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So many different impressions here ... It's normal to have a few different impressions but most should be somewhat similar at least? There seems to be wild variation from these reports.
For myself ... I am not wowed. Decent bass quantity, but poor rendition of upper mids and highs. Kind of muted in those ranges. Zero sparkle. Murky across the spectrum and all transients seem weak and delayed. I guess I am spoiled by my cans. I don't have a lot of experience with iems. I don't know how much I need to spend to get decent quality. After all the glowing reviews, these are just ... disappointing.
Actually I just got a pair of these. The L and R channels were wired wrong (right sound comes out of left and visa versa). The bass is very flat which is good but not really good presence. More than my ad2000x's but less organic and less punchy/clean. The mids are muted and the highs are so rolled off it sounds like you're listening through a can. Which is sad because they have good isolation and the soundstage is tremendous for a UIEM. What's worse is compared to the First Harmonic IEB6 I received this week (27 dollars) the IEB6 has much better bass mids and highs than these. Maybe slightly less clarity but the balance is so much better it's like a breath of fresh air compared to these. The IEB6 also have less soundstage but who cares it's a better built better sounding cheaper IEM and I only bought it on a whim.
Sadly I'm pretty sure I'll be avoiding Flare Audio like the plague and instead buying from established and respectable companies. I knew the reviews on these things were too good to be true =\ too few reviews out there that give the IEMs much better praise than they are. Any headphone for the same price sounds better than these. Utter disappointment and failure, and the channels being backwards is like the icing on a cake baked with salt in place of sugar. I'm done.
Oh and here's an image of my pair with the eartips off just to verify my ownership. sorry my camera didn't focus well. anyway these things would suck for 40 dollars let alone 175.
I think that with IEM's there are several factors:
1. Ears are physically different, so what I hear is not necessarily what you hear.
2. Manufacturing imperfections result in some variation.
3. Fit Fit Fit. Getting IEM's fit just right makes an incredible difference in tonal quality.
4. Burn in. Whether its changes in the IEM or changes in the way you listen, either way your experience with an IEM changes over time.
I got these. Mostly I love the sound but the mids seem just a bit recessed compared to some others. No one else reports this with these but I have a hard time getting a fit I like with them. I set up a office mate with them and he loved them instantly, and the fit with medium size tips was perfect for him. He was an instant buy. Same IEM, same type tips, different ears.
sure your office mate liked them but I urge you to read my impressions. anyone who knows audio won't enjoy these. they're painful to listen to.
See, you can't say that when you come off just as novice as I am in the audio world.
Most of your posts just give your biased opinions on things without any reason as to why you came up with your decision. You tell people what Uzuzu think is best.
I'm glad that somebody else other than I had these impressions. I wonder if it's just an issue with manufacturing. Either way, it's a bit disappointing to spend money and not have it pan out.
If you are interested, I had a go at EQing using a parametric EQ. Here is a screenshot of my settings that brought it at least within distance of my Audeze. (I know, I know, I hate EQing too)
Note the almost 12dB delta between bass and treble.
When I say office mate that doesn't make them instantly any less a sensitive listener than you. You assume a lot.
except it does, because if he's just a casual listener he hasn't used top-tier equipment and even just a single improvement like the good soundstage the flares do will impress him and he won't see how bad the mid and highs are. I don't need to prove anything to you, sorry. The Flares are absolutely the most disappointing audio purchase I've ever made.
I'm not here to deny you what your experience is, I'm pointing out that you instantly assumed that "co worker" meant "non audiophile" and that was an error. Given that your pair had some issue with L/R reversed I'd suggest you are a victim of some manufacturing irregularity and you should return them.
I'm not the only one who had reversed channels though. And also the Y splitter is messily sealed. Flare has horrible tolerances.
It seriously sounds like you had a defective pair then. I'm the third owner of a pair of these and all of the owners used them daily for work. no prblems with mine at all and I'd compare them to my HD600's that I use at home. I'm using Audio-GD equipment at home and work, and i would say these are a great price under $200.
Perhaps if you're used to CIEM's these might not tick your fancy, but they are offering a compelling value in the field of UIEM's under $200
the rolloff is so real anybody can hear it you can keep your iems I've found even the IEB6 that dropped here (27 dollars) has much better sound.
It sounds like you're spitting a lot of air without anything to support your claims. Do you have any frequency response graphs to help back you up? Have you tested the IEM with different frequency bands to see where you were encountering problems?
I've ran mine from 10hz up to 18khz and noticed very little distortion and impeccable extension on both sides for a pair of IEM's. I have no idea what rolloff your defective pair is having, but mine stays fairly neutral.
Either that or you're comparing these to full-size headphones which also wouldn't make any sense to me. I have a problem when people go preaching their opinion that has zero root in the objective facts