FlaresPro/FlaresGold by Flare Audio
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Arysyn

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I wasn't a fan of the bluetooth on the pro, but I'm not a fan of bluetooth in general. I always prefer wired and will be sticking with wired until I can't tell the difference.
I agree with you about Bluetooth. I don't like what I've heard from Bluetooth in the past, though some here in this thread recommended to me I try it. To me, now that I've tried it, Bluetooth isn't any better on the FlaresPro than any of the other Bluetooth solutions I've heard. Although to be fair to those supportive of Bluetooth here, I'm really not trying to be hateful or negative about Bluetooth, just that it doesn't sound good to me, nor even comparable to wired, at least this point in time. I am looking forward to more development with Bluetooth 5 though. Not that Bluetooth 5 alone is going to improve audio, but combined with codecs such as AptxHD, etc., it could get closer to wired quality. Still not quite there yet though.
 
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I agree with you about Bluetooth. I don't like what I've heard from Bluetooth in the past, though some here in this thread recommended to me I try it. To me, now that I've tried it, Bluetooth isn't any better on the FlaresPro than any of the other Bluetooth solutions I've heard. Although to be fair to those supportive of Bluetooth here, I'm really not trying to be hateful or negative about Bluetooth, just that it doesn't sound good to me, nor even comparable to wired, at least this point in time. I am looking forward to more development with Bluetooth 5 though. Not that Bluetooth 5 alone is going to improve audio, but combined with codecs such as AptxHD, etc., it could get closer to wired quality. Still not quite there yet though.
Agreed , I equally don't want to take anything away from others that are enjoying the bluetooth on the flares and for their needs it may suit them entirely.
I'm old school I don't stream, use wifi, bluetooth etc etc I'm just trying to listen to my music in the best possible way I can.
I own opus1 which has no bluetooth , no Wi-Fi and no streaming and suits my needs totally.

I also think the more tech and applications they are trying to fit into these daps the more they are crashing and possibly can interfere with audio playback but that's another subject.
 
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majo123

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i have been having another listen to my flares this morning through mojo and cayin n3, the opus1 I own can come across a bit thin on the occasional track so wanted to check the rasping, tizzyness I'm experiencing wasn't just bad pairing with the opus1.
I have to say it's still prevalent on all my sources and on realy close examination it's across the board not just vocals and mids, think the lows and highs being quite full sounding are just masking it a bit.
I have come to the conclusion that i possibly do have a defective driver and what ever the defect is it's just become more prominent over time.

Gonna contact flare audio tomorrow explain about the rasping/tizzying and that it sounds like somethings lose or poss perforated driver perhaps ??? I'm not an engineer so just guessing at the moment. As I said it's not getting worse with increased volume So Il see if they can take a look as there under warranty
 
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Arysyn

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i have been having another listen to my flares this morning through mojo and cayin n3, the opus1 I own can come across a bit thin on the occasional track so wanted to check the rasping, tizzyness I'm experiencing wasn't just bad pairing with the opus1.
I have to say it's still prevalent on all my sources and on realy close examination it's across the board not just vocals and mids, think the lows and highs being quite full sounding are just masking it a bit.
I have come to the conclusion that i possibly do have a defective driver and what ever the defect is it's just become more prominent over time.
Well, its possible there is a driver issue, but if you try another FlaresPro and the issues still are present, then its more likely to be a tuning issue, as I suspect. Although if you do return the FlaresPro, I highly recommend upgrading to the FlaresGold.
 
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majo123

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Well, its possible there is a driver issue, but if you try another FlaresPro and the issues still are present, then its more likely to be a tuning issue, as I suspect. Although if you do return the FlaresPro, I highly recommend upgrading to the FlaresGold.
I have had damaged drivers in the past on iems and had to return them. It definitely sounds similar but I think where at first it was so subtle that it could easily have been overlooked it now has become more prevalent.
To be honest the golds are a little bit out of the price range I went to spend on a iem, as anyone who has read my previous posts will tell you I'm a iem serial killer so i tend to not pay anymore than £500 as I can't justify the cost if I break.
I don't want a refund and if they are tuned a bit tizzy which I do already think they are then so be it but I honestly think it's more than that with mine.
Fingers crossed I get a good customer service from flares.
 
