IEMs
Sep 3, 2009 at 8:16 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

Clutz

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Hi everyone,

I've got an IEM advice question. I currently have Etymotic ER4S earphones and I like them a lot, but I'd like something better. I've tried Shure SE530 and I dislike them. I don't hate them, and I agree that they have more present bass and maybe a fuller midrange, but they sound muddy to me. I'm looking to spend between $350 and $500- maybe a tad bit more. The only other option I would consider would be the JH10X3- but there would have to be an extremely compelling argument for these. I will use these with an iPod and a Mini^3 amp with a LOD and either ALAC or 320K AAC files.

IEMs I am contemplating: UM3X, Sleek Audio CT6, Live Wires (doubles or triples), JH5Pro, UE 4Pro, JH10X3 (maybe - maybe I can swing it... maybe, but I doubt it).

I really like the crisp highs of the ER4S. I also really like the coherence of the ER4S- I think that's what I found the most lacking in the SE530. That leads me to believe that I might be better with a two-way (one cross over) versus a three way IEM.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 8:40 PM Post #2 of 18

mvw2

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The problem you have now is that the ER4S is already so good, that many products will be worse (holistically) then the ER4S. The ER4S is the definitive reference IEM for a reason and has been for many years. I'm not saying it's the best out there, but from a holistic standpoint, it's a great product, and when compared to many other products, it will be better.

The choice will not so much come down to buying a better product but rather a better fitting product for your particular tastes. You seek different, not better...if this makes sense to you.

The problem then becomes the fact that you will have to spend a LOT of money to actually buy a holistically better product. That's just what you'll have to step to. Now you're looking at high dollar customs. As well, you'll have to decide if you want to stay with the IEM platform or step towards other options like full-sized cans too if you don't already have a pile of those too.

Before stepping to customs and if you don't mind losing isolation, I would suggest you try out Yuin's OK1 earbud. It's the only thing I've run personally that I actually could say was slightly better then the ER4S. It would be very tough for you to not like this earphone. It improves on a number of aspects from the ER4S but does lose some of the very excellent sound stage space/location that the ER4S has although the OK1 being pretty good in its own right. It just depends on if isolation is a requirement for you. It's $230 so under your budget, and Head Direct offers a 30 day return policy so no real commitment.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/y...-pro-s-382551/
techPowerUp :: Yuin OK1 Earphones Review :: Page 1 / 4
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 10:03 PM Post #3 of 18

Antony6555

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi everyone, I've got an IEM advice question. I currently have Etymotic ER4S earphones and I like them a lot, but I'd like something better. I've tried Shure SE530 and I dislike them. I don't hate them, and I agree that they have more present bass and maybe a fuller midrange, but they sound muddy to me. I'm looking to spend between $350 and $500- maybe a tad bit more.


Ahha! So did I convince you to sell you er-4S and upgrade? I'm just teasing you.

Quote:

IEMs I am contemplating: UM3X, Sleek Audio CT6, Live Wires (doubles or triples), JH5Pro, UE 4Pro, JH10X3 (maybe - maybe I can swing it... maybe, but I doubt it). I really like the crisp highs of the ER4S. I also really like the coherence of the ER4S- I think that's what I found the most lacking in the SE530. That leads me to believe that I might be better with a two-way (one cross over) versus a three way IEM.


I am in almost exactly the same boat. I too was an er-4S owner until very recently when I sold my er-4S. I too had an se530 and found them muddy and lacking in treble extension. But my biggest problem was the lack of coherence. When I listened to the se530s, they sounded odd, as though the lows and highs were coming from separate sources. The imaging was also affected. When I became interested in upgrading from er-4S to a triple driver, I started a thread where I explained my experience with the se530 and basically asked if all multiple driver iems suffer from a relative lack of coherence compared to single drivers. About half of the responses I got were just people flaming me for criticizing the se530 (seems like the se530 is always a volatile subject.)

But even taking into account those who actually attempted to answer my question, no one had experienced the same noticeable coherence issues I had with the se530. Note that my pair was not faulty, as I sent them in once for repair, received a new pair, and still had the same coherence issues. My conclusion was that some people, like you and I apparently, are just more sensitive to coherence issues, while the majority don’t notice it. So asking a random [insert multi-driver iem here] owner if the given iem has coherence issues isn’t likely to be that helpful. So, to answer you question, all muti driver iems will suffer from coherence issues to some extent. This doesn’t mean, however, that it will be noticeable. At the same time, I don’t think a lot of responses you’ll get to your coherence questions will be useful, as most people are not as sensitive to it. I’d recommend trying out a universal dual or triple driver. If you do have coherence issues, at least you’ll be able to sell it. This is the path I’ve chosen to take. If you go with a custom first, you’ll be stuck with it.

