Not happy with my E4C's
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markopolo

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Just received these today from Earphone Solutions (great customer service btw). I've had the chance to listen to them for several hours now, and I have to say that I'm a little disappointed at the serious lack of bass with my 4G iPod. I upgraded from EX71's, which I realize have rather boomy, overextended bass... but still. I know, I know, I was warned by several people about this -- and I had seriously considered the Super.fi 5 Pros for this reason, but ended up going with the better deal. And yes, I've tried all the various supplied tips, including the foamies, and have made sure I have a proper seal.

In all other ways, these things sound phenomenal: sparkling highs, beautiful midrange, great instrument separation. They just lack that "fullness" of sound that a nice fat low-end provides. Am I being unrealistic? Even my friend's E2C's have significantly better bass response, which leaves me scratching my head wondering why. I'd love to see a frequency response curve for these.

My question is: how much could I improve the sound of these things using a headphone amp through the line out on the iPod? Anyone have any real world experience they can share? Is the bass significantly better? Can anyone recommend a good ultra compact cmoy amp that doesn't cost a fortune? I'd really like to make these things work, but I don't know if I can be happy with them the way they are.
 
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vranswer

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Have you tried mp3Gain to give full use of iPod's EQ? E4Cs really dig deep and powerful using Bass Boost or R&B presets, just have to drop gain down to 89db. No headphone amp required.
 
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ZackT

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Quote:

Originally Posted by markopolo
Just received these today from Earphone Solutions (great customer service btw). I've had the chance to listen to them for several hours now, and I have to say that I'm a little disappointed at the serious lack of bass with my 4G iPod. I upgraded from EX71's, which I realize have rather boomy, overextended bass... but still. I know, I know, I was warned by several people about this -- and I had seriously considered the Super.fi 5 Pros for this reason, but ended up going with the better deal. And yes, I've tried all the various supplied tips, including the foamies, and have made sure I have a proper seal.

In all other ways, these things sound phenomenal: sparkling highs, beautiful midrange, great instrument separation. They just lack that "fullness" of sound that a nice fat low-end provides. Am I being unrealistic? Even my friend's E2C's have significantly better bass response, which leaves me scratching my head wondering why. I'd love to see a frequency response curve for these.

My question is: how much could I improve the sound of these things using a headphone amp through the line out on the iPod? Anyone have any real world experience they can share? Is the bass significantly better? Can anyone recommend a good ultra compact cmoy amp that doesn't cost a fortune? I'd really like to make these things work, but I don't know if I can be happy with them the way they are.



I felt the same way as you when I first got the E4c's, Especially as everyone was saying the SuperFiPros were so much richer sounding and more musical with deeper bass. So when I got my E4c's I connected my iPod up to my Supermacro Amp and turned the bass boost button on. I then MP3 (actually AAC) gained all my music so as to use the bass boost setting on the iPods equaliser properly and you know what....

I don't like it. I've come around. The E4c's have just the right amount of bass. You can try work-arounds to increase the bass these things put out but it just sounds kinda wrong (anyone else can help me here?) I came full circle. From a Koss Plug pleb to someone who wants the clean deep bass that the E4c produces (no more, no less).

Give it time, try the yellow sponge pads, insert well to get a great seal and your ears will get used to the sweet sound.

I don't want the SuperFi's now (hope they cancel my order I've been waiting over a month).

ZT
 
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The iPod is at fault here, not the E4's.

If you really crave teh Bass, then the UE Super.Fi 5 Pro's are calling you.

But you will give up a significant amount of detail and clarity.

The Super.Fi's have a very large sound/head stage though.

Oh, and did I mention that they have a LOT of bass?


-Ed
 
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markopolo

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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to give them some more time and fiddle with the limited EQ settings on the iPod. (Guess listening to flat, neutral bass takes some getting used to!) I've definitely found the further I stick 'em in the better. I am quite impressed with the clarity and detail, as you said. Thanks again!
 
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It took a minute to acclimate myself with the crystal clear sound etys provide. As you did, I came from the Sony EX series. You just need to be weaned off the bloated bass you’re used to.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by markopolo
(Guess listening to flat, neutral bass takes some getting used to!)


Just chiming in my two-cents again that straight out of the iPod, the Shure E4c are moderately bass deficient, leading to a treble emphasized, thin sound. I wouldn't call this flat, neutral bass by any stretch of the imagination.

Good luck - your experience matches mine. They certainly are fantastic phones otherwise.

