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Thread: Headphone Audition

  1. #1

    Default Headphone Audition

    Hi all,

    Thinking of getting either the Shure SE530 or the UE Superfi.10

    Plan to go and audition the 2 of them at Jaben but I would like to know what kind of music do you audiophiles normally use to listen to during audition? There are the lows, mids and highs to determine and I would like to familiarize myself with the music beforehand.

    Can recommend some tracks?

  2. #2
    Senior Member zhapchit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    Bring music that you normally listen to

  3. #3
    Senior Member afbug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    Just bring your player and music that you're familar with. Or if u want, can try a jazz track, pop track, rock track, metal track, classical track, dance track etc etc to test.

    Just make sure that you're familar with the music and try to listen for improvements; sounds in the track that u never heard before or was muffled. Look out for clarity, details, ergonomics etc etc inaddition to the lows, mids and highs.

    I saw SE530 at Sitex going for $760 which is kinda ex considering the US exchange rate is lower these days. The SF 10 should be cheaper.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    I agree with zhapchit. It is no use comparing your own ears to that of a audiophiles and think that what they use as reference music to decide on their purchase will work for you. And even if they are able to recommend you to choose either one of those two headset to buy based on their own experience and yes....taste. You still might be clueless to know why they choose 'this' ove 'that'. To be an audiophile for example is not born, it takes you time to reach that level to be able to discern between, highs, lows, mids or what is good tone, reproduction of voice or instruments when they hear a superiorly recorded song for example. It does not stop at just headsets.

    Also, what are YOU using it for and plug to what player? An ipod? Okay let's say for an iPod. What bit rate are your MP3 recorded in? Audiopile will not record mp3 into their ipod. They will choose a lossy version (like *.ogg) which does not compress the amount of data for a song like Mp3 would. That way the whole range of fidelity that was digitally made to that song will be played out and when output will offer your ears the full range. Thus to be able to hear all that...therefore a superior headset will make the difference.

    Your ears are yours. Only you know what will be good for you and sound good to you for your KIND of music you often play. So if you are going to listen to them on your ipod mainly...bring your ipod to jack in. DON'T let them jack it into their high end amplier or music console..etc to let you hear. If they are less then honest and have a preference to make you buy one over the other as they can make more money...thay CAN manipulate it if they want to.

    What I am saying is...take whatever songs you normall play and go play it now on your ipod plug to these two headset and hear if you can the difference and then decided if it is worth buying either of those two high priced models. If all you listen to are like 128bit mp3 recodring and especially if you convert your own music to mp3 with some cheap convertor program and a "noisy" PC...chances most of the time you are listen to music on your ipod that's sub quality and thus...those headset are overkill.

    Okay maybe I am tell you stuff you already know but I was just writing it in support to others who would reply you as we have quite a few discerning members here who are audio nutz heheh. But I just throw this in as some how I read your stuff as someone who is quite new to this stuff. Take the time to play with them and not rush. You are not buy some cheap but over priced ipod ear bud headset for $39.00 heheh you are buying something that is of a value equal to buying another ipod or a few more ipod units! heheh
    Last edited by sammy888; 13th December 2007 at 04:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    Quote Originally Posted by seankyh View Post
    Hi all,

    Thinking of getting either the Shure SE530 or the UE Superfi.10

    Plan to go and audition the 2 of them at Jaben but I would like to know what kind of music do you audiophiles normally use to listen to during audition? There are the lows, mids and highs to determine and I would like to familiarize myself with the music beforehand.

    Can recommend some tracks?
    hello, i would strongly recommend you to bring CDs you normally listen to or love to listen there to test. if you find the vast improvement worth the money, it's your money for you to plunge into.

    SF 10 is about $555. SE 530 is about $650 on a MO in hwz. reference wise, if you're lazy to bring a decent portable amp out with your player, make sure the sound on your source is at least of higher quality. if not, it doesn't do justice to any of the IEMs you're paying for. for the amount of money you're putting into the IEM, at least u know you want the songs you're listening to sound good to you and not anyone else.

    it doesn't really matter if you can't really tell the difference or maximise the usage. just be happy with what you want =)
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    Thank you all for your advice. I really appreciate it and agree with you. The thing is, my interest in music is very diverse. I don't tie myself to just one genre. I can be listening to Sarah Chang's violin pieces and then Linkin Park the next minute. That is why I'm looking for music that audiophiles normally use to judge the performance of headsets so that I can be more assured that the headphones I get covers the best frequency gamut (not sure if its the right word for it)

    I'm no audiophile but I do have very sensitive hearing. Small artefacts (can this word be used here) in encoding irritate the bugger out of me especially when it comes to highs. I hate nothing more than having buzzing sound during a violin solo. I'm using an iPod but I encode my content at minumum 320kbps. Doesn't solve the problem all the time. I understand that good earphones will not solve this but instead make the imperfection more noticable.

    I've been using Shure E2C abd Etys E6i. I use them for different genres. The Etys are very weak on the lows so I use then for classical whereas I use the E2C for dance/trance rock etc.

