Worst/Most overpriced IEMS

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

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Worst/Most overpriced IEMS

  1. Shure SE846

    15 vote(s)
    16.1%
  2. JH Audio Layla

    32 vote(s)
    34.4%
  3. Sennheiser IE800 (production)

    19 vote(s)
    20.4%
  4. UE 18 PRO

    5 vote(s)
    5.4%
  5. Sony XBA Z5

    7 vote(s)
    7.5%
  6. Westone W60

    9 vote(s)
    9.7%
  7. JH Audio Roxanne

    31 vote(s)
    33.3%
  8. Noble K10

    17 vote(s)
    18.3%
  9. Dita "the truth"

    16 vote(s)
    17.2%
  10. AKG K3003

    14 vote(s)
    15.1%
  11. JH Audio Angie

    11 vote(s)
    11.8%
  12. 64Ears (basically everything)

    8 vote(s)
    8.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    To quote another member, K10 makes everything sounds like amazeballs. I have demo'ed only the universal version, and I agree with this statement. K10 is overly mellow, pleasant, and smooth. I didn't find K10 drawing me into music.
     
  2. Problem

    Problem New

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    For what's its worth, the K10 is very friendly to most genres but also the most unexciting characteristic as @Griffon mentioned it is very polite, smooth and mushy to some extend for me. Like @Rotijon mentioned, John's bad character is a big turn off to some of us (especially to our group of friends).

    Layla is the most overpriced crap I've heard with its mids recessed sinking as low to the drain, nuff said, and yet he dares to call it 'reference' is baffling.
     
  3. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    K10 is like that star kid in your highschool: straight A grade, captain of basketball team, friendly to anyone - almost to the degree of being fake.

    UERM is like another kid: his/her relationship with others is always either love or hate, no middle ground. But (s)he is always brutally honest.
     
  4. Eric_C

    Eric_C Friend

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    Tried the Dita "truth" (and "answer", fwiw) before. No clue why people think it's anywhere near good. Just sounded weird.
    Also, I've tried some of 1964 Ears' older demo units (V6 before it got discontinued, V2, V3, V4) and thought they sounded pretty alright. What's particularly wrong about their stuff? Unless the new products sound very different from the older ones...or I'm deaf.
     
  5. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    Agreed! I still reserve my assessment that Dita Truth edition is shit, but that might be due to an uncomfortable fit. The timbre was strange, nothing sounded like it should have been.
     
  6. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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  7. firev1

    firev1 Friend

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    I like to think that the Ditas are pretty okay, I won't be spending on one but they are fast and less flawed to me then the FitEar 335DW. Their tuning is highly dependent on what tip you are using with them which they have tons of to change bore diameter and fitting. I personally find the smaller bores to be more neutral sounding. I had dismissed them at first listen. No matter the tip the signature came across as zippy in the treble region though.
     
  8. nudd

    nudd New

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    I joined the Kickstarter 1964ears campaign and at the campaign price I think the U6 was fairly priced. At the current prices, US$899 it's on the expensive side of things, but given pricing in today's world, it's certainly not the worst value for money. The A6 and A12 on the other had are pretty crazy ridiculously priced given they use exactly the same 3D printing tech as the U series. And even worse, they do not allow people to reshell U series into A series even though the drivers are exactly the same and the 3D printing tech is exactly the same.

    Edit: Changed massdrop to kickstarter. Brain fart.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  9. proflitoto

    proflitoto New

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    People criticizing the Roxannes merely expose the fact that they don't understand the importance of finding the right amp and dac to complement the headphone. the roxanne requires an ample voltage, ample current, low impedance and probably bright dac to bring out its best. it's one of those headphones that you really should not plug into your phone. If amped properly, the bass on the roxanne is one of the most pleasant and tightest out there. Also, if you use the universals, you need to get the perfect sealing tip for it, since the sound changes radically depending on the tip you use.

    The Roxanne is an American made ( much higher overhead ) product and I think worth the $1,300 price tag ( If you're paying extra for customs or the AK model that's your choice.) The Layla cost too much and I don't understand why it's twice the price of the Roxanne and angie, but it seems to be an artificial markup. I think the Roxanne and Angie are Jerry Harvey's two main products, and the Layla is this weird niche product that he charges a ton of money for and probably doesn't sell many of.

