timbre: deep, punchy, booms when necessary, and separates cleanly in double pedals. The latter property of double pedal drumming is one of the most critical areas where most speakers and headphones fail to reproduce without distortion nor lagging. (Another famous quality metal recording studio is Finnvox, home of Stratovarius, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, etc.--the drum tracks recorded here are the gold standard of modern metal music).
It is a smart decision to start with cheap headphones in your situation, for many reasons: The marginal utility of headphones rapidly approaches zero beyond the $100 mark--you can easily choose a cheap headphone with a similar frequency response (flat, v-shaped, and so on; compare graphs here and here) as a thousand dollar pair (within the frequency response range of the cheap one), and if the cheap headphones are done right (and you can find many featured here) they will pass tests on clarity, muddiness, distortion, isolation, etc.; not only that, but they will certainly pass double-blind experiments (if the test subjects are blindfolded and a mechanism is introduced so that the different shapes and textures of housings are eliminated as factors). If you can return $400 IEM's after trying them out, then do it. I haven't tried it except yesterday when I returned a pair that was claimed to be better than the Klipsch S4. If you're just reading opinions and looking at measurements without a reference that you yourself have experienced firsthand, and you're about to jump on a $400 pair ... in the words of the world's leading intellectual, the mathematician Nassim Taleb, you're just being a sucker. (I myself have been a sucker just this December after spending $300 on various hyped budget headphones ... but it's a long story of an excuse.)
The first thing I look for in headphones is their ability to drive lower frequencies up to my loudness threshold without distortion and with minimal mudiness. The timbre of the bass should be deep and full, like an explosion contained in an instant ("TUUD"), and it should not sound bloated from a boosted mid-bass ("TOUG"). Once this requirement is passed, I proceed to judge the rest. You'll be surprised how SO MANY HYPED HEADPHONES IN THIS WEBSITE FAILED THIS SIMPLE TEST.
I like my music loud. As loud as I can bear. And there are times in a day when I just want to immerse myself in the stampede of drums, so I emphasize it with various post-processing enhancements (DSP Manager for Android and Jetaudio Plus for Android and Fiio E5 portable amp). Only the Sennheiser CX line gave me this experience. The CX300 was the first. The CXL400 was a significant upgrade over the CX300 in terms of bass and soundstage. The CX870 came next, which disappointed me at first until I tweaked my setup to drive the headphones like the CXL400. These Sennheisers are already discontinued. Only fakes are left in the market (I tried a fake CX300 and the sound quality is noticeably worse than the original) except for the CX870, which is currently available for $32 from an authorized seller. Although I don't recommend getting the CX870 unless you can conveniently drive them (equalizer, DFX, amp). If you want to try authentic CX300's, you should get the rebranded ones from Creative, the Creative EP-630 for $21 which are the same thing.
I have zero knowledge how the aforementioned discontinued Sennheiser models compare with the current ones and I still am researching about them, although at this point I have mostly given up. A lot of head-fi members use the word "veil" to describe Sennheiser's signature sound which seems to be present across the model hierarchy. As a fan of Sennheiser I am naturally inclined to call BS.
If you find yourself being adviced by a head-fier who uses the word "accuracy" a lot, it would be an efficient heuristic to run away. I mean, if you were me, and you hate it when modern recording techniques make modern metal music sound heavier than those recorded in the early 80's (Judas Priest's Painkiller album was released in 1990 and it features sound production that rivals today's), then you would require heavy use of DFX settings to alter the timbre/tonal quality of the bass and equalizers to boost the enhanced bass. The legendary power metal albums by Helloween for example sound dated and flat to my young ears, but after modifying them the double bass pedals pound as if remastered by Flemming Rasmussen. "To listen to music as they were intended" is a weak argument. Of course, accurate, high-fidelity headphones with a flat frequency response should be ideal even for me as long as they can reproduce the overprocessed signal I'm sending them. But from the small number of audiophile headphones I tested, they all cracked.
It is a strong argument for accuracy/fidelity that signal modification should be left to the equipment and headphones should just focus on signal reproduction. The perception of sound however is the ultimate deal-breaker. Daniel Kahneman's behavioral economics explains the framing effect when I compare a "bass enhanced" IEM like CX870 to a flat hi-fi IEM like RE0: since I'm using the same equipment and the same enhanced signal, the already enhanced signal gets additional "enhancements" from the CX870 thus they seem to sound "better" than the RE0's which appear to whisper. But since we're talking about experiences, how I experience the sound is the end of it.
If I had $400 I'd get the Sennheiser IE80. I recently got my fake IE8 (I bought them knowing they're fake) and I was pleasantly surprised how genuine they look when put to the authenticity test (especially the red wires). Especially the sound signature. They sound close to my authentic Sennheisers, but not quite at the dangerous volumes I normally listen to. They could've fooled me for sure.
- Metal/Progressive Rock/Alternative Rock/Post Rock IEM
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