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-   -   Help Finding BEST lowend smooth bass IEM (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28997)

RideAway 04-23-2008 09:40 AM

Help Finding BEST lowend smooth bass IEM
I need a recommendation for the best IEM with the hands down lowest and smoothest bass. What would be a better combo with my D2? 1) Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 EB or 2.) CrossRoads XBi? I might be leaning towards the XBi for the comfort (they look similar to my Sony EX51's) but don't want to give up low bass quality.

I currently have the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro's and drive them with my D2 (MP3-320 and FLAC). Still not enough smooth, low, bass with all tweaks (BBE, EQ, etc.) turned up, down, and sideways. I still love my Sansa E280 (Rockbox'd) with the Sony EX51's. That Sansa combo has really deep bass (but can clip if pushed too far at the edge). Rockbox really opened up the Sansa's amp (at the expense of battery time). Doesn't matter though when it brings a smile to my face when listening to Will Smith's "It's All Good". There are several really deep bass segments in it that are hidden with other combos I've listened to. Unfortunately, I can't hear it with the D2/EA Triple10 combo.The Sansa can't drive the Triple10's very well. The D2 can't get the lows into the EX51's. I hope Rockbox for the D2 will have the same result of exposing more low end. (I hope soon!)

dfkt 04-23-2008 11:24 AM

Since you mention the Super.Fi EB in the "low end" category, I'd strongly suggest you look into the Future Sonics Atrio. They're some of the best bass heavy IEMs around, and they go for a fair price (ca. $130 at Roaddog's eBay store). Here's my review: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...-m8-review.php

Rockbox certainly won't change the D2's sound - the rolloff is a hardware issue (paired with low-impedance phones), as with almost all other players available. What you need is either an impedance adapter, or a portable amp to get rid of the rolloff.

Here's my RMAA measurements of the D2's behavior with different impedance phones: http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Compa...2048%20Ohm.htm

RideAway 04-23-2008 12:41 PM

Thanks for the feedback and links. Your RightMark Audio Analyzer test shows that high impedance headsets have the ability to push the lower frequencies further. My Triple10's are 32 Ohm as is the AtrioM5's. The Atrio's must be built for extending or exaggerating bass better than the Triple10's. The Triple10's came with an airplane attenuator. Is that what you are referring to as an impedance adapter? I can try that later today.

I see you actually tested the Atrio's with the D2 and commented that the bass was "blurring". That's kind of what I need. :-) How would you say the EB and XBi compares in the bass department (if you have tried them) to the AtrioM5?

I don't know the technical reasons why Rockbox improves the Sansa's sound. It just does. The Sansa's original firmware and its EQ sounds muddy no matter what. Enable Rockbox and it is a whole different player as one is now able to actually boost the lowend end cutoff more precisely. I believe the amp is restricted with the OF to brag about good battery life since the extra current to pump low bass does eat the battery faster.

Xenodius 04-23-2008 01:22 PM

Dfkt is talking about this: http://captain-odegard.com/how-to-ma...r-adapter.html

And I can predict dfkt's answer regarding the EB or XBi's to the Atrios M8's-- the Atrios win! =D Even though I know you only reviewed the X3i's, the Atrios are very strong in the bass department.

dfkt 04-23-2008 01:34 PM

Yes, the airplane adapter should work well for these needs - it ups the impedance to prevent damage to phones from "hot" sources. However, I'm not sure about the quality of the UE adapter, mine has a slight imbalance in both the left and right channels. I assume they didn't use the best quality resistors in it. Here's a test with the UE adapter: http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Compa...%20Adapter.htm

And Xenodius is right, the Atrios are certainly the best of the bass heavy IEMs. I have the EB and the Mylars as well, but the Atrios beat them in clarity, "musicality", and isolation. The EB have more bass quantity - but not quality, and the rest of the frequency spectrum suffers from the overbearing bass. Atrios are more versatile than the EB, they work well with almost any musical genre, not only Miami Bass... ;) The X3i/XBi are actually better sounding phones than the EB, in my opinion - but the Mylar's build quality is abysmal, unfortunately.

