Timeless 7hz Ortho iem - Finally a Good Ortho iem!

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by rhythmdevils, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    Presently A/B-ing the Timeless and the $149 Shuoer S12 (Macbook Air, Earstudio HUD100 dongle on high gain, same Shuoer stock eartips for both...I have two pairs). Timeless have a 14.2 mm PM driver, Shouer a 14.8 mm PM driver.

    In contrast to the measurements' implications, the biggest perceived differences is the low end (classic example of the human ear hearing the whole frequency spectrum in context). The S12's bass I perceive as tighter and more realistically dosed - the Timeless's midbass is slow to my ears in comparison, and somewhat overwhelming after a while. And it masks the rather lean vocals in the lower midrange (both models have a rather lean lower midrange).

    The S12 are overall brighter and have a crisper attack. The Timeless have the softer transients.

    So far, I much prefer the S12...which is subjective and subject to change...but $70 difference...hmmm...

    Biodegraded recommends the JVC Spiral Dots to clean up the Timeless' midbass...and it works, but only to some extent...the S12's mid bass remains tighter (and even more so when attaching the Spiral Dots to them).

    UPDATE: now testing both with Spiral Dots and the good old Cowboy Junkies at Trinity Church Toronto "I'am so lonesome I could cry". The S12 are surely not blessed with the world's deepest stage either, but the Timeless's overwhelming midbass sits in the foreground like a curtain and limits access to the back of the stage...

    7Hz Timeless on loan from Rockwell. Thank you very much.



    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
  2. daniellistens

    daniellistens Acquaintance

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    @Rockwell is a truly generous person.

    I had the same loaner package not too long ago.

    Have my own pair of Timeless from 7Hertz now. :)

    The Timeless sounds really great from my Chord Mojo. The Timeless can really absorb power. They appreciate the Mojo.
     
  3. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    Which one of the two is more tactile sounding in the bass? better known as bass slam.

    That's my main concern about all lower end orthos.
     
  4. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

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  5. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Warning: wild speculation ahead...

    Knowing a bit about your ears, perceptions & tastes vs mine, I wonder if the mid-bass differences we seem to perceive from the Timeless (with the Spiral Dots I'd call it elevated but not overpowering) are at least partly due to the fit of the big shells in our different ears - like our contrasting experiences with the Shozy 1.1 vs 1.4, but in reverse.

    The Timeless and the S12 look to be vented differently, the S12 having a single front vent in the middle of the shell and the Timeless having both rear and front vents, the front in the middle and the 3 rears, near the top of the shell, also exiting inward (2 of the rears visible on the left of this image):

    [​IMG]

    It seems many are hearing differences in the bass with tips that don't differ all that much from each other. Some of the ones I tried didn't contrast much in shape or depth of fit with the SDs yet gave me quite a different sound. I'm wondering if the vent locations - both front and rear - on these big shells are occluded differently enough by individual ear anatomies to give quite different results independent of tips and insertion depths.

    This is quite apart from the differences between the two models that would be expected to result from the single vs dual-vented and different size/shape enclosures, whether the drivers are the same or not (as has been speculated, possibly the same despite the slightly different mfr specs).

    Now I want to hear the S12 while I can still remember the Timeless. Hurry up with them! :p ;)
     
  6. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    I would NOT disagree...and have successfully been working on Rockwell to keep them a bit longer. Thanks Rockwell. We should have a second round of the Timeless vs. S12.
     
  7. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    Mid bass is way "bigger" in the Timeless for my ears...which I perceive as slam...it is pounding way more onto my eardrums than the S12's. The S12's bass is tighter and perceived as less because of the more elevated upper midrange.

    In short: bassheads will likely prefer the Timeless.
     
  8. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    I don't like the term 'no brainer' but it appears to be a very good deal.
     
  9. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    Sooooo the 7Hz timeless. Was pretty hyped about these, for sure! But TL;DR I couldn't get to enjoy them one hundred percent. I shipped them to Austria where kind oratory1990 was willing to measure them.
    Listening gear used: modi3/IEMagni (work station) | PecanPi DAC/Sabaj A20h (home desktop).

