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$500 iem vs $500 headphones? - Page 3

post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by gidion27 View Post

are the Piano Forte X Less than $500 if so please share the link. I am asking because I believe the topic was $500 IEM vs $500 Headphones. In addition I agree the Stax would blow IEM's out of the water. But really we should be comparing IEM and Headphones that are in the same price range.

 

 

 

Do not take my remarks out of context. I was replying to the poster that I quoted (such as this), not the OP. If you want to keep every thread on topic without interactive discussion, you have a long night ahead of you my friend. 


Edited by SoundFreaq - 2/2/13 at 7:11pm
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

 

 

Do not take my remarks out of context. I was replying to the poster that I quoted (such as this), not the OP. If you want to keep every thread on topic without interactive discussion, you have a long night ahead of you my friend. 

that is true. Was more curious about the guy who raised the 009 comments:) But agree should have quoted him and not you.

post #33 of 51

It was an interesting comment indeed. Glad we're on the same page tongue.gif

post #34 of 51

From what I've listen to my iems compared to my full size headphones out of the same souce (ak100 viard modded) and I would say that there are some compromises with iems even at high prices. I would say I'm certain that there is a loss in soundstage and at times sub bass frequency (very noticable with the congo drums at the begining of hotel california for the iems I've listened to). I've noticed that with different iems if I want to gain something I have to give up something in the sound (bass impact and reach for airiness in many cases). What I percieve is a difference in detail is most likely voicing of the mids and treble. I do not think there is noticable detail loss in my full size but its just that the small details are not so prominant (I can still hear the faint triangle in the song "Home" by Susan Wong and a sound like a slide projector switching in the song "Politik" by Coldplay but you really have to concentrate). As for response and decay, I wholely agree that the iem does better since I fee a tighter control of bass, drum cymbals in most songs(well technically I think it has a smaller diaphram surface to control for dynamics types at least).  Overall I think I prefer iems for portable use, but full sized for home use. I think there is some compromise in sound in the different iems which I have listened to in the 500 USD range and sligthly above that makes them sound great for certain music genres but weak at other genres (reason to own several and keep separate playlist for different iems).  At 500 USD there are quite some really good overall headphones.


Edited by woodblack - 5/8/13 at 4:23am
post #35 of 51

I am also wondering about this question since I just got my UE triple 10 and also recently own the HD 558 and I am also; wondering if I should just switch to the triple 10 for my home use.

 

But I have to agree that both of these have it's up and down, the HD558 has a really big sound stage and incredible airy feel to it compared to the triple 10 which has a very colorful and creamy texture to it's sound where everything just pops at your face but it lacks sound stage and the airiness of the HD558 

 

Personally I feel if I really wanted to relax and just enjoy my favorite music without analyzing it too much, I'll use my HD558 of course if I am on the go the triple 10 is a no brainier for me also can't wait for my DX 50 to arrive so I can try both fo these babies out. :D 

post #36 of 51

I bought the Shure SRH 1840 for $500, which is the same price as the Shure SE535. There is no question who is the boss ... the Shure SRH 1840. It's better at everything except portability. 

 

edit:  I wonder what IEM can beat a $80 AKG 240S btw. It's probably going to cost alot more than $80.


Edited by ubs28 - 10/6/13 at 12:00pm
post #37 of 51

I believe a pair of 500 dollar IEMs would sound miles better than a pair of 500 dollar headphones! If you think about the manufacturer has to assemble a headstrap, casing, larger cables, ear cups and larger drivers in headphones that all essentially direct sound to the side of your head. On the other hand IEM manufacturers spend all the money assembling high-quality micro drivers a small casing and smaller wires and all that sound gets send directly to the inner ear not the side of your head. IEMs also allow for better sound isolation, which in turn allows for much better perceived clarity and depth.

post #38 of 51

IMO, there are certain things that IEMs tend to do better.

For price, clarity and detail of iems tend to be better.

 

But there are somethings that iems can't do.

Soundstage of full sized open back is just impossible to beat.

post #39 of 51

I never agreed with this idea that iem's provide more detail or clarity as honestly I think they provide substantially lesser of both. The biggest problems with iem's is the tinny sound and very small soundstage. It cannot resolve the textures or nuances of the information present in a recording. For instance, a trumpet that is distant in the soundstage just eekes out a sound but without weight and is very one-note, whereas a full size headphone will give you all the variegated sounds of an instrument, of a voice. Take the analogy of a paper napkin that's been folded up and has many creases in it, well, there isn't a single in ear that I've heard (my customs included) that can reproduce those finer grains and the topography of the arrangement, whereas a full-size gives it all to you. A lot of detail also gets lost in in-ears because it doesn't have the air and space needed to distinguish the sounds clearly, so it becomes fuzzy, or lacks clarity. This fuzziness and lack of  texture really makes iem's far inferior to my ears. I wish it weren't so, because I listen to them nearly as much as I listen to headphones. 


