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Upgrade from TF-10?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm after some recommendations for a new IEM going from UE TF-10.
Now I know everybody loves these phones but I think some things can be improved upon:

1. The fit. These things are sometimes a struggle to keep them in my ears while walking etc.

2. The sound. Be aware that I listen to metal, so my requirements are different to most! Out of the box, I was quite unhappy with the midrange, it was way too thick and the music felt mired in it. After some careful EQ to reduce the midrange however, I was quite happy with them. They do have some very good qualities, but I think I am after something a bit clearer and more impact full. I find these to subtle and smooth, but too much so sometimes.

So to give a bit of perspective, I have a pair of Grado cans, and I love the sound. It's almost perfect for what I listen to.
I also have some Koss KCS75 which are similarly nice, if less refined than the Grado. Hopefully tells you what I'm looking for. I can run these flat, whereas with most other headphones my EQ graph usually looks like a smiley face!

They other thing I should mention is that I am done paying good money for iems with non replaceable cables, so this is a priority!

Also my budget is flexible.

Thanks very much for any suggestions!
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
Anyone? Unfortunately I don't have a lot of access to IEMs to try, so I would really appreciate an expert opinion.
post #3 of 19

um3x? kinda sounds like something you would like if you listen to metal 

post #4 of 19

Having been a log-time Triple-Fi 10 user I have a few thoughts, but unfortunately as I don't really have any experience with any other IEMs I can't offer any suggestions.

 

But I did want to mention a couple of things.  Firstly on the comfort issue.  I went through a period where I didn't think I was going to be able to live with my TF-10's despite really liking their sound.

I was using the silicone tips at the time. After moving over to the Comply's I realized these were definitely keepers (I'm still kicking myself for selling the second pair I bought during the Amazon sale a while back).

So, if you haven't tried the Comply's definitely do so.

 

Regarding the sound. The TF10 is regarded as being a pretty "fun" sounding IEM to begin with, meaning that it tends to accentuate the upper and lower frequencies (although the Comply tips will attenuate some of the treble energy), much like the EQing you described.  Point being: it may be quite a challenge finding an IEM that has even more of a "fun" sound.   

 

Now that brings me to your comments on the midrange characteristics.  Only you know what you hear and what you like, so I'm not going to try to offer anything more than a suggestion in that regard.  And that suggestion is to consider your source.   Once, just for giggles, I plugged my TF10's into my Little Dot MKIVse which is sourced from my Dennon DVD-2900, which is well regarded as a CD music source in it's price range (about $1000 back when it was a new product).  I was floored.  these IEMs are a different beast altogether when driven by a proper amp with a high quality source signal.    So, it may be worth your time to look into a portable DAC/amp combo. 

       I personally am very easy to please with regards to my music listening.  Which is why when I find something I like, I stick with it for a long time.   I haven't bought a audio component in a couple of years.  But I remember how bad-ass my TF10's sounded on my home rig and for better or worse, I plan to buy the new Fiio e18 when it becomes available and see if it doesn't take my portable listening enjoyment up a few notches.  Right now I'm running straight out of my Galaxy S4 and it sounds fine, but I'm willing to take a chance that a DAC/amp will elevate that "fine" to something more.

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohdy View Post

Hi, I'm after some recommendations for a new IEM going from UE TF-10.
Now I know everybody loves these phones but I think some things can be improved upon:

1. The fit. These things are sometimes a struggle to keep them in my ears while walking etc.

2. The sound. Be aware that I listen to metal, so my requirements are different to most! Out of the box, I was quite unhappy with the midrange, it was way too thick and the music felt mired in it. After some careful EQ to reduce the midrange however, I was quite happy with them. They do have some very good qualities, but I think I am after something a bit clearer and more impact full. I find these to subtle and smooth, but too much so sometimes.

So to give a bit of perspective, I have a pair of Grado cans, and I love the sound. It's almost perfect for what I listen to.
I also have some Koss KCS75 which are similarly nice, if less refined than the Grado. Hopefully tells you what I'm looking for. I can run these flat, whereas with most other headphones my EQ graph usually looks like a smiley face!

They other thing I should mention is that I am done paying good money for iems with non replaceable cables, so this is a priority!

Also my budget is flexible.

Thanks very much for any suggestions!

 

Why not the Grado GR10?  Non replaceable cables but who cares?  They have a warranty and are indestructible.  If GR10 had a fuller slammin sound, my universal search would be done.  It's musicality, airiness and midrange is unmatched in it's price range. 


Edited by Spyro - 11/6/13 at 3:18pm
post #6 of 19

I think you'd only have a true upgrade of the TF10 if you went custom, any other top tier iem is just going to be a sidegrade.  UM3x has more technical abilities than the TF10, but it can be a bit too clinical and boring sounding especially with metal.

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimChee View Post

I think you'd only have a true upgrade of the TF10 if you went custom, any other top tier iem is just going to be a sidegrade.  UM3x has more technical abilities than the TF10, but it can be a bit too clinical and boring sounding especially with metal.

Haven't heard the tf10 but I've heard many comparable iems and there are certainly non custom upgrades.
post #8 of 19

IE800

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for their suggestions so far. Can some of you also please elaborate on how specifically your picks compare to the TF10?

One thing that is a big factor in headphones for metal, is that production quality can often be far from optimal, with the meaty goodness of the tracks being sandwiched somewhere in the mid-low range with important peaks in either direction. So while many "fun" headphones emphasise the wrong things and don't have the detail to bring out this golden range, overly analytical and spacious headphones leave it feeling lonely and flat. I mention Grados because they seem to have this elusive balance down quite well.

Also the reason I'm making a big deal over a replaceable cables is because every single set of portables I've had have died a premature death due to the cable crapping out, and to be honest I'm fed up with having to constantly patch the cables. Particularly if I'm looking at spending something like $600.
So unless they come with a five year warranty and a local distributor, I would be hesitant spending the cash.
post #10 of 19
I suggest you use the search feature and look for our T-Peos H -200 Hybrid thread, most who updated sold their TF10, H -200 has detachable cables and does metal and rock genres well, it's actually rather versatile, but keep in mind the housing size, some have had fit issues.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
The H-200 does sound interesting. How does it compare to the GR10 also mentioned in this thread?
Are there any other promising candidates?

I just want to make sure that I've considered every possibility before making a final decision.
post #12 of 19

You are like me from one year ago! :eek:

I also mainly listen to Metal (and also Jazz, Classic) and I asked myself the same question when my beloved TF10 broke.
What would be a good upgrade?

After a lot of research I ended up with the Earsonics SM64 and totaly made the right decision (IMO).
These thing are actually more mid forward compared to the V-shaped sound of the TF10 and I have to say that Metal/Rock really benefits a lot from great (and forward) mids.
 

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
So has anyone had the chance to compare the h-200 and the sm64 on rock and metal?

The price difference is significant, so I'm trying to better understand whether its worth it.
post #14 of 19

Etymotic ER-4P/S? Best mids I have heard.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
So now that I have a few IEMs on my shortlist, can anyone help me with choosing between them?

On the board:
H-200
ER-4P

SM64
H10

Decisions decisions!
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