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Do Balanced Armature IEM's have sibilance?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Hello guys! As the thread suggests my question is do the BA Iem's have sibilance? It's been a problem for me for a looooooooong time (the sibilance i mean) and I've read that BA doesn't really do frequencies above 16k. Usually when i find a headphones treble to be harsh i tone down the 16k freq first, because I've found that that is the one that annoys me the most.

post #2 of 34

Yes they have, IMO. I have tried some BA IEMs like UM1, UM3X and W1. And I heard some siblance that I can't stand as if it pierces my ears.

post #3 of 34
Ehh, it's pretty much case-by-case, not all BA-based IEM are sibilant. Even IEMs with accentuated and well-extended treble are not always sibilant.

Besides doesn't sibilance occur mostly at around 6k-8k range anyways?
Edited by Deadlovestory - 1/22/13 at 1:03am
post #4 of 34
Yes they can, certainly. They're not immune.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

They're not immune.

+1. It also depends on the listener and his preferred sound sig etysmile.gif.

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spratly View Post

Yes they have, IMO. I have tried some BA IEMs like UM1, UM3X and W1. And I heard some siblance that I can't stand as if it pierces my ears.

Too bad then, was hoping that they wouldn't hurt my ears. It's annoying because the more you go up the headphones ladder, the more probable it is for it to have sibilance problems (have tried a few 300 euro+ headphones, they all had it).

 

Anyway thanks for the responses.

post #7 of 34
I think something is amiss here. More expensive IEMs are usually more revealing and detailed, so if you're using lower quality files all the bad stuff (sibilance, bloaty bass or congestion) is more apparent; Are you using high-quality music files?

Besides, many headphones at 300 euro+ price range needs to be amp'd to work properly, so it might not be the headphones' fault if it's sibilant.

And as I mentioned sibilance is the hissy 'sss' sound that tends to occurs in 6k-8k range, not over 10k range. I suspect that there's a definition mix-up here : sibilance mistaken as harsh upper treble. Correct me if I'm wrong here, though.
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadlovestory View Post

I think something is amiss here. More expensive IEMs are usually more revealing and detailed, so if you're using lower quality files all the bad stuff (sibilance, bloaty bass or congestion) is more apparent; Are you using high-quality music files?

Besides, many headphones at 300 euro+ price range needs to be amp'd to work properly, so it might not be the headphones' fault if it's sibilant.

And as I mentioned sibilance is the hissy 'sss' sound that tends to occurs in 6k-8k range, not over 10k range. I suspect that there's a definition mix-up here : sibilance mistaken as harsh upper treble. Correct me if I'm wrong here, though.

The music isn't a problem, i usually use FLAC or MP3 at 320. I also have a pretty good amp, i can get the Beyer DT880 250ohm at a good volume (at max i can't wear them).

I know that alot of people say that sibilance occurs in the 6-8k range, but I've found that using the eq and toning that down, it wasn't much of an improvement for ME. Instead toning down the 16k frequency really made an impact. And it's the hissy 'sss' that i usually hear when i listen to female voices.

post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadlovestory View Post

Besides, many headphones at 300 euro+ price range needs to be amp'd to work properly, so it might not be the headphones' fault if it's sibilant.
 

 

 

Can't agree with that, seem to be a Head-fi specific misnomer!

post #10 of 34
You could try going for a warmer IEM, something darker in tone, will help (not my personal preference) also your source can play big part in how much sibilance is present. high output impedance is a sure culprit. You could also try adding a 75ohm impedance adapter to smooth over the signature, in most cases adding the adapter you may need an amp. Foam tips can help, deeper insertion, but really if you've tried several IEM's and mid-high tier ones at that, it appears you're just really sensitive to sibilance.

I just take it like a man these days, grit my teeth, turn the volume way up and scream gimme what you got Sssshs man!! wink.gif Soak that **** up like a raging beast.. tongue.gif
post #11 of 34

Hello!

 

In my opinion, BA IEM creates a lot of sibilance because of the damping factor. BA IEM has low impedance. Powerful headphone amp that is meant for higher-end headphone with high impedance usually have high output impedance. Try search around for amp that has lower output impedance rating. <1 is best. 

 

For example. XBA-4 has 8 Ohm impedance starting from FR below 1K. I plug it to a x source with output impedance at 7Ohm[iTouch], the sibilance are very strong. With my iPad2, not much sibilance throughout my listening.

 

smily_headphones1.gif

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christo4 View Post

I know that alot of people say that sibilance occurs in the 6-8k range, but I've found that using the eq and toning that down, it wasn't much of an improvement for ME. Instead toning down the 16k frequency really made an impact. And it's the hissy 'sss' that i usually hear when i listen to female voices.

That is interesting, I'll try and see if that works for me as well! By the way, if you happen to use iPhone as a source, I recommend an app called Accudio--It has a unique equalizer that unlike the usual 1k, 2k, 4k and so on FR-type equalizer, it equalizes sub-bass, vocals, even sibilance etc.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_h View Post

Can't agree with that, seem to be a Head-fi specific misnomer!

Well I did say many headphones, not all headphones :p


Edited by Deadlovestory - 1/22/13 at 2:06am
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 

I think you guys misunderstood a little, i said 300+euro headphones, not iems. I only have my dear Fischer Audio Eterna (rev1) as an iem. And yeah, i think i may be a bit too sensitive to sibilance.

 

Also:

Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

You could try going for a warmer IEM, something darker in tone, will help (not my personal preference) also your source can play big part in how much sibilance is present. high output impedance is a sure culprit. You could also try adding a 75ohm impedance adapter to smooth over the signature, in most cases adding the adapter you may need an amp. Foam tips can help, deeper insertion, but really if you've tried several IEM's and mid-high tier ones at that, it appears you're just really sensitive to sibilance.

I just take it like a man these days, grit my teeth, turn the volume way up and scream gimme what you got Sssshs man!! wink.gif Soak that **** up like a raging beast.. tongue.gif

The last line is what I've been doing lately. Dem rock songs don't be gentle (such bad english). But it's getting so tiresome sometimes especially when you want to just relax and it's like your expecting it to happen even before it appears.

 

But you did bring out an interesting point, do foam tips help with this in any way?

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christo4 View Post

I think you guys misunderstood a little, i said 300+euro headphones, not iems. I only have my dear Fischer Audio Eterna (rev1) as an iem. And yeah, i think i may be a bit too sensitive to sibilance.

Also:
The last line is what I've been doing lately. Dem rock songs don't be gentle (such bad english). But it's getting so tiresome sometimes especially when you want to just relax and it's like your expecting it to happen even before it appears.

But you did bring out an interesting point, do foam tips help with this in any way?

Yes, comply foam tips can ease sibilance, worth a try they tame the high end a little and smooth it over. Also take serious note of what BillsonChang007 said above, it could possibly be your source/amp causing the problem with lower impedance headphone / IEM. Does the same sibilance occur when you're using your phone or regular MP3 player?
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christo4 View Post

I think you guys misunderstood a little, i said 300+euro headphones, not iems.

Confused. Pretty sure I understood that you said 300+ headphones, not IEM, but whatevs.

 

And +1 to foam tips for smoothing treble.

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