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Yamaha EPH-100

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  1. oqvist
    IEM newbie checking in. These are my second attempt. The first was a pair of Philips SH9750 that performed so poorly I just about totally wrote off the use of IEMS.
    Got to listen to the EHP-100 and it was clear instantly they played on a different level and had a tonal balance I has been after for my Ipod touch 3G. Heard some Monster beat turbines that was not horrible either but twice the price so didn´t listen to much on them :wink:
    Do work really well for my ears. Tendencies to booming bass with some bass heavy music but it respond superbly to EQ on the Ipod which is convenient. Read that they do require a bit of burn in?  Most of the time I do preferr it in it´s stock form though. It does let music come through and don´t try to get you listen analytically which is what I want from a portable setup. All about the music :) 
    As for fit it seems I have really small ear channels. I have to use the smallest tips and it´s quite a bit of work getting them in place. Does involve a bit of pain as well but comfort get better and better the longer they are in without having to remove them. Plus side is that I seem to get the same fit every time apart from my previous pair that was just a disaster. I put them on and they stay secure and isolate insanely good. Fascinated how it can just about entirely kill off my computer fan noise which goes through anything.
    credits to archy121 for this thread summary. Helps me a lot since I have only checked in on this thread twice.
    Main Review (IE8, FX700, SE420, UM3X): Link
    General Impressions
    James444 Initial Impressions (EX600/eQ7/MC3) : Link
    Huxley Initial Impressions : Link
    K1n03 Vs Monster Miles Davis Trumpet : Link
    Varley Initial Impressions (GR07) : Link
    Valey Follow up : Link
    Nulliverse Initial Impressions: Link
    Nulliverse Vs FXT90 : Link
    Miow Impressions : Link
    Eke2k6 Impressions: Link
    Dm125 Impressions (GR07) : Link
    Fanmo Impressions (GR07) : Link
    Gilly87 First Impressions : Link
    Gilly87 Follow Up : Link
    Gilly87 Vs SE215 : Link
    Tienbasse (Se535 Se Red) : Link
    Tienbasse Follow up (HJE900/FX700/SE535SE) : Link
    Tip Solution For GIANT canals : Link
    Golden Ears Frequency Graph : Link
    Updates: Further Useful Info & Links : Link
  2. SteveKiwi
    I bought a pair of these last week just as an impulse purchase, probably because they look like the Monster Trumpets.
    I have to say I have been really impressed with them, They are actually much better than I would have expected, they compare very favourably with my other iem's which include Westone 4's Shure SE535,  Monster MD tribute, Monster Coppers, Grado GR10, UE Triple Fi10.
    As the original poster said, they can be a tad bass heavy with music that's that way inclined, but generally they seem reasonable. The clarity of them is quite good too as is the headstage/soundstage.
    With the right tips they are comfortable, isolate really well, and for just listening to music they work just fine for me.
    I never knew that Yamaha played in this space, so it was a pleasant surprise especially since they were only $250 NZ dollars.
    Erling likes this.
  3. david1978jp
    Mine is 50 hours. I have not spent too much time with it. Here's my brief impression.
    It is largely balanced - slightly upper-mid bass bump; very slightly treble roll-off; (maybe) higher-mid bump.
    Effortless treble, non-fatigue, although resolution seems slightly lesser (compared to ER4P, Sony EX700). Effortless punchy bass, also deep, but it does not have many layers (compared to JVC FX500,  Monster Copper). Mid confused me, some female vocals were so very delicate and beautiful (Kate Bush - Lionheart, Sarah Mclachlan - Angel.), but I can't bear to listen to Annie Lennox (A young Annie Lennox ? Had she ever sound young ? )
    Don't hold it against me here -- my feeling is, it was tuned flat (like a monitor ?); sound quality is on par with other $100 ~ $250 earphones (it does not sound cheap, but it's not up there.)
  4. kanuka
    how are microphonics and wind noise? any vents?
  5. SteveKiwi
    Worn with the cable over the ears the microphonics are minimal, Unusually (since I live in Wellington New Zealand) there hasn't been enough wind about lately to give you an answer on the wind noise,  all I can say is that when i have been wearing them around town, there has never been a problem.
    Vents.  yes there appears to be small vents just behind the driver housing, just above where the cable joins the body of the IEM.
    As an aside I did buy a pair of the Clarity One's last week, I have to say I prefer the Yamaha's considerably more.
  6. kanuka
    forgot to ask
    how is the build quality? for the price i'd expect something very good
  7. SteveKiwi
    In my opinion the build quality is outstanding,  the body is made from aluminium (UK spelling habits die hard)  [​IMG]
    the cable seems sturdy too.
  8. tienbasse
    Here's a short review that I wrote initially for ABI, but since I really was surprised by those IEMs, I thought I should share. [​IMG]
    Please be nice with me, I'm not used to writing IEM reviews (and English is not my first language), although I have used a lot of IEMs in the last 4 years...
    Well, Yamaha is not exactly famous for their IEMs (and given the quality of their soundchips, I wasn't expecting the best), but I was really intrigued by the design that they used for these EPH-100, and the price was not too steep (140 Euros = 185 US$) so I got curious and ordered them.

