Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Portability? The next step after my IE8s? (long post).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Portability? The next step after my IE8s? (long post).

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Caution: this is a long post, so if skim it if you can't bear with it! Apologies in advance.

 

Well...where do I start with this? I've been on a little adventure the past week or two trying to figure out where I should go next. Sometimes, I feel like I'm no nearer to deciding what is my next step in my audio journey. I'm finally back in Singapore now, so the first thing I did was to get a set of speakers, and that's the M200MKIIIs. I've heard many good things about them, and so far, they haven't let me down. But that's just that. My focus is still on IEMs or CIEMs for that matter. So back to that. I have no clue where to go after my IE8s. 

 

I know I waltzed in here a while back, after a hiatus, and found that people were talking about the Heir 8.As and the Merlins as the successor to the IE8s. One said that the Merlins were like the IE8s on steroids. Then I began to look at whether there was something more that I wanted, whether there was something else out there that could satisfy what I wanted. Then I found out things had changed a bit e.g. hybrids, and flagship universals coming out at the price range of customs. And that set me down the route I'm going now. What should I do next?

 

I hesitated on starting this thread because I know I should be doing my leg work etc. I've read a fair bit as it is. Trust me. I've spoken to some people via PM as well. I may be closer, but I thought, maybe I should pose the question here as well, in the event there are people wondering similar thoughts. Not to mention how difficult it is as well having to look at a variety of different threads etc just to find an opinion, so hopefully I can use this as my new reference point.

 

Where do I stand in all this? I'd like to stay portable, and by that, I'd like not to require a dedicated DAP or an amp to run my setup. I'd consider a very small DAP but I'm not sure one exists or it isn't at some stark crazy price. The main selling point of IEMs or CIEMs are that they are low profile. But then we decided to complicate things a little by adding this and that, here and there. There are many factors that go into making the sound come out "right". Before it all gets transposed to our ears to hear, we have the source itself which has a combination of factors such as the player itself, and the quality of the file we are using. Then after that, we need the IEMs to be "juiced" just right. Therein lies my issue, so to speak. There goes portability when we need to add the bulk to carry with us.

 

When I head out, when I use my IEMs, I want to be as light and as light-footed as possible. Sure, I could add an external amp as well (added cost), or a DAP (added cost), or both (shoot me already), but I feel we lose the point of portability there. All that aside, if I'm honest, I'd still like to stick to my mobile phone as the reference, though I would consider a low profile DAP, maybe. But the fact that a good one would set me back, would mean that the IEM or CIEM I then look at, would be restricted at a price point and mean the "scaling up" I would like, wouldn't be all that great. 

 

What am I saying then? Well...let me get into what I listen to, and maybe, any sonic preferences as well. 

 

I listen to lots of mainstream stuff, dance, pop, electronic, modern jazz, chillout etc. For example, I'd listen to stuff like Justin Timberlake's newest single - Mirrors. That's the sort of music I listen to when I'm out. Alternatively, I listen to stuff like Pendulum, Calvin Harris, rock like Nickelback, J-Rock e.g. Gackt, J-Pop, Korean stuff as well. It all just depends on how I feel. I basically don't want to listen to too slow a genre of music when I'm out. I still however, would listen to jazz (instrumental) e.g. Brian Culbertson, Chris Botti etc, depending on who and what. At the end of it all, I want to be engaged, I like being lost in the euphoria of music, and I like to feel the impact and rumble from the bass too. But I don't need to be listening to music that sticks stuff out and stabs me in my ears either, metaphorically speaking. I like detail so that doesn't mean I want to lose that in my music. 

 

All that aside, I've got k702s as headphones at home, so no. It's not that I can't appreciate a clean, and more neutral sound either, though admittedly, I find it bass light, but I can still appreciate it for what it is, just not when I'm roaming around outside. But I have a tendency to just use my IEMs in general, especially when I'm doing work. I find speakers too distracting, God knows why, and headphones to be too annoying over time. Weird, I know. 