In terms of specific recommendations, I’d recommend the ck100. It’s less bass heavy than the other triple drivers and but still has better bass impact and more forward mids than the er-4S and a noticeably larger soundstage, with an equally compelling high end, from what I’ve read. This is the iem I chose after undergoing a similar search. There are a few reviews on it, though not a ton. It can be had new from pricejapan for $400. The triple fi would be another suggestion, but it has more recessed mids and more bass quantity. It was a close deciion for me, but ultimately I decided the triple fi might have too much bass for my taste. I was also worried about the ergonomics of the triple fi. I’d recommend you stay away from the um3x, I’ve heard it described as an improved se530. In terms of dual driver (single crossover) iems, I doubt there are many universal dual drivers you’d consider an upgrade to your er-4S.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mvw2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The problem you have now is that the ER4S is already so good, that many products will be worse (holistically) then the ER4S. The ER4S is the definitive reference IEM for a reason and has been for many years. I'm not saying it's the best out there, but from a holistic standpoint, it's a great product, and when compared to many other products, it will be better.

The choice will not so much come down to buying a better product but rather a better fitting product for your particular tastes. You seek different, not better...if this makes sense to you.

The problem then becomes the fact that you will have to spend a LOT of money to actually buy a holistically better product. That's just what you'll have to step to. Now you're looking at high dollar customs. As well, you'll have to decide if you want to stay with the IEM platform or step towards other options like full-sized cans too if you don't already have a pile of those too.



People tend to argue that er-4S is an objectively better iem than most others because it is more neutral. While it is more neutral than many similarly priced phones, I don't buy that it is neutral as people say it is. While it's bass and mids are pretty flat (though it has lower end roll-off), it has obvious treble peaks on a graph, which are just as noticeable when listening. In addition, though I enjoyed my er-4S a lot while I had it and was stunned by the level of fidelity for it's size and price, it does not sound like a full-size headphone. It seems like most head-fiers think even universal triple driver iems sound closer to full-size headphones than the er-4S. Not all of course, but this seems to be the general consensus. I can't speak for myself yet, but I hope my ck100 will sound closer. I suspect I will probably make the jump to customs at some point anyway though.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 11:01 PM Post #4 of 18

mvw2

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I speak more then just frequency response. I'll say that most every earphone out there can improve with EQing, even very good ones. I speak of a broader range like how the note is presented, attack/decay, dynamics, energy, etc. I speak about the sound stage and the ability to separate and individualize all the sounds and not only separate but also place these sounds in a single position in empty (mental) space. I speak of overall balance of presentation where one aspect doesn't overshadow another. The ER4S does a lot of these things really well.

Frequency response alone is only one, small, fixable aspect. The treble isn't that bad on it, but it could be better. For example, this is one aspect I particularly like about my current OK1 in that it does do treble a good bit better then the ER4S. The ER4S is not as bad as say the Phonak PFE which does have a pretty significantly ragged top end response, although still livable without EQing. I've EQed the PFE to significantly better results. It's just not something most folks have available or are willing to do.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 12:33 AM Post #5 of 18

Clutz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mvw2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The choice will not so much come down to buying a better product but rather a better fitting product for your particular tastes. You seek different, not better...if this makes sense to you.


Well, I agree I definitely want something that's different, and I'm hoping that it can be better than the ER4S. I think it's possible

Quote:

The problem then becomes the fact that you will have to spend a LOT of money to actually buy a holistically better product. That's just what you'll have to step to. Now you're looking at high dollar customs. As well, you'll have to decide if you want to stay with the IEM platform or step towards other options like full-sized cans too if you don't already have a pile of those too.


I have a quite a few full sized cans - HD650, HD580, HD595, HD590, RS-1, AKG K701. I'd like a pair of HD800s *drool* and maybe some stax, but right most of the listening I get to do lately is done while working in a biochemistry lab, where there are a bunch of other people trying to work and concentrate. Thus I want something that not only isolates me from the general lab noises, but also isolates my music from them. That said, I hadn't considered maybe something like the AKG K271, which would get me what I'm looking for here maybe. I generally don't like the sound of closed cans, and I've preferred my IEMs to any closed cans I've tried (DT770s for eg), but maybe I should reconsider some other higher end closed cans.

