IEM general discussion thread

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

  1. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Not unless I lie on the side and it gets pressed against my ear. I think that's the reason why they removed the ridges on the FDX1.
     
  2. Augmentin

    Augmentin MOT - DUNU IEM Company

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    I almost feel a neckband unit with the FD0(X)1 worn down would work best?
     
  3. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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  4. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I have a MUC, but it's not ideal for the gym. I've gotten used to the convenience and ergonomics of my Samsung Buds.
    I tried bending them a bit but they sprung right back. If it's safe to go full Rambo on them, I'll give it a go.
     
  5. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    So... chiming in this thread instead since I couldn't find a home for this.

    For the past month or so, I've been sticking to a UE18+ Gen 3 universal demo unit (official demo, not a reshell) and... it's been awesome.

    TL;DR:
    1. Warm-neutral signature with slightly lifted bass and a hint of upper mid veil. Non-sibilant and perfectly smooth treble with extension to infinity.
    2. Soundstage depends on the recording but can get as big as Andro.
    3. Plays well directly out of my iPhone, Nintendo Switch, MacBook, etc...
    4. Does need a lot of power at higher volumes due to 4-way crossover
    5. Going to be my personal reference for a while

    Read through the threads, read Marv's review of it (not sure which gen it was but mine is Gen 3), read Crinacle's take on it. I disagree with many of what they said. My experience is basically closer to what @shotgunshane said: it's basically neutral with a hint of upper midrange veil. But it's just a hint of that. When you listen very closely on sources with low output impedance, it's actually not so veiled.

    I'd say... it's more like the upper mid and treble drivers have been pushed further away, and the bass to lower mid drivers sound... closer. As a result, it's smooth and relaxed but not veiled and closed in like some other warm/bassy IEMs that I have used.

    Bass also has a bit of a lift, and this is where I would agree with Marv that it makes it sound like there is a pervasive warmth throughout the range. Low output impedance does help with this quite a bit, but the UE18+ is never going to sound super snappy and impactful in the bass range. I'd EQ the bass if I want more impact (reducing certain upper bass / lower midrange sections will help).

    Midrange is where I'd say... this is exactly how I'd like a portable/on-the-go headphone to sound like. If it was any warmer than this, it'd be way too syrupy and thick. I'm already hearing the UE18+ as teethering on the brink of being warmer than the HD650 even (the more relaxed upper midrange also exacerbates this effect). There is absolutely no sibilance whatsoever even with the treble lift of the Gen 3, so it doesn't sound thin or brittle to my ears at all. In fact, it doesn't even sound like it has BA drivers. That's crazy.

    And treble is just exquisite. There's enough sparkles, but it's not lifted like the Andro. In fact, it's a weird effect where it presents basically just a hint less treble forwardness than Andro, but still somehow remains airy and crystal clear.

    Soundstage is also another interesting aspect. I feel like... if a track doesn't have soundstage to begin with, it'll just sound really closed in. But then if a track has soundstage, then it sounds sufficiently large and grand, with just enough layering and details.

    So the UE18+ to my ears sounds like... neutral, just a bit bassy, and just a hint of upper mid veil. It is definitely worthy of its TOTL status.

    For me, it is also perfectly a good fit to my tastes. I wouldn't want the midrange to be any warmer, the treble to be any more sparkly, nor the bass to be any less present.

    Sources used:

    ZX2 - not a good fit at all. A bit too warm and veiled. Also not enough power (UE18+ is quite power-hungry with its 4-way crossover).

    iPhone + lightning 3.5mm adapter - yep, would use this in a pinch. Basically neutral-ish with some congestion in the lower treble range. UE18+ also happens to be one of the very few IEMs I'd use with this combo.

    Cowon Plenue 2 Mk.2 - hm... a bit thin sounding. Not sure if it's a good fit, but those who like a brighter/thinner sound than me may like this.

    Cowon Plenue M2 - basically warmer than the P2 Mk.2, and is my current reference DAP. Also output power is just about enough, I'd say.

    AK120 - yeaaahhhh... it's okay, but I can tell some folks will tell me this is warm poo. I would say it is also teethering on being a bit too warm, though less than ZX2. Also power output seems to be an issue.

    Chord Mojo - nope. A million times nope. Way too warm. Basically just slightly cleaner than the ZX2 pairing, but still way too warm. Surprisingly even warmer than AK120.

    Modi 3 + THX AAA 789 - because... why not? Would use this at the desk. If only I could find a DAP that sounds like this...