 

So what have I heard so far? I've been down to Jaben to have a listen, told them my tastes, and obviously what I use, being my IE8s currently. I EQ out the veil to some degree to bring transparency and also bring forward the treble spark a little. So bass is brought down, however, I find that when the bass knob is at it's lowest setting, it just seems too thin and the sub-bass doesn't come forward, so well...I turn the knob up a little, but EQ the bass back down digitally. So I blind tested to some extent given that I wasn't told what I was listening to, nor the prices of what I was listening to. I believe that I tried EarSonics customs, though I somehow think I might be wrong on this. I didn't like it. I tried the JH5s, 10X3s and well, the 10X3s suited me more albeit I didn't feel that it presented a huge upgrade. It is an upgrade, don't get me wrong, but not that huge. Then, one of the guys decided he'd let me try one of the customs outfitted already for one of the staff members. I heard it, and I was blown away. I can't describe it. However, admittedly, I knew I would get fatigued over time, despite how much I enjoyed it. And I still felt it was bass light as well. I loved it. Then I had to ask, what was it. FitEars, 333s. Told them my reservations, and they told me, well, the 335s would suit me better. Well, after finding out the price etc, it's time I looked at something else, and for the FitEars to be my next upgrade, or something of the like. 

 

So yes, then I came on the boards to have a look around, and figure out where I could go. I then realised that Jaben does their customs at such a huge premium as well, that I'm not sure I would be getting the right bang for my dollar. For example, I could get UM Merlins (at another store) for no more than what they are advertised in their parent company's site i.e. approximately just over 800 USD. However, the FitEar 333s, after conversion at Jaben, is more expensive than the 335s if I were to get that in Japan, for example. Okay, put that aside, any other custom as well, including JH10X3s which I was considering going for, which still lacked something in my opinion. Advertised as 799USD I believe, it would cost me 1200USD locally. So therein lies my other issue. I don't want to pay that premium if I can avoid it because I feel that I'd be losing out a lot on the potential gains in SQ I could achieve. 

 

What's my budget? 800 - 1000 USD seems to be where I'm at. But I'm willing to go that little extra if necessary if the earphones are brilliant and worth shelling out for. The problem I have is that I'm being told that running it straight out of my Note 2 would likely be a "waste". I don't know. Those 333s sounded pretty darn good straight out from my iPhone 4S at the time, so yeah, maybe I'm missing out, but ignorance is bliss too. But I do have a home rig, I just don't want portable to become a "home" rig with the added bulk. The 333s just felt like it had a gap of a gazillion more than the 10X3s and my IE8s. Whilst the 10X3s felt like a step or two up, in my terms, from the IE8s. 

 

So what's next? My options. Initially, the Heir Audio 8.As. At first I didn't want to look at them because of their cost, but the hype wasn't something I could ignore despite it's incredible price. Unlike some of you, I'm not blessed with an income to go forward to the extreme price ranges, or to take a risk and then sell it on and get another. I "need" to get something that sticks. I'm still some way before I can afford anything more. Why am I spending a bit now though? I just graduated. I've been through a lot in life to be grateful for what I have, what I've achieved, and what I've done, after being a school drop out. So this is, to some extent, my treat to myself, from where I've come, to where I am now. I enjoy music, but I'm not the most technically proficient to tell you everything about it, if my IE8 review didn't already tell you that. 

 

So in some ways, the lingering questions may be, what IEMs, or CIEMs would be a significant step up from my IE8s? What would suit the genres of music I listen to? What would engage me? What wouldn't I lose too much on if I listen to it direct from my Note 2, instead of hooking up a "home rig" i.e. amp or DAP extra?

 

I want to go as far as I can now so it will tide me over for the next few or couple of years till I can make another upgrade. CIEMs or IEMs? Well. I like the custom pads on my IE8s, so it may be hard for me to move back to universals. It is just so comfortable and lovely. And in terms of what I'm sort of looking at as options, the 8.As, 1plus2s, IE800s, and the Aud-7X. But at the same time, I'm looking for recommendations. Have I looked at average_joe's thread? I have. But I'm still at a loss going forward. Plus, I'm indecisive. Of the four above, I've only heard the IE800s, and I feel that they are a cross between the IE8s and the HD800s i.e. tightening the bass, but adding the clarity and transparency i.e. losing the veil somewhat. Though I think, it was slightly sibilant as well, so that was a little worrying. I compared it with the k3003s, and sound sig wise, I'd go for the IE800s all the time. I nearly ended up with the Heir 8.As at a point, then maybe the seller pulling out at the last minute may have been a blessing in disguise, who knows. I just took it as a sign to perhaps, eliminate the 8.As from the picture. 

