HWZ Forums

Login Register FAQ Mark Forums Read

Audio Technica Appreciation Thread

Like Tree194Likes
Share This Page
HardwareZone.com on Facebook
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-01-2014, 08:08 AM   #751
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
weng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 24,457

Seeing as how there were some discussions about the ATH-IM02 yesterday, I have decided to contribute and post my own impressions/findings of the ATH-IM02 since I have also purchased them recently.

I actually had these with me for about a week now since I purchased them via E1PersonalAudio a day after Christmas last yr. I will not be A/Bing them against the CK100 as both models bear quite abit of different signature/SQ traits to them, but I personally do consider the ATH-IM02's to be a considerable good upgrade over the CK10. (despite both of them are similarly based on dual-drivers BA)

The ATH-CK100PRO was the previous BA line-up flagship model from Audio-technica, before the current IM series were being introduced. The CK100PRO's can often be misunderstood by many people especially if the listener has only listened to it only for a short amt of time, which also further implicate matters if you do not have the correct or pairing synergy of DAP/portable AMP as this ATH iem does suffer quite abit from acoustic/electrical damping issues due to the OI factor (output impedance) from various DAPs found on the current market. After some experimentation and findings via some taiwanese owners as well as my own, this issue can typically be fixed by using an additional impedance adapter (anywhere btw 30 ohms to 75 ohms depending on the OI of your player) btw the DAP and the iems, and it should solve the electrical damping issues of the CK100PRO, and gives it a more smoother response across the whole FR spectrum, w/o too much peaks around the upper-mids/lower treble regions.

............

With the ATH-IM02 now in the picture, I consider the two family sibling members to complement each other quite well actualy. While the CK100PRO soundstage properties are quite abit more expansive, immersive and holographic to my ears, I personally think the IM02 is not too far behind either and has very decent depth/width properties. In terms of overall resolution/detail, the CK100PRO however does it better as it is extremely resolving at both low and high frequencies, as both its bass and treble texture are astoundingly detailed and other well-known TOTL universals on the market which have quad-drivers implemented in them such as the W4R/UE900 are no match against the CK100PRO's. (which another fellow headifer a_recording who has done many IEM/headphone reviews for the community agrees with me)

However, the ATH-IM02 do have some very good redeeming qualities to themselves and still manages to put up a pretty solid fight against the CK100PRO. IMO the ATH-IM02 is a much better vocal performer/specialist here, it possess a very nice midrange presence and its treble is of very good quality as well. (percussive instruments such as cymbals will not sound dead/rolled-off in short, as it has good sparkle and bite to it).

The ATH-IM02's are quite a pair of euphonic-sounding iems to my ears and they don't exactly bear any weakness when it comes down to either male or female vocalists (which cannot be said the same for the CK100 non-PRO model). In terms of sub-bass impact/rumble quality I also seemed to have noticed it performs quite abit more favourably to my ears against the rest of the CK100PRO/CK100/CK10 line-up respectively. (take note bass impact/rumble details are not to be mixed up with bass texture/resolution so do not be confused and mix them up)

I should however mention in terms of cables microphonic level/wearing comfort wise, it is indeed a tier lower compared to AT IEM's such as the CK100/CK10 models as shared earlier by bro Randius who first got hold of these and shared his earlier impressions with me. Owners will definitely encounter some microphonic issues with these, and in terms of wearing comfort they certainly do not compare that favourably against the previous CK10 as well. If you have never had any usage experience with either the CK100 or CK10, then this might not bother you so much but coming from previous AT flagship models like the CK100/CK10, I have to personally bring up this and admit that in this area, the AT-IM02 disappoints alittle here.


At the current pricing that Stereo Electronics and E1 are retailing these at, I do not see why anyone wouldn't be attracted by the IM02's even when comparing these to new heavyweights on the market such as the Westone's W20 or even the popular Shure's SE535 LTD Red edition. I would highly recommend these iems to anyone who are looking for something to listen to male/female vocals with, especially with their high C/P value tagged to it.

