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Review of Audio Technica ATH-CKR9 & ATH-CKR10 - Page 30

post #436 of 1154

As per request the request of Peter123, I've decided to take a bit of time to do a bit of comparative listening between the CKR9 and IM70 and give my impressions of the two. Before I start, I would like to thank warrior1975 for providing me with the CKR9 that made this possible. People have been saying that the CKR9 is a befitting upgrade for those who currently have the IM70, and in most cases they're right, but there's a few caveats that I would elaborate below. Please note that I am someone who generally prefers slightly warmer signatures with forward mids and slightly rolled-off treble. Additionally I'm using the AUVIO tips on the IM70 and JVC spiral tips on the CKR9.

 

 

 

Firstly, the CKR9 is a brighter headphone than the IM70, to the point where the treble was actually slightly hot on a number of tracks I tested. This brightness does wonders for string instruments though. The jangly guitar in Neko Case's "People Got A Lotta Nerve" was especially lively, making it a pleasure to listen to. However, that brightness is also a double-edged sword. Neko's vocals on said track was harsh and quite sibilant, forcing me to dial down the volume below my usual listening levels. This is an issue that reared its head in a number of other tracks with female vocals as well, but without vocals, the experience is pure bliss. As mentioned before, string instruments really stand out on the CKR9. The energetic treble translates incredibly well to classical music and the like. I could put on Beethoven's 7th symphony and listen to it for days. 

 

 

When it comes to the mids, the CKR9 shares that forward sounding signature with the IM70, albeit with much better clarity. The IM70 actually sounds veiled in comparison. When listening to male vocals, such as Woodkid in "Irons," it's quite apparent the CKR9 carries more texture and detail. His rumbly tone sounds muted on the IM70 in comparison. However, there are also points when the CKR9 could sound a bit sterile, especially with female vocals. As for the bass, one of the members once mentioned that the IM70 has more bass than the CKR9, and I would agree, although CKR9's bass reaches deeper and feels tighter, comparable to some of the more expensive headphones. This is especially noticeable in the aforementioned track, Iron. While the IM70 performs admirably in this regard, it just sounds slightly boomy in the shadow of its big brother. Finally, as many may have expected, the sound stage is indeed even wider on the CKR9. There's an incredibly spacious quality to it. Again, it lends well to classical music. 

 

 

For people who are looking to upgrade from their beloved IM70, the CKR9 is a fine choice, given that you're open to a jump in brightness. It still has the signature forward sounding mids, and although there isn't as much bass, it's only by a hair. But for those who found the treble on the IM70 bordering on the most that you can bare, I would suggest you look elsewhere. Personally, I find the CKR9 to be a wonderful headphone, and while I won't be using these as my daily drivers, I will definitely be reaching for these when I'm in the mood for instrumental music. 


Edited by Dinerenblanc - 12/10/14 at 3:07am
post #437 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinerenblanc View Post
 

As per request the request of Peter123, I've decided to take a bit of time to do a bit of comparative listening between the CKR9 and IM70 and give my impressions of the two. Before I start, I would like to thank warrior1975 for providing me with the CKR9 that made this possible. People have been saying that the CKR9 is a befitting upgrade for those who currently have the IM70, and in most cases they're right, but there's a few caveats that I would elaborate below. Please note that I am someone who generally prefers slightly warmer signatures with forwards mids and slightly rolled-off treble. Additionally I'm using the AUVIO tips on the IM70 and JVC spiral tips on the CKR9.

 

 

 

Firstly, the CKR9 is a brighter headphone than the IM70, to the point where the treble was actually slightly hot on a number of tracks I tested. This brightness does wonders for string instruments though. The jangly guitar in Neko Case's "People Got A Lotta Nerve" was especially lively, making it a pleasure to listen to. However, that brightness is also a double-edged sword. Neko's vocals on said track was harsh and quite sibilant, forcing me to dial down the volume below my usual listening levels. This is an issue that reared its head in a number of other tracks with female vocals as well, but without vocals, the experience is pure bliss. As mentioned before, string instruments really stand out on the CKR9. The energetic treble translates incredibly well to classical music and the like. I could put on Beethoven's 7th symphony and listen to it for days. 

