flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)
Dec 3, 2017 at 2:35 AM Post #6,466 of 39,410
@Wyville , HD650 is a special can in the sense that, there are a few people who have stuck with their 650 for close to a decade, and would upgrade the DAC and Amp every now and then and are happier than many people who have multiple TOTL cans and sources. I am also considering getting a 650 to complement my 800S and an amp that would work for both cans and calling it a day.

Btw, you should ask @ranfan what he's been upto. His response might comfort you.

If you’re going down this route I’d rather get a HE6 4 screw to complement your hd800. The hd650 is inferior to the hd800. Better tone, yes, but still inferior in terms of soundstage and detail. It also sounds veiled in comparison. The HD800 is outstanding, but the HE6 brings a visceral speaker-like punch to the table that I’ve heard from no other can to date which makes it a good complement. Plus, not too pricy if you can track one down.

I’d also stick to two amps for these two cans if you can swing it. Get a nice speaker amp for the he6 and then take your pick of headphone amps for hd800. Don’t try to pick one for both. I’ve tried that and haven’t found something without compromises.

Having said that the hd650 are most definitely the price/ performance king and a great place to start, although these days I’d personally also put the he6 and hd800 in that category if you have the ability to top up a bit more vs a hd650. I have the abyss phi, utopia, etc etc aka too many to list and still use these two cans (hd800, he6) the most.
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 4:50 AM Post #6,467 of 39,410
I don’t think I’ll be adding headphones to my current payload until early next year, but they’re certainly not out of the question. :wink:
Yeah, I can understand you might want to focus on IEMs and the odd cable for now, but great you might consider headphones later on! :L3000:
The HD650 is indeed a special set. I have the Massdrop verison, the HD6XX, and it delivers such a "comfy" sound. Rich and smooth, and tonally seductive. Right now I'm relaxing to my Audeze LCD-2.2 Fazor, with the plusSound X6 T-Metal cable. They share a lot with the HD6XX, but are no small upgrade in performance. These really are my favorites. There's just nothing quite like them. When I want something completely different, the HD800 is always there to blow my hair back with soundstage and resolution.

Between these three cans, you have everything you could ever need.
The HD650 have obviously been able to stand the test of time, unlike many others that come and go. It really is difficult to argue with their track record. They really just always sound great, doesn't even depend on my mood. Give them a little power and they effortlessly perform.
If you’re going down this route I’d rather get a HE6 4 screw to complement your hd800. The hd650 is inferior to the hd800. Better tone, yes, but still inferior in terms of soundstage and detail. It also sounds veiled in comparison. The HD800 is outstanding, but the HE6 brings a visceral speaker-like punch to the table that I’ve heard from no other can to date which makes it a good complement. Plus, not too pricy if you can track one down.

I’d also stick to two amps for these two cans if you can swing it. Get a nice speaker amp for the he6 and then take your pick of headphone amps for hd800. Don’t try to pick one for both. I’ve tried that and haven’t found something without compromises.

Having said that the hd650 are most definitely the price/ performance king and a great place to start, although these days I’d personally also put the he6 and hd800 in that category if you have the ability to top up a bit more vs a hd650. I have the abyss phi, utopia, etc etc aka too many to list and still use these two cans (hd800, he6) the most.
:innocent: Must stop reading these posts... :innocent:
:innocent: Must stop reading these posts... :innocent:
:innocent: Must stop reading these posts... :innocent:
:imp: ...but I can't help myself!!! :imp:
giphy.gif
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:12 AM Post #6,468 of 39,410
@Wyville so, which ciems are you eyeing atm ? let us know , so we can calculate how many puppies you will need as a way of absolution :L3000:

also - not that i am thinking of buying something new - but are there any ciems which would/could be considered a definite upgrade over the Zeus XR ?

a18/fourte are out of the question , due to their humongous (is there such a word) price
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:24 AM Post #6,470 of 39,410
As there seen to be very few active JH threads, wondering if done of the great and the good of this particular shootout have any experience with the JH Audio JH16v2 (universal) that they laughed at the end of last year?