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Arysyn

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I have had damaged drivers in the past on iems and had to return them. It definitely sounds similar but I think where at first it was so subtle that it could easily have been overlooked it now has become more prevalent.
To be honest the golds are a little bit out of the price range I went to spend on a iem, as anyone who has read my previous posts will tell you I'm a iem serial killer so i tend to not pay anymore than £500 as I can't justify the cost if I break.
I don't want a refund and if they are tuned a bit tizzy which I do already think they are then so be it but I honestly think it's more than that with mine.
Fingers crossed I get a good customer service from flares.
Well then, hopefully it works out for you. If its an issue of a return for a replacement, then hopefully the next one won't have the same issue if its with the drivers. If its tuning and you're okay with it, then you're definitely more tolerant than I am to keep it. I couldn't deal with the harshness it caused on some of the songs that are my regular listens when I do listen to music, which isn't as often in contrast with the listening experiences of many here on Head-Fi.

When I do listen to music, I'm very picky about the quality and the sound signature. I don't have the same interest in music many here do where I'd be open to exploration of different music and sound signatures. I'm more specific to the technical aspects of what I believe is the best way of tuning in order to deliver the music in the purest way within the confines of the iem form, which I believe requires some deviation from neutrality, though certainly not much.

When I still was looking around for possible options other than the FlaresGold, I found one in each driver category (except for electrostatics - the Shure model's tuning is too different than the Flare) that were somewhat close in tuning, "somewhat" being a subjective term. The iems I'd suggest as alternatives in this matter, are the Sennheiser ie800s, Empire Ears EVR, and the Unique Melody ME1.

However, the Empire Ears model still being a good consideration technically, I wouldn't recommend based on customer service. The company would not respond to me after several emails. Not once. Flare Audio always responded to me, every time I communicated with them, and the response time was very quick. Not so with Empire Ears. Its a shame, because the EVR looks like a great iem, but they aren't backing it up with customer service. At least not to me.
 
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Just a positive I've noticed with the Flares Pro and Flares Gold: my ears do not fatigue at all.

Prior to the Flares Pro, I had the Roxanne II. I never really timed it, but there was always a point where my ears said, "I'm done. I need a rest."

Just that bit of comfort has made a world of difference. As I think about it, and mentioned this in another thread, but the Flares Gold are my #1 IEM. I felt like there was a tradeoff with switching from the Roxanne II to the Pros, particularly in the treble, but only because I typically don't EQ. But I never regretted the change due to comfort.

After thinking about sending the Flares Gold back, what an idiotic thought that was. These are truly superb. Man, Flare Audio just did a great job on both these IEMs, and I'm really enjoying the tuning on the Golds.

Only two things I would love to see improved: replacable cables a la MMCX and aptX-HD. That's really about it. Comfort, fit, seal and sound quality are all phenomenal.

Great. I'm gushing again. I'll stop now.
 
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Gold has just arrived. First impression, yes, if you have problems with Pro's treble, these pretty much fix it. Initial impressions, the difference in sound may not be as pronounced as the difference in price, but the improvements that can be found there may still be very worth it for you.

I was thinking of selling my Pro prior to getting the Gold, but I'm not so sure now haha. I might miss the bites in the highs that could be perceived as harshness by some, sometimes those are exactly the spices I need on the music.

Hasn't listened enough to gather about other things, but I don't think you can go wrong with either IEM at least.
 
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Just a positive I've noticed with the Flares Pro and Flares Gold: my ears do not fatigue at all.

Prior to the Flares Pro, I had the Roxanne II. I never really timed it, but there was always a point where my ears said, "I'm done. I need a rest."

Just that bit of comfort has made a world of difference. As I think about it, and mentioned this in another thread, but the Flares Gold are my #1 IEM. I felt like there was a tradeoff with switching from the Roxanne II to the Pros, particularly in the treble, but only because I typically don't EQ. But I never regretted the change due to comfort.

After thinking about sending the Flares Gold back, what an idiotic thought that was. These are truly superb. Man, Flare Audio just did a great job on both these IEMs, and I'm really enjoying the tuning on the Golds.

Only two things I would love to see improved: replacable cables a la MMCX and aptX-HD. That's really about it. Comfort, fit, seal and sound quality are all phenomenal.

Great. I'm gushing again. I'll stop now.
I agree you could wear these all day totally non fatiguing and the sound on the pro is awesome. I'm just hoping mine do have a fault and that this slight rasping is something lose or broken as the flares are pretty outstanding iems.
 
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majo123

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Going to ring flares this morning and if all gos well I will be returning on Friday.
Fingers crossed .
 
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Going to ring flares this morning and if all gos well I will be returning on Friday.
Fingers crossed .
Unless you are clearly noticing a difference between left and right it's highly unlikely you have driver issues. The chances of both drivers having the same problem is pretty minimal in chance. Have you tried running a frequency sweep and checking for differences between left and right?

I think what you are noticing is your brain finally embedding to the earphones response. You have gone past the immediate wow factor and now your brain keeps homing in on the upper mids/lower treble spike that unfortunately has a very unnatural emphasis on the pro. This often happens with earphones that have odd tunings. Your brain tries to 'equalise' what you're hearing by comparing to what you think it should sound like and unfortunately it fails.
 
