Toranku's Thoughts and Reviews (and target EQ filters!)
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haduel

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I dont rank primarily because I do think ranking is a very difficult metric to grade since there are just too much factors to take in consideration such as timbre, tone, coherency, technical capability, transient response etc. So many iems just either end up sounding generic or similar to like 80% of stuff out there too. Aural memory also tends to be poor (factoring along with hearing inconsistency), I find it tough to slot in which categories/tiers which iems belong in. Always easier to sit down and compare A to B and say which one's better in different aspects.

But if you're asking me what my personal top few (that I still can remember) in no order:
1. Sony M9 (very technical)
2. VE8 (can be a bit too warm)
3. qdc 8SL/Gemini
4. 64 A12t (forcefitted a friend's)
5. Hidition Violet
6. pears sh3/qdc 4ss (I feel like these can be even better in custom form..maybe we'll see in the future...)
7. PP8

honorable mentions: noble khan (odd midrange but technical) & z1r (too intense and frankly overhyped)
Thanks! What if I asked the same question for the classic genre which I know isn't yours but you might have an idea anyway?

I appreciate your style of reviewing. You and @crinacle are the only people I know reviewing (C)IEM on a regular basis who attempt to paint a picture of what is good and what is bad. There is also this https://www.head-fi.org/threads/iem-score-list-last-update-01-04-2019.815852/ and this https://www.head-fi.org/threads/rank-the-iems-youve-heard.454855/
Does anyone know more reviewers of this sort?
 
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post-14883445
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toranku

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Thanks! What if I asked the same question for the classic genre which I know isn't yours but you might have an idea anyway?

I appreciate your style of reviewing. You and @crinacle are the only people I know reviewing (C)IEM on a regular basis who attempt to paint a picture of what is good and what is bad. There is also this https://www.head-fi.org/threads/iem-score-list-last-update-01-04-2019.815852/ and this https://www.head-fi.org/threads/rank-the-iems-youve-heard.454855/
Does anyone know more reviewers of this sort?
Totally clueless about classic and orchestral. I really dont know much about the instruments in those genres. I really only know the typical rock/metal instruments. Cant help you here
 
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post-14883457
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Ricky64

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Totally clueless about classic and orchestral. I really dont know much about the instruments in those genres. I really only know the typical rock/metal instruments. Cant help you here
I find classical tough. To play it well, you need a wide soundstage with good layering, and the ability to portray complex passages without congestion. In my experience, to get this in an iem, one has to back off on the upper bass and lower midrange, which then degrades the timbre of many acoustical instruments. Maybe something is out there, but I feel open over ears do a better job. I haven't heard the LCDi4; perhaps it would work. The Final Lab series is designed to do this.
I only heard it in a croweded venue, and really couldn't analyze it well. The midrange sounded honkish to me though.
 
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Kitechaser

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I find classical tough. To play it well, you need a wide soundstage with good layering, and the ability to portray complex passages without congestion. In my experience, to get this in an iem, one has to back off on the upper bass and lower midrange, which then degrades the timbre of many acoustical instruments. Maybe something is out there, but I feel open over ears do a better job. I haven't heard the LCDi4; perhaps it would work. The Final Lab series is designed to do this.
I only heard it in a croweded venue, and really couldn't analyze it well. The midrange sounded honkish to me though.
For the Classical and instrumental music. The RHA CL2 is almost impossible to beat. Provided you are driving it with a Good Dap.
 
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Ricky64

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For the Classical and instrumental music. The RHA CL2 is almost impossible to beat. Provided you are driving it with a Good Dap.
Haven’t heard it, but rumor has it is pretty aggressive in the upper frequencies?
To me, the perfect home audio equivalent is the Accuphase house sound. Interestingly, Sony personal electronics capture this sound, but their over ear headphones do not. Warm, spacious, and resolved makes classical sound good. Very difficult to capture in the small confines of an iem.
 
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Kitechaser

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Haven’t heard it, but rumor has it is pretty aggressive in the upper frequencies?
To me, the perfect home audio equivalent is the Accuphase house sound. Interestingly, Sony personal electronics capture this sound, but their over ear headphones do not. Warm, spacious, and resolved makes classical sound good. Very difficult to capture in the small confines of an iem.
It has boosted upper mids, that makes string instruments, cymbals, and chimes pop. Tuning is percieved (theoretically) flat, iem version of a quad electrostat speaker.
I have tried quite a many TOTL iems before the CL2 and since, and none come close to rendering classical music like it does. It sounds fantastic, jaw dropping really.
The OEM cables are trash and can make mids sound harsh, so a min 26 gauge copper cable upgrade is an absolute must.
I talked one of my friends on Head-fi into picking up a used pair, his impressions will be on the thread shortly. He is running it out of an AK SP1000M, and he put up his Xelentos for sale the same day he picked these up.
 
