ilumo
27
May 11, 2018
How would this be for someone who has tinnitus? Curious if the noise isolation is so good that you don’t have to play at high volumes for great sound quality.
alex2
5
May 12, 2018
I have tinnitus and recently bought some expensive universals similar to these, and found that they don't isolate nearly enough to listen at safe volumes. I ended up turning the volume up too much and now my tinnitus has been worse.
So I wouldn't recommend these if you have tinnitus. At this price you should just get customs, the isolation on those is much much higher. These are particularly bad universals for isolation based on my research, as a lot of users report having a hard time getting these to fit / isolate properly as well because of their bulky design.
jaydunndiddit
3255
May 12, 2018
I have mild tinnutis and find these to isolate as well as any other IEM. The trick is to find the right tip . I actually use a size larger than normal, a large silicone, and tug my ears up as I'm inserting them. Another tip is to not route the cable over you ears with these and just let them hang. For whatever reason, they like to tug themselves out otherwise. Also, make sure the tip is pushed down as far as it'll go on the stem. It should almost be flush with the nozzle.
I found those nuggets of truth here and they have substantially led to me getting a better, consistent seal with my Nobles when using the supplied tips. If that doesnt work, you can use a triple flange and it will surely give you great isolation if your ear canal allow it. The Noble is pretty sensitive so you don't need a ton of volume to make them pump out quality sound.
ilumo
27
May 12, 2018
Yes this is what I fear as well. I think my tinnitus is “mild” but I have had it for 10+ years and have noticed it gettinf little worse lately. It might be due to using some crappy isolating airpods and having to crank it up in the subway. That’s why a good isolating and great sounding iem interests me. But the fit is a concern. I don’t want to stuff an oversized tip in my ear and have it feel very uncomfortable. Also reading in some of the forums I’m not sure if the ”concentration” of sound in the sealed ear monitor might make things worse.
ilumo
27
May 12, 2018
This is interesting. I used to have some midrange seinheiser iems that fit great. And when it sealed good you could tell because that’s when you get some more bass. ive tried active noise cancelling cans And I’m not that confident in those prevent tinnitus from getting worse either.
jaydunndiddit
3255
May 12, 2018
Yeah, another good option would be to use foam tips and go for a very sensitive IEM. Generally speaking the more sensitive it is the louder it'll get with less volume (rule of thumb). The foam tips should give you the best seal if you use the right size so you won't have to crank the volume to get to detailed sound when listening to low levels.
Oddly enough, my open back cans irritate my tinnitus more than my IEMs or closed back. I'm going to assume this is because they require more power in general and have many more decibel spikes from their driver type and source. YMMV but I always feel more worn out from my closed cans than from any other type. My IEMs are fatigue free when setup properly and not cranking my tunes to ear piercing levels.
alex2
5
May 12, 2018
Yeah i talked to a doctor about pressure and he didnt seem to think it would affect the ear drum.
The IEMS i have seal well, but there isnt much isolation as they are hollow. I am getting some filled custom IEMS and i am hoping they will do the trick.
Another optipn you may want to check out is shure earphones as they isolate pretty well. They wont isolate as much as customs though.
Another thing i should mention is i did a bunch of research into these k10s and i dont think they are as good of a deal as some people seem to think sound wise. I think they might be priced a bit below market but its better just to choose something that fits the signature you want. These definitey arent worth 1400 dollars like some people seem to think. Alot of people complain they arent very natural sounding which to me is quite a deal breaker
Not sure if the k10 was ever dubbed a "natural sounding iem."
Of the Noble line up, the Savanna, Sage and Katana lean more into that category. (The Savant as well, but that product is out of productuon)
Dr of audiology here. Tinnitus varies from person to person, along with ear canal size and shape. So one person's experience doesn't necessarily translate to your experience.
That being said, at least a custom housing will offer a higher probability of matching the shape of your ear canal than a non custom product would.
alex2
5
May 12, 2018
I'm not saying they are supposed to sound natural but fail, it just seems to me that some people without a huge amount of experience in HiFi seem to be buying these without considering the sound signature or competing products (even from your own company) enough.
