Precog's IEM Reviews & Impressions
Aug 21, 2021 at 3:19 AM Post #1,396 of 1,647

mndless

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Okay, so here's the scoop. The ports were sealed completely shut from the factory with excess glue or something, hence the ridiculous amounts of bass. I gently punctured one side with a needle and managed to free it, but the other side was gunked shut from head-to-toe. When I pushed the needle through that side with more force, it seems to have punctured the bass DD. Now that side literally no longer has bass. Even the side that has "correct" bass doesn't seem to graph like other measurements I've seen from the upper-midrange and up. I let InvisibleInk know about the issue (with an offer for $50 or to keep the Yume that I lent him). For further transparency, here are the measurements:

Screen Shot 2021-07-31 at 10.13.20 AM.png
(labels for full puncture and partial puncture should be swapped)

Whether my impressions still stand, who knows. On one hand, this probably (mostly) fixes the bass bloat issue. But if there's less bass, then my issues with the treble are only likely to be exacerbated. I also largely framed my critiques within the context of the driver configuration itself. Either way, I think we can all agree that the quality control is not within acceptable parameters with this set. I've seen four or five graphs and they all look different; suffice it to say it's not my problem when a manufacture screws up like this. Purchase at your own risk.
What is particularly sad is that the graphs with the sealed ports actually look the best of any of these.
 
Aug 21, 2021 at 7:52 AM Post #1,397 of 1,647

chickenmoon

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Has anyone own or get a chance to try Turii, a single DD stuff from Softears? Would be nice to know how they compare to IE900, since they are in the same price bracket.

I don't think anybody owns or even heard both on these forums. It'll happen eventually though.
 
Aug 21, 2021 at 2:51 PM Post #1,398 of 1,647

Precogvision

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Has anyone own or get a chance to try Turii, a single DD stuff from Softears? Would be nice to know how they compare to IE900, since they are in the same price bracket.

I'd like to hear this too, as Crin said it was the best single DD he's heard (at least by his metrics). The graph looks good; more balanced than the IE900, although it doesn't have that juicy sub-bass or treble extension. If the Turii also stacks up in the technical department, that would be pretty impressive. It's just a matter of getting my hands on a demo unit haha.
 
Aug 21, 2021 at 3:11 PM Post #1,399 of 1,647

mndless

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I'd like to hear this too, as Crin said it was the best single DD he's heard (at least by his metrics). The graph looks good; more balanced than the IE900, although it doesn't have that juicy sub-bass or treble extension. If the Turii also stacks up in the technical department, that would be pretty impressive. It's just a matter of getting my hands on a demo unit haha.
Best of luck!
 
Aug 21, 2021 at 3:31 PM Post #1,400 of 1,647

Tiax

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I like how close Turii's graph look to my favorite (at the moment) iem :)

graph.png

I'm a bit temped to try, but they look pretty big and uncomfortable, and they need to be imported from China, so no easy way to return if they don't fit me.
 
Aug 24, 2021 at 12:58 AM Post #1,403 of 1,647

Precogvision

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Auribus Acoustics Everest Impressions

IMG_7587.JPG


Had a meet-up today at MRS's house with some fellow hobbyists who are DIYers with an upcoming headphone. I'll be sharing some thoughts, then, on the current prototype (to the left in the photo above). The headphone has gone through numerous revisions, so what's written here (likely) will not reflect the final production model.

The tonal balance of the Everest is a warmer one that is clearly geared toward a "pleasantness above all else" ethos. It exhibits large amounts of presence below 1kHz and is surprisingly bassy; certainly more than my reference, the Sennheiser HD6XX. The bass of the Everest is unmistakably DD with texture, slam, and decay right about where they should be. A hell of a lot better than the HD6XX on this front. I do feel, however, that nuance is lacking, a trend that continues as we explore upwards. The midrange of the Everest has changed a lot from my memory of a previous iteration I heard. It is relatively thick and there appears to be a lack of adequate pinna compensation coupled with a noticeable recession at 4kHz running sine sweeps. Thus, not unlike the Sennheiser IE900, there is a relative lack of "bite" to a lot of stringed instruments and blobby-ness of center image at the expense of eschewing any shout or sibilance. The Everest is pushing it here, as it's not quite up to par in the technical department - something I'll discuss further below. Treble is lower-treble oriented and fairly smooth. There appears to be a quick recession at 8kHz running sine sweeps, but it is not wide enough to present itself in actual listening. I do find myself wanting more sheer extension and presence of air, but generally, I find little fault with the Everest's treble. It is devoid of any nasty peaks that would turn off listeners.

