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Multi-IEM comparison: Vsonic GR07, Ultimate Ears UE700, TDK BA200, Etymotic Research HF5 and... - Page 9

post #121 of 178
Thread Starter 

Part two is up :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbTKgRyYDZQ

post #122 of 178
Love your reviews so far and I am looking for a BA set to compliment my gr07 dynamic and soon to be fx700. From sound signature wise I would lean towards to PFEs as I like my bass to be deep and punchy but like my mids and highs to be crisp and detailed. The problem I may see is getting a good fit. Most of my phones I can get a good seal with silicone tips but that is if the housing does not get in the way. Even with the gr07 I needed to go to a triple flange with deep insertion as any standard tip would cause the housing to start to bump against, for lack of a better term, the c shaped outer ear outside the canal. I am afraid I will run into the same problem with the PFEs. Out of your testing, what are the recommendations you would make based on what I have listed? Thanks much
post #123 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocoolhifi View Post

Love your reviews so far and I am looking for a BA set to compliment my gr07 dynamic and soon to be fx700. From sound signature wise I would lean towards to PFEs as I like my bass to be deep and punchy but like my mids and highs to be crisp and detailed. The problem I may see is getting a good fit. Most of my phones I can get a good seal with silicone tips but that is if the housing does not get in the way. Even with the gr07 I needed to go to a triple flange with deep insertion as any standard tip would cause the housing to start to bump against, for lack of a better term, the c shaped outer ear outside the canal. I am afraid I will run into the same problem with the PFEs. Out of your testing, what are the recommendations you would make based on what I have listed? Thanks much

 

First, in terms of fit, I think the pfe232 is the best period.  In terms of isolation they aren't as good as something like the shure535, but they aren't bad either.  Somewhere in the middle.  To get a proper seal with the pfe is very easy in my opinion.  The design is a very general ergonomic design.  I really can't see how it wouldn't fit anyone's ears, because instead of having to sit inside the outer ear like most other iems, the pfe don't really sit anywhere.  The silicone goes into your ear and the housing just points forward and up a little routing the cable around your ear.  So different ear sizes shouldn't matter.

 

As you can see in this photo, most like the tdk for instance fill your ear area, and thus might not fit everyone and may even prevent full insertion:

 

 

With the pfe112 (the 232 are the same) you can see they don't really fill your outer ear.  There is more clearance between the edges of the housing and your ear too.

 

 

 

Basically, in every single IEM i've tested, I've found the pfe to feel the smallest and least noticeable in my ears, and I think I have small ears.  The 232 is going to give you a "similar" sound to the fr07 as well.  You will be hit with a lot more high treble, so things are going to sound more open and bright, but also more natural.  The bass is excellent too, and for whatever reason the bass gets better over time.

post #124 of 178

Just to be clear did you test the Vsonic GR07 or GR07 MK2. It sounds like the fit is so good in the PFE 112 it may provide better sound. 

Thanks 

post #125 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchm View Post

Just to be clear did you test the Vsonic GR07 or GR07 MK2. It sounds like the fit is so good in the PFE 112 it may provide better sound. 

Thanks 

 

MK2

post #126 of 178

Hey, I just recieved the tdk ba-200 iems. I was doubting between these and the vsonic gr07s. But your thread made me choose the ba200s.

First impressions: very good isolation, excellent actually. It's true what they say, the sound is warm but I don't mind it that much.

I actually think the bass is very good, but I am wondering how it compares to the GR07 in terms of clarity, seperation and mainly voices.

 

I'm also wondering if I should just punish my wallet and buy the shure SE535, is it noticably better than the BA200 and GR07?

 

Thanks for this great thread!

post #127 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Hey, I just recieved the tdk ba-200 iems. I was doubting between these and the vsonic gr07s. But your thread made me choose the ba200s.

First impressions: very good isolation, excellent actually. It's true what they say, the sound is warm but I don't mind it that much.