Quote:

Before stepping to customs and if you don't mind losing isolation, I would suggest you try out Yuin's OK1 earbud. It's the only thing I've run personally that I actually could say was slightly better then the ER4S. It would be very tough for you to not like this earphone. It improves on a number of aspects from the ER4S but does lose some of the very excellent sound stage space/location that the ER4S has although the OK1 being pretty good in its own right. It just depends on if isolation is a requirement for you. It's $230 so under your budget, and Head Direct offers a 30 day return policy so no real commitment.


That's actually maybe not a bad idea. I do want something that's pretty isolating actually, but I'd give that some thought. I generally don't like how earbuds feel in my ears, that's the other thing that keeps me away from them. I don't mind IEMs, but earbuds bother me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antony6555 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ahha! So did I convince you to sell you er-4S and upgrade? I'm just teasing you.


smily_headphones1.gif
Hardly- my ER4S are keepers. I'll always keep them and my RS-1s, since they (RS-1) were a present from my then fiance.


Quote:

I am in almost exactly the same boat. I too was an er-4S owner until very recently when I sold my er-4S. I too had an se530 and found them muddy and lacking in treble extension. But my biggest problem was the lack of coherence. When I listened to the se530s, they sounded odd, as though the lows and highs were coming from separate sources. The imaging was also affected.


That describes my interpretation of them exactly.

Quote:

When I became interested in upgrading from er-4S to a triple driver, I started a thread where I explained my experience with the se530 and basically asked if all multiple driver iems suffer from a relative lack of coherence compared to single drivers. About half of the responses I got were just people flaming me for criticizing the se530 (seems like the se530 is always a volatile subject.)


Yeah, I don't get the fanboyism response to the SE530. If you like them- great, but if I don't like them, then I don't like them, and you can't convince me that I do/should like them, or that I'm not using them properly.

Quote:

But even taking into account those who actually attempted to answer my question, no one had experienced the same noticeable coherence issues I had with the se530. Note that my pair was not faulty, as I sent them in once for repair, received a new pair, and still had the same coherence issues. My conclusion was that some people, like you and I apparently, are just more sensitive to coherence issues, while the majority don’t notice it.


I really think it's probably a phase distortion issue due to cross overs. I really wonder if perhaps these multi-driver IEMs need an active crossover that then run separate cables from the crossover device up to the IEMs themselves. Anyway, that was very tangental.

Quote:

So asking a random [insert multi-driver iem here] owner if the given iem has coherence issues isn’t likely to be that helpful. So, to answer you question, all muti driver iems will suffer from coherence issues to some extent. This doesn’t mean, however, that it will be noticeable. At the same time, I don’t think a lot of responses you’ll get to your coherence questions will be useful, as most people are not as sensitive to it. I’d recommend trying out a universal dual or triple driver.


Yeah, I think that's quite possibly good advice. The only reason I'm somewhat hesitant to go that way is because these will be a combination PhD graduation / Christmas / Birthday gift, so in that sense, I want them to be something I actually keep. Maybe it's silly, but I will have some sentimental attachment to them.

Quote:

If you do have coherence issues, at least you’ll be able to sell it. This is the path I’ve chosen to take. If you go with a custom first, you’ll be stuck with it.


Yeah, that's a concern. *sigh* Maybe I should just wait for you to try out some universal IEMs and tell me if you hear the coherence issue. At least I know that you can hear it, so if you try some universals and you don't hear it, then there's hope for me.
smily_headphones1.gif
I call this strategy- hedging my bets
smily_headphones1.gif


In terms of specific recommendations, I’d recommend the ck100. It’s less bass heavy than the other triple drivers and but still has better bass impact and more forward mids than the er-4S and a noticeably larger soundstage, with an equally compelling high end, from what I’ve read. This is the iem I chose after undergoing a similar search. There are a few reviews on it, though not a ton. It can be had new from pricejapan for $400.

Quote:

The triple fi would be another suggestion, but it has more recessed mids and more bass quantity. It was a close deciion for me, but ultimately I decided the triple fi might have too much bass for my taste. I was also worried about the ergonomics of the triple fi.


I am worried about the ergonomics of the triple fi, but I have considered buying a pair of them used to see what I think of them- but I've held off thus far. But I don't know.

Quote:

I’d recommend you stay away from the um3x, I’ve heard it described as an improved se530. In terms of dual driver (single crossover) iems, I doubt there are many universal dual drivers you’d consider an upgrade to your er-4S.


I'm surprised that the UM3X is considered an improved SE530- since one is Westone and one is Shure. Hmm.. Je ne sais pas.

