Going fully Wireless IEMs. Too soon? Or are we there yet?
Feb 8, 2021 at 10:15 PM Post #29,101 of 62,076
It seems the day of IEMs are coming to an end. Headphone jacks are pretty much going away across the board in smartphones. I guess that's one way for them to bring down the smartphone sizes more but more importantly bring down the production cost+make bit more money with one chip out.
I agree with this. It may take a while and perhaps another breakthrough in BT sq, but TWS will keep eating away at the iem market slowly. Soon enough the established high end iem manufacturers will all start making TWS. It’s already happening. It’s like the gasoline engines or blockbuster video or cable tv, they are dead men walking. A small niche might survive but the gap between wired and BT will shrink to the point that only the most discerning ears will accept the trade offs. My Ananda BT are proof that while not perfect, high end sound can be achieved through BT. We aren’t there yet and it’s probably going to take a stable high res codec with good battery life to emerge but it will happen sooner than later.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 12:02 AM Post #29,102 of 62,076
i can’t speak to the marketing but buy them for the sound not the features. The features suck. The sound however does not suck.
I think it depends on what is meant by "features". ANC and Transparency mode might be called features and though basic, they are done very well. Setup and connectivity is where they do a face plant.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 12:25 AM Post #29,103 of 62,076
@EMEM ... At those DAP prices, even discounted, you are talking about a very small sample of consumers. I went through a costly period with DAPs and headphones/IEMs, including JH customs. But now, using either my LG 20 as a DAP or my iPhone 8+ Plus some decent VT IENs Keeps me happy. If that puts me among the great unwashed, so be it. Anyway, Back to whether or not it’s too soon to switch to wireless. I sort of made that decision I guess, when it comes to IEMs.
Very much agree with you when it comes to DAPs being very niche even at discounted prices.

When it comes to whether it's time to go wireless or not, I think it's a very nuanced discussion. However, I genuinely believe it can be boiled down to whether you use a DAP or a phone. For phones you have almost no choice but to go wireless, so logically, I think it's the best option. Cambridge Audio and Soul make some very good wireless IEMs for under €100 and if you pair that with something like a Galaxy S20 FE which can be bought for €500 and is essentially a toned down flagship in many regards, then you get a lot for your money. Musically and sonically, I don't think you will be able to compare them to wired IEMs but you do gain a lot in terms of practicality, convenience, portability and such. But if you're like myself and really strive for sound quality, I think wired IEMs and DAPs are here to stay for a long time.

In the end I believe it's where you categorize yourself. Decent wireless IEMs paired with a capable phone will serve most people more than well enough.

I don't know how many people here are into sim racing, but it somewhat reminds me of the belt vs direct drive driven wheels. Belt is cheaper, more practical, more consumer friendly, more compatible and will do the job fine. However, a direct drive wheel just elevates the experience, although you have to make compromises, usually with the wallet 😅

I don't think the two are dissimilar in many ways.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 9:05 AM Post #29,104 of 62,076
I don't disagree with this, and have the same question. Maybe they are just catering to the masses, and let's face it, most people actually like the typical "V" shaped, boomy bass, veiled treble that is so typical of non-audiophile type of manufactures. I personally find this sound is really bad to my ears, but for years it has effected music quality in general, services rendered (low quality mp3 services), and artists recording of the music itself. I have read somewhere where some artists actually record their music poorly on purpose, or as they would put it "to sound the best on the typical headphones". I don't have a source for this, but I think I read it once when I was researching streaming services like Tidal.

Interesting. There are like minded people here. I also don’t (and don’t want to) understand the “catering for the masses” concept. The masses didn’t ask to listen to bloated bass, recessed mids or veiled highs. Someone gave it to them, also to mask poor quality mp3’s, and the masses ate it. They didn’t even fight to listen to what their favorite artists intended them to listen to...

Fortunately, there are still a few manufacturers who cater for the music lover in me, although not as much in the TWS market, as I believe they think this fast growing niche is just for reggaeton loving kids. It’s not.

