Audio Random IEM / Headphone Rants


toxicdrift

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Heard it with iPod 5th gens , nexus5 , iphone5 , d2+ and everyone had the same thing to say, the guy who owned them had a rsa shadow and said it was the worst purchase ever and that it did not do anything to make them sound better, and its supposed to be one of the best iem amps out there , , dx100 still has a lot of firmware issues, I didn't have my c3, I have two friends on Headfi sell their dx100 and who prefer the hisound 3rd anv edition player to it which is even cheaper then half the price , again don't be fooled into thinking expensive players offer better sound , its how they r tuned that's more imp , 846 like Santosh said maybe does not have the best dynamics .... Maybe its just another overpriced gear which sounds midfi
 
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FaH33m

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I also had a Cowon D2+ with me but the battery had drained off . Personally having tried the FiiO X3 and few other expensive DAPs I am not a huge fan of spending so much on so called audiophile portable players. I would rather test the IEMs with my desktop DAC + amp at low gain setting etc. Also the Clip+ / Fuze etc series has to be one of the most neutral PMPs I have tried so always prefer that for testing IEMs ... maybe add an amp if needed.
 

kenpachiroks

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My trusty but ageing Motorola Milestone(aka Droid) is being retired.
The LG G2 will be taking up the mantle now.:happy:

This means the Quadbeat 2 will be in my hands soon. Let's see what Inks is on about.

Also, LG seem to be taking audio seriously(apart from the QB2). The G2 has got some audio love in the form of 24bit/192kHz capability with a rewritten Android audio stack.
I don't have many HiRes tracks but I'm hoping that the overall sound quality of normal 320/256kbps tracks is as good/or better than my clip zip.
 

toxicdrift

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anybody got the flux yet, im lookin for a el cheapo pair ... hows the quadbeat 2 kenpachi .. did u order them yet?... any other recomendations ??
 

kenpachiroks

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anybody got the flux yet, im lookin for a el cheapo pair ... hows the quadbeat 2 kenpachi .. did u order them yet?... any other recomendations ??
I should have the QB2 by Monday/Tuesday. Can only comment then.
In the meanwhile, this thread has a few impressions to give you an idea.

How cheapo is el cheapo? Monoprice cheapo(10$), MH1C cheapo(20$) or VSD1S(45$) cheapo?
 

toxicdrift

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VSD1S is fine, lol anything under 100$ or around that , lookin fwd to your impressions, thanks for the link, will check it out.
 

kenpachiroks

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VSD1S is fine, lol anything under 100$ or around that , lookin fwd to your impressions, thanks for the link, will check it out.
50-100$ it is then

~50$
1) Vsonic VSD1S: Pushing the bang for buck limits for 50$ in terms of sound quality(and overall quality for that matter). Slight V shaped sig. Well controlled bass, excellent mids. I haven't heard any of that sibilance that seems to plague Vsonics.
2) Steelseries Flux(25$ on discount): The MH1C and Quadbeat have shown us that budget headsets can also deliver an audiophile experience. The steelseries flux continues that trend and with aplomb. ]joker] has written a fanatastic review and touted it as "one of the very best mid-range earphones".
3) LG Quadbeat 2: Following their success with the QB1, LG's sequel is turning heads again (As you can see from the thread I linked).
4) Vsonic VC02: 3mm, slim, detachable cables, best in (balanced sound)class. Another flattering review by ljokerl

Special mentions:
Sony XB90EX: IEMs that satiate the bassheads while the others nod in approval at the sound quality from the rest of the spectrum.
Monster Gratitude : Many jaws dropped when these went on sale for 60$. They still are. The discovery thread is littered with praises for these(especially at that price)

~100$
1) Hifiman RE-400: Buy it! Just do it! :D The new 100$ reference (if you don't mind imagining some sub-bass while you listen). My review here. Much better review here :p
2) TDK BA-200: Some consider it an improvement to the RE400. Haven't seen a good deal on these(except for the insane Ross stores one). Alternative: TDK IE800
3) Philips Fidelio S1: Made it to the innerfidelity hall of fame almost immediately.The S2 is a more refined version(just ~110$ now). One of the best dynamic iems available today. Still on my 'want list'

