Audio Random IEM / Headphone Rants

Yes! you like them better than EPH-100. So, let that stay with me :p

Did you do the "mandatory" 250 hour burn-in before agreeing with keanex? ;)

It's damn difficult to do anything with so much stuff around me - EPH100, Pro Alpha, M4, A161P, FI-BA-SB, J3 + (at least) 8 more pending comparisons to go! It's only going to get more difficult next week.....

hahahaha :lol:

No, actually I m not well from the past 2 days, my left eye has severe infection :( not able to open my left eye. Have been to eye specialist 2 time - one at yester evening nd today's morning. But the worm inside me is unable to stop me to visit TE.
 

gREen

Im Special, gREen.
Skilled
Further Plans (as long as psygeist, abhi_jollyguy, gREen and eternoMind are ok with this)


  1. M4 vs Pro Alpha
  2. Pro Alpha vs E10M
  3. A161P vs EPH-100 (Flagship vs Flagship)
  4. TF10 vs EPH-100 (old triple driver BA vs the new single micro-driver dynamic that is supposed to be better)
  5. A161P vs XCape v1 (selfish reason - see if I can replace the discontinued XCape with A161)
  6. A161P vs Phonak PFE 111 (Let's see how it holds up against one of my favorites)
  7. FXD80 vs EPH-100 (Post 100 hours "mandatory burn-in". New FOTM vs Old FOTM)
  8. FI-BA-SB vs SM3 v1 (FAD tuning of mids vs Earsonics tuning)

Each comparison likely to take a day. Once complete (unless I come up with something else), I'll send the loaners back on their way.

Also planning (not immediately) - All JVC Shoot out : FXT90 vs FXD70 vs FXD80 vs FX700

take your time bro. Hopefully we guys have a clear reviews of what we having and further buying help.

---------- Post added at 11:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:40 PM ----------

It's Fischer Audio FA-003 :)

you really kicked the jealousy bell inside me.
Source and damages plz?
Take care of you health bro than TE.
 

psygeist

faun
Adept
E30 brighter sounding compared to FA Adagio V.
Ortofon e-Q5 sounds leaner compared to Final Audio Adagio V.
RE-272 sounds leaner compared to Ortofon e-Q5.
 

esanthosh

Skilled
Too many guest spoiled my IEM time for the last two days. So, once again, I am far behind schedule.

I am thinking of a big cleanup in inventory once the comparisons are over. Fact is I've been too lazy to put up a FS thread (Late August, may be). But, if anybody approaches me with reasonable offers before that (and reduce my "work load" in taking so many photos and putting up so many listings), I won't say no, just that shipping time depends on when I finish relevant comparisons ;). Feel free to check my head-fi profile. Consider everything except select sources (Clip+, QA350), headphones (HD600, DT880), IEMs (Top 4-5) and Amps (UHA, 2SD) to be on sale. The rest will be put on the sale thread as soon as I am free. Not sure if this appeal violates any forum rules, but I will cut this portion if it is so.
 

fLUX

Skilled
@esantosh
Top 4-5 according to your Ratings thread ?? , if yes i would be interested in few IEM'S , do let me know in the IEM exclusion list

---------- Post added at 05:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:28 PM ---------

Currently i own a RE-262 , i like them very much and their sound signature , would like a IEM with bit more quantity and texture of bass without amps . Main point is i would like a IEM which has lower impedance and pretty much performs the same with or without a amp in your list .
 

esanthosh

Skilled
My IEM exclusion list currently includes: EX-1000, FX700, SM3, CK10 and RE-272.

Have not firmly decided whether to keep or sell : TF10 (with Twilight cable), Phonak PFE, Etymotic HF2, Eterna, E10M. Few of them can come up for sale, but I need to spend sometime with them and do a few comparisons before that.

Can consider the rest for sure. But, I don't think there's anything that satisfies - RE262 + bass - impedance requirement. SM3 can do, but it is not for sale currently (may be next year).
 

esanthosh

Skilled
It's actually the RE272 "Team Asia" sample. Since the last person on the list could not find a way to ship it internationally (same issue as you ran into a while ago), he sent it to me. I asked Hifiman whether I have to send it to China or Amarbir (their then local dealer) or.... :ashamed: keep it as reference :unsure: .... and they agreed. Technically speaking, it is still their sample. Of course, I can send it to you once I get bored :)
 

psygeist

faun
Adept
I totally adore my set of RE272. My doors are always open for another one :)

Did you get my reply to your last PM about ear impressions and upfront payment ? I am not sure because I haven't got any reply back from your side confirming that.
 

esanthosh

Skilled
I did get that PM. I had a few more doubts to ask, but I had too much on the table to think about and forgot about it. Will PM you later....

