REVIEW: Vivo Xplay 3S + XE800 Mobile audio perfection
Dec 30, 2016 at 9:00 AM Post #587 of 682

chickenmoon

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Posts
1,282
Likes
1,877
Location
UK
Well they got me fooled for a while but then I went back to my Fidelio S2 and, boy, ain't those XE800 muddy sounding after all? Disregarding sound signature difference, all those XE800 have against the S2 is they need less juice and have lower cable microphonics. If they are genuine and in the same ball park as the GR07 I am glad I choose to buy the S2 over the GR07 a while back.


Ok, I have figured out what the the problem is. There is a valley at 2.5/3khz and I need to boost them there by at least 5db for them to sound about right. If I don't, they sound veiled/muddy with most of the music I listen to.

Looking at GR07 measurements I can see they all have that valley and therefore presumably have the same issue which is a show stopper for me no matter how crisp they otherwise are.

Is this something that improves with lots of burn in? After about 50 hours there is no improvement on that front with my pair.
 
Dec 31, 2016 at 5:50 AM Post #588 of 682

hoshiyomi

Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Posts
99
Likes
23
I am reffering to the vent found further away from the nozzle (hense the "back" term). Technically it is indeed on the front, next to the L/R letter.

[Beware this mod changes sound significantly]
I have taken a leap of faith and punctured the far front vent as you described, and it resulted in a significant amount of bass being released, perhaps a bit much even! It also affected the pair to which I sabotaged the back, which implies the back to the shell is not acoustically connected to the "back" of the driver.
 
I may have come across what feels like some glue on the other side of the far front vent, so maybe it is a wide spread QC issue. These actually sound quite warm now.
 
Dec 31, 2016 at 7:14 AM Post #589 of 682

SkiesOfAzel

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Posts
603
Likes
86
  I have taken a leap of faith and punctured the far front vent as you described, and it resulted in a significant amount of bass being released, perhaps a bit much even! It also affected the pair to which I sabotaged the back, which implies the back to the shell is not acoustically connected to the "back" of the driver.
 
I may have come across what feels like some glue on the other side of the far front vent, so maybe it is a wide spread QC issue. These actually sound quite warm now.

 
Yeah, it's very probable that the variance isn't created by some kind of new tuning, but by lax quality control. Still, the XE800 i own has outlasted 2 pairs of GR07 despite the poor qc and the flimsy cable. This tells you more about the GR07 than it does for the Vivo though...
 
 
Ok, I have figured out what the the problem is. There is a valley at 2.5/3khz and I need to boost them there by at least 5db for them to sound about right. If I don't, they sound veiled/muddy with most of the music I listen to.

Looking at GR07 measurements I can see they all have that valley and therefore presumably have the same issue which is a show stopper for me no matter how crisp they otherwise are.

Is this something that improves with lots of burn in? After about 50 hours there is no improvement on that front with my pair.

 
What you describe is not exactly a valley, it's produced by a spike at around 6.5k that is a lot less pronounced on the XE800 than it is on the GR07s. The reason the XE800 can sound a little grainy is that despite what most think, it has a slight midbass to low mids hump (80-300hz). This is the region where most bad mixes show themselves (the "muddy" region) so what you get with the XE800 is more pronounced imperfections that were already there. Now, it's perfectly fine if you don't like the XE800s tuning, but in the technical department, the biocellulose drivers it uses are more capable than most of the competition at or bellow the 100$ mark.
 
Dec 31, 2016 at 12:46 PM Post #590 of 682

chickenmoon

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Posts
1,282
Likes
1,877
Location
UK
What you describe is not exactly a valley, it's produced by a spike at around 6.5k that is a lot less pronounced on the XE800 than it is on the GR07s. The reason the XE800 can sound a little grainy is that despite what most think, it has a slight midbass to low mids hump (80-300hz). This is the region where most bad mixes show themselves (the "muddy" region) so what you get with the XE800 is more pronounced imperfections that were already there. Now, it's perfectly fine if you don't like the XE800s tuning, but in the technical department, the biocellulose drivers it uses are more capable than most of the competition at or bellow the 100$ mark.


Obviously what's on either side of a valley could be called a peak and vice-versa but looking at graphs there is clearly a 2.5/3khz valley in what otherwise would be a smooth curve so I can't really agree with you here.

And the veil/muddiness comes from those recessed frequencies, nothing to do with the bass region (or a poor recording for that matter).

Those biocellulose drivers are certainly very capable when it comes to speed & low distortion but to me it seems that unfortunately they intrinsically suffer from poor tonal balance in the highs which no tuning can correct.
 
