A quick first impression - Sharp MD33s
Feb 1, 2006 at 2:47 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

phosfiend

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These arrived yesterday, 5 business days from the other end of the earth - audiocubes, colour me impressed.

I've been wearing my ATH-PRO700's for my portable getup lately, and it works like a charm - they sound GREAT, but alas, with the snow/rain + the want to wear my trapper hat, I needed something portable again. I also have a pair of akg k26p's - they sound good, but I just NEVER use them - they aren't portable enough to justify leaving the PRO700's at home. Also, I wanted a pair of earphones I could snowboard/bmx with under a helmet.

I've had 2 (maybe 3 pairs) of SONY ex71's, one died and the others I gave away. They were replaced with sony ex81's, which are in my opinion, absolute rubbish, I prefered the sound and fit of the ex71's.

I've also upgraded my MD recorder to one of the SHARP 1-bit AUVI units... so I really had no excuse not to try the MD33S'. I was hoping for something a bit better than the ex71/81's - and i am very satisfied.

quickly:
Build/Look:
the build of the earpiece seems sturdier than both of the above SONY's, and the cable feels much stronger (in contrast, the EX81 cable is coated in vintage Silly-Putty). Not that I care, but the look is very subdued, and even lower profile than the SONY's.

Fit:
In the case of buds/IEMS, fit is hugely subjective, but for what it's worth I prefer the MD33S' slightly over the EX71's and leagues beyond the EX81's.

Sound:
They are considerably cleaner than the SONY's - and somehow, there is more bass! - which is fortunately not as muddy, still far from articulate, but a definite improvement. I mirror the opinion around here that there is a tinny-ness to them in the upper mids, but it is totally tolerable. Cable noise is also a factor, but at $35 USD I'm not expecting coiled cables with sound damping coating. Thus far, I have not been distracted by cable-noise, but I think I may have the rare ability to tune it out. Soundstage seems wider as well, could the the 4 polar design have something to do with this? And finally, they are more efficient than the SONY's - I find myself constantly turning them down, a rarity for me.

Value:
For the price, the MD33S' are the clear winners when compared to the EX71's and the EX81's - I have not heard the similarly priced options from JVC, Pioneer, Panasonic or Audio-Technica, but I would wager that the SHARP's would give them some competition at this price point.

One thing I would have liked is a little case for them not unlike the pods for the EX71's or EX81's. Fortunately, since I have now useless pair of EX81's (they were pretty useless before too) the SHARP's fit snugly in their POD. I Imagine the same would go for the EX71 pod-like case.

To consider:
It's quite possible that I am actually using the best possible source available for these little IEB's as they were developed in parallel with my MD recorder.
 
Feb 1, 2006 at 4:29 AM Post #2 of 9

alexs

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i am considering getting these for a friend. however she will just be using them with a regular mp3 player. not the sharp. this is where i heard you have to use the extension cord, which is extremely uncomfortable.

but who knows, maybe you will be able to convince me. how inconvenient is it really?

thanks
 
Feb 1, 2006 at 6:14 AM Post #3 of 9

phosfiend

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I fortunately do not need the extension, as I am using my remote. But as far as Japanese IEM's in this price range go, most are MD friendly (aka short for remotes, but come with an extension). I believe there is a rebranded version of the MD33's by Creative, with a regular length cord, and no four-pole sillyness: Creative EP-630. I doubt there is much of an audible difference between the 4pole and 3 pole configurations, plus the added 'convenience' of a 1.2m cord.
 
Feb 1, 2006 at 6:23 AM Post #5 of 9

phosfiend

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Some IEMS reach around your ear, the MD33S' don't. they fit essentially like a bud, but go deeper into the canal and provide a seal - this helps for isolation, and bass. Some IEMS also go much deeper into the ear, I guess earphones like MD33S' or EX71's are more like IEB's (In Ear Buds). Everyone is different, but I find this style of earphone more comfortable and a better fit than regular buds - I had a pair of MDR-e888's, they sounded quite nice, but I couldn't get them to fit properly so i gave them away.
 
Feb 1, 2006 at 6:25 AM Post #6 of 9

rhythmicmoose

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Is the cord symmetric or asymmetric? Anyone know which it is for the EP-630? I'm looking for an EX71 replacement too, and the models on my radar are Panasonic HJE50 (I think that's right), Creative EP-640, Sharp MD-33, Sennheiser IE-4, and Sennheiser CX-300. Has anyone heard more than one of these?
 

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