The "IEMs That Significantly Perform BELOW Their Price Point" Thread
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SteveKiwi

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There were a few things wrong with the 4.Ai.  The one that was forgivable was the bass that had a low-to-mid-bass focus which gave the bass a bit of smoothness and presence to it.  Despite being non-ruler flat, I enjoyed the bass quite a bit and really didn't have too many bad things to say about it.  The issues delved around that dip that Inks talked about as well as above the 10kHz range.  The dip caused a couple problems.  First was that the lower treble lacked presence and detailing.  A snare snap just didn't snap, and if it did, it was weak and rarely had any presence while you were listening.  It took quite a bit away from many alternative, rock, and pop songs unfortuantely.  That same dip also impacted the upper-midrange, mainly the vocals.  Vocals tended to be beautifully lush with lots of depth and emotion.  However, the top end energy and power just wasn't there with the 4.Ai.  The fact that the 4.Ai didn't extend above the 10kHz range was also problematic for the upper treble.  I should note that I was not the only one that felt this way about the 4.Ai (I had at least 2-3 people PM me about this exact issue)...  Many were, but they were too afraid to speak up because of how negative words about the 4.Ai were being attacked constantly.
 
I made these statements, more than once, but every other person minimized this issue simply saying they didn't hear it.  Bringing it up always brought up some conflict and arguments, and in a thread full of hype, you do get attacked for making that statement I just made above.  There are lots of things that the 4.Ai do amazingly though, don't get me wrong.  Vocals are beautiful (if you don't look at the upper end of things) and they are extremely easy to listen to while detailing is retrieved in a strong fashion, but without being aggressive.  Clarity is ample without being overdone.  If anyone still has their 4.Ai, listen to some pianos on it, they sound absolutely gorgeous.
 
 
Thanks for that,  its a truly detailed example.
 
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tinyman392

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Thanks for that,  its a truly detailed example.
 
Your most welcome.  It's not that the 4.Ai were a bad IEM, they are a great IEM, and IMO (not everyone agrees with me on this one, especially in this thread), but it's able to hold its own against some top tiers, but is in a different flavor.  That last part is what really got people to dislike them.  They were advertised as neutral, and the first batch of reviewers stated they were neutral.  Then people bought them, and they weren't neutral, not close. 
 
That's not to say that the quality was bad.  It just wasn't vanilla, maybe a strawberry, mixed in with chocolate swirls?  It's a flavorful combination :wink:
 
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Marshal Banana

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S-EM6 (maybe the worst high end universal I tried)
Almost all the high end Final Audio Design IEM
SM64 
Stage Diver 3 (while I think the SD2 are better in every way)
JVC FXZ200 and FXZ100
Klipsch Image X10
etc...
 
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SilverEars

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The SM64, why was it disappointing?  Was it at least better than the SM3?
 
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lookingforIEMs

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Se846? At its price point I was expecting a competition with high end aggressive CIEMs but oh did the smoothness disappoint me.

IM04 sounded unnatural.

W4R Had weird vocals and did not command the 729 price tag in my country try

ER4P was kinda meh and it costs 439 in my country.

JH16 sounded like it had really muffled vocals to me and at the time it cost 1888 from jaben.

ASG2 was a big let down. Sounded muddy and as if ASG didn't have a sound tester.
 
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  S-EM6 (maybe the worst high end universal I tried)
Almost all the high end Final Audio Design IEM
SM64 
Stage Diver 3 (while I think the SD2 are better in every way)
JVC FXZ200 and FXZ100
Klipsch Image X10
etc...
 
It's like we're the same person!
 
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lookingforIEMs

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In general, my own rhapsodio R2L. Wideness of soundstage surpassed all W4R, IM04 etc.

Jh13PRO. Balance between clarity and bass really justifies it's price tag.

Tdk BA200. Sound is similar to warm high end setups for almost 1/10 of the price ( tho quality isn't as good ).

Dita Audio The Answer The Truth Edition.
When I demoed it, somehow it excelled in everything I threw at It. Perhaps you could call it a master of all trades and a jack in none :). Most audiophiles would kill ( not to mention save a lot of money on high end setups specifically catered to a certain genre ) for such a flexible iem.
 
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Marshal Banana

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  The SM64, why was it disappointing?  Was it at least better than the SM3?

It was extremely boring to my ears, and not impressive me at all, performance wise, upon this those have a very poor build quality. I think a IM01 for example is far better in every aspect for cheaper.
But we all hear differently. I'm a big fan of the 846, I think they perform better than a lot of high end CIEM (I ended to prefer them to my Fitear C435) but some people quote it in this thread.
 
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lookingforIEMs

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It was extremely boring to my ears, and not impressive me at all, performance wise, upon this those have a very poor build quality. I think a IM01 for example is far better in every aspect for cheaper.
But we all hear differently. I'm a big fan of the 846, I think they perform better than a lot of high end CIEM (I ended to prefer them to my Fitear C435) but some people quote it in this thread.
Haha sorry Bro. Really did not like the SE846. I mean it's just too smooth. Details are just not there cos it's so smooth. Expected more from this TOTL iem.
 
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omastic

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  The 4A.i was also one of my biggest disappointment after all the hype.  I was really impressed by it for around half an hour then after flicking through some of my  favourite albums I started to notice what was wrong with it. Sold it few days latter....
I was also initially very impressed, even wrote a glowing first impression in the appreciation thread. I was suffering from new toy syndrome and also was very new to this hobby at the time, so didn't know any better. But a quick comparison with my other gears made it very clear they were average at best and underperformed quite a bit given their price. 
 
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tinyman392

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 The 4A.i was also one of my biggest disappointment after all the hype.  I was really impressed by it for around half an hour then after flicking through some of my  favourite albums I started to notice what was wrong with it. Sold it few days latter....
I was also initially very impressed, even wrote a glowing first impression in the appreciation thread. I was suffering from new toy syndrome and also was very new to this hobby at the time, so didn't know any better. But a quick comparison with my other gears made it very clear they were average at best and underperformed quite a bit given their price. 

I think that was another issue with the 4.Ai. It was a lot of people's first foray into higher-end IEMs. So that hype train took off even quicker than it should have. Lol.
 
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