IEM general discussion thread

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Griffon, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. Torq

    Torq Last Remaining Good HF Poster

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    Both ... custom on the ones that can be, universal on the tia Fourté (unless a custom version gets announced before I get to buying it, which I'll come back to in a proper write-up).
     

  2. Torq

    Torq Last Remaining Good HF Poster

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    Taken on it's own, no - I would describe Andromeda as having excellent levels of detail and transparency - and easily competitive with the EE Zeus R or the W900 (excepting the bass ... which is ahead of everything else I've heard).

    But coming straight off the tia Fourté and U18 Tsar, yes, Andromeda is definitely less resolving and less transparent than either of those. Everything else I have on hand is too. And the effect coming from those, to the more conventional units, is pronounced enough that, yes, they sound veiled in comparison. They are the fastest, most transparent, most resolving IEMs I've ever heard - by some margin. I hear texture and detail clearly with the 64 Audio pair that I cannot hear at all with the other units even now that I'm aware of it and am specifically listening for it.

    Take a couple of hours break from listening and coming back to the other IEMs I've been playing with and the sense of veil goes away.
     
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  3. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Friend

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    All righty. I look forward to hearing them some time in the future. Will have to see if there are any dealers local to me. Glad that 3x and 3.6 times the price gets you something ;). I don't tell most people at work how much those green things in my ears cost. And the ones who know think I'm totally insane.

    Guess it's the W900's dynamic LF driver that gives it its great bass texture.

    Still eagerly awaiting your full Andro impressions BTW.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  4. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Dynamic drivers have this certain palpability and texture and solidity that is most apparent in the bass but can be distinguished in the mids as well, although the W900's DD isn't the best example of that, it's still better than Andro's or BA monitor's presentation. Given the high praise Torq is giving the 1964's, if the weekend isn't interrupted I should be heading down to try them.

    I've asked my intern how much he thinks the green thing I occasionally sport costs, and he guessed about 200... LOL
     
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  5. Torq

    Torq Last Remaining Good HF Poster

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    The law of diminishing returns is definitely in heavy effect here. While both 64 Audio units score in more areas than detail and transparency, as one would hope, they're not perfect. And even if you forgot about the price for a moment, I don't think the U/A18 Tsar is going to suit everyone and I think that's even more the case with the tia Fourté.

    Auditioning the tia Fourté is something I think is going to be somewhat problematic for many people. While it has a tendency to make an immediate impression, it's not always a GOOD impression. It took me a while to adjust to what it was doing. Specifically, it has such good separation and layering, with such high resolution, that it's very easy to get stuck listening to isolated parts of the music rather than experiencing it as a cohesive whole. I'm definitely not the only person that has run in to this. And it took a number of hours of listening for that effect to wane (which was definitely me adjusting to the IEM, and not a matter of "burn-in"). Which means quick demos are as likely to result in a poor impression as a good one ... and one that may not endure with further listening.

    Now, I'm lucky ... I don't have to make a $3700 buying decision based on 30 minutes listening, nor am I likely to ever do so, but absent a longer audition the tia Fourté is harder to assess properly. Note that I'm not advocating for "burn-in" here (it's not a burn-in issue in any case), just a caution to take your time if you audition them or you could very easily come away with the wrong impression (good OR bad).

    I'm being very selective with my "high praise" so far and there are a number of caveats to bear in mind. I'll say more on that when I finish my write-up, which will hopefully be today (I'm doing one Andromeda-specific one, and then one that covers all of the IEMs I've been playing with this last week or so).

    ...

    The biggest problem for me with the tia Fourté is that it's letting me hear things I literally couldn't before. That's a hard thing to overlook when you consider it from the perspective of my doing detailed evaluation of sources (i.e. my "Life after Yggdrasil" thing). It's also only one aspect of performance and not necessarily the most important for everyone.
     
  6. EricR

    EricR Rando

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    My first 10-15 minutes with the Tia Fourte actually left me mildly disoriented - something I've never experienced before. Switching to the W900 felt normal.

    At some point during my second stint with the Fourte it seems my brain caught on, and now the experience is *very* oriented. Effortless keeps coming to mind. There after, when switching from the Fourte to the W900 (which I really liked) most of that "very oriented" sense is lost and and the W900 seems to be working to impress me (with its rich bass and extended highs).

    As @Torq mentioned, spending an hour with the W900 and I'm back to thinking "Wow, I really like this headphone".

    If you are happy with your W900 and are not interested spending even more I suggest you just keep enjoying them, and not listen to the Fourte.

    Putting cost aside, if the W900 is a headphone you really like the odds are high you'll find yourself quite moved by the Fourte.
     
