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Need Help Buying First Customs: JH16 vs Heir Audio 8.A vs UM Miracle/Merlin vs Westone ES5

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  1. Azsamael
    First a list of headphones and IEMs I have owned.
    Audio Technica A900 (loved it, my first full size headphones, using  it right now)
    Denon D7000 (really really loved it, but for some reason hasn't seen much use)
    Beyerdynamic DT 990 (don't like it, don't know why, everything sounds recessed)
    Shure SE215 (first $100+ audio equipment purchase, loved it, it was miles better than anything I had before)
    Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 (The best in-ears I have ever listened to, I haven't listened to much, but this is my reference for everything, gave it to my brother)
    Klipsch S4 (replacement for the UEs, but did not like it much, better than the Shures, but did not like it all that much)
    Sony XBA 3 (found them to be a little flat, did not like them much, thought they would be like the UEs, but they weren't)
    iPod connected to a Fiio E7 for portable (looking to upgrade one of these days to a HP-P1) (Tried to like other DAPs, but just couldn't, I like the feel of iPods too much)
    Shciit Bifrost to a Schiit Lyr for desktop
    Type of Music I Listen To
    Trance, Dubstep, DnB, Liquid DnB (50%)
    Rock, Alt Rock, Indie Rock (40%)
    Don't know genre, a mix of everything else (10%)
    Quality of Music Files
    Everything at least 320kbps
    25%-30% of collection in FLAC
    My Location
    Toronto, Canada
    List of CIEMS That Interest Me
    Jerry Harvey Audio JH16 Pro
    Heir Audio 8.A
    Unique Melody Miracle/Merlin
    Westone ES5
    My Understanding
    I do not like flat analytical sounds. I know everyone is usually on the quest for the most neutral sound, I do not like it. I really like "fun" sounds. And I really like my bass. Not so much that it overpowers everything else, I just like its presence. I do not like boomy or flabby bass though, it needs control. I do not like bright (which I take to mean sibilance) sounds. It hurts my ears, and does thing funny thing in the front of my head. A feeling that I do not like. As I have stated, I absolutely loved the UE TripleFi 10s, they sound amazing to me. I thought it had great bass. I understand that my exposure to all things audio is extremely low, and my understanding of these things is even lower. That is why I am asking for your help in figuring out what would be the best choice for me. I am looking for guidelines.
    I would love to try out any of these customs that I have been looking at, but I do not know of any shop or place here where I can try them out. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you so much for reading all of this.
    Did I miss any CIEMs I should be looking at?
  2. wjklli11
    I would say go with the UM, well, despite I am new to the headfi world, I have listened to UM, W4 and JH16 and I prefer UM. You should definitely check out 1plus2, it generates the best trance that I have ever heard, it is also pretty balanced and will suit all kinds of music listening. 
  3. Azsamael

     Thanks for the reply!
    Which UM did you try? The Miracle or the Merlin?
    I wish I could try out the 1plus2, sounds a lot like the Merlin. Thanks for the reply though.
  4. wjklli11
    I tried UM Miracle, definitely amazing!! But for trance or dubstep I prefer 1plus2. Despite it is more like a universal IEM. It also seals pretty well. Problems with CIEMs is that they don't usually give you much enjoyment when listening, correctness or accuracy is what CIEMs really care about. 1plus2 has a more fun sounding and can be easily driven by an iPod. But if you really need a CIEM, I would recommend Miracle. You may also want to check out the reviews for these headphones. Cheers.
  5. Azsamael

