Nice detailed review and pretty pics! I pretty much agree completely with your observations. I’ll have to check out the video this weekend.
This one was only 2 minutes long haha. I know there’s a lot more to be said about both, but I wanted to try out a shorter format for videos a bit. Not everyone has the time to sit through my usual 20 minute adventures so the goal is to pack as much as possible into a more bite sized and digestible format. Streamlining? Something like that.
how can you compete with Z if they’re only 2 mins?
By saying more relevant stuff in 2 minutes than he does in 30
I also have this same take away between the Andromeda and the Vega … Both are enjoyable, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good the Vega was. I still prefer the Andromeda though…for whatever that is worth lol. Also the Vega kept being pulled out of my ears by my cables…these are very small compared to the Andromeda and especially next to the Solaris…
I haven’t really looked at what’s required for the community loaner program.
I’d certainly be interested in hearing some decent IEMs, as all I’ve ever owned is some Monster Coppers (way back when they actually received some good reviews on head -fi).
I think it was around the time I bought the Micro Stack from the Headphone.com store. I can’t be certain as it was so long ago now.
Since moving to London, Ontario there has been no opportunity to go to any more meets. Not even micro-meets, with just a few “headphone people”
I’ve been seriously considering some custom IEMs but wanted to try some higher end universals before taking the plunge.
I don’t mind wearing foam ear-plugs for hours and have used then for years at night. I can even forget they’re in at times!
I could never find a decent fit with universals, even with all the tips that came with the Coppers. I think customs would likely be great and there’s an excellent audiologist here in London who I think does fittings for IEMs.
I don’t even mind the wait and can accept the cost. But only if I could find/hear something exceptional in a universal that sold me on the SQ.
The Coppers didn’t sound bad but the constant re-seating them for the best SQ drove me mad.
BTW guys, If this post is inappropriate here I understand. But I wasn’t sure how or where to bring this up.
I really do miss bring able to go to meets. It’s how I got back into headphones after 20 years away. A big Toronto meet was also what turned me on to the Senn 580/600/650 series back in 2007.
I’m an honest person but don’t know how that’s proved on a new site where you’ve never met anyone in person
Maybe I’ll have to organize a mini-meet or something. But it would be pretty hard to do as I’ve pretty much been a recluse for a few years years now. And the only friend I have into headphones big-time just uses big-time over-ear headphones!
Check out this thread, it lays out everything you need to join the preview program. Also I think that there are tiers now as you progress.
I recommend just sticking to the guidelines, hit the milestones and get to the level that has the gear you would like to try, and also review.
Hope that helps!
Also the Campfire Audio IEMs are my preference, but I also like some of the cheaper ones like the Tin Audio T2-T3 which can be found under $60.
Thanks for the reply. I believe I read the thread when it first came up but haven’t revisited since. I forget why it seemed unlikely or very difficult, Perhaps that it was US only at first and I live in Canada?
I’ll take a look regardless, as I’m going to have to figure a way to audition some IEMs that fit properly and are suitable/doable as customs.
I’m looking at this as an end game investment, so want something at least as good or better (in every way) as the HD600/650. I realize it could cost quite a bit with the fitting, custom molding etc.
Thanks again for making it easy to see how likely a suitable “loaner” might be/become.
@antdroid I believe just purchased custom IEM tips molded to his ears, he also has exponentially more experience in the IEM world than I do.
He can probably give some solid advice as well. Also @Torq has lots of experience with higher end IEMs like 64audio.
@prfallon69 just picked up a pair of 64audio U18? Correct me if I’m wrong please and also has the CA Andromeda’s he could be another source of honest impressions for some higher end IEMs, as he also really likes the HD650 as well.
Hopefully that helps🤓 I am not the biggest fan of IEMs but really appreciate what they accomplish, so far in my experience the Solaris, and Andromeda’s are my favorites, but take that with a grain of salt due to my limited experiences with them.
There are a few companies that do both universal fit and custom fit version of their headphones. 64 Audio is one that comes to mind in the US. I am trying out this custom ear-tip thing through Advanced Sound, which gives you a ear-tip mold designed specifically for your IEM. There’s also other options like Custom Art which provide a more universal fit custom ear tip that would work across many IEMs.
My first set of impressions was rejected by Advanced so I had to get new impressions done and sent to them this weekend. I hope they are better. Otherwise, I need to find another audiologist to use.
As far as Preview Program, I know it covers Canada as well, but you should check with @taronlissimore on it and probably post to that forum thread.
If you have any IEM styles, and sound signature you like, I can try to recommend a few to look at. It seems you’re into HD600s, and while there’s nothing that’s really like it off the top of my head, I do think the Moondrop Kanas Pro is a really good IEM for $150-170 and follows a target curve that’s mostly Harman and partially Diffuse Field. It has pretty smooth overall sound that is pleasing and easy to listen to for hours with good detail and very balanced sound. Another is the Etymotics ER4SR or XR or the ER3SR/XR.
