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What should I buy for a warm sounding IEM?

Poll Results: Not feeling up to replying?

 
  • 100% (1)
    4ai
  • 0% (0)
    3ai
1 Total Vote  
post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I splurged on my first pair of IEM w/o researching (SE215), and was pleasantly surprised at how they fit and how little they obtruded the ear.
I'm now looking to upgrade from them to something better, at a price range of $400 (used for ~$300).

Looking around the Heir 4ai stuck me... the wood is damn fine, and I fell in love. It's a strange connection ei?
Digging deeper they hit all the checks, except for bass. I'm not a bass-head, I like natural bass but I like to hear it when it's meant to be heard (ex. chillstep, techno etc). I've been listening to a lot of Radical Face, and Eddie Vedder recently, which in my ears sound better with a warmer sound signature.

Would the 4ai do this? The 3ai as others say has the 'v' shape sound with a warmer signature, I'm just worried they'd lack the clarity. I'm one of those guys who always wants the best & with the 4ai being more expensive my mind drifts to that. In the long run, if I bought a portable amp/dac I could always throw more bass at the 4ai's right?

Of course Im not completely set on the Heir's and only the Heirs, although I have fallen in love. If you have any recommendations on some IEM's let me know... I'm so confussed! Too many! haha

Appreciated!
^ Rob
post #2 of 9

hey im thinking about getting the se 215's how are they? Sorry i cant help you about your dilema but yeah how were they how was the bass and sound clarity? and were they durable? or comfy? thanks

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey there trapking,

No worries, glad I can help!
I was definitely surprised when I tried them at first, and double checked the receipt seeing if they were actually a 100 bucks. The bass is fairly good, a bit tin sounding compared to my MDR-1R although is present. I like the mids/highs, nothing overpowering and doesn't hurt after long periods of time. Comfort is really good if you ask me, but do slip out of place ever so often (of course wont be a perfect fit being non-customs.) I did find the swivelling monitor a tad annoying since I can never tell which side is right or left without looking. Overall definitely recommended for 100 bucks, but you may find you're looking for more after a week or two (like I am! haha).

Let me know if you have any further questions smily_headphones1.gif

^ Rob
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowFalls View Post

Hey there trapking,

No worries, glad I can help!
I was definitely surprised when I tried them at first, and double checked the receipt seeing if they were actually a 100 bucks. The bass is fairly good, a bit tin sounding compared to my MDR-1R although is present. I like the mids/highs, nothing overpowering and doesn't hurt after long periods of time. Comfort is really good if you ask me, but do slip out of place ever so often (of course wont be a perfect fit being non-customs.) I did find the swivelling monitor a tad annoying since I can never tell which side is right or left without looking. Overall definitely recommended for 100 bucks, but you may find you're looking for more after a week or two (like I am! haha).

Let me know if you have any further questions smily_headphones1.gif

^ Rob

yeah im not sure if ill be satisfied with them. My munitio 9mm's just broke and they were around 170 and there are just so many choices and its a bit overwhelming so im not sure if i will be happy in the end so i just want to make the right choice!

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Exactly! Too bad ya can't try 'em on before buying. Those 9mm's look super sick!
Good luck with your search smily_headphones1.gif

^ Rob
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowFalls View Post

Exactly! Too bad ya can't try 'em on before buying. Those 9mm's look super sick!
Good luck with your search smily_headphones1.gif

^ Rob

thanks for the help! and yeah they are really sick.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Anyone have suggestions? Thanks
post #8 of 9

Hope this helps!

 

Quote:
 
Here are my impressions and opinions on both the W4 and Heir 4ai.

The W4R moves on to reach a nearer neutral response with slight emphasis on mid bass hump and well positioned vocals. It has a very balanced sound signature with a tint of warmth. Bass is much tighter with faster decay and extends more linearly than UM3X. However it loses out in quantity. But I find the bass on W4R more enjoyable. Vocals are presented amicably well with both male and female vocals sounding dynamic and energized. The mids are often described as "thick and lush". W4R plays classical music and instruments hands down! The treble extension is brilliantly smooth. Instrument separation is brilliant as well although the UM3X edges it out. The soundstage here is larger and wider than the UM3X placing you approx 4th row of the hall. However I do find a slight veil in the lower mids. Coupled with silver dragon cable, the veil is removed and it pushes the bass to go tighter and deeper. Clarity is brought to another level as well. But it still retains the amazing non fatiguing tuning of the W4R.

