FlaresPro/FlaresGold by Flare Audio
May 15, 2018 at 7:11 AM Post #781 of 1,344

awayeah

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Right, so 6db for the R2 Pro and 3db for the Pro / Gold (they use the same driver, so shouldn't be any different frequency variation). I'd strongly argue that 6db is not good enough, and clearly Flare thought so too if they've changed it now. Though I do wonder whether they are quoting that for convenience as clearly your R2 Pro is within 6db but not 3db!

Your only recourse then is either kick up a stink at Flare, and ask them to give you a set of new drivers for the R2. Or buy a couple of them used (which is what I did for spares) either just the drivers or an old pair of R2A. If you know anyone with a measurement microphone you can measure them yourself and find the best matched pair.

No kicking up a stink at Flare :)
They've been more than gracious with their after-sales support. My R2pro's are almost 3 years old and Flare not only did not ask for proof of purchase, they did not ask about anything - they just took my Flares and check them for me. I've sent R2 models for several repairs now (the jack is horrendously week and even pedantic care doesn't help) and they are always extremely kind and supportive.
My Flares Gold came with poorly assembled bluetooth module and when I've pointed that out, they immediately send new, complete unit, not just the module. I didn't even ask for it, I just send them an e-mail, explaining that 999£ earphones should have better quality check (usb port was moved up, making it harder to connect to a charger). I didn't even have to send "faulty" unit back until like a week after I've received a new one - so for a week I've had 2 pairs of Flares Gold :). And for my inconvenience, they added 10 pairs of audiophile foam tips.
That's the best customer support I've come across.
 
May 15, 2018 at 10:24 AM Post #782 of 1,344

Bananiq

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Yes Flare customer service is best! good they are aware of R2's cable issues. I've had my R2A repaired many times with no problems.
anyways, I am going to do some tip rolling to find a perfect match!.. I remember hybrids done a great job before I lost them.. i've ordered several silicone tips - Sony Hybrids, Symbio Wide bore, Normal bore, Tennmak (from aliexpress) then going to order Spiral Dots, SpinFits Twinblade CP240 and Flare Everyday just need to find out which sizes because they don't pack in mixes. Anyone has any additional suggestions for fine Silicone tips to use with Flare?
 
May 15, 2018 at 10:57 AM Post #783 of 1,344

Arysyn

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Yeah, that's basically what I've wrote :) But it's the driver character, that's at the source of the problem.
Anyway, why are you looking for a source with "new 32-bit Cirrus Logic"? That's just a DAC like any other DAC, depending on the implementation it can sound awful or great or mediocre... You should never look for gear, based on the specification - that what years of experience in audio have taught me. To choose the right source you need to try it, there's no way around that. To a limited degree you can rely on others opinions, but there's too many hypes and it's very hard to filter opinions.

I agree with you about the N5005. Good armature drivers will always give more wow effect in midrage, but in the long run I always prefer dynamic driver characteristics - it's more subtle and elegant presentation of sound.

Arsyn, Schiit are not just an "amp company" they make a range of products including various source devices. Their innovations are well known, making great sounding kit for not much money! They're a good example of those you should give attention to as they promote desktop set-up's which are so much better when not listening on the move. Despite your comments about amps, they're probably as well known for making superb sounding Dac's, especially multibit one's. These are very different to the like's of Cirrus Logic who like their peers seem to continue on the high bit rate quest, which often doesn't seem to improve sound quality. I'd say to you, listen to your Pro Gold's on a mid range desktop system (computer, multibit dac and amp) and tell me how it compares to using your phone and mobile devices.

I totally agree about Head-Fi and them favouring those who sponsor the site and advertise. Head-Fi have become as bad as the worst print media culprits did in the 80's and 90's where if you didn't adverstise with them, they weren't going to give your kit a positive review. Cynical maybe, but its the way the commercial world works. And having plenty of internet / online only and ad free independent websites is the only way to keep places like Head-Fi and their type honest. Its why many of the more enlightened headphone users have abandoned Head-Fi and follow them more avidly instead. Its why I don't post here very often either!

