A well organized event with lots of gear to try.
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HeadPie: Simple audio hobbyists and enthusiasts with a dubious quality of hearing.
*First published on November 15th, 2015
We have after much consideration decided to discontinue the pie ratings for review items.
Our thinking is that it is difficult to gauge correctly between price points and also to keep it coherent over time.
I for one will miss the pie scores.
Head Pie is a blog founded by Damon/expatinjapan on November 13th - 15th, 2015.
Head Pie Creator, Founder, Head Pie blog creator, website manager, reviewer and interviewer, Head Pie Facebook page admin. Twitter and instagram manager. Email contact person.
Head pie has had various contributors that come and go.
We would like to thank all our contributors so far that have let us use their photos and words.
The most significant was Rudi, who has gone on to work on his own blog firstname.lastname@example.org contact him at email@example.com or via Facebook.
Rudiwidjaja Hartono was the first to join the Head pie team based on his regular uploads to Facebook, and also Head-fi in the past.
Head Pie first recruit, ex-Facebook Admin and HP blog content contributor, via Facebook posts and uploaded by Damon.
Thank you Rudi for everything.
A big and humble thanks to all the companies who have supported us by allowing themselves to be interviewed and who have sent products to be reviewed.
Thank you again everyone!
February 20th, 2016
February 20th, 2016
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Paiaudio MR3 IEM earphone review
Paiaudio is a new company on the IEM scene.
They are based in China and established in 2014.
They are based in China and established in 2014.
When I first saw photos of the IEMs on offer from Paiaudio on the internet, I thought they looked rather plastic and cheap. I was proved wrong when I opened the box.
In person they are well made, seem durable enough to withstand general day to day punishment and use.
They have two kinds of cable, the old and the new. The old is the one I prefer for looks and design, a clear cable similar but not identical to the more custom looking Echobox X1 or the FiiO EX1 cables, stylish snake skin like looks comes to mind.
The new cable seems too plastic looking to me, a glossy black.
Paiaudio said that they will be reverting back to the original cable after feedback from their customers.
The IEMs shells are of the closed style, so I found them to isolate well on my daily commute.
MMCX connectors, so the cables are removable and replaceable.
There are three Knowles drivers in each ear piece.
Packaging is in a beautiful looking black sleeve with the companies logo on it, slide it off and inside is a cardboard black box with a lid affixed by magnets. Open it up and the IEMs are packed within a foam plate, the underneath of which has the cable (I gave feedback on how to package the cable so it would not be kinked upon arrival), also in the box is a small users manual, some extra tips (full set of S,M,L in a clear thin white silicone).
There is also a small cloth bag for transporting the earphones. I prefer a hard shell case but the supplied cloth bag seems to suffice.
Paiaudio DR1 single driver IEM, packaging and included extras is the same as the MR3.
The IEMs themselves have a nice long nozzle that means the user can get a satisfying fit, often I have the experience of not being able to get a deep enough insertion in my left ear canal, with the Paiaudio MR3 I can. The result being that I have a nice balance of the music within my head and ear to ear.
The nozzle is a one large bore with a metal screen covering.
I spent a bit of time trying to pick apart the IEMs themselves without too much brutality and they stayed together.
The cable can be rotated 360 degrees where it connects at the join to the IEM, also the cable can be detached.
I experienced minimal micro phonics from the cable, If any at all and they seem to not hiss when using the Shozy Alien and Centrance Hifi-Skyn.
My expectations were low as I mentioned in the earlier section that I judged a book by its cover before even holding the paiaudio MR3 in my hands. Also being a new company I sold them short.
But on the other hand that is also a good place to start, that of doubts and skepticism.
First out of the box impressions was first of too extended highs, and loose lower bass, but I could hear the possible potential.
After a good 10-20 hours they seem to have tamed in the highs, and the bass had tightened up somewhat - this has also been my experience with other IEMs and some headphones.
Whether one believes its burn in, or ear adjustment or the brain adapting I do find a bit of time helps.
Either way a bit of burn keeps the believers and the doubters both happy.
I ended up with over 50 hours of playing music on the Paiaudio MR3 before I finally sat down to finish writing the review.
I am still pleasantly surprised by the price and the sound of these affordable but very listenable IEMs.
The sound I would describe as reference, as in fairly flat.
Everything seems fairly balanced and coherent, sound stage is acceptable and the MR3 has a sense of spaciousness, there is enough width and height to keep me happy.
The bass is low and flat, vocals are sweet.
The Paiaudio MR3 certainly couldn`t be counted as a warm IEM, nor is there any trace of a V shape.
It could be said that although it is a flat IEM in general signature there is a tendency towards the highs every so slightly.
The sound fits within the price range and perhaps slightly more, after yesterdays full day of listening to Campfire Audios `Jupiter` I could readily notice the drop down overall. This was to expected in terms of price point alone with the Paiaudio MR3 coming in at $US179 compared to the Jupiter at US$899.
Shuffle time, so that will I listen to songs I wouldn`t normally.
Source - Centrance Hifi Skyn (Gain 1-best and Gain 2 - too much power) and ipod touch 6G 128GB, using Flacplayer app.
JVC Spiral fit tips (Soft silicone, large bore).
Cat Power - `Lived in Bars` has just started playing, nice full bass, creamy females vocals, crisp and full drums.
The Sundays - `What do you think` comes across a bit thinner due to the bands poppy treble style, good detail and guitars.
Radiohead - `The bends` has a wall of sound aspect to it, not overwhelming, but when things getting quiet the vocals shine with a smoothness, guitars are extended and highs spiral heavenwards, though smaller nozzled tips should tame those or some complys.
