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Old 05-09-2011, 02:49 AM
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jupitreas jupitreas is offline
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Default Hippo Shroom EB First Impression

I recently ordered these from Jaben. I was looking for a nice, cheap, deep-insertion kind of small IEM and decided to give these a go considering their cheap price. I was not expecting anything ground-breaking due to their low price so hopefully confirmation bias will not creep into these first impressions.

I am writing this just 20 minutes after I took them out of the box. I'm listening to various things on my Cowon i9. These impressions are about as fresh as they come so please take them with a grain of salt and expect my opinion to change as I use them more. These impressions will be slightly chaotic and random but at least they are fresh.

-The arrived to mainland Europe (Poland) about a week after placing the order. The courier was Fedex. Kinda wonder how they make a profit with this kind of shipping.

-The box is nice, basic and no-nonsense. It does not require a knife to open and this I like.

-Accessories are basic too, but at least they supply a pouch.

-They are not all that comfortable. The nozzles are bigger than expected and the insertion is not really all that deep. The silicon tips supplied with the phones are of lower quality than most - quite stiff and hard. They will most likely soften with use but in truth, I am just waiting for the Sensorcom tips I ordered recently to arrive and will most likely use those instead. On first glance, the form factor looks like it will fit the Sensorcom tips and I foresee that this will transform the listening experience.

-There is a slight hiss with these and they need a loud player. In quiet conditions at home I need to have my i9 at 30 volume. That is pretty high.

-Very first music-listening impression: where is the bass?

-This is a new sound signature for me. The highs are quite high in clarity but also have the airy body that BA headphones lack. The highs sound great out of the box - full-bodied, sparkly, yet very natural. They lack the ultra-fine clarity of Phonak and can't really compare to Ety but they are more euphonic than either, at least on first listen.

-The mids are flat. Nothing to complain about here, really. The imaging is somewhat narrow but not overly so. Vocals can be a little sibilant at times.

-Bass is lower than expected with their "EB" (extra bass) label. It has nice extension, clarity and texture but not much body. Adding a 5 dB boost with EQ and some MachBass helps matter a little bit but this is a somewhat radical modification and means that these might not be usable for me with other sources.

-They get a little uncomfortable after some use. I really dislike these tips.

So here you have it, some of my first impressions. I will now be burning these in extensively because I suspect some burn-in might do them good. I am also waiting for those Sensorcom tips, I expect they will improve the Shroom EB significantly.

Last edited by jupitreas; 05-09-2011 at 03:07 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2011, 05:30 AM
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Update:
Seems like the Shroom I got is faulty. There is a definite lack of balance, the right phone is quieter than the left. I tried this with different sources and with different people. This is 100% confirmed. Also, they are just too uncomfortable. I'll be sending them back, hopefully I can get my money back or exchange it for something. Otherwise, I guess I'll just have to sell the replacement on ebay.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:37 AM
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Another update:
Jaben replaced the faulty Shroom EB with a brand new pair, I'd just like to go on record that their service has been exemplary, polite and prompt. It was a pleasure going through the replacement procedure. Unfortunately, I am still now going to go ahead and sell the new Shroom EB on ebay since I found the original pair far too uncomfortable for my ears. People with slightly bigger ear canals will most likely love them but they aren't for me.
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