What are the uniqeness between Universal IEM vs. Headphones ?
Feb 21, 2013 at 1:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

JohnSantana

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I wonder what are your comments in choosing between the following two listening devices:
 
Headphones like Sennheiser HD 800, STAX SR-009, AKG K701, HE 600, ...
or
universal IEM like Westone W4(r), UE 900, Phonak PFE 232, Shure SE-535...
 
What are the differences and the uniqueness between Universal IEM and full size Headphone that I should expect ?
 
Feb 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM Post #2 of 7

ZARIM

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The most fullsize headphones need powerfull highend AMPs/DAC help sound there best and they ( most headphones) sound average out of mp3 players or PC with lower volume than IEMs. Univerall IEMs blockout most noise without NC feature which canbe find on headphones and they (IEMs) sound detailed, fuller out of mp3 player and they further improve with AMPs help. So if need portibility, blockout noise and detailed soundquality then IEMs are better pick but they can't compete with fullsize headphones desktop highend rigs include resolution, soundstage, imaging and dynamics.
 
Feb 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM Post #3 of 7

dweaver

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zarim has it nailed for the most part especially for all the full size gear you listed.

but there a few very good full size headphones that don't require expensive amps to sound great and they will sound as good as or better than most IEM's in the area's Zarim mentioned. SRH-940/1440, Senn HD380, Akg K550 are a few such models. But these are all considered mid-fi as compared to the hi-fi gear you mentioned. But my Shure's outperform my best IEM (UE900)and outperformed most of my previous IEM's by a large enough margin I was almost ready to give up using IEM's. The UE900 holds it's own good enough I don't feel that way now though.
 
Feb 21, 2013 at 7:22 PM Post #4 of 7

tamleo

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Hello,
I also had this view in the past. That is a good IEMs cannot compare to a good fullsizes. But now i have changed my mind since i had a chance to own and listening a few modern top tier BA iems.
I feel the very good multi-drivers iem today somewhat possibly compare to few good fullsize in term of precision, nature, fullness, detail..that i have never heard in the single dynamic iems before. Especially the term "fullness" (i do not know to explain it really:D)
Of course, the iems are still inferior in the soundstage and bass and $$$ to the fullsize. But you will not have to worry too much about it 
etysmile.gif

Try the W4, they is a very good iem indeed except its slightly dry midrange.
p/s:the Stax should be put out of the list buddy:D
 
Feb 26, 2013 at 12:41 AM Post #5 of 7

JohnSantana

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Quote:
Hello,
I also had this view in the past. That is a good IEMs cannot compare to a good fullsizes. But now i have changed my mind since i had a chance to own and listening a few modern top tier BA iems.
I feel the very good multi-drivers iem today somewhat possibly compare to few good fullsize in term of precision, nature, fullness, detail..that i have never heard in the single dynamic iems before. Especially the term "fullness" (i do not know to explain it really:D)
Of course, the iems are still inferior in the soundstage and bass and $$$ to the fullsize. But you will not have to worry too much about it 
etysmile.gif

Try the W4, they is a very good iem indeed except its slightly dry midrange.
p/s:the Stax should be put out of the list buddy:D

Yes Tamleo,
 
Now I own Westone W4 and very excited about it, I listen with it everyday, because this is a big upgrade from my UE700 dual BA IEMs.
I never own full size can before so I cannot understand what should we expect or we get when using great headphone.
 
Assuming upgrading from Westone W4 (quad BA IEMs) what do you guys suggest ?
HD 650, HE 500 or something else ?
 
Feb 26, 2013 at 3:38 AM Post #6 of 7

PANGES

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Some of the difference I find are that full sized headphones, especially open headphones tend to have a larger soundstage. There's also the difference in isolation. From my personal experience, I find that I have to spend more money on IEM's to get the same sound quality of a full sized headphone.. although that may be easily offset by the need to buy a desktop DAC/amp. 
 
If you want to upgrade from a W4 with some sort of full sized headphone, it really depends on what you consider an "upgrade." Depends on what tastes in music you have and what preferences in sound signatures you have. An upgrade for me could be a downgrade for you. After a while, there aren't even really any upgrades in audio- more just side steps and different flavors. Is strawberry ice cream really an upgrade chocolate? Some say yes, some say no- just different flavors.
 
Feb 26, 2013 at 7:23 PM Post #7 of 7

JohnSantana

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Ah yes, you are right.
 
I'm a guitar player and I listen to mostly rock metal songs and acoustic music performance, so yes I should try to explore the open headphones to bring more of sound stage in the music that I'm listening to.
 

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