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Buying Help - Focal Elear vs Advanced Acousticwerkes W500 AHMorph

  1. SoundArtillery
    Hello All,
    I currently have a pair of Noble K10s, which I use for all my listening from critical to video games to travelling.  I used to accomplish this with a number of headphones: Audeze LCD-3F, Sennheiser HD800, and Shure 535.  
    I've been looking for something more dynamic and impactful to compliment the otherwise mellow nature of the K10.  I may even sell the K10 once I find what I'm looking for.  Based on reviews, I thought I would go with the W500 AH Morph from AAW, but now I'm considering going Full Size after reading the epic reviews of the Elear.  Both phones are about the same price.
    I love CIEMs due to their super comfortable fit.  
    Do you think the Elear would out perform the W500 AHMorph?  How should I make this decision?  I'm honestly at a loss.  **** I may just buy both.
  2. djcarpentier
    What did you go with?
  3. SoundArtillery
    I actually went with the W500 since I was kind of in a CIEM phase to begin with after the Noble K10.  I uneqivoally adore the W500.  It blows the K10 away IMHO.  It's amazingly musical and just fun to listen to without any fatigue after long hours.  I achieved these results with both the Chord Mojo, iDSD Black, and Sound Blaster X7 and Rupert Neve RNHP combo.  I was happy . . . 
    As it happens in this hobby though, I began wondering about the Elear.  I purchased it a couple weeks ago and played with it for a while using the same amps as above.  In a word, I thought is was just good.  The W500 had more physical and impactful bass unless I used the Xbass function of the iDSD Black.  This fact alone had me take a few steps back.  I thought maybe my unit was bad considering the Elear has been praised as being this dynamic wonder.  I checked with my friend who loves his Elear.  I listened to his on a Cavalli Fire and a ALO amp that I can't remember the name of.  Same results.  The bass was kinda weak.  The sound was there, but it wasn't nearly as impactful as the reviews suggest.  In fact, I felt myself turning up the volume to achieve greater impact.  As a result, my ears were being fatigued.  I just didn't find the Elears enjoyable at all.  They were returned.  The W500 is just a better product regardless of open vs ciem.  In fact, the soundstage of the W500 is so good that I often felt it at least was very close or the same as the open Elear.  That's just amazing.  Frankly, the W500 is a far better value.
    As an aside, I'm upgrading the W500 to a W900.  I am an AAW customer for life.  That said, I still want a good open headphone.  I'm going to checkout the Ether Flow when I have a chance.
    lafeuill likes this.
  4. djcarpentier
    Nice. I was thinking of picking up a pair of w500's.

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