    Claims : Yamaha has gone far from conventional IEM design for those: full aluminium body with chromium anti-corrosion plating, proprietary double flange silicon tips with a straight shape (not conical), and a 6mm closed dynamic driver which is fitted directly within the nozzles (see Yamaha schematics below).
    They claim that fitting the driver within the nozzle part of these IEMs makes the sound less distorded and more "pure" since the driver sits deeper into the ear canal. We'll see about that. Frequency range is the usual deal (20Hz-20kHz), impedance if supposed to be 16 ohms.


    Packaging/accessories : we have an eco-friendly PET/carton box (100% recyclable). The IEMS are tightly hold and well protected, and for the price of 150US$/140euros, you get 5 pairs of proprietary silicon tips (SS, S, M, L, LL), a 1/4" adapter, a 2m extension cord, and a soft polyurethane pouch (way too soft to fully protect IEMs, Shure's hardpouch remains my favorite one). Quite good overall, I appreciate the variety in tip sizes, although Yamaha did not have a choice since standard tips won't fit the 6.5mm external diameter of these IEMs nozzles.
    Large Comply foams (T or TS400/500) may fit using pliers, but I still have to soften them a bit, they are made for 4/5mm nozzle diameter, not 6.5mm.


    Build quality : the aluminium body is really well-crafted with a hardcoat/plating making them scratch resistant and very light, and with a very shiny and convex mesh to protect the drivers. Depending on the tips that you chose, they can look very thin (SS, S and M tips) or very strange (mushroom shape with L and LL tips). The strain relief coming out of the body is very flexible, I'm a bit worried that it will get cut on the aluminium edges in case of repeated pulling. The Y piece is the basic moulded type, with no engraving. The cord has a VERY thick section (> 2mm) and is 1.2m long, it is tangle-free and produce no microphonics at all. The connector is angled and relatively thin. I know that a lot of people here like angled connectors but I personnaly don't like it because it can break more easily if the cord is pulled out of the player by force. Final touch is the Yamaha name and symbol which are printed on the external extremity of the body, not too shabby.

    Well, with exception of the connector, quality is top notch, I would put it on the same level as my JVC HA-FX700 and Sennheiser IE8.
    One note though: the nozzle mesh comes very close to the tip surface (please see on the last picture), and they're all metal so sometimes water can condense on the protection mesh. Nothing annoying but I was surprised.

    Comparison set-up: A/B-ing with Sennheiser IE8, JVC HA-FX700, Shure SE420 and Westoen UM3X, coupled with a Cowon X7 (flat EQ, and some playing with BBE to assess soundstage). Some additional testing with a Sony NWZ-A847 player (flat EQ, but mids are more forward than with the X7). Music selection included classical/orchestral music, progressive rock, metal (with male and female singers), pop music. No R&B, no rap (sorry, not my taste...).

    Here are my assessments of Sennheiser IE8, JVC HA-FX700, Shure SE420 and Westone UM3X before I compare them with the EPH-100s (you may disagree of course, I'm more of a dynamic driver fan). I for example did not like the TripleFi 10, they sounded like a sound mess was thrown at my ears, I had trouble with the rendering because I found them to sound unnnatural and congested.
    1. Sennheiser IE8 have a relatively flat spectrum with a bump in the higher part of bass (a bit boomy but could be worse), they have so-so clarity (= less than armature-type IEMs), average dynamics and they provide poor isolation except when Ts400/500 Comply foams are used. Sounds average, but what you have in return is a HUGE soundstage, on par with full-size headphones. With better clarity, they would be perfect for my taste.