I see there have been several new posts here since my last visit and am unsure if theres been any more followup responses to me, but I'll reply to them soon. Tuesdays typically are not good days for me healthwise, so I'm going to take a break posting until tomorrow, when I plan on trying the Zorloo Zuperdac to hear if I can detect any tizz on my FlaresGold.

Jonathan, while I'm not quite in agreement with awayeah about tizz on the FlaresGold, there definitely is, at least on the unit I had of it, on the FlaresPro. I absolutely guarantee its not a source or recording issue. It most certainly is with the actual unit. Now where I disagree with awayeah, is in the belief its related to the driver technology, believing that the FlaresPro and FlaresGold have the same problem because of it being "the same driver".

The difference is in the tuning, and as I've been saying all along, there are similar treble tuning between the two in which its pushed to the limits, but on FlaresGold it stops prior to reaching the point of harshness in tuning, where the FlaresPro goes over the limit. I'm very curious as to where in the frequency response this happens. I suspect in the upper treble range, but at which point exactly I don't know.

Now regarding awayeah's claims of hearing the tizz on the FlaresGold, its possible based on source and tips. I did hear a slight push in the direction of harshness when I used the Bluetooth, but regardless of those hear who seem to love Bluetooth for whatever reason, I just hate it. I can tell a huge improvement in quality with wired over wireless.

Regarding dacs, starting with Schiit, I see they are highly respected here, so the company must be doing something right, just that I don't care for the headlines on the main page every time theres a new chapter of the book published here, meanwhile Flare gets no attention there. I do have issues with the nature of the amp industry not innovating enough on mobile, as I've mentioned in another post.

I am eagerly waiting for a portable wired dac to feature the same Cirrus Logic 32-bit system thats in the Nexum Aqua+ wireless dac. The reason being that its a dedicated hardware dac solution, unlike the more software-oriented nature of the Meridian Explorer2. The reason for my wanting the Cirrus Logic specifically though is because I've read it focuses on a leaner bass output, mid-range emphasis with treble improvement, similar to ESS Sabre, but with less bass. The ESS Sabres I've tried lately from the LG V20 and Zorloo Zuperdac are too bassy. I did like the implementation in the LG V10 though.
 
May 15, 2018 at 11:46 AM Post #785 of 1,344

McCol

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I just took a look online for the AKG N5005, and noticed its mostly balanced armature driven, but with one dynamic driver that likely is tuned for bass... which would mean the mids and treble are balanced armature driven. To me, that isn't good and really isn't a fair comparison to the FlaresGold, in my opinion. On a personal preference level its fair to say which one likes better, but technically not a fair comparison. I see plenty of reviews that do compare between the different drivers, but its not something I believe is the proper thing to do, because they are so different, the sound is very different, etc. Balanced Armature drivers provide a clearer, more raw detailed sound, whereas dynamic drivers bring a full, rich emotional sound. Huge difference and the type of music that is best played on them differs from one another.

Anyways, the appearence of the fit was something I immediately like better about the FlaresGold, so of course that was another thing I noticed. But thats as far as I'll go comparing the two.

It’s a good point you make in terms of the difference between different types of technology in earphones, however I would say the comparison is more than fair if you have a set budget for one pair of earphones. It’s good to know the differences and limitations of both models which I think I pointed out fairly to both earphones.
For me I wouldn’t like to choose one over the other, both have their strengths and weaknesses. My original point to the person looking at possible alternatives to the Golds was based on them seeking a slightly different and maybe pronounced treble response, which I believe could be achieved with the N5005 regardless of the drivers delivering the sound.
 
May 21, 2018 at 5:10 AM Post #786 of 1,344

holden4th

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I am listening to Rivers of Belief and can't hear the tizz. What I do hear is a not very well mastered recording and if there is tizz there thenit's being masked by what is going on around it. This is based on a listen via Spotify premium. I also used the Tidal HiFi system and still got the same impression. The voices are sibilant and the sound is rather thin. I have other recordings where this doesn't happen and either I've got a good version of the Pros or this is a recording issue. These iems are extremely revealing and don't do poor recordings any favours. They also make good recordings sound absolutely stunning.

