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View Full Version : New findings with Apple in-ear earphones *** updated with additional pictures ***




HiFiGuy528
Jan 14, 2009, 06:43 PM
Posting it here too because I can't move my first post in the wrong forum. Sorry mods. Please remove the other one.

After trying different eartips, I found that these foam eartips provided the BEST noise isolation and fit. These did not come with the Apple earphones. They are made for Etymotic Hf2 ($179), but they fit the ApplePhones fine, no mods needed. I did not like the sound of the Hf2. They sounded thin and were a bit uncomfortable due to how far they go in the ear canal. To my surprise the ApplePhones are more full sounding than the Hf2. I'm sure they will sound even better after a 100 hours of break-in.

BTW:
Cable thump is almost GONE!

Pictures with the 3-flanged eartips in my other posts below.



DoFoT9
Jan 14, 2009, 06:48 PM
wow this is a great find!! i am thinking of investing in the apple in-ear, i currently have some cx300's, hopefully it will be a nice upgrade!

HiFiGuy528
Jan 14, 2009, 06:55 PM
I consider myself as a high-end audiophile and I found these to be more neutral and natural (fuller) sounding than the Etymotic Hf2. I am a bit disapointed with the Hf2's sound, kinda thin.

Did I mention the Mic and phone calls sound better too? The problem I found with the Hf2 while on a call is I can't hear myself so I have no idea how loud I was talking. These foam eartips and earphones gave it a balance of isolation and call monitoring.


BTW:
You can buy (5) foam eartips for $14 from www.Etymotic.com
Foam eartips provides up to 40db of noise isolation.

DoFoT9
Jan 14, 2009, 06:58 PM
I consider myself as a high-end audiophile and I found these to be more neutral and natural (fuller) sounding than the Etymotic Hf2. I am a bit disapointed with the Hf2's sound, kinda thin.

Did I mention the Mic and phone calls sound better too? The problem I found with the Hf2 while on a call is I can't hear myself so I have no idea how loud I was talking. These foam eartips and earphones gave it a balance of isolation and call monitoring.

You can buy (5) foam eartips for $14 from Etymotic.

i am a newb at high-end audio, i am learning slowly. i am at the point where i am finding any compressed audio very annoying.

i play drums, and have for a good 13 years, so i can really tell the difference in audio qualities when listening to drums closely. so do you think that the apple's earphones would be ideal for a drummer? i use my cx300's when drumming, for either recording (with additional ear-muffs) or playing along with the music.. how much external noise would be cut-off in this case? i guess you dont know lol if you dont play drums but i thought i may aswell ask.

hhmm buying those foam eartips might be a bit of a problem, i live in australia haha. might have to make my own mwahaha.

HiFiGuy528
Jan 14, 2009, 07:05 PM
Having a neutral sounding earphone is high on my list. These Apple ones are not bad at all.
The Ultimate Ear Super Fi-5 has the BEST bass IMO compared to other in-ear earphones. Dynamics are important in good recordings. Compressed audio strips the music of that. I think you, being a drummer, you know about dynamics so I am not surprised that you found MP3 audio to be crap. I rip all my music to AIFF (uncompressed) to my 160gb iPod.

Victor ch
Jan 14, 2009, 07:06 PM
High-end audiophile with Apple in-ears :o I haven't actually heard them, but, for the money they're probably OK. What source are you using?

Victor

DoFoT9
Jan 14, 2009, 07:08 PM
Having a neutral sounding earphone is high on my list. These Apple ones are not bad at all.
The Ultimate Ear Super Fi-5 has the BEST bass IMO compared to other in-ear earphones. Dynamics are important in good recordings. Compressed audio strips the music of that. I think you, being a drummer, you know about dynamics so I am not surprised that you found MP3 audio to be crap. I rip all my music to AIFF (uncompressed) to my 160gb iPod.

ah right ok ill give the Ultimate fi-5's a looking, i am a uni student at the moment so am extremely poor haha! that is why im looking at apple's in-ear.

i also listen to a lot of drum & bass music, so excellent bass quality is extremely important!

what is the minimum Hz rating on the fi-5's? apple "claims" theirs go down to 5Hz, which is pretty amazing for the price.

High-end audiophile with Apple in-ears :o I haven't actually heard them, but, for the money they're probably OK. What source are you using?

Victor

he just said uncompressed AIFF lol.

DVNIEL
Jan 14, 2009, 07:22 PM
Do the flanges that originally come with the etymotics fit? I really like flanges because to me they provide a solid seal. This info would help out greatly, thanks!

Victor ch
Jan 14, 2009, 07:23 PM
...
he just said uncompressed AIFF lol.