The Heir Audio 4ai is the worthy contender here with the W4R. In technicality, it edges out on the W4. Even with the stock cable, it is able to display wide soundstage approx 3rd row of the hall and with amazing instrument separation on par to UM3X. The 4ai portrays the different instruments more to a longitudinal fashion beside the vocalist rather than behind the singer. The bass is nothing short of fantastic. It has the tightest and fastest bass response of all the IEMs listed here. Decay is fast as well. Bass is only called for when it is present in the music. Vocals are placed slightly forward compared to the 4ai. Both male and female vocals are very well positioned and smooth. However it is not as "thick and dynamic" compared to the W4. In terms of classical music, the W4 edges out with it's thicker and lush mids. Treble response in 4ai stretches slightly further than the W4 giving it a notch higher in terms of clarity. Vocals are also more energized. If only the mids are vocals are thicker and as lush as the W4 it would easily be the winner. Cymbals in here do sound slightly unnatural. However, in terms of fast paced music, the 4ai is the apparent winner.

In my opinions, it really depends on your genre of music and personal tastes. The W4R is really musical and stellar for all genres of music. It simply does everything so smoothly especially with classical pieces. However, nothing stands out and you probably will not be wowed.
The Heir 4ai with its clarity, amazing separation and treble extension will set to wow you. However it falls slightly short of the desired timbre with instruments.

At this level, no IEM is perfect and have its own strengths and weaknesses. But I believe you can't go anywhere wrong with either choice! Ultimately I went back to the W4 as it's just so magical and musical! An ever non-fatiguing sound signature!

 

Quote:
 From your post, I would agree that you should look into W4.

The W4 is really an engaging IEM that sports a non fatigue listening and sounds so musical in its tuning. I would say the amount of bass the W4 throws out punches deeper than the GR07. It goes pretty deep and tight. The bass is pretty fast too with a slight decay. It is tuned more towards quality bass rather than quantity which makes it really enjoyable. A slight mid bass hump is also present which gives this IEM leaning more towards the warm signature.
Mids are very well positioned and I can safely say most people will definitely enjoy the mids on the W4. To me, it has been the best mids I've come across on all the IEMs I've heard or owned. Mids on the W4 are very slightly forward positioned which gives vocals a very lush and smooth sound. Both male and female vocals sound full and energized which is really a joy to listen to. Instrument separation is extremely good as well with distinctive placement and layering of instruments. Clarity wise, it's pretty good as well just that I do find a slight veil hindering the clarity in the lower mids.
Treble on the W4 is nothing short if fantastic. It is extremely linear, smooth and non fatiguing! Even pumped up high there's no signs of screeching or painful treble.
The only thing that I find, is the W4 requires a certain volume to come alive. Lower volumes will result in mild bass/sub bass and the vocals does not come across as that dynamic.
Note: I paired the W4 with silver dragon cable.

The Heir Audio 4ai I would agree with Tinyman that they will not fit your bill nicely. Bass response/quantity is lesser than both W4 and GR07 to my ears. However, that does not mean it has a lame bass response. Comparing to SE535Ltd, bass response on the 4ai is still much prominent.
The bass on 4ai punches deep, tight and really fast. It does not have a mid bass hump. Bass only kicks in when the music calls for it. If bass is present in the music, the 4ai portrays it really well with fast thumping bass.
Comparing the mids of the 4ai to W4, I would say both are good but the W4 edges out more with a fuller vocal which is lusher. Vocals on the 4ai may sound abit thin compared to W4. However, clarity on 4ai is better as there's no veil hindering it. Instrument separation edges out on W4 with amazing separation on par with UM3X.
However, I do find the timbre on the 4ai abit unrealistic sounding. Cymbals sounded artificial. Timbre on the W4 sounded natural and good.
Both W4 and 4ai has a pretty wide soundstage about 4th row from the theatre.

I've heard the UE900 too. IMO, it sounds pretty much alike to the W4 but is thinner sounding and bass is not as deep as W4 to me.