That said, I'm not treble centric and what might not affect my ears could certainly affect yours.

When Massdrop bring it out again I'm going to purchase the Cavalli CTH-SDAC which I've read can lift the Sennheiser 'veil'. If it can do that then it would be interesting to see what it does to my Pros.
 
May 21, 2018 at 8:36 AM Post #787 of 1,344

HiFlight

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I am listening to Rivers of Belief and can't hear the tizz. What I do hear is a not very well mastered recording and if there is tizz there thenit's being masked by what is going on around it. This is based on a listen via Spotify premium. I also used the Tidal HiFi system and still got the same impression. The voices are sibilant and the sound is rather thin. I have other recordings where this doesn't happen and either I've got a good version of the Pros or this is a recording issue. These iems are extremely revealing and don't do poor recordings any favours. They also make good recordings sound absolutely stunning.

That said, I'm not treble centric and what might not affect my ears could certainly affect yours.

When Massdrop bring it out again I'm going to purchase the Cavalli CTH-SDAC which I've read can lift the Sennheiser 'veil'. If it can do that then it would be interesting to see what it does to my Pros.
I also felt that this is a poorly mastered recording that is a classic example of the "loudness war".
 
May 21, 2018 at 11:31 AM Post #788 of 1,344

Arysyn

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I am listening to Rivers of Belief and can't hear the tizz. What I do hear is a not very well mastered recording and if there is tizz there thenit's being masked by what is going on around it. This is based on a listen via Spotify premium. I also used the Tidal HiFi system and still got the same impression. The voices are sibilant and the sound is rather thin. I have other recordings where this doesn't happen and either I've got a good version of the Pros or this is a recording issue. These iems are extremely revealing and don't do poor recordings any favours. They also make good recordings sound absolutely stunning.

That said, I'm not treble centric and what might not affect my ears could certainly affect yours.

When Massdrop bring it out again I'm going to purchase the Cavalli CTH-SDAC which I've read can lift the Sennheiser 'veil'. If it can do that then it would be interesting to see what it does to my Pros.

I also felt that this is a poorly mastered recording that is a classic example of the "loudness war".

It absolutely is NOT a recording issue. I checked several times using different equipment. The "tizz" only happens on the FlaresPro. I'm not the only person here who has heard this on the FlaresPro. I think its pretty much a well documented issue by now. However, its possible Flare could slightly be modifying the tuning on latest batches of the FlaresPro. It isn't the most ethical thing to do, as it sticks the buyers of older units with an inferior product of the same model, but I suspect Flare wouldn't be the only company to do this, if they did - which to make clear I really don't know.

For example, before I bought the FlaresPro, I tried the HiFiMan RE800. The tuning of the unit I received sounded quite different from the tuning in the frequency response graph HeadFi member Brooko posted, though I certainly don't doubt his test's accuracy - rather, I believe the problem probably was a tuning differential between regions. Not exactly a tuning change/update, but still selling different tuning to different regions. I've read this has been done before on various audio products, such as with LG's soundbars.
 
May 22, 2018 at 5:26 AM Post #789 of 1,344

holden4th

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Putting the Pros through their paces has been an interesting journey so far. The one thing that stands out is their ability to accurately reproduce the standard of the recording process. The poor mastering process really stands out with these where more run of the mill headphones don't quite pick it up and the recording can sound really good.

Carmina Burana is a work that has been recorded many times (I was fortunate to be able to perform it as part of a choir many years ago). There is a recording by Anima Eterna that sounded quite exciting at 320kbps on Spotify via my IE80s. When I got the R2As I noticed that soloists tended to drift off centre and back again and wondered about how well this was mastered. Were the microphones poorly placed so if a performer moved slightly did another mike picked them up? The answer using the Pros is Yes. What it also shows is how murky the recording is, it's awful. It's also quite thin. When I compare it to the Andre Previn/LSO version on EMI, recorded 40 years prior, it's like night and day.

The downside of this could be that recordings I'd previously loved might not pass muster. However, it's also very apparent that my DAC/Amp is not really capable of bringing out what these amazing little iems can do. I can feel the lack of power and it's not something I can put into words but it's tangible more than audible.
 
