First CIEM Recommendations please - hybrid (which one?) or BA (how many drivers?)
Oct 31, 2012 at 11:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Jazzkammer

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I did not see a Recomendations thread, so I started this one.



My story:


 


Used Etymotics ER6 and then HF5 for years...really love their sound, except that I find the bass lacking.   So when the cord on my HF5 starts fraying, what do I do?   I buy the Future Sonics Atrio MG7, because supposedly these IEMs have amazing bass.  And I need bass - I dj as a hobby, and I listen to alot of electronic and rap. 



Well, I cannot stand the Atrios.   The bass sounds bloated to me, and overpowers the sound signature.   Compared to my Etymotics, the Atrios sound muddy completely lacking in midrange, with barely any treble.   I don't even think I like the bass - it sounds sloppy compared to the Etymotics.



Obviously, these differences can be chalked up to BA IEM (Etymotic) vs Dynamic driver IEM (Atrio)


 


So now I am fed up and am going all out - CIEM route.



I thought that a hybrid CIEM would make me happy (maybe Aurisonics AS-2 or Unique Melody Merlin), but I am worried that hybrid CIEMs are more of a preference for some people, rather than being a clearly superior sound.   After all, Unique Melody's flagship is not a hybrid, and JH Audio and Heir Audio have not even dabbled in hybrids.  So it makes me suspect of hybrid CIEMs in general.  If it so great, after all, why wouldn't every CIEM do them??    If Aurisonics or Merlin sounds anything like the Atrio, I am not interested. 



So unless you guys can make a compelling case for why hybrid CIEMs are superior, I am tempted to limit my choices to strictly BA type CIEMS.


 


I see that 1964 Ears has their V6 on right now for an introductory price of $649 - this is very tempting.  Does anyone have an idea for how much the price will jump after its over?  Or how long this promotion is on for?   



If I settle for a 6 driver CIEM like 1964 Ears or UM Miracle, will I really be missing that much over 8 driver options like JH16 or Heir 8.A?  At any rate, any CIEM with dedicated BAs for the lows will have much stronger bass than my single BA Etymotics, right?  I sure hope so.  


 


Why are the 8.A $150 more than their only 8 driver competitor, JH16?   Is 1300 dollars really worth it, or can I get 90% of that sound with the 1964 V6s?


 


If I don't want to spend over $1k, what about the Heir Audio 4.a?   But why would I buy them when I could get the 6 driver CIEM from 1964 Ears for 50 dollars less!!??   Are the 4.a so good that they are better than 6 driver CIEMs from competitors?



How about JH Audio's new Freqphase thing?  Does this not render all other CIEMs now technically inferior?   If all the hype is to be believed, getting JH Audio CIEMS should be a no-brainer, not just for me, but for everyone.   But not everyone is buying JH Audio CIEMS over other brands, so it makes me wonder if the Freqphase technology is really minor and not even noticeable.

 


EDIT: My budget is 1300 dollars, but I am trying to be thrifty here.  I don't want to throw away money on overhyped products.  That is why I am looking at the 1964 V6 as possibly the best bang for my buck.

 


 


tl;dr:    hybrid or BA CIEM?   Any specific CIEM recs for the Etymotic sound but with stronger bass?
 
Nov 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM Post #6 of 19

tf1216

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The survey is still out on FreqPhase.  If you wait another month my guess is you will see comments regarding the impact of Jerry's new technology.  The "Battle of the Flagships" thread does an awesome job describing the difference between the JH13 and the JH16.  If you are deciding between those two it's a must read.  I would also point you in the direction of Alclair.  Their new 3-way is an awesome deal.  Search for reviews of its predecessor, the Reference, to see how will it compared to more expensive CIEMs.  The Crankmaster might be more of your alley.for your DJ duties.  You could afford to get two CIEMs for the price you are willing to pay.  
 
Nov 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM Post #9 of 19

zowki

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Have you considered the Frogbeats C4? This review has been getting a lot of attention lately:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/629467/review-the-frogbeats-c4-an-explosively-good-custom-in-ear-monitor-seriously
 
Nov 15, 2012 at 10:47 AM Post #10 of 19

Jazzkammer

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Yup. Due to hybrid Ciems not being reshellable,I have ruled them out. I picked up Sony Xba3s on sale and have been amazed by the bass - confirming that dedicated bass drivers are all I need for satisfying bass. So, since 1964 V6 seem like the best bang for my buck, and have a mostly neutral sound, I am confident that they will satisfy my needs, and have since placed an order for them.

The only other ones I seriously considered were Dream Earz, but they don't seem established enough, and their site is disconcertingly low-budget...I was wary, but intrigued. And since the Heir 8.a have been marked down to 975, I am wondering if I should cancel my 1964 order and get the 8.a instead? Oh well itI do not want to waste 1964's time, but it sure is tempting.
 
Nov 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM Post #11 of 19

Jazzkammer

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And i briefly looked at the Frogbeats C4 but I was shocked at how overpriced they are. Plus I do not want to deal with a UK Company...I want to do business in NOrth America as much as possible, which is also why I ruled out Unique Melody.
 
Nov 15, 2012 at 11:03 AM Post #12 of 19

Jazzkammer

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I mean, I know that more BA drivers does not necessarily equate to better sound, but then why else would companies try to cram as many BAs into a custom as possible? What I am getting at is, why would I buy the Frogbats C4 when I could get the HEir 8.a for the same price??
 
Nov 15, 2012 at 11:28 AM Post #13 of 19

Ayre

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Quote:
I mean, I know that more BA drivers does not necessarily equate to better sound

 
Well you said it at the beggining, more drivers does not mean better sound. I mean look at the FitEar 334, it costs >$1300, is universal and has 4 drivers but go to the FitEar 334 appreciation thread and I'm sure that quite a few people who are lucky enough to own them will say they are the best IEM's they've ever had the pleasure of hearing. Also consider the Phonak PFE232 which "only" has a dual armature design, costs a rather hefty $600, and yet I'm sure almost everyone will tell you that they can go toe to toe with the best quad driver IEM's out there.
 
Nov 16, 2012 at 10:35 AM Post #14 of 19

FullCircle

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Quote:
Jazzkammer said:
Why are the 8.A $150 more than their only 8 driver competitor, "X"?   Is 1300 dollars really worth it

 
  Any specific CIEM recs for the Etymotic sound but with stronger bass?

 
 



 

 
Just my humble opinion, but I think one would be hard pressed to find another company that invests the amount of time that Heir Audio does in their builds, and offers the same amount of service and customization. (that comes with a premium)
 
When you say "bass" it is hard to determine how much you want.
 
The 4.A will offer essentially the same type of high freq SQ that you are used to, with a touch more bass. But it isn't anything like a "hammering" type quality. The 8.a hits hard, that said the SQ is not muddy. 
 
You may want to consider the Ai series or the Tzar series as well. (hand made IEMs)
 


 
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Nov 16, 2012 at 12:09 PM Post #15 of 19
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Quote:

 
See, I have a huge problem with this.
 
Your products are fantastic, and I'm a new fan of Heir. However, the fact that you can post things like this blows my mind, because other members of the trade can't even post picture of their products on the forums. You've been promoting the products for a company that you're the CEO of, and it just doesn't seem right to me.
 
That's all I'll say on the subject
 

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