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Introducing CL2 Planar (Impressions Thread)

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  1. JoshG1217
    Hey guys,

    Curious about these. Anyone compare to Sony Ex series or XBA Z5? The sony's are really the only iems I have ever liked, as they sound like an overear. Wide space and big bass when EQ'd (well, even not when EQ'd by comparison). Would anyone describe the CLA 2 as having that over ear sound? I find most iems have a closed stage, poor separation, and just sounds tinny to me. I should note that I listen mostly to technical metal and hardcore with a lot going on. Less forgiving than pop.

  2. ANOpax
    Hey Josh,

    I’m afraid that I don’t have any experience of the Sonys to give you a comparison.

    What I can say though, based on your description of what you like and your listening taste is that the CL2 will excel in some areas of your music and disappoint you in others (I think).

    Firstly: the CL2 will shine with anything which has a dense presentation. This is what planar drivers excel at. No crossover and fantastic impulse response means you get a clear, cohesive sound which is ‘fast’. This brings me to my next point.

    ‘Fast’ is an adjective to describe lack of colouration or resonance. As a result, the bass of planar drivers has none of these characteristics which can be disappointing for listeners who are conditioned to dynamic driver ‘box’ bass. The planar driver is more accurate to the source but not everyone likes that accuracy. I suspect that your love of ‘big bass’ won’t be fulfilled with the CL2 unless you crank the volume up massively at which point you’ll have too much volume in the treble and start complaining (like some do) of a ‘hot treble’ when the issue is simply that you’re playing too loud without realising it (because planar bass is so clean and doesn’t come with the distortion cues which accompany dynamic driver bass).

    As usual, YMMV but the point I’m trying to make is that what you want to achieve might be mutually incompatible from any headphone or IEM without some listening adjustment on your part.
    Kitechaser likes this.
  3. JoshG1217
    Thanks, Anopax. I don't mind using EQ, as I mentioned, So I can tweak the bass a bit if need be. Would you describe it as having a wide stage, and good separation?
  4. ANOpax
    Good separation for sure. Wide stage - no.

    I come from the hifi and speakers tradition so I actually find the ‘in your head’ wide stage presentation of headphones to be a bit freaky and unnatural. I like my band sat in front of me - not sat inside me. To that end, the CL2s don’t freak me out so I don’t think there’s any aural trickery going on.
  5. Doctordoom16
    Fit was an issue for me. The xelento are very shallow in the ear so I just could not get them to stay in no matter what tips i used. The Cl2 are a bit bigger and sit much deeper so they have a better seel for me and I never feel they will fall out. Otherwise soundwise I just couldn't comment on the xelento as the sound was off due to not sitting well in my ear. The CL2 grow on you. They are very good out of my hiby r6 pro balanced. I still may prfer the fearless S8F for some songs but I have both and enjoy both.
  6. Doctordoom16
    love dire straights and been looking for high res versions of any of their albums. Do you know where can I get Hi res versions of any album for download?
    szore likes this.
  7. szore
    Strange coincidance, I'm not a Dire Straits fan at all, but I just loaded Brothers in Arms 2 day ago and am enjoying it...
    Kitechaser likes this.
  8. szore
    Kitechaser likes this.
  9. antdroid
    Yes Sean Olive et al have been working on a preferred listening curve for years. A more updated article is here: https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/harman-tweaks-its-headphone-target-response which talks about the more up-to-date response curves for over-ear headphones and separately in-ears.

    These are target curves based on listening feedback from users and so each individual may stray away from these target curves, but it's a good baseline point for finding a response that suits a lot of people.
  10. ANOpax
    Yes. This is the work that Sonion refer to in their application paper on IEM design. It’s why I came to the conclusion (combined with my own ears) that the reviews complaining of a ‘hot’ treble based on measurements of the CL2 were a little misguided. I think that reviewers were trying to look smart by dismissing a high priced and high performing IEM by picking fault where there was none. Almost an inverse snobbery. And once that ball was rolling, it kept going...
    Kitechaser likes this.
  11. Tragic
    A thousand times this!
    A lot of people base their opinions on what they hear by what machines graph on a chart.
    Kitechaser likes this.
  12. rutter
    Nevermind, apparently you have to be fearless in how you connect these.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
    szore likes this.
  13. ANOpax
    Not normal. In fact, the opposite is true - most people struggle to disconnect the cables.
    szore likes this.
  14. rutter
    It was very hard for me to apply a sufficient direct force for the secure connection. I thought I'd likely break something as things angle. The fit is great, the handling for the connection is anything but.

    What am I looking at in terms of burn-in? Waiting on this cable in 4.4mm balanced per Kitechaser's recommendation:


    Currently using the silver 2.5mm balanced one, which is apparently worse than even the 3.5mm single-ended copper one?
  15. szore
    Burn it in for 200 hours at high volume. The stock cables also need to be burned in, the copper isn't so bad, after 100 hours it smooths out and the detail comes through.
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