Advice on noise-cancelling or IEM headphones
May 16, 2006 at 9:33 PM Post #16 of 30

sgprater

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EHpianist
So is the ER4P the one that sounds best without amplification?


Yes, the ER4S don't really perform unless hooked up to an amplifier. The ER4Ps, as I understand it, were designed to work well without amplification (though it never hurts).
 
May 17, 2006 at 8:59 AM Post #17 of 30

EHpianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sgprater
Yes, the ER4S don't really perform unless hooked up to an amplifier. The ER4Ps, as I understand it, were designed to work well without amplification (though it never hurts).


What about the Shure E4C without amplification?

I think I have narrowed it down to the Shure and the Ety ER4P. I will not have a chance to test them before I buy so I would appreciate any comments on the difference in sound quality between the two. Remember I am going to be listening to classical piano and want as flat and "untouched" a sound as possible.

Elena
www.duoscarbo.com
 
May 17, 2006 at 9:56 AM Post #18 of 30

milhouse6

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Have you ever tried canalphones before?

The sound quality and isolation can be truly astounding. Unfortunately, the sound of my body working isn't.

I just couldn't get past the occlusion effect (hearing yourself breathing, chewing, swallowing etc.). Moreover, inserting and reinserting to answer the phone was problematic, it hurt when I smiled, and I couldn't lie with them on the couch any better than with full-size headphones.

So no matter how good the sound quality, like many others, IEMs just aren't right for me. If I were to do it all over again I'd start low and trade up.
 
May 17, 2006 at 1:57 PM Post #19 of 30

sgprater

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EHpianist
What about the Shure E4C without amplification?

I think I have narrowed it down to the Shure and the Ety ER4P. I will not have a chance to test them before I buy so I would appreciate any comments on the difference in sound quality between the two. Remember I am going to be listening to classical piano and want as flat and "untouched" a sound as possible.



My impression, from the numerous comparisons I've read, is that you may be happier with the ER4Ps. The Shure line, as I understand it, tends to color the sound more, providing a better bass and a bit better performance for street use with digital audio players. The ER4Ps, on the other hand, are supposed to be more neutral and more detailed.

Big huge caveat: I haven't actually listened to either of the earphones; I'm just relaying what I've gathered from numerous reviews and comparisons. YMMV.
 
May 17, 2006 at 2:28 PM Post #20 of 30

EHpianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by milhouse6
Have you ever tried canalphones before?

The sound quality and isolation can be truly astounding. Unfortunately, the sound of my body working isn't.

I just couldn't get past the occlusion effect (hearing yourself breathing, chewing, swallowing etc.). Moreover, inserting and reinserting to answer the phone was problematic, it hurt when I smiled, and I couldn't lie with them on the couch any better than with full-size headphones.

So no matter how good the sound quality, like many others, IEMs just aren't right for me. If I were to do it all over again I'd start low and trade up.



I frequently wear ear plugs to sleep so I am used to hearing the inside of my body. I find it rather peaceful! I plan to use them for editing only, not for joy listening so I will be sitting at a desk all the time.
 
May 17, 2006 at 2:29 PM Post #21 of 30

nabwong

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Hi Elena,

I'm a classical trumpet player and i've had experience with both ety and shure. I used to have the er4p but sold it and now i use the e4c. My opinion is that the e4c is more balanced than the er4p. The er4p is missing the low end. The articulation on the e4c is perfect for me; it is crisp and the tone is full but tight. This makes the attack a lot clearer and seem faster. The er4p sounds a little thin to me. Maybe it's because i'm a trumpet player and i like to hear the core of the tone. Because the attack seems clearer, i feel the seperation is better. Also, it's more comfy (with foam tips), at least to me.

Here's a graph of the two.

graph.jpg


Good luck with your purchase,
Najib
 
May 17, 2006 at 2:29 PM Post #22 of 30

EHpianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sgprater
My impression, from the numerous comparisons I've read, is that you may be happier with the ER4Ps. The Shure line, as I understand it, tends to color the sound more, providing a better bass and a bit better performance for street use with digital audio players. The ER4Ps, on the other hand, are supposed to be more neutral and more detailed.

Big huge caveat: I haven't actually listened to either of the earphones; I'm just relaying what I've gathered from numerous reviews and comparisons. YMMV.



That seems to be the impression I got as well, reading all the online reviews (both here and elsewhere). Was just giving it one last hurrah to see if anyone thought differently.

Elena
www.duoscarbo.com
 
May 17, 2006 at 2:35 PM Post #23 of 30

EHpianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nabwong
Hi Elena,

I'm a classical trumpet player and i've had experience with both ety and shure. I used to have the er4p but sold it and now i use the e4c. My opinion is that the e4c is more balanced than the er4p. The er4p is missing the low end. The articulation on the e4c is perfect for me; it is crisp and the tone is full but tight. This makes the attack a lot clearer and seem faster. The er4p sounds a little thin to me. Maybe it's because i'm a trumpet player and i like to hear the core of the tone. Because the attack seems clearer, i feel the seperation is better. Also, it's more comfy (with foam tips), at least to me.

Good luck with your purchase,
Najib



Thanks Najib. Your point on clarity of attack is interesting as that is something I definitely need for editing...

I really wish I could get to try these before buying. I imagine they must both come with money back guarantees no?

Everyone says the shures are way more comfy than the Etys...

Thanks for the graph. I see the Etys peak at a higher frequency, maybe this is the reason for the "thinness" of sound?

Choices choices...

Elena
www.duoscarbo.com
 
May 17, 2006 at 2:52 PM Post #24 of 30

lostbobby

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EHpianist
That seems to be the impression I got as well, reading all the online reviews (both here and elsewhere). Was just giving it one last hurrah to see if anyone thought differently.

Elena
www.duoscarbo.com



Good luck with those, Just make sure you can return whatever for a refund.
Etymotics fit me better with the cord looped back over the ear and with Shure triple flange tips.

This might be relevant: Last year i was making excerpts of solo and orchestral works to upload to a web server, Scriabin, Brahms, Bloch, deciding on which passages to put up, sampling rates, etc. This was before i got the UM2s and Ultimate ears, but I found the e3cs and Ety 6i's totally inadequate to critical listening, only the Sennheisers gave me enough information. The E4cs are much, much better than the E3cs, but I suspect this is true in general for all universal (non-custom-molded) IEMs vs. middle of the line Sennheisers.
 
May 17, 2006 at 2:58 PM Post #25 of 30

sgprater

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You could order both, try them out, and return the set that doesn't suit you. Headroom has 30-day no-questions-asked return policy; all you would lose would be return shipping on the rejected pair.
 
May 17, 2006 at 4:28 PM Post #26 of 30

EHpianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sgprater
You could order both, try them out, and return the set that doesn't suit you. Headroom has 30-day no-questions-asked return policy; all you would lose would be return shipping on the rejected pair.


Not a bad idea.

Thanks for all the advice!

Elena
www.duoscarbo.com
 
May 18, 2006 at 6:31 PM Post #27 of 30

iancraig10

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sgprater
You could order both, try them out, and return the set that doesn't suit you. Headroom has 30-day no-questions-asked return policy; all you would lose would be return shipping on the rejected pair.


Is that ok with IEM's?

Ian
 
May 18, 2006 at 7:04 PM Post #28 of 30

sgprater

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iancraig10
Is that ok with IEM's?


I don't see anything in their return policy that specifically excepts IEMs. All products need to be returned in AS-NEW condition, which, for obvious reasons, the ear tips would not be. The way to work around that, I suppose, is to order a supplementary package of ear tips to go with the IEMs, use the ear inserts from that package to try them out, and ship back the IEMs that don't work out with the pristine, untouched package of ear tips that came with them.

In any event, Headroom has both a toll-free number and an email address. One could always check with them before ordering.
 
May 18, 2006 at 9:11 PM Post #29 of 30

Computerpro3

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Wow, welcome to headfi from one pianoworld member to another! Small world, huh?

As for what I'd reccomend, I'd have to go with the e4c for editing. I personally own the Super Fi Pro 5's, but I got them because I love their musicality. Neutrality, however, is not their strong suit. I just happen to favor their colorations.

When I was deciding on my purchase, I listened to the e4c. Well recorded piano music sounded really, really good on them, especially when hooked up to an amplifier.

If you buy used, you may be able to swing a portable amplifier and a pair of e4c's for around your budget or possibly slightly more. I just can't imagine running any high end headphone straight out of a laptop. Especially when the person listening is intimately familiar with how a piano sounds, as you and I are. Quite simply the lower end notes will sound lacking without one, even on my super fi pro 5's. It's like the difference between a Hamburg Steinway or Bosendorfer and a Chinese grand like mine
tongue.gif


Good luck, and I love your music!
 
May 18, 2006 at 10:46 PM Post #30 of 30

jSatch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EHpianist

Thanks for the graph. I see the Etys peak at a higher frequency, maybe this is the reason for the "thinness" of sound?



Actually what you are seeing on the graphs are break-up nodes. These occur in all speakers. THEY ARE NOT GOOD!!! The higher up the freq range, and out of your range of hearing the better. (I believe after 16k digital music is rapidly attenuated.) These nodes can result in ringing or sibilance in the treble.

It looks like the Shure may be damping out its first node at a little over 4k, due to the unnatural slope and slight peak within it. The node at 8k would tend to give back a little sizzle to the treble, so he freq response is not too dull. Bit of a suck-out between 2k and 8k though. I'm surprised at this response considering how loved these phones are. In all fairness, I don't know how these measurements were taken.

The Ety actually follows a more natural roll off from about 2k, which I believe is ~12db/octave for drivers, before it hits its node very high the the freq spectrum. Although I suspect its first node may be at about 9k, I would guess that the Ety filter (not cross-over, the actual replaceable filter) may pad this down somewhat.

What causes this break-up? (Just in case you are interested)
Break-up nodes occur when the voice coil is pushing one way while the outer edge (for the 1st freq node) will still be traveling in the other direction. This ‘flex’ or node point occurs close to midway between the outer edge and the point where the voice coil meets the diaphragm. Theoretically keep halving this as you enter into the next node, etc, up the freq range. Each results in a sharp peak in the treble region. Soft tweeters, for example, exhibit this within the range of hearing and music, but the soft material and surround dampens the amplitude of the peak. Thus, the peaks are low and are not (very) offensive. Thin plastic, curved diaphragms of mid and bass units are often considered polite due to the same reasons. Metal diaphragms, such as on dome tweeters, maintain a very good response much higher into the freq range due to their very rigid structure. With all else being equal, this rigid diaphragm is far more accurate in its response. The peak can be padded down somewhat with a circuit, or in the case of the Ety / Altec IEMs, the filter unit (my presumption only!). Crappy amplification would tend to exacerbate this situation.

The diaphragm will loosen up at its frequency node points (flexure) over time and become less harsh, i.e., 'Burn-in', for you non-believers.
 

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