Even if someone is saving a couple hundred dollars when they buy these over another extremely expensive universal IEM, they are still spending a huge amount of money, and to me people should take a step back and figure out what they really want before just buying what seems like a good deal. Like a lot of well marketed audio products there are prominent reviews of these that praise them to the moon without really mentioning there are design tradeoffs.
So I guess the reason I am saying these aren't an amazing deal is that that they are only an amazing deal if they are actually what you want, and I'm not sure this is the case for most people. Limiting yourself to these IMO just because they have a slight discount seems misguided.
alex2
5
May 12, 2018
I'm not sure what you mean when you say that it will get louder with less volume... More sensitivity means they need less input to get loud, but volume is measured in decibels, and "loudness" is measured in decibels, so they are the same thing.
jaydunndiddit
3255
May 12, 2018
You took what I said out of context. Loudness and volume are synonymous, but in what I said a sensitive IEM will get louder with more volume (via the knob). It is called a volume knob and it does increase volume (and loudness depending on context). For example, the very sensitive Andromeda will get louder with less volume than say a Pinnacle P1 due to driver type, impedance, etc. The k10u will be similar to the former as it has a relatively low impedance and sensitivity by comparison to others on the market.
Also, when you consider these used to go for around $1,600, this is a savings of close to 45%. That's a bit more than a "slight discount." Even used sets hover at or above this price so for a fresh pair this is pretty reasonable as it does come with a warranty.
alex2
5
May 12, 2018
I thought what you were saying is that you can listen to sensitive iems at higher levels because they take less power to drive. The position of the volume knob is completely irrelevant to hearing damage, all that matters is the db value being put out by your earphones or speakers. Yes the sensitive monitors will be louder with less power, but that doesnt mean you can listen to them at louder volumes.
These originally cost that amount but they ended up selling for a lot less (i think like 1200). Of course price does not equal quality as well.
The market has also changed since then and there are more options such as the andromeda for 1100 new.
If you willing to buy used you can get most TOTL iems for less than 900.
jaydunndiddit
3255
May 12, 2018
That is not at all what I said. I clearly said you can get quality sound out of them without raising the volume to high levels. Again, with these sensitive IEMs you can give them less volume from your amp while still maintaining SQ. Compare that to a much higher impedance IEM and that is not the case due to voltage and impedance swings that will increase it's loudness depending on the song playing to the requisite listening level. Some IEMs just do not sound good at lower levels and details are lost. I was simply implying that is not the case here.
Also, I never stated anything in regard to cost vs quality as that will always boil down to the individual. Same with driver count. It's all about tuning and preference.
I don't understand what more options have to do with anything. The Andro sounds NOTHING like the k10u. By comparison, it's much more analytical and boring. The same reason I prefer the Vega over the Andro as it is just more lively, thick, fun, and enjoyable. The Andro just sounds cold and thin by comparison. The k10u is fast, fun, punchy, and dynamic while still having great resolution. Like the Vega (and cheaper, to boot). The Andro is for the treble heads out there who want a big soundstage. For me, it was not appealing the more ear time I had with them for the genres of.music I listen to. They're not bad by any means but for the dollar, there are better otptions out there that suit my taste.
alex2
5
May 12, 2018
> "I clearly said you can get quality sound out of them without raising the volume to high levels"
That may be true for these, but it has nothing to do with sensitivity or impedance.
> "with these sensitive IEMs you can give them less volume from your amp while still maintaining SQ"
Again you are bringing sensitivity into this, which has nothing to do with how they will sound at lower levels.
> "Compare that to a much higher impedance IEM and that is not the case due to voltage and impedance swings that will increase it's loudness depending on the song playing to the requisite listening level"
From an engineering perspective I don't see how higher impedance translates to an increase in volume or swings in volume. This also isn't what you stated at the beginning, you brought up sensitivity and not impedance. Sensitivity and impedance are two different things and neither will affect how they will sound when driven to the same output level.
