The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Feb 16, 2024 at 4:55 PM Post #81,526 of 86,785
If I was doing power lifting I’d probably ditch the wire as well, but I’ve never tried any of these Bluetooth adapters so I have no clue how well they work. I also use CIEMs/a wire because it’s one thing I don’t have to charge. The amount of times I had my AirPods die on me… 😭

I’m not sure as far as budget sets go. I’ve always used sets that are multi kilobuck priced since a large amount of my weekly listening is at the gym and I really value that time so for me it’s easily worth it. So unfortunately I can’t help there.

I try to keep the gym sets to ones that cross a certain threshold of performance to where I don’t feel like I’m missing out overall, but also help me appreciate the higher performing/summit-fi sets that I keep at home.
Ie900 + go blu tucked under my shirt 🎶🏋🏻
 
Feb 16, 2024 at 5:11 PM Post #81,527 of 86,785
If I was doing power lifting I’d probably ditch the wire as well, but I’ve never tried any of these Bluetooth adapters so I have no clue how well they work. I also use CIEMs/a wire because it’s one thing I don’t have to charge. The amount of times I had my AirPods die on me… 😭

I’m not sure as far as budget sets go. I’ve always used sets that are multi kilobuck priced since a large amount of my weekly listening is at the gym and I really value that time so for me it’s easily worth it. So unfortunately I can’t help there.

I try to keep the gym sets to ones that cross a certain threshold of performance to where I don’t feel like I’m missing out overall, but also help me appreciate the higher performing/summit-fi sets that I keep at home.
The sony swim walkman I'm using now is a single dynamic driver set that works well with my gym playlist (which these days is a healthy split of movie themes, gangster rap, and the Chainsaw Man soundtrack; I spent Wednesday shoulder-pressing to various remixes of Edge of Chainsaw). I'm googling options and wondering if one of those meze advar and gopod bundles would be right up my alley. Would definitely like to know if that'll be available to demo at CanJam (or if someone might be bringing theirs and generous enough to share for a listening session).

Side note: I also need a CanJam 2024 nyc badge added to my profile, no idea who I reach out to about that.
 
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Feb 16, 2024 at 5:16 PM Post #81,528 of 86,785
I'd be bold and argue a counterpoint here: most tech, historically, from computers to microwaves to televisions, has been prohibitively expensive for cutting edge flagship models initially, but, as time has passed, has leveled out to the point that what once was marketed only at the elite gradually becomes commonplace and a base feature expected among even the cheapest models.

I still love my raptgo hookx. They cost me about 200 bucks. I don't think they're competing with bone conduction planar sets that are 10 times their price, but I also don't think for even a second that I'd have a bone conduction planar magnetic set of IEMs as obscenely cheap as $200 without more expensive flagship sets having implemented that tech first.
Maybe. Not sure. I mean, I agree that this is true, by and large. I'm just not sure what we are seeing from UM is actually as "cutting edge" as it's marketed to be. Of course it's a new set with a new type of BC and BC itself is newish, at least in audiophile IEMs. But BA and BC tech is not new, nor very expensive. What you are paying for here is not tech but tuning. At least that's the story. Which is why I am happy where I am because I love the tuning of the sets I have regardless of the tech (or the cost!).
I just know there's still no ceiling yet in IEMs in resolution and details aspect (not imaging or soundstage or physicality) especially if you're accustomed to the resolution and detail retrieval of e-stat or Susvara headphones.
Sorry I just don't see e-stat or Susvara as better than a great IEM, even if detail and resolution are your metrics. There really isn't anywhere to go. There is a way that e-stats and the Susvara resolve and present details that you like nmore, but that does not mean they are actually more detailed or resolving of the underlying source per se. I see it more as a tuning choice.
 
Feb 16, 2024 at 5:29 PM Post #81,529 of 86,785
Your take: would a custom set be decent with an adapter like the fiio Bluetooth adapters? I'd be terrified of snagging a wire with compound movements, and I do like having a system separate from my phone with it's own dedicated playlist and battery, but the appeal of a proper perpetual seal is there. Anything you'd recommend in the budget range for customs? I'm in no rush but wondering if I should consider shopping around. The gym is one of my sole dedicated music time activities these days...
I use FIIO bt adapters with Audiosense T800 at the gym. Works great for me. I am not listening critically at the gym so this level of sound is fine and the ergonomics are fantastic.
 
