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View Poll Results: Which technology do you prefer?
Dynamic Drivers 4 33.33%
Balanced Armatures 0 0%
Both 8 66.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:59 PM
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Default Dynamic Drivers VS BA’s

While having a discussion with forum member 3602 in this thread the thought occurred to me that it would be interesting to have a poll. So what do you prefer and why?

IMO balanced armatures seem to be faster, more accurate, more detailed, with better clarity and to my ears they separate instruments very well (adding to the soundstage). While on the other hand dynamic drivers give me the feeling of little speakers; you feel the movement of air, the vibration of the bass and low frequencies. Honestly I can't say they're any less clear and they add a fun factor, they're hard to beat in many cases. I guess each of us can find great examples of how great either technology is and both can have advantages and drawbacks. This is why I'm casting my vote for both techs
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:02 PM
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This is pretty cool. I started a similar thing back on Head-Fi without much meaningful results.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3602 View Post
This is pretty cool. I started a similar thing back on Head-Fi without much meaningful results.
Thanks, I hope we get a good response and I'm sorry I missed your post there. Although I haven't been spending much time there for various reasons that aren't relavant to this thread.

Edit: I should have said thanks for inspiring the thought
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:11 PM
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TBH I can't vote - not enough experience on the subject. Great topic though,...
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:18 PM
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TBH I can't vote - not enough experience on the subject. Great topic though,...
Possibly you haven't gotten around to testing BA's yet but knowing you, I'm sure you'll soon be able to post your opinions.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:46 PM
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I am still to test BA IEMs so I can't cast a vote but, from what I can imagine, I believe I would like both since if both were to be of great sound quality it would only depend on my mood and/or what ever I would listen to.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:45 AM
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I generally prefer dynamics. Though BAs tend to edge out when it comes to speed and presenting micro details, dynamics have the better timbre and more cohesive (dare I say natural?) presentation. It's more a matter of preference, and which aspects of music one prioritizes.

Of course these are all generalities, as you've got dynamics like the famous RE0 which has all the emotion and warmth of an ice cube, and BAs like the meel A151 which are tuned to focus on aspects of sound traditionally dominated by DDs.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
... A151 which are tuned to focus on aspects of sound traditionally dominated by DDs.
JxK I have a similar take on the A151's, did you know they'll possibly be replaced by the A161P's. Let's hope they didn't change the sound sig much other than improve on it. I've seen some pics but all I know so far is that they're using a different armature, cable and housing. I don't know how the new ones sound, but hopefully I will be testing a pair soon.


Edit: For those that haven’t had the opportunity to try balanced armatures out, there are several single armature universals that are affordable allowing you to give them a try on your next IEM.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2012, 10:42 AM
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Are all BA IEMs that similar? Making broad generalizations about BA IEMs and about dynamic IEMs doesn't really make sense. Is it like saying that men are taller than women, or that men are stronger than women? While on average men are taller and stronger than women, there are individual women who are taller and/or stronger than individual men.

If BA and dynamic designs didn't both have their merits, then both wouldn't be made. What is interesting is that some new IEMs incorporate both types of drivers in the same IEM. I wonder when these will become cheap though, and how much of a sound advantage these have.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:11 AM
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I have had a BM and unfortunately BO on occasion, but I have never had a BA. If someone want to send me some, I will try them and then vote.

TO be clear, send me some BA. If anyone sends me a BM or BO I will alert the authorities.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK98 View Post
Are all BA IEMs that similar? ...
I would say no but some of the traits described in this thread and other similar threads are accurate enough to get an idea across about them. I did qualify my opinion by saying "each of us can find great examples of how great either technology is and both can have advantages and drawbacks."

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Originally Posted by JK98 View Post
If BA and dynamic designs didn't both have their merits, then both wouldn't be made.
Correct, they both have advantages and disadvantages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK98 View Post
What is interesting is that some new IEMs incorporate both types of drivers in the same IEM.
I find these interesting as well, my guess is that they would deliver an unique bass enhancement but I can't say with any certainty as I have not tried any of them. That said, my UE11s are only armature driven and they deliver more than enough bass for my ears.