 

 

When it comes to the mids, the CKR9 shares that forward sounding signature with the IM70, albeit with much better clarity. The IM70 actually sounds veiled in comparison. When listening to male vocals, such as Woodkid in "Irons," it's quite apparent the CKR9 carries more texture and detail. His rumbly tone sounds muted on the IM70 in comparison. However, there are also points when the CKR9 could sound a bit sterile, especially with female vocals. As for the bass, one of the members once mentioned that the IM70 has more bass than the CKR9, and I would agree, although CKR9's bass reaches deeper and feels tighter, comparable to some of the more expensive headphones. This is especially noticeable in the aforementioned track, Iron. While the IM70 performs admirably in this regard, it just sounds slightly boomy in the shadow of its big brother. Finally, as many may have expected, the sound stage is indeed even wider on the CKR9. There's an incredibly spacious quality to it. Again, it lends well to classical music. 

 

 

For people who are looking to upgrade from their beloved IM70, the CKR9 is a fine choice, given that you're open to a jump in brightness. It still has the signature forward sounding mids, and although there isn't as much base, it's only by a hair. But for those who found the treble on the IM70 bordering on the most that you can bare, I would suggest you look elsewhere. Personally, I find the CKR9 to be a wonderful headphone, and while I won't be using these as my daily drivers, I will definitely be reaching for these when I'm in the mood for instrumental music. 

Great comparisons.

 

I find it funny that people find the treble on the ckr9s to be hot.

 

People have to listen to the msr7 if they want hot. This headphone is absolutely painful to bear imo. I miss my ckr9s.

post #438 of 1154

@Dinerenblanc

Thanks a lot for a great comparison !

 

TBH you made things even more difficult for me :wink_face:

 

I find myself missing the slightly warm sound from the Havi B3's sometimes with the IM70 but I also like that the treble has a bit of a bite to it. I guess I've have to decide which of these factors that's more important to me to be able to choose between the CKR9 and 10.........

 

I really don't care for the overly smooth (for my preferences) treble on for example the Tenore's and MH1C's. Anyone with the CKR10 that have heard these and can confirm that the treble on them has better extension and are less smooth than on the Tenore's/MH1C's?

 

Also people are saying that the CKR9's has better soundstage than the CKR10's. Does that mean that the 10's has a poor soundstage? Also what about soundstage hight and depth, that is as important to me as width?

 

Last question (at least for now): Do the 9's and 10's offer very different general sound signatures or is it more nuances that makes the difference?

post #439 of 1154

No the ckr10s does not have poor soundstage. They are both very capable in this regard especially in terms of depth and imaging. Some say the ckr10s have a more forward vocal to them. The main reason why I chose 9s over 10s was I felt 9s had better quality bass and fitted more to my preference, I also felt 9s vocals were airier. It was strange that you thought the bass on the 9s wasn't enough and it was lose. I actually consider this to be one of the best bass performance I've heard considering the amount of detail and texture it has while being tight as well. But I respect your opinion perhaps the ckr10s would have served you better as I felt the 10s do have slightly more bass quantity and slower decay compared to 9s. I never found the treble to be hot as well, infact its super smooth but the fatigue may actually come from the upper mids around 10hz-14hz where there are claims of peaks here. It does affect some female tracks but to me, I dont find it a reason to not love them. Considering the package it brings at its price. I am loving it from the very day I bought it.

To peter, I am not sure but the 9s may fit you well since your not so big on bass right?

post #440 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by SyedZ2ez4 View Post

No the ckr10s does not have poor soundstage. They are both very capable in this regard especially in terms of depth and imaging. Some say the ckr10s have a more forward vocal to them. The main reason why I chose 9s over 10s was I felt 9s had better quality bass and fitted more to my preference, I also felt 9s vocals were airier. It was strange that you thought the bass on the 9s wasn't enough and it was lose. I actually consider this to be one of the best bass performance I've heard considering the amount of detail and texture it has while being tight as well. But I respect your opinion perhaps the ckr10s would have served you better as I felt the 10s do have slightly more bass quantity and slower decay compared to 9s. I never found the treble to be hot as well, infact its super smooth but the fatigue may actually come from the upper mids around 10hz-14hz where there are claims of peaks here. It does affect some female tracks but to me, I dont find it a reason to not love them. Considering the package it brings at its price. I am loving it from the very day I bought it.


To peter, I am not sure but the 9s may fit you well since your not so big on bass right?

