Haha no problem. Everyday CIEMs, with all the other ones you own? Well if that doesn't mean they can hold their own with TOTL stuff then I don't know what does. Oh and I'm excited to see the next comparison
[REVIEW]: Future Sonics MG5Pro 10mm Dynamic Driver Custom Fit In-Ear Monitor - Page 3
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JH16fp vs MG5pro comparison is up!
scroll down past the pictures and k10 comparison
Also, I'd like to point out that I went to Julie Glick for my JH16fp earmolds and it was a great experience resulting in great fitting CIEMs. I'll go back to her for all my CIEM earmolds in the future. If you're in NYC, she's the best.
This one of the few times I’ve had a chance to write directly about my set of jh16fps. I ended up getting a set of jh16fps for a girlfriend and thought I’d get a set of jh CIEMs to match. After spending 3 days at home with the jh13fp, jh16fp and roxanne universal fit demos, I picked the jh16fp for the best sound for me. The jh13fp would have been good as well and in my opinion these two are still the flagships of the JH line for audiophiles.
I’ve had the jh16fp for several months now and I really enjoy the sound. There are two armatures for the treble, two for the midrange and four armatures for the bass in a three-way crossover design. Overall, the jh16fp has a large quantity of great bass, a thick, smooth lower midrange, clear vocals and a peak in the lower treble which adds a bit of clarity and edge but doesn’t go over into fatigue for my ears. It’s a darker tuning, as it is meant to be with the added bass (and the option of the jh13fp), but it keeps the upper midrange and lower treble clear.
The MG5pros are $400 less than the jh16fp and they definitely compete. The MG5pro is a studio monitor which can be used as a stage monitor, while the jh16fp was designed as a stage monitor so there’s a bit of a difference in tuning. The MG5pros are brighter and more balanced, with the less warm tuning giving added clarity. These earphones put the vocal and lead instrument range at the center with relatively less bass and lower midrange quantity. There’s no added peak in the lower treble but a bit better extension to my ears.
Bass: The MG5pro’s bass has just a bit more texture, clarity and control, with less quantity comparatively yet the real air-moving bass energy gives the MG5pro more bass power to grab your attention when the music calls on it. It’s an amazing effect that allows the MG5pro to sound tonally accurate for pianos and string quartets and then accurately powerfully rumble for timpani, hip-hop and dubstep. Make no mistake, the jh16fp has great bass for an armature design and the quantity is greater overall. Both have excellent deep subbass extension.
Midrange: The jh16fp has a smooth, thick sound in the lower midrange that many will enjoy. For a top-tier CIEM (and only by that measure), the richness can be a bit obscuring of ultimate clarity. The MG5pro’s studio monitor sound heads toward greater accuracy of tone, as well as better timbre and clarity here. In the vocal ranges, the MG5pro boosts these frequencies as first among equals, bringing the heart of the music forward just a bit, which adds life to the sound. The jh16fp doesn’t do this as much, but it avoids a sense of recessed vocals to my ears, which is important.
Treble: The MG5pro is brighter sounding, with a full bodied treble that is still non-fatiguing, well-extended and clear. The jh16fp has a bit of a peak to give it a bit more edge if you’re looking for that, but is still on the safe side of the fatigue line to my ears and with my gear. Did I mention that the Apex Glacier portable amp pairs very well with JH CIEMs? That’s what I’m using.
Soundstage: The soundstage on the MG5pro is organic and supremely cohesive, with less but more natural separation and a spaciousness that fits the cues gives in the recording. The jh16fp has a bit more instrument separation and more echo set as the default to its soundstage, so it doesn’t change as much with the recording. When it fits the music and recording, it’s great. The MG5pro has a bit more airiness to the soundstage, the jh16fp has more reverberation. I’ll have an additional comment below in the conclusion.
Other things to consider: Remember that the MG5pro are higher impedance, so I’ve matched volumes by ear. The isolation of the MG5pro is more than enough for international plane flights and commuting on a subway, but the jh16fp’s closed shell is a step better.
The MG5pro has a special reliability. Marty Garcia, the owner of Future Sonics, tunes his earphones without using the acoustic filters which almost every other earphone maker resorts to. These filters are very susceptible to moisture and they degrade slowly over time without the listener even being aware of it, unless they listen to a new set and compare. The MG5pro has a dynamic driver which is tuned by its enclosure and vent system, which keep good isolation and maintain a high resilience to shock and moisture. Take care with either one (why not?), but really take extra care with the jh16fp to avoid moisture in your ears or elsewhere.