 

So if after you've got through all that, and assuming you are still with me, what would you do, or what would you recommend? I want to be lost in music. Not analysing every single bit that I hear, but I do want to hear everything possible. Where or at what point, does "amping" become a necessity?

 

Your opinions are welcome and will be thoroughly appreciated. Though it might help that any opinions or recommendations are elaborated and if you could give your background into music tastes, or IEMs etc as some may go on about how great, for example, the bass is on something, but that may be coming from someone who doesn't like too much bass etc. It helps to have context! 

 

Cheers.


Edited by cravenz - 3/2/13 at 9:47am
post #2 of 22

I'm not sure that I can help much but I enjoyed reading your very articulate post. Part of the reason that I enjoyed it is because I am at a similar point.

The IE8's were my first serious IEM and although I have enjoyed listening to them for a couple of years now I feel that I would like to change from their very particular sound.

I listen to rock but love other stuff as well. All time faves are Hendrix, Tom Petty, ZZTop, Pink Floyd, Yello. Also a bit more mellow stuff like Fiona Apple, Bob Dylan, Eels...

Anyway. I also use a 4S as my source and think that is very good. I would not know about the Note but source is key. I nearly bought an iPad Mini until I heard it!

I recently bought a pair of Musical Fidelity EB-50's. When I finally got a proper seal I was amazed. I have never heard anything so good. Unfortunately they were very uncomfortable in my ears. If it wasn't for that I would have been very happy with their sound.

For the £150GBP that they cost they were unbelievably good.

At the moment I am using some ACS T-15's. In contrast to the EB's they are physically tiny. They sound very good but not as good as the EB's.

Tomorrow I am going to have impressions done for custom tips by ACS to see if that will improve the T-15's performance.

If they don't cut it I will be in a similar quandary to you. I could spend a large amount on some CIEM's as I have just sold my home Hi Fi.

I am very hesitant as the jump from the midrange is pretty significant. If I am to spend £500+ on IEM's they would have to sound fantastic.

Getting a great sound out of a more modest budget appeals more as expectations are not quite so high.

The decision of whether to go universal or custom is difficult as well. I will be very interested to see how easy the process of getting a good fit with the ACS tips is. Otherwise I read very good things about Phonak.  Heir are bringing out the 5Ai universal which sounds very promising. Several things worry me about Heir. There is a definite FOTM vibe about them on here at the moment. Hard Acrylic shells do not sound as comfortable as soft silicone. China is a long way from me. Not so bad for you!

I hope that is of some interest. I will keep an eye out for your posts and follow your journey with interest.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post

I'm not sure that I can help much but I enjoyed reading your very articulate post. Part of the reason that I enjoyed it is because I am at a similar point.

The IE8's were my first serious IEM and although I have enjoyed listening to them for a couple of years now I feel that I would like to change from their very particular sound.

I listen to rock but love other stuff as well. All time faves are Hendrix, Tom Petty, ZZTop, Pink Floyd, Yello. Also a bit more mellow stuff like Fiona Apple, Bob Dylan, Eels...

Anyway. I also use a 4S as my source and think that is very good. I would not know about the Note but source is key. I nearly bought an iPad Mini until I heard it!

I recently bought a pair of Musical Fidelity EB-50's. When I finally got a proper seal I was amazed. I have never heard anything so good. Unfortunately they were very uncomfortable in my ears. If it wasn't for that I would have been very happy with their sound.

For the £150GBP that they cost they were unbelievably good.

At the moment I am using some ACS T-15's. In contrast to the EB's they are physically tiny. They sound very good but not as good as the EB's.

Tomorrow I am going to have impressions done for custom tips by ACS to see if that will improve the T-15's performance.

