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Review of Audio Technica ATH-IM01, ATH-IM02, ATH-IM03, ATH-IM04, ATH-IM50, & ATH-IM70 - Page 37

post #541 of 2971

I'm preparing to write a big thread comparing the ER-4S, IM02 and RE-272. I thought I'd post my draft IM02 section here to see what you folks thought:

 

ATH-IM02

 

Build: Solid, typical AT. I don’t love the memory wire but have gotten used to it. The cable is thick but in a good way. It’s very flexy and doesn’t tangle. It’s heavy but I use shirt-clips anyway.

 

Fit: These fit shallow and comfy. I’m using comply TS500 tips. Sony hybrid type work well too. They are a bit trickier to fit than cable-down styles like the DBA02 and RE-400, but fine when you find the right tips for your ears.

 

Sound: In a sentence, these really are a slightly thicker/warmer version of the ER-4 to my ears. They have a little bit more bass overall and a thicker and warmer midrange. The bass quality is on par with the ER-4, the Ety might have a touch more bass detail but the IM02 has better texture. The extra warmth I think makes the IM02 mids a hair less flat and natural than the ER-4, a VERY faint echo of the in/famous AT midrange coloration, but really it's only only a hair less flat than the ER-4. I also think the mids on the IM02 are a touch more forward than the ER-4, but again only a touch. On the whole the IM02 is a beautifully smooth and natural phone to my ears. Up top the same trend continues, the IM02 is a fraction more sparkly and fast. It’s hard to say whether it’s better or not. The extra sparkle gives a fractionally better sense of detail and space but at the expense of a sliver of naturalness. The IM02 doesn’t go too far though, like say the DBA02. It is never harsh or sibilant, but the ER-4 is a fraction more natural.

 

Result: It’s very, very close. I think I’d give it to the ER-4 for SQ by a hair. It’s just a bit more natural and effortless. But it’s so close that once comfort is taken into account, the IM02 kills it. If I could only have one for the rest of my life, it would have to be the IM02. Joker gives the ER-4 a 9.2, which he also gives the DBA-02II and 9 for the RE-400. For context, I’d give the Fischer and the RE-400 8.9, the ER-4 9.3 and the IM02 9.2, maybe even 9.25.


Edited by redrich2000 - 4/21/14 at 3:06am
post #542 of 2971

Looking forward to your big thread !

post #543 of 2971
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoongie View Post
 

 

I noticed in your signature that you have a UE900 - how does the IM03 compare to it? I tried the UE900 the other day and on top of not liking the fit (I find the shape pretty odd, and the metal edge kept brushing my ear), I find it quite weak on bass. Maybe it's because I've always used dynamic driver earphones but I'm not ready to completely let go of bass yet... do you think IM03 has a stronger bass presence than the UE900?

 

Exactly, UE900 is lacking in bass since their focus is more on quality rather than quantity.  IM03 definitely has a stronger bass presence than UE900, even stronger than W40.  Even W40 has a better low end performance than UE900.

post #544 of 2971
That's great to hear! I've been wanting to make the leap to BA and I had my eyes on the UE900, but the sound is just too flat for my tastes. I won't have any qualms about picking up the IM03 on my trip to Japan now smily_headphones1.gif
post #545 of 2971

Thanks for the impressions Redrich.  I've always wanted to see (hear) what the Etymotic sound was all about, despite thinking all this time that it wouldn't have a sound signature that would be suitable for me.  I am glad I took the plunge on the IM02s- seems like a side grade (and upgrade in some regards) to the ER4s.  Nonetheless, I've been nothing but impressed by the IM02 so far.  It's definitely been one of the better buys I have made since joining Head Fi.

post #546 of 2971

just came back from a short trip to Tokyo, and I couldn't resist picking up the IM-03s at Yodobashi. The supplied silicons are pretty junky, and while the complys give a much better fit, they also butcher the highs. I bought a bunch of Sony hybrids to go along with the 03s but I might have gotten the sizing wrong, doh. Currently reusing the tips from the MDR-EX10LP as that fits the best so far but if anybody has better luck with other tips I'm all ears (so to speak)

post #547 of 2971

I used Sony Hybrid tips for a while but have changed up to UE tips. The best tips I have tried with them are from my JVC FX850. The IM03 seems to benefit from wider bored tips..

post #548 of 2971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsnuts View Post
 

I used Sony Hybrid tips for a while but have changed up to UE tips. The best tips I have tried with them are from my JVC FX850. The IM03 seems to benefit from wider bored tips..

 

+1 for UE900 tips - gives me the best sound!

post #549 of 2971
So I had a chance today to test the im03 and while I absolutely LOVED the sound of it, it's a little too big for me... I'm rather petite and it stood out like a hulk in my ears. Is there anything smaller which produces similar sound? I'm looking at the SE535 special edition and I'm wondering how it stacks up against the im03.
post #550 of 2971

I would look into the Fischer Amps FA-4 E XB as well. Amazing earphone that really is small.

 

Check out these images, most of which are the Fischer Amps.

 

And the thread.

post #551 of 2971

Are the IM50s ported? I see a little hole on the side of mine. I'm thinking about doing the Radians custom plug around it and am wondering if it will cause a problem if I cover up the hole.

 

Thanks.

post #552 of 2971

How are the ATH-IM02 with Electronic music

post #553 of 2971
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowrow View Post
 

How are the ATH-IM02 with Electronic music

 

You are not going to like that combo.  EDM needs bass and less analytical sound (high frequencies of synthesized instruments will hurt your ears :)).  For electronic music, IM03 is your best bet.

post #554 of 2971

It does sound awesome with EDM..Even hip hop and R n B.. By the way the new DX90 matches up extremely well with the IM03..I highly recommend the pairing.

post #555 of 2971
Quote:
Originally Posted by twister6 View Post
 

 

You are not going to like that combo.  EDM needs bass and less analytical sound (high frequencies of synthesized instruments will hurt your ears :)).  For electronic music, IM03 is your best bet.

I don't agree with this, I really like the IM02 with electronic music, I listen to glitchy/dubstep stuff like fourtet and burial.

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