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Great synergy with the Radsone ES100 + HE100. So far so good.
Disclaimer: I got this product for free from Radsone and while I'm not required to write a review, I want to help those who are interested make a better purchase decision.
I'm no reviewer so my first impression will be short and sweet. My cheapest IEM is the Final E2000 and most expensive is the Noble Khan.
-Neutral done right!
-Surprisingly wide and airy soundstage for a low-cost IEM; one of the best I've heard, regardless of price.
-Excellent clarity and imaging; that new driver is doing what it should
-Vocal is slightly ahead of instruments
-Punchy bass presence
-Great lightweight build and comfortable fit for a cable-down IEM
-Good match with ES100, prefer the "short delay slow roll-off" filter to give it more body
-Connect to iFi Pro iCan amp and more details, sub-bass and soundstage could be heard; scale with more powerful equipment
-Smooth fabric-like cable material that is tangle-free
-Can be unforgiving and sound thin/harsh in poorly recorded songs
-Some microphonic with the stock cable
-Could come with a 2.5mm balanced or short cable option for the perfect pairing with Earstudio ES100
tl;dr I'm so impressed that I will be using the HE100 as my new daily driver with the ES100. That's probably the highest compliment one can give.
I received mine as well. Here's a couple of photos (just a snap with a smartphone) and some random initial impressions. A proper review will require much more time, so I hope to get it out next week.
Quite standard, nothing premium but not cheap, either. In the package, there are:
* The earphones
* Three sets of silicone tips (S, M, L). According to the card found in the box, there should be one more pair of foam tips. It was not there.
* Shirt clip
* A small cloth pouch, roughly 8x8 cm
Mostly based on listening to Mahler's first symphony: https://www.deezer.com/album/103082232
The sound is slightly tip-dependent. I get a good fit and seal using the M sized tips, but I prefer to use my custom tips anyway (from Custom Art). With the stock tips, the height extension is lacking a bit. With the custom tips, it's okay. With custom tips, the earphones sit farther from the eardrum; the difference could be 1cm perhaps. Fit is personal anyway, so I'm not going to spend more time on it.
My first feeling about the sound is that it's pleasantly effortless. Whatever I throw at it, it sounds like it's no big deal. There's excellent clarity in low volumes. I have Mahler's first symphony playing right now, and it starts with a quiet passage when different instruments sort of "whisper" to each other. Particularly the brasses are supposed to sound like we hear them from a distance and I get precisely this feeling.
The sound is very coherent. The coherence can probably be mainly attributed to the single dynamic driver, but also the relatively linear frequency response. Speaking of which, let's review the tonality.
* Extended to the limit of my hearing with the custom tips, slightly rolled off with the stock tips.
* Good detail retrieval. More details than, for example, in Etymotic HF5 (single BA for $130).
* Even with the stock tips, the extension is much better than with Massdrop Noble X (dual-BA for $250).
* I can't hear any significant spikes.
* The heights are not emphasized.
* The mids/highs transition is perfectly linear.
* I think the mids are the dominant frequency.
* Decent details.
* It could be the recording I'm listening to at the moment, but the upper mids have the most emphasis (violins, oboe, flute).
* For me, the bass is the weakest part of the frequency response.
* Well extended. Better than, for example, Massdrop Noble X (dual-BA for $250). Double basses are well audible.
* Sounds natural and effortless, but I could definitely use more quantity. Tympani in an orchestra, for example, lack the impact we're used to from listening to live music. Ditto violoncellos.
* Increasing volume to get better bass response renders the upper mids or lower highs a bit piercing.
* Sub-bass sounds better than mid-bass.
* Even with the (IMO) subdued bass, it's still much, much better than Etymotic HF5 (single BA for $130).
* Mid bass or upper bass is probably better on the Noble X, thanks to the quantity. It sounds more natural on HE100, though.
* To be fair, when listening to Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing, I find the bass quantity adequate.
* Pretty good. My primary earphones are IMR R1 (roughly $700) which is whole different league, but the HE100's soundstage is good.
* Much better than the Etymotic HF5 or Noble X.
* Pretty good. Again, no comparison to the IMR R1, but much better than the Etymotics, for example.
* When listening to the Mahler, I have no problem in separating various instruments.
The cable is very thin, and the lower part is wrapped in cloth (see the pictures). It has a bit of memory effect but fortunately only a bit Unfortunately, there's quite a lot of microphonics. Wearing the cable over-ears mostly fixes that, but then we can't use the mike as it's right below the right ear. I've used significantly better cables (e.g., the Noble cable that came with the Noble X) and significantly worse cables (e.g., the abomination that comes with IMR R1). At this price point, I'd judge the HE100 cable as above average.
