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best IEM around 240 250 dollars for analytical listening

mahdiftr

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hey guys how you doing i need pair of IEM for mixing and monitoring I know its not ideal but I need the IEM portability so after reading and watching lots of reviews I came across to etymotic er4sr for having the most neutral sounding IEMs at this range. after that I started to see lots of people talking about that etymotics are not accurate and IEM should match the harman target for neutrality
I am just done with this some people says etymotic target is better other says harman is better . so which one is the best to base it for mixing
and I wanted to know if etymotic problem can be solved with eq ing the sub base
 

Matias

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I would get a Moondrop Kato.
 

Matias

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you just didnt read the thread at all
I did read. Etymotic bass EQing or looking for Harman curve based IEMs. But I suggested Kato, based on diffuse field target, a neutral sounding and quite high resolving IEM, within your budget, and considered to be a best buy in this price range. You are welcome.
 

Jimbob54

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I did read. Etymotic bass EQing or looking for Harman curve based IEMs. But I suggested Kato, based on diffuse field target, a neutral sounding and quite high resolving IEM, within your budget, and considered to be a best buy in this price range. You are welcome.
I would just add that the Kato can be quite challenging from a fit and comfort perspective. Heavy, funny angles and a tendency to lose seal with anything less than the perfect tip for any given users ears.

Good sound though (that I drop a little around 150-200hz).
 
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mahdiftr

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I did read. Etymotic bass EQing or looking for Harman curve based IEMs. But I suggested Kato, based on diffuse field target, a neutral sounding and quite high resolving IEM, within your budget, and considered to be a best buy in this price range. You are welcome.
how is 7hz timeless? isnt it neutral with harman target?
 

markanini

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Look into the USound target it's better than Harman or Ety. But I only find IEMs useful for checking sub-bass levels, mixing duties are for speakers if I want the mix to translate.
Spend the $250 on bass traps and first reflection treatment or decent speakers if you don't have them.
 

Jimbob54

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how is 7hz timeless? isnt it neutral with harman target?
Both overshoot that 100-200 hz area

The Kato looks to have better treble extension
 

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staticV3

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watching lots of reviews I came across to etymotic er4sr for having the most neutral sounding IEMs at this range
It's puzzling to me where 4SR=neutral came from tbh.
Etymotic ER4SR vs static IEM target.png
The severe lack of bass doesn't put bass notes and kicks where they're supposed to be in the mix. You can still hear them, but they have about as much presence as shakers, which just sounds wrong.
And the overly enthusiastic pinna gain makes vocals sound nasal and unnatural, as though every singer had a cold.

I'd extend the budget a bit and buy the Blessing2 Dusk for $330:
Blessing2 Dusk vs static IEM target.png

The target in those graphs I honed in on using the individual ra0045 frequency response measurment that Etymotic included with my 4XR.
I'm fairly confident in it.
 

digitalfrost

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You cannot win without buying some IEMs and seeing what you like. Personally I quite like the crinacle target with some (6-9dB) bass boost applied. What bothers me most is IEMs what have to much energy around 3khz because I'm really sensitive to that. It seems to me that a lot asian IEMs like to emphasize 1khz and up because it makes female voices sound very nice. But it's hell if you listen to music with a lot of overtones like rock or metal.

I settled on the Tea 2s which are above your budget https://crinacle.com/graphs/iems/graphtool/?share=IEF_Neutral_Target,Tea_2

You can try to find some cheaper IEMs with a similar response. It was paramount for me to find something that does not go above the curve too much. Most do.

You can argue all day long which target is better. You have to experience it for yourself.
 

Matthias McCready

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Moving on the from the topic of "which curve to use," and onto products:

From my perspective, fit is really important for consistency, which is quite important for mixing. It is really hard to get a consistent fit without molds. Universals never seem to have the same fit day to day; and the seal is critical for listening.

You are close to the price of Al Clair custom molded IEMs.

Al Clair has great customer service, and I know many mix engineers who use them. They offer many models and some of them are quite flat.

