Blur Earbuds Lovers
Oct 19, 2021 at 12:27 PM Post #1,111 of 1,309

ian91

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2nd Batch received.


Eagerly awaiting the arrival of your 3rd batch.

Just kidding (although I know its coming). Enjoy and keep us updated. Make sure to give the Wraith some power!
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 12:50 PM Post #1,113 of 1,309

ian91

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Oh my, Wraith and STE dueling! Do be careful... they can melt your brain!

Can attest to this. I'm working on one cerebral hemisphere.
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 12:56 PM Post #1,114 of 1,309

Charlyro222

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Very early impressions. Wraith has an excelent male vocals but perhaps a bit forwarded for my tastes, but let the burnin do its work.
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 1:06 PM Post #1,115 of 1,309

Scuba Devils

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I need a Blur with OFC and PK shells, if only for that sleek all black appearance!
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 1:41 PM Post #1,116 of 1,309

Charlyro222

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Really nice all black.
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 2:06 PM Post #1,117 of 1,309

WoodyLuvr

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Blur OFC PK150 Wraith Limited Edition (4).jpg
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 4:08 PM Post #1,118 of 1,309

Charlyro222

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Peacefull and soulfull this kind of music on Wraith


1634674091432.png
 
Oct 22, 2021 at 5:19 AM Post #1,120 of 1,309

WoodyLuvr

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Out of the Wraith and and STE, which has the larger soundstage?
What a tough but great question... I think maybe the Wraith by a hair as the slight extra mid-forwardness of the STE seems to narrow the headstage (soundstage) some... probably due to the emphasized midrange perhaps. However, the resolution is so very good on the STE which in-turn offers excellent timbre characteristics with certain music genres. Very close. Let's have @ian91 and @Charlyro222 chime in with their thoughts.

Unfortunately, the Wraith, New Line, and Special Tuning Edition (STE) models are now no longer available... having being absorbed into the new 189 Hybrid, 266 Retune II, and the highly anticipated 266R Reference lines.

 
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Oct 22, 2021 at 5:48 AM Post #1,121 of 1,309

jrazmar

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Unfortunately, the Wraith, New Line, and Special Tuning Edition (STE) models are now no longer available... having being absorbed into the new 189 Hybrid, 266 Retune II, and the highly anticipated 266R Reference lines.
My Wraith is on its way. Wong confirmed shipment yesterday, Does that mean that my unit is Wong's last creation of its kind? Collector's item now. hahaha. Eagerly waiting for it to arrive soon...
 
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Oct 22, 2021 at 6:05 AM Post #1,122 of 1,309

shenshen

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My Wraith is on its way. Wong confirmed shipment yesterday, Does that mean that my unit is Wong's last creation of its kind? Collector's item now. hahaha. Eagerly waiting for it to arrive soon...
Me and you both, I think mine is the latest one he posted unless you also got 2.5mm termination. Regardless, happy I placed my order when I did!
 
Oct 22, 2021 at 11:30 AM Post #1,123 of 1,309

jrazmar

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@shenshen Yes, mine is also 2.5mm. Btw, you both have the Blur and Newbsound, how do they compare and which one do you prefer or have the most listening time?
 
Oct 22, 2021 at 5:49 PM Post #1,124 of 1,309

shenshen

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@shenshen Yes, mine is also 2.5mm. Btw, you both have the Blur and Newbsound, how do they compare and which one do you prefer or have the most listening time?
My newbsound is warm and smooth compared to the slightly bright, mid-forward sound of my Blurs. Sound is definitely more "colored", but tastefully and super enjoyable. I would say it's closer to a consumerist sound, but definitely not in a bad way. It's a fun and non-fatiguing sound that I'm happy to listen to all day. Recently, I've been using my newbsound and MX32 about equally since my MX400 is still on its way back from repair. The newbsound and Blur house sounds compliment each other very well in my opinion.
 
Oct 23, 2021 at 12:45 PM Post #1,125 of 1,309

ian91

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Blur 189 MX64 aPs (64Ω) Review

Source: Shanling M8 > Cayin C9

Used with included full foams.

Burn in circa 60 hours.

Disclaimer: Unit purchased at full price and as usual, nobody has incentivised this review.

Music – world music, classical, jazz, some electronic and ambient.

Preamble

I like to use this section to give context to my purchases and to give you an idea of where I am in my audio journey and how my tastes are developing. To fill you in, I have gone from spending the vast majority of my time listening to music through IEMs to almost exclusively (about 80%) using earbuds, specifically Blur earbuds, either at the desktop attached to a desktop amp or direct from a DAP or smartphone.

