A couple weeks back i purchased the sony xba-3ip and a couple weeks later one of the buds malfunctioned and i had to return it. I browsed head-fi looking for an alternative option and found these to be highly recommended. I had my doubts that these headphones could match the sound quality of the sony xbas due to the fact that they were less than half the price but i took a chance and ordered them anyway. I paid $76 for these headphones for rush shipping from japan and i think it was worth every penny. The bass and treble are great, the soundstage range is fantastic, and everything sounds wonderful. I would definitely pick these over the sony xbas any day. I think the only downside to these headphones is that they are very short. There is an extension that comes along with them but i don’t really like using extensions. This is just a small complaint though, definitely not a deal breaker. I highly recommend these headphones to anybody.
During the initial break in period, these earbuds sounded a bit tinny and harsh. But now after more than 100 hrs. Oflistening, the edge has worn off and the sound is pristine yet warm. Sound stage and separation are nearly perfect and thebackground is negligible.
These are awesome but i received the wrong colour. Minor annoyance, i know, but the actual headphones are fantastic regardless.
As an owner of audio technica ath-m50s, i suppose i had high expectations for these iems. They sound decent, but not nearly as good as my m50s and the previous iems that broke; the brainwavz m3s which are around the same price. As someone else mentioned the shortness of the cable is kind of annoying even though they do provide and extension, i’ve never been a believer of the effects of burning in headphones but perhaps with time those effects will show with these iems or more likely my ears will just get used to them.
Wish it had a button for stopping/volume/skipping tracks but just on sound alone, i highly recommend it. Great highs and middle that are extremely clear and bright. The bass has depth and isn’t just there for just bass sake. ** update nov 2015 – the headphone bud area that connects to the metal outer portion separated. :(i don’t treat my headphones with the utmost care, but i don’t throw them around either. Sorry i can’t gauge if this is a fluke or a defect. Still, i stand by the sound and would probably purchase again to replace.
Reviews from purchasers :
- Solid and well balanced
- Amazing sound
- Great sound, fit and build
I’m not an audiophile err whatever that is. I’m just a normal guy who loves great sounding music. Which is why i bought this pair of headphones. Before these, i was using a pair of sony headphones, similar to the sony mdrex10lp. The sony pair that i have are fairly old and i wanted something new with better quality of sound. I will never regret buying these headphones. I listen to a variety of music ranging from hip hop like mos def, the roots, and aesop rock. Rap like jay-z, eminem, snoop dogg, and brotha lynch hung. . Rock like marilyn manson, deftones, korn, nine inch nails, slipknot, sepultura, and soulfly. And some alternative stuff like the prodigy and daft punk.
These headphones have absolutely incredible build quality. On the whole, i’ve mistreated my pair quite a bit over the last year, sleeping on top of them and jamming them into my pockets. However, they still work perfectly for me and have had no issues, unlike other headphones i’ve owned. These headphones are as close to indestructible as i’ve found after a few years of buying different options.
A quick intro, i’m keanex on head-fi i regularly review headphones and other audio gear. I’m here to give you a quick review on these. Bass: the bass is well extended, very clean with no signs of distortion whether it’s through my ipod, laptop, or o2+odac combo. The bass hits hard and is quick, but the mid-bass is a bit pushy, this may change with burn-in though. Mids: the mids are intimate, clean and smooth. These are the most realistic mids i have come across in my endeavors for an iem. Highs: well extended, no added sibilance, and balanced really well with the overall signature. Instrument separation/soundstage is one of the best i’ve heard in an iem. I feel as if i’m in a small club that is tuned to provide a clean sound. Instruments have room to breath even in the most complex parts of songs i’ve heard that even sound a tad confusing at time on my audio technica ad2000.
Though, admittedly, i’ve never owned any ‘high-end’ ear buds before. Outstanding sound (especially after the ‘burn in’ period). Clear, full, without booming, bass. Clear and wide mid range, very present. Subtle, not tinny, high end. Very expansive and well integrated sound stage. A bit snug, which helps with the sound quality but can make them uncomfortable before too long.
