Audio Random IEM / Headphone Rants


kenpachiroks

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I lost it at one of the comments :hilarious::
$120k for a DAC and $10k for a server seems a little high, but bundling in that USB cable makes it very tempting indeed.
And then I saw the price of the cable. Still funny though:D.

My worry is the after effect. After this, AK180 at $1800 would feel 'better value for money'. Slowly, the price for the top end DAPs will shift from 'around $1000' to $2000+ range and others will follow suit. With companies from Speaker world beginning to focus on portable audio, things can get ugly in a hurry.
You would still have the Clip Zips of the world at $40. But you also have Cowon players and a bunch of others around 15-20K, X5 and others a little higher. What if this gets stretched like $50, $400, $800 are your upgrade options with nothing much in between? It will be better if AK240 fails.
While the AK240, ZX1 are signs that "flagship" products are getting pricier, we still have companies that are introducing some pretty impressive products into the budget-fi realm. And this is more significant because it is happening below the old price boundary, beyond which the "law of diminishing returns" narrows the performance gaps to unjustifiable levels.
We are now seeing unprecedented effort being made in the sub-budget class. Triple hybrids are breaching the 200$ mark. Sony's new IEM line is much cheaper than their previous flagships. Look at the Geek DAC just to name a few.
So the "stretched upgrade options with nothing much in between" might happen above(or even at) the LODR price boundary and not below it. I mean to say, the trends may be dissimilar.

Every hobby will have a crazy section with it. The crazy usually spills only onto the fringes of the section without affecting the "I'd like this to make some sense" section below. Look at the world of watches for example :greedy:

Aside: I had the exact same feeling regarding the influence speaker companies would have. But with the exception of Cardas no one seems to have gone too high with their prices.....yet.
 

esanthosh

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ZX1 is not 'pricier' at all once you take Hifiman HM901, DX100, AK120 into account. Unlike them, Sony is a consumer brand. It is highly likely that the price will drop down with time.

The hype train in Geek Pulse thread made me stay off it even though I was very close to committing for a Geek Pulse X. For a product that was six months away from being tested, it was already beating $3500 DACs and it was hoped that the Femto Clock upgrade would make it beat $5000 DACs. Does that make any sense?

You may be more right than I was when it comes to flagships and budget range. True! we can get speakers for 5K and then one speaker of a pair that costs more than 500K. But, I'd still hate to pay $400 for 'diminishing 5%' in sound in the portable world. I really would not want unobtanium summit-fi like the speakers world. Price ranges are like Red's quote from Shawshank
These walls are funny. First you hate ‘em, then you get used to ‘em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.
I do not want to get institutionalized :p
 

kenpachiroks

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lol...... You already are institutionalized!!

The summit-fi market is aimed at the "money-no-object" "because-I-can" customer anyway. I can't imagine someone scrimping and saving just to get that extra 5%.
The former group thought Hifiman shot themselves in the foot for pricing the RE400 at 100$ while the RE600 sat at 399$. And there was such a weird debate going on about it over at headfi. The "diminishing 5%" world never melds well with the world below it, in terms of price and the customers. So "hopefully"(insert shawshank reference:p), the budget world will evolve on its own.
----
Some people jumped off the Geek wagon because the upgrades made the original seem like an inferior product. But at that original price, is that even possible? Isn't the goal to squeeze out as much as possible at the given price point.
 

esanthosh

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Do you remember the costliest player before Hifiman, Colorfly and all came into being? I don't even remember - iPod? Sony?

What was the costliest universal before this Final Audio, K3003 things debuted? I don't remember that either.

I am no longer worried about the budget range (hides Brainwavz Delta). But greedy pricing always disrupts the 'norm' and makes others shift up with it. Wanna upgrade EX1000, pay Dollar 1000 - may be rhyming, but it ain't chiming with me.

I am seriously considering ZX1 as an upgrade option. So, I would not want Sony to release ZX2 at $2000 next.
 

Phan7om

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never knew, I liked jazz before Q701 , totally immersed in vocal and floating in instruments.
Being able to like different (seemed improbable earlier) music genre , with difrrent iem/dac/amp/HPs is nirvana in its own :)
 
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kenpachiroks

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I only remember drooling over the Zune while I was rocking my dying AIWA walkman :cool:

You need a new player? How's that chiming? :p
Current portables/transportables getting too cumbersome? :)

Does the ZX1 support DSD?
 

esanthosh

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@kenpachiroks

As mentioned in my new year resolutions, I will be more ... ahem... prudent with purchases :p

No! I am not going for ZX1 right away. I would probably wait for another six months and see if the angels are still singing praises about them. I could of course buy it used or whenever it gets relatively cheaper (like Fidelio S2, one can dream!).