If they don't cut it I will be in a similar quandary to you. I could spend a large amount on some CIEM's as I have just sold my home Hi Fi.

I am very hesitant as the jump from the midrange is pretty significant. If I am to spend £500+ on IEM's they would have to sound fantastic.

Getting a great sound out of a more modest budget appeals more as expectations are not quite so high.

The decision of whether to go universal or custom is difficult as well. I will be very interested to see how easy the process of getting a good fit with the ACS tips is. Otherwise I read very good things about Phonak.  Heir are bringing out the 5Ai universal which sounds very promising. Several things worry me about Heir. There is a definite FOTM vibe about them on here at the moment. Hard Acrylic shells do not sound as comfortable as soft silicone. China is a long way from me. Not so bad for you!

I hope that is of some interest. I will keep an eye out for your posts and follow your journey with interest.

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply, and at the same time, include your insight. Every little bit counts. 

 

I could actually a/b the iPhone 4S and the Note 2 at some point, before I get rid of my 4S. I really should. That said, the Note 2's wolfson dac isn't a slouch to be fair to it, and I'm pretty happy with it. 

 

About ACS tips, I'm currently using them. My main fear of silicone is that, though to some, it may improve or lower SQ, I'm not a 100% made up about durability. For example, the tip of mine chipped off about 1.5 years into usage. It isn't a big deal, but then again, who knows what else might chip off after time. On my IE8s, they actually bloated the bass a fair bit more, in my honest opinion. You can read the section on my ACS tips in my IE8 review (in my signature). That aside though, they are still wonderfully comfortable, and I can't imagine not using customs at some point down the line for the fit. 

 

Like you, if I'm to spend a fair bit more on the next pair, they would have to sound good. Not just a little bit better, but significantly better. I felt that with the 333s as I mentioned earlier, but not so with the JH10X3s. And unfortunately, it is hard to tell with a lot of other things. If I'm honest, I think I may prefer the IE800s over the JH10X3s as well. So that is something I'm seriously considering as well, for significantly less in price. The problem I had after demo-ing the 333s is that well...I know there is better, so "ignorance is bliss" doesn't apply! 

 

I thought about the Heir 5s as well. But then I'll be honest, if the 5s are about 90% of the 8.As, then how in the world is it only half the cost? That's something that irks me, and if that's the case, the 8.As are overpriced, in that sense. And then there is the whole flavour of the month bit that you identified as well. 

 

Something else I look at, is customer service. So that's important for me. I've had good interactions with Tralucent i.e. 1plus2 for example (thought it was worth giving a shout out to). I learn a tad from them despite the fact that I'm not 100% going with them too, and they are aware of that. I'm not sure some other manufacturers would deal with me the same way, and if I'm honest, from my experience, they don't, especially some that are extremely popular. 

 

Well, I'd love to hear what happens down your end as well, so let me know how things go for you! 

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Guess I asked for too much biggrin.gif

post #5 of 22

Your post might not be for everyone, but it's damn refreshing to read your post amid those "yo wat IEM is best for meh i liek dubstep price under 100$ plz" posts. 

 

Good to see someone is actually putting a real effort in asking for suggestion. It gives me this warm and fuzzy feeling writing a reply as I REALLY wish I can help you. Anyways, to the main event.

 

First of all, I'd like to suggest you to consider holding back in getting an IEM for the time being. I mean, I know that you want to reward yourself with a new IEM now. But if the IEM you really like (in this case, FitEar 333 I guess?) happens to be out of your budget, why don't you hold back for the time being, save up some more, and just get it when you can afford it? I feel like that's better than forcing yourself to get another IEM you can afford, especially when you know that there's something else you really like out there. Or perhaps instead of looking around for IEMs that is over or within your budget, listen for IEMs under your budget; you'll never know : I had planned to buy FitEar TG!334, but when I went to demo it I decided that it's not for me and I fell in love with F111 instead. Go figure.