May 22, 2018 at 1:13 PM Post #790 of 1,344

McCol

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It is worth noting that my Pro’s before I sold them did not suffer the ‘tizz’ issue, certainly to my ears anyway. They were a very early model as well.
 
May 22, 2018 at 3:12 PM Post #791 of 1,344

spinrite

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try this song from, Santana (feat. Everlast)
Put Your Lights On.

The Flare Golds really shine with this track.
 
May 23, 2018 at 5:35 AM Post #792 of 1,344

holden4th

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I've now moved onto Pipe Organ and once again have found recordings that are ruthlessly revealed as not well mastered. I can't think of a better gauge of natural bass notes than the 16 and 32 foot pipes of a pipe organ. The sound is visceral when recorded properly, you can feel it in your gut.

Recordings by E Power Biggs on the Sony label were well recorded but the best were of Virgil Fox for RCA Living Stereo. I don't know who the recording engineer was but he deserves a medal. I am sure that I heard a 64 foot pipe resonating in Concerto for Strings No 10 by Handel and obviously transcribed for organ.
 
May 24, 2018 at 5:11 AM Post #793 of 1,344

holden4th

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The downside of this could be that recordings I'd previously loved might not pass muster. However, it's also very apparent that my DAC/Amp is not really capable of bringing out what these amazing little iems can do. I can feel the lack of power and it's not something I can put into words but it's tangible more than audible.

Looking at the Headfi main page today I saw a review from Wiljen about the Burson Play DAC/Amp. What did stand out for me in the review and others that I read was how powerful this unit is and that the Op Amps are Burson's own design. What's even better is that you can roll the Op Amps and Burson even encourages it. The clincher for me is that Burson are an Australian company and as a proud Aussie I am delighted to buy 'Aussie made'. So I've ordered this from a well regarded Australian supplier and for a price better than Burson's own site which quotes in US dollars. I'll report back after it arrives.
 
May 24, 2018 at 8:12 AM Post #794 of 1,344

HiFlight

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Looking at the Headfi main page today I saw a review from Wiljen about the Burson Play DAC/Amp. What did stand out for me in the review and others that I read was how powerful this unit is and that the Op Amps are Burson's own design. What's even better is that you can roll the Op Amps and Burson even encourages it. The clincher for me is that Burson are an Australian company and as a proud Aussie I am delighted to buy 'Aussie made'. So I've ordered this from a well regarded Australian supplier and for a price better than Burson's own site which quotes in US dollars. I'll report back after it arrives.
The 8 ohm output impedance would give me concern for use with many IEM's. Perhaps this is not of a major importance for gamers.
 
May 24, 2018 at 10:01 AM Post #795 of 1,344

Jonathan Dunham

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I am listening to Rivers of Belief and can't hear the tizz.


When Massdrop bring it out again I'm going to purchase the Cavalli CTH-SDAC which I've read can lift the Sennheiser 'veil'. If it can do that then it would be interesting to see what it does to my Pros.

I couldn't hear the tizz or harshness either on that track. Sound quality wise its very similar to most other Enigma albums I've heard, recording quality isn't the best.

The Cavalli CTH is a nice sounding amp, as I said in my recommendations earlier. But you could improve overall SQ with a better DAC. A Mimby would be the minimum I'd accept personally.

Yeah, but even if there's interference, there's no change to tonality, resolution or details, so the only affected part of sound quality are distortions caused by interferences. And if you can hear them you can take some actions. I didn't have any interferences so I assume my Mojo sounded the best it can out of USB.

Unfortunately it won't. All USB outputs will sound different, but if its engineered properly the differences will be minor. Chord wouldn't have had the budget to do it properly on the Mojo. You need galvanic isolation of the digital lines and all sorts to do it properly. That just one reason why Chord themselves say Mojo sounds best on optical.

There will be changes to those things you've said with what you term as interference, just Google "effective bits of resolution" as you'll see that noise effects resolution and many other things. So whilst you may not detect it, it is there.

USB quality is often the main reason that a DAC will sound worse from a phone too. Hence why I advocate a desktop set up when not mobile.
 

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