E5c vs Fullsized headphones
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jesse_w

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I'm sure everyones tired of E5c threads but I've got a bit of a different question. I've heard the E5c bass described as fullsized bass in a canalphone... And I've also heard the E5c described as a $200 headphone in a canalphone package. This isn't something I like...

Consider the ER-4 for a moment. It has something that no other headphone in the price range has: detail. Regardless of the cold sound, it offers something unique and makes it worth the money if thats what you're after. Does the E5c have something like that? I don't want A900 sound out of it for that kind of money, because lets face it the E5 is really expensive. You can get an HD650 or a CD3000 for around that price. Obviously soundstage is going to suffer, but that doesn't really matter as long as its precise. I understand the highs are rolled off, not a big deal... But does the midrange have something to offer that makes it worth more than your average $200-$300 headphone? Even just more detail. Obviously its not going to match headphones at its price, but can't it do better than $200 fullsized? Canalphones are so often compared to each other its hard to tell where they fit in absolute terms.

I don't really want to pay $200 extra just for portability and isolation if I don't have to. I'm looking for an upgrade over my A900.

this is the important part if you dont like reading
Uh, I guess summarizing in a question would help... Basically what I want to know is where the E5 stands vs fullsized headphones and if it will be an upgrade over my A900.

Thanks for any input!

-jesse
 
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bangraman

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I'm not really into doing this right now but towards the middle of this month I'm obliged to do some reviews / promotions and I'll be doing the evaluations on an HD25-1 and the E5. I'll be in a better position to speak on the comparison between the nearest headphone competitor to the E5 more at that time. I have memories of the A900, some clear, some not and for now I think that Lindrone's your man for a direct comparison.


The E5 is almost definitely an improvement in the mids and lows, yet the dulled highs and lack of staging will probably impact quite negatively in a direct A-B comparison, and you might even say at first 'I thought these were supposed to be bass monsters?' (and you'll be amazed at how horribly tinny Etys / E3c can sound when A-B'd against full size phones... sonic acclimatisation is a real issue with many canalphones). The E5 are not the bass monsters that the 'canalphone bass king' moniker implies. They just have quite a lot of bass for phones of this category. Many headphones can deliver much more.


However, once you get used to them and do the "tip thing" then you'll probably end up being more impressed more often than the A900. If you do most of your listening genuinely portably, then the size and tractability of the E5 is also a major advantage that can't be stressed enough. I've ended up somewhat falling out of love with canalphones but the E5 still gets very regular use despite that. I reserve the ER-4 almost solely to test equipment, but not usually to listen to.
 
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jesse_w

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Thanks
Anyone else with both presently?

-jesse
 
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RunsWithScissors

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I've been evaluating the E5 for a week listening to nothing else. I don't own the A900 but I do own the Beyerdynamic DT250-80 and have to say that they are on par with the E5 in many respects (E5 is not equal in soundstage but some spectra are better detailed) though I haven't done serious A/B testing just some cursory switching back and forth with a few test tracks.

Full sized sound in a portable package is the strength of the E5. You may not get a significant upgrade in straight comparison.
 
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ditto_n

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Ugh, Sorry guys I hate to hijack. But..
bangraman:
You said the Ety's sound "tinny" and realy, that is the #1 thing I absoulutly hate about cheap headphones. Now, does a better seal fix this? From my sig you can see I'm looking forward to getting me some Etys, and I'll most likely get some of the larger yellow foamies. I realy want to be able to hear my music and no one else having to put up with it, Etys seemed my solution, and I realy don't want any "tin" sounding music.
 
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ditto, do not be swayed by one person's comments. i know you're new here and feeling inundated by veteran experience and opinion is only natural, but try to get over this phase in your headfi maturation process as soon as possible. it will leave you feeling cold, alone and in the dark all the time.

what you must come to (and will eventually) realize, is that it is usually a bad idea to let other people's views control your views. in time, you will find it is best to listen to what other people have to say, but not allowing it to swamp your own thinking.

the etys are a fine place to start on your road to audiophilia heaven. you really win not be making a mistake by purchasing a set.

if that's what you're set on and have researched yourself and come to find on you own to be your best choice, then go for it. do not feel that just because someone else says something different that your views are suddenly invalidated.
 
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lindrone

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Back on topic...

Like other said before, E5c's biggest merit is the fact that it's a full-size headphone in a tiny little package. That is something that's very hard to find.. and you do pay a price premium for miniaturization...

There are a few "improvements" (it's all subjective anyway, but at least they're improvements to me) in comparison with the A900. The midrange is clearer and more forward as compared to the A900. There's a bit of increase in detail, because even though they're not Ety's, they still have a bit more microdynamic in comparison. The bass is more forward as well, as opposed to the more balanced approach taken by the A900.

E5c has a very warm presentation, which I do appreciate a lot personally. It is more emotionally engaging and involving as a whole. If you can imagine having the warmth of Senns and punchiness of Grados mixed into one body, that's sort of what it sounds like. Although this is not a 'technical' superiority in anyway, just a sound signature.

The detraction from the A900, high-end details are less than the A900, and the soundstage is obviously much smaller.

It's really up to you whether or not you would value something like the E5c. My personal goal was in fact, to find a portable, tiny earphone that can essentially replace my needs for full-size headphones, since I do 80% of my listening on the road somewhere.
 
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bangraman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ditto_n
Ugh, Sorry guys I hate to hijack. But..
bangraman:
You said the Ety's sound "tinny" and realy, that is the #1 thing I absoulutly hate about cheap headphones. Now, does a better seal fix this? From my sig you can see I'm looking forward to getting me some Etys, and I'll most likely get some of the larger yellow foamies. I realy want to be able to hear my music and no one else having to put up with it, Etys seemed my solution, and I realy don't want any "tin" sounding music.




Perhaps I didn't phrase it properly or clearly. You may notice the bit about 'sonic acclimatisation blah blah blah...' that maybe went over the heads of some.


If you're used to the sound of a full-sized phone, what you hear from a canalphone in an initial switch is very different to what you hear after having only the canalphone on for a while.


If you go DIRECTLY (that's with only a few second's break) from a full sized phone with a full bass to a pair of Etys (or E3), they will sound incredibly tinny. That's because the human ear has acclimatised to the sound of the full sized phones, and going from A to B the brain is biased towards A (full size phones). It says a lot about how the human ear hears.


The incidental point was made because I wanted to highlight that whichever you get, you can't really make a direct A-B comparison. Canalphones are a compromise and I think you have to treat them as such.
 
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