I meant any headphone amp or something (just read the iPod part), my bad. Also iPods (specially thru the headphone jack) are not exactly the best source, I find my MBs headphone jack to be far better sounding (not to mention the amp...). Also, any other reference aside from the Eytomotic? sometimes people can give a perspective of the sound when comparing to other sources.

BTW, as a drummer, have you consider far more dynamic headphones? Some Senn's HD280s per say.

Victor

Victor ch
Jan 14, 2009, 07:29 PM
...
he just said uncompressed AIFF lol.

I meant any headphone amp or something (just read the iPod part), my bad. Also iPods (specially thru the headphone jack) are not exactly the best source, I find my MBs headphone jack to be far better sounding (not to mention the amp...). Also, any other reference aside from the Eytomotic? sometimes people can give a perspective of the sound when comparing to other sources.

BTW, as a drummer, have you consider far more dynamic headphones? Some Senn's HD280s per say.

Victor

DoFoT9
Jan 14, 2009, 07:29 PM
I meant any headphone amp or something (just read the iPod part), my bad. Also iPods (specially thru the headphone jack) are not exactly the best source, I find my MBs headphone jack to be far better sounding (not to mention the amp...). Also, any other reference aside from the Eytomotic? sometimes people can give a perspective of the sound when comparing to other sources.

aahh i see. yes i know what you mean. even when comparing ipods to ipods you can notice a difference. e.g. a mini sounds TERRIBLE compared to my 5g..


BTW, as a drummer, have you consider far more dynamic headphones? Some Senn's HD280s per say.

Victor
yes i have considered way way better headphones, but my current situation at uni hardly gives me any money to play with, thus why the apple's are looking good. i will eventually be purchasing a pair of headphones, something very good hopefully. until that time comes i will just have to make do.

Victor ch
Jan 14, 2009, 07:40 PM
aahh i see. yes i know what you mean. even when comparing ipods to ipods you can notice a difference. e.g. a mini sounds TERRIBLE compared to my 5g..


yes i have considered way way better headphones, but my current situation at uni hardly gives me any money to play with, thus why the apple's are looking good. i will eventually be purchasing a pair of headphones, something very good hopefully. until that time comes i will just have to make do.

I see...


Emm the HD280s go for 99$ on amazon... you can even get some Audio-Technicas noise canceling ones under 100$, and they WILL sound better than the in-ears.

DoFoT9
Jan 14, 2009, 07:44 PM
I see...


Emm the HD280s go for 99$ on amazon... you can even get some Audio-Technicas noise canceling ones under 100$, and they WILL sound better than the in-ears.

oh. that cheap? thats probably around $150Aus im guessing (im aussie). that is well within my range. i shall look them up, spec them out. do you think they will cancel the noise as effectively as the in ear combined with a pair of ear-muffs over the top? (my current setup). *googles*

checked out the HD280s, look very promising. there is no australia amazon which sucks so i will have to search for another site that sells them. they resale here for $200 which is a bit high. had a look at the audio-technicas and they dont look good enough for me personally, judging by their poorly organised site anyway.

wow ok the hd280's are going for like $250 minimum over here, that is what i hate about our place.. everything is so expensive! thats too expensive for me :-S

HiFiGuy528
Jan 14, 2009, 11:09 PM
You can't compare earphones against headphones. Not apples with apples there.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying the ApplePhones are the best I've auditioned. Compare them against Hf2 (@$179), the ApplePhones are much better in sound & comfort (with the foam eartips). The Hf2 sound thin by comparison and cable noise is more pronounce.

When shopping for earphones or speakers, please keep in mind that listening fatigue is very important. Most impressive sounding earphone/speaker at first listen are usually over EQ and will have listening fatigue when use for extended periods.

For $99usd, check out Sony MDR7506 or MDR-V6. I have the MDR7506 for DJ use and they withheld the test of heavy use.

techfreak85
Jan 14, 2009, 11:20 PM
why are u guys using AIFF and not Apple Lossless. Its literally the exact same thing. Its like a zip file, u get the exact same thing, bit for bit(after uncompressing it). Just the sizes are smaller.

HiFiGuy528
Jan 14, 2009, 11:31 PM
I don't want to turn into a format war, but IMO and through my home system hooked up to my MacBook, I can hear the difference between AIFF & ALC. However, the difference is not there through iPod. But I use my iPod to test the sound quality of docking stations so I can't have compressed/zipped files.

BTW:
The 3-flanged eartips should fit the ApplePhones, but I have not tried them. They don't fit my ears as well as the foam eartips.

techfreak85
Jan 14, 2009, 11:33 PM
I don't want to turn into a format war, but IMO and through my home system hooked up to my MacBook, I can hear the difference between AIFF & ALC. However, the difference is not there through iPod. But I use my iPod to test the sound quality of docking stations so I can't have compressed/zipped files.
Its a placebo effect.

