iem audiophiles in a video-conferecing world - share experinces
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klsoren

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Hi all,

I hope to be inspired by you solutions out there. I work as a consultant (a white shirt and black suit kinda consultant) and work at different locations with my clients. Corona have changed this quite a bit :). Now I work mostly from my office, and I - as probably a lot of you - jump in and out of online meeting all the time.

I have been using a Jabra Evolve 75e. The mic is absolutely incredible, the battery life quite good and the sound is good - for call's. For music (jazz, house, classical) the sound is all to fuzzy and ... fat. And then, there is the other thing - it looks ridiculous on me. My wifi was the first to be honest when we were i a video call: "Ohh, it's you Jar Jar Bings headset".

So the first - and most interesting - question:
What do audiophiles do when you listening to music all day and at the same time answer calls on the phone or take part in video calls?
  • Use a generic Bluetooth headset and listen to music on your high end iem when you are free in the evening?
  • Take you high end iem in and out all day and use a cheap apple wire headset for calls?
  • Use high end iem's with a custom made cable with mic?

The not so interesting question: What can you recommend for me.

So the headphone I am looking for
  • Is a mid ranged iem (can't wear cans with my suit) 300-400$
  • Support an eclectic taste in music taste: Mostly jazz but also hourse, funk, indie and classical (John Coltrane, Art Blakely, Miles Davis, Daft Punk, Radiohead, Albononi).
  • Enables me to listen to the details in the music and being able to separate the different levels and to be submerged in the sound

I am currently considering:
  • Final Audio B2/B3 or Campfire Audio IO
  • Null Audio custom cable with mic – but is the mic any good???
  • Fiio BTR3K or BTR5

And the question that have been asked before in other places, but apparently never been answered:
Do anyone in this part of the interwebs have any experience at all with audiophile cables with mic?
 
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TheAuthor

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I have a similar situation while working from home, but I circumvent the issue by using a dedicated external webcam with a built-in mic. Aesthetics are not important to me while working from home, and I use headphones whenever I can, so I cannot recommend any particular IEMs. However, what I do recommend is using an external webcam, or at least an external microphone, decoupled from the rest of your system entirely. I think getting a setup that bundles both sound and a mic at the same time is not recommendable if you want to prioritize audio quality. This will allow you to get any high-quality IEMs or headphones regardless of whether they have a mic or not.

Additionally, if you decide to get IEMs or a headset with a mic, you will probably not be able to use it with many headphone amplifiers without a TRRS to TRS adapter, and of course, the built-in mic will lose its purpose. If your audio source is the same source you use to handle your calls (for example, line-out from your computer or smartphone), this will not be a problem, but if you decide to use a dedicated DAC and/or Amp, it will be.

For reference, this is how my current work-from-home setup works. It allows me to enjoy high-quality music but is ready to switch to a call when necessary:

Computer USB or Optical digital source -> Schiit Modi Multibit -> Schiit Sys -> Schiit Magni 3 Heresy -> Headphones/IEMs

This works because I use the computer for calls, so the call's audio is streamed digitally to the DAC, and the external webcam takes care of providing mic and video input. However, let's say that you're not streaming digital audio from the same device that provides calls. That's where an input switch like the Sys can help: You can connect both your music source and your device's line output to the switch, and just press a button when you need to enter a call or return to your music. Another common use case for a switch is switching between a digital music source and a turntable.
 
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KittySneeze

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I would consider getting the FiiO BTR5. Here is my rationale:

1.It has both balanced and unbalanced outputs. The balanced output provides enough power to drive any IEM and most dynamic over-ears under 250 ohms.
2. It can be used wired via usb-c, or wireless via Bluetooth. It also is LDAC compatible.

Most importantly though, it has unique microphone functions:

1.It has a built-in microphone that can be used for meetings/calls. This basically functions to convert any headphone/iem you like into a Bluetooth headset. Just be sure to clip the device to your shirt so it picks up your voice....I’ve had it in my pocket before and no one could hear me.

2. If you plug an IEM or Headphone that has an in-line microphone on its cable already, the BTR5 will default to that microphone instead of its built-in one.It will also allow volume/play control from in-line controls.
 
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KittySneeze

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Null Audio custom cable with mic – but is the mic any good???
I just read this part of your post, and literally just had a custom null audio cable delivered with the microphone for my EX800st. The microphone is absolutely average...which is a good thing. People could not tell if I was using apple earbud mics vs the Null one. I can also confirm that the volume and play/pause buttons on the microphone work while connected to the BTR5. The play button also function to pick-up/hang-up calls.
 
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