IEM - which sound signature matches?

  1. bearbearbear
    I got lost a little when researching my next purchase. Was originally meant to be a set of bluetooth IEMs, but after discovering bluetooth cables and Fiio BRT1, that just became IEMs with detachable cables/good IEMs.

    I can get the Shure SE215 (SPE) for around 80 USD, so was going to jump at it, but I was trying to see if it matches the signature I like... the problem is I don't know exactly what that is.

    The only sets I have experience with are Soundmagic E10, Bosshifi B3, and in headphones, Hifiman 400i, all of which I love. Researching a bit I came across things saying those are all balanced/U-shaped, but then some sites said the E10s are V-shaped.

    Is the SE215 similar in any way (obviously the headphones are open back so completely different in other ways)? I started looking at ATH-IM02, which claims to be U-shaped, but it's a different price bracket.

    Thank you
     
  2. buke9
    Just have to say not all good iems have detachable cables.
     
  3. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    You don't need detachable cables with the BTR1. You just manage the long cable some other way - clip the BTR1 lower, by one of those cable management loops that can also clip onto your shirt or bag strap, loop the extra slack on the cable and use a zip tie on it, etc.


    Well this is kind of hard...it'll be like your friend helping you on Match.com or OKCupid and you can't answer if you like blondes or dark hair, dark or colored eyes, dominatrix or submissive...


    Even this has a mix up. When people say "V" or "U," when you actually look at the actual quantitative graph, you're more likely to find an upside down W - treble spike, dives down in the midrange, goes up in the upper bass, then likely takes a nose dive in the lowest bass region to the point that 40hz and below are softer than 1000hz.

    HE400i is also not any of those other than a slight dip in the midrange and a small peak in the upper midrange and treble. From 1000hz down to 10hz it's as flat as you can get. An HE400i in a very quiet room and a good amp sounds more like an SE425 or W2, but with the vocals not pushed as far forward due to its own midrange dip as well as the other two being IEMs. It's not a "V" in any of those cases as there is practically no rise in the bass, you just get to hear all the bass more equally, assuming no ambient noise is getting in the way to offset its flat response straight down to where there is practically no longer any sound on the recording.
     
    bearbearbear likes this.
  4. bearbearbear
    Thank you for the information - I’ve used it to do a bit more reading and try to get a better idea of my preferences.
    Looking then at relatively flat or neutral IEMs, are there any others you can recommend? I had a look at the se425s, but they are around 2000cny here (currently living in China) which is a bit more than I’d like to spend.

    I can find the ath-im02 for 1000cny, and Sony xba-300 for the same price, both of which seemed to have reviews saying they were quite neutral. However, some of those sites were quite old now, so not sure if there are better updates since then.

    Thanks again
     
  5. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Nothing that will be cheaper. And if anyone wants something objectively good, the SE425 and Westone W2/W20 are hard to beat. There's Etymotic but they're not as widely available, though check if they are over there.


    Haven't tried these nor seen the measurements of their output.
     

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