Earbuds Round-Up
Dec 6, 2020 at 11:11 AM Post #50,806 of 53,449

Sam L

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Haha i actually recommended the OP to post here to ask for recommendations (from the general headfi rec thread. I don't have any earbuds in mind that can fit the OP's criteria but perhaps you and the other esteemed members can give good recs, like jogawag has.
Oh. I was thinking about the general intro - price breakdowns and sizes, etc.
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 11:28 AM Post #50,807 of 53,449

Sam L

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Virtual Earbud Meet-up!

Hey All, last week I asked if anyone would be interested in a virtual meet-up to discuss, share various topics regarding our passion for earbuds.

There seems to be decent interest from users over on the FB group, so I feel good about moving forward.

Description and sample agenda is in the calendar poll.

https://xoyondo.com/dp/oPjVdpUr5iXtilP
Bump.

Anyone else interested? It's looking like Sat (12/12) is the best option.
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 12:02 PM Post #50,808 of 53,449

Sam L

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Hi! Can you recommend a good set of earbuds for me?

I listen to mostly classical type of music, usually I prioritize mid-range, prefer a sound signature that is warm but not repressed mids or highs, detailed and big sounding(it can be intimate or have large soundstage, I like both for different reasons). I'm sensitive to any harsh treble or sibilance, but love the airiness and liveliness of good quality treble. I hate boomy base, but love detailed and smooth bass.

My current favorites are tin p1 and rha ma750(hated these before burn-in).

I'm looking for something to complement my previous sets. I have good enough portable source, so they can have high impedance and low sensitivity as long as they sound good. I'm considering VE Zen 2.0 at the moment.

My budget would be under 500usd. Value for money is more important but I can stretch my budget if they sound really good to me. If I can’t afford them, maybe I would wait longer.
I mainly listen to classical music. The description of what you're looking for fits the fiio em5 perfectly. Though the marketing hype suggests awesome bass, it doesn't have more than my smabat s-10s (silver) however the texture in the low end is unparalleled. The em5 were the first (and so far only) bud that presents the double bass solo in beethoven's 9th accurately and with distinction from the cello section.
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 1:34 PM Post #50,809 of 53,449

macunaima

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hey do you guys know a good portable amp for earbuds? Im craving for some high impendance ones, so that would be a must, i currently have a fiio btr3k but the low output makes higher impedance headphones not loud enough,I want something at max 100$
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 3:33 PM Post #50,810 of 53,449

cowtter

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I've been using the apple v2 earbuds for years, as for action sports stuff being able to hear what's going on around me is super important. I had a stockpile of the 3.5mm ones from friends phones but am down to my last one. Usually I kill the cable where it meets the jack and one ear will start to go in and out.

I just ordered these as I figured they would be a good start

https://www.amazon.com/Venture-Elec...ds=ve+monk+earbuds+mic&qid=1607286454&sr=8-16


After seeing all the discussion here, and the low prices I really want to try some more out as well. I'd like to stick around the <20 mark at first but I feel like with everything else I am going to end up with some 300 dollar earbuds in a few years anyways.

Most of the ones discussed here seemed discontinued, so these were just some random ones I threw in my cart from brands that I remembered as I had been browsing has anyone tried them?
https://imgur.com/a/HqC7yqK

If you have any recommendations, guides, or good technical youtubers to explain what it is I should be looking for that would be great.

Ideally I need at least one button for play/pause, and to be as durable as possible. As far as the sound, I do have a bit of a hard time with high treble but usually I can mess with the EQ on my v30.


Thanks!
 
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Dec 6, 2020 at 3:42 PM Post #50,811 of 53,449

rkw

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I mainly listen to classical music. The description of what you're looking for fits the fiio em5 perfectly. Though the marketing hype suggests awesome bass, it doesn't have more than my smabat s-10s (silver) however the texture in the low end is unparalleled. The em5 were the first (and so far only) bud that presents the double bass solo in beethoven's 9th accurately and with distinction from the cello section.
I've had a FiiO EM5 for a few weeks and my listening is 90% classical music. The EM5 has the best bass I've heard from an earbud. However, I'm finding the treble (notably in violins, both solo and ensemble) to be too bright and harsh. I'm hoping burning in will help but I probably have 100 hours on it already.
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 4:05 PM Post #50,812 of 53,449

Sam L

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I've been using the apple v2 earbuds for years, as for action sports stuff being able to hear what's going on around me is super important. I had a stockpile of the 3.5mm ones from friends phones but am down to my last one. Usually I kill the cable where it meets the jack and one ear will start to go in and out.