Timbre on the Everest is unmistakably DD; heck, almost a little too DD. Attacks are more blunted than I'd like in conjunction with the upper-midrange recession; this is evident listening to the other prototype (on the right in the photo above) which has more upper-midrange presence. In turn, the Everest's imaging is unremarkable. There is the distinct lack of soundstage depth that plagues every headphone I've heard, plus minor congestion issues. Dynamics on the Everest are generally good. It is capable for scaling crescendo/decrescendo swings, but it can feel sluggish when it comes to more abrupt dynamic swings. The other prototype, to the right above, feels more lightweight and fluid for dynamics, if at the expense of thinner note weight and pleasantness of timbre. Of course, these perceptions are likely baked into tonality as I believe they are using the same driver.

To my ears, the Everest is in the tough position of "hard to love, hard to hate". Tonally, it is competent and minus some minor tweaks outlined above that I'd like to see, it's about where it should be. Technicalities, however, are in need of work. I do find the likes of the HiFiMAN Sundara to be a good step ahead in this department, and the same applies to the Focal Elex/Clear which was one of Aurubis' point of comparisons.




Some other quick impressions:

Creative Aurvana Live: Surprisingly good bass response, but most other things about this headphone are mediocre. The treble sounds cheap and tinny, and although I couldn't discern on a quick sine sweep I ran, it sounds overly fatiguing for some reason.

HzSound Heart Mirror: Listened to this some more. As expected, I still don't like it. The treble is worse than I remember and it sounds incredibly peaky in the mid-treble. This is probably due to imbalances throughout the treble region preceding the mid-treble. Outside of this, the Heart Mirror is technically competent, maybe enough to warrant its price if (for some reason) you wanted a more peaky Moondrop SSR.

Sony WM1A: Got to listen to this briefly using the Sennheiser IE900. I find that sources benefit from a point of comparison, so of course I used my iBasso DX300. The WM1A has a warm sound signature with a great sense of authenticity to its transients. Notes feel weighted and sport good tactility. The DX300 is more airy and expansive by comparison. Dynamics on the WM1A hit hard, whereas the DX300 leans more fluid for scaling swings. If I had more time to listen in a quieter environment I might have more thoughts, but overall, the WM1A has a very nice sound. It's not hard to see why this DAP has the following it does.
 
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Aug 24, 2021 at 4:09 AM Post #1,405 of 1,647

RPKwan

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I'd like to hear this too, as Crin said it was the best single DD he's heard (at least by his metrics). The graph looks good; more balanced than the IE900, although it doesn't have that juicy sub-bass or treble extension. If the Turii also stacks up in the technical department, that would be pretty impressive. It's just a matter of getting my hands on a demo unit haha.
I've got the Turii and agree it's quite good but not known for its bass. Haven't tried IE900 yet.
 
Aug 24, 2021 at 6:13 AM Post #1,406 of 1,647

deafdoorknob

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Went to audition the IE900, ended up being more impressed by the Technics TZ700, they cost almost the same but the latter is better built and sounded more composed and refined, and for those like me who are looking for a spiritual heir to the ex1k without the spike….

i realise that the bass is very different on paper, but imo, 8/10mm drivers need that compensation to match the air displacement and physicality of the ex1k’s 16mm drivers

0DCB19E1-DA99-4CB2-AFCD-A6D1430E9D7A.jpeg

B1A8A51F-03F8-4967-8859-E9FE08447261.jpeg
 
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Aug 24, 2021 at 6:25 AM Post #1,407 of 1,647

RPKwan

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Went to audition the IE900, ended up being more impressed by the Technics TZ700, they cost almost the same but the latter is better built and sounded more composed and refined, and for those like me who are looking for a spiritual heir to the ex1k without the spike….

i realise that the bass is very different on paper, but imo, 8/10mm drivers needs that compensation to match the air displacement and physicality of the ex1k’s 16mm drivers

0DCB19E1-DA99-4CB2-AFCD-A6D1430E9D7A.jpeg

B1A8A51F-03F8-4967-8859-E9FE08447261.jpeg
I tried the Technics with a friend's Brise cable and it was incredibly holographic. Great IEM.
 
