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I am quite jealous of your job and what you do... My high school guidance counselor screwed me!!
I have jumped onto the Massdrop K10 wagon, but wanted to get some input before the drop ends to ensure I am making a good choice.
I have been using Shure SE846 for about 2 years, and mostly have loved them. But I found they weren't bright enough for my liking. I took the blue (neutral) filter and removed the sound dampening foam from the tube to increase the highs without sacrificing as much bass as the white filter (this is what the people on the forum seem to think, anyway). From there, I still found I enjoyed ticking the subwoofer bass levels up a few dB, and the highs up a few dB as well. I love this combo overall, but since switching to iOS and using Google Play Music, I no longer have access to an EQ when listening on my iPhone, so I've had to deal with a flat EQ and my filter mod. Not terrible, but not as enjoyable as I'd like it to be.
I have Sennheiser's HD 800 S on my desk at home. I love everything about them, despite having less subwoofer-like impactful bass compared to my SE846. The detail/clarity, especially in the highs, makes up for it. And I actually EQ these cans up by about 1.5 dB on the low-end and high end, tapering down as it hits the mids, if that tells you anything about my tastes.
I mostly listen to EDM and Trance music, and prefer a V shaped sound signature, with bass that can at least sound similar to a subwoofer (the SE846 accomplishes this, IMO). Would the Noble K10 suit my tastes without any EQ action?
I haven't heard the SE846 but I have demoed the HD800S and own a pair of K10 CIEMS.
I feel perhaps if you want something like the HD800S the K10 aren't for you as they have much more laid back treble and more boosted/impactful bass. I think the Katana would be more what you are looking for but unfortunately they aren't on Massdrop for a huge discount.
Don't get me wrong the clarity of the K10s is very good and I don't feel they miss detail it's just the treble is much lower in the mix compared to the HD800S.
29 reviews, someone may have offered a direct comparison
2 more questions:
1. any remarks on the durability of the K10 in terms of sweat resistance? I go to the gym 4-5 days a week, and my SE846 have held up wonderfully, other than the cable being dirty and showing what I assume is the copper inside the wire turning green.
2. does the Noble Lightning cable provide adequate sound quality & power? Since my IEMs are used mainly on-the-go, I do most of my listening from my phone, and greatly value portability without having to lug around a DAC/amp, especially in the gym.
And thank you for the insight. I did check all the reviews for a few keywords to hasten my search for that specific information and came away with a pretty good feeling. I don't think there's any way I'd be disappointed with the K10 - it's just a matter of personal taste at this level. I think my best bet is to at least try the K10, and if it doesn't suit me, I could easily re-sell since it's a universal. I actually find I spend more hours listening to music on my IEMs than my HD 800 S (since they sit at home, and mainly get put to use when PC gaming), so I think it's time I tried to upgrade beyond the SE846 if something better is out there.
se846 is a mediocre , overpriced iem - so ofc K10 is a better (c)iem , it used to cost like 1500$
but if you want something like hd800s , K10 probably does not sound like hd800s
still for 900$ , K10 seems a great bargain but again the big question is what kind of sound you are after
but for 900$ , K10 seems like a very good buy - but it does not sound like hd800s
good luck finding what you want , this place is a wallet-bleeder
the K10 at 900$ is a great buy.
The rarely seen Noblemobile!
Just a note: You're wrong about your 846 holding up wonderfully to sweat. You see, the acoustic filters are susceptible to moisture and the sound will change over time, although you likely won't realize what you've lost. It happened to Jude with his Westone ES5. He said the ES50 sounded better--turns out the two models had the exact same sound (same internals) when new...his year old ES5s had deteriorated. Pro musicians on tour will have their ciems' filters replaced on a yearly basis.
Keep using the 846 at the gym, since you've already damaged the filters.
Use the K10 and any (repeat: ANY from any and all brands) higher end iem with care and store it with some silica gel dessicant packs.
Interesting. So what exactly on the filter is damaged? I removed the dark colored foam from the blue filter I've used for a long, long time. As far as I can tell, the only thing left in/on it, is a small white, almost cloth-like filter, which I assume was solely for wax. And even if the filter is "damaged," they're pretty cheaply replaced.
Is this really a concern on IEMs that don't have swappable filters like the SE846? What about on DD IEMs? I do store them with silica packs and I don't sweat like a hog (mostly weightlifting), but I do work up a good sweat now and then. My ears never feel particularly sweaty though. What about people who live in warm climates, or want to use their IEMs outside on a warm day? This seems like an absurd limitation if it's true.
I doubt the filter used for tuning are the only acoustic filters, but without those tuning filters, the 846 has a spike at 6-7khz, so what's damaged may be your hearing...
DD iems often have acoustic filters l, too, with one stage-ciem exception who tune without filters precisely to avoid vulnerability to humidity.
And yes, it's an issue, which is why nobody in their right mind would recommend that you work out with expensive iems. So, don't. High-end iems are made for great sound, not to be abused. You wouldn't complain that you'd damaged your Ferrari taking it off-road.
Even at $900 they are not a bargain if they are the wrong sound sig for you. It's my hunch that the Katana would suit you better if you want to get close to the 800's.
I think generally for the Shure series of IEMs (215 - 846) using a SpinFit tip will give an improvement. The bore of the SpinFIt CP800 which will fit on the Shure small sound tube is wider open at the top of the tip which opened up the sound a lot on my 215.