Quote:

People tend to argue that er-4S is an objectively better iem than most others because it is more neutral. While it is more neutral than many similarly priced phones, I don't buy that it is neutral as people say it is. While it's bass and mids are pretty flat (though it has lower end roll-off), it has obvious treble peaks on a graph, which are just as noticeable when listening. In addition, though I enjoyed my er-4S a lot while I had it and was stunned by the level of fidelity for it's size and price, it does not sound like a full-size headphone. It seems like most head-fiers think even universal triple driver iems sound closer to full-size headphones than the er-4S. Not all of course, but this seems to be the general consensus. I can't speak for myself yet, but I hope my ck100 will sound closer. I suspect I will probably make the jump to customs at some point anyway though.


I don't necessarily care if they have the spatial effects of full sized headphones. I like that sense of space that I get from my AKG K701s, but what I care about most is just tonality (nice analytical frequency response) and a coherent presentation. I generally don't find the sound of the ER4S to be overly trebly, but I wonder if that could be cause I'm 31. I've also had high frequency ringing in my ears since I was really little, so I wonder if that might also be why more trebly sounding headphones are appealing, because, as I understand it, you can't hear any frequencies that occur at the same frequency of the ringing in your ears.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mvw2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I speak more then just frequency response. I'll say that most every earphone out there can improve with EQing, even very good ones. I speak of a broader range like how the note is presented, attack/decay, dynamics, energy, etc. I speak about the sound stage and the ability to separate and individualize all the sounds and not only separate but also place these sounds in a single position in empty (mental) space. I speak of overall balance of presentation where one aspect doesn't overshadow another. The ER4S does a lot of these things really well.


Yes, I agree - particularly with regard to the dynamics, attack and decay, energy. I don't know that I can say much about their soundstage. Hmm..

Quote:

Frequency response alone is only one, small, fixable aspect. The treble isn't that bad on it, but it could be better. For example, this is one aspect I particularly like about my current OK1 in that it does do treble a good bit better then the ER4S. The ER4S is not as bad as say the Phonak PFE which does have a pretty significantly ragged top end response, although still livable without EQing. I've EQed the PFE to significantly better results. It's just not something most folks have available or are willing to do.


I've tried EQing my ER4S with my iPod- bass boost or treble reducer. The bass boost makes some sounds sound terrible, and the treble reducer doesn't really give me what I'm looking for.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback guys.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 12:56 AM Post #6 of 18

ephemere

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I've had the Etys for about 8 years. From a practical standpoint, my main concerns about them are microphonics and (to a lesser extent) comfort, rather than any sound-quality issues. I almost pulled the trigger on the UE10 years ago, but the feedback from owners wasn't strong enough to make the leap of faith. The JH13 is the first IEM that has tempted me enough to make a purchase. When they arrive, I hope I end up liking them better than the Etys, but even with all the raves -- including directly against the Etys -- I'm keeping my expectations in check. From a technical standpoint, I also am concerned about the crossovers. I made a post a little while back asking if anyone knew anything technical about IEM crossovers and got no information. I'm pretty curious about it. The power levels are so low, but on the other hand the physical space is so small. Are the crossovers built into the drivers? Is it possible that mechanical crossovers are used? Crossover issues aren't the final word on everything sonic, but I'm curious nonetheless. Maybe I need to find someone who works at UE or Westone.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 1:36 AM Post #7 of 18

Bilavideo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi everyone,

I've got an IEM advice question. I currently have Etymotic ER4S earphones and I like them a lot, but I'd like something better. I've tried Shure SE530 and I dislike them. I don't hate them, and I agree that they have more present bass and maybe a fuller midrange, but they sound muddy to me. I'm looking to spend between $350 and $500- maybe a tad bit more. The only other option I would consider would be the JH10X3- but there would have to be an extremely compelling argument for these. I will use these with an iPod and a Mini^3 amp with a LOD and either ALAC or 320K AAC files.

IEMs I am contemplating: UM3X, Sleek Audio CT6, Live Wires (doubles or triples), JH5Pro, UE 4Pro, JH10X3 (maybe - maybe I can swing it... maybe, but I doubt it).

I really like the crisp highs of the ER4S. I also really like the coherence of the ER4S- I think that's what I found the most lacking in the SE530. That leads me to believe that I might be better with a two-way (one cross over) versus a three way IEM.



