Demo Playlist after 40 hours of burn in time :
Ellie Goulding - Lights
Clutch - Electric Worry
Corduroy - Don't Wait For Mondays
4 Non Blondes - What's Up?
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - Summertime
Eminem - Monster
Metallica - Fade To Black
Slayer - Chemical Warfare
Dimmu Borgir - Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
All That Remains - Two Weeks
Tool - Intolerance
OM Audio InEarPeace with inline remote and mic by OM AUDIO
MSRP : $149.00
SPECIFICATIONS: Type Hybrid|Driver One (highs/mids) Balanced Armature|Driver Two (bass) Coiled Bass Driver |Driver Diameter 10mm|Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz|Sensitivity101dB / 126mV @1kHz|Impedance118dB/V at 1kHz|Connections3.5mmMic/controlsIn-line controls w/mic|Colors : Silver and Black, White and Silver.
Accessories : IEM Carry Case, Shirt clip, 4 pairs of ear tips
Comfort is the very essence of the INEARPEACE design. Our special pressure-relief system will bring hours of comfortable listening by reducing air pressure in your ear. The beauty of our internal design is reflected in the simple lines and curves of the exterior.
Discover the harmony produced by combining a balanced armature driver for crystal clear highs and a 10-mm coiled driver for smooth, deep bass. These features come together to create divine sound typically found only in large home speaker systems.
Your INEARPEACE should never be compromised by external complications. Our tangle-free cable eliminates the frustration of tangles, allowing you to focus on only what truly matters.
So now that I got those company specifics out of the way, i can get into the meat and potatoes of this review, and to what you all are waiting for, which is how the OM Audio IEP hybrid sound??
DESIGN AND COMFORT : The IEP is bullet shaped, with a long nozzle and aluminum housing. The company logo is present in white on the flat of the housing. i'm not sure how the pressure free system works, but judging from the comfort and my ability to wear these IEM's for long stretches without ear soreness or fatigue, i'm thinking it must work. The silicone tips range from small to large, and in my case, the large tips worked perfectly and provided a very tight seal. These are by far the most comfortable bullet shaped IEM's I've ever worn. The flat chord does a great job of not tangling. I rolled them up in pocket, carried them with a bag, and dropped them in my IEM box, and time and time again they just unrolled without much issue, and were ready to be used. The chin slider isn't much use, as it can only go as far as the inline mic, but when coupled with the shirt clip, can reduce microphonics. Otherwise there is a fair amount of sound that travels up and down the flat chord. The upside is that these can be worn over ear with comfort and good seal, and this would reduce microphonics even further. There is no driver flex. The seal is strong and tight. The chord is thin, but is made of what seems like durable rubber, and there seems to be no issues with strain relief, and although there's no reinforcements at each connector site, still seem sturdy, and the y splitter is aluminum. Overall comfort is supreme, fit is great, microphonics are so-so, and build quality is superb.
SOUND : Here's what you've been waiting for. Me too. Now I listened to these for about 10 straight hours, while using sweeps and noise for 8 hours, then off and on listening up to the 40th hour to make sure that the LF driver was given an opportunity to burn in. There was significant change in the sound of the bass as a result, which tells me that even though this is a hybrid, they require at least 40 hours of burn in to achieve their optimum sound. Then I sat down right before and during the writing of this review, and listened to the aforementioned playlist of songs, to give me a firmer grasp of what I hear and what is being produced by the drivers.
Before I get into the sound signature of the IEP, I'd like to add that my experience with hybrids is relegated to the T-PEOS H-100, Maxell DBA700, and Scosche IEM856. Right off the bat, the OM Audio IEP is SUPERIORLY TUNED to any of those single ba/single dynamic hybrids. If the OM Audio is a hybrid done good, then in the case of the T-PEOS, this was a hybrid done bad. This v-shaped sound signature has boomy bass, shrilly treble, and sucked out mids that sounded like vocalists were standing down the street. Truly one of the worst listening experiences of my life. In the case of both the DBA700 and IEM856, the issue was low quality LF drivers matched with adequately tuned BA driver, which provided a sound that relied too heavily on the bass, and though the mids weren't too bad on either, and nowhere near the sucked out feeling of the T-PEOS, the highs lacked extension, presence, and quality. This soured me on the hybrid experience....until....
