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Audiophile by accident . The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey - Page 13

post #181 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post

 

Thanks Sleinzel glad you liked them.

 

Don't worry about her, she is happy, she's got me biggrin.gif

 

Pay attention, she might point on your expensive headphones as soon as she wants to buy expensive shoes or something.

 

Been there ^^

GF wanted to buy some stupid clothes and I asked her why she would even consider spending that much money for shoes/clothes. She asked me to sell my headphones eek.gif

 

Had to leave her biggrin.gif


Edited by Sleinzel - 3/14/13 at 4:06am
post #182 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleinzel View Post

 

Pay attention, she might point on your expensive headphones as soon as she wants to buy expensive shoes or something.

 

Been there ^^

GF wanted to buy some stupid clothes and I asked her why she would even consider spending that much money for shoes/clothes. She asked me to sell my headphones eek.gif

 

Had to leave her biggrin.gif

"Had to leave her" --> that is hilarious man :)) . We have a roommate agreement, don't worry :)) . Actually I am lucky, as her hobbies are not as expensive as mine. :D

post #183 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post

"Had to leave her" --> that is hilarious man :)) . We have a roommate agreement, don't worry :)) . Actually I am lucky, as her hobbies are not as expensive as mine. :D

The roommate agreement ^^ That's a good one. What about a relationship contract?

 

I definitly need to work something out for my next relationship.


Edited by Sleinzel - 3/14/13 at 5:35am
post #184 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleinzel View Post

The roommate agreement ^^ That's a good one. What about a relationship contract?

 

I definitly need to work something out for my next relationship.

 

Actually the roommate agreement is a chapter in the relationship contract :))

post #185 of 458
Thread Starter 
 

Previously:

 

The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobby: The Desolation of my wallet

The Hobby: There And Back Again

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets: Part 2

The Two Titans: HD800 & LCD2

The Return Of The King

Burson Conductor: Ambush of the Wallet

The End of The Wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live & FIIO E17

InToxicated Mind

Wrath of the Titans: Audeze LCD2 vs LCD3 & Burson Conductor vs M2Tech Vaughan

From Hobby to Obssesion and back to Hobby

The Ambush of the combos: AudioQuest Dragonfly vs FIIO E17 & Dragonfly with Burson Soloist; Dragonfly vs Conductor's DAC

The Ambush Continues: AKG K550 vs Sennheiser Momentum

The Audiophile USB Cable Surprise: Wireworld Starlight Red vs Chord USB Silver Plus

The Titans are Back: Sennheiser HD800 vs Audeze LCD2 & Burson Conductor

A Nice Surprise: Focal Spirit One

 
Hello guys,

 

 As you may remember, I recently found a nice USB Cable from Chord. I have noticed that they also make power cables and that Jack-Fi had them. Considering the mysterious  improvements brought by the usb cable, I thought I would try one of their power cables as well.

So, I went to Jack-fi happy to have a reason to stalk….cough…cough…visit them… So there I was at their door : “Hello guys…it’s me again!” :

oatg

Well, needless to say I stayed there again more than I expected, keeping the guys from their work …. I hope I don’t get to be their most annoying customer…

At the end they gave me a Chord Power Chord to try it out at home and see if I like it.  Ok…what store does this..? Awesome as always!Actually it wasn’t exactly the Chord Power Chord, it had the same cable but different connectors, and it was made by jack-fi.  It was 2 times cheaper than the original cable(100 EUR compared to 200 eur) so it seemed like a great deal.

Well… I went home and started comparing it to  the PS Audio Jewel. I did not see any difference at all. Thought to myself that I should let it burn in before making up my mind.

A lot of people make the mistake of judging audio gear before the proper burnin period . For example, Conductor gets to shine over 90 hours of burn in. A friend of mine bought a Conductor off ebay that only had ~50 hours on it.  After a while he recognized that the sound really improved. The guy that sold the Burson Conductor, didn’t actually hear it at full value. If you read the manual, Burson actually says this.

After 2 days, when I put the PS Audio Jewel back I started to see the differences. The Chord cable really brought some very nice improvements : more punchier, controlled and well extended bass, better details, microdetails & dynamics. The sound was overall more articulate, the separation of instruments was better, giving a multi-layered sound.

I liked it a lot and I went to Jack-Fi to pay for the cable.