I actually think the bass is very good, but I am wondering how it compares to the GR07 in terms of clarity, seperation and mainly voices.

 

I'm also wondering if I should just punish my wallet and buy the shure SE535, is it noticably better than the BA200 and GR07?

 

Thanks for this great thread!

 

Oh my.  Good questions.  Difficult answers.  Let me start with the gr07.  It's bassier than the tdk in a good way.  The bass is fuller and more punchy.  The tdk bass is a bit more fast sounding.  If you're familiar with the general sound of a BA phone the tdk just has that BA sounding bass.  As for clarity, I find the gr07 on first listen is "clearer" sounding, but unfortunately the clarity is sort of isolated to a certain region of the treble that is boosted.  So while it sounds a bit brighter and more clear in that region, the gr07 still manages to sound somewhat dark overall.  It's an odd mix, but I'd say the gr07 is brighter for the most part with a more "open" treble sound.  However, they both have a lower than neutral high treble region +12k if you have good hearing.

 

The tdk is a much more smooth and flat gradation between bass and treble though, so they sound more natural and "flat".  I would call them more accurate overall.  But if you want more bass and the impression of a brighter sound the gr07 are better.  If you don't mind the softened high end of the tdk then overall it is more pleasing and accurate to me.  They are both very good examples of a high quality earphone with a sound signature different people will like.  The gr07 isn't so far from neutral that it sounds bad or anything, it just has more low end and a boosted treble region.  The downfall is that for some people this translates into sibilance when there shouldn't be any.  Some people don't have this problem, or find it minimal.  I found it too bothersome personally.  But when sibilance wasn't noticeable on say an instrumental track, I still hear the sibilant frequencies standing out, but they were much more enjoyable.

 

I would take the ba200 over the gr07 personally, but I value more of a flat neutral response more than anything.

 

As for the 535, that is an interesting comparison.  If I had to choose, I'm not sure which I'd choose.  In reality I'd probably choose the tdk, because the 535 hurt my ears physically.  But if that weren't the case they offer different experiences.  I think the 535 treble is much more rolled off than the tdk, assuming we're not talking about the special editions, which I haven't heard but are claimed to have more treble.  So it treble is important I would go tdk, as they are less "rolled off".  However, despite the rolloff, I'd say the 535 sound more accurate and exciting still.  They have a liveliness and very nice midrange while the bass and midrange sound fairly flat.  If it weren't for the treble i think they'd sound pretty flat overall, but it makes them sound very soft or muffled almost.  Ironically again, they still manage to bring out a lot of details and separation.  I think for people that can ignore the treble rolloff (not me) the 535 would win overall.  But it's a noticeable rolloff.  I'd also say the 535 wins in every other area (cable, accessories, etc.).  But it's more than twice the price as well.  In that regard I absolutely thing the tdk is a better "value".  You get more for your money.  But I'd try the 535 if you have a chance.  I'd love to hear the special editions myself.


Edited by luisdent - 3/15/13 at 1:56pm
post #128 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

 

The gr07 isn't so far from neutral that it sounds bad or anything, it just has more low end and a boosted treble region.  The downfall is that for some people this translates into sibilance when there shouldn't be any.  Some people don't have this problem, or find it minimal.  I found it too bothersome personally.  But when sibilance wasn't noticeable on say an instrumental track, I still hear the sibilant frequencies standing out, but they were much more enjoyable.

 

I would take the ba200 over the gr07 personally, but I value more of a flat neutral response more than anything.

 

 

Have you heard the gr07be's (bass editions)? I was initially concerned about getting the gr07 due to the potential sibilance since I am sensitive to it, but what I read convinced me that the issue was reduced considerably with the be's, so I ended up getting them (it was between them and the ba200's). So far, I have been very pleased with the highs (and further burn-in apparently won't hurt). And I've loving the gr07be's bass and mids as well. Fwiw!

post #129 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by waynes world View Post

 

Have you heard the gr07be's (bass editions)? I was initially concerned about getting the gr07 due to the potential sibilance since I am sensitive to it, but what I read convinced me that the issue was reduced considerably with the be's, so I ended up getting them (it was between them and the ba200's). So far, I have been very pleased with the highs (and further burn-in apparently won't hurt). And I've loving the gr07be's bass and mids as well. Fwiw!

