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Fit for a Bat! – Flagship IEMs Shootout (8:CT6E, 7:H8P, 6:JH13, 5:K10, 4:BD4.2, 3:A12, 2:W500, 1:SE5U) - Page 7

post #91 of 1008
Fantastic!
Splitting hairs among all extremely good headphones is difficult, breaking it down into distinct categories and sub-categories seems like the most logical way to do it. Your categorization and breakdown gives a good sense of those qualities of the headphone and allow better comparison, and let's me prioritize which aspects I am biased for enjoying the most.

That said, my experience is that sometimes when I hear something new and exciting, I lose grip on minutia after a few songs, and I end up just letting a headphone playback my library on shuffle for an hour or more. Sometimes this happens when there's something really GOOD about a certain characteristic which I never knew I valued, or a trait I prioritize hits a new level that I want to hear a couple more favourite songs through the filter of this headphone... Or best of all, and a sure sign of a winner, it all just comes together in such a jucy coherent package that I just have to play everything through to the end, and I'm so awestruck that I relinquish control on the song cue (shuffle all songs in my library) and float with my full attention and emotions riding on the music.

I think it's important to analyze the character of a headphone, and that's especially important when describing the sound to others, but I don't really "grok" a headphone until I break out of my preset "quality test songs" playlist and let random chance teach me about what a headphone does really well (or really poorly). I think there's a certain amount of "brain burn-in" that happens when you overplay a song, even with different headphones. An example of this was with HiFiMan's original HE-400 with velour pads: I thought it did pretty well with my test tracks and I could see living with it, but I didn't realize it wouldn't be an all-rounder for me until "A Woman Left Lonely" by Janis Joplin came on with poor mastering doubling the HE-400's flaw in recessed mids. It sounded like the lead singer was a background vocalist! With my more recent Oppo PM-3 testing, I've grown in affection for it as I enjoyed the forward presentation during intimate songs like "I Don't Get It" by Cowboy Junkies and "Got To Go Back" by Van Morrison, and while not "holographic" the PM-3's rendition of depth on my copy of "Hungarian Dances: No. 5 in G Minor" is very good.

Jelt, do you ever feel like you have a hard time "understanding" a headphone with overplayed test tracks?

Subbed! Looking forward to the rest of the reviews!
post #92 of 1008
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Fantastic!
Splitting hairs among all extremely good headphones is difficult, breaking it down into distinct categories and sub-categories seems like the most logical way to do it. Your categorization and breakdown gives a good sense of those qualities of the headphone and allow better comparison, and let's me prioritize which aspects I am biased for enjoying the most.

That said, my experience is that sometimes when I hear something new and exciting, I lose grip on minutia after a few songs, and I end up just letting a headphone playback my library on shuffle for an hour or more. Sometimes this happens when there's something really GOOD about a certain characteristic which I never knew I valued, or a trait I prioritize hits a new level that I want to hear a couple more favourite songs through the filter of this headphone... Or best of all, and a sure sign of a winner, it all just comes together in such a jucy coherent package that I just have to play everything through to the end, and I'm so awestruck that I relinquish control on the song cue (shuffle all songs in my library) and float with my full attention and emotions riding on the music.

I think it's important to analyze the character of a headphone, and that's especially important when describing the sound to others, but I don't really "grok" a headphone until I break out of my preset "quality test songs" playlist and let random chance teach me about what a headphone does really well (or really poorly). I think there's a certain amount of "brain burn-in" that happens when you overplay a song, even with different headphones. An example of this was with HiFiMan's original HE-400 with velour pads: I thought it did pretty well with my test tracks and I could see living with it, but I didn't realize it wouldn't be an all-rounder for me until "A Woman Left Lonely" by Janis Joplin came on with poor mastering doubling the HE-400's flaw in recessed mids. It sounded like the lead singer was a background vocalist! With my more recent Oppo PM-3 testing, I've grown in affection for it as I enjoyed the forward presentation during intimate songs like "I Don't Get It" by Cowboy Junkies and "Got To Go Back" by Van Morrison, and while not "holographic" the PM-3's rendition of depth on my copy of "Hungarian Dances: No. 5 in G Minor" is very good.

Jelt, do you ever feel like you have a hard time "understanding" a headphone with overplayed test tracks?

Subbed! Looking forward to the rest of the reviews!

