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HD600 in the form of an IEM with very good isolation - Page 5

post #61 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

 

I go back and forth between my hd600 and 4r every day, and they are similar in tone (similar not exact) but the main difference is indeed that they simply don't have the airiness of the hd600 and the 600 pulls out more fine details.  However, the 4r isolates infinitely better than the hd600, so in that sense sometimes you might hear more with the 4r depending on the room noise.

 

For what it's worth, I'm happy with both.  i don't feel like I'm sacrificing much switching between them.  One sounds excellent with isolation and portability, the other sounds open and beautiful for when the room is quiet...

 

I also love my HD600 and find the ER4S sound signature to be very close to the Senn's as long as the Etys are amped. There is a notable loss of detail and dynamics from the headphone jack of the ipod compared to running the LOD to amp connection; however, my source is a diymod and some of what I am hearing is likely due to the mod as when listening at home on the same source/amp the HD600 and ER4S are very close, indeed. I have not listened to the 4R though but I do understand the lower impedance is easier for most players to drive directly.

 

I am glad to have found both a home and portable headphone setup that is always satisfactory.

post #62 of 71

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Bob View Post

 

I also love my HD600 and find the ER4S sound signature to be very close to the Senn's as long as the Etys are amped. There is a notable loss of detail and dynamics from the headphone jack of the ipod compared to running the LOD to amp connection; however, my source is a diymod and some of what I am hearing is likely due to the mod as when listening at home on the same source/amp the HD600 and ER4S are very close, indeed. I have not listened to the 4R though but I do understand the lower impedance is easier for most players to drive directly.

 

I am glad to have found both a home and portable headphone setup that is always satisfactory.

 

I got to hear the ER-4S and immediately knew they were the IEM I've been searching for this whole time.  My 4R are now for sale on the forum. :-P  No joke.  The ER-4S is probably even more accurate than the hd600 in my opinion.  The hd600 will give you a more full bodied bass, but the treble of the ER-4S is smoother, and the isolation is awesome which further helps.

 

I still hold what I said before about the 4R.  They are very smooth and flat, but on the muffled/soft side of things.  They also are much easier to drive.  My ER-4S run at 75-100% ipod volume all the time.  They also both sound better with line-out into my C5 amp.  Very happy about the er-4s, but anyone using a 4R should amp them as well for the "best" quality.  However, volume and overall sound are more similar with the 4R between ipod/amp.  Not that the ER-4S is astronomically better amped, as I think you are getting into the law of diminishing returns, but I find they are definitely more solid, precise and "better" overall.

 

As it stands I would call the HD600 the best, closest to neutral "over-ear" headphone for the money, and the ER-4S the best most neutral "in-ear" monitor you can buy for the money.

 

I'm done.  I have my perfect sound! :-)  If anyone wants a well cared for almost new 4R let me know. :-)


Edited by luisdent - 3/20/13 at 3:17pm
post #63 of 71

Hell no! The ER-6/ER4 is far too cold to be considered close to the fuller, warmer HD600.

 

The HD600 walks all over the Etys in terms of low end dynamics, coupled with mids that are as close to "live" as I've heard. IMO, the ER series is NOT "neutral" because it just ignores the low end, which is vital to the accurate reproduction of actual music, not just notes. I've been to several classical performances, and I would NEVER use the ER for anything having to do with classical. Heck, even Jazz sounds off on them.

 

The HF5 is closer to accurate, IMO. However, it's still lacking. Every time I read that the Etys are the truest you can get, I flinch reflexively.

 

JM2C.

post #64 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

Hell no! The ER-6/ER4 is far too cold to be considered close to the fuller, warmer HD600.

 

The HD600 walks all over the Etys in terms of low end dynamics, coupled with mids that are as close to "live" as I've heard. IMO, the ER series is NOT "neutral" because it just ignores the low end, which is vital to the accurate reproduction of actual music, not just notes. I've been to several classical performances, and I would NEVER use the ER for anything having to do with classical. Heck, even Jazz sounds off on them.

 

The HF5 is closer to accurate, IMO. However, it's still lacking. Every time I read that the Etys are the truest you can get, I flinch reflexively.

 

JM2C.

