IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

5 Pages V  « < 3 4 5  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Can IEMs be as good as full sized headphones?
shigzeo
post Oct 24 2009, 08:45
Post #101





Group: Members
Posts: 77
Joined: 18-April 05
From: Seoul, South Kor
Member No.: 21520



DFKT is also a member of headfi and not typical of the ranting and often clueless group. I recommend that same website as a good resource. Unfortunately, he doesn't have iPods and iPhone 3G and 3GS up along with Sony.

More than anything, the Sony impressed me because of its very good live recording engine which is better than many more expensive recorders. I have the 828, 615 and the 639 but they are all somewhere... I cannot stand players that don't have gapless playback simply because I listen to a lot of trance and any gaps are ruinous to my listening repose. I know that with SS and ATRAC, the sony can run gapless, but... it isn't worth it to boot up VMware, load windows, transfer the songs I want to listen to and with SS, carve my CD's to a format which only Sony supports.

I was a minidisc.org member and used ATRAC for about 6 years before giving in and getting a Cowon D2 (a disappointing machine).
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
rpp3po
post Oct 24 2009, 12:26
Post #102





Group: Developer
Posts: 1126
Joined: 11-February 03
From: Germany
Member No.: 4961



QUOTE (steaxauce @ Oct 23 2009, 19:43) *
Then it is indeed the impedance issue. All you need for flat frequency response, then, is an amp with close-to-zero output impedance, which is not hard to find or expensive at all. You should get one!


Doesn't this sum it up? I loosely followed this thread for a while. And I'm somewhat wondering what all the fuss is about and why shigzeo & others even got so much attention.

Speakers have always had non linear impedance, and rated impedance has always been just an estimation. That's fine and that's why amps are supposed to have a low output impedance for ages.

Varying impedance does not necessarily mean varying frequency response! It just means that more energy is burned at some frequencies*. This energy may be heat or air movement, but you cannot tell from the Y-voltage variation alone. Of course, there is often correlation between both. But the presented test setup fails to estimate the extend. With n-way balanced armature designs you necessarily have passive elements in the crossover that burn energy as heat and this electrical FR variation doesn't say anything about acoustical FR variation. That is why n-way balanced armature designs may look flawed when you test them like that, but it is the test itself that is flawed, when you draw conclusions from this about their FR.


* An inexpensive amp design without major flaws doesn't care.

This post has been edited by rpp3po: Oct 24 2009, 16:13
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ImBullseye
post Oct 24 2009, 23:24
Post #103





Group: Members
Posts: 20
Joined: 18-July 09
Member No.: 71570



Hey there,

Well I arrive a bit late to the party. Have been very occupied with studies.
To get back on track, I will explain a bit what I think regarding IEMs vs Full sized.

For the record I have two IEMs, the Shure se-210 and the Phonak PFE. I also own other full sized headphones from different brands. The main issue you encounter when trying to describe or to "compare" two different headphones (*when I type headphone I refer to both IEMs and full size*) is that your opinion depends in the position you wear them on, in how comfortable they are for you and in your mood plus predisposition towards the music you will be listening to.

The first problem I encountered when I put the Shure se-210 was that they were uncomfortable. It was a new sensation for me, to introduce something in my ear canal and to have my ear canals closed, without any airflow between my mouth and ears. To have the ear tips pressing my ear canals and having the sensation of getting most part of the sound get to my ear drums without it leaking outside. Where am I going with this? What I am trying to say is that you are facing a situation that is not the natural way of hearing sounds. And that needs adaptation. It took a few months to get used to the shure IEMs, and if I didn't wear them for some days, after I put them again I felt a bit uncomfortable again.

In the meantime, whilst I was listening to music, I had to play with the position of the IEMs in order to get a good seal plus comfortable position. Due to my ear canals I can bear IEMs better in my right ear than in my left one. And whilst changing position there is the time when the mids seem distant, or there is not enough bass (even if the se-210 lack in the bass department, IMO). With the Phonak PFE i had more luck. They are much more comfortable -didn't stay as deep as the shure-, I had got used to the feeling of having my ear canals blocked, and the FR was more to my liking.

