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Review of Audio Technica ATH-IM01, ATH-IM02, ATH-IM03, ATH-IM04, ATH-IM50, & ATH-IM70

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  1. Jnjy

    vs IM70, mostly similar character. The MA750 just has a fatter upper mid while the IM70 has more treble
  2. Neithan
    wmedrz thanks for your reply.
    I would prefer a more "flat" sound than a V-Shape. I have a Panasonic HJE900 and and I really one a move from that kind of sound.
  3. earfonia
    Which one, IM70 or MA750 has better dynamic?
  4. mikroski
    I have ATH-W1000 and ATH-W5000. I would like to buy my first iem. Which one in IM series has the closest sound characteristic as W1000 or W5000?
  5. earfonia
    Difficult one... I would say, none of them. Maybe IM02 or IM03.
    I had W1000X the Grandioso... guessing from that, I would say ATH-IM03 would be the best bet.
  6. twister6 Contributor
    Just as a heads up, I will be writing a short review about silver plated replacement cable for IM-series I just bought and received from lunashops.  As a teaser, I posted my preliminary observation in another thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/586909/the-discovery-thread-new-zero-audio-singolos-pg1644-doppios-pg1197/25575#post_10733362
  7. earfonia
    Great!  Looking forward to it!
    I will link your review on the first page later, thanks!
    You mentioned about the $40 silver plated cable for IM series in Lunashop, is this the one that you mentioned:
    What is the length?  Does it has 4 wires in total?
    Looks very nice!  I will order one for my IM70. Tx for the info!
  8. twister6 Contributor

    Yes, that's the one.  It has 4 twisted wires (looks like it).  As a teaser (click to zoom in):
    I measured the length to be 1.27m, a bit longer than original 1.2m cable.
  9. earfonia
    Excellent thanks!  
    The reason I asked for the 4 wires is because I want to cut it and terminate it with 4 pins mini XLR for balanced connection [​IMG]
  10. twister6 Contributor

    Just to be sure, maybe ask lunashops for confirmation.  The combined twisted wire after the y-splitter looks thick enough for 4 separate twisted wires, but I'm not sure if they take ground from each side and inner-twist it together all the way to the connector.  Btw, here is another teaser since 3.5mm connector housing could be un-screwed and removed.  As you can see, ground wires kind of together at the tip soldered to the sleeve
  11. ThickT
    Earphonia, I am looking for more info on the im01. I can't find much at all here. Can you give me a little something? Thanks
  12. earfonia

    What i have with me only IM50 and IM70. IM01 and the rest already returned to Audio Technica. So, i only have some memory of it, cannot give you more than what i wrote on the review on the first page.

    IM01 is a nice single BA, just don't expect much from it. Currently competition is tough, for the price, there are better options, but still back to personal preference.
  13. ThickT
    i have the audeo pfe 132. wondering how they would compare. sorry about spelling your name wrong... :)
  14. earfonia
    No problem :)
    I haven't tried audeo pfe 132.
  15. twister6 Contributor
    This is a review of Lunashops replacement cable for ATH-IMxy series of IEMs.  http://www.lunashops.com/goods.php?id=4257
    A lot of factors can contribute to sound quality improvement of your headphones.  Beside selecting a higher quality source, both audio file and audio player, for example choosing the right eartip is probably one of the most popular mods.  Some people experiment with wire up or down fitment or even go to an extreme of modifying earpieces with removal of filters or covering the vent.  If you are fortunate to have a pair of headphones with a removable cable - you have another way to improve your sound, to fine tune it's characteristics.  Until now, those who purchased recently introduced Audio-Technica ATH-IM series (IM01/02/03/04/50/70) had only a few pricey replacement choices due to unique 2-pin connector used in the design of that cable which is not as common as a standard MMCX connector.  Fortunately, Lunashops introduced a series of replacement cables (http://www.lunashops.com/search.php?encode=YTo0OntzOjg6ImtleXdvcmRzIjtzOjk6ImF0aCBjYWJsZSI7czoxOiJ4IjtzOjE6IjAiO3M6MToieSI7czoxOiIwIjtzOjE4OiJzZWFyY2hfZW5jb2RlX3RpbWUiO2k6MTQwNjA3MDE4NTt9) ranging from $18 to $40 where $18-$20 ones are designed as a replacement with a more flexible design without annoying stiff memory wire and one even with in-line mic/remote for smartphone control.  The more expensive one at $40 is designed not just as a replacement but actually as an enhancement where a more premium silver plated wire material is used to improve sound quality of your ATH headphones.  That is a cable I would like to focus on in my review and to share with you what I found.
    I have a number of MMCX replacement cables from Lunashops already, and was always pleased with their build quality, though those were $20 models which usually arrived in a generic packaging.  This premium model arrived in a neat looking tin can with a clear top display screen, and cable was secured in a small plastic zip bag and cushioned by foam lining inside of the tin can.  Out of the box, I was very pleased with a soft clear shielding of the cable and twisted pair of silver plated cables which looks to me like two twisted pairs before y-splitter followed by all 4 wires twisted together after the y-splitter.  Y-splitter itself is plastic and somewhat transparent, followed by a clear plastic chin slider.  The 3.5mm connector is straight, has a clear strain relief, can be un-screwed to reveal the wire connection, and it's gold plated with a typical TRS (Tip - left, Ring - right, Sleeve - ground) wiring which I verified with multimeter to be connected properly to L/R earpiece connector.  Also, for those who are curious, while comparing the wire resistance between original cable and this replacement, I found the value to go down from 0.9 ohm in original cable to 0.6 ohm in replacement - most likely due to silver plating which also improves conductivity of the signal.  Furthermore, I measured this replacement cable to be 1.27m long in comparison to a stock 1.2m cable.
    Going back to the 2-pin connector header, the one used in Lunashops replacement model is not color coded with Red for "right" side, but it has a very clear L and R letter marking and also a small bump on L side, though it's not really necessary since ATH-IM series asymmetrical design prevents from flipping the sides.  Connector itself has a very snappy lock fitment with an identical feel to the original connector.  Testing with both IM03 and IM50 models showed a great comfort improvement in fitment over the ear.  With original cables it was a major PITA to shape the wire and after putting it back in the case for storage to start all over again re-shaping when you take headphones out again.  Now the wire, which is also relatively tangle free, goes easily over the ear and with a help of chin slider feels comfortable and stays secure in place.  I found this to be a significant improvement over the stock cable. You can also use silicone earhook guides if necessary.
    Of course, the big question is about sound improvement.  There is no question about it, you will definitely going to hear the difference.  It's not just a subtle improvement, but actually noticeable. I'm sure different people will hear different level of improvement since our hearing sensitivity is not the same, but it will put a smile on your face in either way.  IM03/IM50 sound is great to begin with, but with addition of this replacement cable the sound became brighter with more sparkle and improved details across the entire frequency range.  This brightness is well controlled without becoming sibilant, and overall gives a better definition to a sound.  The most noticeable improvement is probably in low frequency region.  I found the attack of the mid-bass punch to be a bit sharper and sub-bass gaining a new level of rumbling texture.  Actually, speaking of sub-bass, I found this improvement to be more enjoyable with IM03 but not as much with IM50 where even with original cable it was already pushing the envelope.  Also, microphonics was down to minimum.  It's all a matter of personal preference and type of music you are listening to, but in my opinion - this replacement cable is definitely a worthy investment for either models of ATH-IM series headphones.  Overall, for my own personal taste, this replacement cable will be staying permanently with ATH-IM03.
    Here are the pictures.
    earfonia and sandman2338 like this.
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