slooploop2 OP t1_jefg772 wrote

AirPod Pros lol

My work commute is a mile walking to the subway and a 15 minute subway ride twice a week at most. I love the Subtonic STORM and Letshuoer Cadenza but spending that much money for…two hours of use a week that I can barely appreciate hasn’t been something I can justify. I bought the Q7 in preparation for more IEM reviews and general lazy use since I think I’m done with my headphone and speaker chains for the foreseeable future.


slooploop2 OP t1_jef7khn wrote

The picture, sadly, is mostly for show. I couldn’t get the iPod to turn on but the point of the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo was to bypass the internal iPod DAC to use the AlgoRhythm’s DAC or, even better, use an external DAC connected via coax. It’s hugely nervosa and the internal DAC doesn’t sound very good. The amp is an ALO Continental V2, which uses a mini tube. It seems to emphasize overtones in an interesting way but isn’t very resolving. Both these are about 12 years old by now which is ancient for portable equipment. My Q7 is definitely more competent.


slooploop2 OP t1_jeeq8lg wrote

The Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite can been seen as “just another neutral-ish” IEM in the market, but taking a step back, it’s a marvel that we have so many options for so many people to get pretty good sound. The Orchestra Lite doesn’t break any ground and has flaws, but it’s hard to complain too much for the money. What flaws does the Orchestra Lite have? Read here.


slooploop2 OP t1_j9vqexf wrote

Totally fine to think that! I tried EQing them beyond just boosting the 2k region and they just do too many things that bug me to outright recommend them. I don’t hate them though, I feel “meh” about them. They aren’t particularly offensive for the money but I certainly won’t buy a pair.

The detail bit is really what I can’t say I agree with—they have hyped air which does make things easier to hear, especially combined with the lack of dynamics to lessen contrast and thus make the delta between loud sounds and quiet background sounds smaller. But when a transducer lacks that dynamic contrast, it emphasizes things that shouldn’t be as obvious in real life, like conversations in a crowd during a live session. That technically is detail, but as a result, you miss nuance. This in particular bugs me in instances where the speed of the decay is unnaturally fast, as is the case with the XS. For example I hear a saxophonist playing a run, it’s fun to hear the pads of the keys press against the instrument and naturally trail off; with most planars, you can hear the pad hit the horn, but because they’re so “fast,” you don’t hear the trailing decay as cleanly as you do with a dynamic headphone. The compression makes the actual pressing of the key’s pad making contact with the saxophone easier to hear, but you then wait for a decay that ends too quickly. It’s a surface-level sense of detail.


slooploop2 OP t1_j9ugeby wrote

The background is that when I heard it, I happened to own an SR-007 system at the time and had some misgivings about it: obviously tonality is never going to be a Stax strength, but the ethereal, light presentation really limited their use for me. They were great for relaxing and not actively focusing on music, such as during the work day, but when I’m critically listening, I want something with more substance. It’s been a while since I’ve heard the Jr (last time I heard it was back in 2018 I think?) but what I do recall was that it had more upper midrange presence, more low midrange body, and less harsh mid-treble. I’m not sure which of the two would win out in resolution, but my takeaway from it was that it was a nice take on a “weightier” sounding 007 SZ2.

The Susvara, from memory, leaned brighter and leaner. I do agree it sucked the life out of a lot of my music but most Susvara fans I know seem to be detail-chasers rather than tone-purists.


slooploop2 OP t1_j9u65x2 wrote

Thanks! Understanding preferences is one of the most important things to learn in this hobby—I actually like to read opinions from people I’m diametrically opposed because they end up being about as helpful as opinions from people with whom I align.

I’m still waiting for Shangri-La Jr prices to drop; I thought they were a fun headphone that ends up being different enough from what I have


slooploop2 OP t1_j9tvio0 wrote

Moondrop and Hifiman have challenged the contentious sub-$1000 market with the Venus and Edition XS. While the Edition XS shows no real surprises, proving to be a normal Hifiman product, the Moondrop Venus is the company’s first planar magnetic headphone, coming in with few expectations with regard to tuning. Are they worthy enough to stave off upgrade-itus?

As a reminder, these are opinions and are in no way are meant to insult anyone who may have purchased either of these headphones. If the reader owns these headphones and feels insulted by anything said in this review, keep in mind I write reviews to inform readers of any issues they may have with a product.

Read more:


slooploop2 OP t1_iufbgxj wrote

I don’t like reviewing things with EQ because I’ve never actually found the technical aspects of a headphone to be improved with EQ—quite the opposite in fact, so blank slate seems to be the most controlled way to review something to me. I do use EQ for a few headphones occasionally such as taking down 1kHz on the Borealis about 3dB with a 1.5 Q filter or bringing up upper midrange on Audeze stuff, but it does take away from dynamics so I only use EQ if I’m willing to take a hit to dynamics.

I don’t value soundstage, but EQ collapses the stage to the point where I actively notice the degration.

I tried both with Oratory EQ and it really just exacerbated most of the non-midrange issues I had with the HE400SE so I legitimately think the oratory EQ does it sort of a disservice…somehow.

I’ve had people question why I don’t talk about EQ in my reviews and it’s always been bizarre to me—I’m reviewing a product in the state it’s delivered; deviating from that in a way that varies so much depending on HRTF verges on dishonest to me.


slooploop2 OP t1_iu64gra wrote

I was able to compare the LCD4 and LCD5 back to back and was actually disappointed that the LCD5 sounded less technically capable to me. It traded some (much needed) pinna gain in exchange for losing the dynamics and resolution that Audeze finally got right with the LCD4. I’d been waiting for the LCD5 to come out for a while and…there’s a reason I see them selling for half their MSRP a year after their release. It has the exact issue I have with a lot of planars: they compress dynamics to make quiet sounds more apparent, but they really do sound like a step down in technical ability. Definitely a step up in comfort though.