 

i haven't heard the bass editions, but if it's anything like the gr07 bass it should be nice.  is it bassier?  hence the name?

post #130 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

 

Oh my.  Good questions.  Difficult answers.  Let me start with the gr07.  It's bassier than the tdk in a good way.  The bass is fuller and more punchy.  The tdk bass is a bit more fast sounding.  If you're familiar with the general sound of a BA phone the tdk just has that BA sounding bass.  As for clarity, I find the gr07 on first listen is "clearer" sounding, but unfortunately the clarity is sort of isolated to a certain region of the treble that is boosted.  So while it sounds a bit brighter and more clear in that region, the gr07 still manages to sound somewhat dark overall.  It's an odd mix, but I'd say the gr07 is brighter for the most part with a more "open" treble sound.  However, they both have a lower than neutral high treble region +12k if you have good hearing.

 

The tdk is a much more smooth and flat gradation between bass and treble though, so they sound more natural and "flat".  I would call them more accurate overall.  But if you want more bass and the impression of a brighter sound the gr07 are better.  If you don't mind the softened high end of the tdk then overall it is more pleasing and accurate to me.  They are both very good examples of a high quality earphone with a sound signature different people will like.  The gr07 isn't so far from neutral that it sounds bad or anything, it just has more low end and a boosted treble region.  The downfall is that for some people this translates into sibilance when there shouldn't be any.  Some people don't have this problem, or find it minimal.  I found it too bothersome personally.  But when sibilance wasn't noticeable on say an instrumental track, I still hear the sibilant frequencies standing out, but they were much more enjoyable.

 

I would take the ba200 over the gr07 personally, but I value more of a flat neutral response more than anything.

 

As for the 535, that is an interesting comparison.  If I had to choose, I'm not sure which I'd choose.  In reality I'd probably choose the tdk, because the 535 hurt my ears physically.  But if that weren't the case they offer different experiences.  I think the 535 treble is much more rolled off than the tdk, assuming we're not talking about the special editions, which I haven't heard but are claimed to have more treble.  So it treble is important I would go tdk, as they are less "rolled off".  However, despite the rolloff, I'd say the 535 sound more accurate and exciting still.  They have a liveliness and very nice midrange while the bass and midrange sound fairly flat.  If it weren't for the treble i think they'd sound pretty flat overall, but it makes them sound very soft or muffled almost.  Ironically again, they still manage to bring out a lot of details and separation.  I think for people that can ignore the treble rolloff (not me) the 535 would win overall.  But it's a noticeable rolloff.  I'd also say the 535 wins in every other area (cable, accessories, etc.).  But it's more than twice the price as well.  In that regard I absolutely thing the tdk is a better "value".  You get more for your money.  But I'd try the 535 if you have a chance.  I'd love to hear the special editions myself.

Wow, great response, thanks! 

 

I do value a neutral sound over an overly bassy, or high pitched sound. Even though I think the BA200s are pretty soft and warm sounding due to the treble rolloff my brain is adjusting quickly. I've listened to them the entire evening and I actually really like the bass, not bass shy at all and the highs are pretty detailed. And voices are excellent on these!

 

If you say the SE535 has even more of a treble rolloff I'd say these are not for me. Atleast not for the price, they are too expensive for me to have any major flaw like that. 

I've owned the shure SE425 for a day and I have to say the build quality is really good, they also look freaking fantastic. But they also hurt me ears quite a bit (I have tiny tiny ears).

I think I'll keep the BA200s, they sound great, and above all, isolate fantastic. Isolation is really important since I'll use these exclusively on the go, and band (and or drum) practice.

