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Help me pick the ideal IEM for Metal/Prog!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
So I'm trying to make a final decision based on a shortlist of apparently rockin' IEMs for Metal/Prog listening.

The shortlist looks like this so far, grouped roughly by price range:

~$200

- ER-4P
- KEF M200
- Dunu DN-1000
- TDK BA200
- Yamaha EPH-100

~$600

- PFE-232
- SM64
- Fischer FA-4E XB
- Grado GR10

Now since I can't really try any of these, I need some assistance from you lovely knowledgeable audiophiles!

Two burning questions need answering:
1.) Which is are the topmost IEMs in each bracket?
2.) How much difference is there in going up to the higher bracket? Is it worth 3X the price?

To help give you an idea, here are some representative samplings of what I listen to:

https://soundcloud.com/xvicha/kamelot-simone-simons-epica-the-haunting-join-ge-by-69-new-fans-ge
https://soundcloud.com/officialinsideoutmusic/ayreon-the-theory-of-everything
https://soundcloud.com/nuclearblastrecords/dimmu-borgir-dimmu-borgir
https://soundcloud.com/metalbladerecords/amon-amarth-twilight-of-the
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orBrsvJDKN8

So the ideal IEM will bring out all of the dynamic range and energy of this kind of stuff, for a truly toe-tapping (or headbanging) experience.

Any help is very much appreciated!
Edited by Bohdy - 11/21/13 at 1:18pm
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

Bump

post #3 of 21

Hi,

 

I don't have a lot of experience with IEMs but I think you should also consider Yamaha's EPH-100.

Really warm sounding IEMs with powerful bass. They sound detailed but forgiving at the same time, very good choice for power/symphonic metal.

 

To avoid pointing you in the wrong direction I took my EPH-100 and Fiio E07K and listened to this songs just before writing:

 

Kamelot - Memento Mori
Nightwish - Stargazers
Rhapsody - Wings of Destiny
Therion - Soeur Angelique

 

I think that two good words for describing their sound are 'warm' and 'powerful'. That kind of sound that you can listen to at high volumes without feeling unconfortable.

 

May not be the most detailed IEMs, neither the most neutral ones. But I think they pair well the genre, specially if you enjoy powerful bass.

 

Also metal made, very good isolation and a little bit cheaper than the others.

 

Best Luck!

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Nice one, thanks for the suggestion.

How do you find the comfort and fit on the yamaha? Ive read about some issues with that. Also how is the cable durability and microphonics?

Seems like very good value, but I don't mind spending a bit more for the right IEM.
post #5 of 21

Each pair of EPH-100 comes with 5 different sized pairs of earpads, then you can choose those that fit your ears the best. I found them quite confortable. The cable looks good and seems to be durable. One of my brothers have a pair and he is not carefully at all, sometimes he sleep with his EPH-100 on, or he just take them off and sleep over his IEMs. I've found his EPH-100 on the floor many times but they have survived without any issues (He has them since about a year and a half)

 

I've read that some people had some issues with humidity.
It is not recommended to use IEMs just after having a shower, but this applies to IEMs in general and not only to this in particular.

 

Best Luck!

post #6 of 21
I have a pair of shure se215, hifiman re-400 and tdk ba200. All seem well suited for any rock music, metal or prog. The tdks are especially great because for an iem they have a great sound stage and instrument separation. They lows are well suited for hard hitting tracks, the mids are exceptional at the price point in my experience and the highs are a little rolled off so they don't hit piercing levels. There actually was a write up on them not too long ago.
I know these aren't the ones you mentioned, but I really like any of these for rock.
post #7 of 21
You must buy er4s!
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that rodriquez, seems like a good one. I've put the TDK on my shortlist. How do you find the treble, btw? I've read it's a little recessed. Still detailed enough?

Does anyone else want to weigh in, help me narrow my shortlist? smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 21
I'll have to give them a listen when I get home to get a fresh idea. I would say they are recessed, but not enough that the shimmer from cymbals and 12 string guitars gets lost. Any songs besides the soundcloud links that you would like me to try them on?
post #10 of 21

If you want something with a very good impact on the low end without mucking up the mids and highs, take a look at Zero Audio's Carbo Basso.  Relatively mid-priced, comfortable, and seemingly durable.  

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bb rodriquez View Post

I'll have to give them a listen when I get home to get a fresh idea. I would say they are recessed, but not enough that the shimmer from cymbals and 12 string guitars gets lost. Any songs besides the soundcloud links that you would like me to try them on?

