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flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)

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  1. Deezel177
    It's pretty friggin' fast though :D
    jmills8 likes this.
  2. FastAndClean
    which is a good thing if you are in a hurry
    fuhransahis and Deezel177 like this.
  3. jmills8
    Fast can be too fast, like so fast I couldnt even hear it.
    istfleur likes this.
  4. Deezel177
    Based on my short demo with it, it's speedy enough to keep up with the quickest of double pedal kick drums, but it has a natural enough decay that the tone of the kick still comes through. Pretty impressive.
  5. jmills8
    Great ypu enjoyed it. Let me know when you buy it and how it sounds in the long run.
    Overkill Red likes this.
  6. Wyville
    Darn it, there goes the second from my top 5 prediction. Oh well... On the flip side, the review makes it very clear why you advised me to look into this one as an 'end-game' contender based on my preferences. I think it might edge out the H8.2 for me now. Will have to keep buttering up the missus before I can realistically think of buying either one. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
    flinkenick likes this.
  7. Deezel177
    I'm nowhere near buying it at the moment; my wallet's been pretty skinny since the XR purchase :D For my next CIEM purchase though, the top contenders at the moment are the A18, the VE8, and the Flamenco (and maybe even the 18+). They've certainly come a very long way since my initial impressions at CanJam SG. Longer listening sessions, different tips, sources, and new music have certainly helped them quickly climb to the top of my list. For now though, I'm letting my wallet rest. Who knows? Maybe something new will come along :wink:
  8. Kerouac
    This might be the perfect test track to check the speed of an iem...
    Cagin likes this.
  9. lovelydinner
    Another one bites the dust..
    On another note,
    Does anyone have any comparison for UE11 Pros to UE18 Pros?
    UE11 has been around for a Long time and I wonder how it holds up to the rest of the iems now(considering there has been more iems and possible advancements in tech).
    I've auditioned both today, and found that UE18pros seemed more mid-centric whereas UE11 seemed more musical to me.
  10. costas23
    "natural", "realistic", "accurate" and "lifelike" are keywords I read lots in the UE18+ review.... for me these adjectives are most important when listening to music and make the UE18+ very interesting.

    Unfortunately I never heard the UE18+ but heard and very much liked the InEar Prophile 8 and often thought of the prophile 8 while reading the UE18+ review.
    Is there anyone here owning both or has ever had the luck to compare them to each other and could tell how they compare?
  11. twister6 Contributor
    Which probably suggests that you had brief auditions of U18 with M15 module and a stock cable, bud.
  12. jmills8
    True demoed it three times but I fount the Fourte to sound more the way I like the music. I demoed it with the Hugo 2 and with the new AK 1000 dap. Yes stock cable.
  13. Deezel177
    I've heard both and they have pretty different signatures. I'd consider the PP8 more akin to the traditional sense of the term "neutral" while the 18+ is the epitome of the term "natural". The PP8, in comparison to the 18+, is brighter, flatter, and more revealing/transparent. The 18+ is warmer, smoother, but in my opinion, its tonality and timbre (the way instruments, vocals, etc. are presented) is more realistic, and representative of what real instruments sound like. I'd say it's like watching Nat Geo's Planet Earth on a crisp 4K screen, versus actually being in Africa and seeing it with your very eyes; one offers a more detailed image and a clearer window into the horizon, while the other is just real.
    costas23 likes this.
  14. crinacle
    I compared them directly briefly but didn't take too many notes on it. The UE11 was definitely a lot bassier and V-shaped compared to the relatively neutral/balanced signature of the 18+.

    The UE11 didn't really impress me much either. I would've much rather gotten the UE7 if I had to make the choice.

    Green: UE11, Yellow: UE18+
  15. flinkenick
    So concerning Aether vs. UE18+. @Deezel177 has responded almost exactly like I would, so basically 'what he said'.

    But I will put it a little bit more in perspective. Aether and UE18+ are both iems that fall in the natural class, and really are more similar than different. Aether has an exceptional tone. This is reflected by its 89 score; it simply 'sounds' very good. In fact, I don't find there's any iem in this shootout that has a better tone when it comes to just how nice it sounds. However, there are a few that have a slightly more accurate timbre, although this doesn't necessarily mean they sound better in terms of naturalness and general beauty. So it is a correct assumption to say Aether 'sounds' nicer than Katana and NT6-pro, and its higher score for tonality is supposed to reflect that.

    However, when you deconstruct individual components of Aether we can see that the quality of its bass (low-end extension, definition, and speed) and midrange (forwardness, density, and transparency) could be better, compared to the standard in this shootout. When we compare UE18+, its bass has better low-end extension, definition, and tone. It's midrange has exceptional balance in terms of linearity, while its vocal presentation is outstanding. In the treble they converge again (87 vs 88), with both having very similar trebles defined by a lower treble dip that gives them a beautiful timbre and overall natural signature; however UE18+'s treble has slightly better definition. BUT, Aether has a beautiful touch of sparkle resulting from it's 5 KHz peak, where UE18+ is just a bit smoother and warmer, but not necessarily more beautiful in tone (though overall slightly more accurate timbre). So overall, they are very similar, and if you like Aether, you won't necessarily find UE18+ a huge improvement. It might come down to preference. However, I would say UE18+ has a bit more quality throughout its signature, but that is from an analytical perspective that doesn't necessarily translate to the reader's experience.

    It's a bit ironic that gearofwar's comments about Aether follow Rei's comments from a few days ago about the Dream. Because to follow Rei's analogy, Rei is arguing for the detailed drawing of a leaf in black and white, and gearofwar for the color. So, @gearofwar I'd like to introduce you to @Rei87. How about you two battle it out, and let me know who's right. Then I can just focus on writing the reviews, and try to finish the next one on time.
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