Showing 1 of 315 conversations about:
View Full Discussion
I am new to audiophile, and after viewing such expensive IEM I have the some questions. It will be great if someone here can answer me!
1. What's the difference between IEMs(earphones?) and headphones in the sense of price/quality? In other words, to achieve the same "general quality", which one will be more expensive, IEMS or headphones?
2. What will be the answer to the same question when comparing open-back & closed-back headphones?
3. Besides considering conveniences, which one should I buy, IEMs or open-back or closed-back headphones?
1. It really depends, the market for both is so big you will find plenty of products in both categories that offer excellent value-for-money. However from personal experience I have found that IEMs do generally tend to have a better 'sound quality' than headphones of the same price. Again, this is highly subjective and there are plenty of exceptions
2. Open vs Closed- back headphones comes down to where/what you intend to use them for. Open back headphones tend to sound more 'open' and have better soundstage but noise isolation is virtually non-existent and thus are not suited for use outside of a very quiet environment. Closed back headphones offer much better isolation but sometimes at the expense of not having as wide/clear of a soundstage
3. It's really up to you and your budget/preferences/use :)
Hello and welcome to the world of audiophile. There is a lot of subjectivity in this world, different people are going to have different opinions to your questions. As I don’t yet have experience with audiophile grade IEMs, I can’t fully answer your question (this drop is liekly to be my first experience), however in my personal opinion, I think that a good open back headphone around the $300 mark (eg HD600, HD650 or HE400s) is the best introduction to the audiophile world from a price/performance perspective - the wide soundstage and improved clarity and detail retrieval will be an obvious improvement to consumer headphones and closed back headphones of a similar price. However please note it is generally considered that the HD600 & HD650 need an amp to bring out their best, while the HE400s will perform well with a wide variety of sources including smartphones. IEMs could also be a good intro, but from my research they seem more dependent on personal preference regarding their frequency response pattern (ie tuning) and so may not be the best place to start.
Welcome to the club!
From my perspective, IEMs, as it is in the name In-Ear MONITORs, were initially created for audio engineers and musicians to monitor their sounds on stage when putting on live performances and recording. So it was crucial for them to be able to pick out every single detail of the sound being made. SONY has a headphone equivalent of that, the MDR-CD900ST, but obviously, there comes the portability issue, as well as an extremely flat sound.
Also, if you look at the structure of IEMs (the most conventional higher-class ones anyway), they carry multiple balanced armature drivers, each tuned to produce different sound frequencies. One driver is responsible for high frequencies, one for mid, one for low for example. So the amount of detail that you get to hear is vast and is clearer and much more pristine and polished compared to a conventional dynamic driver which is just a vibrating thin piece of plastic. This excels at creating a more natural sound, but often lacks the details in audio separation that the balanced armatures offer.
But since more and more audiophiles and audio enthusiasts started to catch onto IEMs, the demand of a more natural sound ALL THE WHILE MAINTAINING the audio separation became an all time high. U4-SE is one of the answers to those products.