 

Low end "volume" yes.  If I add my c5 bass boost to the ety, it is just as articulate and dynamic if not more so because it sounds "faster".  The warmness people describe is basically more than neutral bass.  There's nothing wrong with that, but the ety's don't sound "cold" to me.  With the right fit and seal they have excellent bass and sound neutral.  They are the closest thing to a flat studio monitor I've ever heard in my ears. :-P

 

If you think a very neutral studio monitor speaker sounds cold, than I agree, they're freezing ;) ;)

 

I think you don't have a proper fit or break in of the tips.  The hf5 are less accurate and less bass in every way.  Look at the graphs.  I had them before the er-4s and the bass and treble were rolled off much more.  The er-4s bass is almost perfectly neutral IF you have the proper fit and seal.  And let me tell you, as much as I love them and can get that perfect sound, they take work sometimes.  It isn't just inserting the tips deeply or making a tight seal.  It's getting the correct depth AND seal.  It literally can triple the bass for me.  And sometime you think "these could never produce real bass the way they sound" and then you hit that perfect fit and BAM, real bass.  By real I mean neutral accurate bass.

 

I listen to david benoit, fourplay, dave brubeck, and other jazz, classical and soundtracks.  I've never heard anything more believably realistic or neutral.  I really think if you got a great fit you would at least think they sounded better.  However, most people don't like neutral bass.  I find the hd600 sound amazing, but even the small (i consider small) bass boost and specific treble region boost are sort of a disappointment to me.  They just come across as a bit bass heavy (which some call "warm") and the treble issue, although unbelievably slight, makes them have a sort of graininess.  I still think they're the most neutral I've heard for the price, and very highly recommend them.  However, I would take the er-4s in a heartbeat over the hd600 personally.

 

The number one reason most people don't like the er-4s is that the tips haven't softened to make a better seal, they simply don't get a good seal in the first place, or they aren't amping them.  While amping doesn't drastically change any frequencies, it absolutely makes the bass tighter and more punchy.

 

Just some thoughts.  I almost never would have tried an ety again, because I felt the way you do but regarding the hf5.  I assume all the etys sounded like that because of the design and tips.  I'm so glad I was able to hear the er-4s and give it a bit of time to get used to the tips and fitting process.  I can't stress how good they sound with the proper fit and how bad they sound (bass-wise) if the fit isn't perfect.  If you don't want to mess with the tips every time to get a good fit/seal, these might not be for you (anyone in general).  You could get customs to fix that, but otherwise they take some fiddling to get right.  I've done it 100 times, and I still do it every time.  It's just the nature of your ears, moisture, temperature, etc.  They're that finicky for me.  But worth it every time. :-)

 

To conclude this post, i'd say yes, the hd600 are warmer and/or bassier.  No question there, but not by the vast amount that some other headphones differ.  And while the bass may differ, they are both very smooth and neutral overall, meaning neither have any major bumps or humps in the entire frequency range.  So they are both fairly accurate.  Hence, why we say they are somewhat comparable.  Let me put it this way, while I haven't heard every iem, I haven't heard anything closer to the 600 in the in ear world myself...


Edited by luisdent - 3/20/13 at 4:49pm
post #65 of 71

So with a bass boost applied and the driver right on your eardrum, the Er sounds somewhat neutral? :)

 

Secondly, true classical music is "warm." The driving force for a full orchestral piece comes from the power of the low end. The ER4 will never accurately produce the reverb and power of a tympani.

 

Frequency response is not the end definition of accuracy. Driver capability/dynamic range is a huuuuge part of it. If it can't produce the sound of a kick drum from the initial thunderous impact, down to the waning reverb, then the phone is NOT neutral, no matter how well you can reproduce the sound of a wind chime.

 

The HD600 is far more "accurate" because, while it is neutral, it has the capability to reproduce the recorded sounds.

post #66 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

So with a bass boost applied and the driver right on your eardrum, the Er sounds somewhat neutral? :)

 

Secondly, true classical music is "warm." The driving force for a full orchestral piece comes from the power of the low end. The ER4 will never accurately produce the reverb and power of a tympani.

 

Frequency response is not the end definition of accuracy. Driver capability/dynamic range is a huuuuge part of it. If it can't produce the sound of a kick drum from the initial thunderous impact, down to the waning reverb, then the phone is NOT neutral, no matter how well you can reproduce the sound of a wind chime.

 

The HD600 is far more "accurate" because, while it is neutral, it has the capability to reproduce the recorded sounds.

 

I think you may have misunderstood that or taken it out of context.  I didn't specifically say they sound perfectly neutral with the bass boost on.  I just say you get more bass while still sounding neutral and accurate like the hd600.  I consider the h600 neutral essentially, but they are more bass heavy than "true" neutral.  The er-4s with bass boost is in fact more than neutral, but both the er-4s and hd600 aren't that far off in any configuration, hence me describing them still as neutral.  You could think of it as being neutral, but leaning towards more or less bass.

