Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Budget Review: LG QuadBeat (SE) vs MH1 vs UE200
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Budget Review: LG QuadBeat (SE) vs MH1 vs UE200

Poll Results: If you have heard all three budget earphones, which one do you prefer?

 
  • 40% (12)
    LG QuadBeat /Special Edition
  • 43% (13)
    Sony MH1 /MH-1C
  • 16% (5)
    Logitech Ultimate Ears UE200 /200vi
30 Total Votes  
post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Introduction and Comparison: LG QuadBeat (Special Edition)

 

As of late, there is an overall strong sympathy for a new product from LG very similar to the Sony. The "QuadBeat" is LG's idea of a cheap headset with maximum enjoyment for most users. Personally, I prefer its approach to the Sony MH1C, but this is for an overall feel of the product and not focussed on sound quality.

 

 

The package is simple and it uses up more space than necessary. Unfortunately, LG does not pack any extras with the product. You get but 3 sizes silicone tips and that's it. Of those, the biggest size fit my ears fine. I usually go for size M so larger ears will have big troubles getting a proper seal. Further, the nozzle is pretty big in size and your average tips will not fit - or when forced upon - alter the sound noticeably (shut treble short, which might be a good idea for some, though).

 

This is all that you can find in the package.

 

Design is minimal, the metal housing feels good.

 

I like the build quality. I am not a fan of flat cables, but these work pretty well. They do get tangled but they are not as stiff as those found with other earphones. The cable design is symmetrical.

The connector is not gold-plated and the earpiece is not fully closed. There is a small vent on the top which hurts isolation a bit.

 

  

 

Compared to the MH1, this is a huge improvement. Sony's cable design is the worst I have yet seen, annoying me with a stiff, inflexible and unusually broad rubber. Furthermore, the huge plastic headset remote is extremely bothersome.

Logitech's UE200 feel very fragile in comparison to either. They are very light-weight. I do fear a short life span when put into women hands and purses, though.

 

  

 

All 3 in-ears have a small body and can be worn with the cable over the ear.

 

Finally, MH1 and QuadBeat offer headset functionality. Neither of them work with any iPhone I have tried, though. I also have the 200vi from Logitech which works like a charm. The remote on the Sony is abysmal, the QuadBeat keeps it simple and unobtrusive.

 

One button remote without ostentation. LG compatibility only?

 

 

Sound Comparison

 

All three IEMs are balanced, all of them are a good entry into hifi territory and pull clear of bass focussed presentations. Yet none of them is flat.

 

Bass:

Kickbass is very noticeable with the LG and this is where the QB pulls its energy from. It has a moderate and enjoyable punch and but slightly warms up the mids. In relation to the subbass it is too strong, though, giving the bass a cold tilt. Subbass is present but it cannot add enough weight for a lush and full sound. Objectively speaking, the sound is a little bit thin. Personally, I like this light-weight presentation as it does add punch without pressing the vocals.

The UE200 is very similar to the QB but has the upper bass less elevated. It's closest to neutral of all three but extends poorly in the lower regions. If you are into bass heavy music, steer clear and avoid this little fellow.

Where both others are lacking, MH1 flexes its muscles and serves a powerful and controlled punch with impressive extension and abundance of subbass. The bass is much stronger than with any other of the two and will appeal to EDM fans or any other genres that ask for low-end. It's the least neutral of the bunch, though, warming up the overall sound and recessing the vocals noticeably.

 

Mids and resolution:

The LG have nice mids, fairly clean with good resolution. They are not as plastic or full-bodied as some might prefer, but separation of the vocals works nicely. Female vocals pull attention from overly present overtones. This works similar to a presence peak in the 2-3 kHz area but causes less fatigue. I've only had the QB for a few days so I did not make up my mind yet if this is intention or pure luck by LG. Either way, it works well and I like it.

Mids on the UE are relaxed with a slight dip in the presence range. It's similar to the UE900, but not as veiled and less noticeable. I like the tuning a lot. Compared to the other two, resolution does feel a little bit lacking or rough. The sound is a little grainy and muddy at the same time.