 

Anyways, I can relate to your wish of carrying a no-hassle portable rig. I have a Go-DAP X + iPhone 4S rig, but most of the time I end up carrying only my 4S for daily commute to work. I only bring the Go-DAP X with me when I feel like it or when it won't be a hassle, such as when I go out on a day off. But at the same time, it's nice having an amp that can provide instant SQ improvement around; I do think that a good IEM is kinda wasted when ran unamped straight out of a phone. But of course there are times when you just want to relax, when you listen to music without having to critically dissecting the music and whatnots; that's why I still have my Shure SE215. Anyways, I'm not gonna condemn you for using expensive IEM with a phone; it's your call. But consider getting a good amp to pair with the IEM you end up getting, it's not like you always have to carry the amp with you all the time : With IEMs, amping is never a necessity, it's always a choice. At least for me, and unless you're talking about power-hungry headphones or electrostatics and the like. Of course there's the option of getting dedicated high-end portable player instead, but those can also get pricey.

 

But if you're happy and content with running you new IEM straight out of your Note 2, who am I to tell you to get an amp or a new DAP?

 

Anyways, I'm not gonna suggest any IEM since your ears knows best. I don't know if my 2 cents is helpful or not but man, I sure wish that you'll end up with an IEM you truly love!


Edited by Deadlovestory - 3/4/13 at 5:49am
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadlovestory View Post

Your post might not be for everyone, but it's damn refreshing to read your post amid those "yo wat IEM is best for meh i liek dubstep price under 100$ plz" posts. 

 

Good to see someone is actually putting a real effort in asking for suggestion. It gives me this warm and fuzzy feeling writing a reply as I REALLY wish I can help you. Anyways, to the main event.

 

First of all, I'd like to suggest you to consider holding back in getting an IEM for the time being. I mean, I know that you want to reward yourself with a new IEM now. But if the IEM you really like (in this case, FitEar 333 I guess?) happens to be out of your budget, why don't you hold back for the time being, save up some more, and just get it when you can afford it? I feel like that's better than forcing yourself to get another IEM you can afford, especially when you know that there's something else you really like out there. Or perhaps instead of looking around for IEMs that is over or within your budget, listen for IEMs under your budget; you'll never know : I had planned to buy FitEar TG!334, but when I went to demo it I decided that it's not for me and I fell in love with F111 instead. Go figure.

 

Anyways, I can relate to your wish of carrying a no-hassle portable rig. I have a Go-DAP X + iPhone 4S rig, but most of the time I end up carrying only my 4S for daily commute to work. I only bring the Go-DAP X with me when I feel like it or when it won't be a hassle, such as when I go out on a day off. But at the same time, it's nice having an amp that can provide instant SQ improvement around; I do think that a good IEM is kinda wasted when ran unamped straight out of a phone. But of course there are times when you just want to relax, when you listen to music without having to critically dissecting the music and whatnots; that's why I still have my Shure SE215. Anyways, I'm not gonna condemn you for using expensive IEM with a phone; it's your call. But consider getting a good amp to pair with the IEM you end up getting, it's not like you always have to carry the amp with you all the time : With IEMs, amping is never a necessity, it's always a choice. At least for me, and unless you're talking about power-hungry headphones or electrostatics and the like. Of course there's the option of getting dedicated high-end portable player instead, but those can also get pricey.

 

But if you're happy and content with running you new IEM straight out of your Note 2, who am I to tell you to get an amp or a new DAP?

 

Anyways, I'm not gonna suggest any IEM since your ears knows best. I don't know if my 2 cents is helpful or not but man, I sure wish that you'll end up with an IEM you truly love!

 

Thanks :)

 

But to the meaty part of your reply, I've not been able to demo the whole FitEar range. Whilst the FitEar 333s blew me away, I can't say I would be comfortable with listening to it all the time because it is a cross between being too "aggressive" or forward, and a lack of bass. I really liked it, just that I still have reservations over it. I'd probably have to demo the 335s, and those would cost me 3500SGD approximately. My current budget is half that, and I won't be splurging 3500 any time soon, not for the next two years at least. Primarily because it will only be then that I get a proper pay cheque! 