Ramones - `Don`t go` is a bit shrill in places, drums are the best part. Bit murky at times-recording?
Creedence Clearwater Revival - `Someday never comes` seems to bring out the best of the MR3 like Cat Power did, fast drums, great full soaring deep vocals, accurate drums, fast guitars. A good sense of space and separation.
Bauhaus - `Bela Lugosi`s dead` is a track I am very familiar with so it it is a good test track for me. Vocals are accurate, drum stick taps are as expected, guitar seems fine and reproduced well. Bass guitars strums are nice and low, distorted feedback guitars are reproduced well. The vocals are my favorite.
Queen - `Don`t stop me now` The MR3 seems to keep to keep up with Freddie Mercury`s vocal range, treble a little bit extended at times but turning down the volume a tad seems to fix this.
Spinfit tips (hard core, smaller bore hole opening)
Queen - `Don`t stop me now` seems a bit more rounded, bass a bit more thumping, mids more forward.
David Bowie - `Space Oddity` good sense of space and instrument separation.
Back to the JVC Spiral tips.
Norah Jones - `One flight down` nice silky smooth Norah vocals.
New order - `Shell shock` is quite harsh, the electronic music is reproduced satisfactory but has too much treble.
Garbage - `Felt` nice low bass, rest seems a bit incoherent.
Dire Straits - `Walk of life` great keyboards, beautiful vocals.
Neil Young - `Comes a time` nice vocals, smooth, low key, great vocals and guitars.
lana Del Rey - `24` vocals are airy, MR3 seems to like female vocals.
Trespassers William - `Different Stars` I like this song very much and listen to it often. Vocals are lovely and the spacey guitars float well in the background.
The Paiaudio MR3 is as noted earlier a flat IEM with a tendency ever so slight towards the highs, it does like female vocals and responds well to quieter, warmer and slow paced music.
This is one of the first pleasing points (apart form the outer packaging design) that hit home, I could get a full insertion via the good length of the nozzle, one that gave me the same experience and volume on both ears.
My ears are on the small side and as you can see in the photo the models ears are also on the small side, so fitting the main body of the IEM shell in the ear should not be a problem I expect.
They are light which makes for a comfortable experience and fit within the outer ear comfortably.
The included tips are soft and thin, others may prefer to do some tip rolling to bring up the lower bass more and tame the highs at the early stage.
The Paiaudio range of IEMs is priced as follows
DR1 US$39 - $49
MR2 US$129 - $149
MR3 US$169 - $189.
I think it fits well within the current price range, packaging, materials and being a young company.
The sound is satisfying and could possibly fit between the $150 - $250 price range.
It also has replaceable cables, and a great fit which makes these great value for the price.
For the budget minded looking to enter into the world of multi driver IEMs the Paiaudio MR3 could be a great start,
The supplied tips are silky smooth and very comfortable, but thin. I found myself returning to the JVC Spiral Fit tips which also have a large bore hole but are made of thicker silicone to bring up the bass. Perhaps other users might try Complys to tame the highs. But thats a matter of preference.
They are built sturdy enough to last If one takes care of them, the replaceable cables are also attractive and convenient in case one needs to replace or wants to try an aftermarket alternative.
The sound fits within the price range, and with the right music the MR3 can be very musical and enjoyable.
Thanks to Paiaudio for sending us the MR3 IEM for review.
Head pie is getting over 10,000 visits a month now, quite good considering we started on November 13th, 2016.
Thank you for your continued interest and support.
During my visit to Singapore Can Jam, 20th and 21st February, 2016 there was so much awesome audio gear to see and try.
One of the most interesting IEMs was the DITA DBspoke Brass, limited to 20 units world wide.
Luckily I visited one day earlier and I met Desmond and Wong Kuan Wae at the E1 shop.
In E1 Shop I met many other friends like Christopher Lee, and his friends from Macau.
At night Desmond of DITA brought me to the high end Japan Bar D.Bespoke.
At the end of the night myself and Christopher Lee bought 2 DITA Brass D.Bspoke Brass LE.
Now it is time to write a mini review after I burned in My DITA D.Bspoke Brass LE for about 70 hours.
I have compared it with my DITA Gold TRRS Japan Edition too.
AK 100 MK II Blue Japan LE
DAC / Amp:
DITA Gold balanced TRRS Japan edition.
DITA D.Bspoke Brass LE of 20 units.
DITA IEMs are famous for having a very good ergonomic, that means I can use them for sleeping and they are very comfortable to use.
DITA Brass housing is heavier than DITA Gold edition, but still very comfortable to wear.
Both DITA Gold and DITA Brass D.Bspoke use the same Silver cable.
DITA gold is smoother and rich of detail.
DITA brass is more open and has better micro details.
Both are open sounding and rich in detail and both have very good high presentation.
DITA Gold is smoother.
DITA Brass has better weight and has better pronounce.
DITA Gold has very good bass impact and detail.
DITA Brass has better bass body and better bass speed and better bass clarity
Both have great separation.
DITA Brass has slightly better separation.
DITA Gold has width and has a good depth, like in small concert hall.
DITA Brass has taller soundstage, I feel like in medium concert hall.
Both have black background.
My preference is open and detail, good bass impact, fast bass speed and very sweet and clear mids.
On both DITAs I found all my sound quality preferences.
DITA during Singapore Can Jam had demo units from their new Variant DITA Brass LE of 100 pcs using a Copper cable.
DITA Brass Copper cable sounds more open than these two DITAs that I have
I cannot wait until May 2016.