flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)
Jun 23, 2021 at 7:59 AM Post #33,016 of 36,362

gLer

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Couldn't afford the Mercer, so I found its next best thing :smiley: Not exactly that exotic olive green, but it's pretty green alright

399033-445956.jpg

https://www.e-earphone.jp/products/detail/1341726/2069/ - Solomon

Will probably look like a Batman villain wearing this with my green Prelude lol


Also got to try the P6 Pro with IE900 and Isabellae today :)
taken-1624426737104-edit-149362494318354.jpg

taken-1624428136343-edit-149384451289705.jpg

My impressions were
- P6 Pro sounds very good, but too expensive for me
- More power and at the same time control in the low end/bass
- High resolution, but it has more of this analog texture to their imaging, less digital-like feel to the sound
- Sound presentation is definitely unique to R2R discrete player, quite different to 'normal' players like DX300 or M8
- It pairs nicely with both IE900 and Isa, both to my ears in turn have similar bass quantity on the P6 Pro, with bigger note size on the Isa (more surface area)
- These DD monitors are quite influenceable with various source and driving power, their sound differ quite a lot when driven from a phone + dongle or low gain
- Isabellae has a more attenuated upper-bass, making IE900 sound slightly warmer
- In addition, the IE900 also has less presence and lift in its upper-mids making it sound a bit darker by comparison
- Mids are more laidback relaxed (but not recessed) on the IE900, whereas on the Isa it sounded crisper and clearer which may make it sound more resolving, but they're both pretty similar in resolution level
- There is slight attenuation in the 3-4kHz region on the IE900, which makes its vocals sound less 'offensive' and forward or pronounced
- The IE900 if you can get a good seal, has this amazing fit that compounded by its smaller more compact shell size, makes you feel like not wearing anything at all (no pun intended). And perhaps even better more comfortable than wearing custom IEMs. It gets even better as the IE900 has also a good wide stage, and transparency from its smooth extended treble
- With lower quality source such as on my phone, the 7kHz peak on the IE900 sounded more apparent, but on the P6 Pro everything just sounded smoother more fluid and coherent. There is definitely some energy in the lower treble, but it's just the right amount
- The Isa on the other hand sounded smoother in the lower treble (7-8kHz), but has more presence in the upper-mids. Combined with its attenuated upper-bass, it sounded less warm, but at the same time more accurate in tone to my ears
- For immersing in music, I can see the IE900 being more appealing with its warmer sound and seamless fit
Love these impressions! Next step on this musical journey will hopefully be full Android discrete R2R... My IEMs will thank me for it.
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 8:03 AM Post #33,017 of 36,362

aaf evo

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@aaf evo would you mind posting a graph with your measurements of the IE900 superimposed on your Traillii graph please? Would be interesting to see where they differ or correspond in terms of FR.

Sure I will do it later. I spent about 4-5 hours with the IE900 last night. Really really enjoying those for the most part, and probably my favorite IEM I have heard since I first heard the Traillii, but it also really works with my music preferences. Can’t wait to see what the Annihilator brings too.
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 8:53 AM Post #33,018 of 36,362

Rockwell75

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Tuning > technicalities for me, even more so now that I've heard the IE900, but it goes back to my preferring the BLON BL-03 to the Andromeda,

For me it was really brought home by how much I preferred the Andromeda to the u12t.

Also curious to hear it, but sadly @Rockwell75's review and subsequent graphs I've seen suggest it has muted bass compared to Traillii.

The Isabellae is definitely what I would call a mid-forward or bright-leaning IEM. The bass is certainly not the star of the show...but it's very effective and you're never left feeling anything is absent. I effortlessly melt into Isa's sound even after using bass-heavy IEMs like the Dorado 2020 for days on end. I think the rich, cohesive, peerlessly coherent sound mitigates any lack in bass as perceived on an FR graph. Speaking of bass having Isa around has made it harder to live with the BA bass on Elysium (which I totally didn't mind and actually loved when it was my only IEM).