 

You are right though! Sometimes, one may find something within their budget that is nice as well. That said, I've looked at a few customs below my budget, and none of them felt that they were "many steps" above the IE8s, and I guess, if I did make an upgrade, I'd like to move up "a lot" as opposed to "a little bit", if you get what I mean. That said, higher prices doesn't mean higher fidelity. Sometimes, with a higher priced earphone for example, to fully capitalise on them, one would need a better "rig". But that's where the irony is. The costs become exponentially bigger that diminishing returns all but kick in the moment one has to use a pricey setup, at least in my opinion. 

 

I think I will consider getting a DAP. I don't think using the headphone out from the Note 2 to an amp will make big differences in SQ. So it is something I will definitely have to consider further down the road. As it stands though, I use my HDP at home, or in the alternative, I may have to consider bringing that into work and then figuring it out from there. I'll test out the IEMs with my HDP, and if it scales up a fair bit, then I'll consider looking at other stuff at some point too!

 

To be fair, the 333s when tested, straight out of my iPhone 4S wasn't half bad at all. At least I could tell a vast difference. That wasn't the case with the other customs I tried. So who knows? :) That and ignorance is bliss and all that! But that aside, if I had the money, I'd think about a dedicated DAP.

 

Every little opinion counts mate, and every opinion/input is greatly appreciated. It may not point me towards a single IEM, but it gives me a direction or eases it to some extent. I'll have to see how things go for sure. It's just crazy painful that the budget may have to be split between here and there. And audio is getting tremendously expensive. Even with more manufacturers, the prices still remain high instead of competitive. Baffling! 

 

I've just finished playing Metal Gear Rising Revengeance And Raiden reminds me of Gackt a fair bit! (only saying this because you are from Japan I think?

post #7 of 22

Hey Cravenz,

 

I was in a similar predicament as you a few months back. I started off my audiophile journey with a Sennheiser HD600 and Fiio E09K/E17. In a few months, that was handed down to my girlfriend, and I upgraded to the LCD-2/ALO Pan-Am combo. While I enjoyed the setup, I disliked the fact that I was stuck at my desktop whenever I wanted to listen to music. I also found them quite uncomfortable. I sold everything off and started researching into a portable setup. Luckily I sold everything without much of a loss.

 

Similar to you, I listen to a wide variety of genres of music. I wanted an IEM that would excel across the spectrum of genres. I was originally going to go the CIEM route, but I didn't want to have to deal with constantly re-shipping impressions/CIEM if they did not fit properly. Knowing that I would likely upgrade if I went for a mid-fi IEM, I decided to research high-end universals (mainly the Fit Ear To GO 334 and Tralucent Audio 1plus2). At the time, I e-mailed both musicaacoustics and Gavin from Tralucent Audio in regards to stock availability. Both at the time were out of stock, which gave me the chance to discuss with Gavin about his IEM as well as DAP/AMPS etc. The more we chatted, the more I grew interested in the 1plus2. I ended up ordering a pair. Gavin's customer service is amazing. I have never had a better CS experience from any other company.

 

You live in Asia, so this part does not really pertain to you, but I live in Canada, and International shipping to Canada is slow, expensive and we often get raped by customs/taxes. As an example, I ordered the ALO Pan AM from ALO Audio (US). I had to pay $80 for shipping, and ended up paying over $150 in customs/taxes. Ordering from Asia via EMS (which was included in the cost of the earphones) was a godsend. The item arrived in 3 business days and there was $0 duties/taxes to pay. 

 

Another reason I opted for the 1plus2 over the Fit Ear TG334 was because I knew if I ordered the TG334, I would eventually want to upgrade to the 000 cable (which would put the total price well above the 1plus2).

 

I use the 1plus2 at work directly out of my iPhone 5 and it sounds amazing. Its well suited for a wide variety of genres. At home, I do have a home setup (DAP/AMP), but to be honest, it's not a huge night and day difference. I enjoy listening to the 1plus2 straight from my iPhone everyday at work.