    1. JVC HA-FX700 are quite different. They clearly have a V-type spectrum, with huge bass (but not the Monster-type basses,here we have dynamic bass with very short decay and no bleed on the mids). Mids are nothing special (not forward, not recessed). Treble are AMAZING, very forward but without a hint of sibilance, making these great to listen female vocals. Clarity is very good (on par with good armature-type IEMs) and they are fast (very nervous IEMs, they can be tiring for some people). Soundstage is ok but not exceptional, they are more the "band is sitting in your face"-type IEMs. Of course, there is a drawback: these have the ****tiest isolation EVER for IEMs, even with Ts400/500 Comply foams, since they are very open by design. So they're no good in noisy transport (metro / plane).

    1. Shure SE420 are your typical Shure multi-armature IEMs. Relatively flat EQ with a small emphasis on mids, so-so soundstage, good clarity, average dynamics, exceptional isolation (best I've ever encountered with large Shure foams or large olive tips). Good for very noisy transport but boring for my taste. At least you can sleep with those on without any issue.
    1. Westone UM3X are relatively peculiar triple-armature IEMs. Soundstage is tiny, but clarity and separation are just unique, with a good amount of clean bass, nice mids, nice treble. Some would call that a nice and clean sound overall, no fatigue over the hours, everything just sound natural. Just one thing: it is quite tough to get a good fit with huge ears. Triple flange fit deep and nice and give the biggest amount of detail. Rigid monoflange don't fit my right ear which has a weird 45° angle. P Comply foams are too thin and too long, they don't fit well and finally grey Olives offered me a good fit and good sound, but isolation is only average. Sound with Olives is ok with better soundstage than with triple flange tips but a little less detail.
    2. UM3X3m.jpg UM3X2m.jpg

    First sound test (10 minutes long, no burn-in): What? [​IMG] It sounded so flat for a dynamic driver that I wanted to cry. Decent bass, but I had trouble with the fit, even with LL tips (but I'm used to this with my huge ear canals, this is the reason why I like to use spherical Comply foams, they fit way better, but they are not long enough for the EPH-100). Nevertheless it sounded more like armature-type IEMs, similar to the Shure SE420, bass aside.

    Time for 100 hour burn-in with random music (no in-between listening). Although I am not a huge believer in burning-in headphones, I really think it has some scientific meaning with dynamic drivers since they're using a membrane made out a soft material.

    Second (and final for this review) sound test : I tried different insertion positions (when worn pendant, the fit is ok but not great, and I can't insert them very deep, which makes me crank up the volume a lot). When worn over-the-ears, they go deeper into the ears since strain reliefs don't touch my ear lobs anymore, so the fit is better and the sound really gain in power, although I still have to set-up the volume higher than with the JVCs/Senns/Shures/Westones.
    Something sounded different this time, something familiar, especially with guitar, percussion and male voices. Then I realized: it sounded like Panasonic HJE-900, with very forward mids and bass, great instrument separation to listen to guitar, male voices and low-pitch percussions, but with more clarity than the Panas and much more tamed treble. Since I got the UM3X later than the others, I did not see the resemblance right away.

    1. Duel against Sennheiser IE8 : bass quantity is the same but bass is tighter on the Yamahas, mids and treble are much more clear on the Yamahas, soundstage is better on the Sennheisers (IE8 puts you in the middle of a theater, while EPH-100 are placing you in the middle of the living room), instrument separation is so much better on the Yamahas than the Sennheisers sound muddy, although they're not especially. Isolation is better on the Yamahas. Except for classical music where soundstage really helps the IE8, these Yamahas differ from IE8s in every possible way. Winner: Yamahas.
    1. Duel against JVC HA-FX700 : bass has a similar tightness but is more reasonable on the Yamahas (not for bassheads), mids are more forward on the Yamahas, treble are more forward on the JVCs, so JVCs remain better for female voices and high-pitch percussions, but Yamahas win for metal and progressive rock. Instrument separation is a better on Yamahas, soundstage is significantly better for Yamahas (the band is sitting around you), clarity is slightly better on Yamahas. It's a draw in my opinion, I'd say they're complementary.
    1. Duel against Shure SE420 : bass is better on Yamahas (stronger, tighter), mids and treble are similar quantity-wise, instrument separation is slightly better with Yamahas, clarity is way better with Yamahas. Isolation is slightly better with Shures but not by much. Overall, a clear win for Yamahas with all music styles, I'm definitely not a big fan of armature-type IEMs. Winner: Yamahas.
    1. Duel against Westone UM3X : overall image is the same, good bass, forward mids, fine treble, excellent separation and clarity for both. Soundstage is smaller with the Westone, bass are more punchy on the Yamahas but equal in quantity, and overall Westone are more on the soft side (some would say "natural") whereas Yamahas are a bit more sparkling (some would say "lively" without causing fatigue). Treble with the Yamahas is very "snappy" (short decay) so people may found it unnatural (especially cymbals) while they're more relaxed with the UM3X. Winner: Westone if you like natural sond, Yamahas if you prefer the "fun" sound.