The reason for looking at ZX1 is to replace my brick stack of QA350 -> UHA6S. ZX1 still doesn't seem to do DSD (not that I care!), moody when pairing with USB DACs, not loud enough for even 24 ohm headphones etc., etc., But there are no complaints about SQ, storage space, UI, suitability for daily use, portability - all of which are better than my current stack. But, I am secretly hoping that something better comes along (may be DX90 / X5 with decent UI) in between, saving more money for me in the process.I am prepared to wait till Black Friday, but can also go for used. Let's see :)

PS: One can also hope that the Asia version comes with a card slot and that's not a translation error!
 

santhoshr

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@santhoshr,

Where did you buy them from? They accept returns? I thought in India, it's just 'buy and live with it'.
Got it from Amazon.com, there is 30 days return policy, though I will lose what I paid for customs/cess/etc, also if they feel product not in new condition, I might lose 50% of what I paid as well. The more prudent approach is to sell! Though like you I never sold any of my gears, just like you too lazy to put the effort, I was able to sell 535 because Vel was auditioning it in person and interested.
 

Ritvik

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The new HE560 interests me greatly! Looks a bit odd with the really ugly headband. It's expensive, but if it doesn't need an amp that's equally expensive and if it's anything like the HE4 or HE6 sound wise then ........I'll wait for someone to sell his/her pair and snap it up :D can't afford a new one

I think the AK120 and it's more expensive siblings are way too pricey. With Fiio and ibasso offering products that are just as good I wouldn't even consider the AKs.

There's a lot of hype with these new uber expensive universal IEMs. They just don't seem like they're worth the money when you try them out. I really liked the IE800 (sennheiser not my TDK), but fixed cables would make me so nervous I know I couldn't enjoy them. The Togo 334 was nice too but you're talking JH13 money here which just feels like more of an end game iem that any of these universals.

Anyone here listening to DSD? I think the AK100 plays it with the new firmware, but I haven't found any albums I like in the format. Would love to know if it actually makes a difference.
 
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rdst_1

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Got it from Amazon.com, there is 30 days return policy, though I will lose what I paid for customs/cess/etc, also if they feel product not in new condition, I might lose 50% of what I paid as well. The more prudent approach is to sell! Though like you I never sold any of my gears, just like you too lazy to put the effort, I was able to sell 535 because Vel was auditioning it in person and interested.
You won't lose the customs if you ordered it via Amazon Global Shipping. I am returning my SSD and I enquired before hand. They will refund the entire amount including the customs duty that I was charged. Also since I bought it during the holiday season I am entitled to return till 31st Jan even though I bought it on 2nd December.

Last time I remember looking at DAPs, S Flo 2 was the king of the jungle.
 

Akshay Gupta

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i don't think ill get the a k240,its jus too expensive,

will wait for a few months to see wat goes best wit the roxannes and read on head fi whats going well with them,

probably its the x5 , zx1 , hm 901 , ibasso or something new coming up soon
 

santhoshr

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You won't lose the customs if you ordered it via Amazon Global Shipping. I am returning my SSD and I enquired before hand. They will refund the entire amount including the customs duty that I was charged. Also since I bought it during the holiday season I am entitled to return till 31st Jan even though I bought it on 2nd December.
That's a great news!
 

sardar17

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i am im inclining towards x5 or hm700 as hm 700 has balanced output and comes with free re400 for only 250$
 

rdst_1

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i am im inclining towards x5 or hm700 as hm 700 has balanced output and comes with free re400 for only 250$
Where is that deal. I would love to get RE400 for free.:D:D:D

Edit - NVM. I thought HM700 was some headphone.
 

Ritvik

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i am im inclining towards x5 or hm700 as hm 700 has balanced output and comes with free re400 for only 250$
TRRS balanced? I think all the Hifiman players have the same thing. Also, try finding a video of the player in use, the UI on some of these players can driver you nuts!

Doesn't Fiio X3's DAC make it a better option? Sell the R3 and buy a RE-400 if you need to :)