I've always loved high quality sound. From $8000 car stereo systems when I was in my early 20s to my $7000 surround system. Sound/Music has always been important to me. I know that they make $40k, even $100k surround systems, but my wife would leave me if I spent that much.
My headphone search started about 4-5 years ago when I got my first iPod. I got a set of Shure E3G, for slightly under $200. I rocked out with them for a few months but ultimately they had too harsh highs, and lacked bass.
My next set of earphones were UE Super.Fi 4vi.
I liked them more than the Shure E3G in almost every way. Less harsh highs, decent mids, and improved bass. But ultimately they only lasted around 6 months until i purchased my Tripple.Fi 10vi.
Improved clarity over the spectrum, slightly more bass, clear vocals, and mids. Not harsh, but very present highs. I loved them.
I've had my UE Tripple.Fi 10 for close to 4 years now. (and one replacement later 'left sub driver quit working') One day I got a while hair up my arse and wanted more bass. I mainly listen to either Alternative Rock/Punk or Rap. Both of which I like to hear/feel the bass. Amped my Tripple.Fi 10 sound nice.
I purchased Super.Fi 5eb. Bass was definitely there. But it was muddy, blended into the mids, and the mids were washed out, missing, and the highs were very very harsh. I didn't like them at all. If I could add their bass to the TF 10, ... maybe... but they also bled (dynamic driver for the bass I'm guessing). Sold 3 days later.
After considering almost every alternative, I decided to go custom. At first I was going to get the UM Merlins, but the bleeding from the Dynamic Driver shuned me away. Sitting in an airplane rocking out, I don't wanna be "that guy". I hate "that guy".
I finally settled on the JH16pro. I love my TF10 so much, it should share a similar sound signature.
Today they arrived, here are my impressions.
They sound very very similar to the TF10. More clear, more precise. But not having listened to my TF10 for a few hours I didn't go "OMG these totally destroy my TF10". They sound good, fit excellent. I can't hardly tell they are in my ears. The bass doesn't sound as overpowering as people claimed. Perhaps they were retuned with freqphase? Honestly its slightly more than the TF10. In swap comparisons they sound almost identical. The bass is cleaner on the JH16, but not necessarily "more". The highs and mids sound cleaner, slightly better imaging, and larger sound stage.
I expected more bass, and am slightly disappointed in that regard, however amped and EQ'ed they sound amazing. Through my iPhone they sound almost identical to the TF10. Which isn't JH's fault, the iPhone is just a bad source.
They do have a VERY VERY VERY slight "hiss" when plugged into my M18X laptop, where I don't notice that on my TF10. Though it's very very very very slight. I'm really nitpicking here.
They are clean. Very comfortable. A perfect fit.
Very glad I didn't get the JH13, I was afraid the 16 would have too much bass, but that's not all the impression I'm getting. Maybe I'm a bass head, maybe my seal isn't perfect, but they sound balanced to me.
Here is a pic of my custom JH16Pros.
Edited by thapchild - 11/26/12 at 11:14am