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Multi-IEM comparison: Vsonic GR07, Ultimate Ears UE700, TDK BA200, Etymotic Research HF5 and... - Page 8

post #106 of 178
Thread Starter 

Well, reluctant to give up, and contrary to all safety warnings, I forced the pfe232 tips further into my ears.  To the point that they actually sort of seat themselves into my ear.  The back of the tips pass the outer edge of my ear and sort of land inside.  I don't think i'm passing any danger zone bend of my ear or anything, but i usually don't wear tips as deep as this.  Needless to say the difference is interesting.  I'm not sure if it will result in a completely different opinion, but I can say with 100% certainty it had some kind of effect on the sibilant frequency issue.  I need to test them for a day or so, because i know I'm "listening" for it.

 

I'll need to just listen to a lot of music and see if it makes a difference, but I think the sibilant issue had at least something to to with my ear canal and reflections.  That would explain why I couldn't EQ it away completely.  Again, I don't know if it is a big enough difference, but I'll give it one more shot.  It's not as comfortable, as the tips apply a bit more pressure against my ears, but i might forget it after a minute.  Sort of like comply foam pressure, which I never liked, but also never used much...

 

Also, this makes me wonder what effect this would have had on the pfe112.  Perhaps i wasn't hearing the same "neutral" bass as some, but rather less than neutral due to the tip fit?  Hmmmmm.  The irony is that I jammed every other tip of every other phone pretty deep, but the pfe series just "feel" right when you insert them a certain depth.  So I never wanted to go deeper.


Edited by luisdent - 12/30/12 at 11:53pm
post #107 of 178
Thread Starter 

I've uploaded an overview review of the pfe232:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIgmf2avVfk

 

I'll be doing part two in the next few days.  I'll post it in the review section as well.

post #108 of 178
Thread Starter 
post #109 of 178
Thread Starter 

uploaded a new video review of the etymotic research hf5: www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4kgUx_KVJU  and put a review on the product page for the cobalt version.
 

post #110 of 178
Thread Starter 

Posted a new review of the UE700 if anyone is interested:  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvo-BurV0AM ; I'll be putting a text review on the product page soon as well.


Edited by luisdent - 1/9/13 at 7:57pm
post #111 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

Posted a new review of the UE700 if anyone is interested:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvo-BurV0AM  I'll be putting a text review on the product page soon as well.

YouTube gives an error when trying to load this.
post #112 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kermy View Post

YouTube gives an error when trying to load this.
Strange how about this? http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvo-BurV0AM
post #113 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

Strange how about this? http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvo-BurV0AM

Thanks, that works.
post #114 of 178
Thread Starter 

Man, if they combined the shure 535 mids with the pfe bass and treble they'd have the most amazing IEM ever. :-P

post #115 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

Man, if they combined the shure 535 mids with the pfe bass and treble they'd have the most amazing IEM ever. :-P

Have you heard the shure? So far how would you rank all the IEMs you have auditioned?

post #116 of 178
Thread Starter 

Yes.  I've been given a sample and have the 535 right now.  I would rate pfe232 and shure535 at the very top right now.  I need to get used to them before I make a final call, but the shure535 almost sounds more balanced in the sense that the mid and bass are closer levels to each other, on an ipod the highs are excellent, on my duet not as much.  Another case of impedance I believe, but I'll get into that later.

 

The highs are better than I expected and pretty good.  The pfe232 highs are a little better extended and things have more crispness and less fatiguing.  However, the shure535 mids are just cake.  I hear more things in the mids on the shure and more things in the highs on the pfe232 that each doesn't reveal as well as the other.  It's really a preference at this point, except that the pfe232 scale with no problem on my duet.  The shure, from my first impressions aren't very useable on the duet.  There is a big boost in the mid treble that makes pianos have a nasty spike and then a drop in upper treble that takes away air and smoothness in the treble.  Really unfortunate, but I'm looking into options and possible fixes for that.

post #117 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinquito View Post

Have you heard the shure? So far how would you rank all the IEMs you have auditioned?

 

So far, and this is personal preference, this is the ranking I would give all of the IEMs I've tried so far:

 

AUDIO QUALITY:

1. Audeo Phonak PFE232 (grey filters)

2. Shure 535

3. Audeo Phonak PFE112 (grey filters)

4. Sony XBA-3 (tied with BA200)

5. TDK BA200 (tied with XBA-3)

6. Ultimate Ears UE700

7. VSonic GR07 (primarily due to sibilance, treble unbalance)

8. Etymotic HF5 (primarily for fit reasons affecting audio, may have been better)

 

COMFORT:

1. Audeo Phonak PFE232

2. Audeo Phonak PFE112 (same as pfe232)

3. Sony XBA-3

4. VSonic GR07

5. TDK BA200

6. Ultimate Ears UE700

7. Etymotic HF5

8. Shure 535


Edited by luisdent - 1/11/13 at 4:41pm
post #118 of 178
Thread Starter 

I may have an opportunity to try out the westone 4r in a week or two.  That would really round off my high-end universal comparison. :-)  I'm hoping they're awesome, but if not the pfe232 is still amazing.

post #119 of 178
Thread Starter 

I want to post an update to the shure 535 listening I've been doing.  These are an odd beast.  In some ways they completely surprise me with their quality.  In other ways they are pretty much what I expected based on reviews.  Let me explain.

