IEM or over-ear HPs?

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dB Cooper

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #40 on: 18 Sep 2018, 05:34 pm »
Looked at these. They do what they are claimed to do but its what they are not claimed to do that I quibble with.They are resistors. Like any resistor, they drop the signal level but raise the output impedance in the process, with the side effects (drop in damping and FR variations) you'd expect. Whether that tradeoff is worth it depends on the source material, the listener, the circumstances, and not least, the headphones.

Personally, I'd like something like the Dragonfly, but with unity gain.

mresseguie

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Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #41 on: 18 Sep 2018, 06:09 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:



Hi, Tyson.

I asked the rep at Campfire Audio about this and he said this is a very good product. I may just have to try it out.   I just placed an order for one. It ought to arrive by next Tuesday. I'll let y'all know what I think of it.:thumb:

Russell Dawkins

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #42 on: 18 Sep 2018, 06:13 pm »
Looked at these. They do what they are claimed to do but its what they are not claimed to do that I quibble with.They are resistors. Like any resistor, they drop the signal level but raise the output impedance in the process, with the side effects (drop in damping and FR variations) you'd expect. Whether that tradeoff is worth it depends on the source material, the listener, the circumstances, and not least, the headphones.

Personally, I'd like something like the Dragonfly, but with unity gain.

I'm puzzled as to how these work. If it's just a resistor network to force the source to operate at a higher digital level, then it must be an L-pad equivalent, since the input impedance is listed as 16Ω and the output at 1.5Ω, so it couldn't be just a series resistance. I find the explanatory copy on the iFi website to be annoyingly vague.

Tyson

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #43 on: 18 Sep 2018, 06:28 pm »
Looked at these. They do what they are claimed to do but its what they are not claimed to do that I quibble with.They are resistors. Like any resistor, they drop the signal level but raise the output impedance in the process, with the side effects (drop in damping and FR variations) you'd expect. Whether that tradeoff is worth it depends on the source material, the listener, the circumstances, and not least, the headphones.

Personally, I'd like something like the Dragonfly, but with unity gain.

I'm not sure it's "just" a resistor.  Part of why they use that magnesium case is so you can't see what they are doing, so I think there's more to it than that.  But, that doesn't really matter to me.  What matters to me is how it sounds and does it work.  I had an iFi Micro iDSD that I got to do some A-B comparisons with, using my laptop.  Yes, the iDSD sounds better.  But the IEMatch was close enough that I basically said "screw keeping up with this extra box".  Now I just have the IEMatch always attached to my Etymotics (and a 2nd one attached to my Alclair IEMs).  I can still remember plowing through Farscape on Netflix, which was the first major thing I used the IEMatch on, and just marveling at how I could hear everything and that the source wasn't shitty at all, and the sound design on the show was actually pretty good! 

dB Cooper

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #44 on: 19 Sep 2018, 02:32 am »
I'm puzzled as to how these work. If it's just a resistor network to force the source to operate at a higher digital level, then it must be an L-pad equivalent, since the input impedance is listed as 16Ω and the output at 1.5Ω, so it couldn't be just a series resistance. I find the explanatory copy on the iFi website to be annoyingly vague.

True. A simple resistor would have an output impedance equal to the value of the resistor. 1.5 ohms is respectably low.

No power is delivered via a phone jack (other than the audio signal), so it is presumably a passive device. A miniature transformer of some description?

My phone, with my Etymotic ER3XR's, seems to give a comfortable output level at about 60% volume setting for material with actual dynamic range, somewhat lower for compressed pop recordings.

roscoeiii

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #45 on: 19 Sep 2018, 05:13 pm »
I love having the IEMatch built into my iDSD Micro Black Label, along with the 3 power settings, the bass boost and the 3D switches, this is one damn versatile audio device. Even has RCA outputs if you want to just use it as a DAC. And an analog input if you just want to use the amp setting.

roscoeiii

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #46 on: 19 Sep 2018, 05:22 pm »
As for the original topic on this thread:

There are IEMs that can do amazing things.