    I'm hoping that with better headphones, particularly those with triple drives, I don't have to switch so often and who knows, hear sounds that I've never head before in the music.
    But I'm definitely no audiophile. Hell, I'm using a Bose home entertainment system at home! You can't get more unaudiophile than that!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    the golden rule of portable music quality.

    **** goes in, **** comes out, no point having a Ue10 and portaphile maxxed setup if all you are listening to are 128kbps downloaded tracks.

    choose whats good to your wallet and what you think is worth the price difference. i played with the superfi3 and the mylar one and still bought the mylar although i could hear a much better soundstaging, instrument differentiation and better highs and mids for the superfi3, because the myalrs were like 1/3 the price of the superfi 3

    law of diminishing returns is a law that the audio world abides by........

  8. #8

    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    Quote Originally Posted by mrhobbit View Post
    the golden rule of portable music quality.

    **** goes in, **** comes out, no point having a Ue10 and portaphile maxxed setup if all you are listening to are 128kbps downloaded tracks.

    choose whats good to your wallet and what you think is worth the price difference. i played with the superfi3 and the mylar one and still bought the mylar although i could hear a much better soundstaging, instrument differentiation and better highs and mids for the superfi3, because the myalrs were like 1/3 the price of the superfi 3

    law of diminishing returns is a law that the audio world abides by........
    Agreed.. maybe i'm just curious to hear what the superfi10 and se530 sound like. I've been getting more and more irritated with my setup as I can't seem to be able to pick out the instruments like you said. I never encode at 128kpbs. Considering moving to ogg vorbis but the ipod does not support. Tried it out on my PC and was quite happy with the results.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    Quote Originally Posted by seankyh View Post
    Agreed.. maybe i'm just curious to hear what the superfi10 and se530 sound like. I've been getting more and more irritated with my setup as I can't seem to be able to pick out the instruments like you said. I never encode at 128kpbs. Considering moving to ogg vorbis but the ipod does not support. Tried it out on my PC and was quite happy with the results.
    I know someone not being able to hear properly the highs and some of the mids..permanently in his case.

    A case of always blasting music into his ears. It was loud enough that I could be quite a distant from him and I could hear the irritating highs buzzing from his headset. Doctor confirmed it last year for him.

    If you are serious about playing OGG format on your ipod you might want to give this site a visit to try something that will enable your ipod to playback OGG format musics if you donn't mind using a work around plugin to do it.

    http://www.rockbox.org/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    i wouldn't recommend rockbox as it really drains alot batt outta your ipod. go try out what kinda stuffs you like. whether you can tell the difference its all up to you. SF5 seems to be a really good buy nowadays.

    yuin pk series aint bad but its looks really simple. a earbud.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    hmmmm for music on the go, i wouldnt try to rip at lossless(too much space, unless you got a 160gb classic, go straight ahead!)

    and you wont be scrutinising the music on the bus as well, for me i run on 256kbps or 192 vbr, and the really occasional 128 for songs i cant find the CD for.

    however, certain bands such as X japan, iron maiden and Guns n roses(which are coincidentally my favourite bands) i rip at lossless, transfer at 352kbps, especially for Xjapan, since their music is "complicated" to say the least, i once counted at least 6 different instruments at once!

    different as in bass, lead guitar, rhythm,piano,violin,cello, and i didnt even count the vocals!

    and yes, the superfi5 is a really good buy...contemplating that as well......
    and oh yes, listen at safe volumes, loud volumes actually drown out details, contary to popular belief.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    Quote Originally Posted by mrhobbit View Post
    hmmmm for music on the go, i wouldnt try to rip at lossless(too much space, unless you got a 160gb classic, go straight ahead!)

    and you wont be scrutinising the music on the bus as well, for me i run on 256kbps or 192 vbr, and the really occasional 128 for songs i cant find the CD for.

    however, certain bands such as X japan, iron maiden and Guns n roses(which are coincidentally my favourite bands) i rip at lossless, transfer at 352kbps, especially for Xjapan, since their music is "complicated" to say the least, i once counted at least 6 different instruments at once!

    different as in bass, lead guitar, rhythm,piano,violin,cello, and i didnt even count the vocals!

    and yes, the superfi5 is a really good buy...contemplating that as well......
    and oh yes, listen at safe volumes, loud volumes actually drown out details, contary to popular belief.
    Thanks for the advice. I don't listen loud. That would kill my ears. And I love GNR.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    Quote Originally Posted by seankyh View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I don't listen loud. That would kill my ears. And I love GNR.
    honestly it is not possible to find ONE IEM that suits all your needs. its what your ears can tell and i seriously think SF5 is a good buy. if not get try triple5 or maybe something lower end might suit your listening taste as well.

    you can try ck-9 as well =)

    cheers.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Headphone Audition

    I'm not an audiophile (thankfully), but my first experience with the Shure triple driver blew me away. Freaking freaking excellent compared to my Panasonic HJE50. compared both the headphones from the same source and song, I heard more through the Shure than through my Panasonic (obviously...DUH). But I scared to upgrade. Later cannot downgrade. Lol.

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