As for the price thing, I am on the complete opposite of the spectrum for you as I would value the Andromeda much higher than the Vega. The Vega to me sounds overpowered by bass. Some bass bump is ok for me but the Vega takes it too far and I can't stand listening to them. Same goes for the Cascades but even more.
"They're not bad by any means but for the dollar, there are better options out there that suit my taste."
This is exactly my point, in that for some people the k10 might be a good deal, but for lots of people it isn't a good deal. For me they would be a bad deal because I don't like their sound signature. For you they sound like they were a good deal because you enjoy them.
I also don't think its that big of a discount, considering they were taken out of production and replaced by a newer model, and it takes 2 months to get them. There are lots of top of the line IEMs in this price range. For instance you can get a brand new custom Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered for 1000, an Andromeda for 1100, or a Warbler Prelude for 1100.
If you are really concerned about the value proposition you can always buy used IEMs for about 50% of what they cost new on Headfi. I recently bought an Earsonics SEM9 used in nearly mint condition for 875 and they're awesome. They arrived in a week and came with an upgraded cable.
My main point I guess is that if you are buying expensive IEMS and getting a good deal is your biggest goal your are barking up the wrong tree. Saving a few hundred dollars to get a "good deal" seems like the wrong reason to buy something in this price range unless you are sure its what you want. Whether they cost 900 or 3000 the margins on these are very very high for the manufacturer.
jaydunndiddit
3255
May 12, 2018
You should give this a read to understand what I'm saying about impedance, sensitivity, and volume: http://www.shure.com/americas/support/find-an-answer/understanding-earphone-headphone-specifications.
The point I was trying to make is that these will give you good SQ, at a lower volume because they aren't going to have wild swings line say a HD 650 (which can swing from 2-6V depending on the source material) which will affect the overall quality of a song. The best example I can think of is dialogue in a movie and then an explosion goes off at a higher volume. That spike/swing will be handled differently depending on the ear/headphone and its loudness will vary as well. On say my high impedance, not very sensitive 6XX that difference is much larger than it is for a very sensitive, low impedance IEM like my Shure 846 at the same listening volume due to how they handle those swings. The same would apply to music.
Also, I never had an issue with the value proposition. You proposed all that yourself and made that a point on your own. I get that you like the options listed but they all have more in common than what they don't. They are all reminiscent of the sound signature of the Andro which you seem to like. Listneing to blues and jazz on the Andro felt lifeless compared to the Vega, k10u, SE846, etc. Technically the Andro is savvy but musically I think they kinda suck and aren't very fun or dynamic. Kinda why it makes more sense why most who own both say both the Vega and Andro are good because they fulfill different needs while still being detailed and with good resolution.
alex2
5
May 13, 2018
Can you point me to what part of that article you are speaking of? I understand what sensitivity and impedance are and how they affect the volume. I don't understand why a more sensitive earphone would make quieter sounds louder and louder sounds quieter. Wouldn't the analog signal of each sound be reproduced at the same volume once you've corrected for sensitivity and impedance by matching the source?
jaydunndiddit
3255
May 13, 2018
Because things aren't linear. If you have the volume pot at 50% on a piece of dynamic music, the pieces of that song that are louder could come off as ear piercing or weaker depending on how that ear/headphone and amp can handle that swing. I was trying to say above that something like the 6XX has a bigger range for this swing than say a much more sensitive IEM. Since that range is smaller, the discrepancy between soft and loud sounds are smaller compared to more demanding monitors. The HD 800 is one notorious for this as well and a lot of the higher end HiFiMan headphones. Compare that to an IEM and the same swing isn't as great. The article I linked talks about that between impedance and sensitivity and how that affects decibels positively or negatively especially when the effect is double or tripled when those dynamic pieces of a song hit. The Shure 846 for example is rated at 9 ohms but when demands are higher it rises to 16 ohms. The Senn HD800 is 300 ohms but can rise as high as 600 ohms depending on demand. That's a much larger gap that will have an impact on what you're listening to without touching the volume pot. Same would apply with their individual voltage swings.
Kinda why I say the 846 will sound good out of anything at a reasonable volume while the HD800 is very source dependent due to it's demanding nature.
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