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D marc0's Journal: My Head-fi Journey (NEW: T-PEOS Altone 200 Review!) - Page 13

post #181 of 492

Folding the wire back on itself can help: 

 

(from Oscar's review at http://www.soundperfectionreviews.com/2013_12_01_archive.html). I fold it back less than that, but the principle is very useful.

post #182 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by kahaluu View Post
 


+1. I had the same problem.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djvkool View Post
 

 

Well done - I can't even fit R3 to my ear, the memory wire is so fricken long that either hurts my ear, and keep hitting my shoulder and dislodge the IEM from my ear, no matter what I try, I can never fit them in

 



Exactly what happened to me. Half the reason I sent my unit to d marc0 hoping he'd have better luck. They almost did my head in, I see no need for such long cumbersome memory wire. The housing is already a rather unique design that may exhibit problems, then to add two dangling dread lock memory wires on the end iced the cake for me. It's a shame because when they did seal they sounded rather nice. The aluminum housing gives them a nice timbre or essence to the sound. 


Edited by H20Fidelity - 2/4/14 at 11:49pm
post #183 of 492
Thread Starter 
13. Dual Dynamic Skirmish: KEF M200 vs Brainwavz R3 Comparison
 

 

This was originally meant for a Dual Dynamic Trilogy comparison with the HAVI B3 in the line-up... unfortunately the B3 I got was not the original PRO version. Instead, I got the enhanced version that is too bassy, muddy, and lacked a bit of sparkle to sound right. It is not worthy of being compared to the likes of KEF's M200 and Brainwavz' R3, both awesome sounding dual dynamics.

 

The M200 and R3 both have a notorious reputation of potentially ruining ones experience because of fit issues. The M200 with its enormous nozzle plus fiddly ear guides are just as much of a hassle as the R3's unorthodox shape and extremely long ear guides.Those of you who have read my past reviews know that I don't really tackle aesthetics and fit. My reasons being: 1) Issues arising from those factors are fully discussed in dedicated appreciation threads and 2) I believe such issues although problematic for a number of users may not actually be a problem for some. As for these dual dynamic IEMs, they both were a bit troublesome for me personally; fortunately I was able to overcome my issues with them after a few adjustments here and there.

 

Now that the "fit issue" that is worth mentioning is out of the way, let's find out how these dual dynamics sound!

 

SETUP:   Colorfly C3 > JDS Labs C5

               KEF M200 + Dunu DN-1000 translucent black stock tips (deep insertion)

               Brainwavz R3 + large grey stock tips (deep insertion)

               Test tracks are all in 16bit/44Khz FLAC format.

 

NOTE: 

The KEF M200's sound performance can vary significantly depending on insertion depth and the type of tips used. I find deep insertion + wide bore tips allow better extension and resolution on both low and high ends of the sound frequency.

 

 

 

 

BASS

This is where the major difference between the two dual dynamics lie. The M200 is significantly more boosted at the low end compared to the R3. To my ears, the latter is much closer to a neutral bass presentation with just a little bit of boost and a bit of roll-off in the sub bass; the  M200 on the other hand sounds much closer to the level of bass of the Sony MH1/c and extends better into the sub bass region. The M200 is definitely a lot warmer and has more impact than the R3. To give you a better picture of the difference in bass levels: I had to activate the bass boost on JDS labs C5 to get the same approximate bass level of the M200 from the R3. With the bass boost on, the R3's bass extends further plus the impact is just as good as the M200. That being said, one isn't necessarily better than the other because they both perform really well in this department. The M200 bass may sometimes bleed into the mids although this is only apparent when comparing the M200 closely to brighter IEMs such as the R3. Otherwise, listening to the M200 on its own I really can't detect any bass bleed into the mids not unless the song is mastered with exaggerated bass forwardness.

 

Aside from the bass levels, the feel is also quite different between them. The M200 extracts a lot more air out of those humongous nozzles vs the R3's subdued air. I'm guessing this is because of the unique configuration of the R3 where both drivers are facing each other vertically resulting to a more confined air pressure before leaking out of the nozzles. Very different from the more orthodox configuration of the M200 where in the drivers are faced directly towards your eardrums. NOTE: I'm only talking about the amount of air coming out of the nozzles and how they feel as they reach your inner ear.

 

Layering is magnificent on both IEMs with the M200 excelling a bit more in terms of resolution. Bass lines are more articulate when listening to the M200 but the R3 is not far behind as long as the bass boost is activated on the JDS labs C5. Without the bass boost, the R3 still sounds clean, punchy, and detailed. Speed and decay is a bit better on the R3 although the M200 is really close. You'll have to listen very closely to hear the minute differences. Timbre is equally excellent and I must say that both dual dynamics are amongst the best sounding bass timbre I've heard in an IEM.