Why not make your own?
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 2:35 AM Post #8 of 18

Clutz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ephemere /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I've had the Etys for about 8 years. From a practical standpoint, my main concerns about them are microphonics and (to a lesser extent) comfort, rather than any sound-quality issues. I almost pulled the trigger on the UE10 years ago, but the feedback from owners wasn't strong enough to make the leap of faith. The JH13 is the first IEM that has tempted me enough to make a purchase. When they arrive, I hope I end up liking them better than the Etys, but even with all the raves -- including directly against the Etys -- I'm keeping my expectations in check.


I look forward to hearing what you think.

Quote:

From a technical standpoint, I also am concerned about the crossovers. I made a post a little while back asking if anyone knew anything technical about IEM crossovers and got no information. I'm pretty curious about it. The power levels are so low, but on the other hand the physical space is so small. Are the crossovers built into the drivers? Is it possible that mechanical crossovers are used? Crossover issues aren't the final word on everything sonic, but I'm curious nonetheless. Maybe I need to find someone who works at UE or Westone.


I'm not sure I understand how the relative power levels are an issue here? Just because of heat dissipation? I would imagine size is the bigger issue. I think right now the cross overs are actually in the earpieces themselves- which limits how large (And complicated) they can be. That's why I'd advocate having an offboard (out of ear) crossover- less space constraint, so you might be able to achieve a cross over with fewer compromises,
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 2:38 AM Post #9 of 18

Clutz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bilavideo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Why not make your own?


Lots of reasons.
  1. I have no idea how to.
  2. I don't have the time to invest into learning how to.
  3. I don't have the money to invest into the design process of making an IEM.
  4. I doubt that given my time and financial constraints I can design a better IEM than a commercial manufactuer can make.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 2:49 AM Post #10 of 18

ephemere

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm not sure I understand how the relative power levels are an issue here?


I'm not familiar with the details, but I remember reading that when you work out the math with the voltage and current at speaker levels, the caps and coils that you need to implement filters turn out to be huge compared to what you need at line-level. So line-level crossovers end up much smaller physically than speaker-level crossovers.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 3:09 AM Post #11 of 18

mvw2

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What specifically about buds bug you? I guess I've used buds for a long time, on and off, and I may just be used to the "weird" feel or whatever. Comfort can come from the covering you use like the OK1 coming with rubber covers, and foam covers are widely available. There had been talk of using both in conjunction.

One nice thing with the OK1 is that despite it being a bud, it doesn't actually bleed much sound out from itself, less so then most other buds I've used. They of course don't isolate, but they give a direct presentation and would have no problem outpacing any outside info. Most of the time when listening to them just at medium levels, I miss people talking to me.

The only downside is that they basically need an amp and one with decent power. It's not worthless without an amp, but the presentation can be slightly bright and anemic if low on power at moderate to high volumes. It fills out once adequate power is available. It's not a particularly easy to drive earphone. For example, I have a little FiiO E5 that works well for most everything, but it doesn't seem quite robust enough to power the OK1 to 100%. I ended up digging around for more powerful (and better) amps and eventually came across a Meier 2Move at a good price that I couldn't pass up. I've questioned the requirements of the ER4S too. I never kept my ER4S long enough to run it with the 2Move (tisk), but I've always wondered if the E5 was a little light on power for that too.

I'm sorry if I'm bugging you about the OK1 too much. I feel they offer a lot of what you are looking for. It's simply a matter if you are willing to try a set of buds out or not.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 4:04 AM Post #12 of 18

Clutz

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Ear buds just don't sit well in my ears, at least none that I've ever used. I've used Panasonic, Sony, Sennheiser, AKG, Apple iBuds, and various other bundled earbuds, and they just don't stay in. They hurt my ears and they fall out really easily. I don't know why- they're just uncomfortable to me.

My portable amp is a Mini^3, which should have plenty of power for a portable. AD8397 opamp gives off a lot of juice!

That said, I feel like I'm leaning towards the JH7, and maybe even the JH10x3 -- if I can convince my wife! She has easily spent that much money on getting her hair done over the last year alone, so I may be able to make some hay with that. Plus, I really do feel I deserve a pretty good PhD graduation present-- don't you?
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 4:27 AM Post #13 of 18

Bilavideo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Lots of reasons.
  1. I have no idea how to.
  2. I don't have the time to invest into learning how to.
  3. I don't have the money to invest into the design process of making an IEM.
  4. I doubt that given my time and financial constraints I can design a better IEM than a commercial manufactuer can make.



