So look what arrived in the mail today! Yes, after this very hard waiting game, these babies have arrived. First off, I am not an audiophile or sound engineer but am just your average consumer who loves audio. Second of all, my left ear is slighly "deaf" therefore I may not be the best reviewer here but I am trying and will post my honest opinion. Lastly, this is my first "in-depth" review so please go easy on me, thanks.
The 5.0 just arrived a few hours ago and I have been using them for only about 30 - 60 minutes and am wearing them as I write this.
Before we start, I would like to show you guys some pictures! Sorry, I dont have the best camera, just using the camera off my phone which is the Sony Xperia S and I am not the best photographer either. My apologies Head-Fiers. If you want more photos let me know! I can take a picture of anything for you.
Ok so on to the review?
Very simple packaging as you can see but very, very protective and they even threw in some foam just to protect these babies. The otterbox they provide is very strong and everything inside which is accessories and your IEMs will be very safe inside there, it was even a bi*ch to open haha. If you buy the + Pack, they have your name of choice engraved, as you can see from the photos, mine says "Leon Optimus Khun" which is my full name. Its awesome but I guess when you sell it, the buyer may want their name on the case instead of yours but o'well. Not much of a problem for me as I wont be upgrading for at least two years... Yes, TWO years. I hope anyway, I always want an upgrade, I mean, who doesn't?
Not the most generous selection for an IEM that costs $775 but still a very nice amount of accessories. You get 3 sets of double flange silicone tips in S,M,L. You also get 3 sets of red silicone tips in S,M,L and 3 sets of blue silicone tips in S,M,L. There's 2 rubber bands to hold your rig together and a eartip cleaner with a aluminium loop and a brush on the other end.
I guess that's the essentials for an IEM although a nice cleaning cloth and some foam tips would be nice considering this price tag.
Isolation is one of the best I've experienced. They seem to isolate more than my beloved W3's which I sold a while back. Although I could be wrong. They dont go in your ear canal that deep either. Not much to say here, sorry.
Again, not much to say here. There is little to no microphonics as the cable is braided and the earphones are worn around the ear. I actually love these moldable earguides, they are not too long like the EX1000 and by the looks of it, I can cut off the moldable part of the wire and it should still work although I am not going to risk that as of now.
So the sound huh? Again, I'm not the best reviewer so apologies. I also borrowed my friends EX1000 he recently received to compare with the 5.0. The EX1000 has about 50 hours on them. Not burned in I know and they are a dynamic IEM.
When I first put these on, first thing that struck me was the bass. Although its a single BA driver dedicated for the lows, its amazingly powerful and even more powerful than multiple BA IEMs or Dynamic IEMs. While its still very textured and has great decay, the EX1000s lows are just so much more refined and textured but the power on the 5.0 is on a whole new level.
I am still going "tip rolling" and have yet to find the best tips for these IEMs although now I am using the smallest red silicone tips. I dont know I feel like I am not getting the best fit with these tips because when I pull them out it feels loose... I will have to spend more time with tip rolling. I honestly have not heard any earphone or headphone with lows this good, not even my HE500 can compare! The sub-bass is just amazing although its slightly slow and I dont know if its bloated or just over powered but its definitely one of those. Although I am just being picky. The mid bass on these a lot weaker than the sub bass although that usually applies to most IEMs the 5.0 is different. When you have songs with a lot of mid bass, it seems kind of weak and sounds very hollow but when the sub bass kicks in, its like a completely different IEM. I love the lows on these IEMs. Would have to say this is the 5.0s strongest selling point and sound stage is not far behind.
Mids are very airy and lush on these. I know everyone says this, but this time, its finally true. Female vocalists such as Emma Hewitt, Ellie Goulding or Christina Novelli sound amazing on these. They dont sound "thin" or "hollow". Their "voices" are heavy and very powerful. I've never heard anything like this. I dont think the mids are recessed at all although they are quite laidback. Those are two are two different things right? Haha. I honestly dont have much more to say, I just dont get how you professional reviewers write so much... Sorry guys!
Honestly, the highs are the 5.0s weakest point. I love it, don't get me wrong and as cliche as it sounds, I have heard things I have never ever heard with my previous headphones and IEMs... The highs are very detailed but remain quite dark and not too bright. They show some sibilance at times though. These IEMs are a bit too dark for my tastes but then when a snare drum comes on the song such as "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson or "Not Afraid' by Eminem the snare drums just hurt my already hurt ears, I dont know if this is meant to happen but its only happened to me with two other IEMs and that was the EX1000 and the H-100. Which is a lot more brighter than these. The highs on the EX1000 was unbearable for me after about 30 minutes of music as they just caused fatigue but the 5.0 has "FUN" written all over it, not too bright nor too dark although for my tastes its quite dark.
My favourite thing about these sexy babies. The separation of instruments on these leave me speechless... You can literally hear each and every instrument of the song. It has this very unique 3D soundstage that surrounds you, it really is something special. The soundstage isn't that deep but its really wide, it feels like the band is surrounded by you and you are in the middle of the crowd at their concert, especially with live recordings in FLAC. I am the person who hates a 2D soundstage as its all over your face and its just boring. The soundstage and lows are just extraordinary. Hope they get even better with plenty of burn in although burn in is usually useless with BAs.
Edit: Sorry forgot about some things.
Source: iMod Video 5G 240GB -> Alo Audio Triple Pipe LOD -> Pico Slim Black
Second Source: PC -> ODAC -> O2
You are not alone, Smooth Criminal, Beat it, Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Heavy Weight - Infected Mushroom
Not Afraid, Like toy Soldiers, Mockingbird, Beautiful, Space Bound - Eminem
Figure 8, Hanging on, Lights - Ellie Goulding
Summertime sadness, Off to the races, Born to die, Ride - Lana Del Rey
Seven Devils, No Light, No Light, Heavy in your arms, Shake it out, Drumming Song, Florence + The Machine
Swimming Pools, good kid - Kendrick Lamar
1Train, Poetic Justice, Long Live A$AP, Goldie, PMW, Wild for the night, ****** Problems - A$AP Rocky
Honestly, for $775 + $201 customs fees, this IEM doesn't have the best value for its money but that's simply my opinion, someone else can think the complete opposite of that. The amount of service and respect Heir treats you is just subliminal, best service ever and I dont know why I said it wasn't worth the price, I guess those were my initial impressions, after a few hours they've really opened up and being a 5 BA IEM, this is impressive. I have already bought them and am not planning on upgrading for quite some time so am just going to stick with these. They sound fu*king amazing, don't get me wrong but for the money its not a particularly good value. I really want to see someone compare these to the Ultrasone IQs and Aurisonics ASG 2. Those look amazing but I must resist for at least two years. Maybe spend more money on a new amp and DAC. I do recommend these to people who are looking for a fun IEM and not an analytical one, its very fun and warm. If you want to spend less money, go for something such as the W4 if you are looking for something very neutral and flat.
If you do buy this, please, I BEG, please, get the + pack, its so worth it. You wont regret spending that extra dollar. You have my word.
So hope you guys enjoy this review, sorry if it was boring and not specific enough but let me know below if you want more pictures or want more information about the IEM.
Thanks everyone and especially the Heir Audio team, they did a great job on this product and they provide excellent service.
Take care guys!
Edited by Vlooienuker - 4/5/13 at 12:09am