Best regards,

-Jason
 
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Mate, seriously give it a week. I was gutted this time last week when these puny E4c's replaced my Px200's, it seemed like listening to a transistor radion in the bathroom. However, I'm a week into listening to them and all has changed for me. In part this is down to me getting used to the new sound signature and leaning to accept a different sound, but the real clincher is giving the foamies a second chance. Once I worked out that they need to go in deep deep to the point where they are nearly touching your brain the bass came alive. I'm now enjoying Massive Attack & William Orbit sub bass along with beautiful depth of sound. I'm going to stick with them.

Only problem is the foamies lose their recovery shape after a week and will be expensive as a consumable.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by markopolo
Just received these today from Earphone Solutions (great customer service btw). I've had the chance to listen to them for several hours now, and I have to say that I'm a little disappointed at the serious lack of bass with my 4G iPod.


Why not give the UM-2 a try? I'm sure earphonesolutions will switch with you.
 
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Hope this ain't too off topic, but do anyone of you own both a pair of IEM's and haedphones? Don't you think that IEM's offer alot more detail on the average when compared to headphones?
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by razer
Hope this ain't too off topic, but do anyone of you own both a pair of IEM's and haedphones? Don't you think that IEM's offer alot more detail on the average when compared to headphones?


I have E4c (E3c before) and full-size cans - AKG K-501 and Grado SR-225 (and couple of Senns before). I really like E4c, especially out of portbale amp, for what they are - portable, highly efficient replacements for usual mass consumer buds/phones that provide superior isolation and sound. But putting aside isolation and portablity, on pure sonic matters for me they can't touch high-end cans like K-501. Though E4c in general have similar to AKG and prefered by me sound signature (balanced, clean, detailed, tight bass) what's mostly missing are soundstage and musical "air". In comparison E4c sound congested and a bit flat without this wonderfull 3D space presented by good full-size cans. IEM sound feels like it's confined to some small spot inside your head while with AKG/Grados/Senns sound envelopes your head comming from the outside.

When I tried Ety ER4p they had even smaller than Shures "piercing" soundstage. It could be possible that double driver IEMs like E5c, super.fi pro 5, UM2, etc. do better in this regard but still there're physical diffs between sound delivered right into your ear canals by tiny armature drivers and the one that emanates from huge over-ear dynamic drivers surrunded by carefully designed ear-cups.

Above it's not to bash IEMs but just to point that based on my limited experience I can't see them as legitimate replacements for full-size headphones in home setup.

Detail wise I think that K-501 and upper Grados in general have more texture and resolution, part of which can be attributed to better instrument sepration and wider soundstage, but E4c, not speaking of Etys, would definetly smoke in mid/upper (but not bass) region detail any sub $100 full-size can.
 
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Quote:

Hope this ain't too off topic, but do anyone of you own both a pair of IEM's and haedphones? Don't you think that IEM's offer alot more detail on the average when compared to headphones?


no... My 650's just ask...."Is that all you got little one?"

markopolo - The E4c's were my first and are my only IEM. I have never used an ipod and not at all trying to bash but I've heard some negative things about them as far as SQ and especially bass. I have an iriver H10 and my E4C's straight out had bass that was beyond understanding for their size.

Try using them through a better source and see if it changes anything for you.
As far as amps go the SM3 seems to be the best friend of the IEM. The bass boost is very specific to the low end and does not muddy the low end of the mids or highs. It has the impedance switch which is great and the bass increase with this amp on the E4c's really slams IMO.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by razer
Hope this ain't too off topic, but do anyone of you own both a pair of IEM's and haedphones? Don't you think that IEM's offer alot more detail on the average when compared to headphones?


As well as listening to stuff through my Grado SR60's I also used them for monitoring and mastering when recording. They sound fine, but the E2c's sound just as good. More accurate, but maybe not as much fun.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by vranswer
Have you tried mp3Gain to give full use of iPod's EQ? E4Cs really dig deep and powerful using Bass Boost or R&B presets, just have to drop gain down to 89db. No headphone amp required.



No doubt about it, the ipod is a little low on bass, but I am a proud owner of the E4c's, and after I used MP3gain to normalize my tunes, I took advantage of the EQ settings. Slowly work your way up on the bass, don't jump to the R&B or Hip Hop setting right away, use the rock or electronic settings first. I am stuck on the rock setting as it gives me a nice medium for my type of music.
 
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Quote:

Only problem is the foamies lose their recovery shape after a week and will be expensive as a consumable


just wash them for a few minutes in warm water with a mild soap, let them dry and they'll be as good as new; I got a set of foames I use for ~3 months now, 2hrs a day, wash them every week or so and they still are as good as new.
 
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