Sleek SA6: Can I do better for $200?
Oct 27, 2008 at 4:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 45

schneller

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In terms of value, price/performance, is the Sleek SA6 the best I can do for $200? If so, please tell me your alternative and why.

Thanks.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 4:32 PM Post #2 of 45

scytheavatar

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Generally, the SA6 offers a lot and is a strong contender for best IEM <$200. The 2 common complains are the bass quantity and the built quality. Those who want more bass might prefer the Atrio M5. Those who want better built quality might prefer the Q Jays. Those who want really analytical listening might prefer the ER4p. Otherwise there aren't much competition for the Sleeks unless you up the price and aim for the UM2 or the Klipsch Image X10.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 4:35 PM Post #3 of 45

parrot5

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Hm.... I'm getting interested in the Sleek... can someone compare the Sleek with the ER4?
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 4:48 PM Post #4 of 45

ljcii

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There's still the RE-1s.
They still work well without amps. Just higher volume.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 6:48 PM Post #5 of 45

schneller

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Anyone else?
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 7:31 PM Post #6 of 45

pseudohippy

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I dont know of anything else. I think they are the best at that price point but what do I know. I didnt like the atrio M8 and got rid of them before the SA6 even came out. M8 are competitive with SA6 though but the bass wasnt my cup of tea at all.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 7:42 PM Post #7 of 45

schneller

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pseudohippy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I dont know of anything else. I think they are the best at that price point but what do I know. I didnt like the atrio M8 and got rid of them before the SA6 even came out. M8 are competitive with SA6 though but the bass wasnt my cup of tea at all.


I own the Sansa E260 as well. Will I be good to go with the SA6s without an amp?
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:14 PM Post #10 of 45

Pianist

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I think Q-jays are about on par with if not better than the SA6 and cost less. Here, I'll jot down some pros and cons of each below, judging from my own ears. Keep in mind though, that I only auditioned the Q-jays for about 10 minutes overall, while I had the SA6 for over a month now:

Sleek Audio SA6:

Pros:

- deep, tight and neutral bass response that doesn't overpower the rest of the frequency spectrum
- warm, detailed and musical midrange that is pleasant to listen to
- well detailed and extended highs
- treble and bass quantity can be adjusted somewhat using the different bass/treble tips
- good imaging and instrument positioning
- good isolation and comfort, especially when using the Shure black olives
- very little microphonics when worn over the ear

Cons:

- build quality seems questionable and the treble tubes can detach rather easily from the earphone when removing the sleeves
- the sound lacks some depth and especially dynamics compared to multiple driver IEMs and quality dynamic driver headphones (their most serious flaw IMO)
- can be a bit thin sounding at times, again compared to multiple driver IEMs and dynamic drivers
-the midrange is warmer the neutral and does not sound quite as natural as on the Q-jays
- may not fit very deep into the ear depending on the shape and size of the ear canals, making wearing them over-the-ear difficult (the cable keeps on slipping from the ear to the side)

Q-jays:

Pros:

- deep, tight and decently punchy bass response
- excellent, natural midrange reproduction
- well extended, sparkling highs
- excellent detail throughout the frequency spectrum, maybe even better than SA6
- good imaging/instrument positioning
- decent depth and dynamics
- incredibly small size makes these a really comfortable IEM, even more comfortable than SA6, at least for my ears
- build quality is great

Cons:

- soundstage can sound compressed and very in-the-head at times
- the highs can become a bit too much and fatiguing after a while
- the bass fades away rather quickly: it hits you and then it's gone without a trace
- the overall sound is a bit thinner and more analytical than some other dual-driver and triple-driver IEMs out there, but definitely more dynamic and engaging than that of SA6 IMO

Some other possible alternative in that price range include Klipsch Custom 2, the all new Sennheiser IE6, Futuresonics Atrio M5/M8, Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 (the new non-pro version is better), as well as Head-Direct RE1. However, out of all of those I only owned and listened to the RE1s, so I can't really comment on any others. Personally I think that Head-Direct RE1 requires an amp to shine and sounds quite dull and boring without one, plus the ergonomics aren't that great on the RE1 - the cables are quite noisy, and you can't wear the 'phones over the ear, plus the cable is a little too short for tall users and becomes too long with the extension.

Hope this will be of some help.
biggrin.gif
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:17 PM Post #11 of 45

Pianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dookiex /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Sony EX700s.


These cost more than $200.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jinx20001 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
id take q-jays given the choice


I think I would as well. The dynamics on the SA6 are somewhat lacking for a $200 headphone.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:27 PM Post #12 of 45

jinx20001

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pianist /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I
Q-jays:

Pros:

- deep, tight and decently punchy bass response
- excellent, natural midrange reproduction
- well extended, sparkling highs
- excellent detail throughout the frequency spectrum, maybe even better than SA6
- good imaging/instrument positioning
- decent depth and dynamics
- incredibly small size makes these a really comfortable IEM, even more comfortable than SA6, at least for my ears
- build quality is great

Cons:

- soundstage can sound compressed and very in-the-head at times
- the highs can become a bit too much and fatiguing after a while
- the bass fades away rather quickly: it hits you and then it's gone without a trace- the overall sound is a bit thinner and more analytical than some other dual-driver and triple-driver IEMs out there, but definitely more dynamic and engaging than that of SA6 IMO

.
biggrin.gif



i think this point should be in your plus points, its a sign of how quick the drivers respond and then settle. if theres no overhang in the bass and its quick this reduces the chance of the bass being muddy.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 9:03 PM Post #13 of 45

monolith

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You can get UM2s used for $200. I don't think anything could best them for that money.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 9:03 PM Post #14 of 45

Pianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jinx20001 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i think this point should be in your plus points, its a sign of how quick the drivers respond and then settle. if theres no overhang in the bass and its quick this reduces the chance of the bass being muddy.


Yeah, I guess you might be right. I never thought of it like that. I just put up this point because I know that some people bring it up as a con so I wanted to make sure the OP is aware of some potential disappointments that he might have if he decides to grab some Q-jays.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 9:08 PM Post #15 of 45

Pianist

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Quote:

Originally Posted by monolith /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You can get UM2s used for $200. I don't think anything could best them for that money.


I compared the UM2s to Q-jays and thought that they are both very good. I can't really say which one is better. They just have very different presentations - UM2 is quite a bit darker with rolled off highs, but sounds fuller; Q-jays are a bit thinner and more in-the-head sounding but brighter and more exciting. Personally, I would rather get the Q-jays as I prefer their sound sig and because they can be bought brand new for well under $200. But that's just my opinion of course.
 

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