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Audio-Technica's New Multidriver IEMs: The ATH-IM Series - Page 7

post #91 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post
 


Indeed I'm not a basshead, but perhaps we have different ways of defining bass. I can appreciate strong bass, but it must be speedy as well, and unfortunately the IM70 didn't quite feel fast. While I may exact fairly high standards for bass speed (think EX1000, 1Plus2 style bass), it's achievable in this price range, like with the JVC FXD80. That is a bassy earphone but with tight, fast, textured bass that hits hard and then harder. Maybe "would not recommend" is a bit strong, but I would hesitate at calling it a bargain.

 

 

We disagree on speed and bargain here, but I've agreed with you on your assessment of other products. It's all good. There was something that didn't totally gel with me when I first heard the IM70, but I heard the potential. It all came together after burn-in. So I'm wondering did you burn it in good (or do you not believe in burn in)? I can't remember if you're for or against the burn-in concept. Also, the IM70 changes a lot in the bass region base on tips. I think the Phonak tones the bass a bit that would be more to your liking (but still more than the IM50 based on your impressions). Nevertheless, I will agree that if the IM50 is that close to sound to the IM70 (sans less bass), it truly sounds like a great bargain too. I would fear it wouldn't have enough bass for  me though. The IM70 just hits my basshead just right. I wouldn't want anymore bass unless I was seeking an all out basshead headphone, and I'm far from desiring that right now.

post #92 of 427

How does the ck90mk2 sound then? I have no experience with them so... some thoughts would be appreciated. I'd like a BA sound flavor and the design of he im series is appealing to me...

post #93 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by nihontoman View Post  How does the ck90mk2 sound then? I have no experience with them so... some thoughts would be appreciated. I'd like a BA sound flavor and the design of he im series is appealing to me...

 

I'd say it sounds decent. Personally, for the same price I'd prefer the BA200, but the CK90PRO MK2 is a decent IEM and I'm sure others would like it a lot. The IM02 continues that tradition.

post #94 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post
 

 

I'd say it sounds decent. Personally, for the same price I'd prefer the BA200, but the CK90PRO MK2 is a decent IEM and I'm sure others would like it a lot. The IM02 continues that tradition.


 thanks for the info :)

post #95 of 427

Been enjoying the IM50 continuously the last few days. It really gives a sense of juice and vitality to a lot of recordings without sounding at all over-enhanced or unnatural. Acoustic or electric, vocal or instrumental, it all works. Definitely a bargain and highly recommended.

post #96 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post
 

 

 

We disagree on speed and bargain here, but I've agreed with you on your assessment of other products. It's all good. There was something that didn't totally gel with me when I first heard the IM70, but I heard the potential. It all came together after burn-in. So I'm wondering did you burn it in good (or do you not believe in burn in)? I can't remember if you're for or against the burn-in concept. Also, the IM70 changes a lot in the bass region base on tips. I think the Phonak tones the bass a bit that would be more to your liking (but still more than the IM50 based on your impressions). Nevertheless, I will agree that if the IM50 is that close to sound to the IM70 (sans less bass), it truly sounds like a great bargain too. I would fear it wouldn't have enough bass for  me though. The IM70 just hits my basshead just right. I wouldn't want anymore bass unless I was seeking an all out basshead headphone, and I'm far from desiring that right now.

 

I think the decay on the bass (IM70) is normal, natural and very similar to many 2.1 setups, with a subwoofer driver size of 8-10". I can't speak for the EX1000, but most certainly the bass is not as "quick" as in common balanced armature setups due to the difference in technology between BA and moving coil, with the former having more difficulty in producing a natural and higher quantity of bass (I believe there have been some incarnations that mix the two to achieve better bass, unless you want to pay more? :D).

