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:
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