flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)
Dec 31, 2018 at 2:14 PM Post #13,546 of 36,379

KuroKitsu

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> Be reading nic's review of Layla
> Looks ineresting, sounds interesting
> Comparison to Zeus, similar but with better bass

Well then.....Phantom now has a competitor for my wallet.

@Deezel177 Looks like EA has the JH connectors, did you ever do any cable rolling with Layla?
 
Dec 31, 2018 at 3:08 PM Post #13,547 of 36,379

proedros

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> Be reading nic's review of Layla
> Looks ineresting, sounds interesting
> Comparison to Zeus, similar but with better bass

Well then.....Phantom now has a competitor for my wallet.


i saw Layla as Phantom with improved bass , Zeus is too transparent to conisder it Layla-like

potential Phantom owners are bund to take a look on Layla
 
Dec 31, 2018 at 3:23 PM Post #13,548 of 36,379

KuroKitsu

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i saw Layla as Phantom with improved bass , Zeus is too transparent to conisder it Layla-like

potential Phantom owners are bund to take a look on Layla
It's still worth a try I guess... But Phantom with bass does not sound like my cup of tea.
 
Dec 31, 2018 at 4:01 PM Post #13,549 of 36,379

davidmolliere

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i saw Layla as Phantom with improved bass , Zeus is too transparent to conisder it Layla-like. potential Phantom owners are bund to take a look on Layla

Hmm interesting as I find the Phantom bass to be among the best BA bass ever... but Layla is quite pricey given the competitors in that price bracket not sure it would win me over the connector also meaning not being able to enjoy my cables.
 
Dec 31, 2018 at 5:10 PM Post #13,550 of 36,379

Mimouille

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I have heard both Phantom and Layla and find them nothing alike personally. But once it was the full metal jacket one and it sounded quite analytical to me. Impressive stage, great resolution, super tight bass, a bit recessed in the mids.
The Phantom is mids forward and dense in the mids to me.

Anyhow...I heard the Layla years ago, so take with a grain of salt.
 
Dec 31, 2018 at 8:56 PM Post #13,551 of 36,379

Deezel177

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> Be reading nic's review of Layla
> Looks ineresting, sounds interesting
> Comparison to Zeus, similar but with better bass

Well then.....Phantom now has a competitor for my wallet.

@Deezel177 Looks like EA has the JH connectors, did you ever do any cable rolling with Layla?

Because of how uncommon demo cables with 4-pin connectors are, I never really did. The only time I cable-rolled with Layla was with a Brise Audio cable. I believe it was the Ref16 or something like that. I found it impressive in bass texturing and lower-treble control. It brought the 7kHz peak down such that it was more cohered against the upper-mid dip - that’s not to say the 7kHz peak is hot in any way; the upper-mids are just relatively more withdrawn. But, that simply could’ve been the difference between my WM1A’s single-ended and balanced outputs (because my Layla’s stock cable is SE, while the Brise cable was BAL). I’ll definitely be cable-rolling with the Layla’s more in the coming year.

i saw Layla as Phantom with improved bass , Zeus is too transparent to conisder it Layla-like

potential Phantom owners are bund to take a look on Layla

The Layla’s more transparent in tone to me, while the Zeus is brighter and crisper in an effort to push more detail. But, I do agree that the Layla will be more fitting to those who love the Phantom, rather than the Zeus. As @Mimouille mentioned, there is a difference in the midrange. The Phantom has a fuller, more vibrant 2-3kHz range. But, the overall tone and treble response between the two is quite similar - the Layla may have the edge in extension.

It's still worth a try I guess... But Phantom with bass does not sound like my cup of tea.

Improved bass, not more bass. The Layla’s low-end is a touch cleaner and more defined no matter the setting, in my opinion. The Phantom’s remains one of the most engaging and musical (yet technically-capable) I’ve heard, though. Speaking of, remember thay you can tune the Layla’s bass from neutral all the way to basshead, so quantity should never be a problem.
 
Dec 31, 2018 at 9:56 PM Post #13,552 of 36,379

KuroKitsu

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Because of how uncommon demo cables with 4-pin connectors are, I never really did. The only time I cable-rolled with Layla was with a Brise Audio cable. I believe it was the Ref16 or something like that. I found it impressive in bass texturing and lower-treble control. It brought the 7kHz peak down such that it was more cohered against the upper-mid dip - that’s not to say the 7kHz peak is hot in any way; the upper-mids are just relatively more withdrawn. But, that simply could’ve been the difference between my WM1A’s single-ended and balanced outputs (because my Layla’s stock cable is SE, while the Brise cable was BAL). I’ll definitely be cable-rolling with the Layla’s more in the coming year.



The Layla’s more transparent in tone to me, while the Zeus is brighter and crisper in an effort to push more detail. But, I do agree that the Layla will be more fitting to those who love the Phantom, rather than the Zeus. As @Mimouille mentioned, there is a difference in the midrange. The Phantom has a fuller, more vibrant 2-3kHz range. But, the overall tone and treble response between the two is quite similar - the Layla may have the edge in extension.