Hope this helps! smily_headphones1.gif

 

Quote:
 Here are my early impressions of the ASG-2 with stock cable after 2 weeks of usage.

Rig:ASG-2>Hippo Cricri Amp>Cowon J3 DAP
Genres:Rock, Pop, Trance, Classical, Kpop, Mandopop

Design, Ergonomics & Comfort:This IEMs are indeed a pair of nice gem! For mine, it is a clear frosted version. The IEM looks sturdy with a hard shell. As for the size, I would say it is slightly larger than the W4R by around 15%. Fit is good and I'm able to achieve a good isolation with the stock double flange. Isolation wise the W4R is better with a modded triple flange.

Accessories:The otterbox that comes with the ASG2 is rather large. But it's built like a tank! All the standard accessories are included but a few more selection of tips will do the job nicely.

Bass:I would say this IEM is a bass monster! I'm using it with the bass ports almost near zero (somewhere like 1mm opened). The bass are definitely hard hitting with very nice slam and decay. I would say this IEM emphasizes more on the mid-bass impact rather than sub-bass. Although sub-bass is still present especially in bass heavy tracks. Comparing to W4, to me, the W4 hits deeper and more linear. Quantity wise, ASG2 is the clear winner even with only 1mm port opened. With the bass ports turned halfway open, I could feel the mid bass impact creeping it's way upfront and ahead of mids and vocals. Definitely not my preference thus I always keep it at 1mm open or closed! If the ASG2 can have more sub-bass it would have achieved one of the best lows.

Mids and Vocals:As a long user of the W4, I'm inclined to the amazing mids and vocals that the W4 is able to provide. Listening to the ASG2, it does no frail! Both female and male vocals is ever so slightly forward and mesmerize the ears with its lush and smooth vocals. Sometimes it does feel like the singer is singing right next to your ears! It's really something that I've NEVER came across in the IEMs that I've owned and it's SPECTACULAR! I feel that the ASG2 definitely benefits from burn-in as previously I do experience some "harshness" with the female vocals but has since disappeared after longer hours of usage. The mids are not hindered by the thumping bass and in fact blend in very well. Superb coherency here. Clarity wise it takes the lead from W4 as I do find a slight veil covering the lower mids of W4. Instrument separation is slightly or a touch of a hair behind the W4. This could be probably due to the larger soundstage that the ASG2 possesses. In comparison, I do find that the W4 separates instruments by portraying them in a "layered" manner which means they are positioned behind the vocalist. The ASG2 on the other hand, does it nicely by having the guitarist, keyboard, violins etc at both the sides of the vocalist which is in a linear fashion. However it is really an impressive feat for Westones to be able to "layer" instruments so nicely.

Treble and Timbre:Treble wise I would say that the W4 has better clarity in the upper mids region. But that does not mean the ASG2 is "treble lazy". Treble extension is very good as well. It is able to stretch into high notes and regions nicely although not as effortlessly and smooth as the W4. However, with slight tweak of the EQ, it does solve the issue. I do find that through burn-in, it did improve the treble. Timbre of the ASG2 is fantastic! Instrument sounds really natural. In some tracks, it sounded so real that made me thought it was coming from my surroundings! Honestly was pretty shock by it. Unlike most BA IEMs which puts cymbals snares pretty artificial sounding. Really a hands up for the ASG2 in this area!

Soundstage:Soundstage in this case, the ASG2 is packed with a pretty wide soundstage on par with the TF10. Soundstage is width and depth does well with good headroom. In comparison, the soundstage of the W4 loses out.

In conclusion, in my opinions, the ASG2 is a fantastic IEM in it's price point. It houses a sound signature that is ever so addictive! I would say the ASG2 is an upgrade to the W4 unlike the Heir 4ai, in my opinion is a side-grade to the W4. Kudos to the ASG2!!
post #9 of 9

I would look into the UM3X RC. They're being phased out so they should maybe be cheaper for a while. They have a nice warm sound with plenty of bass and a top end not too unlike the Shures. The UM3X has a non fatiguing high end but it's not rolled off so much like the 215's. The GR07 BE should be a good option. As mentioned above, the W4 is quite good too.

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