After spending a lot of time on the guys’  heads again, they gave me another cable to test. It was a custom power cable made by them for the internal usage with the audio gear from their showrooms. The cables was over 2 times thicker than the Chord Power Chord and really looked nice, but was also very expensive to manufacture because of the materials used actually (~700 EUR).  It is so expensive because the materials put into it are really  high quality.

They don’t use poor materials and after sell it with ten times the price, and I believe them because this cable is not even listed on their site, and it was made for internal usage at jack-fi and they seldom sell it to a friend or close client.

This cable is extremely well build. It is very thick and heavy but extremely flexible, much more flexible than any of my other cables.

I could not get all the specifications, because they want to keep it in house. However they told me that is a thick litz german cable, with extreme copper purity, with very high quality connectors ( silver plated copper with electromagnetic shielding), a complex braiding with triple helix like structure ( this is why they called the cable DNA).

I myself, wouldn’t spend that much on a power chord but I really wanted to hear a reference one, as I was really curios if it makes any difference at all and what are those differences, so I took it for a test. Throughout the article the cable will be called Jack DNA.

Well… I found myself with 4 power cables at home: Wireworld AuroraPS Audio Jewel,  Chord Power Chord & Jack DNA ….. so I thought it’s time for a shootout :D . The comparisons were made on more songs, but the following ones are the main ones I used. The tests have been made on Burson Conductor with Audeze LCD2.

 

Tiamat – Sixshooter
 
Jack DNA

The bass was a little more punchy and better extended than on the Chord. Also the voice had more presence. You could hear the voice coming from the throat and all its’ texture.

 

The bass was very well extended and punchy. The voice was very present and convincing. However it was a little behind the DNA.

 

The bass was quite nice and well extended but lacked a little punch and control compared to the above. Also the voice was not so well textured.

 

Wireworld Aurora

I felt the bass a little missing on this one. It was not as well extended and lacked some body. The voice was, well textured but not as good as with the chord.

 

Amandine Beyer & Gli Incogniti: The Four Seasons L’autunno Allegro
 

PS Audio Jewel

I felt that the instruments were not very well articulated and that took away from the dynamics.
 

It was more detailed and articulated than the PS Audio Jewel. It made the song more enjoyable and dynamic. This was a surprise.

 

The dynamics were much better than with the previous cable. All the instruments were very articulate and very well defined. So more details, more dynamics and micro-dynamics, more articulated sound overall.

 
Jack DNA

This is actually a chord++. The differences were not major. It improved the microdynamics and details & micro-details, leaving the chord a step behind, but by a little.

 

 
Moby – Porcelain
 
Jack DNA

Excellent well extended, punchy bass. The piano was very well detailed and nicely placed into space. The overall sound was multi-layered with better instrument separation and more presence.

Chord Power Chord

Again the Chord was behind the DNA. The sound was still articulated, well detailed and multi layered but some steps behind.

The bass was a little looser and lacked the punch and the control. The sound was more congested lacked some air compared to the other two.

The bass was more controlled than on the PS Audio Jewel but again lacked a little body. The sound was more detailed than with the jewel and had a little more airy sound.

 
 Book Of Hours – Bozzio Levin Stevens
 

The sound was again a little more detailed, articulate and airy than with the PS Audio Jewel. The treble was a little more present on the Aurora too.

Chord Power Chord

From the beginning I could feel more air. The sound is wonderfully articulated and detailed, the instruments are better separated. The sound is multi layered and the positioning is overall better.

Jack DNA

This cable gave me goosebumps. Again the micro-details and micro-dynamics are great. Again it brings the good stuff the chord brings but at another level.

 

Conclusions

Wireworld Aurora – Good details, the bass is has more control but lacks body and extension.

PS Audio Jewel  – It has a little less details than the Aurora, but the bass is overall better, even if not so controlled. I preferred the PS Audio Jewel instead of the aurora, but it may also be something of tastes.

Chord Power Chord – This cable is wonderful and improves the sound in every aspect. It has better well extended, punchy and well controlled bass, it has better dynamics & microdynamics, better details, overall more articulate sound. It also has better instrument separation and more space between the sound layers.

Jack DNA -  This is the best power cable I have listened to so far. It is actually a Chord ++, taking all the improvements the chord brings and taking them to another level.

So I found out that Power Cables really do make a difference.

 

Don’t get me wrong the difference are not as day and night, but this can bring the final touch to your system, the final finish to the sound.