 

The one downfall to the 535 for me is the lack of superb treble.  The PFE just poops on the shure in that regard.  Not literally, but they are noticeable crisper and more bright while not being fatiguing at all.  The 535 are very smooth for the most part with a sort of drier sound in the treble.  At times the mid-treble can sound a little too forward making a sort of "almost" sibilant-ness or a spike-like sound in certain instruments like pianos.  However, this is usually pretty tame and at reasonable volumes the effect is greatly reduced.  As I listen to music at a relatively low-medium volume it doesn't bother me, but it is there.  However, on most content the sound is very smooth.  My overall impression is that the 535 are actually more neutral sounding than the pfe232 other than the treble roll-off, which in itself is not neutral by definition.  However, the bass goes into the mids which go into the treble very smoothly and fairly balanced before the treble rolls away into oblivion. ;)

 

The treble is actually pretty good, but at this price point and quality level I hoped for a bit more extension.  But this is where they surprise me.  Even though the treble is rolled off, and they definitely would benefit from better treble extension, the 535 still manages to pull out incredible details.  I wouldn't call them macro or micro details that the pfe232 draws out, as those are details you can examine very finely and hear every nuance.  Instead the 535 draws things out so you 'hear' them.  The best way I can describe it would be that sometimes I feel like I hear more of the instruments or at least notice more of the instruments on the 535, but even though I hear them, they don't present super detailed clarity of details.  Very good mind you, but not pfe232 levels.

 

The pfe232 on the other hand, while you definitely hear more than you have ever heard on lesser IEMs, the lack of midrange that the 535 has draw attention more to certain instruments or aspects of the music.  Of those aspects you can inspect every detail and they sound incredible.  However, in certain songs you may not notice certain things as much.  You can listen for them and they sound great, but they don't blend in as neutrally and easily as the 535.  In this regard I would call them different, but similar quality.  For me personally, I likes me some high quality trebles! Ha.

 

But then again, I listen to some songs on the 535 and I am truly taken back by the absolute beauty of the music presented by the incredible mids and overall sound.  The bass on the sure is probably the best I've ever heard.  It "sounds" neutral in line with the mids for the most part.  The mids almost sound a little forward, but not really raised above the bass much at the same time.  It's almost like the mids are louder than the bass a small amount, but you hear "through" them to the bass, so nothing is lost in the low end audibility.  The same goes the other way up to the treble until it rolls off.

 

The good thing about the treble is that it extends reasonably well if you disregard the roll off.  What I mean by that is the treble isn't lacking in how high it can reproduce frequencies really, but rather the volume of the high frequencies is so low in comparison to the rest you just don't really hear them after a certain point and the upper end sounds soft and somewhat muffled or veiled.  But at the same time, I wouldn't call it a veil 'exactly', as they still pull out incredible details.

 

The main issue I have with the 535, which isn't "horrible", but is definitely on the lowest rating of my headphone ranking would be the comfort.  I don't really care for the memory cables.  I thought people must be crazy, that sounds like a great idea!  Well, in reality, I find that adjusting the memory portion of the ear guides causes me to lose my perfect fit.  If I gain the fit back the guides don't sit right or even cause discomfort.  They feel sharp in a way, sometimes jabbing you in the head, even though there's nothing pointy on them to jab with.  The general shape and fit of the housing cause a little bit of pressure in my ear canal entry way which gets uncomfortable as well.  If these were phenomenal in the treble region, I would honestly deal with the discomfort, as it isn't incredibly painful.  With the IEM competition, thist is something to consider.  The biggest fit issue I have though is that the housing is literally almost too big to fit in my ear lobe area.  They feel pretty sore in one spot in my ear lobe area when I take them out after say more than 15 minutes listening.  

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure if you can tell in the photos, but no matter how I angle them the housing back or the tip of the angle always presses against my ear.  This can be uncomfortable.  I wouldn't say it hurts, but I'd "rather" have it "not" do that. :-P  I have them in the most comfortable position here.  You can tell I gave up with the memory cable ear guide piece.  It feels fine and they don't move at all, so it isn't a big deal.

 

Man are those clear models sexy though.  mmmmmmmm.

 

Anyway, back to the sound.  One great thing about these is that despite the treble roll off, I find that 'most' of the time when I get into the music I don't even think about it.  I get so enveloped into the sound and it is like the mids are a bed and they want me to lay down on them and relax. haha.  But there are other times with certain genres or songs where the details really make the song and the lack of treble balance sort of destroys the illusion of realism.

 

I think that a lot of people would probably be fine with the treble, because as was mentioned in another post I've been commenting on, most people can't even hear much past 17khz.  The roll off takes place there, but the real dropout if at the top of the spectrum and most people might just consider the treble to sound slightly soft.  In some ways this is nice.  But for realism and neutrality it is not.  If you have good high frequency hearing you may find them slightly lacking.  But then again you may not.  Their other properties and plusses are very good and might just outweigh any treble deficiencies.  For instance, vocals sounds incredible on these things.  They sound smooth, just forward enough, fairly realistic and very full bodied for an IEM.

 

Overall, these are right up there with the pfe232 but in a different way.  If I had to call it, I'd say the pfe232 are better, but they lack the lush beautiful mids of the 535.  Sometimes the mids can be a bit too much, but when they aren't they are simply incredible to enjoy.  The pfe on the other hand just plasters you with details and clarity while still sounding fairly neutral for a V shaped headphone and still having good mids nonetheless.  That's my take for now.  I've got some more listening to do. :-)


Edited by luisdent - 1/11/13 at 7:07pm
post #120 of 178
Thread Starter 

I've posted part 1 of 2 535 reviews if anyone is interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0tkKyz7aRI

 

I'll be putting a written review on the product page here soon as well.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Multi-IEM comparison: Vsonic GR07, Ultimate Ears UE700, TDK BA200, Etymotic Research HF5 and Audeo PFE 112