I see the gigantic threads on the Altec im716 what about the im616?Help me pick IEMs
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

snapdemon

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I see all the opinions/ reviews/ scuttle over the IM716s, I see the IM616s mentioned but nobody has them??? How do they rank/ compare to the UM1s, ety6s, super.fi 3s, etc....

I have never listened to a good pair of IEMs and am geting frustrated at all of the choices. I have some Allesandro MS1s and love them but that is really the only can I have listened to that cost over $30.

Please help me a little. I am looking around the $50-$150 range and may be willing to save a little longer for something higher price.

Price to performance is king for me.

Please help me I am so confused.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 2:28 PM Post #2 of 18

MonkeyA**Sucka

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Quote:

Originally Posted by snapdemon
I see all the opinions/ reviews/ scuttle over the IM716s, I see the IM616s mentioned but nobody has them??? How do they rank/ compare to the UM1s, ety6s, super.fi 3s, etc....

I have never listened to a good pair of IEMs and am geting frustrated at all of the choices. I have some Allesandro MS1s and love them but that is really the only can I have listened to that cost over $30.

Please help me a little. I am looking around the $50-$150 range and may be willing to save a little longer for something higher price.

Price to performance is king for me.

Please help me I am so confused.



Well, the iM716 is currently 5% off of $110 = ~$104.50 direct from Amazon, whereas the iM616 is $90 + $6 shipping = ~$96 from J&R, so there is virtually no difference in price between the two.

PC Magazine reviewed both the iM716 and iM616. From the last paragraph of their review of the iM716 (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1897754,00.asp):

"Overall, these [the iM716] are worthy of being used as studio reference headphones for their accuracy on the HD setting, but they are a bit harsh for casual listening. The Bass setting is handy for when you're not at home and need a bit more volume. But these are really more suited to audio devices that have high output; otherwise, you'll be cranking your player all the way up, possibly causing distortion and quicker battery drain. If you need more volume, go with the IM616, which provides significantly higher output and plenty of accuracy, despite somewhat weaker bass." [my emphasis]

I just recently purchased a used XIN SuperDual, but when I was using the iM716 unamplified out of my iPod nano, honestly I just turned up the iPod's volume all the way to 100% and then dialed down the iM716's inline volume control a little. I don't know how the iriver's output compares.

In terms of sound quality, the iM716 is significantly better than the Etymotic ER•6. I would really have to say it trounces it. The iM716 sounds fuller and smoother, whereas the ER•6 is thin and harsh in comparison. (I have the ER•6, not the ER•6i. Interestingly, I also have the MS 1, KSC75, & Plug [unmodded].)
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 2:45 PM Post #3 of 18

Old Dave

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I own the Altec IM716. I also own Shure E2, Shure E3 and UE Super Fi Pros. I also owned the Ety ER4Ps, but they broke (which is why I bought the Altec's) I can tell you that, to my ears (and this is all subjective), the IM716s are the best of the Shure/UE's, and by memory equivalent to the Etys. The only issue, as suggested above, is that they are very inefficient. Nonetheless, I use them unamped out of an Archos xs200 and IRiver flash player without a problem. They are improved by the Xin SuperMini but not tremendously. So, unless you are worried that your player has insufficient amplification or you like to blow away your ears, I highly recommend them.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 3:33 PM Post #4 of 18

MonkeyA**Sucka

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Dave
The only issue, as suggested above, is that they are very inefficient. Nonetheless, I use them unamped out of an Archos xs200 and IRiver flash player without a problem. They are improved by the Xin SuperMini but not tremendously.


I agree with Old Dave that the iM716 is improved by amplification but not tremendously. I was quite happy with their unamplified sound, and didn't think they needed amplification, but got the SuperDual out of curiosity, a desire to have a truly portable amp, and with the hope that it also could be used to improve my Senn HD 555.

Edit: Further listening has convinced me that the iM716 is improved tremendously by the SuperDual. The sound is refined to the extent that I would describe it as silky smooth, liquid and elastic.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 8:40 PM Post #5 of 18

jSatch

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The iM716s and iM616s were originally reported as being derived from the Ety ER4S and ER6i, respectively. At the current prices (see MonkeyA**Sucka) the iM716 would be an incredible value, whereas the iM616 would cost more than a similar ER6i. This excellent apparent value, and it being their flagship model, are two synergistic reasons the 716 stole all the press from the 616. That is, if this were true.

However, there has been much ado in these threads as to the validity of these Altecs with their Ety lineage. A conflict, oddly enough, spawned by the two companies themselves. Although one poster in particular purports that the iM716 is derived from the ER6i driver (with no evidence whatsoever), and others claim these Altec are completely new and redeisigned transducers (economically unsound for Ety), what is certain is that the iM716 sounds better than the ER6(i) in every comparison reported here and on iLounge, and that it gets very close to the ER4 sound signature. Some may even prefer the bass switch of the the iM716 over the ER4.

The only comparison I am aware of for the Altec iM616s is that PCMag.com preferred them over the ER6is.
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 3:27 AM Post #6 of 18

MonkeyA**Sucka

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jSatch
At the current prices (see MonkeyA**Suka) the iM716 would be an incredible value


Hey, it's MonkeyA**Sucka; make sure you get it right! (Seriously, I can't believe you even typed it out.)
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 3:38 AM Post #7 of 18

drarthurwells

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jSatch
The iM716s and iM616s were originally reported as being derived from the Ety ER4S and ER6i, respectively. At the current prices (see MonkeyA**Suka) the iM716 would be an incredible value, whereas the iM616 would cost more than a similar ER6i. That is, if this were true.

