Audio Audiophile and gears

fLUX

Well-Known Member
Skilled
How does your Ananda compares with your Hi-Fi setup, are you using Q5S to power these or using desktop amplifiers only.


Whole point of getting another IEM is to use it for my walking/jogging sessions for both indoor and outdoor. Some mixed weight training too.
I think IEM expensive or budget is pure consumption item and is not going to last forever unlike Headphones.


Haha, using XM3's currently and am not satisfied with its SQ. I highly doubt if these will sound better.

Would be like comparing apples to oranges , but as a matter of personal preference I like listening to my speaker setup more than Ananda ( preference in order of Speakers - HP - IEM). However during work days I tend to use my headphones more than speakers , As a HP Ananda are very engaging, have a wide soundstage (not as much as the AKG K/Q series) and the level of details is unparalleled. I have used both Q5S and my desktop amp to drive the Ananda, out of the entire lot of planars Ananda sound fairly good driven out of a portable setup as well but scale equally well with a good desktop setup. For your gym usage if you are hell bent on getting headphones, have a look at the Audeze Mobius too , they are easy to drive and sound decent (way better than the XM3) and have some good amount of features if you are to use them for gaming too & also stating the obvious focus on getting closed back since most of the open backs there are hard to drive out of phone/laptop directly (barring Hifiman Deva) for home usage and unsuitable for external world usage.

Amongst IEMs i have owned a Campfire Andromeda in the past which again dictated the need for its own chain to sound good and were quiet finicky , so I have sold all my collection & settled on a Ikko OH10 which are fairly easy to drive and also sound very good for the price.
 

Nalin

Well-Known Member
Skilled
Would be like comparing apples to oranges , but as a matter of personal preference I like listening to my speaker setup more than Ananda ( preference in order of Speakers - HP - IEM). However during work days I tend to use my headphones more than speakers , As a HP Ananda are very engaging, have a wide soundstage (not as much as the AKG K/Q series) and the level of details is unparalleled. I have used both Q5S and my desktop amp to drive the Ananda, out of the entire lot of planars Ananda sound fairly good driven out of a portable setup as well but scale equally well with a good desktop setup. For your gym usage if you are hell bent on getting headphones, have a look at the Audeze Mobius too , they are easy to drive and sound decent (way better than the XM3) and have some good amount of features if you are to use them for gaming too & also stating the obvious focus on getting closed back since most of the open backs there are hard to drive out of phone/laptop directly (barring Hifiman Deva) for home usage and unsuitable for external world usage.

Amongst IEMs i have owned a Campfire Andromeda in the past which again dictated the need for its own chain to sound good and were quiet finicky , so I have sold all my collection & settled on a Ikko OH10 which are fairly easy to drive and also sound very good for the price.
Hmm, my usage is fairly mixed and for that reason alone I am considering an IEM again over Headphone. Andromeda is good but is out of my budget currently.

Have you tried Sundara too, are they good for portable use?
 

fLUX

Well-Known Member
Skilled
Hmm, my usage is fairly mixed and for that reason alone I am considering an IEM again over Headphone. Andromeda is good but is out of my budget currently.

Have you tried Sundara too, are they good for portable use?

I have tried Sundara too, but they are not easy to drive and need a decently powerful amp else they sound very thin and bright. You will need to spend a fair bit more on something like IFI HIP DAC/AMP to drive them well. The Hifiman Deva are known to be easy to drive and supposed to have a fun sounding signature, but I have never tried the same.

I would suggest get a portable DAC/AMP and Hifiman Sundara and pickup a budget IEM of about 5-6k (something like BLON, Tin T2, Moondrop KP,BGVP DM6) for gym usage.
 

Nitendra Singh

Well-Known Member
Disciple
@Nalin you're on the right path, headphones isn't the best option for workouts and mixed usage.
As for the iems it isn't worth spending much on some expensive ones if you include walking, jogging or workout sessions, No matter what manufacturer's claim it is not the best when its about sweat and some rugged use. I agree with @fLUX get something like he has mentioned for gym.

I am too interested in Sundara just for listening music and watching movies at home with some desktop amp, but refrain myself buying these or any other headphones just because I can't tolerate heat for long listening sessions, no matter even if the AC is ON, so considering for myself some iems like Fiio FD5 .
I guess it's the same dynamic flagship which red dragon was suggesting. Though reviewers saying it's not a Flagship as Fiio may be releasing something like FD7
 

Nalin

Well-Known Member
Skilled
I have tried Sundara too, but they are not easy to drive and need a decently powerful amp else they sound very thin and bright. You will need to spend a fair bit more on something like IFI HIP DAC/AMP to drive them well. The Hifiman Deva are known to be easy to drive and supposed to have a fun sounding signature, but I have never tried the same.

