Fiio EX1 2nd Gen

  1. chickenmoon
    Well it's fair to say that you like the 2nd gen and that I don't, to me it just feels like a frankensteinized Titan 1 / 1st gen that has lost its particular and quite unique tonal balance which made it so popular.
     
  2. Ynot1
    From a strategy perspective, is it easier to mod gen1 to sound like gen2, or the other way around?
    And between the mods which would be more easily reversible? Just thinking out loud.
    And lastly, does mod void warranty? Because my impression is fiio stuff are built really well and can withstand diy mods.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  3. Hifihedgehog
    Then in your case, it appears to be a preference thing. Some people happen to like unique non-ideal frequency responses, which is perfectly understandable. For example, there are Head-Fi'ers to this day who swear by the Beyerdynamic DT 48. However, it measures terribly and for that reason, most just don't like it.

    Beyerdynamic DT 48 E (25 ohm)
    Beyerdynamic DT 48 E 120 ohm source impedance.
    Beyerdynamic DT 48 E w/pad holes covered
    Beyerdynamic DT 48 E without firm seal.
    Beyerdynamic DT 48 S 5 Ohm

    There is no way to mod the 1st Gen into the 2nd Gen. It has the same number of holes as the 2nd Gen. The driver simply is not as well-tuned as the 2nd Gen model. Again, covering holes will make the 1st Gen's response perhaps smoother, but it will also make it closed sounding, more mellow and less detailed like the Titan 3 and 5. In my findings, the number of holes that come stock on the EX1 1st and 2nd Gen (11 holes) is the sweet spot for the most ideal impulse response and lowest distortion floor. This correlates with my listening observations and with what is shown in InnerFidelity's metrics and charts. Due to there being less holes, there is less venting through which the driver can relieve excess pressure, resulting in far more ringing in the Titan 3 and 5's impulse responses.

    Dunu Titan 1
    Dunu Titan 3
    Dunu Titan 5
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
    Ynot1 likes this.
  4. Ynot1
    I suppose reality proves there are limits.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  5. SHAMuuu
    Thank you very much. You always reply quick, and its very detailed and informative. Also, there is a confidence in your "voice" which radiates deep passion for this hobby. I've learned plenty. You've mentioned before the titan 1/ex1 is very very good. Will you say it is superior to something like ex1000? In other words, is there point for someone to go ex1k when they have gen1EX1 or better to go gen 2 over ex1k. I hope that makes sense. The ex1k/800st from reviews seems near flawless :D
     
  6. Hifihedgehog
    I have never heard the EX1000 so I cannot say. I can, however, say without a doubt that the EX1 2nd Gen is very, very close in performance to the DUNU DK-3001. The only difference I could note was that the last little bit of bass extension on the DK-3001. Then again, the DK-3001 is a $499 headphone and it should perform admirably better, and it does indeed. However, in my experience, the EX1 2nd Gen is already a colossal enough of an improvement over the EX1 1st Gen that I see no reason looking at other models. The EX1 1st Gen had a slightly distant and synthetic character to its midrange, sort of like the HiFiMAN headphones that lack presence. 1st Gen also had upper bass bleed ever so slightly into the midrange that it overshadowed the midrange. Finally, the 1st Gen's treble was slightly peaky and not as well-integrated. With the 2nd Gen model, this all changed. If I could describe the sound best, I would say there is a wholeness and unity to the 2nd Gen model that allows dynamic shifts to sound punchier and far more realistic.

    I find the EX1 2nd Gen, a mere earphone, more proficient than the Beyerdynamic T90 and the Sennheiser HD 800, two very high-end open-back headphones. The T90 has some peakiness but it is incredibly dynamic. The EX1 2nd Gen is also very dynamic but it avoids the peakiness. The HD 800 is a legend in its own right, but it has one large issue: a upper midrange dip around the 2 KHz where the human ear is most sensitive. This dip, in my perception, makes the sound have less bite or presence compared to reality. But because that frequency region which the ear is so sensitive to is attenuated, the frequencies extremes become more apparent. This makes the detail at the frequency extremes hyperactively apparent, but it also masks detail and presence in the midrange as a result. The EX1 2nd Gen cuts the difference in my mind and brings that missing upper midrange up into the right place but it still retains the frequency extremes and most of the detail. In short, the fact that the EX1 2nd Gen, a $60 earphone, can even be compared to the likes of the T90 and HD 800 is testament alone to its incredible improvements over the 1st Gen model.

    I also had the chance to go to a local store and compare the EX1 2nd Gen with the AKG Q 701 and Philips Fidelio X2. It was not even close: the AKG Q 701 lacked the topmost treble extension (above 12 KHz), it had far too much upper midrange and lower treble, and it sounded a bit hazy in comparison. The Fidelio X2 seemed like a morphing of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 and Sennheiser HD 595, but not entirely in the best way: it had fun, yet slightly overly enthusiastic midbass (like DT 990); it had a slight veil in the midrange (like the HD 595); and its treble was grainy (like the HD 595), lacking lower treble (like the HD 595), featuring a mid treble peak (like the HD 595), but with sparkle in the mid treble (like the DT 990) yet lacking upper treble (like the HD 595). The EX1 2nd Gen had none of these glaring deficiencies and just was so much more natural, dynamic and detailed. Ultimately, the EX1 2nd Gen is a fantastic earphone well worth its asking price and a good deal more. If it were $150, I would still call it an incredible bargain compared to the many other earphones and headphones I have owned and demoed to date.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    ezekiel77 likes this.
  7. SHAMuuu
    Gen1 to me surprised me in that it was very close to 880.250 to my ears, which says a lot in two ways. One, it performed like an old top tier flagship of the trio, and two, there is room for improvement since the 250ohm'ers are not perfect. However in saying this, i like the neutrality/rawness (flat'ish yet not smooth per'se and pliable/ all rounder capable if that makes sense) of the signatures of both for EQ purposes, and i found they both wont go too bonkers with a little tinkering (sure this may cause it fidelity wise to go in the opposite direction, but more enjoyment for individual's ears). I wouldn't say they are EQ friendly in extreme realms like bassheadtype cans tha can take 20db boosts in the low end. So to hear the gen2 is a lot better is exciting. I'm not huge on IEMS (fit and all) but the Dunu is comfy enough for short durations (1 or 2 hours) with its half entry.

    I'm not sure if this will come off as stupid, but i will go forward with this anyway as my ears are probably wonky and broken. Would you say the gen2 can be considered "realistic" sounding enough that it can be end-game IEM? I believe you stated the Titan 1 was close in your review of them. And a little off topic, but in your opinion what are the top 5 IEM/Headphones you would consider best in "realism". Realism and musicality if possible, and where do these Fiio stand. From your experience. Thanks :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  8. Paulus XII
    I totally agree with you.
     
  9. ezekiel77
    Is there a non-mic version available? Might bite today's 11/11 specials.
     
  10. PlantsmanTX
    No, the 2nd Generation only comes with a mic.
     
    ezekiel77 likes this.

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