Improved bass, not more bass. The Layla’s low-end is a touch cleaner and more defined no matter the setting, in my opinion. The Phantom’s remains one of the most engaging and musical (yet technically-capable) I’ve heard, though. Speaking of, remember thay you can tune the Layla’s bass from neutral all the way to basshead, so quantity should never be a problem.

Any plans to test with EA stuff? Planning to get my Aries II 8 reterminate in 2.5, might as well get the connectors redone too if it's a good match. Impressions would be of great help.

Ah, the fabled bass pot. Curious as to your thoughts about the bass, how is it improved from the Phantom in a neutral sense? As Ive mentioned before, Ive had multiple chances to test the Phantom and do a bit of cable rolling as well (Leo II excluded) and the conclusion for me is still "too much for my taste" in terms of bass.
 
Jan 1, 2019 at 12:11 AM Post #13,553 of 36,379

baiyy1986

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I have heard both Phantom and Layla and find them nothing alike personally. But once it was the full metal jacket one and it sounded quite analytical to me. Impressive stage, great resolution, super tight bass, a bit recessed in the mids.
The Phantom is mids forward and dense in the mids to me.

Anyhow...I heard the Layla years ago, so take with a grain of salt.
Different tip give Layla different sounding, I used to try spin fit, It sound exactly what you described.
Maybe the metal jacket also affect the sound.
 
Jan 1, 2019 at 2:08 AM Post #13,554 of 36,379

Deezel177

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Any plans to test with EA stuff? Planning to get my Aries II 8 reterminate in 2.5, might as well get the connectors redone too if it's a good match. Impressions would be of great help.

Ah, the fabled bass pot. Curious as to your thoughts about the bass, how is it improved from the Phantom in a neutral sense? As Ive mentioned before, Ive had multiple chances to test the Phantom and do a bit of cable rolling as well (Leo II excluded) and the conclusion for me is still "too much for my taste" in terms of bass.

I’ve had a couple talks with Eric about this, we shall see soon. :wink: Well, the Layla in general has a more transparent bass response. It sacrifices some of the bloom and meatiness that the Phantom has, in exchange for higher definition, stricter control and more apparent layering in addition to a natural, colourless tone (both IEMs have this IMO). That’s regardless of quantity. Once you throw the bass pot into the mix, you have that highly technical, reference bass and you can level it as low or as high as you want. As long as you enjoy the Layla’s general bass presentation, it truly is up to you to decide how much of it you want. High extension on both ends means the bass scales in power and authority too when you turn it up, instead of becoming a bloomy, congested mess. Too much or too little will never be complaints as long as you know how to turn a pot.

Now, where the Phantom and Layla truly diverge is in the upper-midrange. I noted the Phantom’s midrange as perhaps its least reference bit. It braves stepping a tad forward in order to incite more intimacy and engagement. The Layla is ruler flat here, perhaps even a touch recessed. Singers portray tons of power, solidity and definition as Nic mentioned, but they’ll be positioned a touch further back. If you remember my impressions of the Custom Art FIBAE Black, I mention that a neutral upper-midrange allows more headroom for details to come through. That’s true with the Layla. It manages to maintain both body and high resolution because of this dip. Of course, whether or not that fits your preferences isn’t for me to tell.
 
Jan 1, 2019 at 8:56 PM Post #13,555 of 36,379

KuroKitsu

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I’ve had a couple talks with Eric about this, we shall see soon. :wink: Well, the Layla in general has a more transparent bass response. It sacrifices some of the bloom and meatiness that the Phantom has, in exchange for higher definition, stricter control and more apparent layering in addition to a natural, colourless tone (both IEMs have this IMO). That’s regardless of quantity. Once you throw the bass pot into the mix, you have that highly technical, reference bass and you can level it as low or as high as you want. As long as you enjoy the Layla’s general bass presentation, it truly is up to you to decide how much of it you want. High extension on both ends means the bass scales in power and authority too when you turn it up, instead of becoming a bloomy, congested mess. Too much or too little will never be complaints as long as you know how to turn a pot.

Now, where the Phantom and Layla truly diverge is in the upper-midrange. I noted the Phantom’s midrange as perhaps its least reference bit. It braves stepping a tad forward in order to incite more intimacy and engagement. The Layla is ruler flat here, perhaps even a touch recessed. Singers portray tons of power, solidity and definition as Nic mentioned, but they’ll be positioned a touch further back. If you remember my impressions of the Custom Art FIBAE Black, I mention that a neutral upper-midrange allows more headroom for details to come through. That’s true with the Layla. It manages to maintain both body and high resolution because of this dip. Of course, whether or not that fits your preferences isn’t for me to tell.
Very interesting, I'll have to test both of them on my next visit to the store. The bass does sound more appealing to me give your description.

