2013 Spring Tokyo Headphone Festival Impressions

Disclaimer: The Headfonia Store sells FitEar, Hifiman, Fiio, Shure, Centrance, Fostex (coming), and Astell & Kern.

It was an exciting Tokyo Headphone Festival though more heavily focused (perhaps 85%) on portable gear. I’m not gonna talk about everything I saw there since it’s simply too much, but I’ll focus on the highlights. Local-based readers, I’m arranging a slide show presentation next Saturday in the store so please drop by and I can answer your questions one by one in person. ๐Ÿ™‚

In all, the impressions I share here shouldn’t be conclusive. The reason is that I didn’t get too much listening time as the show started a 10:30AM and it ended at 6PM. True, I skipped lunch that day but that still gives me an average of perhaps ~15-20 mins on each booth though on some large booth I was there for significantly longer ~30 mins++. You should treat this article as a trade show mini report, not a product review.

 

Let’s start with the Shure SE846… but before that let me apologize for the *gah* unprofessional formatting and picture quality. My big MacPro is dead and I have to do with a small MacBook with no image processing capabilities.

 

2013 Spring Tokyo Headphone Festival Impressions
5 (100%) 1 vote[s]

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48 Comments

  • Reply May 24, 2013

    Dave Ulrich

    That looked like fun! How did the cMoys sound?

    • Reply May 25, 2013

      John123John

      give the continental a run for their money? haha

      • Reply May 25, 2013

        Dave Ulrich

        I would guess not, but I would love to hear it regardless!

    • Reply May 25, 2013

      Mike

      Well they were roughly Cmoy level in terms of technicalities. A little warmer and darker than the JDSLabs Cmoy but the mids were less clear.

  • Reply May 25, 2013

    Lam Tran

    334 V-shape ??? is there anything wrong ??

    • Reply May 25, 2013

      Mike

      What do you expect?

      I used to be the sole distributor for FitEars and even now we have a lot of used FitEars being traded in on the Headfonia Store.

      It’s extremely nice but it’s not the full mids tonality. The 335DW is the one to go for if you want a full mids.

      • Reply May 25, 2013

        Lam Tran

        No, I mean this it weird , i’m both 334 and fitear parterre owner but I don’t find the 334 is V-Shape …. i even feel the 334 is a bit polite in treble region , I find the parterre have a lot of point better than 334 especially in separating instrument, same as 334 have it own advantages ( smoother and fuller mid )

        • Reply May 25, 2013

          Andru

          I had listened to 081xxx batch and it’s definitely easy to noticed the v shape signature when compared to 082xxx batch.But i like the v shape 081xxx batch since it had more lively sound compared to 082xxx.

          • Reply May 25, 2013

            Mike

            So now we have different sound from different batches? I’ve across so many 334s but never really find a difference, maybe I’m not listening well enough.

            The other day they were saying that Translucent T1+2 all sounded different

            • Reply May 25, 2013

              Andru

              The differents are on the cables,since both batch are sounded just same when swapped with ALO sxc cable.Not really a serious issues i think…

              • Reply May 25, 2013

                Mike

                Alright thank you. That’s relieving to hear.

        • Reply May 25, 2013

          Mike

          Wow I thought the Parterre is not yet out.

          • Reply May 25, 2013

            Lam Tran

            yes, but I bought it through hp fes , there are 10 limited unit for sale on that day.

            • Reply May 27, 2013

              Mike

              Phew, I suppose the 10 units were already out when I asked.

        • Reply May 25, 2013

          Mike

          The 334ToGo to me has always sounded mildly v-shaped. I definitely won’t say it has a full mids.

  • Reply May 25, 2013

    Burju

    That Tube Cmoy is a beaut….whoa

  • Reply May 25, 2013

    BigC

    “This is going to be a hot IEM and I can imagine seeing a lot of used UE900s being dumped in the market.”

    Interesting comment considering the new Shure IEM costs over twice the price of the UE900. Do you really think the demand will be that strong considering the massive price differential?

    • Reply May 25, 2013

      Mike

      Okay maybe I’m not so good at speculation. Yes you have a good point regarding the price difference. The huge price difference. Gosh what a major thing to overlook.

      Thing is the trend that I’m seeing is that people more and more won’t settle for anything than the best, and with customs all these time the biggest obstacle is that people don’t seem to want to go through the hassle of the process (at least for international customers) and possible needs for further re-fits. With the Shure they won’t have to deal with that hassle and they can still have this excellent sound.