If many music lovers keep buying that type of thrashy sound in the (almost ubiquitous) desire to “correct it via EQ”, the manufacturers will not change the product because they’ll keep selling.

In my opinion, it should be the opposite. Manufacturers can still imprint their “signature sound” on a more neutral and trustworthy frequency response and then, whoever wants to feel like they’re “in da club” or whatever, can use that EQ and boost that bass... and “make” their sound, closer to their preference. Not the other way around.

Just hopping. And wishing manufacturers would read this.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 9:39 AM Post #29,105 of 62,076
What is currently the top true wireless headphone?
I do have the Sennheiser Momentum Gen 1 but reading that Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch is probably the top contender.

In all honesty, I don’t have the experience of many people here, regarding trying many TWS. I’ve tried a few. But I’ve tried many more full sized headphones, wired and Bluetooth.

If budget was no issue, I’d try the Senn MTW2, the B&O e8 3rd gen. and the Grado GT220. But I really don’t want to invest “too much” in a more volatile type of product like I believe TWS are.

I did recently buy the Melomania Touch and I’m very impressed with their sound quality. For 140€, I think it’s hard to beat. They did have a few connection issues at first but these have been corrected via firmware. I like the fit, the battery, the controls. They do have transparency mode which I use for cycling. If they had ANC and Qi they’d be “almost” perfect.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 9:51 AM Post #29,106 of 62,076
Thanks. Yeah, I'd read that same review stating aptx ll but since it's the only place mentioning it, I too have my doubts.

Do you think aptx ll buds would make much of a difference to lag when using an aptx ll transmitter? Apparently there's extra delay just from the tv audio to the transmitter.

Another consideration for me is buying a tv with built in bluetooth. Someone who has an LG bluetooth tv told me he also used to get lag with an external bluetooth transmitter, but not anymore with his tv.
I'd love to know if anyone else has a bluetooth tv and if they found it to be lag free with TWS.

I have a Sony tv and it’s not lag free with the Melomania Touch. It gets better with the Aonic 50. But it’s not a feature I really use often. I guess most brands are just trying to sell more units at a moderate or lower price and there’s only so much technology they can fit in there.

I just bought a Taotronics transmitter and I’m hopping it won’t be as bad. Also, my av receiver allows me to correct sound delay, so it can be improved.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 9:57 AM Post #29,107 of 62,076
Unless you like HIGHLY boosted bass, recessed mids (but mids are also very thin), and rolled off treble (worse than the Sennheiser "veil" IMO), the MT is not the one. I kept reading that same thing too, and I'm not sure why some of the reviewers are talking the sound quality up so much, and calling them very neutral. They are far from neutral. It almost made me angry when I bought them based on reviewers saying they were neutral, and then they were not.

Here I agree to disagree.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 10:57 AM Post #29,109 of 62,076
People on this site have a distorted view of what "bloated bass" is. I've listened to a handful of the headphones listed on here, and can tell that the community doesn't like ANY type of impact in their headphones and prefer a hot treble without any thud at all.

Remember, hip hop is the most popular genre. So companies are going to have to make headphones with bass. Not everything is going to be tuned for 40 year olds who listen to classical.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 11:03 AM Post #29,110 of 62,076
People on this site have a distorted view of what "bloated bass" is. I've listened to a handful of the headphones listed on here, and can tell that the community doesn't like ANY type of impact in their headphones and prefer a hot treble without any thud at all.

Remember, hip hop is the most popular genre. So companies are going to have to make headphones with bass. Not everything is going to be tuned for 40 year olds who listen to classical.

You're in an audiophile community, they tend to prefer sound with more linear bass presentation, even if it's elevated 5-10 dB, they still prefer something linear. Some don't mind a boost in the sub-bass (< 100 Hz for example), but having a boost closer to the 200-400 Hz range generally creates this bloat that most talk about. You don't have to have big bass to have a strong impact by the way. There is also such a thing as too treble happy too.