Yeah I think that you just pushed me one more step in the 9 direction wink.gif

Just to clarify I do enjoy a good and present subbass but don't like too much midbass and hate bass bloat smily_headphones1.gif I guess it's all about the quality of the bass that's delivered.......
post #441 of 1154

Its has been some time tho since I auditioned the 10s. They are both great phones IMO. I remembered the noticeable difference was more to bass and perhaps more forward vocals. I don't remember which has a wider soundstage, they should be similar as I feel they are very intimate, not as large as Havi b3s though but the wideness isn't bad. What it does exceptionally well is soundstage height and depth. The instrument separation is damn good for both phones. So i feel you can't go wrong with both phones. If only you could audition them. Both do not have bass bloat do not worry, quality of bass is top notch but the 10s could have more midbass I think, don't know if its too much for you. Finally price here is also a factor :P I got my ckr9s for $220. Now they have reduced to around $150. Its a no brainer for me. But really both are great phones cant go wrong with any. You can decide to go with the 10s if price is not an issue. I hope this helps

post #442 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by SyedZ2ez4 View Post

Its has been some time tho since I auditioned the 10s. They are both great phones IMO. I remembered the noticeable difference was more to bass and perhaps more forward vocals. I don't remember which has a wider soundstage, they should be similar as I feel they are very intimate, not as large as Havi b3s though but the wideness isn't bad. What it does exceptionally well is soundstage height and depth. The instrument separation is damn good for both phones. So i feel you can't go wrong with both phones. If only you could audition them. Both do not have bass bloat do not worry, quality of bass is top notch but the 10s could have more midbass I think, don't know if its too much for you. Finally price here is also a factor :P I got my ckr9s for $220. Now they have reduced to around $150. Its a no brainer for me. But really both are great phones cant go wrong with any. You can decide to go with the 10s if price is not an issue. I hope this helps

Thank you Syed!

For this particular purchase price is not an issue so maybe I'll take my chances with the 10's anyway, so difficult.....

I listen to a lot of female voices so @Dinerenblanc comments about them being sterile sometimes makes me worried. I also wouldn't like less bass than on the IM70's for them to be a good allrounder.

I know that @twister6 is working on reviews of them both so I think I hold out for those as well before I make my final decision....
post #443 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlenbo View Post
 

Great comparisons.

 

I find it funny that people find the treble on the ckr9s to be hot.

 

People have to listen to the msr7 if they want hot. This headphone is absolutely painful to bear imo. I miss my ckr9s.


Yeah, I mentioned in the other thread that I think the treble is pretty much perfect for me, but I can see it being hot to people who like a smooth treble. I tend to tolerate hotter things in the 4-6k range but the 10-12k area bothers me (IE, I loved the GR07, but the VSD3 was a bit much for me). Still, I don't disagree with anything in the review. Just more of a preference issue there. 

post #444 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter123 View Post


Thank you Syed!

For this particular purchase price is not an issue so maybe I'll take my chances with the 10's anyway, so difficult.....

I listen to a lot of female voices so @Dinerenblanc comments about them being sterile sometimes makes me worried. I also wouldn't like less bass than on the IM70's for them to be a good allrounder.

I know that @twister6 is working on reviews of them both so I think I hold out for those as well before I make my final decision....


I don't think you'll go wrong with either if price isn't a factor. For what it's worth, the CKR9 is a great all rounder, but I haven't heard the 10s. If you're worried about the bass, I'd err on the side of caution with the 10s, but I don't think you'll miss anything on the 9 either. It has more bass than the VSD3S/XE800. As far as female vocals go, I find them to be ethereal and beautiful 98% of the time with my 9s. In certain tracks I can see them coming across that way, but that's more about recording than the headphone. I find them to be more clear and detailed compared to the IM70 and they sound heavenly to my ears. There are a lot of comparisons between the two in this thread and others, so take a good look around and I think you'll find what you're looking for. 

post #445 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZapX629 View Post


I don't think you'll go wrong with either if price isn't a factor. For what it's worth, the CKR9 is a great all rounder, but I haven't heard the 10s. If you're worried about the bass, I'd err on the side of caution with the 10s, but I don't think you'll miss anything on the 9 either. It has more bass than the VSD3S/XE800. As far as female vocals go, I find them to be ethereal and beautiful 98% of the time with my 9s. In certain tracks I can see them coming across that way, but that's more about recording than the headphone. I find them to be more clear and detailed compared to the IM70 and they sound heavenly to my ears. There are a lot of comparisons between the two in this thread and others, so take a good look around and I think you'll find what you're looking for. 

