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Undecided between IEMs or on-ear/over-ears

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

In my constant pursuit of better sound, I have reached yet another point in life where I find myself once again yearning for even better sound quality. I'm currently using JVC FXD80s which I purchased a couple months ago and I absolutely love them. With unparalleled instrumental separation and black levels for an IEM of its price, I simply cannot ask for more from these extremely fun IEMs. With that being said, I would like to invest in something that sounds ever better than the FXD80s, and keep my FXD80s for casual listening.

 

What I demand from my gear are:

 

High black levels/instrumental separation, as high as possible

Clarity

Smooth, non-sibilant treble

Bright 

Doesn't necessarily have to be airy, but must have a wider than average soundstage

I don't mind if the sound is coloured, as long as mids are not too recessed

Extended sub-bass, does not have to be heavy hitting, but does have to be present

No bloated mid-bass hump

No harsh 2kHz spike like some of Sony's products possess

 

In that sense, my criteria mirrors what the FXD80's sounds signature is, but I'd like to take things further. What I crave from the FXD80 that I'm not getting is a warmth in the vocals. The FXD80 sounds slightly cold. Usually a warmer sound means less "clarity," but I wonder if there's an IEM or on-ear/over-ear cans that is able to retain a warm midrange while still remaining analytical with high levels of clarity. My main source is an iPhone 4S. I have yet to invest in an amp yet as I have no reason to since all my gear can be driven fine with my iPhone.

 

I listen to a mix of genres, but mostly J-pop/J-rock, electronic, and the occasional orchestral score and piano and such. And for those who know who she is, I'm a huge Nishino Kana fan and have her entire discography which I listen to a ton, if that helps at all!

 

My budget is around $200-$300 which, to be honest I'm not sure if there are any IEMs or on-ear/over-ear cans that can offer an improvement over the FXD80s without being just a sound signature change. Looking for an improvement, not just a change. I'm not sure if I should keep purchasing IEMs, or simply make the switch to on-ear/over-ears which by default have a fuller midrange.

 

I'm a musician who's been involved with music ever since I was a kid, so I have a connection with music. I'd like my next pair of headphones to give me goosebumps when I hear it for the first time. I think I have a thing for very wide soundstages, bright and clear sound signatures with very high levels of instrumental separation. To achieve that kind of sound signature I crave, I'd probably have to go for a costly multi-driver setup for an IEM in order to get that imagery and enhanced spacing. If I go for an on-ear/over-ear headphone perhaps this trait is already present?

 

I've been looking at JVC's new FXZ100/200 and AT's new CKS1000, but once again I'm not sure if I'll actually achieve enhanced sound or simply a sound signature change. As for on-ears/over-ears I have no idea where to start as the best setup of this kind I've used is Panasonic's RP HTX7 which honestly doesn't sound very great. Perhaps AT's WS or AD series would fit my needs? 

 

Thanks in advance.


Edited by akinari-kun - 1/23/13 at 10:42am
post #2 of 10

What is this "I want, i want, i want"? Have you even bothered to look at the big comparisons from Joker and ClieOS? Or looked around at all.

 

Here are the links 

 

Jokers reviews

 
ClieOS reviews
 
Anyway, for your (many) demands it seems a TWFK based IEM looks to be a good choice
Those that come to mind are the Vsonic GR01, Brainwavz B2, Ficher audio DBA-2, Rock-it sounds R50 and UE700
There are some sonic differences between them but not anything major (i think)
Also the Vsonic GR07 and the UE Triple.fi are both truly worth looking into as they are some of the best regarded IEM's on Head-fi
 
For on and over ears you could look into the AKG K550 one of the best soundstages in closed headphones, with a nice smooth treble, good mids and not a lot bass but still with a good extension.
Also look into Beyerdynamics and Sennheisers products.
post #3 of 10
Sounds to me the FXZ200 are what you need

I own these and the FXD80, the 200 is most certainly an upgrade
post #4 of 10

If you're interested in full-sized, the Beyerdynamic DT 880 (not pro) is exactly what you want. It reminds me a lot of the FXD80, in that it has a very clean sound, with great bass and treble. The main difference is in the mids. I fired up one of my favorite tracks on the DT 880, and almost burst into tears at the beauty of the vocals.

 

While the DT 880 shares the FXD 80's general sound sig, it is so much more refined and the soundstage is glorious.

 

I think you'd fall in love with them.

post #5 of 10

the TDK BA200 sounds good for jpop

post #6 of 10

The SM2 V2 might be a good choice and I second the BA200 being another good choice, they isolate vocals as good or better than many other IEM's I've heard.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno Kid View Post

The SM2 V2 might be a good choice and I second the BA200 being another good choice, they isolate vocals as good or better than many other IEM's I've heard.

 

SM2 is better than SM3 in that aspect? Or is that just a typo?

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

As far as IEMs go, I've narrowed down my choices to:

 

JVC FXZ200

TDK BA200

AT CKS1000

Earsonics SM2 v2 

 

I'm looking for a larger, full-bodied sound that I'm not sure dual BA or microdrivers can achieve, which makes me lean more towards the CKS1000 at this point considering the positive things about a "full-bodied" midrange that makes it sound like a real over-ear headphone. I've never owned any BA IEMs but I've listened to Apple's dual BA IEMs for awhile, thinking they're a bit too cold for my tastes, and the FXD80s are already a bit cold, though that coldness does bring along a great sense of instrumental separation. 

 

DT880 does seem like a very good choice, and it's awesome they offer a 32ohm version as I don't want to be lugging around an amp with me everywhere I go.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by akinari-kun View Post

 

DT880 does seem like a very good choice, and it's awesome they offer a 32ohm version as I don't want to be lugging around an amp with me everywhere I go.

 

Strike the DT 880 from your list of you need portability. It leaks sound like those obnoxious kids with the apple buds, and lets every single sound in.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well, DT880's out. It seems like IEMs are probably still the way to go for me in terms of portability. After reading several reviews, the TDK BA200 and FXZ200 seem like a good choice for me. I wish I had a chance to listen to both of them to decide for myself :(

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