 

For me it's a mix. I spend a lot of time listening to new music for enjoyment (that's why it takes months before I even start to rate anything) and get a good overall feel of the IEM. But then when it comes time to rate, I don't necessarily use the same 'test tracks' all the time, but I'll choose music I know relatively well or have been listening to a lot, and then keep cycling through the IEMs around the same tracks. Actually I tried creating 'test track' playlists but gave them up, because I kept changing them depending on the music I like most at that period.

 

I've had a brief hiatus, but the rest of the reviews are coming soon. Thanks for your support!

post #93 of 1008
Your hiatus is nothing compared to mine, but again THANK YOU for the informative and fun work you've shared so far! I've been picking through your "Brief review: Many IEMs" thread for meanwhile-fun.

I'm contemplating my first custom IEM, because comfort and weight have been a big part about my full-size headphone selection process so far. Sonically, I prefer a signature that "disappears," so imaging is believable and coherence through the frequency range so one part doesn't stick out. However, I have a hard time understanding vocals/words sometimes, so probably a touch of mids energy is nice. As much as I love alt-rock and Americana and more, I also play videogames with surround processing almost daily, so good marks in your soundstage section are appealing to me too. I liked my 3 AKGs (Q701, K712, K612) overall the most so far, but I like things about my PM-3 (clarity/no veil) and vintage Stax SR.-X mk3 (again, clarity) despite their comfort shortcomings. Meanwhile, despite it's physical comfort strengths, I couldn't keep the thin DT880 (first experience with tinnitus). I think I have a good idea what to look for in your reviews, but of course well-priced classified offers are tempting too. I'd be super happy with a comfortable Stax that wasn't too bright (who wouldn't?!), but I don't think I've seen that option yet... unless you think the Harmony 8 was tailor-made for me?

Anyway, keep having fun with your review, makes it that much more worth doing!
Edited by Evshrug - 6/30/15 at 12:47am
post #94 of 1008
Is there any truth to "some people's ears are too small for 8+ driver CIEMs?" Is that a thing that can happen?
post #95 of 1008

I think it usually has to do with the number of bores and size of bores vs the size of your ear canals, and not so much the driver count...

post #96 of 1008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Is there any truth to "some people's ears are too small for 8+ driver CIEMs?" Is that a thing that can happen?

Usually number of drivers is not a problem as shell size is more flexible. You can have a shell that protrudes a bit instead of sitting flush with the ear to accommodate the higher number of drivers. Limiting factor is the canal size and how many bores it can support - no work around for that one. 

post #97 of 1008
Thanks to both of you!
Of course it's hard to guess if my canal size is too small if I've never had CIEMs before... I preferred the smallest "olive" tips on my Audeo Phoneak UIEM, and yet my longtime friends the Etymotic ER-6i are usually sporting the standard foam tips or the large silicone flange tips! I've just never gotten along well with olive-shaped tips...

Meanwhile, who else is looking forward to the next "Fit for a Bat!" Update? wink.gif
post #98 of 1008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Is there any truth to "some people's ears are too small for 8+ driver CIEMs?" Is that a thing that can happen?


Believe me when I say some people' ears are too small or strangely shaped for any cIEM

post #99 of 1008
Quote:
Originally Posted by piotrus-g View Post


Believe me when I say some people' ears are too small or strangely shaped for any cIEM

David's ears biggrin.gif
post #100 of 1008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1110 View Post


David's ears biggrin.gif


Naaah his ear are not that bad.

post #101 of 1008
And then I had to go and dream of Batman, with elements of TriGun, on a giant Eco-bubble space station. The two bad guys were making an army of people being mutated into super bats.

Basically, I need the next installment of this round-up.

^^°,_,°^^
post #102 of 1008
Quote:
Originally Posted by piotrus-g View Post

Believe me when I say some people' ears are too small or strangely shaped for any cIEM

Is there any way to tell before buying a CIEM?
post #103 of 1008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


Is there any way to tell before buying a CIEM?


Sure, take your ear impressions first.

post #104 of 1008
When is the next ranking coming out? Been waiting, lol
post #105 of 1008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Is there any truth to "some people's ears are too small for 8+ driver CIEMs?" Is that a thing that can happen?


According to Piotr over at CA mine are too small for the harmony range, a couple of other's on here have had the same I think :(

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