Edit: I'll also add that a lot of older generation also prefer a warmer headphone to listen to (modest linear push in the bass, slight reduction in treble, or both). I think the push of the Harman target also kind of puts that more in perspective.
 
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Feb 9, 2021 at 11:25 AM Post #29,111 of 62,076
I recently purchased the Jabra Active 75t. I like the sound but there are two issues that are driving me nuts. First, even with the largest tips they rotate out and fall out of my ears - and I am not even using them for running yet. If anyone has found a tip that is more reliable I'd like to hear about it. Second, there is no way to turn the NC on without using the Sounds app. The 75t doesn't remember the last setting for NC. I confirmed this with Jabra support. How odd.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 12:42 PM Post #29,112 of 62,076
Hi, I haven't posted in a while, but have been reading what everyone's been sharing, and trying (futilely) to keep up on the Discovery thread (and others), but really enjoying this one.

I bought the Jabra 85t and am trying to make them work. The sound is pretty good, and the ANC is probably among best in class (up there with Tronsmart Apollo Bold and XM3). The two major problems I have with them are fit and the volume control. With these oval tips, I thought the fit was one of those semi-open types that sort of hangs on your ear and is designed not to have a seal. But with the latest firmware, the "My Fit" part of it wouldn't be happy no matter how much I adjusted them or mashed them into my ear. Finally, I switched tips to the larger 14mm silicons (the common kind found on AliExpress in packs of 4 of varying sizes including double-flange) and voila - My Fit was happy. So they are meant to get a seal - Jabra just doesn't provide tips that make that happen if you have largish ears, and you're going to rip a SpinFit trying to stretch it over that oval racetrack nozzle.

But even with the new firmware and maybe I'm blind, but, how do you get volume controls for the Jabra 85T? In the customize Media controls, I have start/stop, next/previous track, ANC/HT/Off, but nothing about volume. In the year 2021, a $200 TWS earphone where I can put my phone away and be cordless but without volume control is, to me, useless.

Which gets us to the AKG N400 which was all the rage for a while, and was written about again here in the past day. Good sound quality, nice fit, but 1) the case is the shortest battery drain of anything I've seen since KZ's pathetic TWS, and 2) the "swipe to adjust volume" is so extremely finicky and random, it's like not having volume control at all and this is one of the few TWS I sent back on Amazon.

Thanks to all, and for sharing your journey with the Jabras.
push and hold right earbud to up volume and push and hold left to volume down.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 2:07 PM Post #29,114 of 62,076
Fiil android app and translation for use with t1 pro and lite as they don't have English app support yet.

Download apk from
http://fiil.cn/cn/download.php

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My Fiil just arrived today from China. Only tested for 5 minutes. Overall pleasantly surprised with the sound and the fit it of the box was comfortable. No idea which tips to use but so far the medium seen to create a good enough seal for full bass.

Some questions regarding the app and setup.
In the great pic you provided there is a volume control setting for media and voice call. Does this sync with my phone's Bluetooth volume? Seems it keeps changing and not sure if it is because it is responding to what my phone's controls tell it or not.

Also, the custom EQ when I change settings and save them it negatively impacts the overall volume sort of like when I try that in my built in equalizer in my galaxy note phone.
Yet if I change to a built in order for bass it treble or neutral out gets lots again. Does the equalizer change this frequencies only when you change them and touch nothing else after saving? Or does it as those EQ changes in to of the stock presets?

As for ANC. Tested it in bathroom with noisy fan. Definitely not in same class as Jabra or Samsung but was as good as JBL and there was a difference.
Ambient mode is very soft but is better than not having.

Sound so far is quite good will need to do testing to check sound stage separation etc. Buds pro still have the most detailed treble of any bid I have tested and these are not better than the Jabras in that regard but are also 1/3 the price.
 
Feb 9, 2021 at 2:09 PM Post #29,115 of 62,076
Of course the MTW2 also went on sale yesterday at about 250.$329 in Canada and are inbound. If most people say they are the best all around sounding TWS I am willing to pay that amount but not the 400$they are usually asking.
Be interesting to see how they compare.
 
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