It is not  as big as the difference you get when you buy a better dac, better headphones or better amplifier, so if you aren’t sure about one of your systems’ components, you should rather buy one of those first, and let the cables at the end.

 

I found that the Chord Power Chord was the best value out of the 4 cables I tested.

The Jack DNA brought the best performance and it could satisfy any enthusiast with ease. If you have the money and want that final touch to your system, then it is worth it.

I, myself would rather put another 300 EUR and buy the Sennheiser HD800.

However this is truly a reference power cable, the best I heard to date, really squishing the most out of your system.

The more I listen to it, I love it more. I am happy I have to give it back soon. If I keep it more I may want to buy one, and it already crossed my mind lots of times…

 

Next:

Focal Spirit One vs Sennheiser Amperior

 


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/17/13 at 12:42pm
post #186 of 458
Thread Starter 

 

Focal Spirit One vs Sennheiser Amperior

 

 

Hello guys,

I have recently managed to audition the Sennheiser Amperior with the help of DarKu. He was really curious about the Focal Spirit One, as I have praised it a lot to him, and I was curious about the Amperior.

So, we had a little “meet” at my house and tested them side by side.

The build quality on Amperior is quite nice. They look sturdy and the metal cups are really nice. Also the headband is exactly like on the old HD25-1 II.

The earpads are not leather any more and this makes them more comfortable and airier, but it takes a little from the isolation. One other thing I observed is that the cable fromAmperior is much thinner than Spirit Ones‘ cable which is thicker and better built.

Overall the Sennheiser is more comfortable than the Spirit One and doesn’t press that much on the ears. However, even though the Focals have a tighter more uncomfortable grip, the isolation is quite better with them.

DarKu has slightly bigger ears than I do, and they don’t fit into the cups of spirit one, so they press directly on his ears.

My ears almost fit inside the cups so I don’t find it as uncomfortable as he did.

I did a little comparison on some songs . Both headphones were compared on Burson Conductor.

 

Amandine Beyer & Gli Incogniti: The Four Seasons L’autunno Allegro

Amperior

The presentation was very detailed on all spectrum but a little congested. The treble was a little too hot, but overall the song was enjoyable.

Focal Spirit One

They lacked some details compared to the Amperior, but the presentation was a little warmer and the sound a little more open, natural and fuller. The Focal has the necessary spark on the treble but not at all hot or sibilant.

 

Armin Van Buuren – Sail

Focal Spirit One

The energetic sound of the Spirit One was very nice on this song. The bass is very fast, well extended and punchy. The treble is sparkly and hits the sweet spot, without being bright or sibilant.

Sennheiser Amperior

The first thing that popped was the bass that seemed to be a little more full, but it was a little looser and not quite as punchy and fast as on the spirit one. The sound is a little more congested, but it has mode details, as the mids seem to be brought more in front and the treble is more present, but quite bright and I find to be a somehow sibilant, and on a long term could get more tiresome.

 

Leonard Cohen – Teachers

Sennheiser Amperior

The details are very nice with Amperior. The guitars are right there in your ears and have a nice feel, but the sound is overall congested and the voice of Leonard Cohen was not so natural.

Focal Spirit One

The sound was fuller and had more meat. The guitars had a fuller body, also the voice was more natural and more present.

 

Michael Jackson – Beat It

Focal Spirit One

I always find myself tapping on this song with the spirit one. The bass is really nice again as I said before : fast, punchy and well extended. Michael voice is nicely presented, even-though it lacks a little texture. The treble is quite good without being bright or sibilant, and this is a bright and sibilant recording compared to others.

Sennheiser Amperior

The bass lacked some punch compared to the Spirit One and the sound wasn’t as meaty, but the guitars war more present with Amperior. Again the sound was more congested and a little sibilant and bright on the treble. The prat was good on amperior too, but not as fast as with the spirit one. Both headphones did a good job on this song, actually. I still prefer the Spirit One but it may be question of tastes here.

 

Valerie Joyce: New York Blue – Fever

Sennheiser Amperior.

The Amperior was quite enjoyable on this song. The voice was warm and present and the instruments detailed and present throughout the song.

Focal Spirit one

The sound is overall more controlled, articulate and fuller. The voice was more present and natural, but it lacked some texture compared to the Amperiors. I felt that the sound was a little more opened than the Amperior.

 

Conclusions

Both headphones are quite good and of course it could resume to a matter of tastes.