    The noble audio products are a complete ripoff imho. I've heard most of the headphones on this list and the nobles are the most overrated. when I first auditioned the K10, I was expecting a lot based on all of the good reviews, but I was shocked at how uninteresting and generic it was relative to the other top-of-the-line IEMs I had heard up to that point . Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, but the SE535 isn't bad either, neither is the Se425 for that matter. There are a ton of good sounding IEMs out there under $500. If something costs $1,600 and is getting a ton of good reviews on head-fi, I expected something more. I wondered if Noble found a way to game the head fi review system, although I don't think they did; they just happens to have a lot of fanboys for some odd reason . By the way, if you were not aware, All noble does is take a cheap generic iem case and put some knowles BA drivers that they got from digikey in there, combine it with a cheap cable, and charge you a ton of money. there was a YouTube video that took apart the two-driver savant and just completely pwned Noble. Unfortunately it's private now, I wonder if Noble threatened to sue or something.

    The IE 800 is good and has an interesting story behind it. But it has two problems for me. One is that it doesn't have a great seal, but that only matters if you are in a loud area . The second and biggest problem with the IE800 is that there are a ton and I mean a ton of cheap Chinese knockoffs that look EXACTLY like the real thing. It's shocking if you've looked into it, and honestly some of you who think you heard an IE800 may have heard one of the fakes! The market is flooded with the fakes, and a while back there were stories that even Amazon was inadvertently selling fake Chinese knockoffs. If you're in the market for an IE800, please purchase it directly from Sennheiser. Don't assume that just because you're paying $750 you got the real thing.

    The Se846 is also very good although it was way too bright for me and only tolerable with the black filter, which took some of its detail away (I can't believe people say that Se846 is not bright enough; be careful not to damage your hearing with bright soundwaves, which I hear are the most dangerous!)

    To the people criticizing the Jerry Harvey house sound, I would recommend that you go out and listen to well-placed speaker systems that cost $10,000 and you'll see that they sound a lot like Jerry Harvey's products. Warm and detailed without fatiguing highs. my impression is that this is the sound Jerry Harvey is trying to reproduce.

    The biggest question in the IEM game of course is the Shure KSE1500. It might cause everyone to throw their JH Audio, Noble, Fitear blah blah away, and save to get the KSE1500 -- or it might be a total failure. We'll know by the end of next year!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  10. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    If Roxanne needs so many things to make them good, did you do exactly same for Noble 10 when you auditioned them?

    And Noble iem shell isn't generic and they get drivers as any other manufacturer. Just because some guy did video to support his business plan on one brand doesn't make Noble worse than any other custom manufacturer (even though some of their decisions are strange)
     
  11. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    Please have a look at http://www.amazon.com/Astell-Kern-Earphones-Smartphone-Conversion/dp/B00O1GRK3O

    Clearly Jerry's tuning of AK edition Roxanne (essentially the same thing) is based on the assumption of using AK240 as both source and amplification. Have you tried this combination to see what kind of sound Jerry is attempting to acheive, rather than proclaiming with overgeneralization that Jerry's aimed tuning is like $10,000 speakers? There are just as many flavours of $10,000 speakers, not to mention if it's tube dependent. Do you have some particular model of speakers in that price range, fed by some particular amp (and in case, any particular tube) and DAC, or turntable, as a reference to your perceived sound that is close to Roxanne's optimal tuning? Cus I've never heard Roxanne and I'mm highly curious about its sound - people do trash them a lot but I reserve my judgement until I've heard it.

    Also, AK240 is known for its 2ohm output impedance unbalanced or 1ohm balanced, both of which are considered pretty high. I'm not sure if AK240 has ample votage or current, but on impedance alone it's in disagreement with your ideal set up. And I think it will have a major impact on how Roxanne sounds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  12. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Based on Tyll's AK240 review, I'm pretty sure both balanced and single ended output impedance are higher in actual usage than their unloaded spec. I can certainly say Layla and Angie sounding better on the iPhone 5S than the AK240 due to the OI differences. The added OI darkens the signature of both models. I can only assume most JHA iems share similar impedance curve characteristics.
     