The ATH-IM02 gets the highly recommended, thumb of approval from me. Do check them out soon! And props goes to Stereo for bringing in the current high-end range of iems from Audio-technica finally.
Not to aim at your beloved ck100pro but by having to do extra thing to alter the sound, i don't think it can be considered as "misunderstood" already.

Misunderstood is like when the demo is broken and sounded like redifussion and you thought that is it, this model X sounds like that. Or i give you a asg2 and tell you this is 334 and you either wow or puii. It's like saying AT made the ck100pro and forgot to put in the impedance adapter which they actually intended to to make it sound like with one. Otherwise i can also eq down the 2 treble peaks of hd700 and say pple have misunderstood it for sounding peaky when it's actually not like that, and that they have not been pairing it right whatsoever. Or that sennheiser actually forgot to tune down the 5k and 11k before releasing and it actually shouldn't have the annoying treble peaks.

Hd700 is sensitive to source and can also go either way. However i wouldn't say those who have experienced the more negative side of the phones as having misunderstood the "actual" sound. It's just a consequence of the design that it behaves like that.

Anyway, congrats on your im02. It's a pity i have fit issues with the entire im series, else i might have went for the 02 too. Sound wise i think for many pple it's not difficult to like them over westone offerings as these seem to sound more contemporary/exciting over the more subtle westones and are indeed a very good series overall, with the 02 c/p ratio being the best i would say.

Last edited by weng; 05-01-2014 at 02:30 PM..
weng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 11:46 AM   #752
Headphones and Earphones
 
TeamStereo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 9,966
Hey stereo,
May i know will the IM70 will it have enough stock till monday as monday i'm gonna go down to audition and buy it ?
We have limited stocks left at our PS outlet. It is sold out at ION. If you would like to please PM us your contact info and we can reserve a set for you.
__________________
Stereo Electronics Pte Ltd
The Headphone Concept Store

2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard #B4-23/24 S(238801) Tel : +65-66343519

68 Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura #04-06 S(638839) Tel: +65 63367113

"Like" our facebook for MORE promotions!

Opens daily 11am - 9.30pm www.stereo.com.sg


TeamStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 05:07 PM   #753
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 83
We have limited stocks left at our PS outlet. It is sold out at ION. If you would like to please PM us your contact info and we can reserve a set for you.
Pm sent
tomomibaby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 06:11 PM   #754
Headphones and Earphones
 
TeamStereo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 9,966
Pm sent
Received.
__________________
Stereo Electronics Pte Ltd
The Headphone Concept Store

2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard #B4-23/24 S(238801) Tel : +65-66343519

68 Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura #04-06 S(638839) Tel: +65 63367113

"Like" our facebook for MORE promotions!

Opens daily 11am - 9.30pm www.stereo.com.sg


TeamStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 02:22 AM   #755
Master Member
 
Guan22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,895
OK, I've joined the gang.

Haonan likes this.
__________________
iBasso DX100 ~ UM Miracle [Toxic SW & BW] / Fitear TG334 [VDH Truth] / Sony EX-1000 [Toxic Scorpion]

"Better not to open the mouth and let people think that you are a moron, than to open it and remove all doubts."
Guan22 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 02:43 AM   #756
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
weng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 24,457
OK, I've joined the gang.

Im03?.....
weng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 02:52 AM   #757
Master Member
 
Guan22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,895
Im03?.....
Yeap.
Deliberated between IM02 and 03.
Decided 03 is the more versatile one; 02 is the female vocals specialist though.
__________________
iBasso DX100 ~ UM Miracle [Toxic SW & BW] / Fitear TG334 [VDH Truth] / Sony EX-1000 [Toxic Scorpion]

"Better not to open the mouth and let people think that you are a moron, than to open it and remove all doubts."
Guan22 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 11:32 AM   #758
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,262
OK, I've joined the gang.

