Precog's IEM Reviews & Impressions
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IEMusic

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I see negative impressions as not meant to hurt other's feelings, but rather to inform. Personally I'm tired of headfi hype threads parroting the same generically positive impressions over and over. I've followed a few of those threads over the years for products I was unable to demo, ended buying and being thoroughly disappointed. So I actually do appreciate the opposing view, as even at summit-fi, having tried many of those pieces myself, they all still do have weaknesses, just way fewer of them, but at the end of the day I would still like to know those weaknesses if I was a potential buyer so I'd be better able to avoid the weaknesses that are deal breakers for me. Just my two cents.
I fully agree, and that’s kind of my point. People forcing themselves to find the positives, and focus on them, perhaps exaggerating them in order to spare other people’s feelings and justify the exorbitant costs of the items. This perpetuates the overpriced gear.

“still do have weaknesses, just way fewer of them”. All items have weaknesses, but I submit that many summit-fi products have flaws that are much more egregious, because they’re amplified by the cost of the item.
 
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No kidding, just after I'd finished typing up my last post, my Walkman shuffled to this song:


😂😂😂
 
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IEMusic

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Man, that's a really tough question, and all the more so as a reviewer. Really deep in fact, especially about perpetuating a cycle and whatnot. I do feel obligated to call out stuff like this when it's bad to this extent (at least to my ears) as a PSA of sorts. However, I know there are some reviewers that'll simply not write reviews for stuff they dislike. I think that's fair, and honestly, it's the same for me with stuff that's mediocre - not bad enough for me to clown on, but also not good enough for me to really praise.

As for hurt feelings, I totally get that. I’d feel irked if someone knocked something I like too - that’s human nature. But at the end of the day, it stands you’re never going to make everyone happy. I think the only thing I can do is write true to what I hear. I may embellish, crack crude jokes at times, but I hope that the overall cadence of my reviews serve to make clear where I stand on a product.

I know I didn’t completely answer your question, but I also don’t think there’s a concrete answer to it either!
Excellent response! It really can be a dilemma, and much more as a reviewer I imagine. There is no concrete answer. I just think price/cost amplifies everything. Keep up the good work!

BTW, I’m always wary of a universally praised and never criticized item.
 
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aaf evo

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Excellent response! It really can be a dilemma, and much more as a reviewer I imagine. There is no concrete answer. I just think price/cost amplifies everything. Keep up the good work!

BTW, I’m always wary of a universally praised and never criticized item.
Which IEM is that for you? For me it was the U12t, I just found it so boring but I still easily could see why it’s loved as much as it is.

The Z1R on the other hand? My god that’s a good IEM 😎
 
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Which IEM is that for you? For me it was the U12t, I just found it so boring but I still easily could see why it’s loved as much as it is.

The Z1R on the other hand? My god that’s a good IEM 😎
For me it was the JH Audio JH13v2 UIEM (thank goodness). Unfortunately, I mostly had read the sponsored drivel out there at the time. That was early on in this hobby for me, and before I really explored Head-fi.
 
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Damz87

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perhaps the reviewer has different tastes/music genres than you, so it might be good to follow some headfiers/reviewers who you know share the same preferences.
This is such an important point. Knowing a reviewers music and listening preferences is key to interpreting their impressions.

For example in @Precogvision ‘s earlier review of the Erlkonig, he mentioned that in Taeyeon’s song “Fine” that she sounds emotionally dead, which I thought was crazy considering how emotionally engaging I find the Erlkonig’s midrange. So I had a listen to the song on both the Erlkonig and EE Odin to compare, and found that it did in fact sound more engaging on the Odin to me too, which is strange because for the majority of my music library, the Erlkonig is the far more engaging IEM for vocals.

So to reiterate @baskingshark’s point - people should not treat one reviewers opinion on an IEM as gospel, and try to read as many reviews/impressions as they can, ideally from people that have a similar music taste and/or sound preferences to your own. There is no single IEM that sounds great with every music genre, to all listeners (unfortunately).
 
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Which IEM is that for you? For me it was the U12t, I just found it so boring but I still easily could see why it’s loved as much as it is.

The Z1R on the other hand? My god that’s a good IEM 😎
For me it's the Andromeda. I've now tried two versions (the OG that won all the hype and the S), and both sounded too limp and light for my liking, so much so that I've often said I prefer the far less technical but better sounding BLON BL-03 to either. Still, I get why people like them, they're very clear and detailed and clean, good value for sure, but just not worth the almost adorning praise they keep getting. That said I haven't heard the 2020 version, but it would have to be a significant improvement over the OG, especially in the low end, to move the needle on my interest meter.