I think you're right that I'll probably be happy with whichever I choose. The 9's would probably be the safest choice though......

Yeah, I've read all I can find here about them but there's not too much information about the 10's (compared to what's available about the 9's that is).
post #446 of 1154

If this counts for anything, I can report that the big audio reseller shops here in Tokyo have rows and rows of used 10s and zero or almost zero 9s.

 

 I was in E-earphone Tokyo yesterday, and they had about ten used 10s and one 9.  

 

I`m still waiting for a 9LTD to show up . . .

post #447 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopaminer View Post
 

If this counts for anything, I can report that the big audio reseller shops here in Tokyo have rows and rows of used 10s and zero or almost zero 9s.

 

 I was in E-earphone Tokyo yesterday, and they had about ten used 10s and one 9.  

 

I`m still waiting for a 9LTD to show up . . .

No surprise there. Given what I've heard out of my CKR9, it's really well-suited for Japanese music, at least from what I perceive as popular in Japanese music. 

post #448 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinerenblanc View Post
 

No surprise there. Given what I've heard out of my CKR9, it's really well-suited for Japanese music, at least from what I perceive as popular in Japanese music. 


Yikes - that is a loaded comment, for me.  What is popular in Japanese music, ie, pop music, or J-pop, is, for me, simply not music at all.  It is organized, mechanized sound waves, with every molecule of humanity, soul, emotion, passion, quality, reality, obsessively removed.   It is an atrocious corruption of humanity`s one and only unambiguously positive accomplishment.  And this is worst:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofrSyJhCc9M

 

or this

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJzbKlryK6g

post #449 of 1154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopaminer View Post
 


Yikes - that is a loaded comment, for me.  What is popular in Japanese music, ie, pop music, or J-pop, is, for me, simply not music at all.  It is organized, mechanized sound waves, with every molecule of humanity, soul, emotion, passion, quality, reality, obsessively removed.   It is an atrocious corruption of humanity`s one and only unambiguously positive accomplishment.  And this is worst:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofrSyJhCc9M

 

or this

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJzbKlryK6g


LOL. Good god almighty. I love me some J-Pop but these idol groups and wall of sound production have really soured me on the music scene lately. Are there any good J-Pop artists these days? Utada Hikaru is still going strong, but I haven't heard much I've liked lately other than the occasional release by an old voice actor I like. 

post #450 of 1154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinerenblanc View Post
 

 

When it comes to the mids, the CKR9 shares that forward sounding signature with the IM70, albeit with much better clarity. The IM70 actually sounds veiled in comparison. When listening to male vocals, such as Woodkid in "Irons," it's quite apparent the CKR9 carries more texture and detail. His rumbly tone sounds muted on the IM70 in comparison. However, there are also points when the CKR9 could sound a bit sterile, especially with female vocals. As for the bass, one of the members once mentioned that the IM70 has more bass than the CKR9, and I would agree, although CKR9's bass reaches deeper and feels tighter, comparable to some of the more expensive headphones. This is especially noticeable in the aforementioned track, Iron. While the IM70 performs admirably in this regard, it just sounds slightly boomy in the shadow of its big brother. Finally, as many may have expected, the sound stage is indeed even wider on the CKR9. There's an incredibly spacious quality to it. Again, it lends well to classical music. 

 

For people who are looking to upgrade from their beloved IM70, the CKR9 is a fine choice, given that you're open to a jump in brightness. It still has the signature forward sounding mids, and although there isn't as much bass, it's only by a hair. But for those who found the treble on the IM70 bordering on the most that you can bare, I would suggest you look elsewhere. Personally, I find the CKR9 to be a wonderful headphone, and while I won't be using these as my daily drivers, I will definitely be reaching for these when I'm in the mood for instrumental music. 

 

Excellent comparison! Thanks!

Agree, CKR9 is brighter with higher level of clarity than IM70.

When paired with the right amp, both are wonderful!  IM70 for example, pair it with transparent source like Dragonfly USB DAC. As for CKR9, player like DX90 sounds good with CKR9.

 

While brightness is up to individual preference and depends a lot on recordings (e.g. bright recording goes well with less bright IEM), bass of CKR9 is on different league than any other IEM. CKR9 has the best bass quality from any IEM I ever heard, even from IEMs more than 5 times it's price.

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