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An inside look at a $2,200 pair of custom headphones

Wayne

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#1
Short article from Popular Science

"Normal earbuds have just one, sometimes two speakers on each side. But those micromachines must handle a wide range of sounds, from Mariah Carey’s high register to Barry White’s silky bass, so they struggle to faithfully reproduce all the right acoustic details. The $2,200 Ultimate Ears Live headphones are different. Each in-ear unit contains eight speakers, and each of those is tuned to a specific part of the audio spectrum. Built for professional musicians who play massive stages, the buds produce a rich, true depiction of the tunes. This is what makes them sing. "

https://www.popsci.com/ultimate-ears-live-headphones?CMPID=ene090418
 

Timbo2

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#2
I'm the odd guy that finds IEMs preferable to headphones for comfort. So I find the sound of my Sennheiser HD650s preferable to my Shure SE535s but the Shures are much more comfortable for long duration use at about 7/10ths sound quality for about 1.5x the price.

The magic on IEMs is the tuning of the drivers and not just the sheer number of drivers.

Useful article here:
https://alclair.com/driver-ed-driver/

And I found this article from inner fidelity useful for understanding how a balanced armature driver used in many IEMs works.

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-balanced-armature-receiversdrivers-work
 

Grave

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#3
Needs more drivers. :p

IEM's have never impressed me, they do not sound half as good as open headphones.
 

Sythrix

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#5
The magic on IEMs is the tuning of the drivers and not just the sheer number of drivers.
I bought the CA Comets for running and they are proof that proper tuning is more important that more drivers. A single BA in each one, but it reproduces the whole range surprisingly well. Probably not as well as these in the title (misleading BTW Popsci. Those are IEMs, not headphones) but it's also 1/10th the price.

I think it's hilarious how many Chi-Fi companies are just spitting out IEMs with tons of drivers once they found out people will buy based on the number that are in them. I'm convinced most of those companies haven't the foggiest idea how to properly tune a set of IEMs, but more drivers = better in everyone's mind, so they don't have to worry about it.

The most striking example of this is the KZ ZS5. The original model was loved by all and got rave reviews... but a small change to "improve them" by KZ and they turned into treble cannons (and of course this change was not indicated by the company at all, which meant good luck finding a good one after it was made). The KZ ZS6 came along and... guess what? More treble canons. They got lucky once but they don't have any idea what they're doing. Now they're releasing more and more models with more and more drivers. I don't think I'll ever be interested in their product, because I'll never be convinced that they're not just "spray and praying".
 

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