MH1 has the most recessed mids in this comparison. The bass does bleed in a bit and gives a warm touch. Voices sound very plastic and almost 3 dimensional, which is also because of the solid weight of the undertones. Voices do get pushed by a presence peak which can cause a little fatigue after extended usage. Resolution is the same as LG.

 

Highs:

Highs are present, no doubt, but to my astonishment they are never annoying, pushing or even slightly sibilant. Instead, they feel extremely smooth and well extended, adding a whole dimension of air and easiness to the sound.

Logitech balanced out the highs according to bass and they did it well. I've had zero issues with sibilance. Extension is not as impressive as with the other two and it's also not quite as smooth. Very solid, nonetheless.

Sony did balance out the strong bass a bit but luckily kept the overly warm feel. Extension is great and humble. In very rare occasions, I did have some sibilance annoyance but overall the performance is good.

 

Soundstage and cohesion:

The newest addition to the budget class, the LG QuadBeat, impressed me a lot. It does have a slightly cold tilt but it's a lot more enjoyable than I thought. The smooth highs are really something and the sound is just airy and easy to listen to. Basskick and punch is strong but never distracts from the vocals. Female Pop music (= Michael Jackson, ow!) works best with this tuning. Separation is good and soundstage is fairly big too, yet it does feel artificial and I have some instruments in my head play in the wrong position, but it's okay. The QuadBeat is a mirrored MH1 and can cause just as much fascination. Give it a try!

Personally, I grab the UE200 most often. The soundstage is small, almost congested, which is a bummer. Yet it's the most neutral and performs great without fatigue.

The Sony is highly popular. It's the typical balanced presentation, warm tilt with presence peak - very similar to the Philips Fidelio line. The soundstage is big and impresses with depth, especially considering the tiny housing.

 

Poll:

I have added a poll because I did not want to pick a winner in this review. The UE200 pleases with a relaxed and a (relatively) neutral presentation. The Sony does feel superior as for bass, soundstage and resolution, but is also causes fatigue and the bass might be too strong for quite a number. The QuadBeat is a pleasant surprise but I'd expect it to be a niche product if it weren't for the aggressive advertisement by LG.

 

I'm happy if you leave a comment or add your own impressions. Thanks!


Edited by Ultrazino - 4/23/13 at 1:52pm
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

I think the UE 200 is a fair comparison because the headset version costs the same as MH1 and LG around here, which is ~25 €.

I haven't tried any other lower priced UE.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

I noticed you can get quite a bit more low-end out of the LG with a better seal. Unfortunately I don't have any spare tips that fit the big nozzle, but I'm guessing the default bi-flanges will give you a less bright presentation if they fit your ears.

 

I'm now preferring the QuadBeat to the other two after some more comparisons. Overall, it reminds me of my DT-880 with a bit cleaner highs (far inferior imaging, blurrier resolution, looser bass). Definitely a good budget choice.

 

As for mainstream and bass-heavy tracks, you will definitely get the MH1 instead.

 

Edit: I forgot to mention, the microphone of the LG does work with the iPhone - only the button is useless.


Edited by Ultrazino - 4/26/13 at 4:14am
post #4 of 21

great review as always. thank you. i wonder if you know any higher and universal with the same sounding as the mh1? i guess none of the ba-based iems will have that heavy sub bass, right?

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofastreamer View Post

i wonder if you know any higher and universal with the same sounding as the mh1?

 

Unfortunately, I don't. I think the Yamaha EPH-100 are fairly similar but not an upgrade, despite the build and cable quality.

 

As for multi-BA, I don't like it if they have exaggerated bass. It sounds forced and uneasy, like the IEM is trying too hard. If you want some strong, smooth and organic subbass, you should stick with dynamics. Haven't you tried the FX700 yet? :D It's a little more aggressive, more forward and less warm, though.

post #6 of 21

^^I disagree, the Yamaha are faster and cleaner with better separation and imaging. The treble sounds less natural than on the Sonys, but I think they're a definite upgrade.

post #7 of 21

owned the yamahas before and could not stand their somewhere piering treble. same would happen with fx700 i guess. the ue11pro shares a lot of the sound signature of the sonys, but i do not like handling customs.

post #8 of 21

Piercing treble on the Yamahas?! That goes against the way I and every reviewer I've encountered hear them...