 

But the comparison of speed needs to be on equal grounds (i.e. comparing earphones with similar amounts of bass), as the perceived speed is somewhat proportionate to the quantity of bass. Its similar to speakers, two monitors or bookshelves alone will always "appear" to have faster bass compared to a setup with a subwoofer (but in my opinion it is more likely to do with hearing more bass and details that were not able to be revealed by a simpler setup)


Edited by blazer78 - 12/13/13 at 3:47pm
post #97 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazer78 View Post  I think the decay on the bass (IM70) is normal, natural and very similar to many 2.1 setups, with a subwoofer driver size of 8-10". I can't speak for the EX1000, but most certainly the bass is not as "quick" as in common balanced armature setups due to the difference in technology between BA and moving coil, with the former having more difficulty in producing a natural and higher quantity of bass (I believe there have been some incarnations that mix the two to achieve better bass, unless you want to pay more? :D).

 

But the comparison of speed needs to be on equal grounds (i.e. comparing earphones with similar amounts of bass), as the perceived speed is somewhat proportionate to the quantity of bass. Its similar to speakers, two monitors or bookshelves alone will always "appear" to have faster bass compared to a setup with a subwoofer (but in my opinion it is more likely to do with hearing more bass and details that were not able to be revealed by a simpler setup)


The issue here is that, fundamentally, earphones are unable to convincingly replicate speakers because of shifts in room phase that you'd have extreme difficulty in replicating with in-ears.

 

I get the concept of the IM70, I really do, and I'm not here to blast it --- I merely feel the IM50 is good enough, so why spend more when the only thing that has changed is the bass? My initial impressions were exactly what they were: my initial thoughts. Granted, I never look for bass-heavy earphones, but in the context of in-ears, I felt the decay was a bit too long. It didn't "mask" things too much, but it was distracting. Good speaker setups simply don't sound like that. Is the IM70 an attempt to replicate big, decaying bass while being cost effective? Most certainly. However, my mantra has been that if you're using in-ears, don't expect amazing, speaker-like bass unless you're willing to spend, and honestly, the only in-ears that I've heard that comes close to approximating speaker-like bass is the Tralucent 1Plus2, and we all know how much that thing costs.

 

The next time I get a chance, I'll give the IM70 another listen. I'll try to compare it against something similar, like the SE215SPE or Westone ADV.

post #98 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post


The issue here is that, fundamentally, earphones are unable to convincingly replicate speakers because of shifts in room phase that you'd have extreme difficulty in replicating with in-ears.

I get the concept of the IM70, I really do, and I'm not here to blast it --- I merely feel the IM50 is good enough, so why spend more when the only thing that has changed is the bass? My initial impressions were exactly what they were: my initial thoughts. Granted, I never look for bass-heavy earphones, but in the context of in-ears, I felt the decay was a bit too long. It didn't "mask" things too much, but it was distracting. Good speaker setups simply don't sound like that. Is the IM70 an attempt to replicate big, decaying bass while being cost effective? Most certainly. However, my mantra has been that if you're using in-ears, don't expect amazing, speaker-like bass unless you're willing to spend, and honestly, the only in-ears that I've heard that comes close to approximating speaker-like bass is the Tralucent 1Plus2, and we all know how much that thing costs.

The next time I get a chance, I'll give the IM70 another listen. I'll try to compare it against something similar, like the SE215SPE or Westone ADV.


Mmmmmm? Have you heard the KEF M200?
post #99 of 427
Well I haven't heard the IM 50, but for my ears I got a true bargain for what I paid for the IM70. The sound is amazing for the price. I have settled on the Phonak tips that balances the sound even more. It refines the sound even more too.
post #100 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Well I haven't heard the IM 50, but for my ears I got a true bargain for what I paid for the IM70. The sound is amazing for the price. I have settled on the Phonak tips that balances the sound even more. It refines the sound even more too.

