[REVIEW] Sony MH1 – The Best Kept Secret
Feb 23, 2019 at 3:07 AM Post #3,692 of 3,789

ClieOS

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There probably are fake ones, but I don't think thats the problem with the MH1C. The problem is that real ones don't turn out good either.
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Nope, there isn't any fake MH1 or MH1C out there. At least Sony themselves never find one. The main reason why MH1 series is so cheap is not because it is priced cheaply - it isn't (*IIRC original price is >$80), but because it was produced when Sony Ericsson was about to be bought out by Sony and Sony decided to dump all the MH1/MH1C into the market. Ten of thousands of MH1/MH1C was sold to third party retailer for a few dollars each, therefore it is unprofitable for counterfeiter to copy it. They might as well sell the real thing.

As for the tuning issues - it was a problem mainly because of the filters used (as well as the problem of different reversion). The fact that Sony dumping all the MH1/MH1C into the market (including those that don't quite pass QC) is also a big factor. Those of us who get the earlier batch have better luck on getting better pair. As time moves on with lesser and lesser MH1/MH1C out there, chance of a bad one does increase after most of the good one have been picked up by reseller. But it is not all bad news either - you can play with the front filter as well as the foam damper in the nozzle to get back the 'right' sound. Those parts can ne found on Taobao and probably Aliexpress.
 
Feb 23, 2019 at 3:42 AM Post #3,693 of 3,789

TLDRonin

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There probably are fake ones, but I don't think thats the problem with the MH1C. The problem is that real ones don't turn out good either.

I've bought 8 pairs so far, 3 MH1s, 5 MH1Cs. I bought the MH1s during the 2015 head-fi MH1 craze :)

Out of all of them, only two sound right - one MH1C, one MH1 (The MH1 one is still not quite right, but its acceptable).

The rest have the same overpronounced bass issue that Rin Choi and Tyll measured, as well as ljokerl commented on in his review. Here is a comparison between the good copy I have and one that is particularly bad (but not the worst I've owned




I think there is a manufacturing problem with the MH1 design, it was perhaps overly ambitious for the budget. The bad one has excessive bass and the treble sounds muted and boring. 3 of the 5 I bought are more or less this.

The good one is almost perfect, there is just a little bit too much 3K peak.

Finally, one of the copies was good at first, then progressively got worse and now sounds muted in the treble. Not as bad as the bad one shown above, but still boring.
Ordered one from ebay, hopefully its a good one!

Nope, there isn't any fake MH1 or MH1C out there. At least Sony themselves never find one. The main reason why MH1 series is so cheap is not because it is priced cheaply - it isn't (*IIRC original price is >$80), but because it was produced when Sony Ericsson was about to be bought out by Sony and Sony decided to dump all the MH1/MH1C into the market. Ten of thousands of MH1/MH1C was sold to third party retailer for a few dollars each, therefore it is unprofitable for counterfeiter to copy it. They might as well sell the real thing.

As for the tuning issues - it was a problem mainly because of the filters used (as well as the problem of different reversion). The fact that Sony dumping all the MH1/MH1C into the market (including those that don't quite pass QC) is also a big factor. Those of us who get the earlier batch have better luck on getting better pair. As time moves on with lesser and lesser MH1/MH1C out there, chance of a bad one does increase after most of the good one have been picked up by reseller. But it is not all bad news either - you can play with the front filter as well as the foam damper in the nozzle to get back the 'right' sound. Those parts can ne found on Taobao and probably Aliexpress.
So unlike the MH755, which has many counterfeits, the MH1cs are basically all genuine? Also, is there a guide for modding the filters and foams to get a "bad" pair to sound like a "good" pair?
 
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Feb 23, 2019 at 4:54 AM Post #3,694 of 3,789

ClieOS

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So unlike the MH755, which has many counterfeits, the MH1cs are basically all genuine? Also, is there a guide for modding the filters and foams to get a "bad" pair to sound like a "good" pair?

No one bother to couterfeit it when the real one is cheaper than making a fake one.

There is no guide per se, but generic filter as well as various type of foam are available to play around. The foam inside the nozzle probably has the biggest impact on FR curve - you can even try various household foam to see if any is better, though Sony type of foam are available on Taobao.
 
Feb 23, 2019 at 4:32 PM Post #3,695 of 3,789

ClieOS

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Lo and behold, my ultimate MH1C retermination.

