InEar ProPhile-8: Reference Universal With Two Switches

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by k.e., Dec 5, 2016.

  1. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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  2. James633

    James633 Rando

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    It is a good review. I have stayed away from buying new IEM the last 5 years or so as I thought they all sounded the same (minus the tonal balance) and have been somewhat meh on all of them.

    I bought the ER4SR and ER4XR a few weeks ago and I am thinking about buying the PP8. I am debating if they are actually good or just good for being and IEM. I have not tried any "high end" IEMs. I had a few pairs of Shures and Ultimate ears in the $400-$600 range and thought they all sucked. The Etymotic has potential but still comes up a little short.
     
  3. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    That's an entirely subjective question that ultimately no one besides yourself can answer.

    Still, I'd recommend to watch shotgunshane's IEM thread. He has a PP8 incoming.
     
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  4. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    ...is james633 = james(4+2)(4-1)(4-1)?

    You have a fan I guess.
     
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  5. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    ...my ego says he ought to have chosen a lower number than 444 though. :p
     
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  6. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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    For me, it's the other way around. I hardly see improvements made with headphones. AKG K812: terrible! HD800: Underwhelming and too special. Beyerdynamic T1: Please no! As far as imitating loud speakers goes, dynamic drivers haven't improved since HD6x0/DT880.
    Popularity of magnetostatic headphones is still in its early phase, which I expect to have great improvements in the years to come. Audeze is putting on a bit too much of the exclusivity flavor and their headphones have questionable weight, but Oppo is showing which way we need to go.

    I have been comparing ideal target responses and looking into equalizers since I reviewed the ADI-2 Pro. Ever since I am very picky about tonality and only very few head-/earphones get close to transparency (as in un-colored). But as I said in the review, the ProPhile 8 is the one IEM that gets closest to the ideal of any IEMs I know. Comparing measurements, the ER4 XR is close too, but it has consistently too much pressure from 1-5 kHz making it push mids forward. Also, technically, it can't keep up. HD650 lacks the sub-bass and it has a strong dip in the high frequencies. DT880 also lacks sub-bass and goes crazy at 6 and above 8 kHz. HE-500 is a good contender. (The Aeon looks very promising and very similar to PP8, but I haven't heard it yet.)

    So yes, the PP8 sounds closer to my speakers than any other headphone I have/ owned/ reviewed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  7. James633

    James633 Rando

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    Very interesting. It sounds like your preference mirror mine. Tone is most critical to me and I have had trouble finding a pair of headphones.

    When the HD650 came out I got a pair (yeah it has been a long time lol) and they were my last headphone for about 10 years as I moved into "high end speaker" and never looked back. Now I am disgusted with speaker pricing so I am back to playing with headphones as I can't see spending $15k-$30k for small improvements on speakers and my new home is not soundproofed like my old home.... yet.

    Anyway I see that headphones have gotten crazy expensive since I left but have not really gotten much better. I tried all the Audezes (minus the LCD4) and the highs had issues and the fit #%€! HD800S sounded synthesized to me and there was some oddness in the upper mids. TH900, where are the mids? The focal Elear is the biggest piece of audio junk I have ever owned. The upper mids are so messed up I can't imagine what focal was thinking, yet there is a giant love fest on head-fi...

    So now I just procced with caution when the hype train is going.

    Back on topic. The ER4XR is ok. My main issue is the glare in the midrange when I start to turn them up (maybe 85db) under that volume they sound fine but could use a lot more impact/slam acrosses the whole requency range. I am also in the minority and tend to think the ER4SR is a little more neutral and I would love to split the difference between the XR and SR. I think the XR bass creeps a little too much into the mids.

    Anyway good review and these are on my list. I was also looking at the Andromeda but the impedance issues is a killer for me. They are going to be too bassy for me with my portable sources (iPhone 7, mojo).
     
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  8. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    I believe most prefer a modded HD800 to the HD800S.

    Having heard neither - my ears physically disagree with headphones so I never bothered - people I know and trust do remark the HD800 is better than the S.
     
  9. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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    The PP8 has more bass than the ER4 XR already has. That probably won't be of your preference then. The SR sounds too thin for me, but this could be due to the reason I prefer to listen at low volumes.

    I have uploaded a comparison. (Based on calibrated and uncompensated measurements, but vectorized for readability. The ISO 11904-2 is probably not the ideal target, but I have added it for reference anyway. The area includes a downward 1 dB per octave tilt for "room correction".)

    [​IMG]

    The midrange is pretty much equal. The PP8 has some more bass and not such a forward midrange. Based on my listening experience, I could "correct" the upper midrange with tip rolling so that 2-3 kHz are more present, but even without I think the overall weight of upper midrange and high frequencies is better with the PP8. Due to better dynamics and layering, the overall experience is worlds apart.

    But as I wrote in the review, I would have preferred if one could turn down the bass instead of boosting it further. It might be too much for you. Personally, I find the focus on 100 Hz and below very pleasing.
     
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  10. James633

    James633 Rando

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    Thanks for the measurements. I will probably try them. More dynamics (with less glare) over the ER4XR is what I am looking for and a good way to put it. I don't like to listen loud and feel the Etymotics have a pretty small volume sweet spot where they come alive and before the glare sets in.

    The bass is probably too much for me on the PP8 but I will try to adjust. I find I acclimate pretty quickly. I have been using just the ER4XR and not touching the SR just to get used to the sound. The only time the XR sounds heavy handed is on acoustic music which is a pretty small percentage of my listening.
     
  11. KarlStromberg

    KarlStromberg Rando

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    @k.e. Did you have a chance to compare the PP8 to the Oriolus MK2 in the past, maybe at CanJam EU?
     
  12. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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    Yes. I had a few quiet minutes in the hotel on the day before CanJam and had a close listen to MK2. It sounds very soft and natural. Lively too. But I was not impressed by the bass speed.
    At this price level, I found the hybrid design not coherent enough.

    The PP8 has much higher resolution and much higher transparency. Less bass warmth and punch, obviously, but overall more coherent. The treble is much more refined too.
     
  13. koroshiya8

    koroshiya8 Rando

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    Hi i recently bought the PP8 too.. and it sounds awesome.

    Regarding the switches i wonder if you can help explain a little. When increasing the bass should i do it at both IEM or just 1 side will do ?
    TIA !
     
  14. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    You need to set the switches on both earpieces.
     
  15. MuZo2

    MuZo2 Friend

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  16. MuZo2

    MuZo2 Friend

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    Yes, seems it needs deeper insertion, found after trying all types of medium tips only to find I needed to use small tips to get right insertion depth.
     
  17. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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    Could you comment on your measurement setup and maybe include a known IEM for reference? Like an Etymotic or something. That would be helpful.
     
  18. MuZo2

    MuZo2 Friend

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    Here is one from Customart Harmony8.2
    [​IMG]

    One from Customart lab themself
    [​IMG]
     
  19. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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    And do you agree with your measurements when you use a sinus sweep? Because I hear a rise in treble from ~7/8 to 10k whereas your measurements show a strong downfall after 8.
     
  20. MuZo2

    MuZo2 Friend

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    I did not do sine sweeps with iems in ears. I showed the measurements to Marco and he said they looked realistic.
     

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