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Sony MDR-EX1000 vs. T-Peos Altone200...FIGHT!!!

  1. AndroidVageta
    Well...just got a pair of MDR-EX1000's! Something I've always wanted but never quite pulled the trigger on. Upon first listen I have to say that these must be compared to the Altone200 that I owned before these as the similarities are pretty striking in some regards.
    I no longer own the Altone's (sold them a week ago to buy these!) so a direct A/B comparison isn't possible but I listen to a lot of the same music so I'm confident I can make a pretty good comparison based on memory. 
    I think this is a interesting comparison as on one end you have Sony. A juggernaut in the audio industry. Not only that but I have what was at one point not too long ago their FLAGSHIP IEM...costing $1000 when it was first released. On the other end we have T-Peos. A company 99.9% of the world has never heard of with MUCH lower price point offerings and no where near the time in the industry as Sony. So why am I comparing them? Well read on to find out!

    Damn near similar. Like, if it wasn't for the other parts of the over all sound I couldn't tell you the difference between the two as far as sub-bass and bass go. To get it to levels that I enjoy I had to have the 31.5Hz slider on my EQ at about +6dB to really give me the kick I enjoy on both IEM's. So right off the bat if you already own the Altones or Sony you aren't missing or gaining anything in this area. At all. Both share the same decay and depths. Kind of disappointed honestly. I always thought the Altones lacked sufficient levels of bass considering their dedicated 8mm driver. Even the Carbo Tenores I owned had much more bass and sub-bass with it's tiny 5.8mm drivers (accuracy is another story but they were more "fun" then anything else). So I though that a 16mm driver, despite what reviews said, would have had a little more punch to them...they don't.
    Over all: Bass is exactly the same from what I can tell. 

    Again, nearly the same. I think the only difference is that with the Altones using a BA for the mids they sounded a little less smooth and warm than the EX1000's (and when I say a little less I mean a TAD). Like I said, they're nearly the same. The Altones at the most sound a little more cold. Neither is better or worse than the other. That's the SOUND of the mids though. Other than that the EX1000's are definitely a little more forward in this area...I can't tell that vocals (especially female vocals like Lana Del Rey) are louder though, again, not as crisp. There seems to be subtle differences in detail too but I can't quite tell if it's a mids or high issue. I can for sure say that on certain tracks the EX1000's certainly misses a few nuances that I picked up with the Altones.
    Over all: Mids are mostly the same. Sony's are a little more forward while the Altones are a little more detailed. Definitely nothing between them to set the too far apart. I could personally take either or.

    This is a mixed bag. The EX1000 right off the bat don't suffer from the shrill highs and simblance that I've seen discussed a lot in reviews. I actually find the highs to be almost laid back. However, maybe I'm just used to it or not as sensitive as others for the Altones were pretty high in this area. Where I can listen to the EX1000 fine I had to actually lower the 8-16KHz sliders on my EQ a notch or two with the Altones as they were BRIGHT. Simblant bright. This is one of the main areas frequency wise that I found the most differences. Where as the EX1000 does a fine job with the highs and does them about to the extent that I would consider "perfect" (especially un-EQ'ed) the Altones where just borderline shrill...though detailed. And again that's where I think the NATURAL BA vs. dynamic difference comes into play. 
    Over all: The highs on the EX1000 are more laid back and less detailed though still plentiful as to not really be missing out on anything. The Altones are more detailed but also more simblant and shrill with lowered EQ to make them less fatiguing. 
    EDIT: It appears that there are filters in the canals of the EX1000 (something I've read plenty of times that they DIDN'T have). I took them out and there are the famous simblant highs of the EX1000! Now the treble (without filters, mind you) sounds pretty identical to the Altone200's.

    Sound Stage:
    EX1000 hands down. I had to make sure my speakers weren't on a couple times when listening to these. The Altones, while not bad, are a lot more narrow and don't have anywhere near the airy sound of the EX1000's.
    Over all: EX1000's win hands down. Though the Altones aren't BAD at all.

    Hmm...hard to really tell a difference again. The higher-highs of the Altones definitely help distinguish certain sounds better than the EX1000...not to mention that it's a triple driver IEM vs. a single driver IEM so I would imagine that the naturally separation would be better with the Altones just because...science. So yeah...the EX1000 has no problem in this area but you can certainly tell that there's a certain level of "sameness" across all levels in the Sony's. 
    Over all: I think the Altones might take the slight lead here but I think that's more due to their design then quality. The Sonys are good but the sounds tend to mesh together more.

    That's pretty much it ya'll! I'm actually quite shocked that the Altones are as similar as they are. Granted, unlike many here, I haven't owned 100's of buds from everyone but I've had quite a few with the Altones, RE-400's, Tenores (which I still think are just fun and fantastic for the price!), ER4S, TF18's, SE535x6, and a few others in there over the years. So maybe my definition of "good" sound or expertise isn't as high as others but I'd say this is pretty accurate. I mean, other than the better sound stage of the EX1000's and the better separation of the Altones the actual sound signature of the two are...well...pretty identical honestly.
    Are the EX1000's WORTH it over the Altones? Ehhh...no. If I had known I would have just kept the Altones or would have gone with something different. Only place that I can say the Altones are WORSE than the EX1000's are the overly bright highs...which just as with the EX1000's could just be a manufacturer difference as the level of simblance and highs seems to vary with both depending on the pair.
    Will I be selling the EX1000's for something else? Probably. Plus, the EX1000 touch a certain part of my outer ear on the right side that's causes irritation...that and I really like straight drop down cables too...just the sort of "plug and play" style without having to deal with wrap around cabling. 
  2. AndroidVageta
    The ones I bought (refurb from Sony) came with a second cable. I'm modding said second cable to a drop type (i.e. removing memory wire, etc).
    The memory "wire" is all plastic. No metal. Never seen anything like it before. Able to hold its shape completely perfectly. Crazy. Feel like I'm looking at some alien material or something...
    They feel MUCH better now!
  3. faithguy19

    Good Comparison! It was a good read.  The Altones are pretty good for the money but I have always wanted to try the EX1000s. Sorry they did not live up to your expectations.
  4. AndroidVageta
    Well I can't say they didn't live up to my expectations as I really didn't have any other than maybe better bass (which I read wasn't their natural strong point to begin with).
    I can say that if you have tried or own the Altones you can just skip the EX1000's completely unless you like the Altone sound and just want a better sound stage. Other than that don't bother.
    It does raise questions like...what is better than the EX1000 for the price range? Thinking about the Dunu DN-2000 (which was recommended) or the JVC FX850.
  5. sfwalcer
  6. faithguy19

    What type of sound are you looking for? Maybe you should just keep this thread going and add others to your comparison list?
  7. AndroidVageta
    Well after reading reviews and what not it seems that the Dunu DN-2000's will be my next stop if I ultimately choose to not keep the Sony's. Who knows though...the reviews for the EX1000's were very good but turned out...not so good while still being good?
    Dunu's seem like they have better natural bass response while still maintaining good mids and highs.
    It's tough though...are the Altones that good as to compete with the EX1000's or are the EX1000's just not quite flagship audio? Did the Altones, for better or worse, spoil me? Ruin me expectations of other IEM's?
  8. faithguy19

    I actually own the DN-2000s and I would agree with the bass response being very good.  They are probably my favorite IEMs to date and I rank them as equal to my custom 1964 ears V3 if not better.  I compared them to the Altones when I had them in for review and I preferred the DUNUs by quite a bit.  Granted that is just my opinion and maybe it is something about the 2000s that I really enjoy.  
    I am pretty sure the EX1000s are flagship audio or at least they were at one time.  The Altones really do have a unique sound to them.  Some love it and some don't. Sounds like you love them!
  9. AndroidVageta
    I wouldn't say that I LOVED the Altones...just that for the $125 I paid they sound pretty damn good. 
    So yeah...the Dunu's it is. Such a shame. Always loved the EX1000's despite never hearing them or anything...they just always looked so badass and the reviews made them seem that way. 
    Hopefully the Dunu's can be my last stop for a while...not that I don't like this game but I just can't afford it! [​IMG]
    I'll give the Sony's a little while longer...the sound stage is good. How would you compare the Dunu sound stage vs. the Altones if you can make that comparison?
  10. faithguy19

    I felt that the Dunu soundstage was much bigger than the Altones. Think you will try new or used for the Dunus?
  11. AndroidVageta
    Probably used. I at least try too with most stuff if I can.
  12. AndroidVageta
    The sound stage on these EX1000's is really something special. Listening to Dr. Chesky's Binaural Album and WOW...I've never heard it like this before. Simply amazing. I think that despite the lack of bass that I'd really want everything else is done well enough to consider these keepers...for now...[​IMG]
  13. sfwalcer

    Pissssssssssssh i bet my stage is bigger/taller than yours. [​IMG]
  14. AndroidVageta
    Remind me again how much time you have with the EX1000??? [​IMG]
  15. sfwalcer

    ...............soon. [​IMG]

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