I would suggest get a portable DAC/AMP and Hifiman Sundara and pickup a budget IEM of about 5-6k (something like BLON, Tin T2, Moondrop KP,BGVP DM6) for gym usage.
So Q5S would be adequate for Sundara..

I doubt if those 5-6k options will sound better then my current wireless earbuds XM3. But since they will be accompanied by a separate DAC/AMP, those will edge out.

@Nalin you're on the right path, headphones isn't the best option for workouts and mixed usage.
As for the iems it isn't worth spending much on some expensive ones if you include walking, jogging or workout sessions, No matter what manufacturer's claim it is not the best when its about sweat and some rugged use. I agree with @fLUX get something like he has mentioned for gym.

I am too interested in Sundara just for listening music and watching movies at home with some desktop amp, but refrain myself buying these or any other headphones just because I can't tolerate heat for long listening sessions, no matter even if the AC is ON, so considering for myself some iems like Fiio FD5 .
I guess it's the same dynamic flagship which red dragon was suggesting. Though reviewers saying it's not a Flagship as Fiio may be releasing something like FD7
I wear specs and that makes wearing headphones not as comfortable. I will be using the upcoming IEM's for everything including gym use, if that happens that is.

I am not much interested in Fiio's since they have a bad reputation on Head-Fi for pumping out average products. I know its very popular here but they make everything from DAC to headphones unlike DUNU/QDC which make earphones only. QDC is even better, their stuff starts from $500 onwards iirc.
 
Last edited:

fLUX

Well-Known Member
Skilled
So Q5S would be adequate for Sundara..

I doubt if those 5-6k options will sound better then my current wireless earbuds XM3. But since they will be accompanied by a separate DAC/AMP, those will edge out.


I wear specs and that makes wearing headphones not as comfortable. I will be using the upcoming IEM's for everything including gym use, if that happens that is.

I am not much interested in Fiio's since they have a bad reputation on Head-Fi for pumping out average products. I know its very popular here but they make everything from DAC to headphones unlike DUNU/QDC which make earphones only. QDC is even better, their stuff starts from $500 onwards iirc.

The Q5S would be adequate for Sundara but would cost you as much as the Sundara itself. I paid 14k for a used IKKO OH10 and to me it sounded much better than the TWS Momentums so going by that I would say most of the IEMs of 10k & therabout which are received well across would better the Sony XM3.
 

rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Skilled
Whatever IEMs you are considering, just go with ones with replacable cables and you should be able to get many years out of them, as it is generally the cable which give way before anything else.
I have a pair of Hifiman RE400 lying nearly unused just because the cable got destroyed. Thankfully, Hifinage is offering recabling service for them and I am looking forward to finally using them properly once I get them recabled.
 

quaratineinthesejeans

Justiceforall
Skilled
Any decent wired IEM should sound considerably better than XM3.
Please don't believe in everything posted @ head fi.
Fiio is a very popular relatively affordable brand across the entire world, not only India.
They do offer very decent experience for the price.
Q5s should be more than adequate for Sundara ( it's not that hard to drive) but using Sundara during workout will be extremely difficult.
Something like a T2 will be a major sonic upgrade from any TWS.
If you really want to splurge on a workout IEM buy something a MMCX connector ( which offers free rotation unlike 2 pin connectors, those 2 pin connectors can easily break during workouts) and carries at least 2 years of warranty.
If budget is absolutely a non issue, can consider IEMs from JHA. But will strongly recommend single DD driver IEMs for workout.
I have my doubts on the durability of expensive chi fi multiple BA IEMs.
Though not MMCX, Sennheiser's newer IE series are pretty sturdy and allows 360 degree rotation. Since they are meant for live on stage monitoring, they are incredibly light and supposed to withstand a lot of abuse. I had both IE 40 and 400 pro... SQ is almost identical and though not very resolving, pretty decent for the price ( IE 40 pro) isolation is above average but extremely comfortable.
 

Rockfella

Stagnant
Staff member
Whatever IEMs you are considering, just go with ones with replacable cables and you should be able to get many years out of them, as it is generally the cable which give way before anything else.
I have a pair of Hifiman RE400 lying nearly unused just because the cable got destroyed. Thankfully, Hifinage is offering recabling service for them and I am looking forward to finally using them properly once I get them recabled.
Same thing happened with my old ATH M50. They launched the "x" line up with detachable cables probably because of this reason as well.
 