 

I've heard some exciting news about hybrid in ears, using dynamic and BA drivers, I think I'll wait for them to come out, and buy some when the price drops. But in the meantime I'm content with the BA200s

 

Just one thing, they do not seem very sturdy, have there been known cases of these falling apart?

post #131 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

i haven't heard the bass editions, but if it's anything like the gr07 bass it should be nice.  is it bassier?  hence the name?

 

I personally am not sure exactly how the bass differs. I think that some have said that the quantity is not increased by much, but that it extends lower (and is more detailed?).

 

Anyway, eke2k6 has his hands on the mk1, mk2 and the be's, and he will be providing a comparison of them all at some point. Discussions in the BE thread.

post #132 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Wow, great response, thanks! 

 

I do value a neutral sound over an overly bassy, or high pitched sound. Even though I think the BA200s are pretty soft and warm sounding due to the treble rolloff my brain is adjusting quickly. I've listened to them the entire evening and I actually really like the bass, not bass shy at all and the highs are pretty detailed. And voices are excellent on these!

 

If you say the SE535 has even more of a treble rolloff I'd say these are not for me. Atleast not for the price, they are too expensive for me to have any major flaw like that. 

I've owned the shure SE425 for a day and I have to say the build quality is really good, they also look freaking fantastic. But they also hurt me ears quite a bit (I have tiny tiny ears).

I think I'll keep the BA200s, they sound great, and above all, isolate fantastic. Isolation is really important since I'll use these exclusively on the go, and band (and or drum) practice.

 

I've heard some exciting news about hybrid in ears, using dynamic and BA drivers, I think I'll wait for them to come out, and buy some when the price drops. But in the meantime I'm content with the BA200s

 

Just one thing, they do not seem very sturdy, have there been known cases of these falling apart?

 

As for the 535, to nail the coffin shut, i have medium/small ears and they hurt my ears pretty bad after 10 minutes of use.  They push against the back of my ear lobe and there's nothing I can do to adjust it otherwise.  So if you have tiny ears, you probably "can't" even use them. :-P  I would enjoy the ba200.  An amp brings out the clarity on the high end just a bit too.

post #133 of 178
Thread Starter 

I'd just like to add that for what it's worth, I've completely 100% satisfactorily settled on the Etymotic ER-4S.  In my search there are two headphones I really found worth owning more than any other for the price.  The Sennheiser HD600 and the Etymotic ER-4S.

 

As this is an in-ear thread I'll talk briefly about the ER-4S.  I find with the stock triple flange grey tips they sound just amazing.  However, I love them so much I'm getting customs as soon as my audiologist calls me back.  They aren't supposed to necessarily increase sound quality, but rather comfort and consistent fit.  Although, improvement is possible if those two things are lacking with stock tips.  Anyhow, they open up the treble more accurately than any other earphone I've heard.  They are truly flat and reference.  From the lowest bass to the highest treble they are excellent.

 

The main problem people have is that they are considered "bass light".  However, I'd have to guess most people don't get a proper fit, don't try long enough (the tips get softer and break in) or simply are bassheads.  I find now after breaking in the tips that the bass is perfect with no eq whatsoever.  I do need to fiddle a bit sometimes to get a perfect fit/seal, but it's worth it.  I'm hoping the customs eliminate this as well.  I listen to music for hours and hours on end and they just sound amazing with every single song I put through them.  They sound very much like my reference studio monitor speakers in overall "sound".  Obviously they are different being in-ear monitors, but they are the closest I've heard.  I actually am listening to a song right now by steve wilson that keeps distracting me from writing because it sounds so darn good.  Haha.