The ER4S is a single-driver IEM with an MSRP of $300. Think of that as $150/ear. There's no housing to speak of beyond the basic concept of a driver, outlet tube, filter and tip. This single driver is wired to a more or less standard earphone cable.

I'm not knocking the ER4's place among earphones. Etymotics was an early leader. For a single driver, the ER4S performs surprisingly well. The simplicity of the design speaks for itself. If it finds itself priced a little high now, among a sea of me-too designs, Etymotics can always claim the right to sell its own product at its own price. You pay for pride of ownership. You pay for the name. You pay for the service, as well as the costs of running a business.

On the other hand, the value of those two drivers can't be more than $80. Throw in an off-the-shelf replacement cable, $6 worth of filters and a set of tips and you're still not going to spend much more than $100. There's no crossover, no custom housing, just a pair of drivers, their filters, tips and a cord. It's simplicity itself - and a mark-up.

Did you like the small size and simplicity of the ER4S lollipops?
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 5:14 AM Post #14 of 18

Antony6555

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mvw2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I speak more then just frequency response. I'll say that most every earphone out there can improve with EQing, even very good ones. I speak of a broader range like how the note is presented, attack/decay, dynamics, energy, etc. I speak about the sound stage and the ability to separate and individualize all the sounds and not only separate but also place these sounds in a single position in empty (mental) space. I speak of overall balance of presentation where one aspect doesn't overshadow another. The ER4S does a lot of these things really well.

Frequency response alone is only one, small, fixable aspect. The treble isn't that bad on it, but it could be better. For example, this is one aspect I particularly like about my current OK1 in that it does do treble a good bit better then the ER4S. The ER4S is not as bad as say the Phonak PFE which does have a pretty significantly ragged top end response, although still livable without EQing. I've EQed the PFE to significantly better results. It's just not something most folks have available or are willing to do.



Personally, I dislike EQ, so that may play some role in my opinion. Usually, it just makes audio equipment sound more unnatural to me. Also, the imaging on the er-4S is very precise, but compressed by the small soundstage. Still, once you get used to the size, you can place instruments very well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's actually maybe not a bad idea. I do want something that's pretty isolating actually, but I'd give that some thought. I generally don't like how earbuds feel in my ears, that's the other thing that keeps me away from them. I don't mind IEMs, but earbuds bother me.


I have the same reaction. Earbuds always just seem to be too big for my ears and are never comfortable for more than an hour. Iem's, on the other hand, usually completely "disappear" in a few minutes. I find them much more comfortable than full-size headphones as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That describes my interpretation of them [the se530] exactly.


Yeah, I found it really odd when no one who responded to the thread had experienced this. It was so obvious to me; it made them unlistenable with certain types of music.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yeah, that's a concern. *sigh* Maybe I should just wait for you to try out some universal IEMs and tell me if you hear the coherence issue. At least I know that you can hear it, so if you try some universals and you don't hear it, then there's hope for me.
smily_headphones1.gif
I call this strategy- hedging my bets
smily_headphones1.gif



Haha well, I'll probably have my ck100/triple fi in a week or so. So I'll tell you what I think then.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I am worried about the ergonomics of the triple fi, but I have considered buying a pair of them used to see what I think of them- but I've held off thus far. But I don't know.


This is one of the main reasons I'd recommend the ck100, besides the more realistic bass. There seem to be very few fit issues with it. It is basically 2x as much, but to me it was worth it. After all, fit is disproportionately important with iems.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm surprised that the UM3X is considered an improved SE530- since one is Westone and one is Shure. Hmm.. Je ne sais pas.


Based on what I remember, I think Westone was founded by former Shure employees. Some of their products are like refined versions of Shure products. Like the um1 is sort of like a refined e2c.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
don't necessarily care if they have the spatial effects of full sized headphones. I like that sense of space that I get from my AKG K701s, but what I care about most is just tonality (nice analytical frequency response) and a coherent presentation. I generally don't find the sound of the ER4S to be overly trebly, but I wonder if that could be cause I'm 31.


I listen to a lot of classical, so imaging is very important to me. The er-4S do a pretty good job, but they just sound too cluttered to me with large orchestral pieces. I don't find the treble emphasis of the er-4S to be sibilant, but I do find that it tends to overpower the rest of the spectrum.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 5:16 AM Post #15 of 18

Antony6555

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bilavideo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The ER4S is a single-driver IEM with an MSRP of $300. Think of that as $150/ear. There's no housing to speak of beyond the basic concept of a driver, outlet tube, filter and tip. This single driver is wired to a more or less standard earphone cable.


It's more like $190 actually.
 

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