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Why Are Asian IEM Designers Trebleheads?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Is it just my imagination or are all (most all) of the IEM's designed in Japan and most other parts of Asia very treble heavy.  Conversely, the majority of IEM's designed in USA and Europe are warmer and bassier.

 

Odd.....

post #2 of 24

Can't be sure, but from observation I'd have to say it's because of the predominant types of music.

 

Asian countries typically is very poppy with female vocals. Even the male asian singers have very feminine voices. Whereas for the US/UK it tends to lean towards a club/house sound with heavy bass and such with rap/dubstep/dance/hip-hop.

 

On a side note, Steven Guo from unique melody has said that the Merlins (dynamic driver and bass heavy) has much higher sales in the US than anywhere else whereas the other models are much more popular in Asia.


Edited by Pnguyen1028 - 4/25/13 at 6:53pm
post #3 of 24

I don't consider Heir's phones treble oriented.


Edited by DMinor - 4/25/13 at 7:20pm
post #4 of 24
I'm not sure. As a Korean who has Hidition NT6, it is not treble-heavy at all. In fact, it is a little bit V-shaped in terms of frequency response compensated with DFE, making the mids a bit recessed, but not much.

Also, Heir Audio is, from what I've seen, somewhat non-diffuse field flat, and many of JH and UE are also the same, making them mid-recessed and somewhat warm considering diffuse field equalization.

I also ordered UM Merlin, but they're yet to arrive. So I can't be so sure about them. Also many of japanese companies are not something I know. However I can definitly say Hidition-the korean CIEM maker- is pretty flat with DFE.

Of course there's majority's preference, but well it's very well spoken by the man above me.

EDIT: whoops, read the title wrong. I thought it was zbout CIEM for some reason.
I'm not really sure about universal ones. Even though I live in Korea, the ones that are made with thoughts are generally by Sony. We use a lot of western headphones such as Sennheiser, Beyer, and even Monster.
Edited by Marcus Jang - 4/25/13 at 7:22pm
post #5 of 24

Because we're just that abrasive of a race wink.gif

 

It could be physical. Perhaps we are pathologically less sensitive to upper registers. I wouldn't know the first thing from that so just meaningless speculation.

 

It could be the community and the industry perception of it. I've been on other asian audio forums long enough to know how...disparate our opinions can be. The heavy "romantic" subjectivists can be HEAVILY subjective. We could scrap washing machines with a filing nail for over an hour and call it highly melodic - just look at Merzbow. Of course I can't speak on behalf of the whole community so take with just as much a grain of salt as with my speculation.

 

It could be the rapid pace growth of new tech. CNT, Tornado EQ, biocelluose, the list goes on...perhaps they've been trying new things out so fast that they have little time to tune them in a more watered down matter.

 

It could be what the major companies perceive to be a linear response, designer bias in terms of compensation, etc.

 

Again all heavily disgusting speculation on my part.

post #6 of 24

I've never heard the Japanese made FitEar TG!334, but of all the descriptions on this forum of how it sounds, it would appear to be the opposite of treble heavy.

post #7 of 24
I think the only treble happy phones I have heard was the B2 (DBA-2) and other compliments that use that driver setup and tuning. It's the only one though. Maybe I just haven't had enough exposure to Asian headphones.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Is it just my imagination or are all (most all) of the IEM's designed in Japan and most other parts of Asia very treble heavy.  Conversely, the majority of IEM's designed in USA and Europe are warmer and bassier.

 

Odd.....

 

Wow, generalizing much? There are plenty of "Asian" audio products that are anything but treble-happy.

 

The reason why there's such a thought is that the two big Asian companies, Sony and Audio-Technica, have a specific upper-midrange tilt, leading them to sound "bright", but they're not necessarily treble-happy. A bright tonality != Lots of treble. Conversely, Ultrasone is European and they loooove the trebles.

 

Also, 98% or so of all IEMs are designed by Asian ODM/OEM plants, and I don't mean just the molds and the transducers --- the signatures themselves are rarely ever modified much from the original. Skullcandy used to just slap a logo on those products. They now have a Japanese guy who's the head of acoustic design. The CX300 was a Japanese Fostex ODM design that had very little to do with Sennheiser.

 

If you're referring specifically to CIEM companies, it's that all of the non-Chinese CIEM companies started off designing earpieces for musicians. Most musicians want a warm sound that enables them to wear their earphones for long periods. It's the recent trend of "audiophile" CIEMs from companies like UM that have sent the trend toward brightness.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pnguyen1028 View Post  On a side note, Steven Guo from unique melody has said that the Merlins (dynamic driver and bass heavy) has much higher sales in the US than anywhere else whereas the other models are much more popular in Asia.

 

Technically, UM isn't very popular in its native China at all. People say its sound is too thin and not bassy enough, and UM is generally considered second rate; people with the ability to afford customs in China will go for UE and JH. UM got its big break on head-fi, no joke. The only reason why other people from Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, or elsewhere get UM products is that they read about all the praise on head-fi.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post

I've never heard the Japanese made FitEar TG!334, but of all the descriptions on this forum of how it sounds, it would appear to be the opposite of treble heavy.

 

Good example. Actually, all of FitEar's products are pretty much non-treble heavy.