Someone earlier mentioned the Andromedas from Campfire, which have a superb tuning. There's a reason that they are often referred to as "special".

And then there are the Shure electrostats. Which are revelatory. Sealed electrostat drivers in headphones that do a great job of isolating outside noise. Holy clarity and detail, Batman!!

Both high priced but stunning and unique audio presentation.

Over-ears certain can be more comfortable and can give a better sense of space (open-ended especially). Personally, I don't hear as many gains when you move up in the over-ear price range. I've  listened to a number of higher priced over-ears (at meet-ups and shows as well as private auditions, loaner tours, etc), but none has triggered upgraditis from my HD-650s (killer price on the Massdrop version!) and my HiFiMan HE-5LEs.

Andros and KSE1500/1200 on the other hand were "Holy shit!" moments.

My 2 cents.

dB Cooper

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #47 on: 21 Sep 2018, 02:46 am »
The cans that gave me upgraditis vs my HD650's were the Beyer Amiron Home.

Agree the Massdrop version is close to unbeatable for $199. Of course, they have the  K7xx for the same price, so, your choice of flavors.


Tyson

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #48 on: 2 Oct 2018, 10:37 pm »
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!

I ordered a pair based on your posts.  Can't believe they were marked down from $425 to $180.  I also had $50 worth of points on Amazon so I got a pair for $120 delivered.  Should be here on Thursday.  I have to say that I love, love, love my Etymotic ER3XS even over other more expensive IEMs (the Ety's just sound right to me, they are very coherent).  With the Cardas also being a single driver (dynamic, unlike the armature driver in the Etys), I'm hoping they give me that same coherent type sound but with a little different flavor.  Oh, and the Cardas look pretty cool:


SlushPuppy

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #49 on: 2 Oct 2018, 11:56 pm »
I ordered a pair based on your posts.  Can't believe they were marked down from $425 to $180.  I also had $50 worth of points on Amazon so I got a pair for $120 delivered.  Should be here on Thursday.  I have to say that I love, love, love my Etymotic ER3XS even over other more expensive IEMs (the Ety's just sound right to me, they are very coherent).  With the Cardas also being a single driver (dynamic, unlike the armature driver in the Etys), I'm hoping they give me that same coherent type sound but with a little different flavor.  Oh, and the Cardas look pretty cool:

I wouldn't have purchased them if they weren't so heavily marked down. Nothing against Cardas, but they aren't exactly well known for their headphones. The reviews were super positive and Audio Advisor's return policy is the best, so I decided to take a chance. When they arrived I was blown away by the packaging and the overall look and feel of quality, but my initial listening session was less than stellar. I remember calling my buddy and telling him what a mess these things were. All treble, no separation of instruments, and that damn cable scratching.... As a last resort before sending them back I put them on my laptop for a couple of days at pretty loud volume when I was out of town. That was one of the biggest improvements I've ever heard! Uh, that and realizing I was using the wrong size ear tip (not making a good seal). They sound really nice on well recorded jazz :-)

mresseguie

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Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #50 on: 4 Feb 2019, 06:58 am »
Man, where did all the time go?

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I did buy a pair of the Cardas IEMs, and I made sure to burn them in for close to 75 hours before paying attention to the music. I discovered the issue (Slushpuppy had mention) concerning the wires' being microphonic. In fact, it is so pronounced that I have had a difficult time concentrating on the music. I don't sit/lie still most of the time while I'm listening to music, so the cable/wire keeps distracting me.

My lesson from this is to make certain the cables are not going to transmit sounds every time I shift position.

As a result of this issue, they spend most of their time on my desk and not in my ears. I'm going to gift them to my son and his girlfriend to see what they think.

Michael

randytsuch

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #51 on: 4 Feb 2019, 04:06 pm »
Man, where did all the time go?

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I did buy a pair of the Cardas IEMs, and I made sure to burn them in for close to 75 hours before paying attention to the music. I discovered the issue (Slushpuppy had mention) concerning the wires' being microphonic. In fact, it is so pronounced that I have had a difficult time concentrating on the music. I don't sit/lie still most of the time while I'm listening to music, so the cable/wire keeps distracting me.