Forgot to update. I have completed editing M4 vs Pro Alpha (Re-wrote it now, hope it's clearer). Let's see if I can squeeze in another tonight.
 

esanthosh

Skilled
Comparisons to be finished

OK! I now have the following to go...


  1. FXD80 vs EPH-100 (2-3 days)
  2. A161P vs PFE vs XCape v1 vs HF2 (may take a week, hope @psygeist is ok with this)
  3. Pro Alpha vs E10M
  4. SM3 vs FI-BA-SB
  5. FX700 vs FXT90 vs FXD80 vs FXD70 (Probably 3rd / 4th week of August)

I may have another one coming. If it comes as expected, I'll have to push back everything by a week ;)

JVC HA-FXD80

Both FXD70 and FXD80 have completed their mandatory, magical period of 100 hour burn-in including few hours of higher volume burn-in. When they were burning in and I briefly compared them, without even inserting them fully, I preferred FXD70. I highly suspect it still might be the case.

I am not sure, but my FXD80 requires higher volume than most. It's been ages since I've pumped volume above -30 in Clip+. But, for the 80, I need to keep it at -28 to -26 depending on the recording. It requires higher volume level than most even with powerful player like QA350 or UHA-6S. May be I'll try a louder volume overnight burn-in again and see how it goes. I even suspected if mine is a lemon, but when I ran a frequency sweep (with stock tips) and checked it against Sonove's graph, it seemed alright. A dip from 4-5, BIG spike at 9Khz etc.,

The signature is dependent on the tip used and the depth of insertion. I have so far tried the stock tip, EPH-100 tip, Monster foam and am currently on de-cored Shure Olives alternating between shallow insertion and normal insertion. There is driver flex on the left with stock tip and in both ears with EPH-100 and Monster tips, but none with Shure so far.

Two things that stand out about FXD80 - clarity and imaging. One thing that I don't get about FXD80 - I hear grain / distortion in the mids at times. Overall, I'd say it is a balanced sounding IEM, but with a treble tilt.

With the Monster tip and the Shure Olive, the bass sounds fairly tight. The mid-bass quantity, unlike the traditional JVC sound may be even less than EPH-100. When I was burning in with stock tips, the bass quantity was much higher. The mid range is at a slight distance. It is clean, clear, crisp sounding. But, there is sibilance with both the foam tips - Shure and Monster. I did not try enough with stock tip and do not remember this much with EPH-100 tips. The treble is forward, sparkling and has a big spike at 9Khz. It is somewhat controlled with both the foam tips compared to stock tips, but the quantity of treble still does not escape attention. The quality of treble gets a bit lost with Shure foam as it cuts off a bit of extension. I will experiment more with tips and angle of insertion and see if I can find something that can make FXD80 great sounding to my ears. At this time, I can hear a slight resemblance to the JVC family sound, but I'd say that at this stage, it sounds more like a decent to good IEM than something that is a giant killer. Of course, comparisons will decide where I'll eventually place them.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

esanthosh

Skilled
Can anyone confirm whether this is the original one? Coz the name says "Sondmagic E10M Headset with Mic" and not "Soundmagic"

Much like you typed Flipkart as Flipkat. It's just a typo ;). I have bought my E30 from HS18, so it's safe to say that they would have SoundMagics. They shipped it after 6-7 days though.

Little updates I could not do in the middle of the night (felt too sleepy)


  • I confirmed this with FlySweep. His FXD80 behaves the same way as mine does. Despite the specs saying 20 ohms and 105 db sensitivity, it requires at least 5-10 percent more volume on his iPhone than usual.
  • Most IEMs get loud enough at 7-8'o clock on UHA-6S. Can't imagine turning the volume knob upwards to even 10. But, FXD80 does have an issue in getting loud. Even when I turned the volume to 12, 1'o clock both with UHA-6S as well as 2SD (both with iPod Video as source), it was not plenty loud.