    [​IMG]
    Really good channel matching for a small-ish planar driver IEM. A bit better than the sample crin measured.
    Two generated EQ profiles were proposed, oratory target and harman IEM target.
    From those I got to my personal profile. Pre-gain: -2.0dB
    Optional: LOW_SHELF 200Hz -1,5dB Q 0,71 [makes bass just a tiny bit more balanced imo]
    Band 1: PEAK 260 Hz -0,9 dB Q 0,9
    Band 2: PEAK 900 Hz 0,9 dB Q 1,4
    Band 3: PEAK 1430 Hz -3,3 dB Q 1,5
    Band 4: PEAK 2070 Hz -2,8 dB Q 2,5
    Band 5: PEAK 2600 Hz -1,4 dB Q 5,5
    Band 6: PEAK 5800 Hz 2,8 dB Q 2,0
    Band 7: HIGH_SHELF 7000 Hz -1,0 dB Q 0,71
    Band 8: HIGH_SHELF 10000 Hz -3,0 dB Q 0,71

    It's a good IEM. The power requirements are pretty overstated, takes (much) less than something like a HD650, but okay perhaps that's not a good comparison for an in-ear monitor. Frequency range is relatively balanced with a couple of peaks that are not audible but might be fatiguing for some(?). They sound just shy of neutral otherwise, with slightly boosted (mid)bass. Ear-stage is just normal imo, nothing grand but not bad for an IEM.

    Where I find them lacking is timbre. They sound a bit plasticky and unnatural for me.. not that noticeable mind you but it's there. But furthermore, they don't have me moving in my seat as much as a good dynamic or hybrid set, be it monitors or full-size headphones. They sound a bit analytical/dry/flat to me. I think I'm nitpicking too much really, probably because I read too much hype about them, but I don't see me using them all that much if I'm being dead honest.

    My conclusion: good tuning with phat planar bass, but not enough fun and emotion. Perhaps they work well in an affordable, portable set-up if that what one's after. But there's Moondrop and Etymotic competition that ought to be looked at in that category, too.. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2022
  10. bobfa

    bobfa Acquaintance

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    I have a pair of these and I am very happy with them. I am still working on which tips to use. I have foam tips for a couple of other IEMs . I am looking for suggestions.
     
  11. nishan99

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  12. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    They’re more critical of the Timeless than I would be, but this is in line with other comparisons, where the main points of difference seem to be:

    1. More treble, to the point the S12 is frequently described as bright.
    2. Less mid bass on the S12 which allows the sub bass to be more audible.
    3. S12 is less soft than Timeless
    4. S12 may have more resolution than Timeless (or this may be a side effect of increased treble and decreased mid bass)

    Almost every comparison I’ve seen of the two has touched on most of if not all of those points.
     
  13. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I’m trying to get an S12 loaner. It will probably happen :)
     
  14. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    I will also add that the FR backs up the claim of more air or treble as well as there have been mentions (more than one) of higher fatigue.

    It seems to me "bright" might be too much. "brighter" than Timeless it seems maybe. I dunno. I just ordered a pair of S12's with the introductory discount.

    One other thing I wanted to address with the Timeless, as also it mentions this in the headphones.com review of the S12, and that is sensitivity or drivability and I wanted to clear up my comments. Here is what I said in my review of the Timeless earlier in this thread:

    "Scalability" is the key word here. Just like other planars or other hard to drive headphones, out of weak sources you may get enough volume, but not really good quality. More efficient headphones/IEM's will sound better. The Timeless sounds pretty flat out of my Cayin N3, but that, even in high gain, only has 130 mW @ 32 ohms. Compare that to my Fiio A3, which has 270 mW @ 32 ohms, nearly twice the power and quality, sound MUCH better and breathe more life into them. The Vali 2+ can even breathe more life into them, etc. Basically, don't expect these to behave like BA's or DD's with their high-sensitivity...the Timeless is just below those and will behave more like over the ear headphones, but still on the high to medium side of sensitivity.
     
  15. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Didn't want to try it on a borrowed pair - but I'd bet that the 3 rear vents on the timeless would allow for tuning of the mid bass to suit different ears & preferences.
     
  16. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    I agree, and would like to add that the Timeless, probably because of its more pillowy mid-bass and lesser upper midrange plays more laid back, whereas the S12 has the better dynamics. It is more vivid and has the better note definition.

    When compared to a photo, the Timeless is more blurred and the S12 is sharper...but some may find the S12 overpixelated.

    I am sensitive to both mid-bass pounding against my eardrums (Timeless) and elevated upper midrange/lower treble (S12)...and I prefer the S12, subjectively. It just has more bite for my ears...and I really prefer the S12's much smoother transition from bass to lower midrange.

    Users have now plenty of information to pick their poison.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2022
  17. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Seems like the under $300 range for IEMs has gone bonkers with good stuff. And this is a planar for a hair over $200? Sign me up. The only other planar IEM I’ve heard was one of the older iSine 20 without the frequency response bandaid iOS DSP cable. It seemed like a capable driver but the tuning was absolutely dreadful and the style of fit laughable. Since then I’ve never really cared to try another, particularly at anything close to the Audeze pricing, so I was pretty excited to see if the Timeless could change my mind.