The Focal Spirit One is a dark headphone, with an excellent, well extended, fast and punchy bass (with better bass response), good midrange and sparkly but not hot or sibilant treble.

The sound was fuller and meatier than on Sennheiser Amperior, a little more opened and I felt it had a more balanced sound even if the bass is a little elevated.

The Sennheiser Amperior have a little more details on the mids (they have the mids a little elevated compared to the Focals that have the bass elevated a bit) , the bass wasn’t as fast, punchy and well extended as on the Spirit One but it was still quite enjoyable.

It also has a more congested sound than on the Focals, the treble is well defined but it is a little to bright and has a beginning of sibilance.

The voices weren’t as present or natural as with the Spirit One, but they have more texture.

Both headphones are fast and energetic, and the only thing that puts Spirit One in front at this section, is the bass which is faster than  the Amperiors’,  overall making it an even more energetic headphone.

We both liked both headphones, but for the first time, me and DarKu had different opinions on this matter, as he liked the Amperiors more than the Focal Spirit one, and I clearly liked  the latter one.

The things I liked more on Spirit One:

  • better, punchier, faster and better extended bass
  • fuller sound
  • more natural voices
  • better isolation
  • the cables’ build quality
  • more opened sound than on Amperior
  • good treble but not sibilant or bright

Things I liked better on Amperior:

  • slightly more details, but on the midrange, not o the bass
  • better transition between the midrange and treble
  • a little more texture with voices

For me, the Spirit One remains the best closed portable headphone I have heard until now .

 

 

Next:

Audeze LCD2 Aftermarket cable: Toxic Silver Widow


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/21/13 at 6:06pm
post #187 of 458
post #188 of 458
Thread Starter 

Guys, I have a lot to write about :D . I received my Toxic Silver Widow. This cable is stunning both in performance improvements and also in looks. 

 

I also received a Sennheiser IE800 , IE80 and a pair of ATH-CSK90. The ie800 are absolutely stunning. My jaw dropped when I listened to them for the first time. They are amazing.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/20/13 at 2:49pm
post #189 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post

Guys, I have a lot to write about :D . I received my Toxic Silver Widow. This cable is stunning both in performance improvements and also in looks. 

 

I also received a Sennheiser IE800 , IE80 and a pair of ATH-CSK90. The ie800 are absolutely stunning. My jaw dropped when I listened to them for the first time. They are amazing.

Dan, No surprise on the Silver Widows. They are a phenomenal cable.  Looking forward to your impressions!

post #190 of 458
Thread Starter 

Previously:

 

The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobby: The Desolation of my wallet

The Hobby: There And Back Again

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets: Part 2

The Two Titans: HD800 & LCD2

The Return Of The King

Burson Conductor: Ambush of the Wallet

The End of The Wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live & FIIO E17

InToxicated Mind

Wrath of the Titans: Audeze LCD2 vs LCD3 & Burson Conductor vs M2Tech Vaughan

From Hobby to Obssesion and back to Hobby

The Ambush of the combos: AudioQuest Dragonfly vs FIIO E17 & Dragonfly with Burson Soloist; Dragonfly vs Conductor's DAC

The Ambush Continues: AKG K550 vs Sennheiser Momentum

The Audiophile USB Cable Surprise: Wireworld Starlight Red vs Chord USB Silver Plus

The Titans are Back: Sennheiser HD800 vs Audeze LCD2 & Burson Conductor

A Nice Surprise: Focal Spirit One

Audiophile Power Cables Shootout

Focal Spirit One vs Sennheiser Amperior

 

Audeze LCD2 Aftermarket cable: Toxic Silver Widow

 

Hey guys,

The time has finally come. It has been over 2 months since I ordered the Toxic Silver Widow .  The wait was not short, I can tell you that, but it was worth it and I knew it would take this long from the beginning, so it isn't such a big deal.

The Silver Widow is a stranded OCC Silver Type 2 Litz cable. It also has a higher percentage of gold than the Silver Poison , that has 1% gold.

The cable has 80 strands per wire and 320 strands overall.

As I said in one of my previous posts, I did a lot of research before choosing this cable, and I trust my decision making system as it gave good results in the past.

However, I did not audition/test it before buying it, so it still felt like a big jump:

code-25

I was still afraid of the usual issues with the silver cable : less bass and bright sound.

From what I read, this cable was created with the purpose of removing the usual problems with silver cables, and I trusted my instinct on this subject.