    Nintendo Switch (rev. 2019 with more battery life) - because I have one. Sounds good. Maybe a bit of bass warmth, but surprisingly not too warm nor veiled. Now I know what to use on an airplane.

    Edit:
    Geek Out 2A Signature Edition (I thought this unit was dead but I just plugged 'er in and she fired up and worked, not sure how) - basically the portable version of THX AAA 789 + Modi 3. In a nutshell, this is equivalent to plugging HD650 into GO2A.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  6. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Got the BT20S I ordered from China and paired them with my JVC FD01. Used them today while I was working out and had no issues at all. Pairing was easy, sound is good enough for this use case and the price of the BT20S. Will report back if I come across any issues. Thanks all!
     
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  7. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Are you wearing them the same way as James? I tried that orientation and reshaped the memory wire, but still find I'm not able to maintain a good seal, especially while exercising. I'll play around with them some more, but I may go back to the MUC necklace (need to get it back from a friend). I'd been using it with ER4Ps at the gym, but the sound of EQ'd FD01 will rock much better with high energy workout tunes and I might be able to put up with the necklace formfactor.
     
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  8. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Sorry for double post, forgot to upload an ear selfie, and can't do it with an edit.

    As you can see, I have some clearance between the knurls and my flesh. But in trying to get a longer lasting seal, I end up shoving them in so hard that it's a bit uncomfortable. Anyway, will play some more and report back.

    BT20S-FD01.jpg
     
  9. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    I'm wearing them over my ear just like your picture. Guess it will also depend on your ear shape/size. Cheers
     
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  10. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I tried FD01 with the MUC necklace and the fit/seal is stable worn both down and up (using modded Symbios). Worn up in both orientations, it's not as comfortable as worn down. So I guess I'm back to the MUC for musical workouts, but with a significant improvement in comfort over ER4P (triple-flange), as well as easy insertion/extraction. Samcrap Buds are still more comfortable and convenient for podcasts.

    I quickly tried BT20S with Andros and while the fit was excellent, it's hiss city. Boomy bass tells me it's very likely low Zout too, < 0.5 ohms I reckon. And the "pairing, connected" notifications were even louder than from MUC ... :eek:!!!
     
  11. waynestractor

    waynestractor Rando

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    I just bought the FH7 last week after spending a month or so reading reviews of the CA lineup, mainly the Andromedas. I was going to try them out but found a few references to the Fiio so started looking more at them. They sounded like what I was after so I ordered them, and was pleasantly surprised right away! They sound great, and very balanced to me. I just ordered a Fiio balanced LC-2.5d to try out that side of my X7ii's amp, but am very happy with them as is.
     
  12. waynestractor

    waynestractor Rando

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    I agree, very balanced sound to me too, and the fit was perfect out of the box with the installed tips...probably the best fitting buds I have ever owned.
     
  13. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Looks like Fiio is releasing a TRN BT20S like bluetooth ear-hook kit called the UTWS1:
    https://www.fiio.com/utws1
    Could be a good alternative for turning the FDX1 into a TWS.
     
  14. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    Saw this the other day. Thought it was already out from the ad copy. Looks a lot like the BT20S.
     
  15. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    It's definitely out here. $42 US on Taobao.
     
  16. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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  17. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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  18. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Does the TWS mean anything as far as moving from a BT20S to the UTWS1? The BT20S works well enough with what I have now.
     
  19. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Fiio claims theirs is quieter than the BT20S but still may be too noisy with super sensitive armature based iems. So if using with a dynamic driver already, probably not going to gain much.
     
  20. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    Wanted to experiment with TWS, so tried the Fiio UTWS1 with my JVC HD01's. Sending 'em back (the Fiio's).

    The JVC's are heavy, and already don't want to stay in with the Symbio Peels I use them with. With cables, this is manageable. I nudge them back in every 20 minutes or so and we're good. In fact, the over-ear routing of the cables kind of partially relieves the weight of the IEMs and helps them stay inserted.

    The Fiio's have this super pre-tensioned ear wire that exerts crazy amounts of torque on the IEMs, *AND* the Fiios have a weak MMC connector. So if they aren't yanking (not exaggerating here) the JVCs out of place, the MMC connector is unconnecting itself.

    Maybe I could use a heat gun to soften the wires on the Fiios to relax their curve and make this work, but I already have a setup that works (cabled) with the JVCs, and the cables aren't *that* annoying.

    Maybe the Fiios would work well with a different IEM or someone with physically smaller ears?

    Cannot recommend.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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