Special mentions:
Sony XBA H1: Hybrid. mixed bag of reviews. Not for the detail freaks. XBA 3/30 for the other side of the fence.
T-peos H100J: Hybrid, not released yet. But expecting it to be good.
Vsonic VC1000

I'm sure I'm missing quite a few, but these are off the top of my head.Hope I helped :)
 

rdst_1

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Do you guys remember lynx india? He's got the RE-1 still listed on his site :woot:

so so tempting
I don't think he has them in stock, but I can ask. He still hasn't returned mine which he said he would try and get RMAed. I don't have any bad feelings though as they were out of warranty and he was only doing me a favor and that I didn't follow up with him asking about it's whereabouts.

I myself have been craving a RE-1 replacement so that I can start enjoying fatigue free listening again. As much as I want the great vocals of an RE-1, I would like my new IEMs to be more of an all rounder as I listen all my music on Pandora these days. I can't spend hours downloading flacs and don't have a lot of money to splurge on CDs or digital downloads so Pandora works for me and I now enjoy listening to music even more as I can't tell what the next song will be but I can try and limit the genre or artist. It is just much more fun way for me.

So basically looking for a new IEM with good vocals. Can spend up to $500 but don't really want to unless really needed. Also I need them to have excellent build quality and if not then at least removable wires as that was the only reason I lost my RE-1 and I don't want that to happen again. I will be using these when cycling or in the gym so definitely need good build quality this time, especially if I am paying through my nose.

P.S. - It feels so good to see this thread revived again.
 

kenpachiroks

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I don't think he has them in stock, but I can ask. He still hasn't returned mine which he said he would try and get RMAed. I don't have any bad feelings though as they were out of warranty and he was only doing me a favor and that I didn't follow up with him asking about it's whereabouts.

I myself have been craving a RE-1 replacement so that I can start enjoying fatigue free listening again. As much as I want the great vocals of an RE-1, I would like my new IEMs to be more of an all rounder as I listen all my music on Pandora these days. I can't spend hours downloading flacs and don't have a lot of money to splurge on CDs or digital downloads so Pandora works for me and I now enjoy listening to music even more as I can't tell what the next song will be but I can try and limit the genre or artist. It is just much more fun way for me.

So basically looking for a new IEM with good vocals. Can spend up to $500 but don't really want to unless really needed. Also I need them to have excellent build quality and if not then at least removable wires as that was the only reason I lost my RE-1 and I don't want that to happen again. I will be using these when cycling or in the gym so definitely need good build quality this time, especially if I am paying through my nose.

P.S. - It feels so good to see this thread revived again.
You actually have quite a few "good vocals" options with 500$

Sony MDR EX-1000: Why not? Sony's old old flagship:oldman: is still holding its own among the new crowd. Don't like the highs?, get the 7550.

If you don' mind some significant bass presence, there are a few hybrids you could consider
Sony XBA-H3: Mixed bag of reactions. In particular, due to the enhanced but controlled bass presence, despite having fantastic mids and extended highs.
Dunu DN-1000: Hybrid magic. Immersive mids Warm overall, Has quite a fan following on head-fi.
KEF M200: Get these to fit and let it do its job :D.

500$ also opens up some custom options. However, I do not know much when it comes to value and signature.

Hold up.............forget all the above. Get the Noble 4 universal :) . esantosh can guide you.
 
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rdst_1

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You actually have quite a few "good vocals" options with 500$

Sony MDR EX-1000: Why not? Sony's old old flagship:oldman: is still holding its own among the new crowd. Don't like the highs?, get the 7550.