Let's see what happens after some burn-in.
Received mine today (many thanks Radsone) I find them very well built. Once I put one of my favourite tips on I plugged them into my Fostex HPA4BL desktop dac/amp and was actually surprised how good they sound. Vocals sound excellent. Highs are clear and presented cleanly. Bass is present and not overpowering. I find them very even sounded.
Hey Hey, got a PM stating they're on there way. I've never owned an IEM so I'm pretty stoked to hear these. Should be interesting for me for a first timer. I'll leave initial impressions after a bit of ear time.
Thankyou again Radsone, mine turned up 5 mins ago will leave impressions when I get a chance to listen to them.
Edit. These remind me of CA Comet, but with bass boosted. Nice!!!
Only downside for me is fixed cable is a bit microphonic. Have to say these will be my daily beaters for use with my phone otg (when I’m not using ES100).
get a good seal and the bass comes alive, they sound similar to my Fiio F5's with a bit more sparkle
Mine is on the way, should be here by Friday.
The ES100 headed my way shows an arrival date of tuesday. Looks like mine took the slow boat. Oh well, having fun seeing the pics of them but trying to avoid the review posts so as not to expect anything when they do arrive.
Did you mean 1mm? 1cm would put it outside the ear
You and me are in (or on) the same boat. I can't wait!
Yes, that's exactly what happens with custom ear tips. The tip itself, which is maybe 2 cm long, "ends" some 1-2 mm outside of the ear canal. Only the nozzle of the IEM is "inside" the tip, so the tip of the nozzle is maybe 2 mm in the ear canal. As a result, the rest of the IEM is indeed outside of the ear, not touching anything. Sounds weird but that's the way it is. In fact, if the nozzle was significantly thinner than the "hole" in the tip, the IEM would just fall down.
Very interesting. I'm familiar with custom vs universal IEMs, but didn't know about custom eartips.
Received mine yesterday. I’m obviously not going to get in depth here and leave this very generic, but?.... WTH??? Never listening to an IEM before, these just blew me out of the water. Never expected these to sound this good. It’s “more” then a pleasant surprise.
At this point only after roughly 2 hours of ear time, I’m happy to say I’m a big believer in IEM’s now. The bass actually is a lot stronger with quantity and quality then what I was expecting. The mids are placed perfectly and “seem” to be the shining star at this point. No sibilance with well extended highs. Soundstage is surprisingly nice too with good detail. But?... I have a big issue.
They just don’t want to stay in my ears. I used the stock tips and both other options and within a minute, they just start coming out of my ears. Very frustrating. The seal is completely broke and the sound gets exponentially worse as to be expected. This is a big problem for me.
I haven’t tried them yet with the es100 and I’m using them with the dragonfly red through my iPhone 7+. I’ll finally use the es100 tomorrow when I have some more time. So far (minus the tip issue) I’m teally loving these. If this is what a $100 IEM sounds like, this could get scary. But on the other hand, If these sound this good, I’ll probably be plenty happy with these and the es100.
Thanks again Radsone as I believe you hit a grand slam. I’ll leave impressions after I get these burned in with plenty of ear time.
IF you are new to IEM's as you say... Some ideas to try to get better fit and prevent them slipping out: (Not all may apply/work for you. )
1) You may not be pushing the IEM's into your ears deep enough.
2) Ear Wax can make silicone tips slip out. Clean ears (Carefully) with a "q-tip"/cotton swab. These normally have cotton on both ends. May help to moisten one side of the cotton swab with 3% H202 (Hydrogen peroxide). Clean with that tip, the turn around and use the dry side tip to clean.dry. Use new q-tip for second ear. 3% Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down ear wax. Do not use higher strength.
3) Try foam tips. Not sure if any came with your HE100. Foam are softer, seal better, but can decrease trebble for some. Better seal means better bass. Another Negative is that foam tips do not last as long, abd cost more than silicone ones.
4) Try next size UP in tip size (outside diameter). Better seal will give better bass, and stay in ear better. (When I first started using iems, i used medium, and love the clarity... but not gtreat bass. Took me over a year to realize that large tips were available. At THAT time, iems came with only the tips on the iem itself. With large tips, I got the Bass, and they stayed in ear better.)
5) Run cable from behind your ears, and then over your ears. IEM's cable connector will point at something like a 45 Degree Angle from being straight up. This will seem awkward at first, but helps: hold iems in the ear better and reduces noise from cable movement, This is my preferred wearing style for all IEMs.