InEar ProPhile 8 Measurements and Review (Stream of Consciousness)

Discussion in 'IEM Measurements' started by purr1n, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    So from near-0 ohm impedance, does Andro sound like it has infinitely more extension than PP8? Cuz that's what it looks like to me.
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'll try it out. I don't last octave extension is going to matter much in terms of Z out. Once the drivers take a dump, they take dump. +2db or whatever won't help.

    BTW, here is the effect of the treble switch. I might leave it on.
    ProPhile 8 treble switch.png
     
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  3. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Guess all us "rando fucks" just made the assumption that no other IEM could possible by as reactive to Zout as Andro.

    I opened your two FR graphs (ZX2 and Zout=0) in separate tabs and flip back and forth. Couldn't see a significant difference in the PP8's curve. Seems in all this time nobody has posted an impedance curve for the PP8, so I'm looking forward to see what you measure.

    Edit: Made a giffy. Maybe there are some differences in the mids/lows relative to the 2k+ peak.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's not you specifically. It's collective consciousness. And that I allowed myself to be influenced by this collective consciousness. We can never assume anything about the impedance curve of multi-way BAs.
     
  5. La Cenric

    La Cenric Friend

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    It's not a true impedance curve, but @bartzky produced an impedance reactivity curve for the PP8 before (In steps of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 Ohms):

    [​IMG]

    It's not dead-flat, but as far as BA IEMs go it's not the worst offending in terms of Zout pickiness.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ProPhile 8 Impedance Curve
    ProPhile 8 Impedance Curve.png
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    OK so the above explains it pretty clearly. I wouldn't say the impedance curve is benign.

    Assuming ZX2 source impedance of ~2 ohms and Pixel source impedance of ~5 ohms: from the ZX2 to Pixel, I should be getting approximately 0.75db less upper mids compared to 1kHz, and bass to lower mids will be 0.5db higher than the upper mids. This explains why I felt the Pixel was much better tonally than the ZX2 with the ProPhile 8.

    As the source impedance goes up, the FR changes in the shape of the impedance curve. The amount is calcuated via a voltage divider. We look at the voltage going through the transducer. Zfreq / (Zout + Zfreq).

    The tonal response of the Pixel is definitely an improvement. The issues I've been hearing are minimized to where I can now tolerate them. My gut says a 10 source impedance would be ideal for my tastes. (Need to find my original Sony X). The downside to the Pixel is that the ZX2 is so much better in terms of resolution and refinement of sound. Better tonal response, but loss of technicalites.

    The is similar to the Andromeda. where the Andromeda seems to need anywhere from 2 to 5 ohms source impedance for it to be in its sweet spot (not excessively bassy - around 6 ohms it's almost like an UERM tonally). The ProPhile 8 would seem to require 8 to 12 ohms, at least for my tastes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    This is speculative, but another factor I think that might be contributing to the dry or shrill upper mids, and also possibly the sibilance, might be distortion. If we examine the distortion plot, there is a simultaneous high point of both 2nd and 3rd other distortion at 2kHz. This means every time 2kHz signal is played (common harmonic of female vocals), smaller but near amounts of 4kHz and 6kHz will occur. The BA driver stuff can be odd at places where 3rd order surpasses 2nd order. Could be grasping at straws...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. bartzky

    bartzky Acquaintance

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    I did actually post the real impedance curve some time ago on HF: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/new-inear-prophile-8.820797/page-26#post-13528410

    It looks like @Marvey got more or less the same result.
     
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  10. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    The PP8 on the AK JR is my preferred pairing. I find the combo pretty darn smooth. AK claims 2 ohms OI but I suspect its a little over 3. I think someone on a discord channel measured theirs but I can’t recall for sure.

    The bass is my favorite aspect of the PP8. It’s pretty great for armature bass. The midrange has good balance to me. Most times the treble is pretty smooth but every once in a while it gets a little tizzy with some songs. I do wish it had more extension and air, this is definitely the one area it doesn’t hold a candle to Andromeda. But overall, with the AK JR, it’s my go to set up.
     
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  11. TomHP

    TomHP Almost "Made"

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    Listened for about an hour to PP8 vs Andro vs SE846 from modded AK70 (I mention the mod because now it's near zero OI). This was in HK shop in Wan Chai.

    I still really like the PP8 but my excitement has been tempered a little bit. All listening done with. Both switches off.

    • Likes
      • The bass is simply awesome. Best out of those 3 for me. Warm, somewhat too much high bass but very detailed and layered. Although quite prominent, it never felt too much for my listening style, just warm and awesome.
      • Detailed sound stage. Not as wide or spacious sounding as Andro, but better depth and precision in the instrument placement than either of the two others.
    • No likey
      • As others have pointed out, the upper mids are too forward. I didn't notice it so much on my first auditioning and just thought it was super detailed, but in fact the sound gets tiring quickly. Kind of like sitting too close to a nearfield monitor.
      • Size... Left ear perfect, right ear pain after roughly 30 minutes. Andro and SE846 felt much better when swapping them in. Shame... My right ear is very sensitive though and it does feel very well fitted at first, but the slight pressure it exerts in all directions starts to hurt after a while.
    Now, I don't need to comment on Andro here, everyone loves it here. To me it's not a complete win. There's something about the highs that make instruments sound unnatural compare to IEMs without such a strong 8-9 kHz peak.
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The Andromeda highs need to be managed with tips that take the edge off and and a source that has a more organic or smoother treble presentation.

