IEM or over-ear HPs?

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SlushPuppy

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #20 on: 13 Sep 2018, 10:58 pm »
My ear canal is so narrow that none IEM fits, which to is great to me because the sound they offer does not interest me.

That's too bad. I didn't like IEM's either until I heard the Cardas.

FullRangeMan

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Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #21 on: 13 Sep 2018, 11:08 pm »
That's too bad. I didn't like IEM's either until I heard the Cardas.
How is the soundstage, it is larger than the over ear phones?

SlushPuppy

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #22 on: 13 Sep 2018, 11:40 pm »
How is the soundstage, it is larger than the over ear phones?

I found that selecting the right size ear tip is critical to these sounding good (you need a very solid seal). Without a good seal they sound thin and lifeless. Luckily they ship with 3 sizes. Once you break these in (about 50 hours for me) and find the right size ear tip they sound incredible. I am not good at describing soundstage, but Chris Martens from The Absolute Sound said this about them "Let me begin by saying that, once properly fitted, the Cardas Ear Speaker is one of the most engaging, involving, and downright seductive earphones I’ve yet heard. Much of this comes down to the fact that the EM5813 sounds remarkably coherent across its entire operating range." I couldn't describe them better than that. They are awesome if they are fitted correctly and you have a decent amplifier/DAC in front of them.

My only issue is the noise from the outer cable jacket rubbing against your shirt. Honestly, It's the only negative I have for these headphones at this price.

FullRangeMan

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Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #23 on: 13 Sep 2018, 11:50 pm »
Thanks SlushPuppy I happy you like it,
these are usually cheap phones.

SlushPuppy

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #24 on: 14 Sep 2018, 12:38 am »
Thanks SlushPuppy I happy you like it,
these are usually cheap phones.

My wife and I travel a lot and I was originally just looking for a good set of earbuds for long plane rides. After a lot of research these kept coming up as really great IEM's for the money. When I saw the price drop to $179! on Audio Advisor I didn't hesitate to purchase them. Even though I like Cardas, I only expected them to sound GOOD, because they are basically a cable company and I thought they might have contracted out the design. Come to find out they were heavily involved in the design. When I first listened to them that's what they sounded like - GOOD IEM's. Nothing all that special. After 50 hours of break-in and realizing that I wasn't making a good seal with the smaller ear tips I was stunned at the level of quality I'm now getting for only $179! In my opinion they are the best bargain in all of audio. Audio Advisor has a great return policy if you don't like them.


Cheers!

Slush


mresseguie

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Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #25 on: 14 Sep 2018, 02:49 am »
My wife and I travel a lot and I was originally just looking for a good set of earbuds for long plane rides. After a lot of research these kept coming up as really great IEM's for the money. When I saw the price drop to $179! on Audio Advisor I didn't hesitate to purchase them. Even though I like Cardas, I only expected them to sound GOOD, because they are basically a cable company and I thought they might have contracted out the design. Come to find out they were heavily involved in the design. When I first listened to them that's what they sounded like - GOOD IEM's. Nothing all that special. After 50 hours of break-in and realizing that I wasn't making a good seal with the smaller ear tips I was stunned at the level of quality I'm now getting for only $179! In my opinion they are the best bargain in all of audio. Audio Advisor has a great return policy if you don't like them.


Cheers!

Slush

Slush,

What do you use for a source? Are you using your cell phone, a separate DAP, or do you have an external DAC attached to your phone?

Michael



dB Cooper

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #26 on: 14 Sep 2018, 02:50 am »
I found that selecting the right size ear tip is critical to these sounding good (you need a very solid seal).

True, and this goes double for balanced-armature types. Optimum sound and optimum comfort go hand in hand and are both dependent on optimum fit. The tips for many popular brands (Shure, Etymotic and Westone for example) interchange so with a little time (and expense), you can find the best solution.

SlushPuppy

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #27 on: 14 Sep 2018, 02:33 pm »
Slush,

What do you use for a source? Are you using your cell phone, a separate DAP, or do you have an external DAC attached to your phone?

Michael


I'm using an iFi Audio Nano iDSD Black Label as a DAC/headphone amp. It's fairly small, sounds good, and I love the built-in battery. Source is either my laptop or Samsung Galaxy cell phone.

mresseguie

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Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #28 on: 15 Sep 2018, 05:26 pm »
Baby steps....