For your wife, right? Or you got another one for yourself?
FatalethaL likes this.
__________________
「音楽と一緒に、半世紀。」
【audio-technica】CK10/IM02/IM03/EW9/ESW11 LTD/W1000/W1000X/W3000ANV/A900XLTD
Randius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 03:51 PM   #759
Senior Member
 
Donten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,103
@haonan

Hello, afew questions to ask you. do you still own the pha05bt? how long is the battery life like? do you think it is enough to replace a standalone dap if my source is sony z ultra, does bt affects the sq of music by a lot? any upcoming successor to the pha05bt? do you know of any similar bt dongle with aptx? sorry for the barrage of question but it seems you're the expert in regards to gears from japan.

currently using a sony sbh52.
Donten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 04:12 PM   #760
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,262
@haonan

Hello, afew questions to ask you. do you still own the pha05bt? how long is the battery life like? do you think it is enough to replace a standalone dap if my source is sony z ultra, does bt affects the sq of music by a lot? any upcoming successor to the pha05bt? do you know of any similar bt dongle with aptx? sorry for the barrage of question but it seems you're the expert in regards to gears from japan.

currently using a sony sbh52.
AFAIK, there is no update planned for the PHA05BT yet. If you are using the Z Ultra then what may interest you is the Sony M505. The M505 is basically a walkman but it also connects to your smartphone via APTX and allows streaming from your phone to it.
__________________
「音楽と一緒に、半世紀。」
【audio-technica】CK10/IM02/IM03/EW9/ESW11 LTD/W1000/W1000X/W3000ANV/A900XLTD
Randius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 05:06 PM   #761
Senior Member
 
Donten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,103
AFAIK, there is no update planned for the PHA05BT yet. If you are using the Z Ultra then what may interest you is the Sony M505. The M505 is basically a walkman but it also connects to your smartphone via APTX and allows streaming from your phone to it.
sorry that i have to go offtopic on your thread. but do you have any idea how it works? the m505. im quite interested in it. not sure whether its an upgrade from my sbh52. so it is a mp3 player with 16gb of internal memory. are you able to view the songs on the m505 itself on the phone list(power amp or native walkman app). the decoding is done on the phone itself or done by the m505? english information seems very little on the web. from what i have seen it has a s master dac/amp.

right now my understanding is phone(decode) > aptx(m505) > earphones. so this will bypass the smaster dac/amp? really appreciate your help and thanks alot.

Last edited by Donten; 06-01-2014 at 05:11 PM..
Donten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 06:15 PM   #762
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Haonan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 18,617
@haonan

Hello, afew questions to ask you. do you still own the pha05bt? how long is the battery life like? do you think it is enough to replace a standalone dap if my source is sony z ultra, does bt affects the sq of music by a lot? any upcoming successor to the pha05bt? do you know of any similar bt dongle with aptx? sorry for the barrage of question but it seems you're the expert in regards to gears from japan.
right now my understanding is phone(decode) > aptx(m505) > earphones. so this will bypass the smaster dac/amp? really appreciate your help and thanks alot.
Hi Donten, no worries abt the bombarding of enquiries regarding the AT-PHA05BT adaptor. I understand yr concerns well as this product was only marketed/sold in JP solely, it's not carried under by AT SEA locally here and is not usually available easily for sale from other english online stores. I will try to answer yr questions to the best of my ability.

1) Yes I still own the AT-PHA05BT, I bought this around early 2012 together with my Walkman Z DAP in order to pair it for portable music usage (I'm not that much of a smartphone user so the additional feature of hands-free built-in mic function are considered a bonus feature to me)

2) Sorry I have nv done any concrete tests regarding its battery life. However I can prolly mention I also do own some other various BT adaptors by Sony (DRC-BT15P and MW600) and in terms of battery life the AT-PHA05BT doesn't seem to be any much weaker than my previous devices. (I was able to use for more than slightly 1 week before requiring recharging, both the DRC-BT15P/MW600 batt life are rated for abt 7 hours IIRC. Recharging interface for the AT-PHA05BT is via microUSB port)

3) I think it should pair quite well with the Xperia Z Ultra, but I don't think SQ wise this device can completely replace dedicated DAPs such as the Walkman Z/F series (when used directly via IEMs plugged in) if I were to speak honestly.

