Fun with Fakes, a day at market for IEM's
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Default Fun with Fakes, a day at market for IEM's

    So I feel I defiantly needed some IEM's (Ok maybe IEM is pushing the term) for listening to stuff at home and really did not want to shell out a fortune for a basic home dj-monitoring device.

    I've already got my trusty Sony V-6's for proper audio work - however in +35c heat they act like freaking radiators on my head and I end up sweating like a piggy after an hour or so at home.

    I've also tried a few variations of IEM's in the past (Shure / Senn's) pretty much always the issue is I have freaky small ears and even freakier small earholes, so choices are pretty limited to what will actually fit without going over to the custom side of things.

    So enter Beats Tour .....errrrr, fakes :P

    I'm not even going to call most of these "copies" as they have pretty obvious Cosmetic differences, they are similar looking, most are not similar sounding (at all!).. kinda like the Galaxy vs Iphone :P

    And not all fakes are Equal


    Ok .. well first off I'm living in Asia, and there is literally thousands of varying qualities of the fakes available in the markets here, and from online resellers etc ... most "look" pretty close to the real thing, most had obvious differences and it took me going though about 15 pairs before I found what I was looking for. Decent looking, decent sounding, with the smallest earbuds possible for my freaky ears :P

    Variations ranged from.

    Box Perfect, Phones look terrible, straight connector, moulding awful, only large buds supplied.

    Box Small, Phones Perfect, straight connector, only large buds

    Box Perfect, L-shape Connector, Control-Talk device, all bud sizes provided.

    Box bad photocopy, L-shape Connector, No control Talk, only large Buds

    Box Perfect, straight Connector, Phones are decent (not perfect looking), All buds provided.

    These are just some the cosmetic differences !!! :eek:

    Sound Quality
    So down to sound quality, I have a good idea what a particular track "Should" sound like (Sasha, xpander in WAV format) - I brought my V6's for comparisons, I have tried the "real" beats tours before and knew to expect the boomy bassend anyhows and was prepared to compensate for it.

    The first ones I tried were the most expensive ones they looked great, had all the bits in the box, Control Talk included ($30 ) .. But Alas, the sound was CRAP, really "middy" and Bassy.

    So onto the next ones .. ear one-sounded great... ear two, oh no! it was about 10db lower in sound, awww crap.

    Onto the next ones (I was getting really funny looks).
    It was ALL bass, couldnt make out a damn hat to save my life .. NEXT!

    Next ones - hmmm, not bad at all, little too much lack of midrange, but we're getting there.

    This went on for about an hour, while the assistants are running up and down the market fetching me every variation of boxes and phones they could find LOL

    Eventually ...

    Black variety, Straight connector, 6 extra earbuds (including the tiny honeycomb ones that DO fit in my ear), decent - but not great logo (who cares, its coming off anyhow), nicely moulded plug and strain relief.

    These sounded freaking great! - admittedly I needed to turn the iphone to "bass reducer" on the EQ, but that was expected anyhow, I needed to do that for the Originals anyhow.

    They are a good bit louder than my Sony's, but stayed crystal clear up to the "Max" levels on the iphone (uncomfortably loud though).

    At the end of the day I got a decent set of phones for home mixing for about $12 ....

    Bottom line though, buyer beware I would not even think of ordering a pair of these online! I happened to be in the lucky position of being able to try pretty much every variety under the sun with a pair of studio monitors beside me for comparison.

    After 24 hours, I'm considering the possibility of getting my ears moulded and making these into more form fitting IEM's, I know someone who can do the moulds themselves, I reckon a bit of playing around and they'd do a pretty decent job .

    I love a bargain - don't you

    Just thought I'd share my interesting experience, I honestly don't endorse buying fakes, I was just looking for a decent and reasonably priced set of phones. Its actually a shame that these aren't available from their respective company with their own branding instead of badly copying someone elses... how much R&D goes into the drivers, who knows, perhaps they are OEM, perhaps just OEM clones or whatever. But I guess the cost of marketing and trying to break a new breed of followers outweighs the cost of following the sheep who want something that looks "similar" to the real deal.

    Mod's feel free to hit delete if it goes against T&C ...

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  3. #3
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    nice testing session you had there
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru Cook's Avatar
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    Very nice i was thinking about getting IEM's but after this experience, and nowhere for me to try them, im thinking of just buying them directly from the seller.
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    but after this experience, and nowhere for me to try them, im thinking of just buying them directly from the seller.
    If you cant test before you buy, as in my unique case where I had not just a heap of the same model to see what works, but a heap of varied models of the same model to vet the good from bad; I'd just get the Originals, or you are in for a world of grief IMHO.

    I know people have had luck finding decent "Class A" knockoff's on e-bay and the likes .. but there's just too many variables like you would not believe and thats only getting worse as many more knockoff factories are jumping on the "Beats Bandwagon".

    Its now gotten to a silly stage where they are actually copying from fakes LOL and for the average Joe you just don't know what you are getting.

    I'm happy with them, certainly for the price I could not go wrong, and it was an interesting afternoon for all involved LOL. Hell, Apple earbuds are more expensive and sound like complete crap so I'd be dammed if I was gonna spend $20 on a new set of those.

    Just for the record I was not actively looking for Knockoffs or endorsing the fact they are good copies. I was after half decent IEM's and came across them as Decent Sounding at a pretty nifty price compared to Many Many others.

    I wish they did not have the freaking "Beats" branding at all TBH.... but knowing how things go they'd just come up with some uber cheezy name like "Beeps" instead haha!

  6. #6
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    my friend is in HK atm. Hopefully my shopping list is all legit
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  7. #7
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    my friend is in HK atm. Hopefully my shopping list is all legit
    Ahem .. Yeeeeaaahhhhh legit

    Ah sure they'll you'll be fine so long as he's sticking to the high street and not the markets :P

  8. #8
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    There was a thread or post about doing your own molding somewhere.
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  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Tigris's Avatar
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    As a lucky owner of molds + IEM I can relate to your problem- the packaged earpieces never closed my ears probably.

    The interesting thing about molds is: If done right you can exchange the IEMs, which would help testing various makes for your personal preferences.

    I really like my IE8s, but I think every person has individual preferences for sound.

    One thing I found is that in high temperatures the molds do feel ok, but you need to 'dry' the mold after wearing them for extended times.
    I mix stuff on my things...

  10. #10
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    I'd expect to need to dry things out after a while, your ear is gonna sweat no-matter what so that not offputting.

    Doing the ear moulds is not really a problem, the execution of what you do after you have a mould is (to me anyhow aesthetics is 50% of the job).

    So I reckon...

    1. Mold Ear
    2. Wax Dip to enlarge mould slightly (for snug fit)
    3. Create plaster cast of mold (simulated ear)
    4. Create a split cast including existing phones+putty material for headphone backing size.
    5. Create silicone version for earside and resin for backside (visbible portion) 6. Stick both sides together.
    8. Try em out

    Test em out.

    I'm willing to play around a lil with a $12 pair of phones :P - IE8's look tasty, but for $400 they would want to be

    The fit with the smallest stock buds is pretty decent ATM - but I think could be "nicer".

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