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The IEM/Ear Bud Lounge

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  1. Karendar
    No way, I'm not a drama, you're a drama!!

    (All in good fun :wink:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  2. Richsvt
    see...intense
     
    Karendar and Midgetguy like this.
  3. Midgetguy
    We tend to follow the "lounge" part of the title more than the "IEM/Earbud" part of the title :D

    I.....definitely didn't make it to February :p. I saw a deal for a new iSine10 for less than the price of an iSine LX from a reputable retailer, what was I supposed to do? :D And now here I sit with the iSines plugged in and the EQ set on my iPod Touch 5g. And also in front of me for the commute later is the Massdrop Plus, but I'm not counting that because technically, I bought it last year :p
     
  4. boblauer
    I'm still holding true, have not bought anything. Got tons of help avoiding the need to buy with work crumbling. But God help me if work rebounds as I'll buy everything in sight.
     
  5. Richsvt
    @Midgetguy , I hear you. I keep saying that 'it's not my fault.' Too many good deals around.
    I had a great time with my Ipods.

    There was another thread where someone had the 'stack' with the ipod Classic, Cypher labs dac and nice amp. I rocked out to many an hour with that back when. Interesting to see how far some of the gear has evolved. Still some great tunes.
     
  6. HungryPanda
    I have bought a micro sd card but as it will be filled with music it counts .....
     
    OldDude04 likes this.
  7. KEV G
    I only bought one thing, the Vega (pretty big thing) oh yeah, the JVC HA S-500 oh and the Amp 4 module for the DX200 and that’s it. Hang on, a 4.4 balanced Litz cable from Campfire and that’s it.....I think, no, some tips and that’s definitely it:stuck_out_tongue: don’t even think I got on the wagon to fall off it !!
    Got to get back on, CanJam is only 5 months away:grimacing:
     
    bjaardker, OldDude04 and Richsvt like this.
  8. Midgetguy
    I had an iPod classic (with the click wheel), an iPod Touch 2G, and now the iPod Touch 5g. Didn't haven't anything that sounded good going from the classic to 2g, but there was a noticeable difference going from the 2g to the 5g. Frankly, the iPod Touch 5g/6g may be one of the best modern DAPs considering what it does (not including smartphones which do everything). The audiophile ones that "sound better" (and I can't validate to what extent those claims have merit) generally cost quite a lot more and you have a decent chance of having to fight the OS and UI layout. I can check the weather, play some time-killing games, and play music with an easy-to-use and responsive interface all at the same time with the iPod Touch 5g. It powers anything portable that I plug into it and the output sound is flat and clean, without any super noticeable alterations to the sound signature (I compared it at one point to my Topping D20/SMSL sApII Pro stack and there wasn't much major difference to be heard). I hate that it has such a bad reputation in the audio community because it's actually a good device; it just gets immediately dismissed by so many because it's a mainstream product by a massive company not associated with high-end audio products.

    I think we saw you come up to the wagon, but you were weighed down already by the stuff you had so you didn't actually get on the wagon, which is good! Falling off wagons hurt; I landed square on my wallet and that was a bit of a pain :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
    KEV G likes this.
  9. barondla
    Magni 3 is a great little amp. Enjoyed my short time with one. It even sounds super with IEMs.

    Eventually I want two Magni 3. With special diy cables will run the PonoPlayer balanced into them. Magni 3 monoblocks and still only $200! The Mitchell & Johnson MJ2 will sound so awesome.

    Enjoy your new amp.
     
    Richsvt likes this.
  10. Karendar
    I have gear I need to unload... A Fiio a5 and a phantom master 6. Wondering how I should do it.
     
  11. Jackpot77
    For the Campfire Audio fans on the thread, I'll just leave this here... :wink:

    20180213_112938.jpg
     
  12. Karendar
    Niiiice. Grats. :)
     
  13. OldDude04
    I swear, you people with your iSines and Cascades and Magni 3's certainly do not make July look any closer, lol.
     