Dec 31, 2016 at 1:32 PM Post #591 of 682

SkiesOfAzel

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Posts
603
Likes
86
Obviously what's on either side of a valley could be called a peak and vice-versa but looking at graphs there is clearly a 2.5/3khz valley in what otherwise would be a smooth curve so I can't really agree with you here.

And the veil/muddiness comes from those recessed frequencies, nothing to do with the bass region (or a poor recording for that matter).

Those biocellulose drivers are certainly very capable when it comes to speed & low distortion but to me it seems that unfortunately they intrinsically suffer from poor tonal balance in the highs which no tuning can correct.

 
 
[EDIT]
If you find raw (uncompensated) fr graphs of the GR07 you will see that there is actually a slight peak around 2.5k. In fact, GR07's raw graph is a good indication that Vsonic has just opted for a different reference target than Etymotic and others which is not necessarily a bad choice. The problematic regions that the various reference targets try to compensate for are the lower region and the high mids (2-3k).
 
What causes headaches though is the fact that not every person has the same hearing deficiencies, so for some people, including myself, the Etymotic compensation sounds like a boost in that region. As for the lower region, Etymotic conveniently ignored it (their single ba architecture is inherently weak at reproducing bass), while others go above and beyond the 4db compensation target. The GR07 raw graph indicates that Vsonic did try to compensate for both regions, but their compensations were more conservative, probably in order to make it sound close to neutral to as many people as possible. It's a reasonable trade if you ask me.
 
They did mess the treble up though, i won't deny that. But the GR07X has supposedly fixed that as well, so it's not impossible to tune the driver. Still, i will not buy another GR07 till it has fully replaceable cables.
 
Dec 31, 2016 at 3:47 PM Post #592 of 682

chickenmoon

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Posts
1,282
Likes
1,877
Location
UK
Well, if you want to be precise, the GR07 fr is just not compensating for any deficiencies the human hearing might have in that region. If you find raw (uncompensated) fr graphs of the GR07 you will see that there is actually a slight peak around 2.5k. Now there is in fact a reason Etymotic and others do boost those frequencies but it's not the only right approach, it depends on your ears.

My ears work just fine at that region and the Ety compensation sounds a little too boosted to me compared to the sound produced by regular reference speakers.


Ok, I've had a better look at GR07 Innerfidelity graphs which show raw and compensated curves and I was, I believe, both right and wrong. Wrong in identifying the "problem" frequency to be at 2.5/3khz when it would appear it's at around 4khz actually. Both graphs show a valley at that frequency. If I boost at 4khz with a narrower EQ setting than before, the slight veil I feel on some tracks is lifted. Impossible to say what the EQ boost precisely does and how much of the surrounding frequencies it also drags up without measurement equipment.

All this is quite subtle however and might well be a matter of taste and tuning after all. :rolleyes:
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 11:48 AM Post #593 of 682

hakuzen

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Posts
1,800
Likes
2,666
my last take on VSonic GR07 classic ed. vs Vivo XE800, raw measurements using a (supposedly) IEC711 coupler:
 

 
XE800 2.5/3KHz peak is louder than GR07's (but still below 0dB when compensated), and also the 6/6.5KHz and 8/9KHz peaks.
that's why it seems a tad brighter than GR07.
 
Above 15KHz highs, XE800 has more roll-off, but few people will be capable of hearing those frequencies.
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 12:23 PM Post #594 of 682

SkiesOfAzel

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Posts
603
Likes
86
  my last take on VSonic GR07 classic ed. vs Vivo XE800, raw measurements using a (supposedly) IEC711 coupler:
 

 
XE800 2.5/3KHz peak is louder than GR07's (but still below 0dB when compensated), and also the 6/6.5KHz and 8/9KHz peaks.
that's why it seems a tad brighter than GR07.
 
Above 15KHz highs, XE800 has more roll-off, but few people will be capable of hearing those frequencies.

 
You got a great GR07 mate. Out of the 3 i've owned, only the last one had treble that was near as smooth as your pair's. The other two (an MK2 and a CE) both had higher 6 and 8k peaks than my XE800. In my experience there is plenty of unit variance with the GR07 and the treble above 5k. It should be even worse with the XE800 which is significantly cheaper and thus subject to less quality control.
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 12:35 PM Post #595 of 682

hakuzen

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Posts
1,800
Likes
2,666
   
You got a great GR07 mate. Out of the 3 i've owned, only the last one had treble that was near as smooth as your pair's. The other two (an MK2 and a CE) both had higher 6 and 8k peaks than my XE800. In my experience there is plenty of unit variance with the GR07 and the treble above 5k. It should be even worse with the XE800 which is significantly cheaper and thus subject to less quality control.