Future Sonics has excellent customer service. Yes, they have a protocol to follow for things like fit issues, but if you work with them, they are with you every step of the way. Anyone looking at it fairly would have to admit that JHAudio has had a definitely spotty history. I had a painless experience with them, as have many, although many others have had difficulties and delays. So, it's a mixed bag.
Finally, you can’t sell your FS CIEMs, they cannot be remolded by a third party. JH CIEMs should be able to be remolded and tuned to the original sound by companies that offer this service. However, Future Sonics’ CIEMs can be upgraded when a new generation comes out for a fraction of the price of a new model, which is unique in the industry.
Conclusion: For me, the main difference is that the jh16fp really gives you what a well-designed bassy multi-armature set up can sound like. That means added decay in the bass and lower midrange (which is done right here and not easy to do with armatures) while the crossovers allow for good instrument separation while achieving a good coherence. The armatures have been positioned to try to mimic a sense of a larger soundstage’s echo and there is a smoothness and mellow thickness throughout the lower midrange and below, while the vocal range stays clear and the treble has a peak to give some balancing edge to the darker sound. Many people will love these earphones and, as I’ve mentioned, I really enjoy them. It’s a sound that works really well and if it’s what you are looking for, then the jh16fp is one of the very best.
In contrast, the MG5pro is a single dynamic driver tuned to a balanced, studio monitor quality by a master who really appreciates the advantages of this driver. That means the air-moving quality of a dynamic driver via the excellent vent system which really reproduces the living energy of sound. This is true of the real bass energy of a dynamic driver, but it’s not only bass. Pluck a guitar string strongly and you get a percussive thrum—that’s true all along the instrument’s range and it is reproduced much more realistically by the MG5pro. Music is more alive and you don’t need to turn up the volume as much in an effort to try and get that energy. Decay, tonality and timbre are more natural and realistic. The MG5pro’s bass outperforms the jh16fp not only with energy but edges ahead in quality and clarity as well, which isn’t at all easy to do. The lower midrange is clearer without as much warmth to get in the way, the vocal range is lifted which will sound more alive and the treble is less edgy, less fatiguing but brighter and a bit more extended sounding. The soundstage is more airy and organic, which some will like and others will prefer the separation and reverberation of the jh16fp’s soundstage. It’s a different sound than the jh16fp and each person has their own preferences. For those who want what it provides, the MG5pro more than competes with a top-tier earphone at $400 less. There’s a reason the MG5pro is my go-to earphone.
Edited by Kunlun - 8/17/14 at 9:03pm
A head-fi'er asked via pm about the MG5pro. He is looking specifically for big sub-bass and a large soundstage, so I answered with that in mind. So, if you keep in mind what I had in mind (), then this works out to be a brief comparison between the MG5pro and the MG6pro. The key take-away is that the MG5pro stands equal to the MG6pro and maybe more than equal for audiophiles, depending on what you want. The MG5pro is a studio monitor that can rock on stage, while the MG6pro is a stage monitor first.
MG6pro--Big, powerful bass with sub-bass emphasis--real dynamic driver realistic bass. It is a powerfully rumbling, resonate bass. And it's adjustable. Thinner, note weight in the mids than warmly tuned CIEMs because it isn't adding thickness (a stage monitor needs to keep it real). The vocal range is boosted a lot so everyone in the band can play to the lead singer/instrumentalist on tour. I like it a lot, some find it too much but it balances the bass very well. The treble is reasonably extended and it's accurate, but it's set below the vocal range for maximum fatigue protection, so the sound overall is darker. Similar to some other stage monitors I've heard in that regard. Oh, and the mg6pro has a big soundstage which is real sounding to me, some find it resonant--it's very, very similar to the jh16fp's soundstage to my ears. I would say the fit has to be right to get that great soundstage--dynamic drivers CIEMs are more sensitive to fit, even adjusting how they sit in the ear. I've found. No vacuum fit allowed or neither your eardrum or the driver will sound right--a slightly looser fit is actually ideal here.
MG5pro--Different bass than the mg6pro. Still real bass and real sounding mids and real treble with a air-moving energy. The thrum of a guitar being plucked has a real energy at any spot on the frequency range (same for mg6pro). Here, the bass is more controlled, not cavernous and quantity is less. Yet, still goes way deep. Soundstage is less forced, more fitting with recording. I think you're looking for a big soundstage all the time, so this is not as much but the soundstage is airy and big with the right fit and a recording to match. The MG5pro's controlled bass with powerful subbass at the ready are great. Treble has more quantity, brighter sound and there's less of a pronounced boost at the vocal range than the mg6pro for a more overall balanced signature with the MG5pro.