Need help IEM upgrade
Jun 29, 2015 at 6:41 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

Tail

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Physical requirements: 
cable over the ear design
16Ω or more impedance, not less
must be universal form, not custom
 
Physical bonuses: 
replaceable cable (2 pin connection appreciated) 
 
Sound requirements:
good deep low sub bass, good extension, that feel
highs mustn't be too harsh and sibilant
not too much mid bass veil 
 
Sound bonuses:
as similar as possible to IE8 / IE80 but with no veil
can be warmer rather than bright
larger the soundstage the better
 
 
Anything comes to mind (if such earphones even exist)?  Thanks!
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 5:41 AM Post #6 of 21

Tail

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Thanks for recommendations! Unfortunately JVC is out of question due to physical form but I "narrowed" down to these:
 
-Earsonics Velvet 
-Sony XBA-Z5 
-Sony ZBA-H3 
-Sony XBA-A3 
-Phonak Audeo PFE232
-Fischer Amps FA-4 E XB
-Aurisonics ASG-2.5
 
Still no idea what to do but I'm not so much in a hurry, IE80 still work fine even after 2 years of heavy use. Will be investigating a bit about those... 
If anyone else have some recommendation it would be very welcome! 
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 8:35 AM Post #7 of 21

ProtegeManiac

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  Sound requirements:
good deep low sub bass, good extension, that feel
----
not too much mid bass veil 

 
That's a tall order. For one thing, personal audio transducers don't really produce that much very low bass frequency response. Even if they still reach down to that range and are still reasonably loud, the upper bass likely has a boost. Setting it to a level where your eardrums can get tickled by the low bass would mean you're already at a setting where the rest of the frequencies are loud enough to give you hearing damage within seconds.
 
Plus, all that just to feel the bass tickling you eardrums? Because that's the best you can get out of IEMs, the same way that the best you can get out of bass headphones is that slight vibration on your noggin'. Speakers have that bass "feel" because they're pressurizing a lot of air and all that air hits your entire body where even standmounts with 6in mids can give you that kick to the chest playing AC/DC, as opposed to a comparatively miniscule amount of air directed into your ear canals.
 
Also...pressurized air into a sealed ear canal is really not a good idea. http://www.1964adel.com/
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 12:37 PM Post #8 of 21

Tail

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That's a tall order. For one thing, personal audio transducers don't really produce that much very low bass frequency response. 

By my description "good deep low sub bass, good extension, that feel" I didn't mean literally to feel my insides moving like when I stand next to sub woofer speaker cranked up, just wanted to describe what is important for me, lowest frequencies, good extension, not that higher bass punch (imagine you increase on equalizer 20 Hz by 2-3 dB, 50 Hz by 1 dB and decrease by 1-2 dB 100 Hz... for example).
Also in case you've heard Sennheiser IE8 / IE80 or Sony EX700 / EX1000... those have very good sub bass, it feels almost like listening to speakers or full size headphones (thanks to that sub bass next to some other things).
Of course I cannot get sub bass similar to speakers but I just had to describe somehow what I'm leaning towards when it comes to my sound preferences.
 
Thanks for the comment tho, if you have any idea which earphone would suit me the best based on my requirements (and "bonuses") it would be very much appreciated!
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 12:43 PM Post #9 of 21

eargasam

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I almost forgot to mention you might want to check out the shure se846s for great subbass. Only heard them for about 30 minutes didn't give it time to give it it's paces but sounded okay prefered the asg 2's and the 2.5s. The bass is a little more tame on the 2.5s than the 2's but the 2's still have great mid bass and probably the most mid bass that I have ever heard to date. Also if your budget can swing it check out the Roxannes as well
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 12:58 PM Post #10 of 21

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I almost forgot to mention you might want to check out the shure se846s for great subbass. Only heard them for about 30 minutes didn't give it time to give it it's paces but sounded okay prefered the asg 2's and the 2.5s. The bass is a little more tame on the 2.5s than the 2's but the 2's still have great mid bass and probably the most mid bass that I have ever heard to date. Also if your budget can swing it check out the Roxannes as well

Thanks!
 
Will check SE846 but even that may be out of the budget, let alone Roxanne... Also I don't like Roxanne much because they are huge and really stick out of the ears a lot and I've read that they aren't the lightest earphones either, and in my experience overall convenience and physical aspects of eaprhone (size, lightweight, comfrotability etc.) may be even more important than sound since it's the item I'll be using 2-4h every day for years (at least I hope they would last years, IE80 are 2 years now and still surviving).
 
About that mid bass part, I don't like too much of that mid bass, because even if properly tuned and even if mid and high drivers are "separated" with crossover it always affects rest of the frequencies a bit, that's the part I don't like with Sennheiser IE80, otherwise they'd be perfect and I wouldn't even search further. Mid bass affects mids a bit too much so music with deep vocals and bass guitar for example doesn't sound the best. Still wouldn't want to lose that sub bass if possible :)
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 11:00 PM Post #11 of 21

ProtegeManiac

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  By my description "good deep low sub bass, good extension, that feel" I didn't mean literally to feel my insides moving like when I stand next to sub woofer speaker cranked up, just wanted to describe what is important for me, lowest frequencies, good extension, not that higher bass punch (imagine you increase on equalizer 20 Hz by 2-3 dB, 50 Hz by 1 dB and decrease by 1-2 dB 100 Hz... for example).
Also in case you've heard Sennheiser IE8 / IE80 or Sony EX700 / EX1000... those have very good sub bass, it feels almost like listening to speakers or full size headphones (thanks to that sub bass next to some other things).
Of course I cannot get sub bass similar to speakers but I just had to describe somehow what I'm leaning towards when it comes to my sound preferences.
 