    The circular design of the Timeless shells look interesting but ever since I first saw pictures of it, I’ve suspected fit might be sketchy- hit or miss. I’ve read many have no issue with it and generally I’m someone who can manage to figure out a good fit for most IEMs… Unfortunately this isn’t one of those times. The issue is my ears are not large but the canals are wide and deep, so I often have to figure out a way to get fit a little deeper. Usually this is pretty easy as most designs are small enough or the nozzles long enough, etc. But the damn Timeless… the circular faceplate absolutely prevents me from pushing these any further than the most shallowest of fits. The nozzle angle is a pretty sharp angle too, so it doesn’t help getting a deeper fit in my mostly straight shaped canals. I have had to resort to the largest Spiral Dot tips I have to get a good seal and get the best sound I could (believe me, I tried just about every tip I own). So with this fit issue out of the way (or in the way), remember shallower fit means your personal resonance peak will be lower in frequency response and higher in amplitude. Deep fit helps to mitigate this by moving the peak up in frequency response and attenuating the amplitude. This is crucial to understanding my impressions below.

    Other cosmetic stuffs-
    The stock cable actually looks good and has pretty good flexibility. Not the best but certainly better than most. It’s also thinner, and I prefer thinner cables. Never understood the fetish for thick IEM cables. BUT! Those damn pre-curved ear guides. WTF?! They are aggressive as hell and tend to pull the IEM away from my ear; and this is one IEM I don’t need this headache with; so I ditched the stock cable for the one Rythmdevils provided. This cable is considerably more supple with better flexibility but the preformed ear guides are bit aggressive here too, and this cable is long. Like really long- 7 feet long; so the weight off it pulls aggressively at my ears, particularly as some of the cable hangs off my desk. Luckily I had a nice flexible, appropriately sized cheap Yinyoo cable to keep me from going completely batshit crazy.

    Comparisons on: Pi2AES>AES>RME ADI-2 Pro FS R

    Vs Moondrop Kato
    Timeless bass is really enjoyable. It’s definitely boosted, providing you get a full seal (which was a constant struggle), but it’s almost armature like speedy with a much, much more tactile feel. Compared to Kato, it’s the Timeless bass dominates more. It’s more present, it pounds more, it’s simply more palpable. Kato’s bass is speedy for a dynamic but its noticeably rounder and lingers a bit longer. Listening to my rock tracks, the Kato bass sounds more natural and coherent/connected to me but switch over to some electronic music, like The Egyptian Lover, and the Timeless bass slam is taken to another level. Timeless bass can be really satisfying at times and at others borderline dominating.

    Both male and female vocals are pushed noticeably more forward for me on Timeless versus Kato. I found Timeless verging on some nasally shout with my Rodney Foster and Lzzy Hale tracks. Timeless also pushed sibilants more forward as well. I feel like some of the more forward sibilants could be tamed with deeper fit but these damn shells absolutely prevent this with my ears. That being said, the Timeless midrange is very resolving of low level detail and nuances. Some of this is the middle midrange push I hear, but it’s also just so clean and clear as well. I find Kato just as resolving, if a bit smoother, tamer, not quite pushing the same small details quite as forward, yet still easily heard.

    I don’t consider either Kato or Timeless bright in treble but both have an elevated resonance peak that becomes larger in amplitude with very shallow fit. Kato’s shells are small and ergonomic and I can fit them deep enough to mitigate this peak for my ears, except for the rarest of exception tracks. I have no such luck with Timeless. Its shell shape ensures I will have nothing but an extremely shallow fit, thus a fairly strong treble peak that never goes away. Using test tones, it seems to peak its loudest at about 7k for me, whereas Kato is loudest just over 8k and at a lower overall level. This lends Timeless to a somewhat plasticky, unnatural timbre at times and pushes rides and crash cymbals very forward on some tracks.

    Timeless head-stage is more forward and intimate with a greater sense of height. Comparatively Kato is pushed a little further away with similar width but a greater sense of space front to back.

    I know the above sounds fairly critical of the Timeless but I can still appreciate what it did well. The bass is really fun and engaging, as well as the midrange being quite capable and resolving. I have to imagine I could tame the middle treble peak somewhat with better fit, how much - who knows, but this odd and ill advised cosmetic design choice of a circular metal piece attached the housing, combined with the sharp nozzle angle, utterly prevents me from finding out. Due to my fit woes, I decided to cut the comparisons short, and get these out to the next in line. Hopefully others can get better fit and thus better sonics than me. If so, it could be a nice bargain for some. Thankfully, here on SBAF, we can try before buying.
     
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  18. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    It's too bad you didn't get a good fit @shotgunshane

    I wonder if the spinet tips are causing that peak. The spinets are very long tips, which exaggerate treble IME. I don't hear any peaks all, but maybe they fit me differently.