Even so having other full sized cans after some months wearing only the IEMs showed me the big disadvantage IEMs (Universals) have. IEMs are very position dependent. They depend so much in the way they are resting in your ears that the true response the transducers give can not be easily heard. When you are wearing IEMs you are mostly moving your head and jaw, so they can also move if they are not well set. That gives some noticeable deviations in the FR. In my case getting a comfortable seal was difficult and more time consuming than putting some full sized HP. The latter needed a shorter adaptation period.

Full sized cans, on the other hand, don't depend so much on the position in the head. They do, but as well as it happens when you are sitting in your listening room and you change your head from the correct position. So speaking about the term "good" when speaking about headphone types is not the correct word for it IMO.

IEMs have another "presentation" different from full sized. It is easier to get "absorbed" by the music with the former because they avoid outside noises to get inside your canals. (That is if you have found a comfortable position which in my case is way more difficult than with full sized HPs). I dislike this sentence because I haven't had the opportunity to listen to music with both IEMs and Full sized under conditions of near silence, so I have my doubts about that.

To finish with this long post and due to me feeling tired as yesterday I came back from a live concert (Dream Theater + Opeth + Bigelf + Unexpect), I believe that the reason people say full sized HPs are "better" is because there position is not as crucial as with the former. I have spoken about open cans mainly. Closed cans share something similar to IEMs.

Sorry for not making too much sense due to my being tired. I will come back again to clear any doubts my opinion might bring up and hope you at least get my point in what is going on between IEMs (universals) and full sized HPs (open mainly).

Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Soap
post Oct 25 2009, 02:41
Post #104





Group: Members
Posts: 1019
Joined: 19-November 06
Member No.: 37767



I respectfully disagree with almost everything ImBullseye said.
It isn't that one of us is right and the other wrong, but that people are varied.
I, personally, find it easier to get a proper fit with IEMs than cans.
I, personally, find it easier to move around and not vary frequency response while wearing IEMs.
I, personally, find it easier to get a comfortable fit with IEMs.

I do agree, though, that IEMs provide better isolation.




PS - if there is EVER an airflow between your mouth and ear canal your eardrum has a hole in it.



--------------------
Creature of habit.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ImBullseye
post Oct 25 2009, 13:45
Post #105





Group: Members
Posts: 20
Joined: 18-July 09
Member No.: 71570



Well, seems then it is all about taste smile.gif

As in my own case, getting a good fit, without the ear tip moving out becomes quite difficult, whereas putting some headphones over my ears with the headband correctly attached doesn't take time at all. I have not tried custom IEMs, but I would like to do so some day.

Regarding the "airflow" I must say I did choose the wrong term. I wanted to say with that the sensation of always getting some noise reaching your ear drums. The feeling you have during all day of being surrounded by sounds. Getting absolute silence is impossible (-blocking every outside sound-). The reason I say that might be because I have a sensitive ear. I get to hear distant noises that other people around me normally don't. I am by no means a "golden ear" or some nonsense like that.

What I do like about IEMs is that they allow me to focus more in the music because they filter most sounds I can normally hear when wearing full sized cans. In the end, if the fit is good with IEMs, or if I am with open full sized HPs under silent conditions the degree of enjoyment can be quite similar. However due to comfort I always tend to go for a full sized rather than IEM.

And as I haven't been able to reproduce for my headphones good conditions for test, comparing bass, "soundstage", mids and highs becomes something absolutely subjective and biased.

QUOTE (Soap @ Oct 25 2009, 03:41) *
I respectfully disagree with almost everything ImBullseye said.
It isn't that one of us is right and the other wrong, but that people are varied.
I, personally, find it easier to get a proper fit with IEMs than cans.
I, personally, find it easier to move around and not vary frequency response while wearing IEMs.
I, personally, find it easier to get a comfortable fit with IEMs.