Fortunately my instinct struck gold again , figuratively and literal speaking, as the Silver Widow has gold inside :)) .

When I received the cable, the first thing I observed was it's beautiful build quality. This cable really looks like jewelry.

I, myself, don't like any jewelry for men and I only wear a wedding ring and a watch, but I must say this cable does look good on me :)).

After a while I started looking at it like this (my preciouusss...) :

From the first moment I plugged it in I heard the differences compared to the stock cable.

I was expecting improvements but not like this, and it took me by surprise :

amazed

I started comparing the Silver Widow with the stock cable on a few songs:

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon - Time

The ringing and the bells from the beginning were very good for the test. The difference was immediate and very easy to hear. The treble was much more defined with the Silver Widow. It was not bright but it gave the necessary sparkle I wanted. On the stock cable all the instruments were blending in, while on the Silver Widow the separation was much better and apparent. Also, the scene is quite larger with the Silver Widow and the sound is more articulated and more detailed.

Infected Mushroom - Drum'n Bassa

Yeah...you guessed it, this song has a lot of bass...A LOT. A lot of people say silver cables have less bass than the copper ones. It was time to test this.

The differences were again very easy to spot. The sound was significantly more congested and a lot less detailed on the stock cable. With the Silver Widow it was like talking a veil off. Everything opened up, the details were amazing, and I mean jaw dropping. The bass was much more punchier, faster and more controlled. The bass on the stock cable had a little more body, more woomf, but I liked Silver Widows interpretation much more overall.

Amandine Beyer & Gli Incogniti : The Four Seasons - 'L' inverno ' Allegro

This interpretation was absolutely amazing with the Silver Widow. The scene was much larger with it, the details incredible. The separation of instruments made the sound a lot more clear and easier to enjoy. While listening to the song I was looking at the Silver Widow and thinking... "My precious...."

Leonard Cohen - That Don't make it junk

I just love Leonard Cohen. We used one of his songs at my wedding opening. Also went to his concert in Bucharest last summer. His voice is unique and has a remarkable presence, that lets you with the impression he is a serious, moderate and reserved man, so it was a shock and very funny when he left the scene jumping and running like a little boy :)).

His voice had a lot more texture with the Toxic Silver Widow, giving me goosebumps. Also the instruments were more detailed and the overall sound had a larger soundstage and was more articulate.

Michael Jackson - Beat It

Again the differences were major. The guitars and all the instruments were much more present and enjoyable with the Toxic Silver Widow. The separation of instruments is again much better and apparent, the bass was punchier and more apparent throughout the song. Michael's voice had more presence and felt   more alive with the Silver Widow.

Armin Van Buuren - Sail

When the song stopped my head hurt because of the serious "headbanging" i did while listening to it with Silver Widow.  The overall sound was faster, more articulate, the bass was tighter and punchier, the treble had more presence and gave the necessary sparkle to the piano in the song.

Conclusions

I have waited over 2 months for the Silver Widow, but it was worth it.  It truly takes my Audeze LCD2 to another level. The differences from the stock cable are major and quite easy to hear:

  • The bass is a lot punchier and tighter
  • The sound is a lot more detailed and articulated
  • The treble is more present and gives the LCD2 the sparkle I want, without being bright
  • The separation of instruments is better
  • The sound-stage is wider, like a veil is is removed
  • Better dynamics and micro-dynamics

So, does it make a big difference over the stock cable?

Of course it does, and a quite a big one.

Does it take away from the bass because it is a silver cable?

It actually makes it punchier, tighter and faster. However, the stock cable has a little more body, a liiittle more woomf, but overall I like  the bass a lot better with the Silver Widow.

Does it make the sound bright?

No, it actually doesn't. It keeps the smoothness of LCD2, but it does have more details and the sparkle you would want in the treble.

Does it affect the soundstage?

Yes, it actually does. The soundstage is quite better with the Silver Widow. It is like talking a veil off your head.

I must say I am more than pleased with this cable, and I don't regret spending as much on it or waiting over two months to get it.

code-09

 

These are some pictures with the Toxic Silver Widow:

P1230617P1230637P1230625P1230626P1230612

Next:

Sennheiser IE800, Sennheiser IE80, AudioTehnica ATH CKS 90 & Martin Logan Mikros 70 comparison

 


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/24/13 at 5:24pm
post #191 of 458
Seems like a blind test would be quite easy?
post #192 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Seems like a blind test would be quite easy?