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Unless you are clearly noticing a difference between left and right it's highly unlikely you have driver issues. The chances of both drivers having the same problem is pretty minimal in chance. Have you tried running a frequency sweep and checking for differences between left and right?

I think what you are noticing is your brain finally embedding to the earphones response. You have gone past the immediate wow factor and now your brain keeps homing in on the upper mids/lower treble spike that unfortunately has a very unnatural emphasis on the pro. This often happens with earphones that have odd tunings. Your brain tries to 'equalise' what you're hearing by comparing to what you think it should sound like and unfortunately it fails.
No I haven't , boxed and ready to go back after speaking to flares this morning who I have to say we're great.
But you do have a point it could be tuning as it is very very subtle...its realy hard to describe but it sounds very hissy/ raspy anyway flares will have a look and fingers crossed.
 
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Unless you are clearly noticing a difference between left and right it's highly unlikely you have driver issues. The chances of both drivers having the same problem is pretty minimal in chance. Have you tried running a frequency sweep and checking for differences between left and right?

I think what you are noticing is your brain finally embedding to the earphones response. You have gone past the immediate wow factor and now your brain keeps homing in on the upper mids/lower treble spike that unfortunately has a very unnatural emphasis on the pro. This often happens with earphones that have odd tunings. Your brain tries to 'equalise' what you're hearing by comparing to what you think it should sound like and unfortunately it fails.
Further to your post earlier I have been trying to nail what I think is bothering me there seems to be a hiss or fizz/tizz which I notice more on poor recordings especially on vocals fs and s at the end of some passages sound thin stretched like a rushing of air at the end of the note , hence my initial thought i.e driver rasping.
I think It is possibly there throughout the spectrum but i could be over analysing.
Anyway boxed and ready to go back and see what flares say although I might not have time to get to the post office until Friday.
Thanks guys for your thoughts and opinions it's always good to listen to others take on it as it can help point out what the real issue is.
 
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Arysyn

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Gold has just arrived. First impression, yes, if you have problems with Pro's treble, these pretty much fix it. Initial impressions, the difference in sound may not be as pronounced as the difference in price, but the improvements that can be found there may still be very worth it for you.

I was thinking of selling my Pro prior to getting the Gold, but I'm not so sure now haha. I might miss the bites in the highs that could be perceived as harshness by some, sometimes those are exactly the spices I need on the music.

Hasn't listened enough to gather about other things, but I don't think you can go wrong with either IEM at least.
Unless you are clearly noticing a difference between left and right it's highly unlikely you have driver issues. The chances of both drivers having the same problem is pretty minimal in chance. Have you tried running a frequency sweep and checking for differences between left and right?

I think what you are noticing is your brain finally embedding to the earphones response. You have gone past the immediate wow factor and now your brain keeps homing in on the upper mids/lower treble spike that unfortunately has a very unnatural emphasis on the pro. This often happens with earphones that have odd tunings. Your brain tries to 'equalise' what you're hearing by comparing to what you think it should sound like and unfortunately it fails.
Fiberoptix, fyi... the issue with the harsher treble on the FlaresPro isn't in the lower treble, its in the upper treble. Prior to my getting the FlaresPro, I actually scoffed at the notion treble had harshness.

Example : the HiFiMan RE800. I had the HFM iem for a short time, which I bought partially on the basis of Head-Fi member Brooko having posted the frequency response graph for it. He seemed to like the iem, as did many in the thread for it, so seeing that it was well-liked and seemed close to my sound signature preference, I bought it. Even though despite there was one complaint frequent throughout that thread, which was the lower treble being harsher during cymbals.

When I received the iem and gave a good listen to it, I did not hear the issue at all with anything, not even my treble test track "Rivers of Belief", by Enigma, which became that to me after I noticed the issues with it from the FlaresPro. I returned the HiFiMan RE800 not because of treble, but ultimately because mine had more bass and recessed mids than others, which I didn't get a response to from HiFiMan, a company I've since read is notorious with QC issues.

Then I decided to go with my next choice, which was to try one of the few neutral tuned, lesser treble iems, which the Flare R2 would have fit in. To note here also, despite my issue with the HiFiMan RE800, I received the Massdrop HiFiMan RE00 from a very nice Head-Fi member I met shortly after I got the FlaresPro, which the RE00 turns out to be very close to my exacting wants in sound signature, and is a very good iem in its own merits. I think its tuning would have been much better for HiFiMan to have utilized for its flagship line, and its sound signature actually sounds like a less refined tuning of the FlaresGold, or at least somewhere between the Pro and the Gold.