I do agree, though, that IEMs provide better isolation.




PS - if there is EVER an airflow between your mouth and ear canal your eardrum has a hole in it.


This post has been edited by ImBullseye: Oct 25 2009, 13:46
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
steaxauce
post Oct 25 2009, 22:12
Post #106





Group: Members
Posts: 27
Joined: 13-October 09
Member No.: 73964



It occurred to me that we might be oversimplifying things a little. Could it be that IEMs' impedance varies with the amplitude of the signal as well?

Though, I suppose it doesn't really matter. Low output impedance would still be all that's needed for an otherwise well-designed amp to perform well with the IEM.

This post has been edited by steaxauce: Oct 25 2009, 22:23
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
rpp3po
post Oct 25 2009, 22:52
Post #107





Group: Developer
Posts: 1126
Joined: 11-February 03
From: Germany
Member No.: 4961



QUOTE (steaxauce @ Oct 25 2009, 23:12) *
It occurred to me that we might be oversimplifying things a little.

Concerning what?

QUOTE (steaxauce @ Oct 25 2009, 23:12) *
Could it be that IEMs' impedance varies with the amplitude of the signal as well?

Is this just baseless speculation or is there any data indicating this (amplitude is just voltage)? Not that it would matter, as you wrote. Else we could also speculate wether the impedance could vary as a function of the moon's position.

This post has been edited by rpp3po: Oct 25 2009, 22:53
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
steaxauce
post Oct 25 2009, 23:12
Post #108





Group: Members
Posts: 27
Joined: 13-October 09
Member No.: 73964



It's just baseless speculation, but how do we know that it doesn't? There are some ( fairly obscure) types of drivers that certainly do. Piezoelectric drivers act more like capacitors than resistors, but mostly what prompted my remark was the RLC circuit that is the 3-way passive crossover.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
odigg
post Oct 26 2009, 15:12
Post #109





Group: Members
Posts: 629
Joined: 25-July 08
From: USA
Member No.: 56264



Bullseye - Thanks for the comments. I suppose the fit and comfort issue is one of the biggest issues. I recently tried a Klipsch S4 (disliked, extremely boosted bass) and found that after listening for a while I started to feel like something was stuck in my upper teeth. The earphone was very comfortable so I was quite surprised to have this feeling.

QUOTE
IEMs have another "presentation" different from full sized. It is easier to get "absorbed" by the music with the former because they avoid outside noises to get inside your canals.


I think the way the sound seems to emanates also helps IEMs make you feel more absorbed in the sound. With headphones you can get the "blob in the head" effect, but you still get some sort of sense that the music is coming from outside you. With the Klipsch I had the distinct feeling like my head was the speaker or the speakers were actually in my head (which they were). This was quite an interesting feeling (something I would have to get used to), but I can see how people can eventually like this sound.

I'm still not sold on Customs. Maybe I just don't have enough disposable income to buy something I can't resell smile.gif

QUOTE (shigzeo)
I have found that the most 'pleasing' sound (noted by comments at headfi) earphones, often drive a hell of a lot of distortion from sources and amps. It isn't always the case, but heavily distorting sources tend to sound softer and in headfi terms, 'musical'.


I'm not sure what you mean by "hell of a lot of distortion." From the measurements I've seen of various headphones and IEMs, the amp distortion loaded with low impedance headphones rarely exceeds 0.15% What is the distortion of the transducers themselves? Is 0.15% any more audible than lower numbers?

IEMs are in for an interesting future. Brands from China seem to be releasing good products, including customs. I imagine this is going to drive down the prices of all IEMs or at least force current major vendors to upgrade their products.

This post has been edited by odigg: Oct 26 2009, 15:13
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ImBullseye
post Oct 26 2009, 23:50
Post #110





Group: Members
Posts: 20
Joined: 18-July 09
Member No.: 71570



odigg, your welcome.