 

The hd600 lean towards more bass.  The er-4s without boost lean towards less bass.  But i would say that if the hd600 have 5% more bass than true neutral the er-4s have 5% less bass than true neutral.  In fact using accudio on the ipod to make the hd600 neutral based on inverting the measured frequency imperfections, it sounds closer to the er-4s.  Using accudio on the er-4s brings the bass up a very small amount.  Basically indicating that they are both very close to neutral.  If you're not hearing something similar to this, the fit is probably off.  

 

In terms of capability, I don't find the er-4s lacking in the least bit in its own right.  With the bass boost on (which I don't use normally), they can slam bass tight and punchy with incredible articulation.  All I can say is that again, I would choose the er-4s over the hd600 and that is from someone who came from (and loved) a sony mdr-ex85lp (insane bass monster).  But I stress again that without the fit and seal you can't achieve this.  You may think you have the best seal, but if you don't have it perfect no eq or bass boost will give you the bass I describe.  It just doesn't work for some reason.  If you don't find the hd600 to be that much more bass than neutral, you should find the er-4s to be that much less than neutral or I very strongly think the fit is off.  Now they may not have 100% of the bass quality of the hd600, but no one said they did, we're just saying they sound similar overall to the hd600.  That's all.  So the hd600 will have more bass and possibly a bit better capability, but nothing that makes them sound drastically bass superior in my opinion.  But we're comparing over ears to in ears as well, so some prefer one over the other.  I've always preferred the flatness of an over-ear for the price, but the isolation and sound stage of an in-ear.  I feel like i get both with the er-4s. :)

 

Keep in mind, I'm not saying they are "better" than the hd600.  Just that I prefer them and find them the closest to the hd600 in sound with a good fit.  I have the 4r, which are second closest to the hd600, but that can't get near the treble accuracy as the er-4s/hd600 without eq.  They are more soft/muffled in comparison.  I find the er-4s have no muffle like the hd600 have no muffle.


Edited by luisdent - 3/20/13 at 6:12pm
post #67 of 71

I still disagree. I find the ERs highly anemic. I used so many different tips, even digging into my Westone, Atrio, and Shure inventory, but the result was the same.

 

Still, I won't disparage your preferences. I just don't agree with your definition of accurate.

post #68 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

I still disagree. I find the ERs highly anemic. I used so many different tips, even digging into my Westone, Atrio, and Shure inventory, but the result was the same.

 

Still, I won't disparage your preferences. I just don't agree with your definition of accurate.

 

I believe you, and I'm sure they might still be less than your ideal of bass, but I can't imagine anyone would find them "highly anemic" if the fit is correct.  I can't comment on other tips, but with the stock ety tips they each require a certain positioning and seal to be effective.  But I find in the proper position I get only a bit less bass than my westone 4r with the stock star tips.  The westones have more mid bass, so overall they sound deeper and less detailed, but the actually bassy bass, bass you would hear in a bass guitar or sub bass is not that much greater than the er-4s when i have a good seal.  It is more, but not much more.  Just as a point of reference.

 

Someone might perceive the bass as being less because the er-4s highs are more flat and apparent, where the 4r highs are masked by the mid bass, but if you listen to the bass (ignoring the 4r mid bass bloat) they are actually fairly similar to the er-4s.  I don't know many people that would call the 4r anemic.  I do however know many people that would think without the good seal.

 

Anyhow, I'm not trying to make you agree, but I can't stress how important the fit is with these.  I would just hope no one is dissuaded from what i consider the best iem i've ever heard because people think they're bass light.  While they are indeed not bass heavy, I find them very neutral.  I'm comparing them to my alesis studio monitor speakers even.  I don't find they lack any bass. If I had to pick one single area they are less than perfect it would be the super duper low sub bass region, but a) i've haven't heard many iems that can reproduce that in great quantity, and b) they reproduce it with great quality, just not at the same exact level as the rest of the bass, just a bit less.  But I still get a nice sub bass floor beneath my music.  Just not "incredible" sub bass unless i use a bass boot in that low region (20-40hz).  But again, most iems share that fault and it isn't even drastic.

 

Ultimately, use what you find enjoyable.  But for anyone that does try the er-4s, don't give up in a few days because they aren't bassy.  Play with the tips, break in the tips and get used to them a while.  It is well worth it.

post #69 of 71

For what it's worth, anyone finding the er-4s to be lacking in bass should check the depth of their fit against these photos.  Everyone has different ears, so you may find a different depth works for you, but the key is the seal.  When I get a good seal it is extremely hard to hear someone talk to my face from a few feet away.  If you hear them muffled but still don't really have a hard time hearing them (with no music playing) then they aren't sealed enough.  You should have them sealed well enough that you have to almost "try" to hear them carefully to understand what they're saying.

