Question(s) from a newbie...
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SteveW

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Greetings all,

Just rec'd a pair of 4Ps and they seem to be less than I expected - a few questions:

(Before the questions - the comparison basis is the 4Ps and the iRiver supplied headset - source is MP3s on played on the the SlimX)

Ripping with AudioGrabber at 128K - is this too low a sampling rate to create any difference ??

Is the iRiver the (weak) common denominator - not enough juice to make a difference ??

Didn't think I've lost some hearing - but could it be ??

Only tested at (inside) at home so far - is a noisy environment the better test ?? Is isolation the primary feature ??

What's a good way to test (other than a trip to the audiologist)

Thanks in Advance for any comments and ideas,

Steve W
Southern California
 
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Ebonyks

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I'm not spefically famliar with the slimx, but that could easily be the problem. Also, 128kb MP3's are a rather large bottleneck with headphones like yours
 
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bdb55

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OK, I have a SlimX and Ety 4Ps, so I think I should be able to provide some insight. Yes, there should be a HUGE difference between the Etys and the supplied 'phones.

What is probably wrong:

-128 is a low bitrate. Listen to the Etys using a non-mp3 CD.

-You have a bad seal.

-The Etys need some burn-in time to sound their best.

The bad seal is probably the biggest problem. Do the Etys sound tinny or echoy with poor bass? If so, then you definitely have a bad seal. To insert them, you need to moisten the silicone tips, and then stick them ALL the way into your ears. There should be a slight suction, or seal. You should also try the foam tips.
 
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perfektrtw

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Hey there, I love MP3s, and I am going to have to say that Audiograbber MP3s at 128 are very poor quality. That is a definate problem I think!

I recommend checking out a place like http://www.audio-illumination.org/fo...php?act=portal

In a nutshell, basically, for "archive" quality MP3s, you should use EAC to rip your CD's (Exact Audio Copy) and the LAME mp3 encoder to encode your mp3s. The most recommended setting is --alt-preset standard .... basically just read up on that forum and read read read, and you will figure it out
Good luck!
 
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SteveW

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OK... wow!

I've been surfing and reading since my initial post.

So... 128K is definitely too little - shall I go VBR or 320K ??

I don't think that file size will be a problem as they'll be burned to CDs anyway (vs stuffing into a solid state MP3 player).

Listening to audio CDs and discovering some differences - but worried about my hearing now because they're not WAY different as many reviews led me to expect...

Thanks,
SW
 
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bdb55

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If you're getting a good seal and using high-quality mp3s there should be a big difference between the Etys and the free iRiver buds. The Etys will not make music sound drastically different, but everything should be crisper, the bass should be deeper, the treble should be smoother, etc. Every aspect of the sound should improve. If you're struggling to discern the differences, and have reasons to suspect your hearing, maybe you should get your ears checked. Or maybe you just need some more time to adjust to the Etys. As for what bit rate to use - I'm the wrong person to ask.
 
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SteveW

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Struggling to discern BIG differences between iRiver buds and 4Ps... (with audio CDs)

Isolation for external sound(s) is evident...

Perhaps the iRiver buds aren't all that bad to begin with... ??

And I'm REALLY struggling - without success- to notice any differentiation with the same selection ripped at 128, 320, and VBR.

(Yes, ripped same song at three sampling rates, burned to a CD, and stuffed in the SlimX.)

They're all the way in my ears - with a good seal. I can't hear my own typing.

I'll give them some time and experimentation - but my first afternoon with them is less than anticipated - and now I'm concerned about my hearing.

Damn.

But I find them VERY comfortable. Maybe that will be the deciding factor before they show up for sale.

SW
 
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taoster

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alot of time I have trouble discerning differences between different setups too.

I found the best way is to listen to a particular, supposedly better setup for an extended periods.. say 2weeks and then switch back to the old gear.

if there is a difference between the setup, it should be pretty obvious by than.

VBR at 320K will be fine.. no need 320K.
 
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darkclouds

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I believe taoster is on the right track.

Just continue to listen to your etys with some high quality recordings for awhile. Then switch back to them buds. If you can't tell the difference after that, put them up for sale.

They'll go quite fast here.
 
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john_jcb

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The comments about listening for a week or so and then switching are very valid. I sometimes switch HPs at work and after listening to one for an extended period it is easy to pick out the differences.

Something that has not been mentioned is that there may be wax built up in your ears. If there is a large amount it definitely impacts your hearing. For a few $ you can pick up a commercial solution that softens and allows you to rinse the wax away. Worth a try.
 
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Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally posted by SteveW
Struggling to discern BIG differences between iRiver buds and 4Ps... (with audio CDs)

They're all the way in my ears - with a good seal. I can't hear my own typing.

I'll give them some time and experimentation - but my first afternoon with them is less than anticipated - and now I'm concerned about my hearing.

SW


A good seal with Etys with music playing at medium volume should cover the noise of a passing truck completely, and in a quiet environment you should hear the blood being pumped through your veins, that is a good seal

When I got my 4S I felt them to be a little bit lacking in the bass at first. As you mention, they did not have much time to burn in yet - but they do need it! Set your source to repeat and a volume a little bit above average, pick a CD with lots of dynamic changes, lots of bass, or a special burn-in CD with different colours of noise and other signals, and put the Etys in a drawer for a few nights. They do improve, and not just a bit. And as the others said before, do come back to your other plugs after a while. When I put on my PortaPros these days I can hardly bear the sound, and they were degraded to be my "just for boomy movietrailers" headphones.
 
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HighwayStar

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Quote:

Originally posted by SteveW
Greetings all,

Just rec'd a pair of 4Ps and they seem to be less than I expected - a few questions:

(Before the questions - the comparison basis is the 4Ps and the iRiver supplied headset - source is MP3s on played on the the SlimX)

Ripping with AudioGrabber at 128K - is this too low a sampling rate to create any difference ??

Is the iRiver the (weak) common denominator - not enough juice to make a difference ??

Didn't think I've lost some hearing - but could it be ??

Only tested at (inside) at home so far - is a noisy environment the better test ?? Is isolation the primary feature ??

What's a good way to test (other than a trip to the audiologist)

Thanks in Advance for any comments and ideas,

Steve W
Southern California


Steve,

It's been my experience that the SlimX is very poor at driving the 4P's. And due to the variance in volume of different MP3's, YMMV. When I added an amp between the two the difference was huge. Ripping at higher bitrates will improve your MP3 quality as well. You'll notice that once you start feeding the 4P's a little more juice. Isolation is a major advantage of the 4P's, but their incredible reproduction is their true strength. You might want to check out www.fixup.net's super mini ($60 very affordable and should make a big difference) or something built by the members here such as a CHA-47 or a META42. A trip to the audiologist might bring you peace of mind, but an amp will do wonders for your SlimX/4P combination
 
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