Author Topic: IEMs  (Read 919 times)

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Offline SBJ

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IEMs
« on: Sun, 02 October 2022, 06:31:38 »
Inspired by the 'is audiophile stuff bs' thread from TP, I decided to try and make a thread for discussing IEMs.

I recently went down this rabbithole myself and found myself REALLY enjoying KZs IEMs.

I went to check aliexpress today and they actually have planar IEMs.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004791687722.html?spm=5261.ProductManageOnline.0.0.2e664edf7s0XMu&spm=a2g0o.store_pc_home.slider_70171766.0

My question, to all the people who are into this stuff.
Are they worth it? Because if there's a difference between the dynamic drivers in the ones I'm using now and the planar ones I'm definitely getting them.
Then comes the second question, there's balanced and HiFi, which for music listening? I'm leaning more towards HiFi but I don't know enough about it and it doesn't seem to say anywhere what the difference is between balanced and HiFi?

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 02 October 2022, 14:16:39 »
Yes, different driver types sound different and it's obvious - definitely not "audiophile BS".  One key feature of planar drivers is that the bass combines the volume of a dynamic driver with the quick decay of a balanced armature; as with everything preference related neither is "better" and either you'll like it or you wont, and if you've never heard a BA this description wont mean much.

As to what tuning you want that would depend on what you want to listen to.  Most popular music is mastered badly and if you listen to it on "HiFi" IEMs/speakers you can notice distortion and it can sound lifeless (note the yellow line showing more volume in the frequencies of most instruments) while well mastered music can sound too bassy when you crank the volume as is required to listen to it on "consumer" gear.  Check some of your favourite artists here, anything below an 8 is not good and less than 6 means it will probably sound bad on any quality speaker/IEM.  There isn't a huge difference in the two tunings going by the graph so unless almost all of your favourite music is 8 or higher I'd go for the balanced option.

As an aside note how almost all of the vinyls have high score, this is a big part of why people say vinyl sounds better - because it does.  They could use the same mix (compensated for the vinyl pre-amp) for digital but stupid standards dictate music has to be loud (low score) to get noticed on the radio.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 02 October 2022, 14:23:12 »
Oh, tp4 drinks plentttty of koolaid... but lesliann said something about iems/ headphones reducing circulation once,  and Tp4 thought, hrrm.. scientifically speaking, cell hypoxia causes healthy cells to become cancerous, so theoretically iems and headphones increases the probability of cancer of the head area, difficult to surgically intervene/ amputate,  and since then, tp4 has gone back to speakers.

Kewlaid. !!!



Offline SBJ

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 02 October 2022, 22:39:42 »
Yes, different driver types sound different and it's obvious - definitely not "audiophile BS".  One key feature of planar drivers is that the bass combines the volume of a dynamic driver with the quick decay of a balanced armature; as with everything preference related neither is "better" and either you'll like it or you wont, and if you've never heard a BA this description wont mean much.

As to what tuning you want that would depend on what you want to listen to.  Most popular music is mastered badly and if you listen to it on "HiFi" IEMs/speakers you can notice distortion and it can sound lifeless (note the yellow line showing more volume in the frequencies of most instruments) while well mastered music can sound too bassy when you crank the volume as is required to listen to it on "consumer" gear.  Check some of your favourite artists here, anything below an 8 is not good and less than 6 means it will probably sound bad on any quality speaker/IEM.  There isn't a huge difference in the two tunings going by the graph so unless almost all of your favourite music is 8 or higher I'd go for the balanced option.

As an aside note how almost all of the vinyls have high score, this is a big part of why people say vinyl sounds better - because it does.  They could use the same mix (compensated for the vinyl pre-amp) for digital but stupid standards dictate music has to be loud (low score) to get noticed on the radio.
Thanks so much for the explanation.
I'll have to check reviews for the score, because pretty much none of the bands/albums I listen to atm are on that list.  :))
I do plan on getting a vinyl player at a certain point - because yeah I've heard that they sound better, and that doesn't surprise me one bit.
Mostly I listen to metal(not really picky about genres, I l isten to what sounds good to me) a little rap & hiphop and progressive rock, that type of stuff. (yeah I'm all over the place, I know).
Also I have a tiny eq hooked up to the setup (schiit loki) which hopefully will help with evening out the sound.
Alright thank you very much, I will go with the balanced option. I don't doubt that many albums as mixed/mastered terribly. Maybe that's what happens when basically anyone can make an album in these digital times. :D


Oh, tp4 drinks plentttty of koolaid... but lesliann said something about iems/ headphones reducing circulation once,  and Tp4 thought, hrrm.. scientifically speaking, cell hypoxia causes healthy cells to become cancerous, so theoretically iems and headphones increases the probability of cancer of the head area, difficult to surgically intervene/ amputate,  and since then, tp4 has gone back to speakers.

Kewlaid. !!!


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Sure you keep drinking the koolaid, I'll continue enjoying my life as long as it lasts. :P

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 02 October 2022, 23:03:59 »
Sure you keep drinking the koolaid, I'll continue enjoying my life as long as it lasts. :P

The modern concept of enjoying life is a heavy distortion resultant of our very temporary abundance.  climate change is likely to erase most of it within 10-15 years.