I just ordered these as I figured they would be a good start

https://www.amazon.com/Venture-Elec...ds=ve+monk+earbuds+mic&qid=1607286454&sr=8-16


After seeing all the discussion here, and the low prices I really want to try some more out as well. I'd like to stick around the <20 mark at first but I feel like with everything else I am going to end up with some 300 dollar earbuds in a few years anyways.

Most of the ones discussed here seemed discontinued, so these were just some random ones I threw in my cart from brands that I remembered as I had been browsing has anyone tried them?
https://imgur.com/a/HqC7yqK

If you have any recommendations, guides, or good technical youtubers to explain what it is I should be looking for that would be great.

Ideally I need at least one button for play/pause, and to be as durable as possible. As far as the sound, I do have a bit of a hard time with high treble but usually I can mess with the EQ on my v30.


Thanks!
Noooo. Stay far away from that monk plus. Sounds way worse than the apple buds. Cant type out a thoughtful response at the moment, but simple answer is get the Yincrow x6
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 4:17 PM Post #50,813 of 53,449

lackOfInspiration

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@Sam L very good explanation
In the case of ShoonTH ESEP-01BL, they use a special way to tune it. One side of the rear port is sealed with hot glue and that way you hear less external noise,
which further increases the effect of the closure.
I look at it this way. Imaging is a special characteristic of the driver and I don't know if it can be improved directly at all but you can influence other things to increase the overall sound quality. Imagine you have a photo. The resolution of this photo represents imaging. You can edit this photo and eliminate blur, image noise, artifacts, etc which will only visually increase the image quality but not its resolution. To get a better image resolution you need to take another photo with other (high) settings. For that, you don't need to buy another camera (only in case you don’t want something "ultra-high") :wink:
So it depends, if you want the overall better sound quality, then the price increases with the SQ, but if we look separately only at the imaging, then not really.
I couldn't resist and write down some funny (I think?) thoughts in reaction to your post.

Indeed trying to apply optical reasoning is very very wise as light and sound can be described by the same formalism (and ultimatly are juste waves, light duality put apart).But if you want to compare a driver to an optical system, I think it has to be a set of lenses for exemple. You have to keep digital consideration like resolution (number of pixels) out of the equation because the sonic equivalent is sampling frequency/number of bits which we don't considere here. You should do pure analog vs pure analog. The equivalent of transducers are lenses. The equivalent of a speaker/headphone is a projector and the equivalent of a microphone is a camera (both not digital, with films and stuff). And yes the notion of resolution exists for lenses but it's very different from the digital resolution and is in fact limited by diffraction (the upper boundary is defined by a simple equation). It's unrelated to the quality of the lenses.
Note the following fun fact: The equivalent of a LCD screen is a sound systeme with one speaker for each frequency (the step between the different frequencies corresponds to definition). Anyone ready to buid this up with thousands of BAs?
Also Now that I think of it CRTs might be a very good equivalent for speakers/headphone.... In fact stereo audio would be doing VR with CRTs :) This thought really made my day.


So let's considere our projector. If it has bad lenses, you will observe geometry errors blur and speckle noise on the image (the lenses are not well shaped and not well polished). This is the exact equivalent of distortion and noise in audio. The amount of detail is always the same no matter the system but it's rendered more or less distorted. So to judge the quality of the projector we would like to see if the lense deviates every ray of light the right way (according to Snell laws) no matter the angle the ray comes from. Believe it or not the angle paramter is called spatial frequency and is the exact equivalent of frequency in audio. (Optic is magis because you can check how the projector behaves super easely (adding other lenses asumed to be perfect lol) and actually see a figure with your eyes that shows how the systeme behaves for every single spatial frequency. This is indeed a spectre, and is no different from frequency reponse in audio.)
Now keep in mind the details on the image printed on the film difract the light widely (they spread the light a lot because there are small obstacles) so the rays of light containing the information for details reach the outer part of the lens: they are coming from high angles and therfore correspondes to high spatial frequencies! In the end to see if the projector is "detailed" we just have to look at the spectre and see if the high frequencies are correctly handled or not. In practice this in not so easy to do, but in theory this is it. If you have the power to change the spectre (with filters) you can correct its behavior to make it better (exactly what you said with photo editing). If the filters are perfect and you can make theme inifnitely complex you can fully correct the lenses.
So you're right about everything except when you say that there is a quality that is inherent to the driver/lenses and is out of reach/hidden.

