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Sony IER-M9 impressions thread

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  1. PointyFox

    It turns out some IEMs are for jamming into your ear holes and some aren't.
    The M9 and Z1R aren't. I couldn't get any of the tips to fit comfortably in my ears and was using the smallest ones.
    I just tried the "LL" extra large tips because someone mentioned they fit them and I kept thinking that my ears aren't super small and I should be wearing at least a medium.
    I then figured out that these are made to sit in the bowl of the ear, not inside the ear canal; and now the M9 and Z1R are much more comfortable for me and I still get a good seal for bass.

    I am revising my original post and putting it below after more comparison:

    I just briefly compared my IER-Z1R vs. IER-M9 vs. qdc Neptune:

    Z1R: Slightly recessed male vocals, slightly better sub-bass (audible down to 26 Hz) than the M9. Slightly wider soundstage than the M9, but everything sounds slightly distant.

    M9: Sounds slightly clearer than Z1R. Midrange is more forward. Sub-bass audible down to 27 Hz, but it is weaker than the Z1R. Mid-bass is louder than the Z1R's and much more prominent than sub-bass. Much lighter weight than the Z1R, though the difference isn't that noticeable once worn.

    Neptune: Much easier to drive than the Z1R and M9 which were about the same as each other. Sounds a little echoey. Much warmer than the M9 or Z1R. Less sibilance than both. Flatter frequency response while the M9 and Z1R are slightly V-shaped. Sub-bass is lacking but is audible down to 30 Hz. Seems to have very slight trouble playing bass and treble at the same time.

    Z1R: 8/10
    M9: 8/10
    Neptune: 10/10

    Sound Quality (for IEMs):
    Z1R: 10/10
    M9: 10/10
    Neptune: 6/10

    Overall I prefer the M9 due to sounding less distant than the Z1R. The Z1R seems a little out of focus to me and needs to be inserted deeper than the tip design will allow. The nozzles on the M9 and Z1R are too wide to accommodate deep insertion type tips, which is why there are no flanged tips included with the M9 or Z1R.
    The Neptune is amazing value for the money though, costing 6x less than the M9 and 10x less than the Z1R while beating every other IEM I've heard under $400.
    I am currently selling the Z1R, but will continue to compare them, so this may change.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
    Raketen, Mal Waldron and CoryGillmore like this.
  2. CoryGillmore
    Weird I've seen many say the Z1R is best when deeply inserted. The M9, as I've said here many times, is best when sealed but not when plugged into your ears, if that makes sense. They need room to breathe in your ears. I've actually had great results with deeply inserting the M9 but you have to do it in a way that doesn't cause them to vacuum seal in your canals. If they vacuum seal they sound like trash. Fit/seal is everything when to comes to the SQ you get from the M9. But when you get it just right, they're hard to beat. Definitely my favorite headphone/IEM at the moment. I did have to take a break from my M9 as IEMs in general were starting to irritate (EARritate LMAO) my ears.
    KaiserTK, Damz87 and Mal Waldron like this.
  3. Mal Waldron
    Mine are on the way and I may receive them on tuesday. With what musical genres do you think they perform better?
  4. twiceboss
    Exactly, the nozzle of M9 is shallow. They are design to fit the "bowl" of your ears not the canal. So with LL hybrid, it is a good size to fit the bowl. The L of TC has less impact of bass and better mids highs.

    Edit: im reviewing n6ii and its yb04. So far yb04 is a serious contender to M9 in terms of width and more controlled bass.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
    AlexCBSN likes this.
  5. PointyFox
    That's exactly what I said. The Z1R needs to be inserted deeper than the M9.
  6. Mal Waldron
    I have been using my M9 for the first few hours and they are not really IEMs that cause a "wow" effect, but it's true that they have an amazing precision, realistic tone, detail retrieval and instruments separation. I've also noticed that they need some more power than my other IEMs. They're comfortable like no other I had or tried.

    I have tried a few tips from Sony and none is appropriate, basically because most are for use in a deeper insert. The vacuum effect is very evident as soon as you insert the earpiece a little into the ear canal. Although I do not like foam tips, I have been testing them and, although they reduce the vacuum effect, they make the sound dense and without dynamism. So I'm using a medium sized Spiral Dots and the results are very good. It's a pity that not having a deeper insert, doesn't isolate anything else, but in principle I wouldn't want to use them too much outside.

    I haven't tried them with vocal music, only with jazz and electronic music. With jazz they sound fabulous...
  7. twiceboss
    Hey, try the biggest tips of the hybrid at least, fill the "bowl" of your ears, not canal. It pretty much isolates everything at least to my ears. M9 is not really design for deep fit i guess, the nozzle is shallow, it is so uncomfortable when i do deep with this set. The body will touch my ears and it is painful over time. So yeah, the shallow fit with big tips are the best with M9. Even making M9 sounds livelier
  8. MarkF786
    All this talk of not inserting the M9's into the ear canal and not wanting a tight seal seems to imply their more like earbuds than IEMs.
  9. twiceboss
    It is tight seal but at the bowl. Test it by yourself and judge.
    PointyFox likes this.
  10. Mal Waldron
    More tests with tips... Hybrids are not for me: biggest size it's too big for me and next size, too small. Biggest silicone it's ok. I also have noticed Spiral Dots cut a lot the highs. With none of the ones I've tried I have achieved good levels of isolation.
  11. justsomesonyfan
    which ones from the four tips are you using??? i got them and soon will get both them and my m9, i'll pair them with an ibasso dc01 (i doubt they need anything more)
  12. DynamicEars
    if you can get decent seal with spiral dots but dont like tamed highs and blurry imaging, try sedna eartips, shaped identically like spiral dots, without dots so highs still lively but the orginal one have longer nozzle, you may want to compare the orginal and short version (which is have similar nozzle length as spiral dots)
    and they have 2 varians : original one (black color) is more firm silicone, the light one (semi transparent color) is more softer silicone.

    I was big fan of spiral dots, but currently sedna is my way to go. But for my M7 i use L sized sony own silicone, the transparent one, like Z1R default

    And yeah M7/M9 sounded best on shallow insertion, on bowl of ear, dont push too deep into ear canal
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    Mal Waldron likes this.
  13. Mal Waldron
    Thank you very much. Yesterday, more tests confirmed Spiral Dots aren't for this IEM. Although the isolation it's better than with the Sony's tips, they sound mediocre. I'll take a look to those tips you've mentioned. At home, Sony hybrid silicone biggest size it's good for me, but it has the problem of poor isolation. On the other hand, I would like to get replacement tips of that size. I also read a colleague say that the Final Audio tips were going very well.
  14. twiceboss
    i use the white one sometimes, it can be bright but i like to tip roll according to my mood. Cheap way to have a different signature.
  15. thesheik137
    Best tips I have used with the M9 are the L Sony hybrids with foam insert. These tips are almost impossible to find now (or at least I haven't been successful), but I have these ones left from a pair of Sonys I got a looong time ago. I'm guessing the triple comforts are similar, but not exactly the same.

    Also, I actually prefer that deep insertion is not required with the M9, as my ear canals don't get irritated at all and I can use them for a long time.
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