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I wonder when these will become cheap though, and how much of a sound advantage these have.
Doubtful you will see these in the sub $100.00 price point as this is a niche market which allows them to keep their prices higher. Disclaimer, I could be wrong or sales may allow lower price points when new models are introduce. BTW, I'm sure you have noticed that single armature IEMs have come way down in price (sub $100.00) and are easily affordable for one to now try compared to a few years back. For example the MEE A151s which are single armature design can be found often under $50.00.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:28 AM
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FutureSonics really have it right: Balanced armatures are made for hearing aids and they should stay that way.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3602 View Post
FutureSonics really have it right: Balanced armatures are made for hearing aids and they should stay that way.
We all have various opinions and fortunately I’ve not had the issues you have with BA’s. While FutureSonic may have a point with some of the cheaper/lower end BAs, I would disagree with that statement. If you review Knowles product line you can see that there are BA’s made specifically for hearing aids, while other BAs are strictly made for IEMs/custom monitors. They could be defending their lack of offering because they can not be competitive in that market Furthermore, if they were right there would not be so many positive reviews about BAs all over the net.

Edit: BTW 3602 I respect your opinion, if you don't like them that's your opinion and doubtful anyone but you could change it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDvsEGO View Post
I have had a BM and unfortunately BO on occasion, but I have never had a BA. If someone want to send me some, I will try them and then vote.

TO be clear, send me some BA. If anyone sends me a BM or BO I will alert the authorities.
First off lol … the next time you see the A151s in the sub $40.00 range why don’t you spring for a pair and see hear for yourself.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:56 AM
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I didn't purchase the A151's because I'm not too happy with the MeElectronic's build quality (and SQ for the iem's I bought from them). I guess I'd have a BA under my belt if I had,...
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
I didn't purchase the A151's because I'm not too happy with the MeElectronic's build quality (and SQ for the iem's I bought from them). I guess I'd have a BA under my belt if I had,...
I can understand, I don’t and can not afford to buy everything I’d like to hear either. To be specific on your purchase that you did buy, I can attest to not liking some of their IEMs as well. For example I reviewed their M16 and didn’t like it much at all because of the V-shaped sound (btw the M16 is a dynamic driver, not BA). I reviewed their M31 and while I really liked the sound signature I could not live with them as they produced too much wind noise during outside activities. That said, the guys I sold them to I keep in touch with and they’re both very happy with them. Back to the A151s, while their build quality does look weak, I’ve used the hell out of mine and they’re still running fine but I have to say I do take care of my gear. I really thought the cable would go at one point as I mentioned poor stress relief in my review, but even the cables are fine with daily use. BTW I like those type of light weight thin cables for various reasons ...

*BTW I did mention in another post that they are soon releasing their second BA IEM, the A161P. I don’t know the pricing but hopefully I’ll be testing them out soon.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
First off lol … the next time you see the A151s in the sub $40.00 range why don’t you spring for a pair and see hear for yourself.
ehhh...the described sound signature doesnt seem like my cup of tea so I havent yet. I could be very wrong but I have plenty of other things that I KNOW I will like to spend my money on.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:36 PM
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ehhh...the described sound signature doesnt seem like my cup of tea so I havent yet. I could be very wrong but I have plenty of other things that I KNOW I will like to spend my money on.
Can't argue with that, I prefer coffee myself over tea

On a more realistic note I understand and I was only using them as an example for a low cost way that people can check out the BA sound signature. There seems to be more single BA IEMs out now in the sub $100.00 price range is all I was trying to get across. And like 3602 has discussed, they're not for everyone, I'm sure there are plenty of people that do not like BA IEMs.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:38 PM
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I'll go make my pot of coffee now,...
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:44 PM
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I'll go make my pot of coffee now,...
Excuses excuses, I'll try to put together a list of lower priced BA IEMs over the next several days. Note I haven't tried any except the A151s but at least this will give the option to those that may want to try them to test them at a lower rate. But don't expect to get a similar build quality or sound signature to JH Audio, UE, Westone, etc. etc. ...
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:27 PM
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Get that list ready,...I'm all ears!
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