Santy

Member
Disciple
I don’t like active speakers for 2 reasons mainly, first they pack all the electronics inside so there are more chances of failures and secondly we can’t upgrade it’s amplifier at later stages. Also I don’t think any active speaker can sound remotely close to properly amped passive one.

Active speakers are not real speakers imho.
"Active speakers are not real speakers. All high end speakers are passive. Actives don't sound 'remotely' close to passive". Quite some statements.. No offence but these are so grossly misinformed. Come on.

Please take some time out reading more about them. Active speakers don't end with Edifer and Zebronics.

There are high end active monitors from Focal, KEF, Dyna Audio, Genelec, Yamaha, Jbl, PMC and so on. Some of them are darn expensive.

Most of them are built to last a lifetime. I have dropped my Genelec on the floor and broke the tiles. Welcome to the world of HiFi
 

Nalin

Well-Known Member
Skilled
"Active speakers are not real speakers. All high end speakers are passive. Actives don't sound 'remotely' close to passive". Quite some statements.. No offence but these are so grossly misinformed. Come on.

Please take some time out reading more about them. Active speakers don't end with Edifer and Zebronics.

There are high end active monitors from Focal, KEF, Dyna Audio, Genelec, Yamaha, Jbl, PMC and so on. Some of them are darn expensive.

Most of them are built to last a lifetime. I have dropped my Genelec on the floor and broke the tiles. Welcome to the world of HiFi
Chill bro, as I said those were just my opinion. If you think otherwise then I am no one to challenge it.
 

Santy

Member
Disciple
Chill bro, as I said those were just my opinion. If you think otherwise then I am no one to challenge it.
Well, it's your opinion it's your right.. But the whole world thinks otherwise. I just clarified for benefit of other members.
 

Nalin

Well-Known Member
Skilled
Any decent wired IEM should sound considerably better than XM3.
Please don't believe in everything posted @ head fi.
Fiio is a very popular relatively affordable brand across the entire world, not only India.
They do offer very decent experience for the price.
Q5s should be more than adequate for Sundara ( it's not that hard to drive) but using Sundara during workout will be extremely difficult.
Something like a T2 will be a major sonic upgrade from any TWS.
If you really want to splurge on a workout IEM buy something a MMCX connector ( which offers free rotation unlike 2 pin connectors, those 2 pin connectors can easily break during workouts) and carries at least 2 years of warranty.
If budget is absolutely a non issue, can consider IEMs from JHA. But will strongly recommend single DD driver IEMs for workout.
I have my doubts on the durability of expensive chi fi multiple BA IEMs.
Though not MMCX, Sennheiser's newer IE series are pretty sturdy and allows 360 degree rotation. Since they are meant for live on stage monitoring, they are incredibly light and supposed to withstand a lot of abuse. I had both IE 40 and 400 pro... SQ is almost identical and though not very resolving, pretty decent for the price ( IE 40 pro) isolation is above average but extremely comfortable.
I take Crinacle rankings as reference, I don't know if you have heard about him or not. You can take a look at the list here, Moondrop Starfield is current $100 benchmark in that list. XM3 is scoring head to head with Starfield, but still he is just another guy on Internet with opinions and should not be taken as holy book or something. He is vey popular though.
 

quaratineinthesejeans

Justiceforall
Skilled
Yes, I'm very much aware of Crinacle, Joshua, DMS, Zeos Painters, BGGAR, NTR and a lot of modern day audiophiles.
And yes, Starfield is of course a great IEM. But in a blind test I won't be able to distinguish between it and IE40 Pro.
But I easily can between any TWS and wired IEM ( anybody can)
But honestly if you have something like a bl03 with good fitting eartips, I don't see the point in spending 70- 80 USD more on Starfield. The difference is miniscule.
But I completely agree that Crinacle is a very good reviewer.
 
Last edited:

Nalin

Well-Known Member
Skilled
Most of YouTube channels are just fluff, I trust only 2 guys out of all of them namely The HEADPHONE Show & Max Settings

Wired IEMs are great because Bluetooth alone will degrade SQ no doubt. I used to plug in my earlier ER2XR straight to MacBook and that against my current XM3, SQ is not really far off. XM3 has little inferior highs that's it. But ER2XR + Shanling UP2 was a bomb. Your usage pattern I think does not warrant an expensive IEM as it looks like.