 

I don't foresee myself upgrading any time in the near future. While $1300 is no small change, I'm glad I went straight to the top and not left wondering if I should have went for a higher-end model. In the long run, I'm probably saving myself money, as if I opted for a cheaper IEM, I would likely always have that urge to explore better options in the near future.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ariesq View Post

Hey Cravenz,

 

I was in a similar predicament as you a few months back. I started off my audiophile journey with a Sennheiser HD600 and Fiio E09K/E17. In a few months, that was handed down to my girlfriend, and I upgraded to the LCD-2/ALO Pan-Am combo. While I enjoyed the setup, I disliked the fact that I was stuck at my desktop whenever I wanted to listen to music. I also found them quite uncomfortable. I sold everything off and started researching into a portable setup. Luckily I sold everything without much of a loss.

 

Similar to you, I listen to a wide variety of genres of music. I wanted an IEM that would excel across the spectrum of genres. I was originally going to go the CIEM route, but I didn't want to have to deal with constantly re-shipping impressions/CIEM if they did not fit properly. Knowing that I would likely upgrade if I went for a mid-fi IEM, I decided to research high-end universals (mainly the Fit Ear To GO 334 and Tralucent Audio 1plus2). At the time, I e-mailed both musicaacoustics and Gavin from Tralucent Audio in regards to stock availability. Both at the time were out of stock, which gave me the chance to discuss with Gavin about his IEM as well as DAP/AMPS etc. The more we chatted, the more I grew interested in the 1plus2. I ended up ordering a pair. Gavin's customer service is amazing. I have never had a better CS experience from any other company.

 

You live in Asia, so this part does not really pertain to you, but I live in Canada, and International shipping to Canada is slow, expensive and we often get raped by customs/taxes. As an example, I ordered the ALO Pan AM from ALO Audio (US). I had to pay $80 for shipping, and ended up paying over $150 in customs/taxes. Ordering from Asia via EMS (which was included in the cost of the earphones) was a godsend. The item arrived in 3 business days and there was $0 duties/taxes to pay. 

 

Another reason I opted for the 1plus2 over the Fit Ear TG334 was because I knew if I ordered the TG334, I would eventually want to upgrade to the 000 cable (which would put the total price well above the 1plus2).

 

I use the 1plus2 at work directly out of my iPhone 5 and it sounds amazing. Its well suited for a wide variety of genres. At home, I do have a home setup (DAP/AMP), but to be honest, it's not a huge night and day difference. I enjoy listening to the 1plus2 straight from my iPhone everyday at work.

 

I don't foresee myself upgrading any time in the near future. While $1300 is no small change, I'm glad I went straight to the top and not left wondering if I should have went for a higher-end model. In the long run, I'm probably saving myself money, as if I opted for a cheaper IEM, I would likely always have that urge to explore better options in the near future.

 

You say all this just after I told lee730 that he was the only one championing the 1plus2s biggrin.gif

 

Like you, I've spoken to Gavin at some length, and I take tremendous comfort in hearing from you that they don't sound all that bad from the iPhone 5. Again, like you, I've got a home rig as well, which I don't mind using at all, so that's good news. That aside, I too have had a great experience dealing with Gavin from Tralucent Audio. 

 

P.S. I would have died if I had to pay the taxes you did! Which in a way, is another thing I'm worried about with the 1plus2s unfortunately. Because it will be coming from overseas, I'm unlikely to be able to dodge customs, and at the price stated, it really is the brink of what I can actually afford. 

 

That aside, I would love to hear your opinion on the sound signature of the 1plus2s, and what music you listen to with it most often (despite the fact I know you listen to most genres!). On that note, how would you compare the sound signature of the 1plus2s to the HD600s? :)

 

Thank aside, thanks ever so much for your input as well! 

post #9 of 22
Well this thread is shaping up nicely with some interesting views. ☺ I agree with Deadlovestory (😎) that an amp is a very nice accessory as a high SQ option but not always necessary. I enjoy travelling light with just my phone but find that an amp adds a worthwhile improvement. I would be surprised if the Note did not benefit. A dedicated Dap might be good but adds another level if commuting palaver.
Like ariesq I don't much like being tied to a static rig. I find being able to wander around enjoying high SQ part of the joy.
Here's another controversial thought. I am becoming disinclined to get on this escalator toward "the high end". Having heard the EB-50's that cost £150 and astonished me how good they are I reckon that there are companies out there that are offering outstanding products in their range. On the other hand whenever I research a high end CIEM, I read about subtle deficiencies and that "nothing is perfect". Well no but in excess of £500 they would have to be damn close!👹
Maybe a better way forward is to splash about in the mid price area. You could check out quite a few £150 'phones for the budget and sell the ones that did not spark any interest.
Maybe very good at modest cost is more likely to be attainable than "perfection" at any cost. I've been there before with Hi-Fi.
Just a thought.
Edited by krismusic - 3/4/13 at 12:34pm
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Will get back to you on this krismusic, but you aren't wrong in a way. It all depends on what sound signature one is looking for. But in general, there is far more refinement in some of the earphones I've tried in the higher price bracket. Then the question boils down to how much one pays attention to music and which provides more enjoyment.