@Precogvision as a fellow Nio owner, I don't recall your thoughts on Nio with MX, but based on Crin's review I've started listening with MX and can't say I'm not impressed. As a certified bass lover (don't think I'm an out-and-out basshead as I dislike bleed immensely) I didn't even think to try the MX given its bass neutering function but to me the bass is still very much there and I daresay still 'better' to me compared to BA bass (including the U12t). Just thought I'd mention it here and pose the question.
 
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KuroKitsu

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This is such an important point. Knowing a reviewers music and listening preferences is key to interpreting their impressions.

For example in @Precogvision ‘s earlier review of the Erlkonig, he mentioned that in Taeyeon’s song “Fine” that she sounds emotionally dead, which I thought was crazy considering how emotionally engaging I find the Erlkonig’s midrange. So I had a listen to the song on both the Erlkonig and EE Odin to compare, and found that it did in fact sound more engaging on the Odin to me too, which is strange because for the majority of my music library, the Erlkonig is the far more engaging IEM for vocals.

So to reiterate @baskingshark’s point - people should not treat one reviewers opinion on an IEM as gospel, and try to read as many reviews/impressions as they can, ideally from people that have a similar music taste and/or sound preferences to your own. There is no single IEM that sounds great with every music genre, to all listeners (unfortunately).
This so much, with so many iems I've enjoyed there's always a couple songs that will trip it up no matter the tech/price tag/marketing.

The make or break for me is "Is this a trip that I can live with when listening outside of a critical mindset" And often, a lot of the stuff I wouldn't even notice from a listening persepctive to begin with

What's infuriating is how a lot of reviews thesedays downplays or ignores those hiccups and feel more like stuff from the marketing department than actual impressions . Precogvision's reviews are a departure from that stale echo chamber and a welcome read for me. I've actually added some songs that he's mentioned into my review list.
 
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MMR Thummim and Homunculus Impressions

So, uh, yeah...these showed up today. I'll be blunt - they're disappointing. Very, very disappointing.

MMR Thummim.jpg

Starting with the Thummim, tonal issues aside, what strikes me most is just how damn slow this thing is. Transient speed is comparable to the Shure SE215, possibly one of the slowest IEMs I've heard. Bass is supposed to be mid-bass oriented, but as you can see from the graph, the channels don't really match. Not that it matters, of course, given how blunted and bloated the bass is alone. The midrange is probably the worst part of this tuning, sounding somewhere between sucked out and running hot. Treble is rolled-off hard like most poor EST implementations. And sadly, it's not like the Thummim even has the staging or technical chops to save itself either. Macro-dynamics are dampened. Imaging is fairly average sans some decent diffusal of the image, and the Thummim is not holographic by a long shot. I really don't know where all the talk about the mind-boggling imaging came from. Maybe the 2.5-4.5kHz dip?

Regardless, I can't tell what's more fatiguing - the Tesla-truck shells or listening to how awful this thing has been tuned.

MMR Homunculus.jpg

The first thing that struck me as weird on the Homunculus was the midrange. It just didn't sound any sort of right to my ears with one side clearly sounding different. So I slapped it on my coupler...and lo and behold, sans exhibiting an egregious, fat dip, there's also a pretty significant channel imbalance in this region. Speaking of the dip, I enjoy a dip in my upper-midrange, but oh man, not like this. Telephonic, underwater, sucked-out, name any similar adjective and it'll do aptly to describe the Homunculus. Resolution is also completely screwed in the midrange as a result. But since when was I ever one to be a debbie-downer? Looking on the bright side, I guess you could say the Homunculus serves as demonstration of value for the Thummim, if only by virtue of how much worse it is.

Usual disclaimers: I know how bad these impressions sound. Friendly reminder that they're impressions, and I'm not asking you to hear what I hear (as a matter of fact, I wouldn't wish that on anyone with these little gems). I measured both of them several times off my coupler to make sure I was getting consistent results. Frankly, I don't think the tips, cable, or any amount of 'seasoning' are going to save these IEMs - furthermore, I'd argue that a company that can't take the time to get consistent channel matching on units they're sending out for review doesn't really merit my time. But for posterity all listening was done using the stock Elotech cables, stock tips, and an A&K SP1000M.