    I am sort of leaning towards the Miracle or the 8.A, from what I read the Merlin is also a great choice. Hopefully next week I can just go get my impressions. I really want a CIEM.
  6. wjklli11
    After all it it's all about ur personal preference. All the headphones you mentioned are good in their own way. I definitely recommend u to listen to the demos of these CIEMs before making a choice. You may prefer one particular sound signature on one of them.
  7. Azsamael
    I wish I could try them out. I don't think there is any where in Toronto where I can try them out before buying them.
    Would you happen to know of any place?
  8. wjklli11
    ... Sorry, I really dont know since I live in Australia. There are very limited number of stores that sell CIEMs in Aus. I would assume it to be the same case in Canada. Try to look for the large audio stores in your area, they will have the demos if they sell CIEMs.
  9. Mimouille
    The Miracles are awesome. They have tight controlled bass with great detail and texture. They also have huge space. The mids are not lush / warm so if that is what you want, you will not be satisfied. I do not have the 8.a but I have the 5.0 which have the same sig. It is a fun sig that sounds good with everything and has awesome texture in bass. It is quite laid back and relaxed. The Miracles are more forward in their presentation IMO. You should also consider the Tralucent 1plus2, the best universals there are.
    EDIT: neutral/flat is one thing, analytical is another. Analytical have forward highs in generals, or present details in a very forwards way, allow you to hear details well.
  10. Azsamael
    See I am not that great with audio terminology yet haha. I really meant neutral/flat sound. I do not like too bright highs.
    The more I look into the 1plus2 the more I like it. It has the same construction as a Merlin I believe. With one dynamic low driver and 2 BA highs and 2 BA MIds.
    Could you elaborate on what you mean by "Lush/Warm"?  As you can see I have difficulty understanding and conveying audio terminology.
    Thanks a bunch
  11. ZARIM
    The Jerry Harvey made the UETF10Pro and if you like the same soundsignature then JH16Pro are amazing because it has wider soundstage, bigger bass and rich detailed mids, highs than UETF10Pro. Westone ES5 is another great IEMs with forward highly detailed mids, well extended highs, tight punchy bass, wide soundstage, superb imaging, instruments separation. So JH16Pro bass, highs are more notable and ES5 mids are amazing but both are highly detailed yet offers good dynamic bass.
  12. Mimouille

    The 1Plus2 are 1 dynamic plus 2 BA (so the name 1plus2 :) )
    What I mean is that the mids on the 334 for instance are thick and warm, quite engaging. On the Miracles they sound great too, but a little bit dryer / thinner...I do not know how to say it otherwise.
  13. Azsamael
    That describes it perfectly. I heard it in my head. Then the Miracles are definitely out. The price for the 1plus2 is a little scary for an universal. The Merlin seems like a good idea. Found some reviews, found this guy in Toronto who has the Heir Audio 8.A and the UM Merlin. Hoping he gets back to me.
  14. wjklli11
    Glad you made ur choice, however I need to point out that CIEMs may not suit everybody. For me, I find the universals are more preferable as it is easier to be taken off my ears, so I wont miss out any conversation. A perfect seal on CIEMs means you hear absolutely nothing from the outside, which is dangerous when you try cross the street with them on. I would recommend you only to use CIEMs at home. Also CIEMs require regular cleaning and needs to be taken good care of!! The fact that they are customised makes them very hard to be resold to a second person. They will even cost u more money considering a possible remold in the future. I'm not trying to persuade u not to get them. But they are just not for everyone, don't get too excited like me when getting the first CIEM. There are quite a few high-end universals that are on par or even better soudning than most of the customs nowadays. And they retain a higher resell value!!! In my opinion, customs are designed particularly for singers on the stage to block out those massive ambient noise. As an ordinary person, u wouldn't be exposed to that amount of noise. The fitness the customs provide can be achieved by choosing the right ear tips for the universals... Again that's just my opinion, I'm not trying to prove that CIEMs are not worth getting. Some may argue that CIEMs provide a better sound stage or presentation and they are not wrong with that. I just don't feel it personally, I believe it is more about the signature of the headphone itself.
    If you are looking for a portable headphone for outside use, CIEMs is not for you. If you are looking for one for home use, there are many on ear or over the ear heAdphones that give you even better comfort and sound. Well, I just find the customs in an awkward position within the entire headphone industry. The fact that singers use them on TV doesn't make them superior or better. In fact, it is likely to be the trend that more and more universal IEMs will match up against CIEMs, we already had some examples like tg334 & 1plus2.
  15. lin0003
    Sounds like you should go for the 8.As. There are a few going on the FS forums for around $850. JH16 and the Merlins may also be a good choice. The rest are more flat and not very bass heavy. 
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