HiFiGuy528
Jan 14, 2009, 11:39 PM
Its a placebo effect.

Or Hi-Fi VooDoo :).

Victor ch
Jan 15, 2009, 01:35 AM
You can't compare earphones against headphones. Not apples with apples there.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying the ApplePhones are the best I've auditioned. Compare them against Hf2 (@$179), the ApplePhones are much better in sound & comfort (with the foam eartips). The Hf2 sound thin by comparison and cable noise is more pronounce.

When shopping for earphones or speakers, please keep in mind that listening fatigue is very important. Most impressive sounding earphone/speaker at first listen are usually over EQ and will have listening fatigue when use for extended periods.

For $99usd, check out Sony MDR7506 or MDR-V6. I have the MDR7506 for DJ use and they withheld the test of heavy use.

Meh, I pass out on Sony, their headphones tend to sound way to 'cold' and rather mechanical (and not in the good way). And BTW, there are some earphones (like M-Audio, Klipsch, amongst others) that can render some headphones useless, but then again there are some headphones that will completely obliterate earphones for a smaller price. As far as fatigue goes, I find it only present on earphones that have a high level of distortion (like my Bose's that I hate) and pretty much non-existent on my Grado's which I can wear for hours until any discomfort appears (and trust me, its not sound induced).

Also, I find myself being strongly against EQs, it just tweaks the sound too much just to either accent the "oh-so-required muffled bass" or the annoying treble. Speakers are just another story, even some the least expensive Hi-Fi speakers can make the finest headphones sound odd.


why are u guys using AIFF and not Apple Lossless. Its literally the exact same thing. Its like a zip file, u get the exact same thing, bit for bit(after uncompressing it). Just the sizes are smaller.

Im pro Lossy, my current library is 55%+ pure lossless, even though is really HDD consuming is worth every byte it takes. I find it really good sounding when streamed thru my Express or played thru an amp to headphones/speakers.

Victor

stevo8
Jan 15, 2009, 01:42 AM
wow thats sweet.

Victor ch
Jan 15, 2009, 01:51 AM
oh. that cheap? thats probably around $150Aus im guessing (im aussie). that is well within my range. i shall look them up, spec them out. do you think they will cancel the noise as effectively as the in ear combined with a pair of ear-muffs over the top? (my current setup). *googles*

checked out the HD280s, look very promising. there is no australia amazon which sucks so i will have to search for another site that sells them. they resale here for $200 which is a bit high. had a look at the audio-technicas and they dont look good enough for me personally, judging by their poorly organised site anyway.

wow ok the hd280's are going for like $250 minimum over here, that is what i hate about our place.. everything is so expensive! thats too expensive for me :-S

Hmmm, odd thing on the pricing over there mate hehehe.

Actually, there is no Amazon Costa Rica either, I just order them thru a company that will charge me the shipping (usually less than 10 bucks) and a small fee (never more than 15$) to ship them here so you might wanna check that out there.

The Audio-Tech's have a less "monitor like" sound and are more "musical", they still sound amazing. Both the HD280s and the A-techs will provide a good noise isolating, perhaps worse than the in-ears but are less intrusive and deafening. In my opinion, is very likely your current CX300s surpass the Apple ones, and if you manage to get your hands on some Sennheisers (or other brands) headphones you won't be disappointed.

Victor

HiFiGuy528
Jan 15, 2009, 10:26 AM
I like the HD 280pro & Audio-Technica ANC7 too. I own a pair of Audio-Technica ANC7 for airplane use. I like the ApplePhones's flat sound, price, fit and comfort (with the foam eartips), value & portability. It will never be the main earphone/headphone and it should not be. It is diffidently the best portable set for the money. You get more than its price of admission.

Keep in mind that earphones needs a good break-in period too. I'm sure the AppplePhones will sound even better after 100 hours.

I buy most of my gear on Ebay. No tax & usually no shipping.

HiFiGuy528
Jan 15, 2009, 05:09 PM
Do the flanges that originally come with the etymotics fit? I really like flanges because to me they provide a solid seal. This info would help out greatly, thanks!

This is for you. :) Yes the 3-flanged eartips fit too.

BananaMilkshake
Jan 16, 2009, 12:42 PM
While I've never tried them, I bet that they are good earbuds, but I personally prefer my black JVC Marshmallows. They're soft, come in all kinds of colors, use the in-ear technology, have great sound quality, and my favorite part: MEMORY FOAM. Feels great in the ear and one size fits all! Marshmallows cost a whopping $20, but they're well worth it.