Ordered these from japan import (provided by amazon, prompt shipping, highly recommended), and am currently breaking them in as i write this review. I’m a firm believer in ‘burning in’ headphones, so i’m basing this review based on my first impressions. From the music i’ve played: (smashing pumpkins, slightly stoopid, immortal technique, weezer, miles davis), this is what i’ve noted:- i took note of the presence of bass. It’s there, and satisfies all but the extreme bass heads. – the mids and highs (if that makes sense) seemed didn’t seem to be as clear as others have claimed. – from my perspective, it seemed as though these headphones are settled for darker, punchier music. – instrument separation was surprisingly good, i took note of some percussion and backing vocals that i didn’t catch before on some of my other headsets. Some things to keep in mind, before these headphones, i frequently used the sony mdr-v6 monitor series headphones with ccaw voice coil and grado prestige series sr-60i padded headphones, so it’s possible that my preferences are just accustomed to the mentioned products above. Again, i’m not a an audiophile, but i do enjoy my music being reproduced with respectable quality, and for what these iem’s offer, they are definitely respectable. After burning these in, they’ll only get better, so my advice is to pick these up if your looking to replace or add on to to your headphone situation.
I’ve a number of headphones – beyerdynamic t1 for critical listening, akg 701 for casual listening, akg 240 for use when on the computer and now the ath ckm500 for travel. Not being an in ear (iem) fan due to past problems with fit and performance, i was quite surprised by not only the dynamic range but also the comfort. Tried a number of other iems within this price range and found ckm500’s the most comfortable. The bass is solid but never overbearing, the midrange and high-ends are articulate and musical. Soundstage, for a closed phone, is pleasantly wide enough to accurately produce a credible presentation of classical music (a telling test of breath of image). Obviously results depend upon your source, but even with itunes mp3 or spotify selections the sound is still satisfying. I prefer open-back phones and planar speakers due to their more ‘airy’ presentation but have been happily entertained on long flights with these (caveat, not noise canceling but do provide acceptable isolation and won’t irritate others). As a veteran headphone user i highly recommend these iems within their price range.
To start off there is some sort of burn in period for these headphones. When i first got them they were ok but not stellar however, they were still better sounding than most others i have heard. Now that i have had them for a bit the sound is suprisingly good with most types of music and i would find it pretty hard to beat at this price point. The previous review claimed these were anemic and everyone is entitled to an opinion but they are far from anemic even with a flat eq and a good source. Good quality headphones shouldn’t need enhancements to sound right and so far all my listening has been with no enhancements. I have listened to a lot of various types of music and these seem to perform very well. Hans zimmer’s music for instance sounds amazing with great detail, warm sounding strings, and very defined bass. I have tried some trance,drums and bass,jazz,frequency sweeps, and a lot more. Overall these are great headphones and when properly worn produce great sound all the way down to an eardrum shaking 20hz.
The freq response was unacceptable, the highs were nice but they lacked aby warmth and the lows were recessed to the point my eq could not pull them up enough to give them a reasonably flat response. I bought these thinking they would outperform my thinksound rains, and they were able to reach higher before rolling off but below 2khz the rains mop the floor with them. They did sound better than my ms-01’s but i think the ms=01’s sound terrible (im an audiophile and the ms’s are very anemic and lack highs, imaging is nice but it takes alot of eq to get any warmth) i know this is going to sound sarcastic, but i can eq my 3yo’s syba set to have more lows and be flatter and more fun to listen too than i could these. As a professional in the audio field i am no stranger to the way things should sound, and given if a person was used to generic $5 chain store earbuds they would probably think these were nearly amazing, these do not perform on the price point they are selling for to me. Save some money and try the ts rains.
I had been wanting some japanese import buds for some time, worth the wait. I don`t know if they are different than the ckm500is, but they got better reviews. I really don`t care much for the 2 piece cable i don`t understand why companies do this, but small complaint. I have these plugged into my amp so i can enjoy these even though they are not done burning in. I plugged them in as soon as they got here right into my ipod, the highs were a little harsh, the amp smoothed it right out. The default tips worked just fine, but put some sony hybrids on i like them better. I read some reviews on head-fi comparing them to vsonic gr-07`s they did just fine these, might keep me from buying them. I am really amazed at how good some of these under $100. I also have vsonic vsd1s and they are also very good.