All that said I stand by my generalization of Isa as essentially Andromeda-like tuning with a single DD...so I can well understand why folks like @gLer will be reticent about it.

Couldn't afford the Mercer, so I found its next best thing :smiley: Not exactly that exotic olive green, but it's pretty green alright

399033-445956.jpg

https://www.e-earphone.jp/products/detail/1341726/2069/ - Solomon

Will probably look like a Batman villain wearing this with my green Prelude lol


Also got to try the P6 Pro with IE900 and Isabellae today :)
taken-1624426737104-edit-149362494318354.jpg

taken-1624428136343-edit-149384451289705.jpg

My impressions were
- P6 Pro sounds very good, but too expensive for me
- More power and at the same time control in the low end/bass
- High resolution, but it has more of this analog texture to their imaging, less digital-like feel to the sound
- Sound presentation is definitely unique to R2R discrete player, quite different to 'normal' players like DX300 or M8
- It pairs nicely with both IE900 and Isa, both to my ears in turn have similar bass quantity on the P6 Pro, with bigger note size on the Isa (more surface area)
- These DD monitors are quite influenceable with various source and driving power, their sound differ quite a lot when driven from a phone + dongle or low gain
- Isabellae has a more attenuated upper-bass, making IE900 sound slightly warmer
- In addition, the IE900 also has less presence and lift in its upper-mids making it sound a bit darker by comparison
- Mids are more laidback relaxed (but not recessed) on the IE900, whereas on the Isa it sounded crisper and clearer which may make it sound more resolving, but they're both pretty similar in resolution level
- There is slight attenuation in the 3-4kHz region on the IE900, which makes its vocals sound less 'offensive' and forward or pronounced
- The IE900 if you can get a good seal, has this amazing fit that compounded by its smaller more compact shell size, makes you feel like not wearing anything at all (no pun intended). And perhaps even better more comfortable than wearing custom IEMs. It gets even better as the IE900 has also a good wide stage, and transparency from its smooth extended treble
- With lower quality source such as on my phone, the 7kHz peak on the IE900 sounded more apparent, but on the P6 Pro everything just sounded smoother more fluid and coherent. There is definitely some energy in the lower treble, but it's just the right amount
- The Isa on the other hand sounded smoother in the lower treble (7-8kHz), but has more presence in the upper-mids. Combined with its attenuated upper-bass, it sounded less warm, but at the same time more accurate in tone to my ears
- For immersing in music, I can see the IE900 being more appealing with its warmer sound and seamless fit


Happy Father's Day :smiley: lmao

Great impressions! I would love to hear the IE900 some day but the more I read about it the more I suspect it won't be quite for me.
 
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Jun 23, 2021 at 9:00 AM Post #33,019 of 36,362

8481

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Sure I will do it later. I spent about 4-5 hours with the IE900 last night. Really really enjoying those for the most part, and probably my favorite IEM I have heard since I first heard the Traillii, but it also really works with my music preferences. Can’t wait to see what the Annihilator brings too.

Did you get the Annihilator with ‘The World’?

I believe its supposed to be similar to the PW1950 (or 1960, not sure which but its the grey one)
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:03 AM Post #33,020 of 36,362

aaf evo

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Did you get the Annihilator with ‘The World’?

I believe its supposed to be similar to the PW1950 (or 1960, not sure which but its the grey one)

That is the “DIO” I believe? I think I just have one coming with a regular cable. I’ll have to confirm though.
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:13 AM Post #33,021 of 36,362

gLer

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Speaking of bass having Isa around has made it harder to live with the BA bass on Elysium (which I totally didn't mind and actually loved when it was my only IEM).
Yaaaaas Rockwell!

the-fountain-hugh-jackman.gif
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:15 AM Post #33,022 of 36,362

Rockwell75

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Yaaaaas Rockwell!


lol

It's weird how your impressions of an IEM can be affected by whatever other IEMs you have around at the time.