 

VERDICT:
Based on technical ability, the M200 is a bit better but the R3 is really not far behind especially when paired with a decent amp like the JDS Labs C5 and the bass boost switched on. Personally, I like the versatility of the R3... if I need more bass presence because the song requires it, the bass boost switch is just a flick away. The M200 on the other hand... if I feel there's too much bass, there's not much I can do but fiddle with the EQ settings which I really dislike. Most bass reducers are not done right, so one has to painstakingly create his own EQ settings.

 

 

 

 

MIDS

The tuning becomes a lot more similar between these dual dynamics with the M200 just sounding a little bit recessed in the lower mids and a little bit forward in the upper mids. When I say little, it is really small that it's unnoticeable upon casual listening. The R3 is more neutral in the lower mids with a little more forward upper mids. Pretty similar to the M200 but the R3's vocals and guitars are just a little bit more upfront when compared. Nevertheless, both IEMs are rich/full sounding, quite detailed, with above average clarity. The most apparent difference is that the R3 can sound like it has more clarity when compared closely because of the warmer signature of the KEF. The M200 can sometimes sound a little bit grainy which adds some character to vocals like they are coming from standalone speakers. I just love how vocals are produced by these dual dynamics... so lush and mesmerising. In the upper mids, the R3 is bit more revealing giving it the upper hand when playing tracks that present vocals as the main focus. Guitar crunches are also a little bit more edgy and clearer but the M200 is not far behind. TIMBRE is again splendid on both IEMs! I'm quite overwhelmed by how real the vocals, guitars, and piano sound on these dual dynamics. 

 

VERDICT:
Despite how similar these dual dynamics are in presenting the mids signature wise, I ended up preferring the R3. Not  because of the more forward upper mids but it's more on the overall presentation which will be further explained in the IMAGING/SEPARATION section below.

 

 

 


HIGHS

The M200 has really smooth treble with good detail/resolution. Sibilance is never an issue unless you're listening to a badly mastered track. The only downside I can nit pick is that it doesn't sound as natural as the Dunu DN-1000. Cymbals, hi-hats, and percussion instruments may sound a little bit thin and lacking a bit of reverb to make them ring! Sometimes, you really have to listen closely to hear the hi-hat because it seems to get drowned in the background by the other instruments. Fortunately, the M200 extends really well in the upper frequency... you'll just have to listen very closely to hear the micro details that lie in the background.

 

The R3 on the other hand is quite impressive in the treble region. Everything sounds so natural and airy with a lot of sparkle, sizzle and ringing. Micro-detail is as good as the Astrotec AX-60 and I commend it for staying within the limits to not sound sibilant. Very transparent, well extended, and excellent in revealing artefacts in crappy/compressed recordings. There are a few peaks here and there but are well controlled and just add definition to the instruments in the treble region. I really love how awesome the cymbals and hi-hat sound on the R3. Probably the best I've heard from a dynamic IEM!

 

VERDICT:
Hands down, the R3 excels in the treble region not just against the M200 but in all other dynamic IEMs I've heard. The R3 can even hold its own against hybrids like the T-PEOS H200, Dunu DN-1000 and Astrotec AX-60 only losing in overall refinement.

 

 

 

 

IMAGING/SEPARATION

Although both M200 and R3 are equally great in detail retrieval, what sets them apart is how one excels in placing vocals and instruments in the right areas and separating them effectively to promote cohesiveness. The M200 has a slight problem in imaging/placement. Most of the time its focus is right in the middle of the stage where it combines vocals, guitars, and piano/keyboard in the same area. As a result, they occasionally sound like fighting for the position/area giving the impression of confusion to the listener. The R3 on the other hand, does a great job at separating the vocals and instruments placing them in areas within the soundstage where they can be heard distinctly. The presentation is well organised giving you the illusion of a real stage.

 

 

SOUNDSTAGE

The M200's soundstage width is decently good to my ears. It has great height but lacks the depth for it to sound more spacious. The R3 is better in width and sounds almost as wide as the Dunu DN-1000. Depth is excellent with acceptable height. Overall, I prefer the more spacious presentation of the R3.

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION:

 

To be honest, I am quite surprised with the outcome of this comparison. I went in thinking that there's no way the Braiwavz R3 can best the awesome sounding KEF M200. Initially I thought that the M200 is the best sounding dynamic IEM I've ever heard but after listening to the R3, the latter didn't only best the M200 but also revealed its flaws that I didn't really discover before. With the R3 priced a lot cheaper than the M200, all I can say is: "Good on you, Brainwavz!"

 

Special thanks to @H20Fidelity and MP4Nation for making this review happen!