beerchug.gif

You and me both, mate. With the exception that I did have a listen with a pair of IM50's that I sent out as a Christmas gift. I found them to be a bit bass light. So it looks like I choose the right headphone for me. Maybe time for you to update that signature of yours biggrin.gif
Edited by Vain III - 12/14/13 at 5:27pm
post #101 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vain III View Post

beerchug.gif

You and me both, mate. With the exception that I did have a listen with a pair of IM50's that I sent out as a Christmas gift. I found them to be a bit bass light. So it looks like I choose the right headphone for me. Maybe time for you to update that signature of yours biggrin.gif

Yeah some more burn in I will update it. And that was my fear. Thanks for confirming the Im50 to be bass light.
post #102 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post
 

Quick Impressions of the new ATH-IM lineup:

 

IM50: The surprise winner! Very balanced across all frequencies, gentle midrange warmth, decent soundstage depth and width --- probably the best "entry-level" ATH in-ear model thus far. I might just get myself a pair! Really!

 

IM70: Too much decay in the bass, thus distracting. Everything else sounds altogether too similar to the IM50. Basically, a bass-boosted IM50. Only comes in red, which accentuates the plastic feel of the lower-end IMs. Would not recommend.

 

IM01: Not bad, has its moments over the IM50, but the IM50 is the better value. Took a look inside, well-made, almost certainly uses the new Knowles (it is not from Sonion or any other company for sure) RAB driver.

 

IM02: It's the CK90PRO MK2 in new clothes.

 

IM03: It's the CK100PRO after it has grown out of its flashy phase. It's a bit less hot-headed and thus is less abrasive (but gives up absolute extension), a little thicker in the bass, but not by much. The CK100PRO will always have a special place in my heart, so the IM03 is a skip for me, but for many, I imagine it's an "improvement" over the CK100PRO. Identical drivers, but most likely increased damper value and slightly modified crossover (just a guess).

 

IM04: Very good. Not your typical ATH sound, honestly, but it's a welcome change. Very solid bass, a few dB north of neutral, but nothing to be worried about, as the bass has good texture and extends low, and midrange clarity isn't sacrificed. Deeper soundstage than the IM03 because of elevated lower midrange presence. Still matches the IM03 in "natural" midrange clarity, transparency, and presence, but doesn't have the harder-edge "etchy" sound of the IM03. Overall, a more mature tuning; a little more stage monitor-like, but overall very nice. A worthy flagship, IMHO. (Again, the CK100PRO has a special place in my heart, so the IM04 doesn't quite displace it as my favorite ATH in-ear, but it's better from a technical and presentational standpoint). From the soundstage presentation and going by the slides displayed in their press conferences, I'm almost certain it uses the Sonion AcuPass drivers with a pair of 3300 to flesh out the detail overall. Has similar timbral traits to the Livezoner41 LZ4 CIEM demo I tried, and that makes sense, because the LZ4 definitely uses the AcuPass/3300 combination, as does the CosmicEars BA4.

 

Like good, calculated businessmen, ATH is catering to an M-shaped society --- the low-end and the highest-end. Both ends are winners, with a mixed bag in the middle. If you were looking for a middle-class, socialist revolution, sorry, better luck next time. This is the age of Abenomics. (These statements actually make little real-world sense; I just wanted to BS stylistically...)

Was deciding between the Parterre and Heaven VI for a new pair of iem's but now you also got me interested in the IM03. I was quite interested in the CK100PRO before but after hearing that they were too revealing and did not sound good with a lot of recordings I decided to skip it. And also because of the fact that they sounded harsh and sibilant in the treble. Are the IM03 that revealing too? Also how are the mids, treble and soundstage?

post #103 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post  Mmmmmm? Have you heard the KEF M200?

 

Nope. The thick barrel scares me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post  Well I haven't heard the IM 50, but for my ears I got a true bargain for what I paid for the IM70. The sound is amazing for the price. I have settled on the Phonak tips that balances the sound even more. It refines the sound even more too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vain III View Post  You and me both, mate. With the exception that I did have a listen with a pair of IM50's that I sent out as a Christmas gift. I found them to be a bit bass light. So it looks like I choose the right headphone for me. Maybe time for you to update that signature of yours biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post  Yeah some more burn in I will update it. And that was my fear. Thanks for confirming the Im50 to be bass light.