Quite easy, yes! :D

post #193 of 458
Thread Starter 

 

Previous:

Audeze LCD2 Aftermarket cable: Toxic Silver Widow

 

Sennheiser IE800, Sennheiser IE80, AudioTehnica ATH CKS 90 & Martin Logan Mikros 70 comparison

Hello guys,

I usually don’t like in ear headphones, as I don’t like sticking something inside my ears and don’t like their unnatural congested sound.  However I was curious about Sennheiser’s new  flagship in this category, as I have only heard good things about it.

I was lucky to receive a pair of IE800 from soundnews.ro. With them, I also received a pair of Audiotehnica CKS90Sennheiser IE80 and the guys from jack-fi  lent me a pair of Martin Logan Mikros 70.

So it was the perfect time for a IEM shootout.

I started the comparison on a few songs:

Pink Floyd – Time

Sennheiser IE80

The ringing from the beginning was  hot and all the bells blended in a single layer. The details and mids were nice on this song. The bass did not have a good control, lacked extension and the overall sound congested.

ATH CKS90

STOP THE RINGING…Ouch…The beginning of the song was quite painful.  The bass had better extension than with the IE80, but the mids were recessed. IE80 had a lot more details. The sound was congested and the instruments blended in the same layer. The voice lacked texture.

Sennheiser IE800

Ah…at last the ringing at the beginning of the song was enjoyable. The treble had the necessary sparkle but wasn’t too hot. The sound opened up A LOT.  The IE800 surprises me everytime and I forget i listen to IEMs or even closed headphones. The sound is multi-layered with very good instrument separation, amazing details and very well balanced throughout the spectrum.

Martin Logan Mikros 70

Their sound was very relaxing as it was recessed on the whole spectrum. It lacked details and the voice was kind of fade. The bells at the beginning and overall all the instruments had a better spatial positioning and the sound was bit more multi-layered than with the CKS90 and IE80

ACDC – Beating Around the Bush

ATH CKS90

The bass was ok on this song, but overall, I found them to be too bright and congested. Also the mids sounded  recessed lacking details.

Sennheiser IE80

I liked their presentation more that of the CKS90. The sens have a better midrange, more details, the sound is less congested. However, the bass was not as deep and impactful as with the ATH. The treble was overall to bright for my tastes.

Sennheiser IE800

The sound opened up a lot. The voice had a lot more texture and overall the details were much better. The instruments did not blend in in one layer as with the others. The treble was not at all too bright and the sound was very well balanced. They are in another class completely

Martin Logan Mikros 70

Again the sound was recessed. The bass lacked impact and extension, the mids & treble were somewhere in the back. The voice & guitars were missing texture and presence. The sound was again a little more multi-layered  with a wider scene  than the CKS90 and IE80. However I liked this song more with the Mikros compared to those two, because it was relaxed and did not pierce my ears.

Tiamat – Sixshooter 

Sennheiser Ie80

The bass was very punchy but it was too much in my opinion and it got over the mids . The voice was warm and natural and well textured. The overall mids were good, but I felt the bass interfered with the rest of the spectrum

ATH-CKS90

The bass was deeper and more detailed and did not invade the mids like IE80 .

The mids were a little recessed again and the voice lacked texture compared to the senns, but overall it was more enjoyable with the CKS90.

Sennheiser ie800

The soundstage is huge compared to the other three. The bass is excellent: deep, impact-full and tight. The voice had excellent texture and was quite natural. The instrument separation was much better and the overall sound again more balanced.

Martin Logan Mikros 70

The bass lacked extension and punch but I preferred it over the  IE80 that were too much in this department and  I had to lower the volume a lot to finish the song. The sound was again lacking details but it had a larger scene with better positioning.

Amandine Beyer & Gli Incogniti : The Four Seasons – ‘L’ inverno ‘ Allegro

Sennheiser IE800

This is truly amazing. I really did not feel I was listening to a pair of IEMS, or even closed headphones for that matter. The separation of instruments was excellent, the details amazing, making every violin sound very well textured giving you goosebumps. The soundstage was wide and all the instruments were very well placed and easy to extract from the sound. One word…amazing!

Audiotehnica CKS90

The V shaped sound was felt here too. The instruments lack presence and the treble was a little piercing. Their presentation was also congested.

Sennheiser IE80

The sound was more detailed than CKS90 and the instruments had more presence. However the treble was too piercing and the overall sound congested.

