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Replacing Heir Audio 3.Ai ?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I recently bought a pair of Heir Audio 3.Ai.  They are aesthetically beautiful, but the sound is just not doing it for me.  For all the hype about the bass, I find it to be underrepresented relative to the treble.  The highs have an ice-pick/piercing quality that is painful on ~60% of mixes.  It especially comes through in intimate, close recording of female vocals — the "S" sounds on the voice or from hi-hat cymbals can be painful.  

 

I do appreciate the clarity from these, but the treble is overdone.  The V feels more like a slight bump to the bass coupled with an extreme treble peak.

 

So what IEMs should I replace them with?  I'm OK with a "fun" signature and would prefer an exaggerated bass presence (should have at least as much as the 3.Ai).  Treble and clarity is important but can't be overpowering.  

 

Budget is ~350, so I'm looking at the Westone offerings at that price.

 

Edit: in hindsight I see a lot of these complaints I had were due to an improper seal.  See last post.


Edited by phantompower - 8/25/13 at 6:22pm
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Bump. What about Sennheiser IE80s?
post #3 of 8
The Westone 4R is an excellent choice.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  Do the 4R have bass that is punchy and powerful?  I've heard they are close to neutral. 

 

Also, is there any difference between the 4 and 4R besides the removeable cable?

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by phantompower View Post

Thanks.  Do the 4R have bass that is punchy and powerful?  I've heard they are close to neutral. 

Also, is there any difference between the 4 and 4R besides the removeable cable?
They are fairly neutral and the bass is punchy, but not the fastest.
Some people say that the 4 is slightly brighter, but I'm not sure.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I just wanted to give an update.  I bought the IE80s.  I'll be returning them.

 

I've grown to appreciate the sound of the 3.Ai, and the IE80s really demonstrated that to me.  The IE80s have a lot of bass, and if you're looking for bass quantity it will outperform the 3.Ai.  But to me, they sounded less exciting because the bass was less articulate.  The lower midrange is veiled, with the upper mids coming through clearly, which imbues the IE80's signature with a "reedy" effect on vocals and synths.  

 

The more time I spent with the IE80s, the more I craved the clarity and crispness of the 3.Ai.

 

The 3.Ai are much more aggressive than the IE80s, so if smoothness is a priority the IE80s will be a lot more palatable.  In my experience, that aggression is what gives the 3.Ai its excitement and "fun."  Occasionally it will be too much.  Some of the more sonically aggressive albums in my collection do come across a bit harsh.  In those instances I dial ~10k Hz down 2 decibels to eliminate sibilance and the "piercing" quality.  This is rare, though, and has become more and more rare as I've spent time with this IEM.

post #7 of 8
You can try using the silicone tips that hold filters. Just stuff with some cotton. Smooths out those highs
post #8 of 8
Hey man, if you like a fun sig and are cool with vents, hence ie80. You should check out the Jvc ha-fx700 and could be found at a bit over $200 used when looking around. They're very fun!
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