The tuning I ended up thinking I'd have to 'adjust' to from any iem more refined than the RE00, would be to reduce my lower treble preferences and stick with neutral/less than neutral tuning all the way through. I like neutrality in tuning in most areas, but with a slightly mid-forwardness in the mids/vocals, and a bump higher in the lower treble. It was the treble I'd be sacrificing by going with the Flare R2 series, though its still great in the other areas in its tuning.

Yet at around the time after the HiFiMan RE800, when discovering the Flare thread that preceded this one (I created this thread by the encouragement of others there), I read about the FlaresPro and asked alot of questions, among requesting to Flare Audio for a frequency response graph of the FlaresPro, which they sent to me. Despite my showing this before, I'll post it again for reference. Here it is :

FLARES PRO Freq Resp.png


Compare that to the R2Pro, there definitely is a difference in treble tuning :

images.png


The moment I saw the frequency response graph of the FlaresPro, I didn't think much of the extended upper treble hump, as I never heard any harshness in treble before, neither from lower nor upper treble bumps, peaks, spikes, and whatnot. I had an attitude of "treble is great, better than bass, no matter what".

While I still prefer treble over bass, my interest has shifted towards neither, but rather the mids/vocals, as I was getting really tired of recessed vocals in dynamic driver iems, which until I get the opportunity to hear a natural, emotional sound balanced armature driver iem, I'm keeping to dynamic drivers, despite the rarity of mid and lower treble-focused iems.

Anyways, I listened to the FlaresPro and after hearing the harshness of the cymbals and tambourines on a few songs, including "Rivers of Belief" by Enigma, that would push those particular instruments so much forward, they'd overshadow the other instrumentals and even the vocals, while having too much glare/shimmer to what could also be considered as a metallic tinge to the sound.

Yet if there were a problem with the drivers on the FlaresPro I had, then I figure it would affect all music I'd listen to through it. However, it didn't. It only affected those particular sounds/areas of certain songs that otherwise play normally/perfectly fine on other iems, hence I knew it wasn't an issue with the recordings. Another thing, all the music I have are genuine FLAC files, absolutely nothing lossy. I don't even listen to MQA, despite my having the Meridian Explorer 2 dac and Tidal.

I gave the issue a good think, posted about it plenty of times in this thread - to which I received several helpful responses with good advice and met some nice people here from the communications. I was very glad to have such support to test out different possibilities to the problem, to which I discovered ultimately was in the upper treble tuning of the FlaresPro.

I went back to look at as many frequency response graphs I could find online of the iems I've listened to, none of them have the upper treble tuning anywhere near the FlaresPro, with the exception of the HiFiMan RE00, which gets very close in detail to the same frequency space/region as the FlaresPro, but just misses the point where it could become harsh.

RE-00.png


There definitely is a spike there in the upper treble, though it isn't extended enough through the range perhaps to hit that sensitivity spot where the FlaresPro clearly does. I'd really like for Flare Audio to be more forthcoming with frequency response information on their website. Granted, I like the company alot and especially for the excellent tuning of the FlaresGold, but more information on their website regarding the sound tuning would be great for getting more customers.

Right now, currently the FlaresGold looks like an enigma product on the site, rather than as a clearly posted, upfront on the site product placement. The Isolates and the Snoozers even seem to get more recognition. As great of products they might be, and yes I know those are big sellers for Flare Audio, the name of the company signifies audio, so I'd hope their iems would have more of a prominent placement/appearance on their website, along with lots of detailed information that encourages purchases beyond just talking about dual jet technology, which isn't so clear either.

Otherwise, Flare Audio absolutely is doing something right by the amazing tuning of the FlaresGold. Which despite my issues with the FlaresPro treble, I'll say this : Its possible Flare Audio has tuned the FlaresPro that way, in order to make an easier transition towards their products for people so use to the "V-Shape" sound. While the FlaresPro bass is fairly excellebnt, it sounds a slight bit more than the R2 and the FlaresGold. Same with the treble.

So while the FlaresPro isn't necessarily V-Shaped, especially the vocals definitely not being recessed, it seems to have an edge to the bass and treble that may satisfy those fond of V-Shaped sound, all while introducing them to better mids/vocals. Whereas the FlaresGold remains as the defining iem of purity, neutrality in the bass, a boost in the midrange for vocal detail, along with the treble enhancement needed to help remedy the limits in space by the iem format.
 
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Fiberoptix

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Sorry, you're right. I couldn't remember as I sent mine back for the same reason. The offending spikes are in the upper treble - brilliance range. Around 8-9khz if I remember correctly and then there is another one slightly higher but which causes less issue.
 
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