Sorry my post wasn't clear. I was quite tired at that time and I couldn't type what I thought.

Regarding your teeth hurting it is a similar sensation as the one I had at the left back side of my jaw. I felt something very unpleasant. It was related to SPL, as the lower the less noticeable it was. As in your case, my earpiece was correctly positioned. It could be called a "comfortable position", however that annoying feeling kept coming back to my jaw. It took some months for me to get used to it. With full sized cans the adaptation was faster, and I didn't face those issues.

You might have noticed that I barely spoke about SQ. If i didn't was because:
a) My listening experience is not the same with the headphones tested (SPL level matching)
b) I didn't face a comfortable position with both cases that would allow me to start some similar to a comparison. IEMs fault mainly.
c) Even if I had the correct conditions for testing equipment, the time in which I'd have to swap between IEMs and full sized would make me rely on my listening memory, which cannot be trusted.

Therefore if I now tell you that the bass coming from the PFE was not punchy enough -to my likings- but tomorrow I put them back again, in a different position (as getting the same position for anything is impossible) and I get the punch I like about it, or my mood helps me "feel it that way", the words used to describe the sound the transducers give would be completely useless. And as IEMs (universals) are much more POSITION DEPENDENT -more than full sized, in MY opinion and in my absolute terms smile.gif- than full sized, the difference I might hear from one time to another is more prone to suffer from a bigger variation than the one I can experience using full sized cans.

I hope I explained myself correctly in this last paragraph.

However what I can say and I agree with you is the sensation of having the speakers inside your skull -more graphic that way smile.gif - can be pleasant. I enjoy much more wearing IEMs at bed and lying down than when sitting on my chair with the full sized on. I have lied down with full sized at bed, but it is not the same, and the head-band falls from my head.

The following is just speculation regarding the "in your head" effect. As the sound waves are getting directly in your ear canals to your ear drums and surrounding walls, sound waves get both absorbed (by the mucus *don't know if that is the correct word for it in english*), reflected and refracted in the canal walls and absorbed by your bones. Depending on the SPL, more of those waves get absorbed, and the ones that don't, can't get so far out of your ear. On a full sized can, the distance between the transducer and your ear drum is bigger, being the headphone open, reflected sound waves can get outside of your canals and those waves get "lost". Soundstage is related to the time lapse between two received sound waves. Your brain is capable of making a 3D image of where the sounds are coming from. That is where the distance between transducer and ear drum comes into play. Obviously I am over-simplifying what happens inside our ear canals, but where I am going at is that with IEMs, you are "forced" to process <more> sound waves than with full sized cans due to my early speculation.

That might be experienced as more "intimacy, closeness, presence, ..."

Then what I have written above might be trash (regarding my speculation). I believe more people here know way more than I do, therefore I'd like to hear some reasoning -more logical and reasonable- than my speculation stating what differences regarding transducers + ear drum + ear canals relations are.

Finally, we humans can get used to loads of things. From an "audiophile" or shall I say music lover point of view, we should strive to get the most life-like representation of music. That involves tonality, positioning (soundstage), ... Receiving sound waves directly from the instruments themselves (coming from their designs) will always be different than getting the sounds from some transducers with limitations, recordings with limitations, etc. And yet our brain can get used to a different way of receiving sounds and acknowledge it as being "correct". IEM and full sized presentation is a variation of a real live performance. Neither of them is correct or wrong, both of them are simply limited. Both are limited at a different degree when seeing them sperately (as mechanical artifacts they are), and at the same time limited by our brain capacity.

So in the end there are some objective aspects that can make something be tagged as "better", always putting live performance as the reference. (e.g. An outside sound presentation gets closer than a "blob in head" rolleyes.gif presentation to real life, as you can't have a violin play inside your ear canal, but you can have one playing at the left side of your ear) In the end, however, it is you who has to decide if having an "inside your head" experience gives you more satisfaction than having one "at your left and right side". As comfort is one of my biggest concerns, and I have achieved that better with full sized HPs, I rate them above IEMs, plus I think the sensation of left/right ear is more truthful than in the head sensation.