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MrOTL

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First Impressions: Hidition Violet

Here comes the underdog of Day 1 CanJam. From my tone you can see from a mile away that I am excited to talk about this earphone. Hidition is a CIEM maker hailing from Korea. They started off in the hearing aid industry and have been dipping their toes in CIEM for a while now. One thing about Hidition is that they are highly consistent - I can't think of any earphone in their track record to be objectively bad. In fact their track record has been getting better the more earphones they release. Anyway, onto the sound.

The Violet is a balanced sounding IEM with a bass boost, slight upper midrange lift with great treble extension. The Violet rumbles, which is tough considering even multi-BA setups fail to recreate. Midbass sees a slight boost which adds warmth to the tonal balance and gives it a greater punch to the track. I do think it has slight midbass bloat - the midbass image is larger than usual but certainly still in a healthy range. It does not sound sloppy and not at all muddy to me.

The mids of the Violet are well balanced, with perhaps a slight edge towards the uppermidrange. Guitars have decent crunch and bite whilst retaining body. Vocals are a tinge warm and have very decent body - it reminds me of the NocturnaL Atlantis. I don't hear any sibilance or shoutiness. Vocals and guitars are always slightly leading in front.

Treble is one of the most difficult parts to tune and I think the Violet is well executed here. While the tone of the treble is not 100% spot on for me (nothing really is), it does have extension into the upper treble. I do think the lower treble can be slightly too much for some actually. As such, cymbals have adequate shine and not an overly crispy shimmer. The more I hear its cymbals, the more I appreciate the extension. The cymbals might not be very natural sounding but for what it is, I think it deserves praise here.

The Violet reminds me of Atlantis but even more extended on both ends. Need to listen to this again.





Here are some technical informations I got from Hidition directly about 'Violet.'

Hidition Violet

# Type: Customized in-ear monitor
# Frequency response : 10-19,500hz
# Sensitivity: 108db
# Impedance: 27ohm
# Transducer: 11 BA drivers 4 Ways
(Super tweeter 4BA, tweeter 1BA. Mid 2BA. Low 4BA)
# Feature: One single air-duct (each pairs)

Official website:
http://hidition.co.kr/

I have tried with the final prototype for 5days...
It was just amazing... It performs like the starry stars in my head.
This photo was taken by me when that time...

Cheers!
 
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post-14886613
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pithyginger63

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Here are some technical informations I got from Hidition directly about 'Violet.'

Hidition Violet

# Type: Customized in-ear monitor
# Frequency response : 10-19,500hz
# Sensitivity: 108db
# Impedance: 27ohm
# Transducer: 11 BA drivers 4 Ways
(Super tweeter 4BA, tweeter 1BA. Mid 2BA. Low 4BA)
# Feature: One single air-duct (each pairs)

Official website:
http://hidition.co.kr/

I have tried with the final prototype for 5days...
It was just amazing... It performs like the starry stars in my head.
This photo was taken by me when that time...

Cheers!
Does one single air-duct mean a single nozzle for all the drivers or does it mean the air port on the side?
 
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toranku

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Does one single air-duct mean a single nozzle for all the drivers or does it mean the air port on the side?
It's like a vent, but it looks to be as if it leads to no where. A friend of mine asked if it was cosmetic or functional and the hidition rep told him it was a trade secret..
 
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toranku

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First Impressions: Fearless 1DD, S2 & S4

Managed to try almost the whole lineup today. No idea why Fearless puts out so much models. Makes it really tough for customers to decide. All impressions are derived with Azla Sedna tips.

1DD
Muddy and lacking of definition of notes. If not, standard Harman tuned midrange with warmth. Highs are dark and laid-back, lacking of extension and definition. Not quite harman due to the direction they took. Probably would pick the Moondrop KXXS over this for a 1DD comparison.

S2
Warm, slightly low res tone. Transients are slightly mushy and treble is a tad dark but extension is smooth. Generally nice tone but needs better resolution. The harman suppression can be heard to an extent with this model. Still meh overall.

S4
Less warm than S2 and transients are more defined and sharp. Still a bit blur with its imaging/attack. The lower mid suppression really comes in with the S4. More lower treble than S2 but the bass noticeably turns tighter and has better control. Pretty average sounding model.
 
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TooPoorForHiFi

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First Impressions: Fearless 1DD, S2 & S4

Managed to try almost the whole lineup today. No idea why Fearless puts out so much models. Makes it really tough for customers to decide. All impressions are derived with Azla Sedna tips.