 

Yep, this Ayreon track has some pretty standout highs, if you could give it a listen and let me know what you think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LWHaB38b70

Only youtube quality unfortunately.

post #12 of 21

Ok after listening to the linked songs i can definitely say that the treble is recessed. Now its definitely not a deal breaker, because it is still there enough to get plenty of feeling from cymbals, snares, etc. For my tastes it works really well with metal, because i really want to hear the pound of the drums, bass and guitars. With that said the mids on these headphones are crushing for guitars. It sounds great in my opinion. Very crisp and articulate. You can easily make out the definition of each poewr chord, note or fast running solo. The bass seems to take whatever the mix of the track presents. I noticed on the tracks from Kamelot and Aryeon the bass frequencies were hard hitting and heavy. With Dimmu and Amon Amarth it wasn't quite as heavy. There was more bass punch that doesn't overwhelm the song, it just made me want to bang my head. The Amon Amarth really kicked some *** on the iems. 

 

Hope this helps!

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the impressions rodriques. The TDK sounds like its pretty good indeed.

Anyone else have any thoughts or recommendations?
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

For anyone that's interested, I picked up the Zero Audio's Carbo Basso. Considering how cheap it was, I figured it would at least make a good point for comparison.

 

I've given it a decent listen now, and have some thoughts:

 

First, it's not the ideal IEM I was looking for!

 

Now that's out of the way, it has some notable qualities:

+ Light/Comfortable

+ Good imaging and highs. Some songs really come alive with an engaging soundscape.

+ Good bass quantity.

- Maybe a shade too much quantity over quality, low end detail suffers.

- Mids too recessed for my tastes. Feels like it's a little underwater. Probably good for people not keen on a "bright" sound, but I think let the music free! Metal needs that clarity and energy in the lower mids.
- Amp makes a big difference in terms of detail compared to the phone. Good or bad depending on how comfortable you are with a portable amp.

 

For anyone that's familiar, how does that compare to the Yamaha, which is the next one up price-wise?

 

But I think the next step on my quest will be the DN-1000, as it seems like a decent step up towards what I'm looking for.


Edited by Bohdy - 12/2/13 at 1:47am
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohdy View Post

So I'm trying to make a final decision based on a shortlist of apparently rockin' IEMs for Metal/Prog listening.

The shortlist looks like this so far, grouped roughly by price range:

~$200

- ER-4P
- KEF M200
- Dunu DN-1000
- TDK BA200
- Yamaha EPH-100

~$600

- PFE-232
- SM64
- Fischer FA-4E XB
- Grado GR10

Now since I can't really try any of these, I need some assistance from you lovely knowledgeable audiophiles!

Two burning questions need answering:
1.) Which is are the topmost IEMs in each bracket?
2.) How much difference is there in going up to the higher bracket? Is it worth 3X the price?

To help give you an idea, here are some representative samplings of what I listen to:

https://soundcloud.com/xvicha/kamelot-simone-simons-epica-the-haunting-join-ge-by-69-new-fans-ge
https://soundcloud.com/officialinsideoutmusic/ayreon-the-theory-of-everything
https://soundcloud.com/nuclearblastrecords/dimmu-borgir-dimmu-borgir
https://soundcloud.com/metalbladerecords/amon-amarth-twilight-of-the
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orBrsvJDKN8

So the ideal IEM will bring out all of the dynamic range and energy of this kind of stuff, for a truly toe-tapping (or headbanging) experience.

Any help is very much appreciated!

 

Hi Bohdy!

 

Finally got the Dn-1000 with me and I have listened to your playlists. First and foremost, awesome tracks mate! I loved them all.

 

All I can say is: As a metal fan, hands down I enjoyed all the songs more on the H200. Although the DN-1000 is technically better in most aspects, it's just not the best IEM for heavy metal. The main reason is the delay in bass decay + the boosted sub-bass is too warm for metal to sound "old-school" metal. The DN-1000 will make most metal songs sound like they're played by Disturbed. Not that Disturbed is a bad metal band, but it's just not how most metal tracks should sound like. The bass kicks are just not fast enough for me to enjoy metal bass kicks. Secondly, I don't like the bass guitar to highlight the lower spectrum. I want more bass drum kicks quantity over bass guitar quantity. The DN-1000 has it in reverse: more forward bass guitar over bass drum kicks. Please note that this is my personal preference. If you are the same, which I reckon you are, you'll definitely understand.

 

The H200 has a drier/clearer sounding mids IN METAL because the bass isn't warm enough to affect the presentation in the mids. This is very important to me because I listen closely to guitars when listening to metal. So, if you love your guitar shreds: the H200 is the way to go! And most of all, the bass drum kicks and bass guitar are about the same in quantity depending on how they were recorded/mixed. So altogether, the H200 is the winner for heavy metal in my books. I still have to find an IEM better than the H200 when it comes to metal. The Sony XBA 3 comes in second but not that close to the H200.

 

One thing to consider with the H200, the treble is a bit harsher because of the peak @ 9khz. You have to find the right tips for you to tame it. I found mine and it is now close to my desired presentation.

 

Please refer back to my comparison review between the H200 and DN1000 if you want more details... Hope this helps! 


Edited by d marc0 - 12/4/13 at 3:05pm
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