Now this is the end. Had a tiresome day and felt like thinking out loud here. Feel free to comment smile.gif Hope at least I give some good food for thought for someone... And odigg, hope this helps with your decision.

QUOTE (odigg @ Oct 26 2009, 16:12) *
Bullseye - Thanks for the comments. I suppose the fit and comfort issue is one of the biggest issues. I recently tried a Klipsch S4 (disliked, extremely boosted bass) and found that after listening for a while I started to feel like something was stuck in my upper teeth. The earphone was very comfortable so I was quite surprised to have this feeling.

I think the way the sound seems to emanates also helps IEMs make you feel more absorbed in the sound. With headphones you can get the "blob in the head" effect, but you still get some sort of sense that the music is coming from outside you. With the Klipsch I had the distinct feeling like my head was the speaker or the speakers were actually in my head (which they were). This was quite an interesting feeling (something I would have to get used to), but I can see how people can eventually like this sound.


Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
shigzeo
post Oct 27 2009, 18:13
Post #111





Group: Members
Posts: 77
Joined: 18-April 05
From: Seoul, South Kor
Member No.: 21520



odigg, it seems as if my response was again as inarticulate as possible and I am sorry. What I meant by a hell of a lot of distortion is again, at the amp level. No amp I have seen drives the iems at better than 2% which is as much as 100x more distortion than some of my other earphones (FX500 16 ohm).

The only problem I have with the arguments that it is merely impedance mismatching which is causing the non-linear FR is that when adding impedance (75), the FR doesn't change that much. While my tests are purely experimental, they hold water simply as they have been the same since the beginning.

As far as iems vs full size, I am on both sides of the fence. The outer ear is important to me, but iems have a special and full presence from within the ear which radiates outward. I don't necessarily prefer one over the other except in certain situations. When I need isolation, there is no choice but iems, and at home, I would prefer to wear my BD DT880.

Chinese brands: are you speaking of Unique Melody and Sound Magic among others? Yeah, there are a lot of good iems hitting from all across the globe. China supplies 90% of the oem devices which other country's brands utilise, so it is no wonder that China is coming up in the market. I am a Phonak owner too, but I will admit that other than good fit and sound, they were disappointing. The angular tubes hurt my ears, and worse, the cable is susceptible to cracking and hardening.

My favourite universals are: Atrio M6, Audio Technica CK10, Earsonics SM2, the Monster Turbine, and the Victor FX500. For customs, the FitEar Private 333 is hands down my favourite for sound (character), but the Sleek CT6 for price/performance.

cheers,

QUOTE (odigg @ Oct 26 2009, 23:12) *
Bullseye - Thanks for the comments. I suppose the fit and comfort issue is one of the biggest issues. I recently tried a Klipsch S4 (disliked, extremely boosted bass) and found that after listening for a while I started to feel like something was stuck in my upper teeth. The earphone was very comfortable so I was quite surprised to have this feeling.

QUOTE
IEMs have another "presentation" different from full sized. It is easier to get "absorbed" by the music with the former because they avoid outside noises to get inside your canals.


I think the way the sound seems to emanates also helps IEMs make you feel more absorbed in the sound. With headphones you can get the "blob in the head" effect, but you still get some sort of sense that the music is coming from outside you. With the Klipsch I had the distinct feeling like my head was the speaker or the speakers were actually in my head (which they were). This was quite an interesting feeling (something I would have to get used to), but I can see how people can eventually like this sound.

I'm still not sold on Customs. Maybe I just don't have enough disposable income to buy something I can't resell smile.gif

QUOTE (shigzeo)
I have found that the most 'pleasing' sound (noted by comments at headfi) earphones, often drive a hell of a lot of distortion from sources and amps. It isn't always the case, but heavily distorting sources tend to sound softer and in headfi terms, 'musical'.