The OM Audio InEarPeace hybrid. This is definitely NOT a v-shaped sound signature. These are a balanced IEM. As much as the bass wants to shine, the mids are not recessed, and if so, ever so slightly, and only if the bass is amp boosted, and the highs are extended, resolving, and ever present.
LOWS : The bass out of the box was initially the weak link in the sound signature. They seemed weak, a step behind, and flabby. It's like they wanted to be part of the trinity, but just weren't mature enough to hang with their two more developed brethren. on some tracks, they even distorted to a degree. Then like any high quality dynamic driver, as I listened to music and sweeped and noised them, all of a sudden there emerged a fullness in the bass that was originally lacking. I noticed that I suddenly started hearing full bass notes, thumping and slapping of strings, arpeggios, and runs. By the first full day of burn in, the LF driver had matured into a refined, confident delivery, without overpowering the mids and highs, and only presents itself in concert with the rest of the frequencies. This is why I say the IEP has a balanced FR. The bass is never boomy or muddy. It digs deep, and though it has limited sub-bass reach, can be articulate down to the lowest regions. The bass responds very well to boosting, and still manages to resist bleeding into the mids or blurring the presentation.
MIDS : This was the biggest surprise for me. The mids, as opposed to being recessed and dry, are lively and in some cases, find aggression in the upper mids, that reminds me very much of the JVC FXT90. This aggression does take away any smoothness or lushness, but that's perfectly ok for me. Guitars have edge and bite! You can hear fingers sliding on strings. Plucks are clear and immediate. Arpeggio runs are vibrant and detailed. Male vocals have authority, and female vocals are upfront and accounted for. What this also does is provide a measure of clarity and detail that really makes listening fun. Timbre is highly engaging for a BA driver. Rarely have I hear this level of timbre accuracy in a BA, and again is rival to the JVC FXT90. Instrument separation is above average, and imaging is good. Soundstage is above average, though there are other IEM's that can do soundstage bigger and with more transparency, the IEP is not lacking. I think the aggressive upper mids do affect the overall transparency and resolution, and IEM's like those from HifiMan or Sennheiser IE series do it better, but what they don't do better is timbre and detail that is natural and emphatic. Finally a hybrid with mids that are tuned to be fun and present. Thank you techs at OM.
HIGHS : Oh the treble. How high can you go? How much treble can on IEM get into? This is treble that from memory has only one equal, and that's the UE 700. I've had many IEM's that have hot treble, clear treble, extended treble, muted treble, smooth treble, sibilant treble, and realistic treble. The IEP falls somewhere just short of hot treble, and above smooth treble. There's a wonderful extension, where a cymbal crash has that right amount of decay, and tom hits are authoritative and clear. Bells and timpani are rendered with resolve and realism, with only the presence of sibilance before burn in, and during lower bit rate recordings. The treble can be aggressive, ala the FXT90, but without that smack lower treble present in carbon nanotube tech. There's a high degree of detail and resolution. Decay times and detail are on par with the VSonic GR07 and Sennheiser IE80, and are as ever present as the highs on the UE 700.
In summary, the OM Audio InEarPeace in my opinion and with my experience in mind, are the best single/single hybrid IEM's on the market today. When you take into account fit, comfort, build quality, and professionally tuned sound, you simply can't go wrong with having this IEM in your collection as an essential piece of hi-fi audio hardware. For the asking price of $150.00?? This goes beyond bang for buck, and travels into "FAR TOO GENEROUS" territory. These are IEM's that could be priced in the $250-$300 range like the Monster Pro series, or the Sony hybrid series, and be right at home with them as rival ear pieces. In my opinion, these are technically superior to the TDK BA-200, Vsonic GR07, UE 700, FA DBA02, and UE TF10. In saying so, the price makes these an imperative purchase. If after you purchase these, you disagree with me, then by all means send me a message and chew me out! I'm betting all I get from you are thank yous and you were rights. Thank you OM Audio for the effort, and making these affordable, yet outstanding. Really. The OM Audio InearPeace are that good, and yes...These are hybrids DONE RIGHT.
Edited by IEMagnet01 - 1/4/14 at 4:58pm