MH1-07.jpg
 
Feb 23, 2019 at 6:27 PM Post #3,697 of 3,789

kkl10

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The problem is that real ones don't turn out good either.

Nope, there isn't any fake MH1 or MH1C out there. At least Sony themselves never find one. The main reason why MH1 series is so cheap is not because it is priced cheaply - it isn't (*IIRC original price is >$80), but because it was produced when Sony Ericsson was about to be bought out by Sony and Sony decided to dump all the MH1/MH1C into the market. Ten of thousands of MH1/MH1C was sold to third party retailer for a few dollars each, therefore it is unprofitable for counterfeiter to copy it. They might as well sell the real thing.

As for the tuning issues - it was a problem mainly because of the filters used (as well as the problem of different reversion). The fact that Sony dumping all the MH1/MH1C into the market (including those that don't quite pass QC) is also a big factor. Those of us who get the earlier batch have better luck on getting better pair. As time moves on with lesser and lesser MH1/MH1C out there, chance of a bad one does increase after most of the good one have been picked up by reseller. But it is not all bad news either - you can play with the front filter as well as the foam damper in the nozzle to get back the 'right' sound. Those parts can ne found on Taobao and probably Aliexpress.

Ah, so I was indeed wrong. I was wondering whether there were really any fake MH1s or if people were just experiencing quality variation between units. Good to know. Getting some more.
 
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Feb 23, 2019 at 8:45 PM Post #3,698 of 3,789

ClieOS

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Feb 23, 2019 at 9:57 PM Post #3,699 of 3,789

spion

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I'm not sure what the protocol is for threads like this, but, if you can't find a good MH1C copy you might want to check out the Moondrop Crescent. It has a bit more treble sparkle but other than that its IMO a better MH1C than the MH1C :) https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/moondrop-crescent.23589/ - and its not much more expensive either.

Inter-copy variation seems much better, i have two and they don't seem to vary by more than 1.5dB across the spectrum among eachother.
 
Feb 23, 2019 at 10:20 PM Post #3,700 of 3,789

waynes world

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I'm not sure what the protocol is for threads like this, but, if you can't find a good MH1C copy you might want to check out the Moondrop Crescent. It has a bit more treble sparkle but other than that its IMO a better MH1C than the MH1C :) https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/moondrop-crescent.23589/ - and its not much more expensive either.

Inter-copy variation seems much better, i have two and they don't seem to vary by more than 1.5dB across the spectrum among eachother.

I'm not into iems much anymore, but on a whim I bought the MH755's. I should be getting them sometime in 2019 lol.

I see that you mentioned the 755's in your review. How do they compare to the Moodrop Cresents in your opinion?
 
Feb 23, 2019 at 10:27 PM Post #3,701 of 3,789

spion

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The 755 has a unique pronounced mid treble, which results with slight shoutiness for some people, but others argue it improves clarity. Also mh755 has almost no midbass.

Favor mh755 if you prefer clarity at the expense of shoutiness and you don't like midbass (but you're okay with sub-bass).
Favor crescent and mh1 if you prefer a smoother (silky, sparkly) treble and you don't mind a bit of a mid-bass thump :wink:
 
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Feb 24, 2019 at 6:08 AM Post #3,702 of 3,789

yuriv

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There probably are fake ones, but I don't think thats the problem with the MH1C. The problem is that real ones don't turn out good either.

I've bought 8 pairs so far, 3 MH1s, 5 MH1Cs. I bought the MH1s during the 2015 head-fi MH1 craze :)

Out of all of them, only two sound right - one MH1C, one MH1 (The MH1 one is still not quite right, but its acceptable).

The rest have the same overpronounced bass issue that Rin Choi and Tyll measured, as well as ljokerl commented on in his review. Here is a comparison between the good copy I have and one that is particularly bad (but not the worst I've owned




I think there is a manufacturing problem with the MH1 design, it was perhaps overly ambitious for the budget. The bad one has excessive bass and the treble sounds muted and boring. 3 of the 5 I bought are more or less this.

The good one is almost perfect, there is just a little bit too much 3K peak.

Finally, one of the copies was good at first, then progressively got worse and now sounds muted in the treble. Not as bad as the bad one shown above, but still boring.


Aha! It’s good to see the frequency response of a unicorn next to a typical sample. The comparison Rin Choi provided years ago suggested that it’s the bass that’s the problem with the bad ones.


