Pros - Surprisingly spacious soundstage, great instrument seperation for the price, highs are nicely detailed without sibilance, partially open, realistic
Cons - Bass anemic (atleast before EQ'ing), mids sound pretty recessed, some missing information in the midrange
I just put these in my ears and the verdict is......thin sounding ;(
atleast before EQ
I bought these by request from a Head-Fi'r, and regardless of that characteristic, im still not disappointed
The bass reminds me of the AKG 701's, practically non present.
However, I couldn't get over how large the sound stage was and how well instruments are separated.
Definately could see people paying $150+ for this and not being disappointed.
They seem a bit more picky to audio file quality than other IEM's in this price range, i found my poorly mastered recordings sounding particularly thin through these.
I can definately hear potential with these, especially for how well they do with rock. They have a great soundstage and instruments can easily be determined in direction and the texture is very accurate and believable, however there one major set back is how thin they sound ;/
If they simply added more bass, I think these would be a really popular product.
They dont distort at high volumes, which is rather unbelievable at this price range, and I found myself headbanging to some "woe of tyrants" with these, and I actually have very few headphones (or IEM's) that induce headbanging, and these do, even with the anemic bass.
The Head-Fi'r that lead me onto these mentioned that these NEEDED eq, which I have yet to have the chance to try until I get my Cowon J3 this christmas, but even un-EQ'd, these sounded really damn impressive for how much I payed.
When I do get my Cowon J3, I am going to EQ in the low end a bit and maybe EQ out some of the sibilant area's that give it a bit of a "tinny" sound, and I think these will be my new favorite budget portable
I can definately hear potential in these babies and I KNOW for a fact that once I do some serious EQ'ing, these could sound absolutely fantastic.
Sadly enough, I prefer these over my IE8's with an aftermarket cable, and those together retail for about $400 together! Everybody talked about how great the soundstage with the IE8's were, and I found it heavily overhyped, and quite frankly, sub-standard.
I didn't expect these to have a soundstage at all, and instead I found it to be incredibly large and spacious!
I will definately be returning the IE8's though, not because they are bad, but the huge bass saturation and recessed highs made them sound rather Low-Fi to me, of course thats opinion but it just didnt sound anything near what I payed for it.
From now on. until I give some more time actually listening to IEM's before I buy, I'm not going to be taking like plunges like that with IEM's again (unless they are under $100, then it doesnt hurt so bad, like these )
This IEM just goes to show how silly some high end headphone purchases can be, since I would say I only think the IE8's are 10 percent better, and only because they are more full bodied and have plenty of bass.
When these get EQ'd, I'll be worried about how I think the IE8's sound . That is, if I havn't returned them or sold them to somebody who is more into that sound signature
I used to think I was a bass-head, then I became obsessed with soundstage after the FA-011's (love those), and now I find myself looking for a nice mix of all worlds (ie neutral)
I will taking these around with me everywhere I travel and I am really really happy with the purchase
The tips are a little uncomfortable and I can find them slipping out of my ears slowly over time when wearing them, which has me worried they might pop out at any moment, but if i jam them in far enough, its fine.
It does gather earwax like the other guy said, and since the drivers are so close to the tips, I think they may need to be cleaned more regularly than other IEM's.
I got spoiled by the comply tips on the IE8's, which were easier on the inner ear but muffled the sound stage and the mids and highs more than i liked
Regardless, this is a pick up you have to get, and at this price, how could you be disappointed?
Pros - cheap, great detail for the price, great soundstage
Cons - recessed midrange, earwax gathers at the tip of the driver, not much isolation
I don't really have much experience with IEMs, because it's rare to find one that I truly like. There is always a problem which is either the sound or fit. That said, this satisfies me on both levels and my wallet is happy.
It's not as comfortable as the Marshmallows or the Air Cushions, but it is comfortable, and that's a good thing because 90% of IEMs don't agree with me. The best IEM I've heard is the EX600 and the FXC51 can give it a run for it's money in terms of detail. The EX600 has a near perfect sound in my book along with a great fit and variety of tips, however the problem is that it's worn around the ear. Yes I know I'm whiny. Given a choice, I'd pick the FXC51.
These don't isolate all that well, due to the vented back I believe, however that's not a problem for me as I like to be aware of my surroundings. Maybe it's my ears but I have cleaned the tip of the driver twice due to earwax gathering. The earwax can actually affect the sound by creating a veil-like effect.
Interestingly the Micro HD drivers respond to EQ very very well, it's a very flexible IEM for EQ lovers, even if the signature sound is flawed in your opinion you can tweak it to almost whatever you like. I know that EQ is a sin for some of us here but if you don't EQ and you prefer an accurate tone, avoid this at all costs.
As for me, sometimes I EQ sometimes I don't. This is what the FR graph looks like: