Atom Club, meet Head-Fi... IEMs advice needed
Jun 16, 2007 at 6:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

Wmcmanus

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As some of you know, I've recently ordered an Ariel Atom which is an insanely fast street legal (in most places in the world) sports/racing car. I'll be picking in up in Oregon in mid July at which time the real fun will begin!

See here about the Atom:
http://www.arielatom.com (company website)
http://www.atomclub.com (owner/enthusiast club)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaWoo82zNUA (crazy video)

It seems that my hobbies have intersected, at least to some extent. Many Atom owners are also music lovers, or at least they would prefer to listen to the Grateful Dead than the sound of an engine sucking their ears off. So my question to the Head-Fi crowd is simply this:

What IEMs would you recommend most highly for someone who wants to wear them with a helmet on while driving at insane speeds? For this, you will need good isolation and comfort more so than outstanding sonics.

Let's use 2 categories: 1) $300 and under, and 2) sky is the limit!

I've recommended the Shure E500 (if you can still find a new pair for $300-ish) mostly because of the excellent pricing after they were rebranded as SE530, and also because of the PTH device which is a must for an Atom owner no matter what IEMs they use.

I've also recommended the Westone ES2 for custom fit IEMs since this is the way I'd go if I had to do it all over again. It seems to me that they give the same (or better) sound quality as the UE-10 Pro and Sensaphonics 2X-S but at a lower price point.

Finally, I've pointed them to Jude's excellent "The Year of the IEM?" thread.

Thanks for your input!
 
Jun 16, 2007 at 7:21 PM Post #2 of 20

F107plus5

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Cool little buggy! Kinda a cross between an early Lotus 7, and a Myers Manx roadster!

....but BETTER!

If they'd only have had something like that after that gal put her Cortina right smack in front of my Healey 100-6 back in '72.
frown.gif
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 5:12 AM Post #3 of 20

Wmcmanus

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Can anyone advise about which IEMs for about $300 would be best when worn with a helmet on?

Keep in mind that the Atom's engine runs well over 100 dB and the air intake is right behind your head, so isolation is pretty important.

Also, the IEMs can't stick out from the ears too far. I've tried the Shure E500 with my helmet and they work fine so long as you're careful not to break the seal when putting your helmet on and taking it off.
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 5:30 AM Post #5 of 20

mattr762

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The roar of the ecotec/honda engine is all the music you need in the Atom!
580smile.gif


I'm a member of the AtomClub.com also. I've ridden in an Atom at Hallet, OK. Fastest car I've ever been in. We passes Ford GT's and Dodge Vipers with NO problem. My only problem with the Atom is they raise the price $4-6,000 every 6 months.
frown.gif


Here's a video:
http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...d-GT_Viper.flv

Now regarding the IEM's:
Are you sure you want isolation while driving a car like that. Listening is a very important sense while driving. Listening to your surroundings, engine, passenger screaming could help avoid any accidents.

P.S. Grand Cayman is awesome too! I was caught there in Hurricane Charlie.
blink.gif
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 5:46 AM Post #6 of 20

guttorm

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damn fine automobile! didn't it get the fastest time around top gear's track? some guy that lives around here has a lime green lambo murcielago which is impressive in its own right, but this thing would destroy it on a track.
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 5:59 AM Post #7 of 20

mattr762

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Quote:

Originally Posted by guttorm /img/forum/go_quote.gif
damn fine automobile! didn't it get the fastest time around top gear's track?


Not the Fastest, but VERY respectable for the money.

1 Koenigsegg CCX (with TG spoiler) 1.17.6
2 Pagani Zonda F 1.18.4
3 Maserati MC12 1.18.9
4 Ferrari Enzo 1.19.0
5 Ariel Atom 1.19.5
6 Porsche Carrera GT 1.19.8
7 Koenigsegg CCX 1.20.4
8 Ascari KZ1 1.20.7
9 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 1.20.9
10 Ford GT 1.21.9
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 6:22 AM Post #8 of 20

wower

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Wow! That list puts the car in good company...

In regards to headphones while driving: I know for a fact that its illegal in Canada to drive with headphones. I had a good friend that got a ticket for it several summers ago. And yet another friend (who works in delivery in Calgary) has been doing it for years with no problem. I'm guessing speeding tickets will be more of a problem with that vehicle however I'm guessing it will attact its portion of police attention. Be careful..
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 7:15 AM Post #9 of 20

Zacorias

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Also, I would consider worrying less about sound quality and just buy a cheap pair (if any) for when you're driving because I doubt you will hear much of a difference with 100db right behind your head.