  13. proflitoto

    proflitoto New

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    Yes of course. I had to drive a long way to audition them so I came with a bunch of tips, amps etc. The K10 is a fine IEM, but again so are many others (for example, I see a thread below ours about the ER4P and I tried it and, yes, it's a really good iem) but I didn't think it was worth the price. I don't know why it has 20+ raving reviews on headfi.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  14. proflitoto

    proflitoto New

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    I actually have the old non-AK Roxanne so I don't know if the AK ones sound different. Also, I would never buy an AK music player. Totally overpriced hype IMHO. AK is the poster-boy for overpriced and I bet they're the ones that told Jerry Harvey to charge $2,500 for the Layla. The name alone is BS "astelll and keeehhhrrrrn" trying to sound fancy British. I bet the company was started by some Asian guys who have no ancestral connection to England. And the 2 ohm output jack unbalanced is technically ridiculous for something that claims to be TOTL. In general I stick with old-school audio companies like Shure, AK, Sennheiser and so on, with JH Audio and a few others being minor exceptions.

    In my experience, the difference between $100 and $10,000+ speakers is that the latter have a fuller, slightly warmer (not missing treble technically, it's just that the treble is more in the background) sound, which matches the sound of Jerry Harvey's products to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  15. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Hey, if you like the Roxanne, good for you. Seriously. Why worry about it if you like it.

    But, many of the rest of us found it to be veiled. And yes, we amped it. I spent days with the roxanne.

    It's a good mid-fi earphone.

    The fact that Jerry proclaimed it as his flagship with all others in the siren series being lower (yeah, that's what he said when it came out), then quickly brought out a replacement in the layla shows you the real story.

    There's really no answer for that.


    P.S. $10,000 speakers are all warmer than $1,000 speakers whaaaaaaaaaaaat?
     
  16. proflitoto

    proflitoto New

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    I've heard the veiled comment, and the Roxanne is detailed enough for me. I personally found the SE846 to be the most resolving of the IEMs above, especially with vocals. For example, with the SE846 I clearly understood lyrics that I had misheard in the past. But do you need to hear every tiny little thing in a song to enjoy music?

    P.S. I think Roxanne is still a JH flagship. The Layla is more of an unusual niche product that probably doesn't sell much.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  17. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    AFAIK the AK edition is the same thing as the original Roxanne. And sorry, your argument doesn't seem to make sense to me. I found it nearly impossible if not entirely to generalize higher end headphones and IEMs necessarily have a fuller, slightly warmer sound than medium or even lower tier headphones & IEMs, and detail technicalities do not exist solely in treble.

    Also Astell&Kern, while a company I don't have a high regard of, was not "started by two Asian guys". It's a rebranding of a long-standing Korean audio company iriver for the higher end market. I'm also not sure why you brought up Asians in your negative narration context - it doesn't appear as a good idea.
     
  18. proflitoto

    proflitoto New

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    lol. So it was started by a bunch of (not two) Asian guys (Koreans are asian you know). You don't find that kind of scam-ish for a Korean company to call itself "Astell and Kern," which suggests it's an old-timey British partnership that's been around for decades? Isn't that racist on the part of Iriver? What's wrong with giving yourself a Korean name?

    I remember that Iriver was a producer of mediocre MP3 players not at all on par with top companies like Apple, so I bet they were like "oh you know how we can make money? the audiophile community. but let's give ourselves a fancy British name and charge super high prices as part of the ruse." lol. IMHO the audiophile community has "sucker" stamped on it. That's why I stick with old companies like Sennheiser, Shure, Etymotics and so on. It's too easy for a newbie to enter the industry, make a piece of crap, charge a ton for it, get good reviews on headfi and rip everyone off. Heck, JH Audio might be a scammer too, who knows. The Roxanne sounds good to me but it might only cost $200 to make for all I know. But in all fairness Jerry Harvey has a ton of history and patents so I think he's legit.

    http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=astell

    http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=kern

    Sad. There should be an expose on the racist implications of Iriver's fake name.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  19. rayfalkner

    rayfalkner Not to be confused with Roy Fokker - Friend

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    You got something against Asian using English for branding? I'm Asian and I use Antville as my studio name, so that means I'm a scam artist and a racist too to you?
     
  20. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    Sorry, I find it appropriate for any company to do any rebranding with any name, as long as it stays within the frame of regulations concerned. I don't make assumptions that Astell&Kern is to imitate an old-timey British company. Surely I see AK as wannabe in the high end DAP market, but their detailed motivation is out of my concern. I listen to their products. If good, I buy it. If not, I just move on.

    Also I don't find any brand necessarily correlates to good quality (both in sound and build). Beyerdynamics chocolate box is a well-known joke here, and they just recently started to adopt replacable cable. The new T1 ver 2 came to @purrin with a defunct driver and sounded very bad to me. Sennheiser has put forward garbage such as HD700.
     

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