    Midgetguy and barondla like this.
  14. Karendar
    Comparison PM6 / U8 / IMR R1

    IEM.jpg

    Ok, so I had some time to listen to all three gears for a while now. Here are my impressions and parameters for test:


    • I used comply foams (Same set) for all three, as they're the most comfortable for me
    • I listened to this song as a baseline song, As it had the necessary variations between the song to really listen to the range I'm aiming for: (See below)
    • I used stock cable for the PM6 and IMR R1. I used a premium 64 audio cable for the U8 (Ok, so I cheated a bit, but can you blame me? I do love my 64 audio)
    • I used Neutron player with audiophile resampling configuration and 64 bit processing at 53 volume
    • Used the same filter (black) for the PM6 and the IMR R1. I used the M-20 modules for the U8.
    • Source is a V30 with Quad DAC


    Let's start:


    PM6

    I decided to start off with the PM6 in order to hear the difference going up and because frankly, I feel it's the most underwhelming of the three.

    Comfort: I am surprised, having tried other Trinity products, how light the PM6 is. I'm also surprised how thin and light the cable they supplied with it is. This could be perceived as good for comfort, but bad for other parameters. See below.

    Build quality: Shell itself seems well built, smooth design, no apparent major construction flaws. The most annoying part is the fact the screws seem astethic only, as the shells are soldered/glued together. Fail @ Trinity. Cable is flimsy, but braided and doesn't tangle easy. Connectors are aluminum and seem like they will last with proper care.

    Sound: Now I was right about the underpowered nature of the PM6. The cable might be playing a portion of the underpowering. It looks like they put a very light OFC cable in this. I decided to pop in my premium 64 audio cable to see if it opened up the IEM somewhat... Nope. Same deal. I'd have to try higher gauge, higher quality to see a difference. Soundstage isn't as open as I'd hoped either, I feel confined listening to these.

    The sound itself is pretty even with mids slightly recessed. I have some slight harshness on some treble activity, especially on this song. However, it's not as annoying as other IEM's in the test scenario. I'm surprised how much closer to a V sound these are compared to the initially promised clinical sound. Guess they switched it around mid release in order to suit the needs of others.

    These trigger my Tinnitus almost instantaneously, which sort of kills any hopes of using them as a daily driver.

    Final thoughts: Meh. I was expecting more of the PM6. I guess it just goes to show that tastes in sound signatures are very subjective and evolve over time. :)

    64 audio U8

    Comfort: I like the U8's, don't get me wrong, but comfort on these isn't always stellar. They are smaller than the PM6, but don't seem to fit in my ear as well as the PM6 or the R1's... The nozzle is pretty long compared to the others, which might factor in to the whole fit issue. Not a big dealbreaker, but they still lose points.

    Build quality: Plastic plastic plastic. Plastic shell, plastic connectors. Obviously, they focused on the internals as their selling point, because these are beyond underwhelming in build quality. The cable itself is a 4 wire braid with no extra covered braiding. Not many microphonics because of this, cable is also pretty light, but makes this mofo tangle like no tomorrow. The 3.5mm is a metal right angle and very sturdy as well as being gold plated. Will last a long time before damaging. The 2 pin is plastic, but the pins seem sturdy enough. Problem is, the connection in the earbud was really stiff at first and pulling out the cable caused it to become slightly crooked. Also, the cable has memory wire at the top to properly fit behind your ear. I know some of you don't enjoy this, but I do.

    Sound: Wow, these are so easy to drive. I'm always impressed when I put em on. Out the gate, they drown out anything the PM6 can deliver. Bass is clearly more present with mids and highs being on an equal foot, so I guess this would be L shaped? No harshness on the treble like the PM6, just smooth, clear sound. Overall volume is really high compared to the PM6, so I have to knock it down a peg to maybe 48 to be able to get the same idea of sound. Much wider soundstage than the PM6, airy and envelopping.

    I don't get any Tinnitus spikes with these because of the Apex module. Problem is that considering the Apex is basically venting the IEM, I get sound leakage and wind sheer on them, so might not be perfect for everyone. They do sell modules for their earplugs which fit the Apex hole and seal the IEM entirely. But this transforms sound by a lot, so you have to make sure you enjoy the difference.

    Final thoughts: For the price, you'd expect more on build quality. However, the sound makes up for any transgressions on build quality or build materials. 64 audio knows that their selling factor is how great their sound signature is. The Apex modules are also a SUPER WIN for tinnitus sufferers like myself. Makes long listening sessions much more enjoyable when your ears aren't ringing at the end of the session. Personally, while these aren't my daily drivers for videos, light music listening and commute, I'd easily go back to these for any other scenarios.