Your graph shows that it’s the treble that’s the problem, and it gave me some more ideas on how to salvage the two units that I bought back in 2012.

Here are some MH1 measurements with the mesh filter or the foam plug inside the tube removed or both:

Sony MH1 without mesh filter or foam plug.png

Sony MH1 with mesh or foam plug removed
Red: No mesh filter, no foam plug
Green: No mesh filter
Blue: No foam plug
Gray: Stock MH1​

As expected, the foam plug doesn’t make much that much of a difference. Sead Smailagic already showed that in this post: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sony-mh1-r-d-story-and-discussion.634193/page-6#post-8843651

The mesh filter, however, is required to tame the port tube resonances. It’s in the most effective position—right at the tube’s opening, where the air velocity is highest, especially at resonance. On my samples (which seem similar to the typical units on sale today), it seems that the mesh’s acoustic resistance is too high. Indeed, when I took off the filter, it looked to me as if some of the glue made it to the middle of the mesh. Also, the size of the foam plug is different between channels.

Sead’s pinhole mod reduces the effectiveness of the mesh filter. With a pinhole in place, the losses due to friction won’t as high, so the tube resonances won’t be damped as much. It’s not exactly a reversible mod, so I didn’t want to try it before. But after seeing your data, I knew I had to give it a shot.

Sony MH1 with 1 or 2 pinholes in mesh filter.png

Sony MH1 with pinholes in mesh filter.
Red: one pinhole
Green: two pinholes
Gray: Stock MH1​

Maybe a third pinhole will get the 3k peak closer to +10 dB relative to 1 kHz, which is what you have in your measurement of a good MH1. (See also Sead’s and Rin Choi’s measurements.) I stopped here for now because I didn’t want to overdo it. I don’t like the peak broadening, but maybe it’s an optical illusion because it’s missing a 1-2 dB tip at the very top. I wonder if a better result is possible with a different mesh altogether: tea bag filter, micropore tape, microfiber cloth, etc.

In any case, I think it’s getting close to the intended response. The bass, which was unlistenable before, doesn’t sound so overwhelming now even though its level hasn’t been reduced. A partial seal of the rear cavity (as described here) reduces the bass a little bit more. It’s still too bassy, but sounds much, much better than before. It sounds pretty good, actually.

Sony MH1 + pinholes + rear partially sealed.png

Sony MH1 with two pinholes in mesh filter, rear volume partially sealed.
Moondrop Crescent frequency response shown in light blue/pink​

The Moondrop Crescent sounds similar to an MH1 if my mods are really getting the response close to what was intended. The Moondrop sounds good, but my ears are weird and I’m having problems with wearing comfort. The Crescent’s response isn’t as high at 3k, but it has a taller peak from the ear canal resonance. It’s really present in almost all IEMs, but on the MH1 it’s hiding behind another resonance so we only see the tip of the iceberg. On the Crescent I’m hearing it a little over 7 kHz because I can’t insert them as deep with the stock tips. I chose the insertion depth in the coupler for my measurement to match my hearing, although what I’m hearing isn’t as severe as what’s in the graph. I’d better double check that though, by listening again, as I didn’t spend much time with the stock tips.

I prefer less bass than the Harman IE target or Usound, so I’ve been spending some time listening to the version with the rear completely sealed:

Sony MH1 + pinholes + rear completely sealed.png

Sony MH1 frequency response with two pinholes in mesh and complete rear volume seal​

I’ll need some more time to accurately judge it. Maybe the midbass or the 3k peak will be a problem later on. But for now, it’s time to put aside listening to the gear and listen to the music instead. This version makes it a lot easier to do that vs. stock. So far, so good.

BTW, You said you have at least five of these bad MH1. Maybe most of them can be salvaged, if you hadn't done so already.
 
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Feb 24, 2019 at 8:02 AM Post #3,705 of 3,789

TLDRonin

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I want to buy these two iems if they are still on ebay i am talking about genuine ones thanks
Nope, there isn't any fake MH1 or MH1C out there. At least Sony themselves never find one. The main reason why MH1 series is so cheap is not because it is priced cheaply - it isn't (*IIRC original price is >$80), but because it was produced when Sony Ericsson was about to be bought out by Sony and Sony decided to dump all the MH1/MH1C into the market. Ten of thousands of MH1/MH1C was sold to third party retailer for a few dollars each, therefore it is unprofitable for counterfeiter to copy it. They might as well sell the real thing.
 

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