Another option would be the Shure SE530, of course - if you have this kind of money to spend. They're not quite as bassy as the Atrios, but almost. They're overall slightly better, more precise versions of the Atrios.

Here's my personal, subjective "evaluation" of the IEMs I own: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...ad.php?t=15243 - maybe it's some help for you.

Xenodius 04-23-2008 06:46 PM

Yikes, I didn't realize that those airplane adapters were for impedance-- thanks for correcting me, lol =D

RideAway 04-23-2008 11:22 PM

Well, the airplane adapter didn't do anything for me. With it in-line, the volume needed to be cranked up and then had a muted tone. That was the last chance for the Triple10's to get more bass. Don't get me wrong, they DO have bass but the D2 volume has to be turned up. I would rather have a lower volume setting with smooth bass. There is a thread that talks about this with my same experience titled "Good for self made Attenuator?"

With that said, I just ordered a pair of the Future Sonics Atrio M5's from the Ear Plug Super Store. No real deals to be had as these appear to be very popular and on backorder for weeks at many places. By the way dfkt, nice spreadsheet of IEM options. From the reviews I've been reading, the low volume plus good bass is what these phones are known for. Sounds like a good match for me.

The whole concept to get lower end from the D2 player is by introducing more resistance is interesting. I really don't get that. Maybe someone can point me to some information. For those that own the D2 with the addition of resistance device, are you able to actually hear the lower tones better (as the graph shows) with the additional resistance (high impedance)? I gotta confess that little Sansa can reach lower and tell it better in all my headphones and the cassette car adapter.(ya it's sad I have to use that in my truck)

RideAway 04-24-2008 08:39 AM

To go along with the new M5's, I've been reading the Shure Olive type foam tips are the ticket for these M5's.

dfkt (and others), that also own the Ultimate Ears Supers or Triples and the Atrio. Can I ask what size in the UE tips worked for you (i.e. medium or large) and then what size of olive worked for the Atrio? I am kind of in between the med and large UE on the Triple.10.


RideAway 04-26-2008 02:07 PM

I feel kind of stupid keep posting to myself, but hopefully others can benefit. Just stop me if I start to refer to myself in the 3rd person. Anyway, here I go again. :)

I received the Atrio M5's this morning. OMG, very excellent IEM for my tastes (the triple10's are going back)! GREAT BIG FAT ASS BASS with the Rockboxed Sansa. I had to get rid of the silicone tips for the foam tips to get a good seal. Sometimes my eyesight starts to blur with that low-low stuff. Cool! Got them plugged into the E280 now and find myself closing my eyes and smiling while I listen to many of my favorites. Ahhh. dkft, I can't thank you enough for turning me onto these Atrios.

Unfortunately my D2 still can't get into the real low Hz areas. But niether did my SANSA until it was RockBoxed. I will loan my wife the D2 until that happens. The D2 is an amazing video playing machine. She can haul that around with the videos for our upcoming Italy trip.

By the way, the UE Airplane adapter measures out to be 100-Ohms. Maybe too much resistance. I bought some 22k-Ohm resisters and will be assembling a custom adapter to see if that helps get the D2 to cough up some better low-lows.


Xenodius 04-26-2008 04:48 PM

I hope you mean 100 ohms was too little, because 22k Ohms is way much!

I believe Cptnodegards adapter was 150 ohms, I would think 400-700 would be pushing it-- but 22,000 ohms!?

Syndrome 04-27-2008 12:22 AM

22k Ohm.. thats way to much.

ZenChick 04-27-2008 01:51 AM

I agree, 22k is entirely too high, even if inline with a headphone amp. Without an amp, a typical DAP would only be able to push around 50nW of of your headphones.

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