      • Reply May 25, 2013

        Andru

        Mike,how’s the build quality of SE846 plastic housings?

        • Reply May 25, 2013

          Mike

          Just like the other Shure models, but they specifically mentioned that it was only a prototype and that the final product may be different.

  • Reply May 25, 2013

    l3A7VA7VA

    Any other further Hifi-m8 impressions?

    What headphones did you use for your testing at the show?( for the different products you demoed).

    -Your own?
    -Or the ones at the tables (I presume they had).

    thank you.

    • Reply May 25, 2013

      Mike

      Headphones I think I used their T1 Beyerdynamic. Sorry for the limited impression on the M8. Ended up chatting to Michael for a little too long.

  • Reply May 25, 2013

    Currawong (Amos)

    Mike, it’s a shame I didn’t know you were coming to the show as it would have been good to meet you. Next time I hope.

    • Reply May 25, 2013

      Mike

      I tried to get in touch with you but I can’t find your email! And Sean happened to be sick that week so I didn’t meet him either.
      Maybe in fall…

  • Reply May 26, 2013

    John Seaber

    Awesome Cmoys!

    • Reply May 27, 2013

      Mike

      You gotta make some John!

  • Reply May 26, 2013

    SwimSonny

    Just thinking with damping and the TERAs high OI it probably was not the best DAP to demo the 846 with and maybe that’s why the really deep subbass was not quite there. Over than that, awesome show report and males me wish I was there even more!

    • Reply May 27, 2013

      Mike

      Yes, sorry probably not the best. It just happened to be my main DAP.

  • Reply May 27, 2013

    iamsocheap

    sound (and technical level) wise, how would you compare the hm901 with your tera player?

    • Reply May 27, 2013

      Mike

      I think the HM-901, technically is not at the level of the 801 and the Tera. As I’ve said it’s a more mainstream oriented sound, full and punchier bass. Something that can’t be said about the 801 and the Tera.

  • Reply May 27, 2013

    Hekowee

    Sure do like the poster. The HD-800’s are my primary cans. Any ideas on how to get an image, or copy?

    • Reply May 27, 2013

      Mike

      Well if you’re in Jakarta I can give you a copy (A4)

      • Reply May 27, 2013

        Hekowee

        Well, round trip airfare to Jakarta would cost about as much as the HD-800’s. Hmmmmm, I’m going to have to think about this one. Thanks for the offer, and even more, thanks for all the great reviews.

  • Reply May 27, 2013

    Darryn Harly Septalingga

    which do you prefer between AK120 and Teclast T51? since they share the same configuration of their DAC (Dual Wolfson WM8740)… and for DAP choice, between Fiio X3 and Teclast T51, which should i choose? mostly i listen to japanese song and also progressive metal or nu metal like Dream Theater, Slipknot, or System of a Down… btw nice report, and thx before ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Reply May 27, 2013

      Mike

      The configuration is same but sound is very different. I think the ak120 should have enough speed for your music but I haven’t really tried it specifically with thqt

  • Reply June 11, 2013

    Fabio_Rocks

    The Shure Se846 is so nice! They also have implemented a system that allows to tune the treble +-2,5 db. Mike do you think it will be better than FitEars 335?

  • Reply June 21, 2013

    ohm image

    Mike, next time you are in Tokyo for a show, I’d love to meet up. We go to the same shows and I’m told by mates that you are there, but… finding anybody there is quite the chore.

    Great round up.

    • Reply June 21, 2013

      Mike

      Thanks I will send you an email. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply July 2, 2013

    Kenny Chew

    I did not read any bias, so Mike your initial impression of Shure SE846 was very truthful. I agreed to that 846 pricing indeed too high. Any price of $750 and below will be more appropriate. (under cut your mentioning price by another $50, haha..)

    • Reply July 2, 2013

      Mike

      Thanks, Kenny. I have a feeling market price is going to be around $1k maybe a bit lower

  • Reply July 19, 2013

    Eric Thompson

    Hmm so is the 846 still really really laid back and sort of lacking in the highs like the 215’s and 535’s? I didn’t mind it with the 215’s but in the $500 535’s I was sort of disappointed.

  • Reply February 11, 2016

    Coll. IEm

    I don’t know why you still think 801 better than 901
    but I have both 901 sound better in every way even with mp3 .

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