I just placed an order for the Cardas IEMs as a first step. I'll try them with just my iPhone first. If they're revealing enough that I can hear how crappy the iPhone amp sounds, I'll have to buy an external amp/DAC.
I still have this idea that I will someday buy a really nice pair of IEMs, but I'll first find out if I'm satisfied by these Cardas IEMs.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in. I appreciate it!  :notworthy:

SlushPuppy

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #29 on: 15 Sep 2018, 11:22 pm »
Baby steps....


I just placed an order for the Cardas IEMs as a first step. I'll try them with just my iPhone first. If they're revealing enough that I can hear how crappy the iPhone amp sounds, I'll have to buy an external amp/DAC.
I still have this idea that I will someday buy a really nice pair of IEMs, but I'll first find out if I'm satisfied by these Cardas IEMs.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in. I appreciate it!  :notworthy:

I think you're really going to like them. I'm enjoying mine right now. Don't forget they need at least 50 hours on them before they open up. They are incredibly revealing and after two hours I have zero listener fatigue. The bass is amazing. Trumpet just sounds so right. I'm already exploring better portable DAC options. Uggh... $$$

You're going to realize pretty quick that the DAC in your phone is nothing more than a $1 check in the block. You will be purchasing an external DAC very soon.

These are really nice IEM's!

Russell Dawkins

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #30 on: 16 Sep 2018, 09:06 am »
As a long time (20+ years) user of Etymotic ER4S IEMs (replacing Grado PS1000s), AKG K-240 DFs, AKG K-1000s, K-701s and assorted selected others,
I recently spent low bux on some Chinese in-ears that punch way above their weight.
Check these out for $25-34 (depending on whether you go for the stock or silver cable!).
They have isobaric configuration drivers (never heard of that application in an in-ear) with the diaphragm nearest the ear made of <5 micron graphene.
They are comfortable, don't bother me when I'm wearing them in terms of pressure in the ear canal, yet offer good isolation from ambient sound,
great bass extension and weight and virtually no distortion or sibilance on high levels of high frequency information (read: screaming vocals"). No listener fatigue.

At the price (including delivery) they are almost a no-brainer.

If you order, do be careful when specifying "color" that you go across to the 5th option or further to the right if you want the option of the standard
cable (with or without mic) plus the silver cable for the extra $9.10. They come in black or clear shells.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-QKZ-VK1-4DD-In-Ear-Earphone-HIFI-DJ-Monito-Running-Sport-Earphones-Earplug-Headset-Earbud/32864592760.html
« Last Edit: 17 Sep 2018, 01:24 am by Russell Dawkins »

dB Cooper

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #31 on: 16 Sep 2018, 11:25 pm »
Russell, have you heard the new Etymotic models? I have ER3XR and they're really good. ER3 and ER4 have metal bodies, user-replaceable cables, and improved drivers.

timind

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #32 on: 17 Sep 2018, 12:08 am »
As a long time (20+ years) user of Etymotic ER4S IEMs (replacing Grado PS1000s), AKG K-240 DFs, AKG K-1000s, K-701s and assorted selected others, I recently spent low bux on some Chinese in-ears that punch way above their weight.
Check these out for $25-34 (depending on whether you go for the stock or silver cable!). They have isobaric configuration drivers (never heard of that application in an in-ear) with the diaphragm nearest the ear made of <5 micron graphene. They are comfortable, don't bother me when I'm wearing them in terms of pressure in the ear canal, yet offer good isolation from ambient sound, great bass extension and weight and virtually no distortion or sibilance on high levels of high frequency information (read: screaming vocals"). No listener fatigue.

At the price (including delivery) they are almost a no-brainer.

If you order, do be careful when specifying "color" that you go across to the 5th option or further to the right if you want the option of the standard cable (with or without mic) plus the silver cable for the extra $9.10. They come in black or clear shells.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-QKZ-VK1-4DD-In-Ear-Earphone-HIFI-DJ-Monito-Running-Sport-Earphones-Earplug-Headset-Earbud/32864592760.html

I'm in for a pair of these. I recommended a $13 pair from Amazon earlier in the thread. It's amazing what you can get for cheap money.

Russell Dawkins

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #33 on: 17 Sep 2018, 12:37 am »
I'm in for a pair of these. I recommended a $13 pair from Amazon earlier in the thread. It's amazing what you can get for cheap money.

