[Poor Man Reviews] Audio Technica ATH-IM02
Sep 25, 2014 at 7:12 PM Post #16 of 87

thatonenoob

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You will be surprised at his response.

I owned the cks77s. The im02 and cks77s are vastly different. It has less bass quantity, but nearly unparallaled quality in comparison.

Mids are thinner and less lush, but are still slightly warm.

Highs are similar with the im02s being smoother but latently sibilant.

This response is to help you digest the further commemts you will read from thatonenoob.

I think Vlenbo's got this one nailed solidly.  It's really down to Dynamic vs BA driver.  
 
Sep 27, 2014 at 5:09 PM Post #17 of 87

mephiska

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Just got the IM02's today.  So far I'm very impressed with them.
 
I mainly got them because, while I love my CK10's, I'm getting a little tired of needing an amp to get their full potential out of my iPhone.  Even something as basic as a FiiO E6 can be annoying to deal with at times.  
 
The IM02's definitely share the clarity of the CK10's, but they're not quite as sibilant as the CK10's can be unamped.  I eventually got used to and appreciated the clear highs of the CK10's but miss the lower registered when I just plug them directly into the iPhone 5.  It was a little better with the iPhone 6 but still.
 
So far I've just listened to the IM02's without an amp, directly in my iPhone 6.  I must say I'm really enjoying these.  I'm not a huge basshead but I do enjoy my occasional Drum & Bass.  I queued up the recent Hospital Records Podcast #239 (3 hours of "new blood tracks" with lots of clear, deep bass.  Quickly becoming my new go-to track for testing headphones).  They're fantastic.  Without an amp they're nearly as good with the bass as my CK10's paired with the E6.   
 
I'm now listening through my other go-to test, Radiohead's OK Computer album and I'm very pleased.  They're perhaps still a little on the sibilant side for some people but since I grew to enjoy that with the CK10's I'm finding these quite enjoyable.  I did have to turn the volume down a little bit with the song Electioneering because of the strong cymbals, but still enjoyable.
 
I haven't seen anyone able to test the iPhone 6 for what the output impedance is, but if it's close to the iPhone 5S at around 3 then these should be a pretty nice pairing.
 
Build quality is typical mid-high end Audio Technica.  I've had my CK10's for four years now and they're built like a tank.  Never had an issue with them and the cable is still as soft & pliable as the day I took them out of their package.  The earbuds on the IM02's are well constructed, and the cable, while not quite as nice and soft as the CK10's are still leagues above many other brands I've tried.  But to me, at least, the cable is a moot point because of the detachable cable.  I don't feel like I have to baby these as much as I do my CK10's because i know if the cable goes bad I can replace it.  Hopefully it proves as durable as the cabling on my CK10 though, but we'll see.  My SE315's on the other hand have already had one cable replacement, and that cable is too long and slightly more stiff.
 
I'll give them a go with the E6 and E17 a little later to really do an apples to apples comparison with my CK10's.  I'll also compare them with my Shure SE315's, though my initial impression is that my SE315's will quickly start collecting dust with the new IM02's in the house.
 
Sep 27, 2014 at 8:23 PM Post #18 of 87

thatonenoob

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  Just got the IM02's today.  So far I'm very impressed with them.
 
I mainly got them because, while I love my CK10's, I'm getting a little tired of needing an amp to get their full potential out of my iPhone.  Even something as basic as a FiiO E6 can be annoying to deal with at times.  
 
The IM02's definitely share the clarity of the CK10's, but they're not quite as sibilant as the CK10's can be unamped.  I eventually got used to and appreciated the clear highs of the CK10's but miss the lower registered when I just plug them directly into the iPhone 5.  It was a little better with the iPhone 6 but still.
 
So far I've just listened to the IM02's without an amp, directly in my iPhone 6.  I must say I'm really enjoying these.  I'm not a huge basshead but I do enjoy my occasional Drum & Bass.  I queued up the recent Hospital Records Podcast #239 (3 hours of "new blood tracks" with lots of clear, deep bass.  Quickly becoming my new go-to track for testing headphones).  They're fantastic.  Without an amp they're nearly as good with the bass as my CK10's paired with the E6.   
 