 

They are just the most accurate perfect iem in my opinion.  I think they are well worth buying and breaking in thoroughly (fit not drivers).  For me this whole process has been a learning experience as to my own tastes.  I've always thought i wanted more bass in an earphone or more treble, but nothing ever sounded like a decent speaker.  I find that it is because earphones seem to be much more sensitive to frequency problems.  What I mean is that a spike in frequencies is more noticeable in an earphone to me.  And that can make things difficult to asses and compare.  As I went on and on, and thanks to ClieOS, I found more and more that I preferred a "flat" signature.  I always knew I wanted flat, but flat like a studio monitor.  I didn't think that was possible with a flat graphed earphone, as they never sounded like a studio monitor.  But that is because those spikes I mentioned really detracted from the flatness, so even a fairly flat graphed earphone like the tdk ba200 lacked the high frequency response that really allows it to sound "flat".  It's great, especially for the price, but the extra "flatness" really opens up details and such.

 

Anyway, I'm babbling now.  My point is that I've tried some pricey phones from the westone 4r and shure 535 ($500) to the pfe232 ($600).  And I can wholeheartedly say I would buy the ER-4S hands down in every situation at only $300!  Half price, twice the quality!.  I didn't think it was possible.  And now having heard the wide range of prices, I think the $300 is much more reasonable than when I started searching and only wanted to spend $150.  Just some thoughts.  They may not be for everyone.  But if you want something like the ba200 with better treble look no further.  With a great seal, which really can take time when breaking in the tips and finding a good fit, the bass is excellent.  Not thumping, slamming, pounding bas (unless you have a bass boost amp! oh my), but I can hear every sub bass note smoothly and kick drums thump the right amount.  For those who think it is bass light, I have a jds c5 amp and the +6db bass boost at 80hz really makes them sound excellent in the bass region.  I prefer about 3db of bass boost if I use it, but lately I've found that I don't even turn it on because they sound so good.

 

I'll stop now, because I could go on forever.  I'll have to make a review soon.  These are my phones. I have  a connection with them.  I'm enjoying music more than ever.  That was the goal I started with and didn't think I would achieve, but I have. :-)  yay!!!!

post #134 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

I'd just like to add that for what it's worth, I've completely 100% satisfactorily settled on the Etymotic ER-4S.  In my search there are two headphones I really found worth owning more than any other for the price.  The Sennheiser HD600 and the Etymotic ER-4S.

 

As this is an in-ear thread I'll talk briefly about the ER-4S.  I find with the stock triple flange grey tips they sound just amazing.  However, I love them so much I'm getting customs as soon as my audiologist calls me back.  They aren't supposed to necessarily increase sound quality, but rather comfort and consistent fit.  Although, improvement is possible if those two things are lacking with stock tips.  Anyhow, they open up the treble more accurately than any other earphone I've heard.  They are truly flat and reference.  From the lowest bass to the highest treble they are excellent.

 

The main problem people have is that they are considered "bass light".  However, I'd have to guess most people don't get a proper fit, don't try long enough (the tips get softer and break in) or simply are bassheads.  I find now after breaking in the tips that the bass is perfect with no eq whatsoever.  I do need to fiddle a bit sometimes to get a perfect fit/seal, but it's worth it.  I'm hoping the customs eliminate this as well.  I listen to music for hours and hours on end and they just sound amazing with every single song I put through them.  They sound very much like my reference studio monitor speakers in overall "sound".  Obviously they are different being in-ear monitors, but they are the closest I've heard.  I actually am listening to a song right now by steve wilson that keeps distracting me from writing because it sounds so darn good.  Haha.

 

They are just the most accurate perfect iem in my opinion.  I think they are well worth buying and breaking in thoroughly (fit not drivers).  For me this whole process has been a learning experience as to my own tastes.  I've always thought i wanted more bass in an earphone or more treble, but nothing ever sounded like a decent speaker.  I find that it is because earphones seem to be much more sensitive to frequency problems.  What I mean is that a spike in frequencies is more noticeable in an earphone to me.  And that can make things difficult to asses and compare.  As I went on and on, and thanks to ClieOS, I found more and more that I preferred a "flat" signature.  I always knew I wanted flat, but flat like a studio monitor.  I didn't think that was possible with a flat graphed earphone, as they never sounded like a studio monitor.  But that is because those spikes I mentioned really detracted from the flatness, so even a fairly flat graphed earphone like the tdk ba200 lacked the high frequency response that really allows it to sound "flat".  It's great, especially for the price, but the extra "flatness" really opens up details and such.