Feb 16, 2024 at 5:40 PM Post #81,530 of 86,785
Sorry I just don't see e-stat or Susvara as better than a great IEM, even if detail and resolution are your metrics. There really isn't anywhere to go. There is a way that e-stats and the Susvara resolve and present details that you like nmore, but that does not mean they are actually more detailed or resolving of the underlying source per se. I see it more as a tuning choice.
I am not sure we are talkaing about the same Susvara, or infect any totl over ear like Caldera. Its simple physics, a larger driver can convey more sonic information with more nuances - I doubt we ever will hear a IEM that presents instruments as large and realistic with 3d body and weight to every note like a Caldera does or the endless airy etheareal and layered stage many know from a Susvara. Where totl IEMs is intimate closer presentation where some detail is just more forward due to being closer to eardrum and therefor easier readable. Some has fantastic microdynamics, speed and treble that can outperform some over ears. But stage, layering, seperation, "grandness" of the sound, air, macrodetail, physicallity are simply not on the level of TOTL over ears. And thats fine. Sometimes I prefer this highly resolving intimacy a good IEM can provide and I am happy that developers still manage to emulate some aspects of speaker / over ear headphone presentation. But being honest with myself, I see where the limitations of this medium are. Its a trade off for portability and easier driveability that I am happy to accept.
 
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Feb 16, 2024 at 6:00 PM Post #81,531 of 86,785
In December, I shipped off my Sony 1Z for a final mod. This mod is the last step in bringing my gold brick to its fullest potential, courtesy of Steve at NP Audio. Yesterday, he sent over some pics of the completed mod which includes a 18k yellow gold replating w/ polish, Rubycon PMLCAP Film Capacitors, Kemet Tantalum Polymer at the battery terminals, custom Gold Mr Walkman UI and custom leather backplate. Suffice to say, this device is designed to last me beyond my active participation in the hobby and for many many years to come. This completes my portable DAP solution. This custom 1Z and the N30AP serves all my needs.

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I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this. 😊
Audio gold. Yes. I said it. 😁
 
Feb 16, 2024 at 6:42 PM Post #81,532 of 86,785
Feb 16, 2024 at 7:03 PM Post #81,533 of 86,785
Nouvelle Vague in Dublin tonight… spectacular gig.

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Feb 16, 2024 at 7:11 PM Post #81,534 of 86,785
Received my Susvara today, honestly cant get the hands of the thing. Its such a good pairing with Holo Bliss and May. The Annihilator 2023 that came the same day got very brief listen but I am very impressed, its nothing I read in the reviews, with brightish tonality and dryness. Its highly detailed, but warmish deep, engaging sound profile with beautifully lush treble and great mids. Only the bass falls out of the overall great impression, its bit plasticly and lacks resolution. I will write down few notes comparing it to Jewel and Traillii, but one thing is sure - Jewel is going home and Anni with Traillii will stay. Couldnt connect to Jewel at all in the end, just dont feel the price and dont feel like the soundscape is coming together well. The original cost of over 5k is pretty bewildering.

Reading another review of UM IEM that is priced at 6k just being "pretty good" seriously makes me to question todays IEM market. With Traillii I somewhat still can justify it initial cost, since arguably it was a stepstone for the IEM community and its tuning still is superior for me comparing it to many nowdays IEMs, considering how fast IEM market is, we can safely say the thing is a masterwork. But seing so many ultra expensive IEMs pop up over the past year alone is bit weird. Especially comparing with the over ear headphone market and how much work goes into designs like ZMF, tuning and artisan wood work and how reasonably they are priced. The Susvara I currently have on my head writing this, still outclasses any IEM I had by a mile.. and is rather affordable aftermarket nowdays.

So yeah. Hope to see more somewhat still reasonably priced, but incredibly well build, designed and tuned IEMs like Annihilator instead of more overexpensive UM-like releases.. Just a few evening thoughts.

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Congrats to your new toys, I demoed many times Susvara but just could not find a good chain to make it appeal to me and I ended up with ZMF.
I have two desktop chains, both of which have the Holo Bliss as the amp. One has the May as the DAC, the other the Dave and M scaler. Both chains drive the Susvara very well, but I still prefer it with a bit more bass than the stock pads. It’s simply a matter of preference. :)
I read one guy claimed that after many years' trial and error, he found the perfect amp for Susvara: two Benchmark AHB2 as monblock, maybe you can try them out :).
Tnx! Something like that but then with a much wider opening. For reference this is the ATH-R70x.

