iriver h120 vs. se530: hiss issue
Jul 10, 2008 at 3:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

Mr. Bojangles

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Hi head-fi,

I've got se530 a couple weeks ago. Since then I was experimenting with different tips, sources and music. Found that se530 are great in all departments, even highs are fine althought they of course don't sound bright overall. Se530 are very similar to hd280pro in their sound signature, 280s being a bit brighter. I feel absolutely no need to eq.

But one thing kills me: the hiss, both out of portable headphone- and line-out. This is attributed to sensitivity of the shures. How can I get proper sound out of h120 with shures? Is amp a solution? Can anyone please confirm that they solved the same problem with the amp?
What makes me question the amp solution is that there is almost no hiss out of also unamped Audigy line-out. Plus read the last question in BitHead FAQ - HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears.

Should I rather look to replace the h120?



As a PS one note regarding fit which has huge effect on sound. If I insert them deep, then bass drowns everything else and becomes bloated and uncontrolled. This is happens with tri-flange tips, which can go very deep and to smaller olives, if you squeeze them into the thinner inner ear canal.
So then I took large olives. They won't go deep, but rather will fill only the entry of the ear canal (as Shure instructions recommend btw). With large olives the insertion depth is 3-4 mm less than I would get with tri-flangers and that brings the highs and tighter bass.
So my recommendaton for se530: lacking highs? bloated bass? don't insert too deep!
 
Jul 11, 2008 at 9:05 AM Post #2 of 13

majkel

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yepp, the fit is very important when using IEMs.

Regarding hiss - there are two ways to help it.
1. better - buy a portable headphone amp, use line-out or max volume headphone out and the amp - you'll experience no hiss and probably better overall SQ when you choose the amp properly, i.e. Tomahawk for the SE530's.
2. worse - buy/use volume attenuator, set the volume as high as possible when you still hear no hiss, and then use the DAP's volume control.

Unfotrtunately old Philips platforms and DACs - here UDA1380, produce lots of hiss independent from the volume setting. The bad for sensitive earphones.
 
Jul 11, 2008 at 3:00 PM Post #3 of 13

Mr. Bojangles

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Thanks majkel, that was very helpful.

I am actually looking into getting ibasso d2 boa, for amp and DAC reason. I was just not sure if it will solve the problem.
Tomahawk is a bit beyond the budget and duty-free limit.

Attenuator: yes, forgot to mention. SE530 come with one. Except I did it differently: fixed the DAP volume to max and used the attenuator control. This way it seems to kill the highs and sounds muddy.
 
Jul 13, 2008 at 11:59 AM Post #4 of 13

green_avanti

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Bojangles /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi head-fi,

I've got se530 a couple weeks ago. Since then I was experimenting with different tips, sources and music. Found that se530 are great in all departments, even highs are fine althought they of course don't sound bright overall. Se530 are very similar to hd280pro in their sound signature, 280s being a bit brighter. I feel absolutely no need to eq.

But one thing kills me: the hiss, both out of portable headphone- and line-out. This is attributed to sensitivity of the shures. How can I get proper sound out of h120 with shures? Is amp a solution? Can anyone please confirm that they solved the same problem with the amp?
What makes me question the amp solution is that there is almost no hiss out of also unamped Audigy line-out. Plus read the last question in BitHead FAQ - HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears.

Should I rather look to replace the h120?



As a PS one note regarding fit which has huge effect on sound. If I insert them deep, then bass drowns everything else and becomes bloated and uncontrolled. This is happens with tri-flange tips, which can go very deep and to smaller olives, if you squeeze them into the thinner inner ear canal.
So then I took large olives. They won't go deep, but rather will fill only the entry of the ear canal (as Shure instructions recommend btw). With large olives the insertion depth is 3-4 mm less than I would get with tri-flangers and that brings the highs and tighter bass.
So my recommendaton for se530: lacking highs? bloated bass? don't insert too deep!



Eh? No idea of what you are talking about, I'm siting here listening to an iHP-120 > FLAC > iBasso D1 V2 > iQube > Se530's and it is just faultless for what it is.. can't wait until iMod V-Cap gets here..

Kind regards

g_a
 
Jul 13, 2008 at 4:53 PM Post #5 of 13

Arjisme

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Bojangles /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is amp a solution?


Yes it is. My player is an H120 and I amp it with a cMoy. I also have E500s (SE530s). The amp completely eliminates the hiss.

As to sound quality with tips, I agree you can change the signature to a degree with different tips. In my experience, the deepest bass and perhaps darkest sound comes with the black olive tips. I used those for quite a long time and really liked them. I lately have tried the tri-flange tips again. I finally figured out how to insert them and get a good seal. In my opinion, they retain most of the bass as the black olive tips, but also brighten up the sound. It is a slight re-balancing between highs and lows really. The tri-flanges are my preference now. I don't think they make the sound bloated and uncontrolled.

So, bottom line (as always) sound perception is with the listener. Your impressions about the tips seem to be the opposite of mine! LOL!
 
Aug 13, 2008 at 4:27 AM Post #8 of 13

trickywombat

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I have a hiss problem with the iRiver IHP-120 as well, with Livewires.
The headphone out hisses, and the line out hisses less but gets annoying when amplified.
I therefore run the optical out to the iBasso D1, and this solves the problem.
 
Aug 14, 2008 at 7:19 PM Post #9 of 13

Mr. Bojangles

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pdupiano, it got noticeably better with boa.

I will reply in detail tomorrow, today boa battery just asked for recharge
frown.gif

I'd like to re-test everything for fresh experience before posting.
 
Aug 15, 2008 at 6:18 PM Post #11 of 13

Mr. Bojangles

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Damn forum, I lost my text so I will be shorter now.

Boa helped the Shures, though did not eliminate hiss completely. It is not the annoying painful whistle now, but a shsh and still noticeable.

Probably hiss is inherent characteristic of se530 or my pair or my ears are sensitive to it. I've tried all sources available and can say that se530 hiss is not specific to H120.

DAP volume makes no difference. Shure attenuator makes no difference for amount of hiss.

May be it is time to turn on the EQ. I had the same hiss issue with super.fi 3 and EQ was the cure. Rough recommendation for se530: -3 dB at 6150Hz (rockbox) or for foobar2000 see attachment. This makes bigger difference than the amp.

May be I am just spoiled with 280pro. They have sparkling and detailed (if overemphasized) highs out of any source on any music material.

Well, I should note that for hiss testing I used Jo Dee Messina (which is quite extreme in this department). Other music is not that bad.
 
Aug 17, 2008 at 2:28 PM Post #12 of 13

Mr. Bojangles

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Boy... this never ends. I was experimenting more with fit and... smaller olive eartips and deeper, tighter insertion seem to heal the hiss problem completely (however introducing slight highs recession). Now se530 can compete with 280 for my home listening.
 

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