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Custom - Help to find the WOW sound again

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to find THE iem (custom or not), but it's hard.

I only tried a custom one time (InEarz company), and I had problem with fit and I really don't like the sound signature.

I tried almost all the iem's in the world.

Now I have one Westone UM Pro 50, one Sennheiser IE800, one Shure SE846 (with Brimar cable), one Aurisonics ASG 2, one FitEar F111 and one Phonak Audéo 232.

I hear a lot of people telling me I need to go to the custom and now I will try again, but I don't know if I will have the WOW effect that I really want. Hear the instruments in my front or my back, the minimal details.

My options are: JHAudio (a lot of people told this is a neutral/flat iem), FitEar, Unique Melody and Westone.
I tried don't get the highest model, because I spend a lot of money with this stuffs in a short time. Only the Miracle and Westone ES60 I'm willing to pay.


If someone have any opinion, I appreciate.
post #2 of 8

I know exactly what you mean I'm on the same hunt. The only thing I will say is when I demoed the Unique Melody Miracle it finally felt like the revelation I was looking for. I'm holding out to go London and try some top tier custom iem's and also the Kaiser 10 I'll be listen to the Miracles again if the same grin appears on my face and it's preferable to the rest then I think I'll settle there. Get your hands on some custom demos if you can as I'm pretty convinced I have yet to find that WOW in a universal yet. If I could mix a combination of some of the iem's I have heard rolled into one package it would be great but only time will tell if customs are the way to go.

post #3 of 8

My hunt ended with the AudioFly AF180.

 

My first pair of IEMs were the ER-4P's and I loved them, may they rest in piece, and I've owned and auditioned at least 2 dozen IEMs in the $20 - $300 range, but none satisfied me fully. My ideal IEM would be a portable counterpart to my LCD-2's.

 

 

I was thinking about going the $1k+ custom route (JH16 Roxannes, specifically), but I decided to try universal fit IEMs one last time before getting ear molds. I limited myself to $550 and bought the Shure SE535LTD's first, then the aforementioned AF180's. I tried a couple others briefly, but those two were the only ones I paid money to try.

 

 

Basically, the AudioFly AF180's are the most comfortable and most natural sounding IEMs I've ever had.

 

I have a review up in the Head Gear section (and on the front page!), but I'd be happy to answer any questions.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardbop View Post
 

My hunt ended with the AudioFly AF180.

 

My first pair of IEMs were the ER-4P's and I loved them, may they rest in piece, and I've owned and auditioned at least 2 dozen IEMs in the $20 - $300 range, but none satisfied me fully. My ideal IEM would be a portable counterpart to my LCD-2's.

 

 

I was thinking about going the $1k+ custom route (JH16 Roxannes, specifically), but I decided to try universal fit IEMs one last time before getting ear molds. I limited myself to $550 and bought the Shure SE535LTD's first, then the aforementioned AF180's. I tried a couple others briefly, but those two were the only ones I paid money to try.

 

 

Basically, the AudioFly AF180's are the most comfortable and most natural sounding IEMs I've ever had.

 

I have a review up in the Head Gear section (and on the front page!), but I'd be happy to answer any questions.

Must say it can come down to personal preference of sound signature rather than better or worse. I must say if you've managed to stay away from buying excessive amounts of gear then it must be a good iem. I actually have a question are the mids at all veiled ? I currently own the Dunu 2000 and so far the only iem I actual see keeping for a long time. They are so clear nice and detailed balanced with great sub bass but even with these amazing things in my ear I can end up picking out faults :(. My dream Iem would be these in a similar design to the Audiofly AF180 with slightly thicker note presentation, more treble extension (detail), slightly more expansive sound stage and replaceable cable. Honestly I don't know how these things are so clear yet are yet slightly less detailed in the treble region than the Phonak 232 baffles me :(. 

post #5 of 8
It's pretty hard to know for someone else what's the best choice to make for a CIEM, especially if you consider that CIEM is an endgame. The first thing to do, even more if you tried most of IEMs on the market, is to qualify what you liked the most in terms of sound signature, considering that neutrality is every time relative to its personal perception of "how it should sound". Because each constructor has its house sound. Some of them consider neutrality darkish, other bright, take a look at the SE5-way and the NT6-pro e.g.

Wow effect is to my mind dangerous because the first impression is not the best as sound characteristics of CIEMs have to be analyzed after a brain burnin
post #6 of 8

There isn't any veil from the AF180's that my ears can hear. The dynamics seem very balanced across the frequency spectrum.

 

Occasionally, there might be a twinge of bloat when nearby frequencies step on each other. It's dependent on the recording, though.

 

One of the things I really wanted to avoid was mid-treble humps that have plagued almost every IEM I've tried, including the 535's. I was beginning to think that the hump was just a characteristic of IEMs and that it usually overshadowed my beloved highs. Since the LCD-2's became my main headphone, I've become addicted to the smoothness they express throughout the middle and upper ranges. Their brightness, sparkly highs and their extension was what I was really seeking.

 

The AF180's come pretty darn close. The details are all there, but it's not nearly as effortless and airy as the Audeze's. I've always been able to hear cymbals, flutes, etc. from the AudioFly's regardless of what was going on underneath, I just have to listen a little more intently. Separation and soundstaging are more dependent on the recording with the AF180's. It's never been a problem in music with great sound quality or hi-res stuff, that I've heard anyway. 

 

These IEMs have a good deal of the brightness, twinkliness and extension that I wanted. In fact, their reported 15Hz - 25kHz frequency range was what caused me to bump them up to next in line for my IEM auditions and I was not disappointed.

 

That they also possess a euphonically warm and full sound signature is a big bonus. Other icing-on-top factors are their deep and impactful bass and their ridiculous comfort level. They are a much more complete package than I thought possible in a universal IEM. My standards were high when I started paying more than $300 and I'm surprised that I'm already done looking. I was really expecting a really long wait and really large bill when I decided that I had to have an end-game IEM.

 

I've written a lot about, and listened to a lot of, the AF180's since I got them over a week ago. These little guys excite me like my LCD-2's did (and still do) when I got them. However, they are new and not enough people have tried them, so I've felt it necessary to share my experiences. I'm glad I took the chance.

 

I'll add one (or two) more thing(s) they do as often as my LCD-2's do: they make me smile and get my head bobbing and foot tapping.


Edited by hardbop - 7/16/14 at 5:12am
post #7 of 8

Tralucent 1plus2

post #8 of 8
Very interesting all I can say is darn head fi and it's abusive relationship towards my wallet ! When my invoice gets paid the AF180's may just have to be bought. And my advice is to just try out as many iem's as you can until you find something you really enjoy. My Dunu's will definitely outlast the rest of my headphone inventory as they are use pretty much exclusively just because I do enjoy them. Next step has to be the Kaiser 10 for me though only advance I can truly see.
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