    I think it would be more correct to say that the Andromeda / ZX2 is highly thought of rather that just the Andromeda.
     
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  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    OK, so I finally got the PP8 where I wanted it by doing this. I know, it's cheating, but it works.
    IMG_20171009_110045.jpg

    I would have used the ZX2, but the EQ on the ZX2 only works with the Sony sound process left on, which results in a strange overly organic DSP'd sound. I believe there are other music players apps for the ZX2 with EQ function, but I wanted to find a reason to use my trusty old Sony X Walkman, which has served me well for years (I still prefer this to iPhone or Pixel). I heard enough of the PP8 from the PIxel phone that I didn't want to give up on it just yet. Running it this way yields these results:

    Note plot is an RTA from PN, so 1/3 smoothed.
    PP8 with EQ.png

    Basically, what I've done is make the FR more ZX2 / Andro like. I definitely hear the appeal of the PP8 now.

    In closing, some thoughts:

    • The PP8 has a weightier heftier sound. The Andromeda is lighter and faster. The best way I could put this that it's like the difference between an AE woofer with a heavier cone and Eminence woofer with lighter cone. No judgment here on which is better, I'd like to think each provides its own strengths to the table, with the Andromeda being a more technical listen with better clarity, separation, and speed, and the PP8 being a more romantic listen, with better heft, body, and thickness of notes. This is of course all things being equal with the upper mids of the PP8 being tamed.
    • Despite a a few reviews I've skimmed on the Internet proclaiming the the PP8 is neutral, I'd have to vehemently disagree with this assertion if the PP8 is running from lower source impedances (2 ohms or less). The lower mids are just a tad too recessed. The upper mids are excessive and can be fatiguing. This is actually not too different from the UERM (which has a similar response and impedance curve).
    • However, I think the UERM (and Andromeda) nails the diffuse field* 2-3kHz bump whereas the PP8 slightly misses the mark with the bump being centered about 1kHz too high. In that respect, the PP8 is actually a little closer to the frequency response of the ancient Yamaha NS10 monitor (what the UERM was supposedly based on) in that region. The Yamaha NS10 monitor was very well known back in the day as being a bright monitor. Modern monitors such as the JBLs, Mackies, Yahama HS series (skip KRK) serve as better references for neutral sound, assuming they are set up properly.
    • A solution to improving the frequency response might be to run sources with higher output impedance from 3.5 to 8+ ohms**. Changes will be minor, but even a 1db or slightly less than that across wide frequency ranges here and there will make a huge difference.
    • The impedance curve of the PP8 is just as screwy as every other multi-driver BA IEM. Frequency response will be affected depending upon source impedance of amp.
    * It's really not diffuse field, it's more that IEMs bypass pinna, we need some pinna gain for IEMs to sound correct.
    ** I ran the UERM the same way. I did not like UERM from amps with near 0 source impedance.


     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  14. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Almost "Made"

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    Thanks for the updated impression, Marvey. As a mid-head, I already found Andro's mid too thin at times, with fatiguing upper mid too (havent tried Bill's filter mod yet). PP8 probably won't be fore me at all then.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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  16. TomHP

    TomHP Almost "Made"

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    Great stuff.
    For me the low mid recession is welcome, if I would even call it recession. There's too many iems, especially multi BA with a big broad peak in the high bass, bleeding into the low mids. Don't like that at all. The more low shelf type shape found on se846 and PP8 is more my preference. Having said that, I wonder how the PP8 would sound with bass switch setting in between the two options. ON is too much, OFF is for some tracks borderline too little. Mind you, I've yet to start tip rolling.

    Will have to play around with your output impedance idea. All my stuff is near zero OI unfortunately. Will have to make a little 5 Ohm dongle or something.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    2db would be about right for bass boost.

    It has really just hit me how problematic multi-driver BAs can be with impedance. I don't know enough about IEMs and power dissipation inside the shells, but it seems that it should be trivial for the manufacturers to design crossover networks that present a more even load. There would be some tradeoff of course, loss of efficiency, so maybe not an option.
     
  18. TomHP

    TomHP Almost "Made"

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    I did some calculations and graphs for the SE846 a while ago. I'll upload them later. It's insane. Even 2 Ohms completely changed the response.
     
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  19. Aleatorius

    Aleatorius Friend

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    @Marvey While the sound doesn't appeal to most here isn't that basically the premise behind Custom Art's FIBAE lineup?
     
  20. TomHP

    TomHP Almost "Made"

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    A lot of fancy marketing speak for a resistor and capacitor in parallel to the inductive load (=BA). They're not the first to do it but just did a good job marketing it.
     

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