Introducing the InEarCentral Triple Dynamic CIEM-A Really Nice Mid-fi CIEM for Cheap (Caveat Emptor)

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Kunlun, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    This will be a super brief review of a budget ciem from In Ear Central, which is out of Florida.

    They do re-shells and such, but also have a line of dynamic driver ciems, with one, two, or three of their off-the-shelf 6mm dynamic drivers (each driver gets a tiny little vent) and set in an acrylic shell.


    At $350, I opted for the triple driver for maximum headroom. The three dynamics have no crossover and are each a full-range driver. Sharing the load seems to work well in this case.

    The sound is overall pretty darn good, surprisingly so. The midrange and treble are natural sounding without large spikes or dips and the treble is better extended than most high-end multi-BA ciems (dynamics tend to do better at this, as most of you know). Detail retrieval is good in these ranges, but short of the best plankton-o-scopes.

    The bass is boosted (although not hugely) and has excellent sub-bass extension. When I first listened, the bass was a bit smeared. I figured with three dynamics, some diaphragm flexin' was in order and I played a very loud playlist on them overnight. With that, there is good texture to the bass. I'd say it's still short of higher-end ciems in bass detail. I've thought of blocking one or two of the vents so that some of the bass air-moving quality is dampened and thereby improving the detail and flattening the bass, but can't be bothered for now as the sound is quite good. It's really solid sounding, overall.

    The timbre is excellent, strings sound real, etc. The instrument separation is okay and coherence is good. Soundstage is good and isolation is surprisingly good. These are easy to drive ciems.

    The cables have a free-swiveling connector. Overall, these ciems look good, but are put together with no frills. I wouldn't test the durability, but for $350, it's good.


    So, these would make a nice little purchase for not too much cash, right? Well, yes, but....


    Okay, so In Ear Central has had some serious squirrelly-ness going on. My set took six months, plus a bit. Yeah, I basically forgot about them until I got an email update a few months in. Rob, the owner, seems nice and well-meaning, but there are some issues for sure. He claims that the problems were from his employees, whom he has since fired and also bought a 3D scanner for earmolds to ease the ciem-making process. I am not entirely clear on what has gone on there, but some serious caution is in order.

    Let's see if Rob has cleaned things up at In Ear Central and how it all goes. If he starts delivering well QC'd earphones in a timely manner and makes things right for people waiting, then I think he has a real winner in the triple driver. The price point is great and it's a solid mid-fi ciem with a nice tuning, great extension and timbre, too.
     
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  2. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Some pictures:

    [​IMG]

    Note to self: Use more hair product before taking close up of ear...



    [​IMG]
     
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  3. sepinho

    sepinho Friend

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    Interesting! Where are all those dynamic CIEMs coming from all of a sudden?
     
  4. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Ha, I don't know, but the air-moving bass of a good dynamic iem is really worth it for any sort of commuting. That kind of bass just has a different feel on the eardrum. The bass of a BA tends to sound great for 10 minutes and then kinda fade into the background, so people turn it up and then get deaf due to the treble spikes inherent in most BA designs. Seems like the KSE1500 is similar.

    Audio engineers like Marty Garcia, who owns Future Sonics, and others I've talked to are partial to looking at how a dynamic driver's diaphragm is similar to the human ear drum, both moving in-and-out, etc., and they feel that a vented dynamic driver can deliver the most realistic sound for this reason, at least in part.

    Making a dynamic driver iem is a different art entirely from making a BA design and there's a lot that goes into it which I haven't really seen discussed online ever. I certainly hope to see more high-end dynamic iems and ciems. Whatever replaces the IE800 and what comes along to compete with it will be very interesting, for example.
     

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