Is there an option of getting 4 pin cables without the bass pot? Im assuming if that's not there than bass is more or less neutral.

One last thing, I see Layla as a CIEM on JH Audio's site, there appears to be a Layla II Universal offered by AK?
 
Jan 2, 2019 at 12:37 AM Post #13,556 of 36,379

Deezel177

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Very interesting, I'll have to test both of them on my next visit to the store. The bass does sound more appealing to me give your description.

Is there an option of getting 4 pin cables without the bass pot? Im assuming if that's not there than bass is more or less neutral.

One last thing, I see Layla as a CIEM on JH Audio's site, there appears to be a Layla II Universal offered by AK?

You can request cables without the bass pot, but the bass would permanently be set to full-whack. Double Helix Cables offers an option where you could specify what level you want the bass to be permanently set at. Once you specify the setting (whether it be 12 o' clock, 2 o' clock, etc.), they apply resistors to the plug to simulate the bass pot in that setting. If I remember correctly, they're tiny, so they won't add any bulk. Personally, I'd recommend getting the cable with a bass pot. The bulk it adds is surprisingly inconsequential.
 
Jan 2, 2019 at 1:12 AM Post #13,557 of 36,379

ezekiel77

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One last thing, I see Layla as a CIEM on JH Audio's site, there appears to be a Layla II Universal offered by AK?

The original Layla universal has a full carbon fibre shell and heated titanium around their faceplates. If I remember correctly it's hand built and difficult to mass produce.

hpfes14_s.jpg


So they released the Full Metal Jacket Layla II with all-metal shells which, while looking sleek as hell, lacks the charm of the original's looks. And although I can't confirm it, the FMJ version has a slightly different sound from the original probably due to the shell material.

JH's Sirens universals are normally sold by AK, so you won't find FMJ at their website. The whole Sirens lineup was refreshed with FMJ at the time, so we had a chrome Layla II, navy Roxy II and red Angie II. The Performance series and Lola came after, developed and sold by JH themselves. So there's no Lola II as yet.
 
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Jan 2, 2019 at 1:44 AM Post #13,558 of 36,379

474194

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Thanks Vin @Deezel177 for Nic's Layla review. Been anticipating and would of missed it if you did not post. It did not disappoint.

It seems like JH Audio offers a discount about every 3 months on major U.S. Holidays.

holidaysale.png


labordaysale.png


I believe they had the same sale on Veteran's Day because I was interested in the Camouflage version (Veteran's Day Theme) as I like stealth/simple styles...

ss-camo.png


If you want to cable roll, you might want to look into an 2-pin to 4-pin adapter w/ adjustable bass dial.

P1250349.jpg


http://e4ua.jp/?p=2870

I'm looking into 2-pin to MMCX, 2-pin to Mr. Speakers, 2-pin to HD800 and 2-pin to 4-pin for my R4 since it seems like this guy does HQ work.
 
Jan 2, 2019 at 2:06 AM Post #13,560 of 36,379

Deezel177

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The original Layla universal has a full carbon fibre shell and heated titanium around their faceplates. If I remember correctly it's hand built and difficult to mass produce.



So they released the Full Metal Jacket Layla II with all-metal shells which, while looking sleek as hell, lacks the charm of the original's looks. And although I can't confirm it, the FMJ version has a slightly different sound from the original probably due to the shell material.

JH's Sirens universals are normally sold by AK, so you won't find FMJ at their website. The whole Sirens lineup was refreshed with FMJ at the time, so we had a chrome Layla II, navy Roxy II and red Angie II. The Performance series and Lola came after, developed and sold by JH themselves. So there's no Lola II as yet.

I'll add that the FMJ Layla's are significantly heavier as well. I can confirm that the sound is different simply because of the titanium shell. JH's rep informed Nic that there weren't any internal changes from the Layla I to the Layla II. The Performance Series I reckon is a good start towards ergonomics, but they've really done well with the Diana's (and soon, Janis's) shell shape. If they could streamline that even more, they'd have one heck of a killer.

Thanks Vin @Deezel177 for Nic's Layla review. Been anticipating and would of missed it if you did not post. It did not disappoint.

It seems like JH Audio offers a discount about every 3 months on major U.S. Holidays.





I believe they had the same sale on Veteran's Day because I was interested in the Camouflage version (Veteran's Day Theme) as I like stealth/simple styles...



If you want to cable roll, you might want to look into an 2-pin to 4-pin adapter w/ adjustable bass dial.



http://e4ua.jp/?p=2870

I'm looking into 2-pin to MMCX, 2-pin to Mr. Speakers, 2-pin to HD800 and 2-pin to 4-pin for my R4 since it seems like this guy does HQ work.

E4UA does offer 2-pin-to-4-pin adapters, but there have been concerns about long-term durability. I'd definitely be open to trying them out, though.
 

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