InnerFidelity Update July 2016

Measurement rig has been off-line some as I disassembled it for head measurements at Harman. Fortunately, the headphones didn't stop coming in and I've finally managed to dig my way through the pile.

If you'd like to participate with the headphone measurement program by sending in cans that aren't already measured and displayed on the measurement datasheets page, simply go to this forum page, read and follow the instructions, and we'll get it done.

As usual I've updated the AllGraphs.pdf of course, and added the cans to the measurement datasheets page. I've also linked to the measurement sheets to the headphone name in paragraphs below. New additions include:

  • Focal - Get ready folks, the French are on the march, and boy are they singing their own tune. I'm not a big believer in companies having a house sound, and so far I haven't heard the new Listen and Elear as sounding similar at all. But damn, they sound different than most other things I've heard...and maybe in a good way.

    Not sure I'll review the Listen...yet, still getting used to it. But damn sure I'll be reviewing the uber-dynamic sounding Elear. The Utopia should be here sometime today. No doubt you'll be seeing measurements show up in a review before you see them in the next Update. This is some exciting stuff!

  • PSB M4U 4 - Gotta say I'm a bit out of my element when it comes to IEMs...just don't like them very much in general. Sounds like Paul Barton is continuing to play his RoomFeel hand with the M4U 4—these have a very satisfying bass response and a nice coherent run up and through the mid-range. Something a little off in the treble; doesn't seem too offensive, though. They'll keep me listening for a little while more...we'll see.
  • Bose Quiet Comfort 35 - Let's keep it simple: I listened for a couple of days, then I measured the QC 35 passive on the wire; active on the wire; and wirelessly. They've basically nailed this noise canceling thing. They're not cheap at $349, but if you want a wireless noise canceler that kills outside noise and sounds decent...it's really the way to go. Review soon.
  • Beyerdynamic DTX 350 m - Hey boys and girls! Yeah, you with thin wallets and a penchant for kickin' bass...these little $59 headphones kill it! Measurements of the DTX 350 m show quite a bit of difficulty sealing it on my measurement head, but on my real noggin they sealed just fine. Slammin' bass is followed up by a really nice midrange tonality. Yeah, the treble is a bit uneven, but not obnoxious...and for $59? C'mon! Review soon...I reckon these are "Wall of Fame" bound.
  • 1MORE - After a quick introduction to the 1MORE line at T.H.E. Show Newport I was quite looking forward to a good listen. The 1MORE MK801 is nicely built, and the sound okay for $79, but the fairly uncontrolled and accentuated bass, and a noticeable unevenness overall, has me thinking one can do better elsewhere. Good, but not really good.

    On the other hand, the 1MORE Triple Driver IEM for $99 seems like a steal. With a big bass and somewhat accentuated treble, this IEM does "exciting" without taking it to excess.

  • E-Mu Teak - A first peak at this new varient of a very famous headphone. I've taken a first measurement of the stock E-Mu Teak, but Chan Ming Tat also sent along Rosewood, Ebony, and Mahogany cups to swap out. Should be very interesting to see if the differences in the wood show up in some way in the measurements. Think I'm going to have to get my hands on the Fostex TH900 and TH601, and the Massdrop THX00 and do some comparisons. That'll be a bit of a project.
  • Claritas' AKG K501 - Just one of those headphones that ought to be on the list, so Claritas thought. He sent me his pair to measure and send on to Ultrabike for a listen...and then he waited. Meanwhile, at some point in the scurry of headphones in and out of the lab, a box got knocked off the shelf and rolled under the bench my measurement head sits on. There's nothing there; I never look under there.

    Some months later, Claritas gives me a little poke. What! OMG, I forgot all about those K501s! I'll go look around. It was two panicked days before I found it, measured it, and sent it along. Sorry, Claritas, but thanks for the chance to measure this classic.

  • Submitted without comment...sort of. - I usually really don't say anything here, but this may be the best group of headphones that didn't make the comment cut I've had. Some are fairly close to on-target in terms of measurements, but for one reason or another just didn't cut it subjectively. Anyway: Cypher Labs Astru IEM and with bass boost; Fender FXA6; JAYS u-JAYS; NuForce HEM8; Santa Cruz Audio active and passive; Status SOMB1; and Audio Technica ATH-ANC50iS ANC and passive, and ATH-MSR7N ANC and passive. Also reviewed and added to the graph page and allgraphs.pdf: Bedphones; E-Mu Walnut; and Sennheiser HD 202.

COMMENTS
Brentagon's picture

The link to the 1More Triple Driver points to the MK801 graphs. It doesn't look like the Triple Driver graphs are up yet.

Impulse's picture

" Think I'm going to have to get my hands on the Fostex TH900 and TH601, and the Massdrop THX00 and do some comparisons. That'll be a bit of a project. " -Tyll

Would love to see that!

gibtg's picture

The focals do look intriguing! The Listen appears to be a big bass consumer 'phone but measurements look like it does it really well! Minimal ringing, distortion, and high isolation! In terms of measurements the Elear resembles the Fidelio X2 with maybe less bass emphasis, ???

350M on the WOF? Really? They don't appear as good as the Grind on paper!

Only 5 ohm impedance on the u-jays! Is that a typo?

Once again, thanks for keeping up on the measurements Tyll! I really enjoy seeing the updates!

BaggedMilk's picture

The 350M actually looks to have less housing coloration and more even and coherent frequency response than the Grind does, when I compare the two. Actually, the 350M looks like a poor man's DT770!

The Listen has impressively low distortion and an extremely clean impulse, but what I presume to be a bad housing, along with off mids and a mid treble dip. The driver looks like it has a lot of potential, but that housing does it no favors. Seems like the Elear is in a similar predicament.

tj's picture

By judging from the frequency response, LISTEN looks like a bass-reinforced ATH-MSR7 with great seal(!). I'm looking forward to see one.

Johan B's picture

These will push the Philips S1 headphones out of the Wall of fame! I own both and my S1's are catching dust

Headphone4life's picture

I'd really like to see a review of the Nighthawk, it truly is a phenomenal headphone for the money.

Other than that the Focal Elear would be something I'd really like to see as well but also the $4000 Utopia because I'd love to hear why a 40mm dynamic driver would cost so much. They both look the part though.

mrweirdude's picture

Would love to hear it!

Brad331's picture

I just got a QC35 for my dad, a frequent airline traveler. I heard the QC35 has a "dynamic equalizer" that adjusts the frequency response according to volume. Could you verify this with measurements?

tienalan's picture

Hi Tyll, Sennheiser is releasing a new travel headphone this month to rival Bose qc35. Would you plz do a compare?

jomep's picture

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jomep's picture

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