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Earbuds Round-Up

  1. HungryPanda
    rahmish and jogawag like this.
  2. groucho69
    What about MK3?
    waynes world likes this.
  3. ctaxxxx
    Got my ZoomFred's in. Out of the box, I already find these pretty impressive. Bass and soundstage is what surprises me the most. Can't wait to burn these in. The bass already sounds better than the CampFred's, which is already a step above the QFred's. Cypherus seems to have nailed the tonality with these. Makes me REALLY curious about the CAX Red Dragon more now lol. Also, makes me wonder why I have so much trouble with IEMs and headphones.

    Now I got to complain for a second here... I bought some $800 beryllium(-coated) headphones recently and have been pretty disappointed with them (sold my CampFred 2 for them as I needed a bassy alternative with isolation for work). Already getting ready to return them... Nothing much seems to hit the sweet spot for me between bass-thumping musicality, analytical fidelity, and plain neutrality. It's always leans too much in one direction. The only thing that has nailed it are my Diomnes Lvl2, Cypherus buds, and Sony MDR-Z1R. One is absurdly more expensive than the other!

    I have some beryllium IEMs coming tomorrow, but honestly, I'm already prepared for disappointment. I'm starting to consider buying some ear muffs or something and use that to block sound while using earbuds.
    noknok23 likes this.
  4. mbwilson111
    Which headphones are you talking about?

    I must be too easily pleased because I am rarely disappointed. Of course I know some of my stuff is better than other stuff but whatever I am using I usually just get into my music and forget to critique the equipment.

    Right now I am really enjoying my PMV B01 Aoede
    HungryPanda and waynes world like this.
  5. seanc6441
    I think the real question here is how is the cable on the zoomfreds. Is it soft enough?
  6. ctaxxxx
    Every time you upgrade, the more expensive it gets. When something 3x the price of your TOTL earbuds doesn't meet your expectations, it's hard not to be disappointed. Not to mention a huge waste of money if you're unable to get a full refund. At this point, all I'm looking for though is something that provides isolation, portability, and comparable sound quality, all without dropping a fortune.

    The headphones I got just drowned you in mid-bass and thick mids, despite resolving details with high fidelity. Quality bass at high quantities is really hard to do without washing out all the other frequencies, which I understand. The beryllium phones have been getting good reviews, but it's just the tuning I can't get behind.

    It's not stiff. Nothing like the CAX Black, especially after the splitter, since the cables lose the thick covering.
    seanc6441 likes this.
  7. ClieOS Contributor
    Unless the measurement equipment is specified to have calibrated to a certain loudness (94dB @ 1kHz is most common), the dB scale you see on most graphs are actually not an absolute value in real life but just a way to show relative loudness over the whole frequency range. For example, if the artificial ear is calibrated for 94dB @ 1kHz, then the 1kHz point on the graph (regardless whether it is at 0dB point or not) will be absolute 94dB - so if 2kHz on the graph is +5dB over 1kHz, then we know that 2kHz is 94+5dB loud in real life. Calibration is crucial if you want to measure the headphone's SPL (usually at 1V or 0.1V), but not so much on its FR curve because whether 1kHz is on certain loudness or not will NOT change the relative loudness of 2kHz over 1kHz (meaning the FR curve doesn't change much regardless of what loudness the headphone is on, as long as it is relatively reasonable) - thus most people don't bother to calibrate (*not to mention sound level calibrator is usually pretty expensive for fairly limited use).

    That being said - the 0dB point you see on most graph are the result of scale adjustment by the person who took the measurement. I can adjust the graph so the FR curve is either 0dB @1kHz, or 0dB @ 10kHz, or 0dB @ any point of the frequency response - and it will still be the same FR curve. The adjustment is just a way to make it easier to read and serve no other purpose since my rig isn't calibrated to a fixed loudness.
    seanc6441 likes this.
  8. chinmie
    what iem that you're talking about?

    have you tried the etymotics line? i really like their sound signature, and the isolation is (scarily) great. like you i also playing with the idea of buying earmuffs and just using earbuds when i go out, but that means i have to carry another large object with me. and also i don't like walking around wearing headphones, it's hot to the ears and people tend to look at you in my country. i went with iem and bluetooth neckband combo instead
  9. boblauer
    If you are looking for some on/over ears with use in a portable manner look into the Meze 99 Classics or Neo's. They're closed so they work in an office setting, easy to drive and a pretty pleasing signature. Check their thread lots of good info.
  10. ctaxxxx
    By Periodic Audio. It's the only beryllium IEM I'm aware of at least.

    I forgot about the Etymotic IEMs! I used to own their ER4XR model. The deep insertion hurt my right ear canal, but they had a great reference tuning. I prefer the earbuds now for reference listening, especially with the huge soundstage difference, which was their greatest weakness.

    I'm mainly looking for something to replace the CampFred 2 now. Maybe I should have worn something like these over them lol. Doubt it would have fit very well though.


    I've heard good things about them. I'll look into them too.
  11. mbwilson111
    I really enjoy my Meze Neo. I will never part with it.
    HungryPanda and waynes world like this.
  12. chinmie
    well there's Urbanfun Hi-fi Beryllium, but i think that's a whole level of price range from the Periodic ones

    Yup, i could never get a seal with the tri flanges to fit in my left ears, in the eand i mod the ER4XR to be able to use regular size nozzled tips, and use some medium double flanges. never been happier. i agree with the small soundstage, but to me that's what makes them special, it's like sitting in a studio session right in the middle of the players. no other earphones that i have that does that, so for now it's a keeper.

    if soundstage is the issue, i think using earbuds is a better solution, altough even using earbuds with earmuff will make the soundstage drop a little and make them more like IEM :ksc75smile:
  13. cocolinho
    @ctaxxxx There are plenty of beryllium IEMs, even low cost chinese ones.
    How much did you pay for your zoomfred?
  14. ctaxxxx
    Really? I guess the ones by PA are the ones I've seen mentioned lately. Been curious about beryllium since the Utopia uses them. Are there beryllium earbuds yet? lol

    They were the same cost I paid for CampFred 2 or QFred + extra for the balanced plug. -> $315

    Feel like I should clarify here. They are not Shozy / CampFred / etc. flexible, but compared to my Diomnes, they're around the same stiffness before the splitter. After the splitter, it's more flexible in comparison. I would say it's nothing to worry about.
    seanc6441 and j4100 like this.
  15. Danneq

    Wow! Now I really want to buy ZoomFred! I come from the other end, wondering how ZoomFred sounds like when compared to Red Dragon. Herry said it's not in the same league as Red Dragon but more portable. I want something that is like a "baby Red Dragon" but more portable so that I can bring it outside, and also not worry about them breaking. ZF is more than half the price of Red Dragon so it wouldn't feel as bad if they broke while using them outside.
    j4100 and ctaxxxx like this.

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