Despite that the AT-PHA05BT has a built-in powered amplifier (rated at 30mW+30mW measured with a 16 ohms load), it has overall lesser resolution definition as well as a pretty high noise floor level (meaning the background is not black at all, and you can hear audible hiss) when used with sensitive IEMs. I seem to remember from the Rooth Audio Elpis thread that you're one of the owners, so no unfortunately I cannot recommend this product to CIEM owners at all, you will definitely be bothered by the hiss issues.

The AT-PHA05BT does have quite abit of driving power though, to give you an example the vol threshold to maximum is from 0 to 14, IEMs can be powered relatively easy with just just vol level 3, while full-sized/low impedance headphones such as my ATH-A900Ti or Sony CD2000 can alrdy sound quite loud at level 6 or 7. THD performance/clipping issues is another issue though, in short I don't recommend using this to drive headphones if SQ is your utmost priority, but the performance is definitely more than adequate for just driving IEMs.

4) BT connectivity will definitely affect and degrade the overall SQ output from either smartphones or dedicated DAPs. It should only be used for convenience sake, and not as a solution or alternative afterthought to getting good SQ from portable devices. Even though nowadays there are alot of marketing ard by manufacturers and reviews stating that apt-X supported BT devices enhances and improves the SQ by considerable amt, I would still actually rate the older SBC and newer apt-X standard Bluetooth adaptors as having an inferior SQ compared to using dedicated DAPS such as the Sony Walkman series (and im not even bringing in AK120 or even iBasso DX50/DX100 kind of category yet)

5) You can prob take a look at the latest Sony Walkman M series aka M505 model, that Randius had brought up in one of his posts earlier. I originally shared this piece of news with him when I met up with him during Mook Fest last yr, this is one of the newer Sony products that have been introduced and specially aimed at smartphone users, who also wish to have a portable lightweight DAP with considerably good SQ.

When used directly with headphones/IEMs, it will be driven by the built-in S-master MX DSP/DAC. Wireless connectivity/SQ is via apt-X, and links up and outputs from whatever the original device that you're linking up with. (meaning in this case, the S-master MX DSP is not utilised here at all) You can however use the Clear Bass/Clear Phase/VPT equalizer functions that comes with this BT adaptor, when connected to yr devices wirelessly.

I'm in the office right now, so I can't post too much pictures. Here's a picture comparison of the AT-PHA05BT with the Sony Walkman M series. (contributed by a taiwanese Head-fier)

__________________
「audio-technica 旋風は止まらない!」
♪【現役ヘッドホン】TH-500RP/ATH-W5000/AD1000PRM/A900Ti/IM02/MDR-SA5000/CD2000/EX800ST/AKR02/FI-BA-SS/FI-HE2BBL/FI-DC1602SS
岡山、大阪、東京のみなさん素敵な思い出をありがとうございました。私は必ずここに帰って来ます!ではまた We'll meet again in 2015!(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)
Haonan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 09:24 PM   #763
Supremacy Member
 
FatalethaL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,362
Today, i heard the new range of IEMs..


make me wanna go get IM50/70/02.
boleh7 likes this.
__________________
AK100 GOLD > DIY Toxic Scorpion > UM Merlin
DAC: UD100/110, ASUS Xonar Essence STX
FatalethaL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 01:09 AM   #764
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,188
@Haonan: Just wondering if you could give some comparisons between AT headphone that have the permendur magnet and the AT headphones without the permendur magnet. Was reading around and I realised that the permendur magnet is present on the ESW11LTD but not on the ES10. O:
__________________
WTS: Used Audio Technica ATH-ES10 | Mint Razer Hydra | PM Me
LongBigBronzeElephantFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 09:48 AM   #765
Master Member
 
Guan22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,895
For your wife, right? Or you got another one for yourself?
For wife de.. Lol...
__________________
iBasso DX100 ~ UM Miracle [Toxic SW & BW] / Fitear TG334 [VDH Truth] / Sony EX-1000 [Toxic Scorpion]

"Better not to open the mouth and let people think that you are a moron, than to open it and remove all doubts."
Guan22 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply
Important Forum Advisory Note
This forum is moderated by volunteer moderators who will react only to members' feedback on posts. Moderators are not employees or representatives of HWZ. Forum members and moderators are responsible for their own posts.

Please refer to our Terms of Service for more information.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On