Most of their stuff is a little more than you are think, however, especially if this is for work I would consider this to be a "buy once, cry once" situation.
If you spend $250 now, and you don't like it or it breaks in 6 months, you are $250 farther away from what you want.
 

markanini

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Moving on the from the topic of "which curve to use," and onto products:

From my perspective, fit is really important for consistency, which is quite important for mixing. It is really hard to get a consistent fit without molds. Universals never seem to have the same fit day to day; and the seal is critical for listening.

You are close to the price of Al Clair custom molded IEMs.

Al Clair has great customer service, and I know many mix engineers who use them. They offer many models and some of them are quite flat.

Most of their stuff is a little more than you are think, however, especially if this is for work I would consider this to be a "buy once, cry once" situation.
If you spend $250 now, and you don't like it or it breaks in 6 months, you are $250 farther away from what you want.
Do a lot of people have seal issues with universal IEMs? I can see the advantage in such a case.
 

Matthias McCready

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Do a lot of people have seal issues with universal IEMs? I can see the advantage in such a case.
Yes, it has been my experience that most people have seal issues with universal ears.

The best tips I have found are foam ones by Comply, they offer a better seal than most universal tips, and greater isolation; however they are $7 a pair (unless you buy in bulk), and they degrade over several months (ie having universals with these tips can get kinda expensive).

----

Custom molds are the way to go; additionally it usually gets you into a supported product; ie you can send it in for repair WHEN something breaks. With IEM's they are fragile and get exposed to lets of earwax, sweat, and movement. It is not if something will break, but when. The better manufacturer's offer a warranty free repairs and work for several years, and reasonably priced service after that.
 

Jimbob54

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Do a lot of people have seal issues with universal IEMs? I can see the advantage in such a case.
Suspect those that don't tip roll might. See enough reviews saying "tinny, no bass" to suggest people aren't aware of the need for and how to seal.
 

Matthias McCready

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Suspect those that don't tip roll might. See enough reviews saying "tinny, no bass" to suggest people aren't aware of the need for and how to seal.
This does help a lot, however even with this if you are actively moving fit doesn't tend to stay (exercising, playing on stage, yard work etc).

For myself I tend to find it quite hard, even with rolling tips, to get the same thing going on for each ear for any great length of time, even if I am not moving. When I am mixing I want consistency; custom molds provide that (if mixing with IEM's is what you are after). Granted I prefer headphones over IEM's for mixing (less fragile), if monitors cannot be utilized.
 

swamps

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The way I see it the Etymotics are worth considering for the sound consistency and EQ potential alone. Without sharp peaks the stock sound doesn't matter when you apply EQ anyway.
Beware tho when I first tried them I realized the price for such consistency isn't payed with money but with blood, because they were bloody painful. I got the hang of the fit eventually and now it's actually pretty comfortable.
 

mkc

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The way I see it the Etymotics are worth considering for the sound consistency and EQ potential alone. Without sharp peaks the stock sound doesn't matter when you apply EQ anyway.
Beware tho when I first tried them I realized the price for such consistency isn't payed with money but with blood, because they were bloody painful. I got the hang of the fit eventually and now it's actually pretty comfortable.
My only complaint with the comfort of the ety is the tail of the buds being too thick, but it's also my tiny ear's fault
 

julian_hughes

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I have the Moondrop Kato and can assure you that it would be entirely unsuitable for production. It is a very nice sounding IEM, I love it, but neutral it is not! It has a very obviously boosted bass all the way through to upper bass/lower mids. I think people are not appreciating the difference between production and enjoying the end product. The Etymotics will be a much better tool for producing music for other people. If you produce music that sounds great on the Katos it will sound anemic when played back on decent speakers or neutral IEMs.
 

Zim

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I've got no issues EQ'ing my ER4XR to a neutral curve like the Harman Target with no noticeable distortion. So you should be fine EQing the ER4SR to the Harman Target as well.

Harman should be better and the more accurate choice for mixing based on the non-commercial intent of the Harman Target.
 
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