1DD
Muddy and lacking of definition of notes. If not, standard Harman tuned midrange with warmth. Highs are dark and laid-back, lacking of extension and definition. Not quite harman due to the direction they took. Probably would pick the Moondrop KXXS over this for a 1DD comparison.

S2
Warm, slightly low res tone. Transients are slightly mushy and treble is a tad dark but extension is smooth. Generally nice tone but needs better resolution. The harman suppression can be heard to an extent with this model. Still meh overall.

S4
Less warm than S2 and transients are more defined and sharp. Still a bit blur with its imaging/attack. The lower mid suppression really comes in with the S4. More lower treble than S2 but the bass noticeably turns tighter and has better control. Pretty average sounding model.
The ACME 8, HyperS, S8Freedom, S10 Genie Coming Soon?
 
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toranku

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First Impressions: Fearless S5T, S5H & S6 Rui

S5T
The T stands for "Turbo" which means extra bass. Boosted bass that's quite a big boost. However I do think there's a bit of mud (too much midbass) adding some slop. As such tone is a bit warm and muddied. Transients stay on the blunted side of things. Lower treble is neutral and extends smoothly (everything can always use more extension in my book). Not much, if not any harman lowermid supression.

S5H
The H stands fr "Hifi". Right off the bat there's less midbass bloat but harman lowermid supression can be heard. For some reason this model improves so much compared to the the S5T, S4 and S2. Soundstage and precision are improved. I'd describe it as V-shaped but the warmth is not overwhelming. Transients are more defined and sharp compared to its Turbo sibling. In my opinion quite a fun sounding IEM without an overly aggressive uppermid influence. I used this as a benchmark against whatever fearless model I was hearing. Decent subbass extension but the bass can still be tightened up.

S6 Rui
Less bass than the S5H, boasting more treble and extension. I find S5H's stage more expansive and realistic compared to S6 Rui's. S6 has quite a suppressed sounding harman tone, but is clearer than S5H. Average.
 
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toranku

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The ACME 8, HyperS, S8Freedom, S10 Genie Coming Soon?
I didn't get to try HyperS...now I find out about it after you've mentioned it. Write up coming real soon.
 
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TooPoorForHiFi

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I didn't get to try HyperS...now I find out about it after you've mentioned it. Write up coming real soon.
There is also S6 PRO, S8 PRO Model as well. I agree so many MODELS! :laughing:
 
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toranku

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First Impressions: Fearless S8F, S8P, ACME8 & S10 Genie

S8F
Probably the "stand out" model in the entire Fearless lineup, next to the S5H for me. The S8F is very aggressive in its tuning. Its very clear with sharp and very defined imaging/attack. I'm guessing there's quite an intense rise towards 4k. As a result the lower mids can be positioned behind. Overall tonality seems to be quite uppermidrange boosted leading towards a clear and lean tone. S8F's bass is (perceived) neutral with fantastic speed and control. Huge leap from the previous models I've tried. Lower treble can be peaky and quite aggressive but it is decently extended. The S8F fatigued me out quickly, but it is pretty resolving. Only real downside is that the lower mids cant quite keep up. If not, really good.

S8P
Apparently this one is supposed to be the bassier model but I'm not hearing it at all. Sounded even more aggressive and energetic than the S8F. Sharper treble and uppermids which may kill. Even thinner than the reasonably thin S8F. Not sure what's going on here.

edit: S8P is indeed less bassy as reflected on graphs.

ACME8
Perhaps the most interesting technology of the entire lineup. Uses a crazy long low pass filter for the bass driver that's shaped like a maze. In practice, the ACME8 is warm but with nowhere thunderous bass. Vocals have a nice warm tonality, the best vocals in the entire lineup. Bass can be a bit slow and can be tightened up. Some may find it slightly wooly. Highs are smooth and extended ok-ish. Compared to S5H, it has less uppermids and more warmth. Would rather go with the S5H but they are different.

S10 Genie
The Fearless model that has the most unique tonality of them all. Clearly doesn't follow the typical Fearless house sound with boosted upper mids. The S10 Genie actually VERY LOOSELY (please do not put too much weight into my words) sounded like a Stax SR009 driven by a Blue Hawaii. Tonality and presentation reminded me of it. It's a lightweight sound which some may find that it lacks bite. Treble is actually well extended for what it is, perhaps the best extended in the entire lineup. Airy sound in combination with light weighted notes. Unfortunately, it's lacking in dynamics and can sound overly smoothed out in detail. I want to hear this one with more bass. Make it happen, Fearless.
 
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