 

Well, glad you guys are enjoying the IM70, at least --- finding something that works well for you, personally, is key; I personally find the IM50 to be a good midpoint between bass light and bass heavy; they don't have the black version around where I live for some odd reason, but if they get stock of the black version, I'll probably pick it up to replace my rundown, decrepit RE-262 (okay, not that bad, but in typical Hifiman fashion, the cables are stiffening up). Well, I might go for the EX600/1000, not decided yet.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Music View Post  Was deciding between the Parterre and Heaven VI for a new pair of iem's but now you also got me interested in the IM03. I was quite interested in the CK100PRO before but after hearing that they were too revealing and did not sound good with a lot of recordings I decided to skip it. And also because of the fact that they sounded harsh and sibilant in the treble. Are the IM03 that revealing too? Also how are the mids, treble and soundstage?

 

Hmm. Well, I dunno. I have not heard the HE-VI, and only listened to the Parterre for a short period of time. The Parterre is very good on a technical level, just not my personal cup of tea. The Parterre actually has a similar sound signature to the IM03, but is less harsh on the top end and slightly better extended. The IM03 can no longer be considered "harsh" like the CK100PRO can be, though. If you're looking for a good compromise, I'd actually go for the IM04, which has more present lower mids, better sub-bass extension, and better treble extension as well. It is, on a technical level, on par with the Parterre; the Parterre has the special horn acoustics, which allows Suyama to shape the upper midrange is a nice way, but personally I find the Parterre slightly mid-recessed, and would prefer the more mid-forward signature of the IM04. So basically, I'm saying that if you can get the IM04, get the IM04 --- it is superior to the IM03 in technical performance and less "hollow" sounding because of the more fleshed-out lower mids. However, some people might find the very gentle U-shape of the IM03 more personally appealing.

post #104 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

 

Hmm. Well, I dunno. I have not heard the HE-VI, and only listened to the Parterre for a short period of time. The Parterre is very good on a technical level, just not my personal cup of tea. The Parterre actually has a similar sound signature to the IM03, but is less harsh on the top end and slightly better extended. The IM03 can no longer be considered "harsh" like the CK100PRO can be, though. If you're looking for a good compromise, I'd actually go for the IM04, which has more present lower mids, better sub-bass extension, and better treble extension as well. It is, on a technical level, on par with the Parterre; the Parterre has the special horn acoustics, which allows Suyama to shape the upper midrange is a nice way, but personally I find the Parterre slightly mid-recessed, and would prefer the more mid-forward signature of the IM04. So basically, I'm saying that if you can get the IM04, get the IM04 --- it is superior to the IM03 in technical performance and less "hollow" sounding because of the more fleshed-out lower mids. However, some people might find the very gentle U-shape of the IM03 more personally appealing.

I see. Is the IM04 really bassy though. I don't like a lot of bass. The signature that i'm looking for in my new pair of iem are good clarity, detail, instrument seperation, mid forward with airy vocals (Like sitting in the first row of a concert), big soundstage, neutral bass, treble with some sparkle and good extension but never harsh/sibilant. 

 

Music that I listen to are rock, metal, female vocals, post rock, math rock, shoegaze, punk rock, experimental, jazz, classical, instrumental, pop, r'n'b, and a ittle bit of hip hop and rap. Just to give you some idea of my preferences.

 

EDIT: It's amazing that you stated the IM04 performs technically in the same level as the Parterres which is quite a bit more expensive.


Edited by Love Music - 12/15/13 at 2:08am
post #105 of 427
The IM04s sound interesting but since my visit to Japan this week will be a flying one, I would almost be buying them blind. The IM03s seem like the safer choice, especially since I really like the CK100PROs and they seem similar.
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