I'm now listening through my other go-to test, Radiohead's OK Computer album and I'm very pleased.  They're perhaps still a little on the sibilant side for some people but since I grew to enjoy that with the CK10's I'm finding these quite enjoyable.  I did have to turn the volume down a little bit with the song Electioneering because of the strong cymbals, but still enjoyable.
 
I haven't seen anyone able to test the iPhone 6 for what the output impedance is, but if it's close to the iPhone 5S at around 3 then these should be a pretty nice pairing.
 
Build quality is typical mid-high end Audio Technica.  I've had my CK10's for four years now and they're built like a tank.  Never had an issue with them and the cable is still as soft & pliable as the day I took them out of their package.  The earbuds on the IM02's are well constructed, and the cable, while not quite as nice and soft as the CK10's are still leagues above many other brands I've tried.  But to me, at least, the cable is a moot point because of the detachable cable.  I don't feel like I have to baby these as much as I do my CK10's because i know if the cable goes bad I can replace it.  Hopefully it proves as durable as the cabling on my CK10 though, but we'll see.  My SE315's on the other hand have already had one cable replacement, and that cable is too long and slightly more stiff.
 
I'll give them a go with the E6 and E17 a little later to really do an apples to apples comparison with my CK10's.  I'll also compare them with my Shure SE315's, though my initial impression is that my SE315's will quickly start collecting dust with the new IM02's in the house.

Glad to see that you are liking these.  I usually don't run them with an amp as well...because lazy.  The cable is not great, but I guess that's why we can buy their premium replacement cable.  Shure SE315 didn't touch the IM02 in terms of sound quality, but I look forward to hearing more from you!
 
Sep 28, 2014 at 8:38 PM Post #19 of 87

Audiophile1811

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Wow! What an excellent first review, great job! 
biggrin.gif

 
Oct 6, 2014 at 3:57 AM Post #23 of 87

thatonenoob

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  Nice and very informative review 
bigsmile_face.gif
, Love the pictures. How do you think this compares to the Shure SE 425 as they are both Dual Driver BA IEM?

Thanks!  The Shure SE425 occupies the 299-300+ range on Amazon right now, while the Audio Technica is in the 180-220+ range.  Original MSRP for the 425s is 350 dollars, while ATH-IM02 is 300 dollars. Even the guy at the headphone store isn't quite sure why/how the ATH-IM02 came to be one of the cheapest dual BAs out there!  What I am trying to say is that they are priced in different segments.  
 
Even so, I shall make a comparison.  From all indications, the Shure SE425  is a warmer (aka slightly bassier) IEM.  This is something that is present in all Shures before the 535.   Now, if you're into that kind of sound, great!  If not, I would highly advise that you try the Shures out first.  On the other hand, the ATH-IM02 is a straightforward clearer and brighter pair of IEMs. I like the kick of the IM02s sound, and the fact that it wasn't "forgiving".  It's like a nice midpoint between comfortable listening and Etymotics analytical listening.
 
Hope this helps!
 
PS: Guy at headphone store says Shures only start sounding good past the SE535.  He may be right!
tongue.gif
 
 
Oct 14, 2014 at 9:45 AM Post #29 of 87

JK1

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I'm not impressed. While it may sound good, I would like to see dual BA
IEMs priced under $100, and to eventually see ones priced under $50.
For now the only BA IEM I have is the Sony XBA-1 that I bought for $25.
The Sony XBA-H3 seems intriguing, however I would never pay $300+ for it.
If something like the XBA-H3(but not like the XBA-H1) gets under $100 I might buy it.
 
Oct 14, 2014 at 9:52 AM Post #30 of 87

thatonenoob

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  I'm not impressed. While it may sound good, I would like to see dual BA
IEMs priced under $100, and to eventually see ones priced under $50.
For now the only BA IEM I have is the Sony XBA-1 that I bought for $25.
The Sony XBA-H3 seems intriguing, however I would never pay $300+ for it.
If something like the XBA-H3(but not like the XBA-H1) gets under $100 I might buy it.

I'm not sure you'll be seeing the BA IEMs dip under 100 anytime soon.  The ATH-IM02 already sits at the low end of the dual BA crowd. I think part of the price is due to how manufacturers of BA parts choose to offer these parts to the earphone companies.  Perhaps part of that price is due to the inherent physical cost of producing the BA itself.  
 
Maybe with better technology though...who knows?
 

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