I have tried in the past to capture what has led to this shift. It’s not easy to put my finger on it but I think it’s down to a combination of coherency, timbral accuracy, open soundstage of the flathead design and the comfort granted by an open ear canal with no pressure. Put those together and something emerges, an ‘X-factor’ to the listening experience that heightens the emotional connection. Everything is significantly more realistic and free from the overly isolated and, usually, more technical presentation of an IEM. This technical approach has its place for some music but is often at the expense of the aforementioned strengths that earbuds do so well. To what degree that technical presentation of the music actually adds anything to my enjoyment varies greatly by the music I listen to. I find it adds very little to the vast majority of my library where the focus of my enjoyment is accurate texture, weight and timbre to instruments and vocals and not so much a clinical dissection of the recording into its component parts. Most of the time I want the ‘bigger picture’. All of my Blur earbuds manage to capture the bigger picture of a recording well and each have their own tonal signature and relative strengths and weaknesses (see here for a comparison chart).

When Wong released announced the 189 Hybrid line sporting a hybrid silver and copper cable promising better ergonomics and sonics I was all-ears. Wong mentioned that the 189 Hybrid MX64 aPs would share some tuning DNA with the OFC MX64 STE aPs (a competitor for my favourite Blur and now no longer in production) but with ‘better’ vocals, more realistic stage and more accurate imaging.

Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know: What did he mean by ‘better’ vocals? How would he tease out greater imaging from the same driver I’d previously heard? What would the Hybrid cable offer if anything? And would the fact that this new 189 Hybrid MX64 aPs was replacing the historic OFC MX64 STE aPs be a great loss to Blur lovers?

Sound

Please see Blur sound chart for an indication of overall tonality with respect to other Blur models.

Screenshot_20211017-132759_Instagram.jpg



Bass: midbass emphasis, subbass extension present, good impact, tight bass with quick transient response

This isn’t a basshead earbud by any stretch but it shows great control. I would say is most suited to instrumental music.

Midrange: TOTL female and male vocals (almost the best of both worlds), forward midrange

This was penned to be a vocal specialist and that it is. Out of the Blurs I have it offers the best performance in both male and female vocals. Male vocals have body and warmth, female vocals are detailed, without any shout and supported by excellent resolution and remain ‘sweet’ and organic at all times. String instruments and woodwind are stellar. Jazz is an absolute pleasure on this set.

Placement of the vocals are generally out of the ear which allows for longer listening. This midrange doesn’t take a step out of line.

Treble: ‘Brilliant’ in its detail and clarity, no sibilance despite absolute detail in fricative consonants of vocals, air of venues in live music well presented.

The treble is hard to fault. The air remains warm but there is outstanding detail on display and air that communicates venue dimension. Only very rarely does it feel harsh and nearly always has plenty of ‘shimmer’.

Technicalities:

Stage – wider than it is tall, not the largest of the Blurs but sounds faithful to the recordings

Imaging & Instrument separation & layering – strongest imaging and layering from all the Blurs I’ve tried. Don’t really need to say much more! Coherent & realistic are two words that come to mind. Tracks and instruments are positioned well and occupy their own space.

Timbre:

Combine the MX64 driver and Wongs expertise and you’re not going to be disappointed in this department. There’s something special about this driver for the music I listen to (jazz, choral, world music, folk, ambient).

189 Hybrid MX64 aPs vs OFC MX64 STE aPs

Below is a graph provided by Wong for this unit (orange line) versus the OFC MX64 STE (green line).

Screenshot_20211017-132748_Instagram.jpg



As you can see there’s quite an overlap, however, they are distinct in how they sound and I’ll try to expand on that...

Tonally there are very similar but things are less dry and more organic with more detail conveyed in the lower frequencies that I attribute (as a cable believer) to the new 189 cabling. The midrange has greater body and presence that communicates male vocals and strings better but with ever so slightly less detail. The stage, layering and presentation is much better on the 189 Hybrid MX64 aPs - how Wong has done this, given the same driver with slight refinement of tuning I've no clue. Some sort of magic probably...

The one drawback of the OFC MX64 STE aPs, with the benefit of hindsight, was its particularly forward mids that presented music a lot closer to the ear and commanded a great deal of attention while listening and while that isn’t always an issue it doesn’t lend itself to long listening sessions. The midrange remains forward here but things sit further back and there’s a greater emphasis on balance.

Conclusion

My biggest concern going into this one was how well this would act as a replacement for the OFC MX64 STE aPs. It’s my opinion that the 189 Hybrid MX64 aPs tuning is a better ‘all-rounder’ earbud. It retains the great timbre of its predecessor but offers more body and warmth to its presentation making things more organic and approachable. The new 189 cabling is the best cable yet released by Blur. Its supple, soft and looks great.

The strength of this model is in its vocal replay and instrument timbre. Everything sits on a very coherent stage with great imaging. If you’re into vocals, jazz, choral or classical you can’t go wrong here. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Blur 189 Hybrid MX/PK line develops as further models are released!

_DSC2767.jpg
 
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