Just wondering how they stack up to the current £1k+ IEM market - I know they are primarily "stage" monitors, but the original JH16FP were pretty well regarded and the price for the new model doesn't seem obscene compared to their flagship models - anyone have any experience with them?
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:36 AM Post #6,471 of 39,410
@Wyville so, which ciems are you eyeing atm ? let us know , so we can calculate how many puppies you will need as a way of absolution :L3000:
At the moment it is very much between the UE18+ Pro and the VE5. However, the UE18+ Pro ToGo (universal version) has not yet been released here in the UK, so I have asked Gisele (Aid2Hearing) to keep an eye out for them and inform me when they are. For the VE5, I am still contemplating if I would go CIEM again. I also need to see how a few other things develop over the coming weeks, not in the least the fact that I just lost a project I had been working on for the past three years and that was central to my academic career. So that creates the difficult situation where I have to decide between being sensible with our savings and giving myself some retail therapy to help me through these dark, dark times.
...I'm leaning towards the latter. :p
also - not that i am thinking of buying something new - but are there any ciems which would/could be considered a definite upgrade over the Zeus XR ?

a18/fourte are out of the question , due to their humongous (is there such a word) price
Now there is a dangerous game! :D
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:36 AM Post #6,472 of 39,410
As there seen to be very few active JH threads, wondering if done of the great and the good of this particular shootout have any experience with the JH Audio JH16v2 (universal) that they laughed at the end of last year?

Just wondering how they stack up to the current £1k+ IEM market - I know they are primarily "stage" monitors, but the original JH16FP were pretty well regarded and the price for the new model doesn't seem obscene compared to their flagship models - anyone have any experience with them?

The JH13v2 is a great option at that price. I enjoy its clarity, extension and soundstage, and its tone is relatively realistic too. But, its Achilles heel is definitely its midrange presentation; FAR too recessed.
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:37 AM Post #6,473 of 39,410
Complement is one of the most dangerous words in this hobby.
Interesting point and absolutely the most dangerous word for your wallet in this hobby indeed :grin:
But on the other side, also a word that makes sense (to me) if you're after multiple (c)iems. What's the point of having multiple ciems when they almost have the same signature?

Over the past years I've purchased 4 ciems based on the '4 elements' principle
20171101_111517.jpg
Solar - fire (warm, dynamic) / AR6 - air (also super wide soundstage)
H8.2 - earth (coherent, natural) / Zeus XR - water (crystal clear resolution)


Recently I've ordered the Warbler Prelude and although I wouldn't know how to fit hat one in the '4 elements story', I know it has a special signature on its own and therefor it will complement the rest of my current collection :ksc75smile:
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:45 AM Post #6,474 of 39,410
Interesting point and absolutely the most dangerous word for your wallet in this hobby indeed :grin:
But on the other side, also a word that makes sense (to me) if you're after multiple (c)iems. What's the point of having multiple ciems when they almost have the same signature?

Over the past years I've purchased 4 ciems based on the '4 elements' principle

Solar - fire (warm, dynamic) / AR6 - air (also super wide soundstage)
H8.2 - earth (coherent, natural) / Zeus XR - water (crystal clear resolution)


Recently I've ordered the Warbler Prelude and although I wouldn't know how to fit hat one in the '4 elements story', I know it has a special signature on its own and therefor it will complement the rest of my current collection :ksc75smile:

In Greek mythology, there's a fifth element called aether. Also defined as quintessence, aether is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere... or so Wikipedia tells me. :D Ironically, the Lime Ears Aether is not in your current collection, but that could always change... :p

@Wyville so, which ciems are you eyeing atm ? let us know , so we can calculate how many puppies you will need as a way of absolution :L3000:

also - not that i am thinking of buying something new - but are there any ciems which would/could be considered a definite upgrade over the Zeus XR ?

a18/fourte are out of the question , due to their humongous (is there such a word) price

The future is a very bright place. :wink:

At the moment it is very much between the UE18+ Pro and the VE5. However, the UE18+ Pro ToGo (universal version) has not yet been released here in the UK, so I have asked Gisele (Aid2Hearing) to keep an eye out for them and inform me when they are. For the VE5, I am still contemplating if I would go CIEM again. I also need to see how a few other things develop over the coming weeks, not in the least the fact that I just lost a project I had been working on for the past three years and that was central to my academic career. So that creates the difficult situation where I have to decide between being sensible with our savings and giving myself some retail therapy to help me through these dark, dark times.
...I'm leaning towards the latter. :p

Now there is a dangerous game! :D

The review of the mystery VE5-esque CIEM has been coming along very well; it should take me no longer than a week-and-a-half to publish. Speaking of VE, I'll have a thing or two to say about their entry-level pieces very, very soon...
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:46 AM Post #6,475 of 39,410
Over the past years I've purchased 4 ciems based on the '4 elements' principle

Solar - fire (warm, dynamic) / AR6 - air (also super wide soundstage)
H8.2 - earth (coherent, natural) / Zeus XR - water (crystal clear resolution)

actually the 4 elements work like this in (y)our situation

fire = burn holes in your wallet
air = money gone like leaves on the wind
earth = dig a hole in your savings
water = the tears after you see your credit card/bank balance
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:49 AM Post #6,476 of 39,410
The JH13v2 is a great option at that price. I enjoy its clarity, extension and soundstage, and its tone is relatively realistic too. But, its Achilles heel is definitely its midrange presentation; FAR too recessed.

Hmm - recessed mids are not really my cup of tea. Anyone know if the 16v2 suffers the same way? I don't mind a nicely done V or Use shaped signature, just as long as the mids don't feel too distant - most of my music is guitar based, so having the vocals and guitar lines sitting at the back of the stage isn't really my favourite presentation.
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:54 AM Post #6,477 of 39,410
In Greek mythology, there's a fifth element called aether. Also defined as quintessence, aether is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere... or so Wikipedia tells me. :D Ironically, the Lime Ears Aether is not in your current collection, but that could always change... :p
Well, I've had Nics Aether on a loan for quite some weeks. It certainly is a great sounding monitor, but I don't think it will end up in my collection (unless I win a lotery which would resolve the budget issue)
But there will probably be another one (not going into that specifically now) next year :wink:

actually the 4 elements work like this in (y)our situation

fire = burn holes in your wallet
air = money gone like leaves on the wind
earth = dig a hole in your savings
water = the tears after you see your credit card/bank balance
Now that's funny :grin: and very well played :thumbsup:
(or in your language: xaxaxaxaxaxaxa)
 
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Dec 3, 2017 at 5:56 AM Post #6,478 of 39,410
Hmm - recessed mids are not really my cup of tea. Anyone know if the 16v2 suffers the same way? I don't mind a nicely done V or Use shaped signature, just as long as the mids don't feel too distant - most of my music is guitar based, so having the vocals and guitar lines sitting at the back of the stage isn't really my favourite presentation.

I haven't had much time with JH16v2 simply because I didn't find it tonally to my taste; it was rather dark and fuzzy. I believe that one has a more palpable midrange, simply by virtue of its thicker note presentation. To me, JH's midrange is best in the Lola, but of course, that's significantly pricier than either of the numbered models.

Well, I've had Nics Aether on a loan for quite some weeks. It certainly is a great sounding monitor, but I don't think it will end up in my collection (unless I win a lotery which would resolve the budget issue)
But there will probably be another one (not going into that specifically) next year :wink:


Now that's funny :grin: and well played :thumbsup:
(or in your language xaxaxaxaxaxaxa)

Hehe... Hehehehehe... :wink:
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:58 AM Post #6,479 of 39,410
The review of the mystery VE5-esque CIEM has been coming along very well; it should take me no longer than a week-and-a-half to publish. Speaking of VE, I'll have a thing or two to say about their entry-level pieces very, very soon...
Hehe, you big tease! :D
 
Dec 3, 2017 at 6:01 AM Post #6,480 of 39,410

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