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IEM's similar to AKG K550?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

This is my first post, so please be gentle...lol

 

Anyway, I'm currently looking for an IEM similar in presentation to my AKG K550 over ear cans. I did just pick up some Sennheiser IE 80, unheard, but they are not at all what I'm looking for. What I'm after is a nice clear mid and upper range, with good detail and vocal clarity. I think some may refer to this as a "forward" type of presentation. To give you a little history, I'm a big fan of the older Klipsch Heritage three way speaker designs. I love that forward sounding mid and upper range that you get with horns. It's the closest you can get to live music in my humble opinion. I have found this sound with my K550's and now I'm searching for it in a more portable IEM. It's getting very hard to find these attributes now a days with all these bass "exaggerated" speakers and phones flooding the market. All of the phones that I auditioned have that "veiled" sound that I often see mentioned on these forums, as do my IE 80's. The midrange is so recessed on most of these phones that it seems almost a mile away. Then, I found the K550's and BAM!!! Amazing!!! Now that's more like it...

 

So, with that out of the way, lets get back to the IE 80's. I took a chance on the IE 80's because of the many positive comments regarding the very large soundstage they present, for an IEM. I'm now thinking that my approach was totally misguided. Please forgive me, I'm new to the world of audiophile headphones and, frankly, it took me years to find the sound I was looking for in a speaker. Maybe I should have been looking at the balanced armature designs like the Shure SE535's or Westone 4's all along...

 

I'd love to hear some thoughts and suggestions? Thanks in advance! 

post #2 of 18

I found that the soundstage changed on my IE80's after a couple of weeks - very bass heavy at the start - I turned down the bass dial to minimum, it now sits around halfway.
 

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSARider View Post

I found that the soundstage changed on my IE80's after a couple of weeks - very bass heavy at the start - I turned down the bass dial to minimum, it now sits around halfway.
 


I have the bass setting at minimum, but actually I don't have a problem with the bass in general. It's more about the veiled mid and upper range. Outside of the bass, the overall presentation seems a little dull and recessed. 

post #4 of 18
Yep, I use mine with the E17 and it makes a huge difference in soundstage quality with them.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSARider View Post

Yep, I use mine with the E17 and it makes a huge difference in soundstage quality with them.


I've kind of had my eye on that E17, but I'm just not sure that I need it. The K550's sound stellar without an amp. I'm running Poweramp with 16 and 24 bit FLAC files out of my Galaxy Note 2. I believe the Note 2 has a Wolfson DAC, if I'm not mistaken.

post #6 of 18
RE0 would have more of the mids and treble your looking for, I also think the Monster Nergy sound similar to the K550, Ety HFx also sound similar as well as the PFE1xx, if you want more bass while still maintaining nice mids and treble the Sony XBA3 also work well. If isolation is not as important the Sony MDR7550 is also a midcentric option but the treble will be slightly less emphasized.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

RE0 would have more of the mids and treble your looking for, I also think the Monster Nergy sound similar to the K550, Ety HFx also sound similar as well as the PFE1xx, if you want more bass while still maintaining nice mids and treble the Sony XBA3 also work well. If isolation is not as important the Sony MDR7550 is also a midcentric option but the treble will be slightly less emphasized.

Thanks for those suggestions. I will definitely be researching them.
post #8 of 18

A lot of TWFK-based IEM's such as the DBA02 may suit your preferences.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
What about the SM3, PFE-232 or ER4S? Would any of these fit my preferences listed above?

Any other suggestions?
post #10 of 18
I have owned the SM3 and personally do not think it will me your needs. The ER4S will do the trick but I am not sure how much of an improvement it is over the HFx series. Someone who has owned both will need to comment on that. I just know my HF3 have a similar sound losing only a bit of the bass and a bit of the treble of the K550.

If you can afford them I suspect the PFE-232 may be darn near perfect. But I personally have not heard them so am basing that on what I have read and knowing some of the tastes of some of those writers as compared to my own.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

I have owned the SM3 and personally do not think it will me your needs. The ER4S will do the trick but I am not sure how much of an improvement it is over the HFx series. Someone who has owned both will need to comment on that. I just know my HF3 have a similar sound losing only a bit of the bass and a bit of the treble of the K550.
If you can afford them I suspect the PFE-232 may be darn near perfect. But I personally have not heard them so am basing that on what I have read and knowing some of the tastes of some of those writers as compared to my own.

Thanks! That is great info and falls right in line with my research up until now. I have narrowed my list down to just two iem's, either the HF5 or PFE-232. The PFE-232 has an almost identical frequency response curve to my K550, but is very pricey. So, for obvious reasons, I am leaning towards the HF5 at this point.

Has anyone heard both the HF5 and PFE-232? How do they compare to each other and the K550, if you have heard the K550? Also, does anyone know where I can find the charted frequency response curve for the HF5?
post #12 of 18

Agreed, a Rockit sounds R-50 may be your cup of tea. You might even like the Vsonic GR07.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

A lot of TWFK-based IEM's such as the DBA02 may suit your preferences.

 

The K550 is said to sound similar to the Q701. My GR01 sounds very similar to my Q701. The Rockit Sounds R-50 is basically the same thing as the GR01. 

 

So yes, a DBA02, or R-50 would probably suit you well. 


Edited by jasonb - 1/1/13 at 8:16pm
post #13 of 18
I owned the Rocket R50 and unfortunately was not as impressed with it as I am with the Ety HFx headphones and my K550. It was a bit to flat for me. But I am just one persons opinion in this regard. I would suggest getting the HFx headphone or a PFE 1xx before getting the 232 as you may be,pleasantly surprised with them at a much lower cost. You can find them quite often in the FS section to save a bit more money.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

I owned the Rocket R50 and unfortunately was not as impressed with it as I am with the Ety HFx headphones and my K550. It was a bit to flat for me. But I am just one persons opinion in this regard. I would suggest getting the HFx headphone or a PFE 1xx before getting the 232 as you may be,pleasantly surprised with them at a much lower cost. You can find them quite often in the FS section to save a bit more money.
Which is closest in your opinion to the K550 between the HFx and PFE 1xx, and which do you prefer?
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Listening to my IE 80 today for an extended session, and I must say that these are really starting to grow on me. Just a hair too warm and laid back in general for me. A little better vocal clarity and sparkle up top and they would be almost perfect. No listener fatigue and comfort issues after nearly three hours, which is also a big plus in my book.
Edited by BRAC - 1/2/13 at 1:47pm
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