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drftr
How about AB-1266 TC?
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On the price tag I think UM's target market are six-to-seven figure salary buyers and not the 99% who would have to miss rent or food payments

I do not quite understand the review ending "Why settle for being in the concert hall, when you can become the one who plays the instrument and feel the vibrations yourself." That could just be a reviewer flourish to explain there is a lot of realism or detail. When I listen to music I would not actually want the headphone to sound like being in the seat of the performer. And recorded music is not like that
UM also sell lots of much cheaper IEMs that might be the most of the profit is coming from.

I'm a 2-Digit income guy and still foolishly bought STORM and Annihilator 23 Ti :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I don't care, I'm broke but happy at the very least :sunglasses:
How do you manage that, please share :).

The wait is over! A man rejoices. 🍺
It's just like sex, you rejoice, then wonder why the hell, then you desire more.

Waiting for your comparison to the Penon Quattro... :wink:
Having multiple DD inside gives people the illusion that they may sound alike, but from what I heard, they are totally different.

In December, I shipped off my Sony 1Z for a final mod. This mod is the last step in bringing my gold brick to its fullest potential, courtesy of Steve at NP Audio. Yesterday, he sent over some pics of the completed mod which includes a 18k yellow gold replating w/ polish, Rubycon PMLCAP Film Capacitors, Kemet Tantalum Polymer at the battery terminals, custom Gold Mr Walkman UI and custom leather backplate. Suffice to say, this device is designed to last me beyond my active participation in the hobby and for many many years to come. This completes my portable DAP solution. This custom 1Z and the N30AP serves all my needs.

IMG-20240215-175928.jpg

IMG-20240215-181503.jpg

IMG-20240215-181613.jpg
Looking forward to your impression of this mod.


Welcome to the cult of DD 😁

Z1R is still my #1 IEM for too many reasons to bore you with here (TL;DR it sounds better to me than anything else).

But in no particular order I'm also a big fan of; IE900, Xe6, Rn6, Legend X, N8 and Trifecta (love/hate relationship). Those would probably be my pick as the best all-round bass-centric DD IEMs for my personal preferences.
Z1R is the GOAL!
 
Feb 16, 2024 at 8:24 PM Post #81,536 of 86,785
Hi, all. Looking at getting back into IEMs. New job - new commute. 40 mins on the bus. Hoping the water cooler could offer some advice. :)

Firstly, fit. Apparently I have small ear canals and typically use size S tips; for reference, U12Ts fit me well enough (whereas the moondrop blessing 2 were simply too wide). I also felt bass would be good for a few minutes, then the bass would soften as - I’m guessing here - the tips loosened up and out of my ear canals while on public transit. Ugh - how do y’all do it. Over ears just go on and done. Bam.

Next, sound. Based on my experience, I’d love something with the technicality of a Utopia; bass, note weight, and feel/punchiness of a closed back dynamic headphone, and timbre of a Caldera.

Next. I’m looking for TOTL, high technicality and detail retrieval. Give me all of the details. I want to hear it all! But it needs cohesion. That’s where the timbre comes into play, right? Had to sound musical!!

… and application. With these IEMs I’ll almost exclusively be listening to modern recordings. Metal, hip-hop, and EDM. No female-centric vocal genres, jazz, classical, or yacht rock - not on my commute. lol.

Budget is $4,000, max. New or used. Will be running off of a DX320 Max. a d amped with a PB5… if needed.

I’ve tried the Sennheiser IE600 and IE900s. Good. But not great. Just average to my ears. They simply don’t measure up to the overall sound and resultant feeling from Focal or ZMFs. Only other IEM I’ve owned were the U12Ts - loved the technicality, sounded good.. but eventually sold to invest in TOTL over ears; curious what the next grade up is from the U12T, honestly.

Thanks!
 