Score (Thummim): 2/10
Score (Homunculus): 1/10


Noble Sultan impressions tomorrow if I have time to write something up.
Glad I read this. Thummim was one of the last few IEMs I’m looking to add to my stable one day, and this impression has saved me from spending precious dollars :relaxed: it’s pretty much consistent with some private exchanges I had with another member here.
 
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This so much, with so many iems I've enjoyed there's always a couple songs that will trip it up no matter the tech/price tag/marketing.

The make or break for me is "Is this a trip that I can live with when listening outside of a critical mindset" And often, a lot of the stuff I wouldn't even notice from a listening persepctive to begin with

What's infuriating is how a lot of reviews thesedays downplays or ignores those hiccups and feel more like stuff from the marketing department than actual impressions . Precogvision's reviews are a departure from that stale echo chamber and a welcome read for me. I've actually added some songs that he's mentioned into my review list.
Yeah man, totally agree, I also find those overly positive reviews frustrating. They are like reading IEM infomercials. It’s pretty obvious there are some hidden agendas at play. I always appreciate reviews like yours and precog’s for their honesty, even if I don’t necessarily hear it the same way :)
 
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@Precogvision as a fellow Nio owner, I don't recall your thoughts on Nio with MX, but based on Crin's review I've started listening with MX and can't say I'm not impressed. As a certified bass lover (don't think I'm an out-and-out basshead as I dislike bleed immensely) I didn't even think to try the MX given its bass neutering function but to me the bass is still very much there and I daresay still 'better' to me compared to BA bass (including the U12t). Just thought I'd mention it here and pose the question.
Oh yeah, I've played with the MX. It really balances out the Nio's tuning and opens up the staging some. But honestly, I don't vibe with it as much haha. It brings the Nio much closer to the U12t's tuning by also cutting out some of the lower-midrange, and at that point I'd rather listen to my U12t for its technical edge. First-world problems, I know. I find the Nio's transient behavior can also be sluggish at times; ironically, cutting out all the warmth actually makes this more obvious to my ears if that makes sense.

No doubt a viable option if you only have the Nio, though, and the flexibility is pretty sweet. I also know some people like it waaaay more with the MX.
 
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Have you heard 64Audio A6T before? From my impressions it has more forward vocals and warmer than Nio and U12T and pretty enjoyable. Others have felt it's too muddy. Too bad it's custom only and I can't trust their customs XD
 
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I say that if an iem is extremely bad but still got good reviews (like the Periodic Audio BE), you should review it and trash it so that you can warn other people about it.
 
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Yeah man, totally agree, I also find those overly positive reviews frustrating. They are like reading IEM infomercials. It’s pretty obvious there are some hidden agendas at play. I always appreciate reviews like yours and precog’s for their honesty, even if I don’t necessarily hear it the same way :)
I half expect Billy Mays to pop up at the end of some of those reviews and go "But wait there's more!"

I got really tired of multiple page reviews where literally half of them are just marketing blurbs about the packaging and so on. To be fair, if I wanted that I could visted the manufacturers page and see that there. So I focused on cutting stuff like that out, and making it a more enjoyable read. Glad that people enjoy it.

Have you heard 64Audio A6T before? From my impressions it has more forward vocals and warmer than Nio and U12T and pretty enjoyable. Others have felt it's too muddy. Too bad it's custom only and I can't trust their customs XD
Not sure about the Nio, but A6t definitely has a bit more warmth than the u12t. Its the same signature essentially but has less of the technical chops and as a result not as laid back. Subbass extension is good but has a bit of roll off in comparison to say the Andromeda, but you really don't notice unless you listen to music more inclined that area.

Vocals are positioned ever so slightly forward, and compared with the clean bass shelf, they're never drowned out by the other frequencies.

Overall it strikes a balance between being technically competent and enjoyable. And having the Tia treble tech trickle down helps a lot in the technical front I might add.
 
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I half expect Billy Mays to pop up at the end of some of those reviews and go "But wait there's more!"

I got really tired of multiple page reviews where literally half of them are just marketing blurbs about the packaging and so on. To be fair, if I wanted that I could visted the manufacturers page and see that there. So I focused on cutting stuff like that out, and making it a more enjoyable read. Glad that people enjoy it.
My favourite one is 3 paragraphs on where the company is based :D
 
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