If you don' mind some significant bass presence, there are a few hybrids you could consider
Sony XBA-H3: Mixed bag of reactions. In particular, due to the enhanced but controlled bass presence, despite having fantastic mids and extended highs.
Dunu DN-1000: Hybrid magic. Immersive mids Warm overall, Has quite a fan following on head-fi.
KEF M200: Get these to fit and let it do its job :D.

500$ also opens up some custom options. However, I do not know much when it comes to value and signature.

Hold up.............forget all the above. Get the Noble 4 universal :) . esantosh can guide you.
Ok. I will have to start reading a lot I guess.
I don't like sibilant highs or a constricted sound stage. That's what made me sell off my X10 after just a few days of listening. I prefer IEMs which give you the airy feel, something I can go to sleep when wearing.
As for bass I don't really care as long as it is not overpowering. I guess what I am saying is that I am not that analytical and frankly speaking don't want to be either. I just don't like highs and as for bass, as long as the drum sounds perfect, it is more than enough for me. I can, in a second, compromise with the low and highs if the IEMs have great mids and soundstage. Those 2 components, I feel, are what make for a fatigue free listening IEM.
I am currently using el cheapo Senn open headphones and I am more than happy with them but they are just unwearable and uncomfortable in bed and I have always preferred going to sleep listening to music. That is why build quality is also important.
 

esanthosh

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@toxicdrift,

I do have the flux. I have not spent any time with it, but based on the first 2 minute testing, I thought it performed at least on par with MH1C. Bass quantity and quality seemed good, mids were not as warm as MH1C and treble sparkle felt good as well. I felt that MH1C had an advantage in sound stage width and smoothness. But, do take these impressions with a pinch of salt. I will give them a earful after I am through with SE535LTD-J review.

@hitesh12

That $25 ($41 shipped incl customs) was Amazon price on Black Friday. You should check a few pages back.

@rdst_1

$500 can open lot of possibilities, including customs.

Sony EX-800/MDR-7550 would be a tad different compared to RE-1, but I feel it can be considered (if there's a way to get it). EX-600 may have EX-1000's 'treble spike' and may not be well suited. EX-800 gives up a bit of sound stage and slight bit of treble for more emphasis on mid range.

CustomArt Music One is supposed to have Hifiman bass and treble with Ety Mids. It is $270 odd (which is ex-shipping and Paypal fees), could be had with an additional $100 spend. I think Ritvik is getting it's upgraded version Music Two. Considering Piotr is on a holiday till 6th, I guess it will at least be February before he gets his custom. But the issue is that even if it suits your requirements, it would become costlier after the pre-order offer of 1150PLN is over. Even the fixed cable option could be costlier. Music One would still fit within the budget though.

ASG-2S, SM3 v2 are mid-centric / mid-focused, but are slightly thick of note with a different kind of presentation.

At the time of RE-1, Hifiman had very poor build quality. So, I think you can still take a chance with fixed cables. I think @Ritvik now has a TDK IE800. If it is any closer to RE-1 in the mids, BA200 would be a good choice since it has a much smoother signature.

@kenpachiroks

But Noble 4 feels more like a RE272 upgrade than a RE-1 upgrade.
 

Ritvik

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Some quick impressions and points for potential buyers to note, all based on some very limited time with the TDK IE800.

Build quality is average. It doesn't feel badly made but there are certain gripes I have with it;
1) The housing is fairly large and tends to stick out a bit, if you cant get a good fit then they might slip out every now and then. On the upside they are quite light and I have managed to get a good seal with the small silicone tips.
2) What I don't like is the fact that there is no strain relief at the point where the cable enters the housing. It just doesn't seem like a good idea in the long run, so far no issues to report though.
3) While it is possible to wear them over the ear its not very comfortable, the majority of the users will end up wearing them down like they're meant to be.
4) Flat cables, I
don't like them one bit. No where near as bad as the MH1C though which is a positive. The Y-split is small with a slider that works well, once again no real complaints here.

Packaging and
accessories are minimal, a few silicone tips and two sets of comply tips (the regular T400 and their more rounded version, both in the medium size). Simple box, with faux leather pouch and shirt clip. No one really needs anything else to be honest.