 

Anyway, I'm babbling now.  My point is that I've tried some pricey phones from the westone 4r and shure 535 ($500) to the pfe232 ($600).  And I can wholeheartedly say I would buy the ER-4S hands down in every situation at only $300!  Half price, twice the quality!.  I didn't think it was possible.  And now having heard the wide range of prices, I think the $300 is much more reasonable than when I started searching and only wanted to spend $150.  Just some thoughts.  They may not be for everyone.  But if you want something like the ba200 with better treble look no further.  With a great seal, which really can take time when breaking in the tips and finding a good fit, the bass is excellent.  Not thumping, slamming, pounding bas (unless you have a bass boost amp! oh my), but I can hear every sub bass note smoothly and kick drums thump the right amount.  For those who think it is bass light, I have a jds c5 amp and the +6db bass boost at 80hz really makes them sound excellent in the bass region.  I prefer about 3db of bass boost if I use it, but lately I've found that I don't even turn it on because they sound so good.

 

I'll stop now, because I could go on forever.  I'll have to make a review soon.  These are my phones. I have  a connection with them.  I'm enjoying music more than ever.  That was the goal I started with and didn't think I would achieve, but I have. :-)  yay!!!!

I'm glad you finally found something you really like. The prices are pretty much random it seems on in ear monitors. I guess that's probably because they aren't easy to try out, and there are very little people like you, who tried out a bunch and compared them. I was also interested in the etymotic monitors, but it seems I can't get the er4s here in the netherlands, but I can get the er4p, do you know what the difference is?

 

Also, I don't seem to have an ear canal, I can't actually put anything in there, I guess it's really small or something. So would other tips, like comply tips work for the etymotic er4s?

 

I am really content with the BA200, especially for it's price point. So I don't think I'm actually buying the etymotics. But I'm still curious, and I would like to try them out sometimes, and perhaps buy them when I have some more money.

Do you think the etymotic er4s are a league above the BA2000s in terms of technicalities, or do you like them more because they are more neutral?

post #135 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

I'm glad you finally found something you really like. The prices are pretty much random it seems on in ear monitors. I guess that's probably because they aren't easy to try out, and there are very little people like you, who tried out a bunch and compared them. I was also interested in the etymotic monitors, but it seems I can't get the er4s here in the netherlands, but I can get the er4p, do you know what the difference is?

Also, I don't seem to have an ear canal, I can't actually put anything in there, I guess it's really small or something. So would other tips, like comply tips work for the etymotic er4s?

I am really content with the BA200, especially for it's price point. So I don't think I'm actually buying the etymotics. But I'm still curious, and I would like to try them out sometimes, and perhaps buy them when I have some more money.
Do you think the etymotic er4s are a league above the BA2000s in terms of technicalities, or do you like them more because they are more neutral?

The er4p is the same earphone with lower impedance. This makes them easier to power without an amp, but also attenuates the treble. So they sound more muffled compared the the 4s, however this makes them a little bassier as well. But even the 4p is better than most iem in the treble.

I don't know if they're a league above the ba200. Especially value-wise, but I do think they're the best I've ever heard. I think earphones only have small differences in quality as they get more expensive past
$100. I find its more about frequency response, which I would argue is quality, but some would argue is preference. If you don't want neutral I don't think you'll find the other traits differer greatly. Most things like soundstage and depth may differ but are greatly affected by frequency response. So while there are differences the biggest change will be the sound signature of the frequencies.
Edited by luisdent - 3/16/13 at 9:25am
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