Edit: Just to be clear this love of DD timbre is nothing new to me-- I'm just coming to a greater sense of it. And not just with bass. My experience with IEMs this past 6 months (in particular Ely, Isa & Dorado) have left me seemingly unable to tolerate BA timbre in the midrange as well as the bass.
 
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Jun 23, 2021 at 9:15 AM Post #33,023 of 36,362

Sound Eq

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Sure I will do it later. I spent about 4-5 hours with the IE900 last night. Really really enjoying those for the most part, and probably my favorite IEM I have heard since I first heard the Traillii, but it also really works with my music preferences. Can’t wait to see what the Annihilator brings too.
wow all this talk about ie900, it so amazing how much it is getting praised. Especially when I see owners of iems that cost over 4k usd
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:19 AM Post #33,024 of 36,362

aaf evo

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wow all this talk about ie900, it so amazing how much it is getting praised. Especially when I see owners of iems that cost over 4k usd

I mean I’m not gonna sit here and tell everyone to buy one haha but it’s a nice listen. Quite engaging and laid back in the mid range at the same time, but when I listen to these I fully don’t care about the technicalities. While they’re not bad in that aspect, they aren’t anything special to me either. More of a plug and play listen.
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:22 AM Post #33,025 of 36,362

Sound Eq

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I mean I’m not gonna sit here and tell everyone to buy one haha but it’s a nice listen. Quite engaging and laid back in the mid range at the same time, but when I listen to these I fully don’t care about the technicalities. While they’re not bad in that aspect, they aren’t anything special to me either. More of a plug and play listen.
is there anyone who compared ier z1r with ie900 ?
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:25 AM Post #33,026 of 36,362

gLer

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lol

It's weird how your impressions of an IEM can be affected by whatever other IEMs you have around at the time.
AB-ing IEMs is the bane of my life when I review. Humbles most IEMs, even the best. But does help to crystallise your preferences. I find differences between IEMs fade away when listening in isolation, but even then you quickly realise what you miss and then gravitate to a preferred sound.
when I listen to these I fully don’t care about the technicalities. While they’re not bad in that aspect, they aren’t anything special to me either. More of a plug and play listen.
...that leaves me wanting for morning, and just enjoying track after track no matter what I throw at it. I don't think many IEMs have done that for me before - leave me not wanting for anything technically or musically. It's usually a compromise between one and the other.
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:26 AM Post #33,027 of 36,362

aaf evo

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is there anyone who compared ier z1r with ie900 ?

Im not sure. I used to own one but I’m not sure I’d trust my own impressions too much because it’s been a while. I prefer the bass and treble on the IE900 for sure, I’d say the mid range tonality on the Z1R is better but it’s still what I’d consider a fairly average mid range in general. The comfort of the IE900 is miles better, you could pack like 4 of these inside w z1r shell, lol. Z1R soundstage is more spacious from memory.
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:36 AM Post #33,028 of 36,362

gLer

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Im not sure. I used to own one but I’m not sure I’d trust my own impressions too much because it’s been a while. I prefer the bass and treble on the IE900 for sure, I’d say the mid range tonality on the Z1R is better but it’s still what I’d consider a fairly average mid range in general. The comfort of the IE900 is miles better, you could pack like 4 of these inside w z1r shell, lol. Z1R soundstage is more spacious from memory.
Not that graphs are definitive but this probably explains why you remember preferring the Z1R mids (and why I'm so enamoured by the IE900)...

graph (99)~2.png
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 9:41 AM Post #33,030 of 36,362

aaf evo

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Not that graphs are definitive but this probably explains why you remember preferring the Z1R mids (and why I'm so enamoured by the IE900)...

graph (99)~2.png

Makes perfect sense heh. Also makes sense why I prefer the IE900 bass. 🤐 The treble is a weird one for me though, I really like Z1R treble but it comes off as smoother on the IE900 to me 🤔 Perhaps that could be down to a better fit.

I believe so, it made a world of difference with the cable though from what I remember from demoing it 2 years ago.

I believe his new flagship “X” is coming with a higher end cable but don’t quote me on that. Really hoping I have it before the end of the week so I have the weekend to listen.
 

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