Like all IEMs I've tried with flat cables microphonics do exist. Once you have music playing even at reasonably low volumes it ceases to be an issue worth worrying about.

The sound! ...... When you hear dual dynamic drivers you think big bass and not much else. However I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The people at TDK have come with an IEM that does all the frequencies quite nicely. Its by no means neutral, but no single frequency intrudes on the other.

The star of the show here is the treble, its energetic with a fair amount of sparkle but luckily not sibilant. This sparkle coupled with the IEM's vented design give it a great soundstage and considering its price, great retrieval of details and nuances present in the recording.

The mid range is good too (although when it comes to IEMs I've been spoiled by the RE-1), there really is very little to complain about here, vocals sound great but after owning the Tzar 350 acoustic pieces feel that they lack a bit of magic, which I felt was one of the Tzar 350's strengths. I listen to a lot of the Blues from the 60's and personally like slightly thicker mids than what the IE800 dishes out.

The bass is what surprised me the most, I was expecting vast bass quantity and was ready to break out my very questionable EQ skills to tone it down when I made the decision to buy these. TDK have got it right though, its tight, well controlled and stays quite true to the recording.

Overall I'd say this is a good VFM product even at the 90 odd USD I paid. It's a congested and confusing price bracket for IEMs these days with so many options that currently exist. TDK have a product that complements their more refined BA200 quite nicely.

I was very tempted to buy the UM3XRC before buying these as a means to get something that resembles the sound on my old RE-1. There's just something with the price to performance ratio on the top end Westone and Shure universals that's a massive turnoff to me. They really need to be about 30% cheaper!

I still remain a bit disappointed about how they sound straight out of my iphone. My primary purpose of getting these was for the daily commute to work, its a trip I want to make with minimal equipment on me. They didn't seem to live up to their potential with the iphone as a source. The majority of my listening time on these has been with the AK100 + ALO International. I think something like the Fiio X3 would make these a good portable solution.

@rdst_1
If you do come across anything that's a close replacement to the RE-1 then do let me know! I'd love something with removable cables as well.

For others interested in Piotr Granicki's CIEM's, the build time is 4-5 weeks which is typical for all CIEM manufactures. I should have mine in the middle of February or early March. It's about 400 USD not including the cost of impressions, shipping the impressions was about 6 dollars from Singapore to Poland via registered mail. The pre-order price for the detachable cable version is as follows;
  1. Music Two detach. 1150pln
  2. Shipping 40pln
  3. Paypal fee 4%: 47,6pln
  4. Total: 1237,6PLN
Being a BA based iem I wouldn't expect the warmth of a traditional dynamic driver. All detachable cable version come with flush sockets, I prefer the recessed ones but I'm told those are harder to make.

ard2kQh.jpg


WhUBFi9.jpg
 
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toxicdrift

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The dunu is supposed to be damn good though a friend who had the tpeos h200 which I have, sold his and using the dunu now also the astrotec hybrids are an option under 500 , manu how do u like the etys , awaiting your impressions
 

kenpachiroks

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@Ritvik
Interesting impressions. They do look large. And with a straight down cable design, I imagine they'd keep slipping out at every tug.
You said they complement the BA200. Complement how? (SQ/price wise?)

Some ALO impressions too, please? :)

Dunu DN-1000 is a V-shaped earphone.
Doesn't mean they don't have excellent vocals. :p
(I assumed he wasn't looking for a straight replacement to the RE-1. And luckily for me the DN1000 doesn't conflict with his follow-up post :))

The dunu is supposed to be damn good though a friend who had the tpeos h200 which I have, sold his and using the dunu now also the astrotec hybrids are an option under 500.
The AX60s aren't making an impact like the DN1000 have. Many find it too warm. And a higher markup than the Dunu isn't helping its case.
Why did he prefer the dunu over the H200. Not that he shouldn't have. I'm just curious :)