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Rock-It Sounds R-50M and sibilance?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

I recently decided to invest in a new pair of IEMs for my portable music-listening needs, and after consulting the incredible summary of IEMs on this site, I decided on the R-50. More specifically, I purchased a pair of R-50Ms, because despite the extra $6, a headphone that I could use while talking on the phone provided a fairly tantalizing feature. 

However, I've run into a little bit of an issue that is making me question my decision on the M variant. While the sound on these IEMs is incredible, the one thing that bothers me is the sibilance. On many tracks, particularly a 320kbps mp3 Pendulum album, a certain frequency of sound produces a very loud sibilance. I've read around and the main reasoning behind this is poor mastering/low quality source, so I tested them on some lossless files; while the sibilance was diminished, it was still slightly present.

 

My main concern is: is it possible that Rock-It Sounds lowered the acoustic quality of the R-50M compared to the R-50? The R-50 has some incredible reviews from some very knowledgeable people, so I'd be absolutely content simply knowing that my R-50M is no different acoustically than my R-50, and chalk my concerns down to inexperience with "accurate" audio reproduction.


P.S: An email from a service rep of Rock-It Sounds states: "Checked with the engineer, the acooustic performance will not be affected after adding the mic." I take this personally with a grain of salt considering the honesty policies of most companies.

 

Thanks for your time!
Dimentio

 


Edited by Dimentio - 9/18/13 at 2:53am
post #2 of 10

It's the main problem of TWFK transducers when they aren't enough tuned. And you don't know how a Braninwavz B2 can sound :biggrin: Deal your eartips with Comply Foam, it will be less sibilant ;)

post #3 of 10
Unless the mic cable substantially changed the impedance of the headphones, no.  Changing the tuning on a TWFK isn't a simple matter and it would be a ton of time and effort on Rock-It's part to do so.
 
In what circumstances would this be even remotely likely?
post #4 of 10

I just received my pair of R-50Ms and I haven't noticed and sibilance. But I will listen for it now. I did however change the tips from the stock to the often recommended Etymotic Tri-flange tips much better isolation and sound out of them.

 

Though talking on the phone with that much isolation might be difficult as I have a tendency to yell when I cannot hear myself.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jekostas View Post
 
Unless the mic cable substantially changed the impedance of the headphones, no.  Changing the tuning on a TWFK isn't a simple matter and it would be a ton of time and effort on Rock-It's part to do so.
 
In what circumstances would this be even remotely likely?

 

That's the kind of answer I was looking for. I have no idea how much it takes to modify the sound of earphones, and I'm glad someone does. So I imagine there's no cost-effective way to lower the quality of the sound outputted to make more profit from the microphone variant? Because that'd be the only reason they'd do such a thing; to make up for the addition of a microphone. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerad View Post
 

I just received my pair of R-50Ms and I haven't noticed and sibilance. But I will listen for it now. I did however change the tips from the stock to the often recommended Etymotic Tri-flange tips much better isolation and sound out of them.

 

Though talking on the phone with that much isolation might be difficult as I have a tendency to yell when I cannot hear myself.

 

It was most noticeable on high-frequency notes, like from snare drums. 

I've heard about the Ety tri-flange tips. Could you kindly link me to the best "type" of these to order? A google search provides many different types.
 
Thanks for the replies.
post #6 of 10

I got these guys: http://www.amazon.com/Etymotic-Research-ER38-18-3-Flange-Replacement/dp/B006WT2AD8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379682319&sr=8-1&keywords=Etymotic+Tri-flange

 

They fit perfectly and now my IEM's double as hearing protection! (almost but not really)

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimentio View Post
 

 

That's the kind of answer I was looking for. I have no idea how much it takes to modify the sound of earphones, and I'm glad someone does. So I imagine there's no cost-effective way to lower the quality of the sound outputted to make more profit from the microphone variant? Because that'd be the only reason they'd do such a thing; to make up for the addition of a microphone. 

 

 

 

In this case the cost of the driver is the over-riding factor, and they're generally bought pre-tuned in bulk.  Both versions use the Knowles TWFK, so that hasn't changed.

 
Here's the thing - everyone hears headphones/IEMs slightly differently due to the shape of our ear canals.  Normally it's not a big difference at all, maybe 2-3 decibels at any given range.  However, 2-3 decibels, especially if they fall on the treble peaks of a particular set of IEMs can be the difference between "lively" and "harsh" for some people.  It may just be that the specific tuning that the R-50s uses doesn't agree with you.
 
 
It seems the R-50s have a fairly substantial spike at 10khz.  If you have a good software equalizer, try EQ'ing that frequency down by 3-4 decibels to see if that helps.  Good luck.
post #8 of 10

I have both R-50 and R-50M, and they are near identical sounding to me.

 

Note that R-50 / R-50M does has a brighter treble presentation. So if you come from something smoother sounding, it is only natural that you'll notice more treble presence / sharper notes.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

I have both R-50 and R-50M, and they are near identical sounding to me.

 

Note that R-50 / R-50M does has a brighter treble presentation. So if you come from something smoother sounding, it is only natural that you'll notice more treble presence / sharper notes.

 

Near identical sounding? What is the perceived difference?
 

And yeah, that's probably a big part of it. My Sennheisers have a pretty relaxed sound signature. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimentio View Post
 

 

Near identical sounding? What is the perceived difference?
 

And yeah, that's probably a big part of it. My Sennheisers have a pretty relaxed sound signature. 

 

Well I didn't have time to set up a blind test so I don't want to claim 100%. It is just me being a bit overcautious.

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