Briefly on FXD70...

It is a weirdly tuned phone - not the signature, but I am talking about mismatched left and right channels. Most IEMs stay centered when I run Frequency sweeps. I assume that if it shifts to the left or right during any particular frequency, then the loudness at that particular frequency is higher on the Left or Right. Though FXD80 has some mismatches, FXD70 is even wider at certain frequencies (> 3dB difference, I can assume).

While the frequency tone files can go lower to 40Hz or so, I do not hear that much bass with FXD70. It seems to be quickly decaying into a pit. It reminds me mostly of RE1 with respect to bass, which is not a compliment. But, weirder things are going on. So, I'll need to dig deeper. The mid range is more intimate, like FXT90. It is warmer than FXD80, not that transparent, but a bit more fuller sounding. I didn't hear much of a grain/distortion here. When it comes to treble, there is a peak, but it's shifted down to 8Khz. As a result, when compared to FXD80, it seems to be much quieter and flatter though it can be as good with treble. The sound stage was a little smaller, somewhat like FXT90. The imaging was good, but didn't think it was as good as the 80. It does not sound as spacious as the 80 either. I need to try other tips though!

The overall sound left me with the impression that it is technically still a step below the FXD80. It is more mid focused than balanced with a slightly better treble than bass. But, it might prove to more VFM at it's price point. It goes for 3,950 Yen at Amazon, Tenso charges 1590 Yen for EMS shipping, so it is available for around Rs. 4000, if there are no customs.

I will need to spend sometime with both the FXDs before I can say anything concrete.

In other news...

Probably my next IEM..... and I am also interested in this ..... and I wonder if this is even real. I was this close to pulling a trigger on customs. Seems like the world is happy keeping me on universals :D
 

hzant6681

Disciple
DBA-02 MKII an "all rounder"?!! PLEASE HELP ME SANTHOSH

Duh! Looks like my impression of DBA-02 MKII is not too off the mark

I'm looking for a upgrade from RE-ZEROs.I listen to 70% rock(indie,funk,metal,Progressive& psychedellic) 30% (house,psy-trance,dubstep,full-on).I love the Zero's treble, mids, love the bass quality but wish they had a tiny little more quantity in sub-bass. I love details in IEMs but not to the extent of being insanely analytical like you say "i can hear sound not Music" types :lol: Also excessively bright ones give me headache. I need your help in deciding between DBA MKII & XBA-3 , sometime back you had suggested me the Sony EX-600(1st) if i can get it from US via a friend or XBA-3(2nd) locally. i cant get the Ex-600 but can get the DBA MII through a friend in AUS.

but read these two reviews which made me think of spending a little more on the DBA's, provided the below opinions matches up to your impressions and you feel they will satisfy my requirements.

"On the lower-end, we can feel bass that hits not that hard (but nowhere as low as I thought it would be), with texture and extension to pleasure pretty much anyone (who isn’t looking for skull shaking bass). The texture and extension provide the much needed basis for bass lines to become epic (such as Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.) without changing the rest of the spectrum. It also has bass that goes deep enough for those low-end Dubstep listeners to be pleased."

" Overall these have a sound signature that shouldn’t disappoint anyone who is looking for an excellent all rounder IEM, since these don’t have any special emphasis (perhaps on mids) throughout the spectrum. Of course, these shouldn’t be enough for the lovers of the sparkly treble of the older version, but these might do wonder for those who didn’t like the older version treble. These have set my new benchmark for IEM, since they do everything I have heard better."
*Review inside, take a look!* Fischer Audio DBA-02 Mk II personal impressions

"For listeners who love details but shy away from the sometimes screechy Etymotic ER4 and CK10, this is the earphone for you. It is smoother and more natural in its transitions from bass all the way to highs than the almighty SM3." "In summary, the DBA-02 MKII is a smooth sounding earphone aimed at midrange detail. Lows and highs are plentiful, but neither forefront. With good fit, you can enjoy wonderful vocals, strings, and percussion with the DBA-02 MKII. For trance listeners, there is good enough space and soundstage to keep you thumping in that imaginary universe, but not enough to cause you to get lost. Rockers, the wonderful transition between bass and mids is wonderful, with the promise of fast, pleasant cymbal decay."
Fischer Audio DBA-02 MKII in Review – Bittersweet | TouchMyApps

Would really appreciate your views and advice.