Regarding soudstage I think the problem is not how faithfully the signal is reproduced. It's more about what the signal should be, or/and how much of our ear distinsctive features is kept during the travel of the waves to our eardurm.

I omitted a lot of things (phase; coherence...) and I doubt I explained that well... I just wanted to show that making analogy to understand sound (you could do it with electricity as well) is both fun and revealing. The links are deeper than most people probably think, so I really honor the fact that you did borrow this path to explain your point.
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 4:47 PM Post #50,814 of 53,449

furyossa

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I couldn't resist and write down some funny (I think?) thoughts in reaction to your post.

Indeed trying to apply optical reasoning is very very wise as light and sound can be described by the same formalism (and ultimatly are juste waves, light duality put apart).But if you want to compare a driver to an optical system, I think it has to be a set of lenses for exemple. You have to keep digital consideration like resolution (number of pixels) out of the equation because the sonic equivalent is sampling frequency/number of bits which we don't considere here. You should do pure analog vs pure analog. The equivalent of transducers are lenses. The equivalent of a speaker/headphone is a projector and the equivalent of a microphone is a camera (both not digital, with films and stuff). And yes the notion of resolution exists for lenses but it's very different from the digital resolution and is in fact limited by diffraction (the upper boundary is defined by a simple equation). It's unrelated to the quality of the lenses.
Note the following fun fact: The equivalent of a LCD screen is a sound systeme with one speaker for each frequency (the step between the different frequencies corresponds to definition). Anyone ready to buid this up with thousands of BAs?
Also Now that I think of it CRTs might be a very good equivalent for speakers/headphone.... In fact stereo audio would be doing VR with CRTs :) This thought really made my day.


So let's considere our projector. If it has bad lenses, you will observe geometry errors blur and speckle noise on the image (the lenses are not well shaped and not well polished). This is the exact equivalent of distortion and noise in audio. The amount of detail is always the same no matter the system but it's rendered more or less distorted. So to judge the quality of the projector we would like to see if the lense deviates every ray of light the right way (according to Snell laws) no matter the angle the ray comes from. Believe it or not the angle paramter is called spatial frequency and is the exact equivalent of frequency in audio. (Optic is magis because you can check how the projector behaves super easely (adding other lenses asumed to be perfect lol) and actually see a figure with your eyes that shows how the systeme behaves for every single spatial frequency. This is indeed a spectre, and is no different from frequency reponse in audio.)
Now keep in mind the details on the image printed on the film difract the light widely (they spread the light a lot because there are small obstacles) so the rays of light containing the information for details reach the outer part of the lens: they are coming from high angles and therfore correspondes to high spatial frequencies! In the end to see if the projector is "detailed" we just have to look at the spectre and see if the high frequencies are correctly handled or not. In practice this in not so easy to do, but in theory this is it. If you have the power to change the spectre (with filters) you can correct its behavior to make it better (exactly what you said with photo editing). If the filters are perfect and you can make theme inifnitely complex you can fully correct the lenses.
So you're right about everything except when you say that there is a quality that is inherent to the driver/lenses and is out of reach/hidden.

Regarding soudstage I think the problem is not how faithfully the signal is reproduced. It's more about what the signal should be, or/and how much of our ear distinsctive features is kept during the travel of the waves to our eardurm.

I omitted a lot of things (phase; coherence...) and I doubt I explained that well... I just wanted to show that making analogy to understand sound (you could do it with electricity as well) is both fun and revealing. The links are deeper than most people probably think, so I really honor the fact that you did borrow this path to explain your point.
Wow. Of course, you can write down some funny thoughts but this is too much information. :smile:
You just took the time to explain everything in detail. Professional level. I really respect that.:beerchug:
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 5:18 PM Post #50,817 of 53,449

lackOfInspiration

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I've been using the apple v2 earbuds for years, as for action sports stuff being able to hear what's going on around me is super important. I had a stockpile of the 3.5mm ones from friends phones but am down to my last one. Usually I kill the cable where it meets the jack and one ear will start to go in and out.

I just ordered these as I figured they would be a good start

https://www.amazon.com/Venture-Elec...ds=ve+monk+earbuds+mic&qid=1607286454&sr=8-16


After seeing all the discussion here, and the low prices I really want to try some more out as well. I'd like to stick around the <20 mark at first but I feel like with everything else I am going to end up with some 300 dollar earbuds in a few years anyways.