glad to know it; that explains why i don't find my GR07 CE as harsh and sibilant as others' reports.
 
about the XE800, i had the chance to measure 9 pairs from three different sellers, and found a very good consistency between them. the only differences consisted in some bass imbalance (left vs right) in a few units (i suspect it's due to the "back" vent drilling you mentioned, so it should be fixable).
here are raw measures from them, together with GR07 CE, but using a DIY coupler (not IEC711):
 

 
Jan 1, 2017 at 4:40 PM Post #597 of 682

SkiesOfAzel

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Posts
603
Likes
86
 
glad to know it; that explains why i don't find my GR07 CE as harsh and sibilant as others' reports.
 
about the XE800, i had the chance to measure 9 pairs from three different sellers, and found a very good consistency between them. the only differences consisted in some bass imbalance (left vs right) in a few units (i suspect it's due to the "back" vent drilling you mentioned, so it should be fixable).
here are raw measures from them, together with GR07 CE, but using a DIY coupler (not IEC711):
 

 
You've done a fantastic job with these graphs mate, thanks! My XE800 sounds like a combination of the 2 year old's bass with the one year old's treble. Treble peaks aside, it's closer to reference but it sounds V shaped to my ears whereas the GR07 always sounded flat to me till around 4-5k. Still, what matters most is that they all share the same driver. You can easily eq the fr with a tone generator to make it sound flat to your ears, but speed, transient response, distortion and the like can't be improved and there is where the XE800/GR07 drivers excel.
 
 
I notice my an16 has dimples where ports normally are on the gr06. Has anyone punched those out and measure the change? I like them but could use a bass boost.

 
I would only experiment with the back vent. It's further away from the driver so it's safer and it's the one that affects the bass:
 

 
If you don't like the result you can easily re-seal it so it should be a low risk test.
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 4:47 PM Post #598 of 682

pfloyd

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Posts
390
Likes
326
You've done a fantastic job with these graphs mate, thanks! My XE800 sounds like a combination of the 2 year old's bass with the one year old's treble. Treble peaks aside, it's closer to reference but it sounds V shaped to my ears whereas the GR07 always sounded flat to me till around 4-5k. Still, what matters most is that they all share the same driver. You can easily eq the fr with a tone generator to make it sound flat to your ears, but speed, transient response, distortion and the like can't be improved and there is where the XE800/GR07 drivers excel.



I would only experiment with the back vent. It's further away from the driver so it's safer and it's the one that affects the bass:




If you don't like the result you can easily re-seal it so it should be a low risk test.
Yeah that's the one I meant and as you said easy to reverse, but my big concern is damage to driver as housing is much smaller than the gr07, would like more info on clearance if available.
By the way I'm listening to Soft Machine on the vsd2s that came with the an16 and it sounds excellent, under appreciated gem.
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 5:35 PM Post #599 of 682

hakuzen

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Posts
1,800
Likes
2,666
  You've done a fantastic job with these graphs mate, thanks! My XE800 sounds like a combination of the 2 year old's bass with the one year old's treble. Treble peaks aside, it's closer to reference but it sounds V shaped to my ears whereas the GR07 always sounded flat to me till around 4-5k. Still, what matters most is that they all share the same driver. You can easily eq the fr with a tone generator to make it sound flat to your ears, but speed, transient response, distortion and the like can't be improved and there is where the XE800/GR07 drivers excel.

thanks, bro. i agree.
xe800 2.5/3KHz upper-mids are closer to reference, louder than gr07's. both xe800 and gr07 6KHz peak is louder than 2.5/3KHz peak (when measured with iec711 coupler); this gives them that bright tonality, which helps to get the sensation of better resolution and detail. 9KHz peak is also loud.
xe800 mid-bass is also louder than gr07's.
so louder mid-bass + louder upper-mids confers more v-shape than in gr07. anyway, compared with most phones, both are still quite balanced and flat.
like you say, this can be eq'ed, but the speed, transient response, distortion, etc. (not improvable) of these drivers are really good. that's why i got so many xe800 for so cheap, they've been my christmas gifts for my relatives/friends.
 
Jan 3, 2017 at 1:44 PM Post #600 of 682

pfloyd

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Posts
390
Likes
326
Yeah that's the one I meant and as you said easy to reverse, but my big concern is damage to driver as housing is much smaller than the gr07, would like more info on clearance if available.
By the way I'm listening to Soft Machine on the vsd2s that came with the an16 and it sounds excellent, under appreciated gem.
Well I did it, used small drill bit and slowly peeled out soft plastic at dimple site, be careful cable threads through there, but man glad I did, really warmed up and opened soundstage, less compressed/ more dynamic. I like :thumbsup: This was to the an16.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top