Sweet car, that is my favorite episode of top gear
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 7:22 AM Post #10 of 20

TheStig

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I say let the intake suck out the earwax and listen to the engine rather than music. With a car like that, the only music you should be listening to is the engine.
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 8:07 AM Post #11 of 20

bugg100

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In my motorcycle helmet, I used earbud style phones placed into the hard foam behind the fabric. That way not too much isolation (it matters) but the sound is there to be a minor distraction....

At that speed, are you really concerned about audiophile matters or tunes for fun?
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 8:12 AM Post #12 of 20

Wmcmanus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mattr762 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The roar of the ecotec/honda engine is all the music you need in the Atom!
580smile.gif


I'm a member of the AtomClub.com also. I've ridden in an Atom at Hallet, OK. Fastest car I've ever been in. We passes Ford GT's and Dodge Vipers with NO problem. My only problem with the Atom is they raise the price $4-6,000 every 6 months.
frown.gif



I know what you mean there. I didn't get my order in before the October price increase last year (not good), but there has just been another one (effective tomorrow, actually). The nice thing about it is that they are constantly improving the car in subtle but important ways, so I think it's well justified and still a great value.

I'll be at Hallett this October for the Atom Fest! See here: http://www.atomfest.us

Quote:



I'm listening to The Doors right now, and quite loud at that, so I didn't listen to the audio on that clip. But it sure seemed odd toward the end because the rear tea tray (engine cover) seemed to be lifting. What gives with that?

Quote:

Now regarding the IEM's:
Are you sure you want isolation while driving a car like that. Listening is a very important sense while driving. Listening to your surroundings, engine, passenger screaming could help avoid any accidents.


This is why I like the E500 (SE530) so much with the PTH device. It gives you the ability to listen to either your music or the engine and screaming passenger at will. For anyone who drives the Atom for long periods of time (or even short periods), the need for hearing protection will become immediately apparent.

Quote:

P.S. Grand Cayman is awesome too! I was caught there in Hurricane Charlie.
blink.gif


I missed that one somehow. Who was Charile? Ivan was the bad one, and REALLY bad at that. But we were back to normal in no time.
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 8:26 AM Post #13 of 20

Wmcmanus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bugg100 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
In my motorcycle helmet, I used earbud style phones placed into the hard foam behind the fabric. That way not too much isolation (it matters) but the sound is there to be a minor distraction....

At that speed, are you really concerned about audiophile matters or tunes for fun?



I think you're right in that sound quality won't be the main issue for most Atom owners. It's really more about isolation and also comfort while wearing them under a helmet.

Keep in mind this thread isn't to get advice that I'll be using myself (I've got the UE-10 Pro for myself and the E500 with plenty of disposable tips for my passengers who are along for long trips).

I'm looking for the best options in the $300-ish price range that will be suitable for Atom owners who I'm sure might also do some iPod listening from time to time. So it would be something that could also upgrade their standard iBuds as well, be used in airplanes, while cutting the grass, etc.

As far as Atom driving goes, in regular street traffic I'd probably keep my IEMs in but use the PTH device with the outside noise level set a little on the low side. That way I could still hear what is going on around me, much as I do now when riding my scooter with IEMs on under my helmet. It really works quite well on the scooter because it all but eliminates wind noise. Then at traffic lights or when I'm on open highway in light traffic, I'll do some low volume listening.

About 80% of the time, the IEMs are in place simply for the isolation they provide. With the PTH device you can control the level of outside noise that you hear by adjusting the volume on the microphone pick up. In a sense the PTH device can be used as a hearing aid when you want to hear something at a higher level that your naked ear would hear it. Or you can turn the mic way down and thus use the PTH in much the way that you would use standard earplugs. My only complaint is that the volume control on the PTH is not easy to adjust on the fly because it is so small and also recessed into the device, making it akward to get to for those of us with big fingers.

With the Atom, at any speeds above 30-50 mph you won't be able to hear much of what is going on around you in any event, between the engine sound and the air flow through your helmet vents. This is why I think most Atom owners opt for hearing protection of some sort. On long trips, it's really essential. Might as well listen to music rather than a muffled engine howl, at least after the newness of the sensation dies down. If you wanted to be 100% safe, you would have bought the Chevy Cavalier instead.
 
Jun 17, 2007 at 8:26 AM Post #14 of 20

krmathis

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IEM's and car driving sounds like a really bad idea to me!
The Atom is a marvelous car, which with its supercharged Honda engine produce all the music you ever need when driving.
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Jun 17, 2007 at 1:01 PM Post #15 of 20

M0T0XGUY

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Etymotic claims that its ER4 series can reach up to 42db in isolation, so you might want to look in that direction if you need IEMs. Or, if you wanted to save some money you could always buy the ER6i's which have similar isolation ratings, but that wouldn't be Head-Fi would it?
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