One could argue, well, that's the asteroid, we can die while getting drunk, or we can actively participate in the "sliver" of a chance of rectifying the situation.

Unfortunately, humans are pretty stupid, and our vision is myopic, even seeming well educated individuals can not properly visualize long term problems.  So our largest industry turns to hedonistic diversion for the last 50 years.

There was already good science on human behavioral sink and climate change way back, we just never did anything about it as a collective, we let the drugs flow (entertainment),  and now we're all about to die.

Offline SBJ

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 02 October 2022, 23:08:27 »
Sure you keep drinking the koolaid, I'll continue enjoying my life as long as it lasts. :P

The modern concept of enjoying life is a heavy distortion of our very temporary abundance.  climate change is likely to erase most of it within 10-15 years.
If that's the case, then why care about cancer?
Seriously it's like all you write about, and to be honest it's a little tiring in every thread to have it diverted to 'CANCER!!!'.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 02 October 2022, 23:19:50 »
If that's the case, then why care about cancer?
Seriously it's like all you write about, and to be honest it's a little tiring in every thread to have it diverted to 'CANCER!!!'.


mmmm... i suppose Cancer is an analogy which best represents what humanity is relative to the global ecosystem.

you're not tired of "it"  you ARE it. your thoughts, desires, aspirations, all of it.

concurrently, you're not mad at Tp4,  you're mad at humanity's reflection.   Tp4 = mirror.

also, Blue juice,  it is not to suggest you should be depressed,  it hardly matters what you feel at this point, is the point. by all means be happy.

Offline rjohn

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 02 October 2022, 23:38:31 »

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 03 October 2022, 07:48:02 »

I've heard that they sound better


All musical instruments (except the electronic ones) are analog, sound waves in air are analog, and human ears are analog.

So there is good reason that analog reproductions should sound better.
« Last Edit: Mon, 03 October 2022, 07:50:06 by fohat.digs »
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Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 03 October 2022, 07:52:43 »
Which KZ's did you get, I have a set of KZ-ZST's that I love and completely change with an amp pushing them.  I normally rotate between running my IEM's and Headphones depending on mood and if I want to tune everything out around me.  I do plan on snagging a set of MoonDrop Aria's as well since they come highly recommended.  My headphones (Philips SHP9500's) tend to be considered trash in the audiophile community, but I have enjoyed them considering they were inexpensive thanks to my boss giving me an Amazon gift card last Christmas.

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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 03 October 2022, 08:08:17 »
https://www.youtube.com/c/crincl/videos

i like crinkles because he doesn't take himself that seriously, and he's open about the shilling.


Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 03 October 2022, 15:24:39 »
pretty much none of the bands/albums I listen to atm are on that list.  :))
...
I don't doubt that many albums as mixed/mastered terribly. Maybe that's what happens when basically anyone can make an album in these digital times. :D
There's a "links" menu at the top of that site with download links if you want to check your collection, the free Windows option runs perfectly in WINE if you're in Linux. Most metal is pretty bad and that's not because anyone can make an album - some famous mix/masterers who's name proudly appears on the sticker on a CD is reason enough not to buy it while virtually everything Dan Swano has touched will sound great. 

All musical instruments (except the electronic ones) are analog, sound waves in air are analog, and human ears are analog.

So there is good reason that analog reproductions should sound better.
There is no technical reason that vinyl sounds better, they just almost always use a better master when making a vinyl version.  Here's a short volume matched example where the CD sounds crap while the version used in the Guitar Hero game sounds way better:

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Offline SBJ

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 04 October 2022, 07:12:20 »
Which KZ's did you get, I have a set of KZ-ZST's that I love and completely change with an amp pushing them.  I normally rotate between running my IEM's and Headphones depending on mood and if I want to tune everything out around me.  I do plan on snagging a set of MoonDrop Aria's as well since they come highly recommended.  My headphones (Philips SHP9500's) tend to be considered trash in the audiophile community, but I have enjoyed them considering they were inexpensive thanks to my boss giving me an Amazon gift card last Christmas.
I have two pair atm, KZ ZSN Pro and just KZ ZSN 10 or something I think?
Those planar ones are 40% off atm, tempting!

Offline Signature

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 05 October 2022, 06:44:53 »


All musical instruments (except the electronic ones) are analog, sound waves in air are analog, and human ears are analog.

So there is good reason that analog reproductions should sound better.
There is no technical reason that vinyl sounds better, they just almost always use a better master when making a vinyl version.  Here's a short volume matched example where the CD sounds crap while the version used in the Guitar Hero game sounds way better:
Interesting! Didn't know they use so heavy compression on CD's, does indeed sound lifeless  :eek:
Very busy with studies atm.

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: IEMs
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 05 October 2022, 13:02:49 »
Didn't know they use so heavy compression on CD's, does indeed sound lifeless  :eek:
To be fair to CDs that is an exceptionally bad example scoring between 2-4 on the site above while the game version it's compared to is as about as good as you'll find for modern metal at 11-13, where 6 is considered "industry standard".
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