Aug 24, 2021 at 1:57 PM Post #1,408 of 1,647

Precogvision

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Went to audition the IE900, ended up being more impressed by the Technics TZ700, they cost almost the same but the latter is better built and sounded more composed and refined, and for those like me who are looking for a spiritual heir to the ex1k without the spike….

i realise that the bass is very different on paper, but imo, 8/10mm drivers need that compensation to match the air displacement and physicality of the ex1k’s 16mm drivers

0DCB19E1-DA99-4CB2-AFCD-A6D1430E9D7A.jpeg

B1A8A51F-03F8-4967-8859-E9FE08447261.jpeg

Oh nice! The graph looks decent. I actually wasn't familiar with that brand or IEM, so I asked Banbeu. He told me it's more tonally balanced than the IE900 (duh, it actually has pinna haha), but probably not as dynamic or tight. Would you agree with the latter? Mainly interested in the difference in technicalities.
 
Aug 24, 2021 at 6:44 PM Post #1,409 of 1,647

deafdoorknob

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Oh nice! The graph looks decent. I actually wasn't familiar with that brand or IEM, so I asked Banbeu. He told me it's more tonally balanced than the IE900 (duh, it actually has pinna haha), but probably not as dynamic or tight. Would you agree with the latter? Mainly interested in the difference in technicalities.
Agreed that it is less tight, kinda like the difference in presentation btwn U12t (technics) and U18 tzar (ie900) not tonality-wise more how technicalities are presented. Driving them balanced helps with their dynamics but i don’t feel it’s as contrasty or responsive as the ie900.
 
Aug 24, 2021 at 8:05 PM Post #1,410 of 1,647

Precogvision

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Some Brief Thoughts on Individual HRTF and IEM Preference

Hey everyone, I wanted to share some comments on the relationship between individual HRTFs and IEM preferences. I'm not an expert or anything of the sort; these are just some of my thoughts on the subject. Disclaimers aside, I see a lot of talk about how "everyone's ears are different and YMMV", to the point of which it often comes off as sort of a platitude. Well...at the meet-up yesterday, we took measurements of the Everest. This was done using an in-ear microphone with the headphones over it and playing a sine sweep through REW. The interesting thing about this is that this measurement procedure is dependent on the bodily anatomy of a listener unlike an external coupler with IEMs. Most industry headphone measurement rigs also use a set ear for consistency. Anyways, all four of us took turns taking measurements with the Everest on our respective heads.

graph_-_2021-08-23T205126.122.PNG


(Green - Juan, Dark Blue - MRS, Light Blue - Me, Red - Evan)

I can't show the rest of the measurement as the project is still under wraps, but pictured above is the pinna compensation region. For those who might not be familiar with the term "pinna compensation," your body has natural resonance peaks that a headphone or IEM must account for, as these transducers bypass many of them. That in mind, the use of "pinna" in the term is not technically correct; it's just become somewhat colloquial.

You'll notice something interesting with the measurement above, though: the pinna compensation region is different for all of us. There were no broken seals here, as all of us measured identically up until around 1.5kHz. The above (disregarding measurement variation, placement, and other confounding factors) basically shows that all four of us have inherently different pinna compensations. What follows is my totally unscientific theory.

Juan (green) and MRS (dark blue) have noticeably more elevated pinna compensations, which implies that their perception of neutrality is based on a higher degree of pinna gain. We know that IEMs bypass the pinna; therefore, IEM manufacturers have to effectively "guess" at what the ideal pinna compensation is for a given listener. This might explain why MRS and Juan enjoy more "shouty" IEMs. They adore the Moondrop SSR, for example, because the SSR's high pinna compensation gets them closer to what they normally hear in real-life. These types of IEMs might not even sound shouty to them! On the other hand, we can see that my pinna compensation (light blue) is lower than both of theirs. All the IEMs that I regularly use - the 64 Audio U12t, CFA Andro 2020, and Sennheiser IE900 - have what would qualify as more relaxed pinna compensation. I find these IEMs more pleasing, and closer to my neutral, likely because my requirement for pinna compensation is inherently lower. Evan's measurement is more of a wild card, as his favorite IEM is the Shure KSE1200. The KSE1200 does have quite the dip after 2kHz, though, which is reflected in his measurement (he has the greatest dip after the pinna, moving into 4kHz).

I think this illustrates why an IEM that might sound "shouty" to one person might not to another, and why a more "muted" IEM might not sound so for one person but will for another. Now, I know, I know. This probably isn't anything groundbreaking (or really even new), as it mostly serves to corroborate what we already know. This also isn't an excuse for why some stuff sounds and objectively measures like trash. That said, it's stuff like this which might help to explain some broader listener preferences, and it's what really gets my head ticking because I want to learn more about this stuff.
 

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