Edited by tomscy2000 - 4/25/13 at 11:22pm
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

Technically, UM isn't very popular in its native China at all. People say its sound is too thin and not bassy enough, and UM is generally considered second rate; people with the ability to afford customs in China will go for UE and JH. UM got its big break on head-fi, no joke. The only reason why other people from Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, or elsewhere get UM products is that they read about all the praise on head-fi.

The miracles come off better than the JH13s in most comparisons. 

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post  The miracles come off better than the JH13s in most comparisons. 

 

On here, or on something like ERJI? Also, it's not about whether one's better or not, most just don't bother with UM in China.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

On here, or on something like ERJI? Also, it's not about whether one's better or not, most just don't bother with UM in China.

True, but being in Australia and UM has an office close to where I live so I went for them over JH. 

post #12 of 24

I'm not saying that UM is not a good company; I'm not slamming them. I'm just describing the fact that they're not popular in China for the aforementioned reasons.

 

UM can be thought of as the first company that really made custom products catered to the audiophile over the musician. However, they didn't gain recognition until people on head-fi thrust them in the limelight.

post #13 of 24

I get what you mean. TBH, I only heard of them after I saw project_86's review. 

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

Wow, generalizing much? There are plenty of "Asian" audio products that are anything but treble-happy.

 

The reason why there's such a thought is that the two big Asian companies, Sony and Audio-Technica, have a specific upper-midrange tilt, leading them to sound "bright", but they're not necessarily treble-happy. A bright tonality != Lots of treble. Conversely, Ultrasone is European and they loooove the trebles.

 

Also, 98% or so of all IEMs are designed by Asian ODM/OEM plants, and I don't mean just the molds and the transducers --- the signatures themselves are rarely ever modified much from the original. Skullcandy used to just slap a logo on those products. They now have a Japanese guy who's the head of acoustic design. The CX300 was a Japanese Fostex ODM design that had very little to do with Sennheiser.

 

If you're referring specifically to CIEM companies, it's that all of the non-Chinese CIEM companies started off designing earpieces for musicians. Most musicians want a warm sound that enables them to wear their earphones for long periods. It's the recent trend of "audiophile" CIEMs from companies like UM that have sent the trend toward brightness.

 

 

Technically, UM isn't very popular in its native China at all. People say its sound is too thin and not bassy enough, and UM is generally considered second rate; people with the ability to afford customs in China will go for UE and JH. UM got its big break on head-fi, no joke. The only reason why other people from Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, or elsewhere get UM products is that they read about all the praise on head-fi.

 

 

Good example. Actually, all of FitEar's products are pretty much non-treble heavy.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

Wow, generalizing much? There are plenty of "Asian" audio products that are anything but treble-happy.

 

The reason why there's such a thought is that the two big Asian companies, Sony and Audio-Technica, have a specific upper-midrange tilt, leading them to sound "bright", but they're not necessarily treble-happy. A bright tonality != Lots of treble. Conversely, Ultrasone is European and they loooove the trebles.

 

Also, 98% or so of all IEMs are designed by Asian ODM/OEM plants, and I don't mean just the molds and the transducers --- the signatures themselves are rarely ever modified much from the original. Skullcandy used to just slap a logo on those products. They now have a Japanese guy who's the head of acoustic design. The CX300 was a Japanese Fostex ODM design that had very little to do with Sennheiser.

 

If you're referring specifically to CIEM companies, it's that all of the non-Chinese CIEM companies started off designing earpieces for musicians. Most musicians want a warm sound that enables them to wear their earphones for long periods. It's the recent trend of "audiophile" CIEMs from companies like UM that have sent the trend toward brightness.

 

 

Technically, UM isn't very popular in its native China at all. People say its sound is too thin and not bassy enough, and UM is generally considered second rate; people with the ability to afford customs in China will go for UE and JH. UM got its big break on head-fi, no joke. The only reason why other people from Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, or elsewhere get UM products is that they read about all the praise on head-fi.

 

 

Good example. Actually, all of FitEar's products are pretty much non-treble heavy.

 

Yes, I am generalizing?  So what?   Yes, Sony and Audio Technica...2 biggest companies, exactly.  Very brite = treble happy, exactly.  Thanks for confirming my point.  Only talking universals.

 

Post #2 Pnguyen1028 has a great explanation and that makes sense.

 

Please point me to the stat showing 98% of all IEM's are designed in Asia stat.  Exaggerate much??

 

Very interesting considering 0% of all Shure, Westone and Etymotic IEM's are designed in Asia. 

post #15 of 24

From an American perspective, it's hard to pigeon-hole a company as large/diverse as Sony. I still have a working Walkman (the cassette kind from the 1980s—the type of device that made the name) and it has Mega-Bass as a feature. I can tell you, it is not treble oriented. In the 90s, Sony got into sub-bass speakers with the Xtreme line and they marketed bass a lot (again, just an American perspective). My Onkyo system is rather middle-of-the-road and not what I would call particularly trebly.

 

Perhaps I'm confused by the terms, but bright and treble heavy aren't interchangeable to me. I think the SE535 is as bright as my old Sennheiser PX100, but the PX100 is more forward in the cymbal region (and likely more pleasing to “treble heads”--if there is such a thing). I was about to post something about the Ultrasone IQ and treble, but I'll pass on that for now......

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