Martin Logan Mikros 70

This was a nice surprise. I really felt the scene was wider and the positioning was better than with the CKS90 and IE80. Even if the sound was recessed and lacked details it did not pierce my ears and was more enjoyable, however still not enough for classical music.

Infected Mushroom – Drum n’ Bassa

Sennheiser IE800

Again the IE800 amazes me, like it did every time. The sound  very very detailed with a wide soundstage. The bass is deep, impactful and fast, but not invading other parts of the spectrum. The PRAT is excellent and the overall experience toe-tapping.

Sennheiser IE80

The bass was very punchy and sometimes too much but good for bass heads I think. The treble and mids are fine and detailed, but the sound is congested, single layered, and a liitle invaded by the bass. Also the treble is on the edge  of being hot.

ATH-CKS90

The bass was clearly deeper and more extended but not as punchy as IE80. Again the mids were kind of recessed and lacking detail. The treble was a little hot too.

Martin Logan Mikros 70

Listening to them is like having a veil over your ears. The bass lacked extension and a little punch. All the sound is recessed. These are not headphones for someone who likes bass, this is clear to me.

Conclusions

The IE800 was a surprise for me and is miles and miles ahead of the other three . I forgot I listened to in-ear headphones. They have a huge soundstage for IEMS. Their sound is very well balanced throughout the spectrum making them a good headphones for every genre. They know hot to rock very well and the classical music sounds amazing on them.

Their bass is well extended, tight and punchy without being a typically annoying IEM bass.  The details on these babies are amazing, and gives you goosebumps. The treble is also very well extended and not at all hot. The sound is multi -layered and has a very good instrument separation. These are the best IEMS I have ever listened to. They are truly flagship material and could beat a lot of normal size high-end headphones if you put them side by side.

The other three  are way…way behind the IE800 which clearly won the shootout:

I am not sure which I liked better between the CKS90, IE80 or the Mikros.  Actually i didn’t like any of them.

 

IE80 has a punchier bass but sometimes it invades the mids. It is clearly more detailed and has a better midrange presentation. The treble is too hot for me and very tiring.

The CKS90 has a better bass, with a better extension and not as invasive, but their sound is V shaped, the mids are recessed and the treble a little too hot.

Both CKS90 and IE80 has a very congested, single layered sound and they are both awful with classical music, especially the CKS90.

The Martin Logan Mikros is a very weird IEM. My phone doesn’t get along with them. The weirdest thing happened when plugging them in. I use a Samsung Galaxy S with Voodoo Sound. The volume is very small and when I tried to increase the volume, the Voodoo application crashed and the sound started to distort bigtime. I tried them to plug them into other normal headphones outputs, but the sound seemed to lack amplification and volume. Also, I think there might be a problem with their jack as I had to find a good position for them to sound properly.

Only the Burson Conductor seemed not to have problems with them. I may have received a faulted pair, or these headphones need serious amplification.  Actually I almost hit 12 o’clock at low gain settings with Conductor.

Their sound is recessed on all the spectrum. It is like having a veil on your ears. The bass is lacking extension and control and the only thing good about it is that is not as annoying as other IEM which tend to be overdoing it at the bass section. The mids and treble are very recessed and the sound lacks details. Their sound is flat and lifeless.

The only thing I liked about them is the fact that their presentation was less congested with a wider scene and better positioning.

So,  they may be good for someone who likes a very very relaxed, flat sound and doesn’t care so  much about the bass or details. Also if you consider them, be sure to test them with your portable device first to see if it can drive them well.

When I had to give them back, I was only sorry for Sennheiser IE800 which I truly loved.

The IE800 are so good that I will reserve my next article just for them.

Next:

The Amazing Sennheiser IE800


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/24/13 at 5:28pm
post #194 of 458

Wow... Maybe i shall get an IE800 for myself-  *sees price is $1000.*
.... *is blown back into the wall *
would love to try them out one day

post #195 of 458
Thread Starter 

 

Previous:

 

Sennheiser IE800, Sennheiser IE80, AudioTehnica ATH CKS 90 & Martin Logan Mikros 70 comparison

 

 

The Amazing Sennheiser IE800

Hello guys,

I have been reading about the IE800 for some time now. I heard people saying it is a miniHD800. That intrigued me, as I love the HD800.