Thanks for the comment tho, if you have any idea which earphone would suit me the best based on my requirements (and "bonuses") it would be very much appreciated!

 
Just making it clear, too many people expect personal audio to sound like the Escalade with 24in rimmzz loaded with Audiobahn subwoofers that they heard at a stoplight or woke them up the night before.
 
Best bet would be to use an EQ, get an enhanced bass IEM like the IE80 or ASG-1.3, then trim the upper bass. I have a wideband -2dB cut centered at 150hz on my ASG-1.3, otherwise my SGS3 distorts. I use NeutronMusicPlayer's DSP to tune it (it's also available in iOS).
 
Jul 3, 2015 at 4:57 PM Post #12 of 21

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Just making it clear, too many people expect personal audio to sound like the Escalade with 24in rimmzz loaded with Audiobahn subwoofers that they heard at a stoplight or woke them up the night before.
 
Best bet would be to use an EQ, get an enhanced bass IEM like the IE80 or ASG-1.3, then trim the upper bass. I have a wideband -2dB cut centered at 150hz on my ASG-1.3, otherwise my SGS3 distorts. I use NeutronMusicPlayer's DSP to tune it (it's also available in iOS).

That's what I'm doing with my IE80 for now, but I was hoping for some upgrade... not even sure if there is such thing as an upgrade from those earphones since I like the sound signature of them and they are still pretty high end. Seems that nowadays earphones tend to be flat and as clear sounding as possible, while I'm searching for fat sub bass and somewhat large soundstage, fun sounding...
I will investigate those that were recommended such as Velvet, Z5, H3, A3, ASG-2.5 etc. maybe some would be an upgrade for me... 
 
If anyone else got some recommendation on this topic please let me know, I'm sure I'm not the only soul searching for such earphones (at least I hope so) ! 
 
Jul 7, 2015 at 7:01 PM Post #13 of 21

lisq199

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Based on your requirements, my first recommendation would be Shure SE846. It has the deepest, cleanest, and tightest bass I've ever heard with any IEM. I've found a number of reviews saying SE846 has too much bass, which I kind of disagree, because I'm by no means a bass head (my favorite IEM still to this day is Etymotic ER4P), and I think the amount of bass is just right. And SE846 definitely has less bass than IE8 (I haven't tried IE80 yet). The high-end is also very smooth and extensive, which is what you are looking for.
 
A cheaper alternative to SE846 is SE535LTD (The red ones, not the regular SE535). The sound signature is very similar to SE846, but with less and shallower bass. This kind of makes the mids very prominent, which is the opposite of IE8 (which I assume to be similar to IE80), and I don't know if you want that. There are other differences of course. For example, SE846 has a slightly bigger soundstage and clearer mids, but the biggest difference is definitely the bass.
 
Another recommendation is Westone W40. I recently got mine at Massdrop for $350. Honestly, I think W40 is only mediocre, because they sound very warm to me, and I don't like warm sound, but I do like their clarity. The bass doesn't reach quite as deep as SE846 does, but it's still pretty deep. I don't have much to say except they sound very "Westone". If you want a warmer sound, then I think you can check them out. Also, for the record, both SE846 and SE535LTD are a bit brighter than IE8.
 
Jul 8, 2015 at 7:46 AM Post #14 of 21

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  Based on your requirements, my first recommendation would be Shure SE846. 

 
I have heard "normal" SE535 recently.  If 535LTD and 846 are any similar to it I don't wanna have them honestly. I need something with a bit bigger soundstage and bass, particularly sub bass, that lowest extension, it doesn't need to be tight, just don't want much interference with mids like IE8 / 80 have. SE535 are not for me by any means, I'd rather use 100$ Vsonic GR07 than them, that's my taste at least. 
 
Not sure how 846 are in compairson but from what I've read they are somewhat similar, improved of course but similar, which doesn't fit me at all... Thanks for recommendation tho! I'll still try to hear 846 in person somehow, but I doubt I can. Anyways even if the sound was good, which by comparison with SE535 it may not be 1000$ is a bit hard to justify for me... even tho I love physical form of them, replaceable cable, great isolation, I've read they are comfortable... Still can't gamble at 1000$ 
 
Jul 8, 2015 at 12:44 PM Post #15 of 21

lisq199

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In that case, I think there are a few things I need to say:
 
1. IEMs generally don't have a lot of bass, because most of them use balanced armature drivers. IE8 has a lot of bass because it uses dynamic drivers, and you can never expect balanced armature drivers to produce that kind of bass. But if you want IEMs with relatively more bass, you need to look into the ones with at lease 3 drivers. And if you want deep sub bass, SE846 and W40 are the only 2 I’ve heard that can kind of deliver that.
 
2. The soundstage of IE8 is exceptional. Very few IEMs, even more expensive ones, can compete with that. So if you are looking for a larger soundstage, you are likely going to be disappointed.
 
3. I think you can check out some stuff from Westone. Their IEMS, at lease the ones I’ve tried (I’ve tried UM1, UM3X, 4R, W40), tend to emphasize their lows and mids. I don’t really like Westone because their sound is too warm for me (I like brighter sound), but I have to say their clarity is amazing.
 
4. Why don’t you want custom IEMs? For $550, you can get 1964 Ears Qi. I haven’t personally tried them, but based on some reviews, they seem to have very deep sub base and a decent soundstage.
 
5. (This is kind of unrelated to your question) Have you tried Etymotic ER4P? You can get them brand new for under $300, and they are my favourite IEMs.
 

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