 

This is the depth that works for me.  When I first got them I was worried about hitting my eardrum, so I didn't get as good of a seal, but still decent.  My audiologist told me they are safe to fully insert (as you can tell by my photos).  Since then I've had no problems.

 

(click to enlarge)

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

FYI, these are the large grey triple flange tips (where are they?!?)  :-P  ...So they are pretty deep.  But once you use them a week or so they become softer and more comfortable on the ear canal.  I find the triple flange tips and black foam work the best.  I can squish the black foam really tight and then pull up on my ear and insert them about as deep as the triple flange.  I hold them until they expand and don't feel like they'll move on me.  After a minute or two they are fully settled and things sound great.

 

I find that the triple flange seem to have the most mids, the black foam a little more treble and bass, but almost in a slightly sibilant way.  The clear triple flange are the brightest, but smooth overall.  All of the differences are extremely small.  In fact, I believe it's possible that it might have to do with the angle of the tips or I'm just imagining the differences.  I sometimes feel like the foam aren't sibilant at all and other times just a bit.  Keep in mind when I say sibilant, they aren't actually sibilant really, but just that the treble seems like it leans towards those frequencies more.

 

The differences are so small when I get them all tightly sealed that most people probably wouldn't even notice a difference if there even is one. It could be coincidence with the seal at the time or the angle at the time.  Not sure.  But in every case when they are really deep and sealed to the point where they block all noise greatly, then and only then is the bass very good.  You hear further into the sub bass region and the bass is more in line with the other frequencies in terms of volume.

 

I recommend trying all the tips for a few days each.  Let them break in.  Don't be afraid to go deep.  Pull up on your ear with the opposite arm, point the tip slightly upwards and twist the tip as you're inserting it (don't twist the foam tips).  Sometimes I need to wiggle the tip a bit or move it in and out ever so slightly so the seal forms tightly. The phones also don't look that bad.  Some people have them jutting out of their ears like they're street signs or something.  I say that's not deep enough.  When I get the properly seated the colored plastic part lies right outside of my ear close to the skin.

 

Anyhow, just a few tips for anyone having issues or trying to get more bass.  If all else fails, add +3db or so of bass or EQ them a tad around 100hz and lower with a peak around 80hz.  I find I don't need it personally though.  I've been listening with my C5 and no adjustments and they're amazing.  I'll let you know how my customs fit once I get them as well. :-)

 

WARNING!:  You can (I have) get the tips stuck in your ear.  I don't believe they pose a great risk, as they can't really easily fall deeper in the ear without being forced.  I removed mine with the pliers of a leatherman. :-P  Myself, by feel.  Just be careful and don't poke your ear.

 

The best way to prevent this (I didn't do this before) is to grab the earphone body and also place your pointer finger as deep into the ear canal as you can so you are applying pressure to where the tip is around the tip sleeve (plastic nozzle).  This way you can pull your ear up with the other arm, apply pressure when possible to keep the tip from coming off the nozzle and rotate the phones carefully out of your ears.  It may not be necessary, but I can fairly easily grab the tip with my pointer finger to prevent it coming off.

 

Also, while the depth is safe, the ear canal get pretty sensitive after the first bend and more so further in.  If you feel like the tips are poking and hurting a lot try tilting them different angles to get them in the center of the canal.  Also, try the larger tips if you're using the smaller tips.  I find I can jam the large tips in further without discomfort than the small tips.  Ultimately, just be careful and slow with everything you do, but don't be afraid to put them in fairly deep like my photos.


Edited by luisdent - 3/28/13 at 4:08pm
post #70 of 71
Very informative post, and it mirrors my experience with the ER4S. It took me about a month to figure out that I could aim the tips upward in my ear and achieve a deeper fit. I was getting a good seal regardless, but it was much less consistent until this epiphany. The deep fit past the second bend of the ear results in moar bass all the time, to the point that bass heavy songs sound bass heavy. Well mastered music has bass at the same volume as other frequencies, clear and present.

I was listening to the Inception soundtrack, with all its drums and whatnot, and found them to sound powerful and impactful, with ample detail and volume to convince me of its realistic sound. The same with the 300 soundtrack. It sounds like it does when I watch the movies.

At first my ears weren't very happy about the comfort of the fit, but now they have adjusted and I even wear them for 90 min workouts with no discomfort or having to readjust. Couldn't be happier.
post #71 of 71

Thank you gentlemen for your fine review, I know what is on my list for my next  IEM. 

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