If I get an IEM again, I will most probably be using it with wireless DAC/AMP as that alone makes a huge difference.
 

quaratineinthesejeans

Justiceforall
Skilled
With all due respect to Crinacle, IMHO he's an audiophile with very limited experience in audio production and live audio situations.
Name one universal IEM except IE40/400 that doesn't fall off from both the ears if you're jumping around stage playing and your monitor falls of from one ear accidentally (specially when you are forced to secure them over the nape of your neck with the chin slider for obvious reasons)
Name one IEM cable ( the fancy braided ones) that doesn't tangle with the hair, specially when worn backwards ( many of us poor part time musicians have long hair and trust me it's a major inconvenience on stage)
Now look at all the reviews of IE 40 online, how many cover these issues? Possibly none. This IEM is made for live musicians, yet these very important things were completely ignored ( these are the reasons why Shure still sells SE215, we all know how it sounds!!)
Regarding my usage scenario, it's fairly simple for consumption...an entry level DAP/ phone with decent DAC amp and a pair of cheap IEM ( though I have wasted thousands on flagships over a decade.
But it's completely different while mixing/ mastering for other bands ( obviously not for free) Here I'm extremely demanding..though most of the stuff is done on Barefoot monitors, I have to check the mixes with
1. A neutral closed back ( Neumann NDH20)
2. A bass heavy consumer oriented pair ( M40X)
3. An open pair ( usually LCD X, if notice phasing issues...it usually happens with certain software synths..correct it with LCD..check again with both NDH20 and DT880...tried Sundara, but very often it still sounds like phase issues, but can't see it visually in the DAW waveforms..don't really know the logic behind it, but it's a common issue faced by real pro engineers)
4. Back to Barefoot.
5. Export and open in iZotope Ozone for mastering ( usually done completely with monitors)
6. Final step: check the mastered copy with a pair of IEM ( my old friend Etys)
7.Send the stems and premastered and mastered files to client.
When it comes to mixing/ mastering I'm demanding because these bands nowadays pay me some money ( and I fully know how difficult it is for these struggling bands)
I am by no means an expert, but doing this long enough to attain a certain level of quality.
For free stuff, the entire process is done on monitors with just one mixcheck with NDH20 ( my most trusted friend)
Most of YouTube channels are just fluff, I trust only 2 guys out of all of them namely The HEADPHONE Show & Max Settings
The problem with these YouTube channels... except DMS to a certain degree, none of them are interested in production/ sound engineering.
Without the basic understanding of sound engineering, sound tracking etc.everything becomes subjective.
FRCs bring another set of major problems. In the purest form it's just a frequency loudness graph, which has been already altered by the engineers during mixing and unless you have the raw unprocessed stems of a song, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever as you never really know what the engineer did with the EQs, compressors, reverbs, delays etc etc.
If some music is ever published with the picture of the mastering engineer's settings inside the software ( at least with the mastering chain signal flow and exact values at each stage) then only a pair of headphones can be measured properly.
 
Last edited:

Rockfella

Stagnant
Staff member
OPPOTY disrupted the entire IEM market...I don't understand measurements, but they sound absolutely stellar to me...so much energy!!
With their spellings too :tearsofjoy:
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20190307_154037.jpg
    IMG_20190307_154037.jpg
    612.4 KB · Views: 26
  • IMG_20190308_061521.jpg
    IMG_20190308_061521.jpg
    305.4 KB · Views: 26
  • IMG-20191230-WA0033.jpg
    IMG-20191230-WA0033.jpg
    158.7 KB · Views: 27
Last edited:

Nalin

Well-Known Member
Skilled
The problem with these YouTube channels... except DMS to a certain degree, none of them are interested in production/ sound engineering.
Without the basic understanding of sound engineering, sound tracking etc.everything becomes subjective.
FRCs bring another set of major problems. In the purest form it's just a frequency loudness graph, which has been already altered by the engineers during mixing and unless you have the raw unprocessed stems of a song, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever as you never really know what the engineer did with the EQs, compressors, reverbs, delays etc etc.
If some music is ever published with the picture of the mastering engineer's settings inside the software ( at least with the mastering chain signal flow and exact values at each stage) then only a pair of headphones can be measured properly.
Since you have tried Utopia, i want to ask if it's worth the asking price and does it really have that wow factor people rave about.

Endgame worthy or not?
 
Last edited:
Top