I'm not sure what you mean by "hell of a lot of distortion." From the measurements I've seen of various headphones and IEMs, the amp distortion loaded with low impedance headphones rarely exceeds 0.15% What is the distortion of the transducers themselves? Is 0.15% any more audible than lower numbers?

IEMs are in for an interesting future. Brands from China seem to be releasing good products, including customs. I imagine this is going to drive down the prices of all IEMs or at least force current major vendors to upgrade their products.

Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
odigg
post Nov 2 2009, 20:29
Post #112





Group: Members
Posts: 629
Joined: 25-July 08
From: USA
Member No.: 56264



I recently purchased a Westone UM3X. Since this is a multi-BA device with a crossover, I just had to run it through RMAA. I'm not posting the graphs because I used the onboard sound of a 5+ year old computer and the graphs are very easy to misinterpret.

I got the expected result. When the UM3X is plugged straight into the onboard sound the FR graph looks like a roller coaster. There is a 5db boost at 1khz!

When I used a Cmoy to drive the UM3X the FR is flat. So a mighty CMOY was able to tame the UM3X!

QUOTE (shigzeo @ Oct 27 2009, 12:13) *
What I meant by a hell of a lot of distortion is again, at the amp level. No amp I have seen drives the iems at better than 2% which is as much as 100x more distortion than some of my other earphones (FX500 16 ohm).


2%! That is a lot of distortion.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
odigg
post Nov 4 2009, 22:16
Post #113





Group: Members
Posts: 629
Joined: 25-July 08
From: USA
Member No.: 56264



I started this thread with a few questions and I suppose I can try to answer them now that I've purchased a Klipsch S4 and Westone UM3X. I'll just compare it to my favorite full sized headphones - the Beyer DT880 and the Denon D7000.

The Good: If we are talking purely in terms of frequency reproduction, IEMs can do it. The treble, bass, midrange, it's all there. They are fun to listen to, make your toes tap, sound good, etc.

The Bad: I'll try to explain this without dipping into too much verbal mumbo-jumbo. There's just less of a sense of realism with IEMs compared to headphones. For the first few seconds after I put IEMs in my ears there's a "telephone" like sound, as if the FR ends have been chopped out and everything sounds thin. After my brain adjusts this goes away. But there's just this sense (in comparison to full sized headphones) that everything is closed off and the sounds are very close together. It sound "2D."

The best analogy I can think of right now pertains to the size of an orchestra on a stage. Imagine a live concert and a large stage filled with musicians. Then imagine this stage shrinking, so the space between the ends of the stage, and the space between the musicians, becomes smaller. With headphones you can get the sense that the different sounds are very close together. With IEMs it can almost sound like they are on top of each other.

There's just a sense of realism that, at least to me, is lost with IEMs. That's not to say IEMs sound bad. They can sound very good. But compared to my full sized headphones, it just seems like something is missing.

If IEMs can overcome this (and I think they are starting to) then full sized headphones are going to take a serious beating. As previously stated, there is an explosion of different IEMs and we're right in the middle of the game where people are shouting "Mine is best because it has more drivers!" I'm sure a lot of this is probably pure marketing, but it seems other manufacturers are actually trying to change the industry.

We'll have to see smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ImBullseye
post Nov 8 2009, 18:38
Post #114





Group: Members
Posts: 20
Joined: 18-July 09
Member No.: 71570



And how did you find IEMs comfort-wise? I still haven't been able to completely put IEMs on in a way that I don't have to move them, whereas with full sized cans I have been able to do so (for straight 4 hour listen)

Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Ed Seedhouse
post Nov 8 2009, 19:17
Post #115





Group: Members
Posts: 175
Joined: 19-May 09
Member No.: 69959



I do not think that the evidence you presented is sufficient to reach the conclusion you reached. The most you can say is that these particular IEMs, on your ears, to you, do not do the job as well as your particular over the ear phones.