post #9 of 21

i am very sensible to some specific peaks in the upper registers

post #10 of 21

Thanks for the review. I just got some HSS-F400 (Google Nexus 4 iems), am currently burning them in. (So far, some improvement, and not bad for $20 ear buds.)  There are some who seem to feel that there are going to be big specs and quality differences between the F400, and the Quadbeats (F410, F420), but ... the cases look identical, as do the plugs, button/mic, and tips. How would we know if there are functional differences, or if LG is simply incrementing the model #s based on design, packaging, and market? 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Golden Ears has measured both:

 

 

 

Full reviews:

post #12 of 21

My pair of Quadbeat HSS-F420 has arrived from G-Market

 

I listened to it on my S:Flo2/Arrow G4 combo, as well as on my new LG Optimus Vu II Android Phone (running Google Music Player latest "Orange UI" version). Below is my initial impression (after 5 hours of burn-in) compare to the Sony MH-1C:

 

This Quadbeat is nowhere in the same league of the Sony MH-1C. I cannot find a single area, may it be bass, mid-range, treble, instrument separation, or sound stage where the MH-1C is not superior to the Quadbeat.

 

No sure the Quadbeat will improve after more burn-in. But my impression above was base on comparing to a pair of MH-1C straight out of plastic wrap.

 

The only advantages of Quadbeat (if one would agree) over the MH-1C are: (1) Easier to drive, (2) More forward mid-range, (3) Full compatibility to my LG phone

 

For people who are deciding between the Quadbeat and MH-1C, I would say just pick up the MH-1C. While the MH-1C sounds like a high-end IEM, the Quadbeat is not better than the cheapo LG earphones that came with my old LG P970 Android phone.


Edited by borrego - 5/20/13 at 8:39am
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by borrego View Post
[...]

For people who are deciding between the Quadbeat and MH-1C, I would say just pick up the MH-1C. While the MH-1C sounds like a high-end IEM, the Quadbeat is not better than the cheapo LG earphones that came with my old LG P970 Android phone.

 

Can't agree with that. Quadbeat definitely not "cheapo" sounding phones. Sound is pretty decent, and good. Ultrazino review is pretty much precise in terms of sound quality description. But the stock LG tips is complete trash and unusable. With stock "too much soft" silicone tips I can't achieve bass at all, and phones sound thin. Stock LG tips simply do not seal ear channel. In contrast, stock tips of MH1c из very good, and give me perfect seal (maybe too perfect, nearly hermetic, so I can feel pressure changes in ears).

With the Comply Ts-500 I can achieve good seal and good sound, but it costs $20 more, so it's effectively increases price of the "Quadbeat", when MH1c was in perfect usable condition from the beginning. 
---
Soundmagic E10m, Sony MH1c, LG HSS-F410 Quadbeat


Edited by Vinni Sanders - 6/12/13 at 2:20am
post #14 of 21

You found the highs on the UE200 smooth?  Really?  Damn, you must have titanium coated eardrums because I can barely stand those 'phones.

 

I agree the Quadbeats are good, they'd be miles and away better if the stems were longer and included tips weren't incredible pieces of ****.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jekostas View Post

You found the highs on the UE200 smooth?  Really?  Damn, you must have titanium coated eardrums because I can barely stand those 'phones.

 

I agree the Quadbeats are good, they'd be miles and away better if the stems were longer and included tips weren't incredible pieces of ****.

I also found the highs on the UE200 smooth. And I don't have titanium coated eardrums. I got rid of a Sony MDR-EX50LP bacause of annoying sibilance, the Philips 3580 causes fatigue somewhere in the 3-6kHz region and the Thermaltake Isurus was a real torture device. Even some more normal IEM's like JVC HA-FX35, HA-FX67and UE600 can be a bit fatiguing. The UE200 is not. So, our ear/brain is sensitive to different frequencies or the shape and size of our ear canals causes frequency spikes in slightly different frequencies...

 

That said, the UE200 is not my favourite because the lack of bass extension. The sound of MH1C is near perfect. Pity that they don't stay in my ears - damn the cable and the overall ergonomics!

 

I haven't heard the LG's so I didn't vote.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Budget Review: LG QuadBeat (SE) vs MH1 vs UE200