There is relativity over what is good sound, what price one is willing to go, what one feels is the optimum price to quality ratio etc. My opinion is that value drops immensely once we have to get more equipment just to use the product. The double whammy so to speak!
post #11 of 22

I am really hoping that the custom tips I have coming are going to lift the T-15's to a level that I am happy with. I reckon that I don't need perfection to enjoy my music. In all my audio forays I have only ever tried to get a sound that one immediately knows is way above the norm.  If I have made a purchase that is on a once in a lifetime budget then expectations are through the roof and I have found that I spend more time fretting about the minutia of the sound and the validity of the purchase than I do about listening to my music.

I guess a lot comes down to how much disposable income one has and how comfortable you feel with your budget.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post

I am really hoping that the custom tips I have coming are going to lift the T-15's to a level that I am happy with. I reckon that I don't need perfection to enjoy my music. In all my audio forays I have only ever tried to get a sound that one immediately knows is way above the norm.  If I have made a purchase that is on a once in a lifetime budget then expectations are through the roof and I have found that I spend more time fretting about the minutia of the sound and the validity of the purchase than I do about listening to my music.

I guess a lot comes down to how much disposable income one has and how comfortable you feel with your budget.

 

Well, as mentioned earlier, I'd probably get ready to experience a little more muddiness than you are used to. It will take a while to adjust, and once your ears are accustomed to it, you should be fine. 

 

You are right. We don't need perfection to enjoy music. Some people do though. I'm not one of them. But as they say, one person's treasure is another person's poison i.e. to each their own. The trick is finding out what works. Another issue with custom demos is that the custom itself sounds quite different from a demo version too.

 

I'll be fretting till I make my purchase and then if I like it off the top, then I won't worry about the rest of it i.e. the validity. The only part of validity of the purchase will be if the sound signature itself suits me. I won't dwell too much on everything else really i.e. not all the minute details etc. 

 

My position regarding funds are pretty simple though. I'm willing to spend a little more, but it'll hurt. As it stands, the 1plus2s would be something I wouldn't mind trying. If I had more disposable income, I'd give them and the Heir or Dream Earz a try and then keep the one I like whilst disposing of the other. The position I'm in is that I can only go for one. I can't afford to mix and match etc. 

 

As it stands, I'm looking at either a second hand Heir or 1st hand 1plus2s which are a little too dear for me. If Tralucent had an offer like Heir did, then I'd give it a shot for sure. 

post #13 of 22

Can you get the 1plus2 for cheaper as you reside in Asia? Or is the cheapest still $1295USD??

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ariesq View Post

Can you get the 1plus2 for cheaper as you reside in Asia? Or is the cheapest still $1295USD??

 

As far as I know, Gavin quoted me $1295 USD (he knows I'm in Singapore). That's pretty steep! And might detract any savings from being put into a DAP (sometime in the future if possible). 

post #15 of 22

I have a 10% return customer discount at musicaacoustics from purchasing my 1plus2 from them. I don't really need anything else from them besides maybe more ortofon tips. If you decide to purchase the 1plus2, send me a PM, I'll see if Dimitri at musicacoustics will allow me to use the 10% on your order.

 

At the time I ordered (January 2013), Gavin didn't have stock until late March. I'm not sure how his schedule is right now. I believe musicaacoustics currently has one in stock. If I'm not mistaken, it's a black shell, with black carbon fibre face plate.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Portability? The next step after my IE8s? (long post).