Most of the effects you point to do not agree with my experiences at all. Of course I use different IEMs, I am a different person, and I compare them to different over the ear phones. I also do not generalize my particular experiences with one particular small set of headphones to make grand general conclusions about the whole class of similar items.

In my case, with the Sennheiser IE8, they are clearly better sound-wise, to me, in pretty well every way compared to the same company's PCX-450s, of comparable cost. That of course says precisely nothing about the original question you asked. Neither, in my opinion, does your posting.

By the way, bar the noise blocking, the Sennheiser HD437 sounds, to me, nearly as good as the IE8's, distinctly better (to me) than the PXC-450's, and cost a whole lot less than either.

This post has been edited by Ed Seedhouse: Nov 8 2009, 19:20


--------------------
Ed Seedhouse
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
shigzeo
post Nov 9 2009, 01:58
Post #116





Group: Members
Posts: 77
Joined: 18-April 05
From: Seoul, South Kor
Member No.: 21520



I love iems, full-size, and on-ear headphones: all. but, when I am at home, I prefer large phones. One thing which iems cannot do is engage the outer ear, but that doesn't matter all that much as I don't think most people will really care after getting a nice iem into their ear and hearing ... its beauty. Odigg - thanks for the posts and no need for graphs. How is the hiss (white background noise) from the Penguin amp? I am auditioning an amp I may buy (ALO Rx) which is great for a variety of headphones, but which hisses with iems quite a bit. Also, how is the THD and channel separation with the Penguing (as compared to the soundcard)? I mentioned 2%, but that is a best-of in many cases. Many iems induce more distortion from a variety of sources, the worse I have seen is 17%.

That brings up my biggest problem with iems - they reveal background noise where other headphones may not (as much). Each have their uses and each sound great, but for normal listening, I do prefer full-size.

This post has been edited by shigzeo: Nov 9 2009, 02:01
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
odigg
post Dec 9 2009, 16:07
Post #117





Group: Members
Posts: 629
Joined: 25-July 08
From: USA
Member No.: 56264



I think I'm going to have to change some my opinions about IEMs.

I recently purchased a Audeo PFE. Unlike other IEMs I have heard, this does not any of the usual sonic issues (e.g. rolled off high end, muffled sound, poor quality bass). It sounds clean and clear without any excess in the upper midrange or treble. They also offer quite a bit of external noise isolation - this suits me well as I purchased these mainly for airplane travel. They have a slightly less bass than I would like but I can live with it or EQ it.

I still have some of the usual IEMs issues though - I can sometimes hear my pulse and there is too much sound if I do something like workout with them.

I still prefer my full sized cans to the PFE, but if I had to get rid of my full sized cans it wouldn't bother me too much. It felt great to be able to do this dishes and listen to music without bothering my spouse.

I think I can now believe it when people say certain IEMs (IE8, JH13 Pro) can be as good as full sized or that they are good enough that the extra bit that is gained from full sized headphones is not worth it when you consider other factors like portability. It'll be interesting to see (in the next couple of years) if some other company can create a universal version of the JH13 Pro for 1/4 the price.

shigzeo - The CMOY seems to be noise free with the PFE. With the UM3X there was a lot of noise. As far the measurements, I am not able to perform a good measurement of it. I only have my motherboard's onboard sound for an ADC and I suspect the motherboard input is worse than the CMOY. I don't know how the Penguin amp perform as as I just have a regular CMOY I built myself.

This post has been edited by odigg: Dec 9 2009, 16:09
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
shigzeo
post Dec 14 2009, 11:32
Post #118





Group: Members
Posts: 77
Joined: 18-April 05
From: Seoul, South Kor
Member No.: 21520



The PFE are very nice because they reduce a lot of background noise, they also do a bit better with a good amp. But noise is something I really dislike and cheap or expensive, some amps deliver noise - way too much of it and I cannot take it. I am testing a really expensive iem now, the audio technica CK100 which is an interesting listen for PFE fans as it is much more atmospheric (if I am to be vague) wink.gif, favourite high mids with shimmer and shake.