Plz check your PM.
 

esanthosh

Skilled
It's been quite sometime since I've heard the DBA-02 MKII. While MK2 has toned down the treble a bit, it can still be excessive with most recent recordings (which are already loud and treble enhanced). That is one thing to bear in mind. I would not fault MK2's bass at all. It should be better than what I remember of RE-ZERO, but it won't win a 'rumble' match against any of the dynamic IEMs for sure. It has a tight, fast, clear bass, but it is still not quantitatively enough next to a EX-1000. The mid range is sweet sounding, but also a bit 'cold' as in it does not draw out emotion. It is more content at presenting details and standing aside. Sound stage is good (has decent width and depth), separation is excellent, imaging is good, but it is nowhere as spacious as EX-1000 or FX700 or TF10 (or even XBA-3). MK1 was a bit of a 'show off' with it's even more forward mid range and treble, but you knew instantly it was incredibly fast and detailed. The MK2 may not impress as much at first, but it won't tire you out either. Until you start comparing it to other IEMs, you won't even notice how good they are.

XBA-3 has a slight family resemblance to XBA-1 sound, but boosted at both ends. They are smoother sounding compared to DBA-02, but fall behind a bit in clarity and transparency, especially in the mid range. In addition to the boost at both ends, mids are pushed back a slight bit in XBA-3 compared to XBA-1. It's slightly veiled and mid range detail requires a bit more attention to seek out. It can be EQ-ed out easily. Without the EQ, it is still good, just that you would feel that mids are under a slight cloud of smoke. It has a bigger sound stage size next to DBA-02 MK2.

Among the two, if you need bass quantity with a bit of sub-bass, not too much ear troubling treble, smoother sound and sound stage, XBA-3 wins easily. If you are after clarity and detail, it certainly would be DBA-02 MK2. I personally favor DBA-02 MK2 much over XBA-3.
 

hzant6681

Disciple
It's been quite sometime since I've heard the DBA-02 MKII. While MK2 has toned down the treble a bit, it can still be excessive with most recent recordings (which are already loud and treble enhanced). That is one thing to bear in mind. I would not fault MK2's bass at all. It should be better than what I remember of RE-ZERO, but it won't win a 'rumble' match against any of the dynamic IEMs for sure. It has a tight, fast, clear bass, but it is still not quantitatively enough next to a EX-1000. The mid range is sweet sounding, but also a bit 'cold' as in it does not draw out emotion. It is more content at presenting details and standing aside. Sound stage is good (has decent width and depth), separation is excellent, imaging is good, but it is nowhere as spacious as EX-1000 or FX700 or TF10 (or even XBA-3). MK1 was a bit of a 'show off' with it's even more forward mid range and treble, but you knew instantly it was incredibly fast and detailed. The MK2 may not impress as much at first, but it won't tire you out either. Until you start comparing it to other IEMs, you won't even notice how good they are.

XBA-3 has a slight family resemblance to XBA-1 sound, but boosted at both ends. They are smoother sounding compared to DBA-02, but fall behind a bit in clarity and transparency, especially in the mid range. In addition to the boost at both ends, mids are pushed back a slight bit in XBA-3 compared to XBA-1. It's slightly veiled and mid range detail requires a bit more attention to seek out. It can be EQ-ed out easily. Without the EQ, it is still good, just that you would feel that mids are under a slight cloud of smoke. It has a bigger sound stage size next to DBA-02 MK2.

Among the two, if you need bass quantity with a bit of sub-bass, not too much ear troubling treble, smoother sound and sound stage, XBA-3 wins easily. If you are after clarity and detail, it certainly would be DBA-02 MK2. I personally favor DBA-02 MK2 much over XBA-3.

can the bass quantity be enhanced and the treble brightness of DBA MKII tamed with EQ?
How far are the XBA-3 in terms of clarity & details compared to RE-ZERO & DBA MKII.
will i miss the detail levels of RE-zero treble& bass in XBA-3.
With EQing among the two which do you think can be called an "all rounder" suited for all genres.
Kindly advice.
 
Top