    The fit issue I have with the Timeless is a bit mysterious. The tips that always fit me best, the Penon generic tips, don't seal very well on the Timeless and I have to constantly push them back in. Luckily. they are sort of my desktop iems so this isn't that big a deal. I think it's because the nozzle is very wide bore, which stretches out the tips and makes them not squish and seal in my ears like they do on other iems.

    With regard to the bass, it's very amp/source dependent. I can't imagine describing their bass as exaggerated with my tips/fit and Liquid Gold X or Liquid Fire. But out of the iPod touch they are bass heavy, so I know some amps/sources will cause a bass boost.

    I'm also amazed by your Kato comparison because I found them quite dull and unresolving despite having nice FR and tone.

    Too bad they didn't fit you better. Our impressions are usually similar, so I suspect fit was a huge factor here.

    BTW I also have weird ear canals. They seem to be slightly convex instead of straight holes, so they're always pushing tips out. And they're too big for even 14mm tips. Only one tip on the market fits for whatever reason.
     
  19. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    the 7Hz Timeless with either Symbio Foam or Symbio Hybrid (ebay) tips are my favorite in general.

    when household folk request no leakage from the Susvara, I turn to the Timeless plugged into the Vali 2+ (current model) on Low Gain. (fed by Spring3 DAC)
    and wow, the Vali 2+ is a stellar option for the Timeless no question.
     
  20. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    After trying out the Timeless on my different setups, your setup makes a difference. In other words, the Timeless didn't click with me until I tried them with my BF2 > Vali 2+ setup after reading @jexby's post.

    Setups:

    • PI2AES > Schiit Modi MB Op-Amp Modded > Schiit IEMagni
    • PI2AES > Schiit BF2 > Schiit Vali 2+
    • Shanling M3X DAP
    I'm not going to lie, Timeless after hours of listening caused me to have a puzzled look on my face. I found the sound to be weird and plastic sounding at times, but the mids and for me the bass are great for the MSRP of the IEM. I also felt that there was a lack of air at times, and I was only able to get enough air with the Vali 2+ setup. I do admit that I prefer the Moondrop Kato over the Timeless, but the Timeless depending on your ears and tastes is something to heavily consider if you want a cheaper IEM in general.

    Build quality is fine for its $200ish MSRP price. It isn't on the same level as the Moondrop Kato, which I think it is near TOTL build-quality for its price. The build is mostly plastic that I feel will be slightly damaged if it is dropped on a hard floor. At the same time, it doesn't feel cheap in the hand. Connectors are the MMCX type, and the stock cable is sufficient enough but not amazing. Some hate the pre-bended cables near the MMCX connector, I personally didn't have a problem with them. The stock tips will get the job done, but due to the the shape of the drivers you will most likely want to tip roll to find the one that will work for you. At the same time, the drivers will cause issues on some ears. Personally I found the Kato to fit better on my ears than the Timeless, but I still got a great seal with the Timeless. I didn't get any fatigue with the Timeless after long listening sessions.

    As I referenced previously, the sound of the Timeless for me gave me a puzzled look. The bass is solid with nice enough impact that isn't overblown, but it isn't the most detailed bass that I heard. At times I felt the bass wasn't defined to the point that I felt it was going into places without hitting a wall. Hard to explain, but other than that it was pretty solid.

    Mids were really really good. I wish they weren't too upfront on the Timeless, but it didn't have any weird annoying peaks that make me want to puke like those IEMs that are popular in Southeast Asia (the "Vocal Fetish" issue). The sound staging is solid for the price, and vocals were super good for an IEM like the Timeless. I didn't have issues on bad recordings with the Timeless, and I had a enjoyable experience with anything I threw at it regarding the Mids.

    Treble and Timbre is where I was having issues with the most. Most of the time the treble was kind of weak for my taste. I am sensitive with treble, but I felt with the Timeless it wasn't defined and very plastic sounding. I said something similar with the timbre where it has this plastic sounding tone with weird air preference. I wasn't impressed.

    However, there are reason why others are saying try the Timeless with different amps/setups. Using the BF2 > Vali 2+ setup fixes most of the issues I was having with the Treble and the Timbre. Treble was more defined and a lot less plastic sounding. Timbre was more life sounding and even more air that make it very acceptable to my ears. Would I still use the Timeless over the Moondrop Kato (which I don't own but I had listen to it on the loaner) on my Vali 2+ setup? No I wouldn't. However, I would be able to enjoy the Timeless for hours without any issues.

    End of the day, the Timeless is an IEM to consider trying for its $200ish MSRP. It will not be for everyone. It might not fit nicely with your ears, you may not agree with its Timbre, and you might call the Treble to be weaksauce. However, depending on your wants/needs the Timeless might be what you hoped for an inexpensive IEM in the $200 range. I still kind of recommend for good all rounders to get Moondrop Kato and Moondrop Aria that cover almost all of your bases for inexpensive IEMs for less than $300.
     

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