Atrio M5/M8 vs Sleek Audio SA6
Oct 26, 2008 at 5:49 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

Romanian

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Hey all,

I'm looking for some good IEMs to use with my current iAudio U3, and for future use with my (possible) iAudio D2. I've ruled out open headphones because I listen to my music a lot outside, and it rains a lot where I live. Ruled out closed headphones simply because I don't like them. All that are left are IEMs.

I've been doing a bit of research, and for my tastes, I think that the Atrio M5/M8 just about hits the spot. The thing is, I've had bad experiences with headphones. The cables always get ruined within several months of use. Granted, they are cheap $10 from Target, but I can see it happening with quality ones as well. I ran upon the Sleek Audio SA6 while browsing through Amazon. I really like that you can replace the cable on these things. I'm wondering if anybody has ever bought these, or at least used them, and how they would compare with other IEMs in the price range of 125-200 USD? Or would you even consider buying IEMs with replaceable cables?

Music I listen to: metal, orchestra, trance. A lot of acoustic, a lot of music requiring tight bass, and the occasional light classical. Honestly, the most important thing to me is bass. I plan to get the Shure olives if the silicone/plastic on these don't give a good enough seal. As always, any other recommendations are appreciated.
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 10:28 PM Post #5 of 16

Spadge

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If bass is your thing then the M8's are what you need.

I used to own the M8's but sold them when I got the SA6's. I find the highs and soundstage much nicer on the SA6 and overall they are more refined.

Both are great phones though and before the SA6's I used to love the M8's

Paul
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 11:27 PM Post #6 of 16

Romanian

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Hm. I've read several conflicting posts. Some which say that the bass on the SA6 is really tight but not muddy, keeping all the rest in tune (this would be great for orchestral music), and I'm assuming they did the bass+ mod with the pin. Others say that they don't have enough bass. The one thing I'm afraid of with the M5/M8 is whether or not the bass will take away from the clarity of the rest of the frequency ranges. For example, Andre Rieu has loads of mids and highs with just enough of the bass-y instruments. Would the Atrio take away from the overall quality?

Thanks,
Romanian
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 11:40 PM Post #7 of 16

dookiex

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The clarity is consistent but the low end is more prominent on bass heavy tracks. No congesting or muddying of the high end of the spectrum but they just take the back seat when there is lots of bass present.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 1:13 AM Post #8 of 16

Romanian

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Final question. How about that pin trick for bass+ on the SA6 vs M5/M8? Not sure if anybody can compare these, but no harm in asking.

Thanks,
Romanian
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 2:18 AM Post #9 of 16

Spadge

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I have done the pin trick on the SA6. It does increase the bass and also has the added plus of opening up the soundstage to sound more 'airy'.

The modded-bass+ still isn't as much bass as the M8's... but to my ears the bass on the SA6 isn't lacking at all and is more pleasant than on the M8's.

Good luck

Paul
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 2:26 AM Post #10 of 16

scytheavatar

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Romanian /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hm. I've read several conflicting posts. Some which say that the bass on the SA6 is really tight but not muddy, keeping all the rest in tune (this would be great for orchestral music), and I'm assuming they did the bass+ mod with the pin. Others say that they don't have enough bass. The one thing I'm afraid of with the M5/M8 is whether or not the bass will take away from the clarity of the rest of the frequency ranges. For example, Andre Rieu has loads of mids and highs with just enough of the bass-y instruments. Would the Atrio take away from the overall quality?

Thanks,
Romanian



Whether or not the SA6 has enough bass depends on the person and how much bass he lusts for. Looking at the list of genre you listen to I think you should be happy with the amount of bass the SA6 can offer. They certainly can't match the M5 for bass, and the M5 has a reasonably good clarity for an IEM of its price and kind, but the SA6's clarity is on another level. It's good enough to match blades with the very best. And the SA6 is certainly brighter than the rather dark M5, and has better isolation. So the SA6 is worth the extra price, but you can't go wrong with the M5 either.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:01 PM Post #11 of 16

royalmathmtcs

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The yellow Shure foamies, along with about 50 hours of burn-in, really bring out the high and mids, while taming the bass of the M5s. I was dissapointed with them at first, but now I couldn't be happier with the sound.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:40 PM Post #12 of 16

Romanian

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Damn, I really am torn on whether to get the M5/8 or SA6, or even get any IEMs at all. Is there any place that I can compare them side-by-side, or would I have to buy them both and return one pair?

But yeah, I'm having seconds thoughts. Do they really make *that* much of a difference over, say, those $10 Jellyz earbuds?
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 10:09 PM Post #13 of 16

LaBreaHead

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"Is there any place that I can compare them side-by-side..."

Not really.

..."or would I have to buy them both and return one pair?"

If you are really undecided.

"Do they really make *that* much of a difference over, say, those $10 Jellyz earbuds?"

Yes! Not in direct 1-to-1 proportion to the cost (there's a law of diminishing returns with headphones/earphones) ... but clearly a difference (pun intended). I love my Atrio M5s, but I have a feeling that if you are as concerned about cables as you seem to be, getting the SA6's would bring you peace of mind (plus some users who have moved on to the SA6's from the excellent Future Sonics Atrios prefer the greater clarity and the "convertiblty" of the Sleeks). And, if this matters, the SA6's would be much smaller than the Atrios.

But either way, you're going to enjoy listening to your favorite music ...
 
Oct 28, 2008 at 1:00 AM Post #14 of 16

MrBigglesworth

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I don't know about the Sleek cables (replaceable, IIRC?), but the Atrio cables are lot thicker and kink-resistant than the $10 jobs you're probably more used to.
As for trying them before you buy, most people wouldn't let you jam them in your ears and then hand them back. :wink:
As LaBreaHead said, you're on a winner either way.
 
Oct 28, 2008 at 9:08 AM Post #15 of 16

Romanian

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One last thing (so many "one last thing"s, heh). The SA6 has only one armature (same thing as driver?), whereas other IEMs like the TripleFI have dual drivers, for bass and higher ranges. Is there much of a distinction between these two methods?
 

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