My lesson from this is to make certain the cables are not going to transmit sounds every time I shift position.

As a result of this issue, they spend most of their time on my desk and not in my ears. I'm going to gift them to my son and his girlfriend to see what they think.

Michael

Looks like the Cardas don't have replaceable cables, that's too bad.  Many IEMs either use a standard 2 pin connector, or mmcx.  Lots of cable options these days for either, for every budget.

BTW, I have a pair of Andros, they have been on sale the last couple years, 2nd's during BF/Christmas time sales.  Still not cheap, but at least more reasonable than list price.
They are very low impedance, so they need a low impedance amp/dap/whatever to drive them to be at their best.
Supposed to sound really good with the Sony ZX2, but those are more than I wanted to spend on a DAP.  I picked up a little alo rx amp used after I bought the Andros, and no surprise (same company), they drive the Andros well. 
My Bluetooth ES-100 also sounds surprisingly good driving the Andros.

I also just picked up a pair of used Campfire Lyra II's.  Single dynamic driver.  I can't bring myself to use the Andros as daily, walk around with, listen anywhere iems.  The Lyra's are serving that purpose for my very well, and for me, are more comfortable than the Andros.

I used to have a bunch more IEM's, but sold off most of them to raise the funds for the Andros lol.  Money well spent in my book.

I'm going to start a separate thread on tips one of these days, they deserve some attention.  I've been tip rolling, and buying other tips lately.

Randy

A_shah

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Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #52 on: 5 Feb 2019, 06:04 am »
A bit late to this Thread I have had just every model of Bose QC models right up-to the present model QC-35  since I do travel a few time a year on long haul flights I have found them fatiguing and sort of heavy/warm  on the ears after about 45 Min's , a  couple of years ago I was given two pairs of Kef M-100 IEM very inexpensive but they do block most airplane noise and are full spectrum I really enjoy them on long haul flights.
2. Last November Black Friday sale picked up a pair of Audeze Isine 20 , well they do go in Ear but a part of them remains outside the ear , like big ear rings :P,  they  comes with a cipher  cable/DAC which you can plug into the Iphone and surprisingly the SQ is very good  and match's over the ear headphones  , I use it with a Chord Mojo and solid silver  Lavricable   from Latvia, it was bit bright in the beginning it seems to be getting better , presently I am testing the Isine 20 & LCD -X with the PS audio Directstream DAC and  Mike Sanders QuickSilver Tube Headphone amp. , I am just blown away by  the Bi-Aural sound when playing Hi-Rez Qobuz or Tidal the Sound seems to come outside the Ears instead of middle back of my head  :popcorn:

Asghar




dB Cooper

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #53 on: 8 Feb 2019, 05:43 am »
I ordered a pair based on your posts.  Can't believe they were marked down from $425 to $180.  I also had $50 worth of points on Amazon so I got a pair for $120 delivered.  Should be here on Thursday.  I have to say that I love, love, love my Etymotic ER3XS even over other more expensive IEMs (the Ety's just sound right to me, they are very coherent).  With the Cardas also being a single driver (dynamic, unlike the armature driver in the Etys), I'm hoping they give me that same coherent type sound but with a little different flavor.  Oh, and the Cardas look pretty cool:



Tyson, did those tips come with the IEMs or are they aftermarket?

Tyson

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #54 on: 12 Feb 2019, 04:59 am »
Tyson, did those tips come with the IEMs or are they aftermarket?

Came with.  That's not my pic though, I stole it :)  I've had these headphones for a while, I settled on the Comply tips as the best.  Comply is aftermarket. 

dB Cooper

Re: IEM or over-ear HPs?
« Reply #55 on: 14 Feb 2019, 04:17 am »
I've used Comply tips but currently using Spin-Fit CP240M dual flange (sort of similar to the ones in your photo). Foam tips are great when new but too high maintenance/ short-lived for me. It's all about what fits you best, which correlates strongly with best comfort and sound.