    IMR R1

    Comfort: Took a while to get used to the unusual design fitting in ear. The nozzle is short, thus molds in ear easier than say the U8. Design of the module being rounded as opposed to inner ear moulded, might fit better for some people with smaller ears (Surprisingly enough).

    Build quality: Shell is smooth and slick. Love the industrial look with the open/close wheel on the back. Cable placement is odd, which takes some getting used to. When it comes to cable, this one is a STIFF %$*$/%). Looks like it's great quality, moulded with stiff rubber which takes a while to get hooked behind the ears. Once it does mould right though, fit is great. Tips are metal, 3.5mm gold plated. I haven't opened up a shell, but considering I have two pairs to play around with, I'll probably do this later. There is driver flex. Is this bad? Is this good? I don't know. Bob says it's not a problem, as driver flexes when you get a good seal. However, with the problem below, this might make you think otherwise.

    Sound: Now this is where it gets interesting. Bob has always mentionned his prefered sound is "organic" and "fun". Personally, I didn't really get what he meant by that until listening to this IEM. The ceramic driver really punches bass like nothing I've had the pleasure of hearing. It's tight, powerful and doesn't overpower the other frequencies (to my taste, as some others could find this overpowering). When it comes to mids, I'd say they're pretty centered, but you do get unusual spikes in highs which can make it sound harsh on some tracks. Highs are clear, sometimes a little too clear to me. Must be sensitive to highs because of my tinnitus. The IEM itself is slightly harder to drive than the U8, but less so than the PM6. I'd say it's an in between the two. For my baseline track, this is where the R1 got weird: That treble spike I got on the PM6? It's x 10 on the R1 which makes it sound defective. I still haven't determined which band this spikes on, but let's just say if you have high pitch sounds, they could mess up the beryllium driver. Is this due to the driver flex? Have I not burned in the IEM's enough? Both IMR R1's have the same issue, so I know it's not a defect... After burning it in further, might transform this a bit, but for now, it's slightly offputting.

    Soundstage is wider than the PM6, but less so than the U8. Again, a happy in between. The open/close wheel does slightly affect the openness of the soundstage, which is great! But an open scenario in a commute can be bothersome for others and for me. So closed back in commute or noisy work environment, open back in a quiet work environment.

    When it comes to my Tinnitus, in open back configuration and with a normal audio level, his does NOT trigger my tinnitus. Wow. Terrific :) Closed back does ring a bit, but nothing major. Color me impressed!

    Final thoughts: Bob was kind enough to send me a second pair when it went in limbo... Both ended up showing up, so I had the privilege of trying out both pairs to compare and keep the one as my main pair. I've had some issues with the first pair, the open/close wheel was really stiff and I had some higher driver flex than the first pair. This might go to show as initial manufacturing issues? Possibly. But Bob delivered a solid product which deserves attention.

    Wrap up:

    So based on the above rundowns, here's my preference:

    1st) 64 Audio U8
    1.5nd (Because 2nd is not accurate)) IMR R1
    3rd) PM6

    If we compare the pricepoints, the 64 audio U8 being the most expensive at full price, goes to show that they delivered on audio quality, as I'd score them as first place. However, the IMR R1 is not far behind in my book. They're just different on their prowesses, thus I can't actually differenciate them as 1st and 2nd place. The R1 delivers a fun, punchy sound with a great looking/feeling package with a BUNCH of bells and whistles. The U8 delivers a sterile, reference sound with the extra punch given by the two additional BA drivers for lows, bringing up this to basshead quality gear.

    The PM6 is in another league alltogether. This IEM is not worth the retail price, it is worth the rebate price. Paying more than £250 for this is not worth it, sadly. In the £400 price range, there is much better competition, especially since you can get the U8 on special at $700 USD and the IMR R1 in B stock at £200.

    Are any of these TOTL? Are any of these end game? Maybe not. Are they worth your time and your collection? Of course. Just make sure they fit with your tastes based on this and other reviews and make sure you get a good price on them. :wink:
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    rr12267, sejsel, majo123 and 3 others like this.
  15. OldDude04
    Sell them in the head-fi classifieds and also you can try r/avexchange on reddit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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