It is. The first pair of cheap IEMs I bought on someone else's recommendation, for $13, were these:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-DIY-IE800-Headphones-HiFi-In-ear-Ceramic-Earphone-Earbud-Headphone-Wth-Microphone-Top-Quality-HiFi/32489941823.html?ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_3_10152_10065_10151_10068_10130_5490020_10139_10307_10137_
10060_10155_10154_10056_10055_10054_547 0020_10059_100031_10099_5460020_10103_1 0102_10052_10053_10142_10107_10050_1005 1_
5380020_10326_10084_10083_10080_10082_1 0081_10178_10110_10111_10112_10113_1011 4_10312_10313_10314_10078_10079_10073_
5540020-10050,searchweb201603_17,ppcSwitch_4&btsid=9b28ed23-4792-4929-8a87-d3e6d75217cc&algo_expid=46699be2-c486-4ba3-848f-906e16536ffb-0&algo_pvid=46699be2-c486-4ba3-848f-906e16536ffb

—supposedly a knock-off of an $800 Sennheiser model. The bass was truly outstanding, but there was a very obvious spike in response around 6 kHz - it sounded like about +10 dB with a Q of about 8 or so. I could still live with it for its other virtues, like the mids and bass (and pricee!).

Russell Dawkins

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #34 on: 17 Sep 2018, 12:43 am »
Russell, have you heard the new Etymotic models? I have ER3XR and they're really good. ER3 and ER4 have metal bodies, user-replaceable cables, and improved drivers.

No I haven't heard them. Apparently they are a little better than the older models, but the promised improvement is not enough for me to dispense with my properly functioning ER 4S just yet, plus I sense a radical improvement in IEMs in general in response to what is coming out of China.

My ER4Ss do what I need them to do, and I don't listen to them for pleasure, except when flying—just for work (when recording on location).

timind

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #35 on: 17 Sep 2018, 01:39 am »
I'm guessing Etymotic fixed the cable microphonics problem? I had a pair of the ER4 (suffix ?) quite a few years ago. They were highly touted for their sound quality, which was good if I sat perfectly still while listening. The slightest movement though caused a horrible scraping sound that overwhelmed the music.

Russell Dawkins

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #36 on: 17 Sep 2018, 02:07 am »
I'm guessing Etymotic fixed the cable microphonics problem? I had a pair of the ER4 (suffix ?) quite a few years ago. They were highly touted for their sound quality, which was good if I sat perfectly still while listening. The slightest movement though caused a horrible scraping sound that overwhelmed the music.

I don't know. It is/was a problem though—mollified by judicious adjustment of the clip on your shirt, though.

Tyson

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #37 on: 17 Sep 2018, 09:33 pm »
I'm guessing Etymotic fixed the cable microphonics problem? I had a pair of the ER4 (suffix ?) quite a few years ago. They were highly touted for their sound quality, which was good if I sat perfectly still while listening. The slightest movement though caused a horrible scraping sound that overwhelmed the music.

Yes they did fix it.  I had the 4S for a long time and the new Etys don’t have the scraping cord problem anymore.

dB Cooper

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #38 on: 18 Sep 2018, 03:19 am »
No I haven't heard them. Apparently they are a little better than the older models, but the promised improvement is not enough for me to dispense with my properly functioning ER 4S just yet, plus I sense a radical improvement in IEMs in general in response to what is coming out of China.

My ER4Ss do what I need them to do, and I don't listen to them for pleasure, except when flying—just for work (when recording on location).

Can't comment on the old 4 vs the new 4, but the 3 is a significant improvement over the hf series it replaces, particularly in the bass. I especially like the interchangeable cables on both the 3 and 4.

There are recording studios still using B&W 801's, even though there are many newer and 'better' designs. Sometimes familiarity is the most valuable asset a speaker or headphone can have. You know what it does.

More in line with the original topic, I live in a fairly noisy environment (window A/C among other factors), so I need isolation, and I don't find sealed fullsize cans comfortable (hot ear syndrome), so IEMs are pretty much the only way to go. I have a pair of open cans which sound great, but since I can't use them year-round, I may move them.

Tyson

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #39 on: 18 Sep 2018, 05:18 pm »
I'll also give my standard recommendation - for ANY in ear monitors, you really really really need to get an IEMatch, it's almost miraculous how much it improves your source.  For me it saved a lot of $$ because I had been planning to get a dedicated DAC to plug my phone/tablet/laptop into for better sound.  But after I tried the IEMatch, I realized that it raised the sound quality to "quite good" and thus no need for an extra box: