I was posed a challenge by two good friends, Light and Peter. These two are both comrades in terms of love for earbuds (apart from Max who of course should be the head honcho when it comes to everything earbuds in my opinion) and I must say, the proposition that they offered is quite hard to resist as much as it is quite hard to do. You see, I would like to knock the heads of these two when they offered me to do a shootout between the Seahf 650 Ohms and the TY Hi-Z 650 Ohms, I honestly am not sure if they were just making fun out of me as they know it will be quite a tight fight and would like me to have a bit of a challenge or if they themselves are curious as to whether get the other. Either way, I would like to thank these two knuckleheads for allowing me a chance for a lengthy time to compare the two as I admitted that it will be a very tough review.
True enough, I needed more time in comparing the two as it has similarities and difference which may not always be seen easily by most people. Yes, they may sport a bit of difference but then again, closer scrutiny is necessary to identify the discern which performs better or, whichever suits one’s taste.
Let’s now go through these two wonders and see how they fared against each other.
The two hell looks identical, so I should do a quick work on how is the build for each. Pretty much, the cable for both are braided and what seems to be copper but has to be of really good quality. Seems supple enough for me so wearing these two shouldn’t be much of a trouble.
The earpiece shells are also identical save for the color. It seems both are made of same mold and have quite good fit on my ears. I think even if I go for double foams, the earpieces won’t easily fall off.
Pretty much that is all I can say about the build of the two, but one thing for sure, it both seem to be excellently made given how durable it felt. Barring any recklessness from the user, these two should last long. I would suggest that you keep both in a good storage box or case to further ensure the length of life of these two beauties.
Now here comes my dilemma; in a nutshell both conformed to my preferences when it comes to the signature. While they have some differences especially with the signature, they both actually carry the same level of sound quality I expect from excellently made earbuds.
To test both, I will be using the Oriolus DP100 paired with the Centrance HiFi-M8, just so I can crank enough juice to drive both.
Back At One (Brian McKnight, Gold)
With this track, I really can’t pick which sounds better for me given that they both yield the sound I expect out of the track. Seahf 650 seems to have an edge in terms of imaging, which is one thing that I would normally look for first in an earbud or IEM. Slightly.
Soundstage wise, the Hi-Z 650 seems to win by a hair, as I felt it to hog an even bigger space compared to Seahf 650. It has seemingly better depth and width for me, with height seemingly is same.
I also liked the bass better with the Seahf 650, that is, me being quite intolerant to too lush bass. I kind of liked the bass a little bit better with the Seahf 650 which felt a bit tighter than the looser bass of the Hi-Z 650. This may not be the case for other folks, so I will leave this as something up on the preference.
Mids seems to be quite forward for both, although mixing in the imaging of the Seahf 650, it felt better for me compared to Hi-Z 650. The blending of the back up voices to Brian McKnight’s really is much more discerned with the Seahf 650.
I will say that with the track, as for the highs, this is where the Hi-Z 650 won. I would want the upper mids to the highs to be a bit sparklier, which the Hi-Z 650 has.
Hair Of The Dog (Guns N’ Roses, The Spaghetti Incident)
I will have to say that the Hi-Z 650 won this track easily given the slightly better highs off the earbud. As with this kind of track, one would expect a better smack off the treble and the Hi-Z 650 was able to justify it easily. I really liked how the crash of cymbals worked its wonders off the Hi-Z 650 as well as Slash’s solos nicely highlighted by the earbud.
Coupling that with the nice, tighter bass, I will say that Hi-Z 650 did win the track easily. I liked how well the pounds on the toms worked quite well to my taste.
I will have to speak about the imaging and soundstage quite the same as the first track, but given what I just mentioned about bass and trebles, the Hi-Z 650 easily picked the track off.
You’re My Best Friend (Queen, A Night At The Opera)
Perhaps because of the older mastering of the track that I currently have, I find the track to have lesser clarity with both the earbuds compared to the first two. However, I will still have to say that the guitars (pardon me, I am particular to that) on the track sounded to have crisper delivery with the Hi-Z 650. The details of the guitars seems to be a bit more pronounced with the said earbud over the Seahf 650.
However, Seahf 650 seems to have more distinct frequencies given the imaging prowess of the said earbud. I liked how well discerned each instruments are given the imaging of the Seahf 650.
Hi-Z 650 sounded a bit meatier and seems to have broader low end compared to the Seahf 650. However, given my preference, I will have to give the point to the Seahf 650 for its tighter low ends.
So, which of the two wins for me? Honestly, it is a very hard argument given the vast diversity of sound signature or quality preference everyone has. So I guess the better question is, should one be contented with just either of the two?
It really depends, to be honest. The Hi-Z 650 seems to fit more audience especially newer enthusiasts, but for those who would really like the details to be really dissected, I would recommend the Seahf 650. However, to be honest, there isn’t much difference between the two as they sport a very similar signature give or take a few differences on the tweaks across the frequencies.
For me, either you keep just one or both is a matter of how well your ears can discern the difference between the two. I will however have a bit if inclination towards the Seahf 650, but if I can help it, I would rather get both, as both has quite the quality that is a bit hard to let go. If you can fund both, by all means get both, but I can settle with just one, more probably the Seahf 650. I would probably get it reterminated though to balanced 2.5mm TRRS though for my personal pleasure.