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Ortofon e-Q8 Impressions Thread (new 2014 successor of the e-Q7 / e-Q5)

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 

First of all, my apology to anyone who came here expecting a full review of these. Sadly I don't have the time for extensive writeups these days.

 

But I still think it's worth making a new thread for impressions of the e-Q8 and I'll start it with the ones I posted in the e-Q5 thread (and the questions / answers that have come up so far).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

Just got the e-Q8 in. First thought: this sounds like an e-Q7 that passed through a correctional facility run by the ER4S. Objectivist brothers and sisters, rejoice! ;) 

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsm10 View Post


... it just looks slightly longer in the body on all the photos I've seen. Are they the same length as the EQ7?.

How are the mids , do you think they are as forward as the eq7, as I found them a touch fatiguing, and preferred the mids on the eq5?
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

 

It's the exact same body as the e-Q7's. Actually, my first thought upon unpacking these was: "wait, they wouldn't dare to re-release the same phone just in a new color scheme?".

 

 

But in fact, the e-Q8's tuning feels like a more significant departure from the e-Q7's sound signature than the e-Q5's. And I wasn't joking when I said the ER4S seem to have had a hand in this.

 

Gone is the e-Q7's very slight mid-bass emphasis and midrange warmth, and the e-Q8's bass turns out extremely linear and non-emphasized. (I'd love to have those who think the JVC FX850 are balanced give the e-Q8 a listen and predict they'll call the Orto's bass entirely MIA). This low range linearity extends well into the midrange, but in the upper mids / lower treble things become very forward to my ears. Now, my Etys are on loan tour right now, but I believe that (from memory) the ER4S have a similar bump that makes female vocals sound really really close and intimate. Treble extension seems to be a significant step up from the e-Q7, though one should never trust an old fart like me when it comes to treble.

 

Overall I'd say the e-Q8's sound signature is somewhere in the vicinity of the ER4S and UERM, though the Ortofons sound probably even a tad leaner/thinner/sharper/more aggressively analytical than the those. Separation is excellent, but (like with the ER4S) soundstaging isn't quite up my alley. Granted, width isn't bad at all and they sound a good deal more out-of-head than the Etys, courtesy of a shallower fit. But that upper mid / lower treble bump kills any sense of distance and most of the layering for me, and everything in that range sounds simply very forward and in your face. (Disclaimer: individual HRTFs vary, and like with the ER4S, others may perceive things differently).

 

Bottom line: what a strange coincidence that Ortofon, Moller and Hammershoi all hail from the same country... ;) :ph34r: 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

The e-q8 is thinner sounding than the ER-4S or just the UERM? How about sub bass below 60hz?

The Ety peak is around 2 to 3k. Are you perceiving the e-q8 hump there or higher?
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

 

Vs. the UERM for sure. Can't say with certainty vs. the ER4S, since I don't have them here. Bass extension is comparable to the e-Q7, pretty good presence down to 30Hz, only little rumble at 20Hz.

 

I'd think the e-Q8 peak is around the same range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Is the treble smooth above that? If so, this reads well to me. I find the ety treble smoother (as in no peaks) and weightier than the uerm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

 

I remember the Ety's highs as forward, but surprisingly benign, whereas the e-Q8's can be borderline sharp at times. That's what I meant with "more aggressively analytical".

Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Hmm, that's a little worrisome. Thanks james444 for all the impressions.
post #2 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Hmm, that's a little worrisome.

 

Yes it is. Especially since I seem to have quite a high tolerance for treble peaks (*cough*ex1000*cough* ;-).

 

I still have to evaluate more tips though... seal isn't reliable for me with the stock silicons and the TF10 tips that I use on the e-Q7 sound too bright. JVC silicons have been the best choice so far, but they have larger bores than stock.

 

I still have to try the included foam tips. And (shortened) Sony hybrids seem like a good option too.

post #3 of 82
Wanted to get them but no more blind purchases.
post #4 of 82

subscribed , eq5 have served me well so these have my attention

post #5 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Yes it is. Especially since I seem to have quite a high tolerance for treble peaks (*cough*ex1000*cough* ;-).

I still have to evaluate more tips though... seal isn't reliable for me with the stock silicons and the TF10 tips that I use on the e-Q7 sound too bright. JVC silicons have been the best choice so far, but they have larger bores than stock.

I still have to try the included foam tips. And (shortened) Sony hybrids seem like a good option too.


Hmmm I'm a bit worried and really not what I was expecting to hear. I really found the eq7 rather fatiguing. I appreciate good treble extension, but if there is a peak in the upper mids it can lead to fatigue for me especially if they are overly forward. I've not heard the Er4s, but I even sometimes find the Grado Gr10 a bit peaky. I think that's why I enjoy the eq5 at the moment as I find them a bit smoother with no particular peak in upper mids and not too forward.

Well I'll keep an open mind, my eq8 should be with me Monday or Tuesday so I'll post my impressions/ comparisons to the eq5 and gr10.

Thank you James for your early impressions , it makes for very interesting reading, if a little worrisome.
post #6 of 82
The drivers of the EQ7/5/GR10/8 all are kind of weak IMO. None have good treble extension and the supposed increased bass extension from the movement of the BA is barely there (FAD got that part right). The EQ5/GR10 are solid but considering the driver performance, I wouldn't pay more than 100$, considering how competitive things are now.

With the EQ8 at best they can fine tune it, but the lack of extension on both ends will inevitably be there because it's the drivers bandwidth.
Edited by Inks - 4/13/14 at 12:54am
post #7 of 82

Glad you like them James. Sounds like they've kept the good and enhanced to balance. I get what Inks is saying but these tend to be quite useful from 20hz to above 16khz which is really is enough for recorded music, especially with the mid character that a good example of this tech can have. If you go to Goldenears, you'll see the GR10 (more bass) and EQ5 have better high frequency extension than the Shure 846. I would expect the second gen eq8 to have the same. If they kept the bass without the added warmth and with less edginess than the EQ5, it should be a winner.


Edited by goodvibes - 4/13/14 at 1:12am
post #8 of 82
The 846 has better bass than any MAs can dream of because it actually rumbles to 20hz, the GR10/EQ5 get there, but just tap, but yes slightly worse treble extension on the shures. The lack of treble extension makes all these iEMs less airy than a well extended one regardless of recordings, unless it's really old stuff
post #9 of 82

so we are comparing a 1000$ iem (846) with a 200$ iem (eq5) ?

guess eq5 is ok.....

post #10 of 82
Well the market is all over the place in terms in terms of pricing, it makes no sense to think the more expensive product is better when it comes to IEMs. I prefer the MH1 to the EQ5 and the difference is big there too in pricing
post #11 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsm10 View Post

Well I'll keep an open mind, my eq8 should be with me Monday or Tuesday so I'll post my impressions/ comparisons to the eq5 and gr10.

Thank you James for your early impressions , it makes for very interesting reading, if a little worrisome.

 

Looking forward to your impressions and comparisons. :smile_phones:

 

I've learned from my discussions with ER4S fans, that people tend to perceive that upper mids / lower treble bump very differently. To me, the e-Q8 are easily the most forward sounding MAs I've heard to date.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

If they kept the bass without the added warmth and with less edginess than the EQ5, it should be a winner.

 

I actually like their bass a lot, but I rarely listen to music that has much going on below 30Hz. I particularly like the combination of linear, non-enhanced bass with slightly slower decay than usual BAs, which I perceive as better textured and more realistic. Even in today's competitive IEM market, that kind of combination is something quite rare and special.

 

The edginess is reason for concern, as I don't think the e-Q8 have less of it than the e-Q5. Some tips mitigate it better than others, but let's be honest, once you start rummaging for tips, you know you've got a problem.

post #12 of 82

Agreed. I'll take a proper character over bandwidth any day. If they're a bit hot, humor me :wink_face: and run them hard for a day or 2. Just curious.

post #13 of 82

the bold points kinda make me feel ok with the eq5 and stay put in any plans of upgrading

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

 

Looking forward to your impressions and comparisons. :smile_phones:

 

I've learned from my discussions with ER4S fans, that people tend to perceive that upper mids / lower treble bump very differently. To me, the e-Q8 are easily the most forward sounding MAs I've heard to date.

 

 

I actually like their bass a lot, but I rarely listen to music that has much going on below 30Hz. I particularly like the combination of linear, non-enhanced bass with slightly slower decay than usual BAs, which I perceive as better textured and more realistic. Even in today's competitive IEM market, that kind of combination is something quite rare and special.

 

The edginess is reason for concern, as I don't think the e-Q8 have less of it than the e-Q5. Some tips mitigate it better than others, but let's be honest, once you start rummaging for tips, you know you've got a problem.

post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Looking forward to your impressions and comparisons. smile_phones.gif

I've learned from my discussions with ER4S fans, that people tend to perceive that upper mids / lower treble bump very differently. To me, the e-Q8 are easily the most forward sounding MAs I've heard to date.


I actually like their bass a lot, but I rarely listen to music that has much going on below 30Hz. I particularly like the combination of linear, non-enhanced bass with slightly slower decay than usual BAs, which I perceive as better textured and more realistic. Even in today's competitive IEM market, that kind of combination is something quite rare and special.

The edginess is reason for concern, as I don't think the e-Q8 have less of it than the e-Q5. Some tips mitigate it better than others, but let's be honest, once you start rummaging for tips, you know you've got a problem.



I've just received my EQ8. No time for a good test at the moment, I'll post my impressions tomorrow. I have the eq5 and gr10 so I'll be able to do a few comparisons .
post #15 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

Agreed. I'll take a proper character over bandwidth any day. If they're a bit hot, humor me :wink_face: and run them hard for a day or 2. Just curious.

 

Well, two days and a healthy dose of wishful thinking ;) later, they actually appear to be a little smoother. That said, still not restrained enough for these squeamish pair of ears, so I decided to try the same recipe that worked well on the IE800 - and what can I say, I can finally see myself coming to terms with their highs...

 

One funny thought that struck me though, these are easily more "Grado" sounding than the GR10. :smile_phones: 

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