    Summary : flat spectrum with VERY good clarity in the mids, excellent instrument separation for a dynamic driver, close soundstage with good spatialization, good dynamics and excellent isolation. I like the fact that I am able to follow each instrument (especially drums) even during parts with heavy guitar work.

    Conclusion: for a nice price, these EPH-100 were a real surprise. They're very polyvalent since their spectrum is quite flat, but they really shine because of their excellent instrument separation and clarity. For male voices and guitar, this is a bliss, and even with their average soundstage, classical/orchestral music is a pleasure, you can follow every instrument at will, like you usually can with triple-armature IEMs. [​IMG]

    Comply or no Comply? Getting some foam tips on those 6.5mm nozzles is quite the job!.  Comply Ts400 fit well but are too short, the mesh of the nozzles are too exposed and get copious amounts of earwax on them after extended listening sessions.T400 foams, which are longer, fit well and give good comfort, but the seal is not as good as with stock tips, so bass impact is lost. Back to stock silicon double flange tips! Conclusion: no Comply!

    For lazy people, short version:

    PROs : excellent build quality, isolation, clarity and instrument separation are top notch, relatively flat spectrum with good bass and mids. Could really be BA intras given the clear semi-analytical sound, except for the nice bass impact reminding you that these are dynamic driver-based.
    CONs : the thin angled jack connector, treble may sound unnatural to some people (fast decay = snappy sound)............... and they still cannot beat FX700's treble (but I can't imagine any contender for this)! [​IMG]
    PRICE/VALUE : good, no real shame against top-tier universal IEMs. Consider them as a lively-er UM3X (similar image, but a bit more sparkle, for those who appreciate that).
  9. Ulti
    I'm quite used to a BA/analytical sound now (RE0, CK10 etc) so I was wondering how would these compare? Would these be slightly too agressive or would they be about just right? It would be great if anyone had comparisons with the GR07s.
  10. tienbasse
    Unfortunately, concerning BA IEMs, I only used Shure SE420, Philips SHE9850 and TripleFi's10 so I can't help you.
    I honestly don't think EPH-100 sound agressive, they're just fast (drums just sound amazing) and quite good in the mids which is not so common for dynamic drivers.
    And for bass, they have more impact than most BA IEMs when the seal is good (impact disappears quickly with looser fit or when using foams instead of the provided slilicon tips, I tried a lot of foams beacuse I like them a lot, but ended up returning to the stock tips).
  11. Ulti
    If you don't mind me asking, how do they compare to the TF10?
    I like the sound (sorry for the pun) of slightly more bass than traditional BA IEMs that are fast and detailed.
  12. tienbasse


    The thing is I didn't like TF10 so much, mids were a mess and my brain couldn't make out a good overall sound from these 3 BAs, despite their obvious qualities.
    EPH-100 are quite different, their primary quality is really instrument separation with good bass, excellent mids and normal treble. In this way, even though they're providing better bass than most BAs, they are still quite analytical.
    If you're looking for moaaaaaarrrrrr bass, I can think of a number of IEMs (typically JVC HA-FX700, although they're more expensive).
    chrone likes this.
  13. Ulti
    Thanks! Whilst I don't find the mids of the TF10 muddy, it's certainly lacking due to the V shaped signature.
    These EPH-100 seem to be similar to the Re0 or Sunrise Xcape Impressive Edition by description, any experience with those by any chance?
  14. tienbasse


    No sorry, these are hard to come by in my area.
    I updated my review after further A/B-ing against FX700s. Soundstage on the Yamahas is substantially better on Yamahas, not really due to the distance, but spatialization is better, you're sitting at the center of musicians in a nice living-room, while FX700s put musicians more in your face. I really wonder how these Yamahas can use dynamic drivers with a such a sound. These must be a bit special.
  15. Ulti
    You've sold me on these! Will purchase these!
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