Edited by d marc0 - 2/6/14 at 3:48am
post #184 of 492

Excellent d marc0! Who woulda thought the R3's would have done so well!?

post #185 of 492
Quote:
 The R3 on the other hand is quite impressive in the treble region. Everything sounds so natural and airy with a lot of sparkle, sizzle and ringing. Micro-detail is as good as the Astrotec AX-60 and I commend it for staying within the limits to not sound sibilant. Very transparent, well extended, and excellent in revealing artefacts in crappy/compressed recordings. There are a few peaks here and there but is controlled and just adds definition to the instruments in the treble region. I really love how awesome the cymbals and hi-hat sound in the R3. Probably the best I've heard from a dynamic IEM!

Oh man if you love realistic micro details like that in the R3 you have got to listen to those Martin Logan 90s cans. The most realistic rendition of instruments i have heard to date, was LITERALLY mesmerized by all the nuances of all the micro details from even albums i have heard tons of times.

 

Will post impressions of them soon, cuz don't wanna go full_retard on their hype train too early. ;)

 

Great review as always meng!!! But BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I can't believe those idiot stopped making those HAVI B3 Pros!!! :mad:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If they even exist that is. hoho :tongue:
post #186 of 492
You're mean marc, now I feel like selling my m200s...
 
Why have you forsaken me buddy?! :devil_face:
 
oh well, it's cool. I am happy to read that the R3s is not that behind in SQ to the m200s! Good review man! 

 

I agree with sfw. If you want awesome detailing in your music, get the martins. It does make instruments sound pretty realistic. Unfortunately, I believe that string instruments sound a bit thin though. That's why it doesn't beat the heck out of the re700s. The vocals are tantalizing on both though, and the bass is awesome on both. The highs are better on the re700s, until I get that cable that is.


Edited by vlenbo - 2/5/14 at 10:19pm
post #187 of 492
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys! I really did not expect this... I am a huge fan of the KEF M200 and it is indeed a shocker.

 

Those Martins and RE700s are indeed interesting. I have read about them but unfortunately all I can do is drool...

We're currently in the process of building a house, so extra funds are kinda limited nowadays - Wifey is an old school accountant so I can't get away easily. hehehe

post #188 of 492

Great review as usual mate, good to know that R3 is actually good - I wish I can just cut the memory wire and get on with it :bigsmile_face:

post #189 of 492
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by djvkool View Post
 

Great review as usual mate, good to know that R3 is actually good - I wish I can just cut the memory wire and get on with it :bigsmile_face:

 

Thank you! You're not alone my friend :beerchug:

 

Really looking forward to the retuned UM 3X! I'm sure its not going to disappoint.

post #190 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by d marc0 View Post
 

 

Thank you! You're not alone my friend :beerchug:

 

Really looking forward to the retuned UM 3X! I'm sure its not going to disappoint.

 

Yep, at the moment it's on its way back to me from Lin

 

Sorry for the delay, it's just that after UM confirmed that they have retuned to address the peaks and sibilance, I had to get mine exchanged as well, I am hoping that the retuning won't affect any other frequencies, as everything else pretty much close to perfection

post #191 of 492
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by djvkool View Post
 

 

Yep, at the moment it's on its way back to me from Lin

 

Sorry for the delay, it's just that after UM confirmed that they have retuned to address the peaks and sibilance, I had to get mine exchanged as well, I am hoping that the retuning won't affect any other frequencies, as everything else pretty much close to perfection

 

No, not a problem at all mate. Glad that you were able to get your pair exchanged.

post #192 of 492

Dear mister d marc0, I took the liberty of subscribing to your journey.

 

Also, because of your enthusiasm, I am in the process of obtaining some T-PEOS H-200 for my metal needs. 

post #193 of 492
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wnuwk Siphon View Post

Dear mister d marc0, I took the liberty of subscribing to your journey.

Also, because of your enthusiasm, I am in the process of obtaining some T-PEOS H-200 for my metal needs. 

Thank you for the support!

I hope you get to order it. The last headfier I spoke to who was also keen said they are scarce.

Also, you may want to hold a bit because the h300 is releasing soon. http://www.head-fi.org/t/704283/t-peos-announce-a-releasing-and-pre-selling-of-h-300/15#post_10254968
Edited by d marc0 - 2/12/14 at 7:45am
post #194 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by d marc0 View Post


Thank you for the support!

I hope you get to order it. The last headfier I spoke to who was also keen said they are scarce.

Also, you may want to hold a bit because the h300 is releasing soon. http://www.head-fi.org/t/704283/t-peos-announce-a-releasing-and-pre-selling-of-h-300/15#post_10254968

 

Thank you for sharing your journey (...and not just the destination :). May I ask what kinds of metal you listen to?

 

The H-200 are on their way right now. Bought them from another head-fi member. I'm hoping they'll pair well with my shiny new ZX1. :)

post #195 of 492

Your Gojira will sound excellent on them.

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