Edited by ericfarrell85 - 11/22/13 at 12:41pm
post #40 of 51

I think that that is true only if you have an IEM that does not fit properly. A properly fitted IEM with a good seal and direct focus in the ear canal, to me, has substantially better clarity and separation than headphones, they allow you to focus on the music more because every outside sound is blocked out. Im using the PRO 900s right now and I can hear people talking 30 feet away. The clarity and bass are still amazing but earlier on my way to class I was using the Shure se215s and I can definitely say that the music quality was at least 3 times better than these headphones and I was out around a busy campus and road.

post #41 of 51

I don't know what to tell you, other than that I'm glad you're enjoying your iem's. I have never heard either of the two pairs you mentioned above, but to suggest fit issues is silly. I have had more iem's than I care to count and generally speaking have a pair of ears that accept anything (except certain triple flanges). Then there are the customs which are particularly made for my ears only. Once at the HD650 tier I don't believe I have heard an in ear that can compete very much and as I matured in this hobby the chasm grew deeper and wider. Could certainly be differences in what we look for when we listen to music. For myself I tie a knot between clarity and resolution and even with very expensive portable amps and dac's iem's just don't unravel the textures in sound. It's really quite unnerving to discover how much you have missed when you find that synergistic desktop setup that floats your boat.  

post #42 of 51

I agree with you that we most likely have different tastes and needs. But fit issues aren't silly thats for sure, they are actually a major IEM deterrent, thats why customs exist. Fit issues aren't really a problem with headphones I'll agree but for me, seal is. Amps do incredible justice for headphones as well but a desktop setup isn't for me and plus I listen to EDM, trap, rap, alternative rock, electronica, pretty much all stoner music haha. I'm not sure the amount of money you put into your IEMs but if you gave a pair of Westone's ($200-$500) a shot I'm sure you would not be disappointed at all. However, to each their own and I wish this thread was more popular so I could see a general consensus on the topic.

post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhile View Post

I agree with you that we most likely have different tastes and needs. But fit issues aren't silly thats for sure, they are actually a major IEM deterrent, thats why customs exist. Fit issues aren't really a problem with headphones I'll agree but for me, seal is. Amps do incredible justice for headphones as well but a desktop setup isn't for me and plus I listen to EDM, trap, rap, alternative rock, electronica, pretty much all stoner music haha. I'm not sure the amount of money you put into your IEMs but if you gave a pair of Westone's ($200-$500) a shot I'm sure you would not be disappointed at all. However, to each their own and I wish this thread was more popular so I could see a general consensus on the topic.

He has customs..
post #44 of 51
Opinions are like..... smily_headphones1.gif .... everyone's got one.

I won't get into any argument as to what is better, as I don't feel there _is_ a better; there's just different.

I've been listening to music through hi-fi for probably longer than most of you have lived, with a lot of different experiences at different levels of equipment, always with an ear, though, to great sound quality.

You don't have to pay a lot to get fantastic sound quality these days; and, to contradict that, there are some very expensive headphones and earphones that I think are well worth the money. smily_headphones1.gif

I've never sought a "better" system, just differences; I have a number of Sennheiser units, headphones and IEM, and Shure IEMs, and a Sony MDR-7506 I've always found great for a little more isolation when I'm working on music rather than just listening to it... sometimes. Plus I haven't thrown away my iPhone 5 earbuds, nor some cheapie Sony earbuds I got years ago.

They all sound great! They emphasize different things, different parts of the frequency range, different levels of sibilants, with varying levels of distortion (there is no distortionless transducer; they're all basically pretty optimal if they're less than ten years old, though). Systems with more bass emphasis tend to reduce the sense of presence; systems with a slight midrange emphasis tend to emphasize vocals; systems with less bass and more treble have more "soundstage" (I don't like to bandy such impressionistic terms around much).

IEMs I think tend to be a little more precise in response to transients, simply due to the nature of the technology; less material to move and stop with high-powered magnets. OTOH, the strength of the magnetics in most modern headphones has great control over the drivers as well. I do think you'll get less distortion from mass acceleration/deceleration with IEMs at a lower price point, though; but these are vanishingly small differences.

The biggest secret I've found, though, is this: don't switch frequently between systems. Get used to whichever one you've landed on. The brain is an amazing thing, and contours your experience of what you hear around whatever spectrum balance and so on you're listening to. The minute you switch, there's a difference which will always be initially discernible; it will sound "worse" or "better" based on what you're expecting, whether you want more bass, impact, soundstage, air, whatever. Every unit I've ever heard sounds horrible coming from the last one I listened to, at some level. smily_headphones1.gif

Specifically as well: listen to music you are very familiar with on your choices. See which sounds good to you, and ultimately, trust your own ears above over any internet opinions you may hear, or sales pitches, or graph curves. Then, simply, enjoy. The endless pursuit of "better" is a cycle you'll be chasing forever if you get started with it, with frustration and a little perspective at the end of it.

One last thing: different systems sound different in different environments, with different music. I'd never take headphones on a plane trip, for instance. The bass on my IEMs which is fine in a quiet home or work environment will sound "too thin" in a noisy environment, again, say, a plane trip. Some of my headphones sound great turned up; others sound fantastic and more detailed turned down. Ditto the IEMs. I feel like every system has an "ideal" volume level you have to find to listen at, and again, whether it seems loud enough or not is very much a result of what you condition yourself to. Everything sounds compressed, peaky, congested, lacks detail once the volume gets past a certain level, and loses detail and air if too low -- you have to find the right balance there for yourself, too.

Oh and if you do like different headphones/IEMs, there's nothing wrong with having more than one, either; each has something about it to enjoy, just give it time and a listen and don't pursue unachievable ideas about perfection.

Hope that helps!
Edited by Copperears - 11/22/13 at 2:15pm
post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zalithian View Post


He has customs..

yes

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