However, there has been much ado in these threads as to the validity of these Altecs with their Ety lineage. A conflict, oddly enough, spawned by the two companies themselves. Although one poster in particular purports that the iM716 is derived from the ER6i driver (with no evidence whatsoever), and others claim these Altec are completely new and redeisigned transducers (economically unsound for Ety), what is certain is that the iM716 sounds better than the ER6(i) in every comparison reported here and on iLounge, and that it gets very close to the ER4 sound signature. Some may even prefer the bass switch of the the iM716 over the ER4.

The only comparison I am aware of for the Altec iM616s is that PCMag.com preferred them over the ER6is.



I think the iM716/616 use the exact same driver based on economics.

The volume control and resistor switch (HD and bass setting) is the difference and increases the cost of the 717 realative to the 616.

If you use with an external amp get the 717 and set on HD.

Otherwise the 616 is for you.

Economics dictate that neither the 716 or 616 use the 4P/S driver, and more likely were cloned from the 6i driver or something like it.
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 4:02 AM Post #9 of 18

MonkeyA**Sucka

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Quote:

Originally Posted by drarthurwells
The volume control and resistor switch (HD and bass setting) is the difference and increases the cost of the 717 realative to the 616.


The PC Magazine review quoted previously leads me to believe that this is not the only difference (other than color). If simply chopping the volume control and mode switch off an iM716 would give you an iM616, then why would the iM616 have "significantly higher output..., despite somewhat weaker bass"? Quote:

Originally Posted by d_wilson
The only part the ER-4 and the Altec lansing IM716/IM616 have in common is the white three flanged eartip.

Don Wilson
Etymotic Research



That's obviously a cagey answer because it is possible for earphones to sound or perform similarly (although I'm not saying they do) without having identical parts.

I was a little surprised to hear that the ER-4 and Altecs use the same eartips because the transducer tube on the Altecs is thicker and shaped differently:

84004657_e53f4fd3aa.jpg
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 5:04 AM Post #10 of 18

Gino

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This thread is going the way of the original im716 thread. Enough said there already.

The reason little is said about the 616 is because more people here simply prefer the im716 sound. It sounds good unamped albeit low headroom and sound very good amped.

It's up to you to decide if that makes the im716 a "better" earphone.
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 5:23 AM Post #11 of 18

MonkeyA**Sucka

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gino
The reason little is said about the 616 is because more people here simply prefer the im716 sound.


If you've listened to both, how does the iM616 sound different to you from the iM716?
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 6:03 AM Post #12 of 18

jSatch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by drarthurwells
I think the iM716/616 use the exact same driver based on economics.

The volume control and resistor switch (HD and bass setting) is the difference and increases the cost of the 717 realative to the 616.

Economics dictate that neither the 716 or 616 use the 4P/S driver, and more likely were cloned from the 6i driver or something like it.



This dubious arguement has been successfully debated in other threads.

Have you directly compared the iM716 with the ER6is? Those that have unanimously and unambiguously preferred the iM716. That is more the issue in this thread, which sounds better, as opposed to the lineage of the drivers utilized (more appropriate for the other thread).

Noneless, I will stay with my statement that there is no evidence that the iM716s are derived from the ER6is.
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 6:19 AM Post #13 of 18

jSatch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xluben
See the post here:

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...9&postcount=57

It is on the third page of this thread:

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=155034



Dear xluben,

As mentioned by MonkeyA**Sucka and Gino, go to the thread 'Altec Lansing IM716 equals Ety ER4s' to get the full War and Peace version regarding this sticky wicket. No need to repeat it here except to say that things may not be as simple as this statement makes them appear.

But the point of this thread seems more a comparison of the 716 with the 616, among others. SnapDemon, you will get a very good impression of the iM716s from the, albeit long winded, saber rattling 'Altec Lansing IM716 equals Ety ER4s' thread. Also check out iLounge.com. My impression from those that have compared the 716 with the ER6(i)s is that the 716s sound better, fuller and more refined (which was the point of my earlier post). The trade off is, that not unlike the ER4S (wink, wink), they are more microphonic and harder to drive than the 616s or the ER6is.

Unfortunately, to my knowledge, no one has yet compared the 716 directly with the 616s. At least, that is, no one that has lived to tell the tale.
eek.gif
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 6:22 AM Post #14 of 18

jSatch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MonkeyA**Sucka
Hey, it's MonkeyA**Sucka; make sure you get it right! (Seriously, I can't believe you even typed it out.)



Sorry Bro, my bad.

Yeah, you caught me, I typed it out. How lame.

Cheers!

eggosmile.gif
 
Aug 10, 2006 at 3:31 AM Post #15 of 18

bungle

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Just wanted to revive this thread to see if anyone had anymore thoughts. Somewhere I read that the iM616 sounds like the iM716 in Bass mode - is that about right? I don't have an amp, so the iM616 are cheaper, easier to drive, and blacker, which is good. Any difference in microphonics? I would guess comfort and durability are the same.
 

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