Help on deciding IEM
May 2, 2015 at 12:10 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

SuperSaiyan5

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Hello, as an always on the go type of person, I found headphones, even "portable ones", to be quite inconvenient. So I decided to venture into the earphone world, and was wondering if you guys could help guide me in the right way. The current earphones I have are the XBA-H1 (Lack of bass, vocals seem distant), and the Bose Soundtrue in ear (need a little more bass, mids and highs are recessed to my ears).
The current earphones I'm looking at right now are the JVC FXZ200 and the JVC FX850 (Can anyone do a direct comparision?).
I would describe myself as a basshead, want quality and some quanitity without completely destroying the mids or highs (cough, beats).
I listen mostly to hip hop, pop, rock, and an occasional classical piece.
Thank you for your time :smiley:
 
May 6, 2015 at 10:02 AM Post #4 of 15

1TrickPony

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otherwise you can look up joker's headphonelist.com'a buyers guide for a quicker reference!
 
May 6, 2015 at 11:08 PM Post #6 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Thank you all for the replies, much appreciated. I am now settling for maybe a Sony h3 or the ie80, maybe still the fx850. Which one has more bass, clarity, can I use them outside?

 
That depends on how they'll fit you, which varies from person to person. Very generally, the Shure/Westone-type shells are the ones that fit more people better with the right tips, but even then, there are those who don't like looping the cable over and then around the ears, even if that helps keep the IEM from hanging on like a climbing hook (but with a soft tip). The XBA-H3 and IE80 have a similar shape in terms of where the cable goes out from the earphone then around the ears, but in a less organic shape. I haven't tried on the XBA-H3. The original IE8 just didn't fit me right (note the inner side is already rounded), although I've actually read about less fit issues about it vs the old version (then again, maybe less people tried it thanks to the IE8).
 
May 6, 2015 at 11:51 PM Post #8 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Thank you Protege,thanks to you I now have all the info needed for fit, what about sound?

 
I haven't listened to any of those, closest is the IE8. Sound-wise, for a portable I liked it - not necessarily reference sound but the bass compensates for whatever noise still leaks in, but again there was a fit problem. Closest to that was my Aurisonics ASG-1.3 - lots of bass on it too but the fit was a lot more comfortable. Spreads the weight all around so the tips don't irritate my ear canals as easily as other IEMs.
 
May 7, 2015 at 12:30 AM Post #10 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Are the aurosonics the most bass heavy iem you've tried? If not can you please list the ones that are, thanks.

 
Im not particularly a basshead so I have no idea about all other IEMs, but there's a LOT of bass from that. It would probably be among the top performers given that it has a 15mm bass driver - the new one uses a 14.1mm. Presumably that should come with a less severe roll off on the highs, so the sound would be more balanced on the current version, but that's still a relatively huge driver. The IE8 makes more bass from its port design but fully open the bass is a bit loose, whereas the Aurisonics if driven by a clean amp stays tight (relatively anyway). Think of a 15in subwoofer in a sealed box (but it's very efficient, so gobs of power isn't necessary, just clean power) vs a 10in in a ported box tuned to go lower and louder.
 
Note though that the new 14.1mm driver is 12ohms, so some devices might have distortion driving it, but it's hard to tell until you try (or check with anyone who has tried it). The older 15mm driver is a 32ohm design, but its 125db sensitivity makes sure that three presses on my Samsung S3 from zero is already loud enough even on the street.
 
May 8, 2015 at 1:25 AM Post #12 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Thanks, but can ulyou comment on the ie80s bass, can you feel it?

 
Ummmm....it's not exactly a subwoofer or a tower speaker. My old Pacific Pi10 standmounts had 6in drivers, and on classic rock and similar kicks on the bass drum I can feel it kick my chest. The Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage and Focal Stella Utopia have a flatter response, but give it a track with strong bass drum kicks, and they'll pound as hard as subwoofers (provided you have powerful amps).
 
NONE of the IEMs and headphones no matter how much bass they have can do that, because the sound is right by the ears if not inside them. If you even begin to feel the bass from a headphone let alone an IEM, you're already damaging your eardrums. At best, the LCD-2 cups can be seen moving on some bassy tracks, but what you "feel" is more of that vibration than the actual pounding from the bass notes; the Sony XB500 before had enough bass I felt like I had my pinkie poking my eardrums along with the beat.
 
May 8, 2015 at 3:52 AM Post #14 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Wow okay, thank you for clarifying. I'm actually hardest on the ie80 but don't know if they still would have supple enough bass compared to my soubdtures. Can you comment on that?

 
Not sure what that typo should have been, but if you're asking whether on the lowest bass setting on its port it will be tight enough, well the reality is that you can only crank up the bass so much before it starts to distort - this isn't just about the bass port settings, but also however the engineers get bass response like that. Even if by "distort" I don't mean "cone break up" nor "over excursion," this is still not a neutral representation of the recording, so all that bass boost at some point will be audibly flabby. 

As for the ASG-1.3, it was noticeably boomier (not necessarily "flabby," but getting there) on the SGS3 than when driven by the Fiio X1 and Ibasso D-Zero.
 
May 9, 2015 at 1:13 AM Post #15 of 15

SuperSaiyan5

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Lol sorry for the typo, it was my Bose Soundtrues, they "bump", meaning have a lot of bass, but highs are non-existent. So i was just wondering if the ie80 will have more or about the same amount of bass as they have. I plan on ordering them tomorrow if no other recommendations interest me.
 

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