Most of the ones discussed here seemed discontinued, so these were just some random ones I threw in my cart from brands that I remembered as I had been browsing has anyone tried them?
https://imgur.com/a/HqC7yqK

If you have any recommendations, guides, or good technical youtubers to explain what it is I should be looking for that would be great.

Ideally I need at least one button for play/pause, and to be as durable as possible. As far as the sound, I do have a bit of a hard time with high treble but usually I can mess with the EQ on my v30.


Thanks!
As shown here the Apple earpods surely are very good; especially wih foams (if you can do with the lack of bass) and you will have a hard time finding another bud that is so well tuned (there are a few though).
Diffuse Field-Apple EarPods (foam cover)-Apple EarPods (foam donut)-Apple EarPods.png

Now they are overpriced end fragile and most earbuds discussed here offer better bass. Here are some alternatives: (the graphs here must be compared with care as they are done wih different pieces of (very high end) equipment, but both include full pinnea simulation. Also note that the target is different, one is diffuse field, the other is Harman (essentially a tilted down diffuse filed + bass boost)).
graph.png

You can see that most lack clarity. Some like it and you may will (I don't). Vidos + EQ offer great sound quality (with great bass response) and the wildest price/SQ ration in the game (sub 1$!!!). Personnaly I'm a big fan of the TY Hi-Z 32 (7$), their sound signature is very well suited to outdoor use cases (I mainly use theme on the go myself). They are my Porta Pro substitute.
You can see The Monk + seem to sound good here compare to others but the +5db @200hz combines with the nasty null @6khz make it sound muddy yet bass lite. Having small ears hence good seal with MX500 shells I hear the 200hz bump 2 or 3db higher and this really is awfull.
Keep in mind that earbuds are extremely sensible to placement and ear anatomy, and that you can gain/lose clarity/bass changing the foam you use. (The tighter the seal the more bass you get.). A lot of people here give valuable impressions that reflect this variability.
 
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Dec 6, 2020 at 5:32 PM Post #50,818 of 53,449

cowtter

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As shown here the Apple earpods surely are very good; especially wih foams (if you can do with the lack of bass) and you will have a hard time finding another bud that is so well tuned (there are a few though).

Wow thanks that's a ton of information. So basically don't expect those monks to blow the apple ones out of the water. TY Hi-Z 32 look nice but unless I'm looking in the wrong places I don't see one with a play/pause.


So are the monks just old? A ton of the information I was seeing was praising them as some of the best budget buds. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wGTZnKX1aP29c1bzs5JWgqSUlPzZqV9p_cw79VfRBpQ/pub I was looking at this one and they seemed to place ok.

Already ordered them so will just have to see how they work for me and if not keep looking.
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 6:36 PM Post #50,819 of 53,449

Sam L

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As shown here the Apple earpods surely are very good; especially wih foams (if you can do with the lack of bass) and you will have a hard time finding another bud that is so well tuned (there are a few though).
Diffuse Field-Apple EarPods (foam cover)-Apple EarPods (foam donut)-Apple EarPods.png
Now they are overpriced end fragile and most earbuds discussed here offer better bass. Here are some alternatives: (the graphs here must be compared with care as they are done wih different pieces of (very high end) equipment, but both include full pinnea simulation. Also note that the target is different, one is diffuse field, the other is Harman (essentially a tilted down diffuse filed + bass boost)).
graph.png
You can see that most lack clarity. Some like it and you may will (I don't). Vidos + EQ offer great sound quality (with great bass response) and the wildest price/SQ ration in the game (sub 1$!!!). Personnaly I'm a big fan of the TY Hi-Z 32 (7$), their sound signature is very well suited to outdoor use cases (I mainly use theme on the go myself). They are my Porta Pro substitute.
You can see The Monk + seem to sound good here compare to others but the +5db @200hz combines with the nasty null @6khz make it sound muddy yet bass lite. Having small ears hence good seal with MX500 shells I hear the 200hz bump 2 or 3db higher and this really is awfull.
Keep in mind that earbuds are extremely sensible to placement and ear anatomy, and that you can gain/lose clarity/bass changing the foam you use. (The tighter the seal the more bass you get.). A lot of people here give valuable impressions that reflect this variability.
what software is that? REW dark mode?
 
Dec 6, 2020 at 7:00 PM Post #50,820 of 53,449

furyossa

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