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