Thanks again fir all the input guys. I am near certain that for the first little while at least the program was US limited for customs/cost reasons. I could be wrong but kind of forgot about it after first looking.
I don’t own a ton of gear but do have a few decent items I could review. Maybe start a new “gear that has stood the test of time” review thread or something similar.
I use a portable dac /amp that is not readily available atm due to a hold up in production but could review a couple of items that might be of interest or offer s perspective.
As far as IEMS go, I’m not shy about spending more than I normally would (say $1000) for customs if it made a significant difference. I assume the very high end >$1500 stuff is where some diminishing returns really start to kick in.
I couldn’t care less about custom artwork but fit, SQ and a small profile are important.
The audiology guy in London here is (or was) known to be very good on head-fi. There’s a well known audio-recording and production school here, so I imagine they would need to be up to scratch.
Looks like I have some reviewing to do. Either that or a blind (or deaf buy based on reviews by those with similar requirements and taste in an earphone sound signatures. Multi-armature models seem to quite often get the best reviews. But I’ve seen a few dual/triple driver hybrids get some praise recently.
Haha Custom Art is the same of a polish custom IEM company. But yeah you can also customize appearances with most ciems.
Andromeda is definitely a safe bet too. I have the Preview unit right now and wrote a very short write-up in my Campfire Solaris review on this site as well as a mini write-up on the Vega. I will probably wrote a more in-depth review of Andromeda soon.
I’ve seen photos of the Andromeda with Custom Art custom tips and it looks pretty cool.
So Custom Art makes/constructs custom molded tips around other company’s IEMs…or am I reading something unintended into this?
Also wondering how these newer IEMs compare with comparably priced models in say, the JH Harvey line or similar?
When the JH13 came out at around $1000-> $1200 some people thought it was pretty outrageous. Now that’s like entry level prices for custom IEMs.
Hi @Hellenback, if you’re just dipping your toes into the iem scene then I wouldn’t go crazy and spend loads. If you know what sound profile and fit you like then half the battle is won. I haven’t been down the custom iem route personally but lots of people seem to like it. For me as I don’t use iems in any professional capacity I don’t think I personally need the extra hassle. It will always be easier to sell on universal fitting iems too.
Unless you’re really into iems then there isn’t a massive difference in multi thousand dollar multi BA iem’s and the mid tier stuff. There is such a dearth of iems on the market that it’s really hard to choose. Take a look at crinacle’s thoughts on iems. The has a good extensive list of the best iems and not all are megabucks. Crinacles Headphone List https://crinacle.com/ranking-list/
Custom art custom tips are made to fit non custom IEMs from other brands. The bore size may be different from iem model to model though.
I agree, for top tier IEMs, you should take a glance at crin’s list. It’s his opinions of course but a good resource.
@prfallon & antdroid
Thanks for the tip and the link for advice. I’ve never found a universal IEM that I could deal with in my ears for any length of time. I find it s bit odd because as I said elsewhere, I’ve used inexpensive 3M EAR earplugs daily for years without any problem and don’t even notice them in my ears after a few minutes.
Granted they’re more conforming to the rear canal and don’t have added weight hanging from them but that was the main reason I assume customs would be a better option, as they’re molded deep within the ear canal.
If I can find a way to audition some better universals (hopefully with a smaller profile and little weight) I’m thinking I may find something I can use for extended periods.
I’ve met a couple of people at meets who swore by customs and never looked back. But I suppose their could be some “better learn to like them 'cause they cost so damn much” involved as well.
It’s not a cheap experiment, especially when one’s found universal IEMs such a disappointment so far (fit wise).
I’ll take a look at the list you both suggested. Thanks again.
I didn’t have any issue listening to these, they just weren’t my preference… I found them to be, not a bad listen. But they just didn’t grab me, or have anything that made them stick out from the crowd.
Well, actually the thing that is pretty neat is how small they are, for the quality of sound they provide. I would say they are more V shaped than anything but, for me not in an extreme way. They weren’t horrible, but because I have the Andromeda I felt these were redundant, and also were lacking in comparison, not by much, just enough for me to be “meh”. Plus the Andromedas have that special “sparkle” sauce that is rather addictive to listen to.
The Vega also had this nasty nack of being pulled out of my ears by the tension of the cables, or weight… it was kind of irritating… but I can’t fault the Vega for this… as they are very light and the shape of them was kind of loose in my ear.
Overall, I think if you want a nice small, and light IEM that sounds just as good as the Andromeda but may fit better in your ear, than these may be what you are looking for. Especially if you don’t like the Andromeda highs/mid-highs and their signature “sparkle”.
The ‘Sparkle’ is what makes the Andromeda’s so very special. By the way have you seen the thread over on Reddit, r/headphones regarding Ken Ball. It’s hysterical, I know he handled the whole episode wrong but the way he’s getting stomped isn’t good at all. Way too overboard IMHO.
I have not, and it would explain the down voting of the picture I posted of the Solaris and other CA IEMs…ill timed apparently lol.