IEM that has tonal balance of Shure's SE425, just slightly more sparkle in top octave. Any?
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soulblast

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Well, as it stands out I've developed very analytic ear to tonal balance, through countless hours of measurement/listening optimizations of DIY highend loudspeakers in the past. I was very satisfied with tonal balance of Shure SE210 that I had in the past. Unfortunately thou, they were prone to breaking the cord in the junction to the buds. Probably why Shure generated the cord they have had on these current IEMs.

Post SE210, I've had no IEM that I've been satisfied with. I had some okayish Sony, one I don't remember the model of. Then came back to Shure. SE215 was so poor, no midrange since bass was way too dominant. Also, I heard a shilling resonance in lower treble, one I had to equalize out to have any chance to live with em.

Then, I switched to these SE315 that I have RN. They're pretty neutral from bass through to midrange. I do like how they highlight the singer. However, mids tend to dominate too much and there's lack of higher mids/low treble, which tends to highlight even more the mid dominant nature of em. Also, tonal balance is too dark as a result.

As of now, I've used USB Audio Player Pro with the morphit equalizer to test how more expensive Shure's sound. The most expensive SE846 is far far from neutral, even with the white filter they're just one dimensional bass boosters. SE535 appears pretty neutral and easy to listen to. I like the soft highs. Thou, higher mids and low treble are slightly too low in level, which gives dark tonal signature and they don't sound neutral with forward enough high mids like SE210 did.

Then I tried eq to SE425. They clearly fixed the lack of high mids on 535, and appeared very very close to neutral all through bass to low treble. However, in comparison to 535 they seemed to lack extension of treble on highest octave, and as such the low treble seemed very close to being too forward. I bet better extension of highs would fix this and give perfect neutrality to SE425s.

So, anybody know of an IEM that has tonal balance like SE425, just with more extension on highs? As I do believe measurements give the objective facts about tonal balance, I'd like to see FR measurements also. Any options? Or should I just pick Shure's and be done with it?
 
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soulblast

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Hmm, using Stax SR 404 eq target for morphit plus some parametric equalizer optimizations by ear, I arrived at a response that's actually very similar to Etymotic Er4-sr measured FR. So seems Etymotic finally nailed it when it comes to neutral IEMs, got rid of their overly emphasised highs that's always been their trademark on top line for so long. Guess I just gotta believe figures and go for new Er4. Problem is, there's no place here to get to test em. Ordering 400€ IEMs blind is a bit off-putting.

Edit: Hmm, checking it closer, my neutral optimized balance still does have couple dB less energy in highs than er4-sr. So if I do end up getting Etymotic, and if I wanna decode MQA (i.e unable to use digital filtering), I'd need a passive filter consisting of capacitors/inductors/resistors for er4. I cannot tolerate overly emphasised highs, even if just 0.5dB. It sounds so unnatural and shrilling.
 
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