Feb 16, 2024 at 8:35 PM Post #81,537 of 86,785
Hi, all. Looking at getting back into IEMs. New job - new commute. 40 mins on the bus. Hoping the water cooler could offer some advice. :)

Firstly, fit. Apparently I have small ear canals and typically use size S tips; for reference, U12Ts fit me well enough (whereas the moondrop blessing 2 were simply too wide). I also felt bass would be good for a few minutes, then the bass would soften as - I’m guessing here - the tips loosened up and out of my ear canals while on public transit. Ugh - how do y’all do it. Over ears just go on and done. Bam.

Next, sound. Based on my experience, I’d love something with the technicality of a Utopia; bass, note weight, and feel/punchiness of a closed back dynamic headphone, and timbre of a Caldera.

Next. I’m looking for TOTL, high technicality and detail retrieval. Give me all of the details. I want to hear it all! But it needs cohesion. That’s where the timbre comes into play, right? Had to sound musical!!

… and application. With these IEMs I’ll almost exclusively be listening to modern recordings. Metal, hip-hop, and EDM. No female-centric vocal genres, jazz, classical, or yacht rock - not on my commute. lol.

Budget is $4,000, max. New or used. Will be running off of a DX320 Max. a d amped with a PB5… if needed.

I’ve tried the Sennheiser IE600 and IE900s. Good. But not great. Just average to my ears. They simply don’t measure up to the overall sound and resultant feeling from Focal or ZMFs. Only other IEM I’ve owned were the U12Ts - loved the technicality, sounded good.. but eventually sold to invest in TOTL over ears; curious what the next grade up is from the U12T, honestly.

Thanks!
A18t? However, I heard that 64audio CIEM is not as good as their UIEM. For best detail retrieval, Storm? Though I have no ideal how detail retrieval even matters in a commuting bus or train.

I actually recommend a very cheap IEM, Penon Quattro, which is very good in timbre and cohesiveness, but not good at resolution. But for $399 worth a try.
 
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Feb 16, 2024 at 8:41 PM Post #81,538 of 86,785
Found it back and you were 100% spot on. It looked different to me because of the angle. Have you tried this one? If so, how big of an opening do you think they have on the top of your head? I would really need at least 15 cms but from eye-balling the picture that may not be possible. Tnx...

drftr
I have them at home (travelling now) & dont think the gap is 15cm. Its like centre to centre around 10 cm on my head if i recall. But they flex so if your head is big, they will widen & sit in a natural position - my head is quite small.
 
Feb 16, 2024 at 8:50 PM Post #81,539 of 86,785
Hi, all. Looking at getting back into IEMs. New job - new commute. 40 mins on the bus. Hoping the water cooler could offer some advice. :)

Firstly, fit. Apparently I have small ear canals and typically use size S tips; for reference, U12Ts fit me well enough (whereas the moondrop blessing 2 were simply too wide). I also felt bass would be good for a few minutes, then the bass would soften as - I’m guessing here - the tips loosened up and out of my ear canals while on public transit. Ugh - how do y’all do it. Over ears just go on and done. Bam.

Next, sound. Based on my experience, I’d love something with the technicality of a Utopia; bass, note weight, and feel/punchiness of a closed back dynamic headphone, and timbre of a Caldera.

Next. I’m looking for TOTL, high technicality and detail retrieval. Give me all of the details. I want to hear it all! But it needs cohesion. That’s where the timbre comes into play, right? Had to sound musical!!

… and application. With these IEMs I’ll almost exclusively be listening to modern recordings. Metal, hip-hop, and EDM. No female-centric vocal genres, jazz, classical, or yacht rock - not on my commute. lol.

Budget is $4,000, max. New or used. Will be running off of a DX320 Max. a d amped with a PB5… if needed.

I’ve tried the Sennheiser IE600 and IE900s. Good. But not great. Just average to my ears. They simply don’t measure up to the overall sound and resultant feeling from Focal or ZMFs. Only other IEM I’ve owned were the U12Ts - loved the technicality, sounded good.. but eventually sold to invest in TOTL over ears; curious what the next grade up is from the U12T, honestly.

Thanks!
Aroma Audio Fei Wan....MSRP is higher than $4.7k but discounts, preowned etc etc..
 
Feb 16, 2024 at 8:56 PM Post #81,540 of 86,785
I had a problem letting go of the Monchaa. They’re one of the best IEMs I’ve heard this year.
Agree, very underrated, need burn in to fully appreciate its potential. I’m inclined to keep it notwithstanding the other TOTLs that I’ve heard.
 

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