And, unlike its older brother, the CK10, it lower impedance and hisses a bit more. But damn, the build quality is leaps and bounds above anything on the market - simply no comparison at all.

I also prefer my DT880 to any iem - even the JH13Pro. Despite all the love at headfi, even the JH13Pro does not deliver air space (to the ears at least) as much as a headphone, not to mention the fact that the outer ear is also engaged. But, it is very expensive to buy into that custom and for that reason, I am pretty satisfied with the 350$ Sleek CT6, though it used to be only 300$. I will have to append my review to fit more recent customs reviews such as the FitEar 333 (which bloody rocks).

It is hard to judge 'sound quality' particularly as everyone prefers different things, and as is evident in the headfi AMP3 Pro thread, has different tolerances to things like bass roll off (with any headphone) and hiss. I hate hiss and I know that HA isn't the place to get into expensive portable amps, but the reason I got away from cmoy (unless extremely modded) is that after about 10 different designs, each hissed more than I liked. Most of the wildly modded DIYs sold for about half the price of a boutique manufacturer and didn't have quite as nice: chassis, input settings, or other things, so in the end, I went for an ALO Rx, which is expensive, but I am really liking it.

One thing is for certain, suck out (fitear), bass roll off (CT6 and JH13Pro) don't happen with it and hiss is minimal.

This post has been edited by greynol: Dec 14 2009, 17:33
Reason for edit: Removed unnecessary full quotation of the previous post.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
odigg
post Dec 16 2009, 11:54
Post #119





Group: Members
Posts: 629
Joined: 25-July 08
From: USA
Member No.: 56264



I agree that many of the CMOY variants are overpriced. The prices of some of these exceed the prices of far better designs (e.g. Mini 3). I have the most basic build of the CMOY but I changed some parts (I don't remember which) when I built it. It gives me a good baseline for testing and helped me discover just how little is really required for a headphone amp.

I don't know why the PFE would need a special amp. It sounds fantastic out of a Nokia 5800 phone, a Ipod Nano, and a Sansa Clip. I suspect if I got some loaded measurements it I would find good measurements with all three devices. So I don't see how an amp would improve anything, but I'd have to do some RMAA tests to be sure.

I suppose I could could do a volume matched test to see if there are any sonic differences between devices and with/without a special amp but at this point I'm not interested.

QUOTE
Despite all the love at headfi, even the JH13Pro does not deliver air space (to the ears at least) as much as a headphone, not to mention the fact that the outer ear is also engaged.


Thanks for this comment - I really appreciate it. It certainly helps put the JH13 Pro in perspective, espeically considering how difficult it is to even demo them. Given the other issues (durability, ease of repair fit changing over time, etc) the price is incredibly high.

This post has been edited by odigg: Dec 16 2009, 12:02
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
LocrianGroove
post Dec 16 2009, 19:33
Post #120





Group: Members
Posts: 107
Joined: 28-February 07
Member No.: 41051



I absolutely love my Ultimate Ears Triple.fi Pro 10 IEM's. They're tricky to put on, because you have to wrap the wires over your ears, but they sound amazing.

When I plug them into my Mackie mixer (with the included resistive load adapter for impedance matching), I get a nice sound.

However, when I plug them into my 5th generation iPod with the adapter, the iPod has trouble driving the IEM's, and I get a muddy sound. Without the adapter, the the iPod can drive the IEM's, but they lack some bass and have too much treble. Fortunately, I am running Rockbox on my iPod, so I can adjust the EQ parametrically and get a great sound.

I'm not about to get a portable amp for my iPod, because the Rockbox parametric EQ does the trick.

The Triple.fi's are roughly at the same price point in the U.S. as the Sennheiser HD600's, which I will be getting on Friday. I'm going to use the Sennheisers for professional audio applications, where I will want to have somewhat of an industry standard for mastering applications in the 'not rediculously expensive category.'

Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

5 Pages V  « < 3 4 5
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 28th December 2014 - 14:18