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  7. Torq

    Torq Last Remaining Good HF Poster

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    Just to complicate matters ... and because the opportunity was too good to pass up, I'm going to add these to my overall comparison:

    Zeus-XRA-Faceplate.jpg

    Zeus-XRA-Shell.jpg

    These are the Empire Ears Zeus XR ADEL. The little switch flips them from the Zeus R tuning to the Zeus XIV. I snagged them because they were available locally, same-day (i.e. today), at a decent price, and I wanted to see both how the two tunings differ (since I already own the Zeus R) and what realistic effects ADEL yields in general as well as contrasts between the B1 and G1 modules.
     
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  8. jowls

    jowls Something related to poop - Friend

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    Oh man @Torq, you've got it bad. IEMs can be a never ending mind fuck.

    Now that you are in this downward spiral of confusion, despair and self loathing, be sure to have a listen to Jomo Samba and (hopefully) Flamenco ;)
     
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  9. Mimouille

    Mimouille Acquaintance

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    Hello @Torq, thanks for the impressions. I haven't heard the Forte or 18, but owned the 900 and had the Zeus for a while.

    I am honestly really bothered by 64's strategy. They used to be a value brand, apparently got some new people on board and clearly decided to hop aboard the audiofool train with other brands which need not be named. I mean, I think it is fair to pay a premium for innovation, but I am failing to see what justifies 4k here. It just feels like they thought : well these guys will pay for it and think they are great. And honestly, I think this is the kind of behavior that is turning this hobby to shit.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  10. La Cenric

    La Cenric Acquaintance

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    The W900's bass is a good example of what a relatively controlled and somewhat "held-back" DD can do. I'd consider it a very good middle ground to the typical BA woofer's response (Andro, Empire Ears etc.) and the raw, high impact DD types (Galaxy, Vega etc.). Not exactly as fast as a BA woofer but also not as authoritative as the typical DD. Personally I'd prefer a little more impact but for those who value balance above all else, no other hybrid really comes close to that.

    I'll be back in IEM-haven in about two weeks so I'll have the chance to audition the new 64 flagships as well, perhaps take a few measurements here and there. I'm more than ready to accept that the Fourte may be the better IEM but at almost double the cost (exclusively in universal-fit no less) that has to be an expectation.
     
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  11. EricR

    EricR Rando

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    LOL. Reminds me of an old joke where the guy states that those who drive slower than him are clueless clods, and those that drive faster are reckless fools.
     
  12. Mimouille

    Mimouille Acquaintance

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    I am not saying 2k is reasonnable and 4k isn't.I think there should be a sense of proportion and value. 1k can be too much for some, but suddenly bringing the price to 4k for no apparent reason seems like greed.
     
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  13. Cspirou

    Cspirou Friend

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    Thinking about getting some >$200 IEMs but they just start feeling uncomfortable and itchy after awhile. Particularly the multi-flange tips you see on Etymotics. Seems like investing so much into something that feels so uncomfortable is not worth it. However most of my experience has to do with rubber or silicon tips.

    I wanted to ask what eartips have you found to be comfortable for long term listening? Is a custom fit the way to go?
     
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  14. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Friend

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    No experience with customs, but Complys might be an option for you, though they're a PITA to use and wear out quickly. I find shallow silicone tips like Spinfits to be very comfortable and free from irritation.

    I can wear my Andros w/ Spinfits for hours at a time. Still have to pull them out occasionally for an ear jiggle with my index finger though. I think that's just the nature of having something stuck in your ear.
     
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  15. Vansen

    Vansen Friend

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    @Cspirou For the most part, you can't beat the fit and comfort of a custom. Imperfect fits on customs can be a pain.

    Everyone's mileage will vary here on the tips. for long term listening, I have the best luck with Comply tips. They don't sound the best, but for long term listening, I like them the most. If I'm on a long flight, I'll stick with customs or Comply tips.
     
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  16. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Friend

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    For long flights I go with tri-flange condoms on my Ety ear dildos. Complys don't provide the same level of isolation.
     
  17. Vansen

    Vansen Friend

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    @gixxerwimp Get the p-series Comply tips for the Etys. These beat any custom or silicone I've heard in isolation. They go very deep, too.
     
  18. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Friend

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    Thanks, I'm good with the tri-flanges, but maybe I'll try them with Noble X.

    The Ts don't block out enough of the crappy/loud music at the gym. I thought there was a more isolating type but didn't find it when searching the other day.
     
  19. JewBear

    JewBear Almost "Made"

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    I found them way too long to fit properly. They easily get folded over in the ear canal. You're best bet for isolation is actually the Etymotic foam. Superior to both comply comfort / isolation, and silicone triple flange.
     
  20. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Friend

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    Choice of tip is a very personal thing. We all have different ears and need different solutions. For example, the Ety foam sort of fits me, but they're so hard and the edges so sharp that I can't stand having them in.

    I get excellent isolation and reasonable comfort with the tri-flanges. After a while, I think they start to degrade. I get some channel imbalance, possibly due to the folding over you mention in my left ear. Putting a new set on solves the problem and they're back to normal.
     
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