I usually hate IEMs for their congested and bassy sound. I also hate sticking something inside my ears, but was curious about Sennheisers’ new addition.

It seems I am a lucky man,  as last week soundnews.ro asked me if I can write a review for them on their site.

Of course I accepted as I love their website. DarKu writes there and I have used it as a reference for many ears. In my opinion, It is the best romanian website about audio. It was an honor and an opportunity I couldn’t refuse, so here I am, listening to IE800.

These headphones look quite nice. The cable has a good build quality and a nice sturdy feel.  The jack is with a 90 degrees angle so you can easily use a portable device in the pocket with them.

IE800 comes with a nice package that contains another 4 pairs of ear-buds of different sizes. What I love about them is that every ear-bud has an additional protective grill, keeping the unwanted stuff away from the driver that also has another protective grill.

The carry case it comes with is very elegant with a leather like material, well build and could easily fit in a pocket.

Yes…but the sound..how is it?

The first time I put these headphones in my ears my jaw dropped on the floor. These babies are absolutely amazing. They don’t have the typical IEM sound at all.

amazed250

The first thing I observed is the soundstage, which was huge for a pair of in-ears.

It is quite weird. I felt like the sound is coming from inside my skull. I actually started with classical music and I felt like my head became a big, large scene with the orchestra inside it. I could not believe my ears. I instantly loved the classical music on these headphones.

The sound just hypnotized me, as I just stood still while listening to them. It is stunning.

I will start to explain some of my experiences with it on some songs:

Andre Rieu – Morning (Classical; Peer Gynt Suite) (E.Grieg)

The details are amazing and you can hear every instrument and every note. The dynamics, and micro-dynamics are on the same level, making you a part of the scene and making you feel the music in every part of your body.

Every instrument is well placed into space and easy to separate from the other. The treble is well defined with amazing details but still on the smooth side. The mids are very present and give the instruments a very good extension and a full body.

Pink Floyd – Time

The bells and ringing at the beginning of the song was really enjoyable. The treble had the necessary sparkle and detail but wasn’t too hot. The sound was very opened for IEMS.  The IE800 surprises me everytime and I forget i listen to IEMs or even closed headphones. The sound is multi-layered with very good instrument separation, amazing details and very well balanced throughout the spectrum.

ACDC – Beating Around the Bush

The voice was very well textured and quite natural . The instruments did not blend in in one layer as with the other IEMS. These headphones know how to rock having a very good PRAT and energetic sound.

Infected Mushroom – Drum n’ Bassa

I usually hate the bass on IEMS as it feels unnatural with too much pressure on the eardrum. Well until now the IE800 did not fit the  normal in-year standards and It was time to see if the bass really is better than with others.

Well…IE800 impressed me again. The bass is deep, punchy and tight, but not invading other parts of the spectrum. The PRAT was excellent and the overall experience toe-tapping.

Leonard Cohen – Be for Real

You know that this is my ultimate way of testing the  voice reproduction,  and I must say that Leonard’s voice sounded very natural, well textured and had a very nice presence. I was not like Audeze LCD2 but it captured the essence of his voice.

I have listened to many other songs, but I will not add more impressions on songs as I have already stated the most important facts about IE800′s characteristics and I would repeat myself.

Conclusions

These are without doubt the best IEMs I have ever listened to. I really think Sennheisernailed it with IE800, and nailed it good.  As I said before, I usually don’t like the usual sound of in ear headphones, but sennheiser somehow made it in a way that while listening to it, I forget they are in this category.

It really took me by surprise:

FunnyCat

For their type, I think their openness is amazing. Also the sound is not at all congested, it is actually multi-layered, with very good instrument separation and good spatial positioning.

The details on them are quite stunning. This combined with very good dynamics  really give you goosebumps.

The mids are very good and all the instruments and voices have a good, natural and well textured presentation.

Also the bass is not at all typical to IEMS. It is well extended, punchy and tight and doesn’t get over other frequencies.

The treble is very detailed and sparkly but not bright.

Overall the sound is very balanced throughout the spectrum and they were good with every genre I gave them.

I really thought of finding some cons to these headphones but other than the price I couldn’t find anything.

And all of this can fit your pocket. They work very well with phones and other mobile devices but they benefit from some amplification and a good DAC . You can have high end sound with you, everywhere you go. For someone who is always traveling, these babies are perfect.

 

 

Next:

 

The Spectacular Sennheiser HD800


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 4/14/13 at 4:02am
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