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[耳機分享] LEAR LHF-AE1d 外國評測分享~

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全球齊撐LEAR NatroSound

Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11

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2008-6-26
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Medal No.4

發表於 2015-10-24 13:28:03 |顯示全部樓層
You like a very balanced sound? Go for it. You like an extremely bassy sound? Go for it. - The LHF-AE1d is incredibly versatile.

Pros: extremely versatile, sounds natural and vivid, bass screw offers a wide range but doesn't really bleed into the mids, good resolution, cable, case
Cons: bass on the softer side, bodies collect fingerprints

                Preamble:

Before I begin with my actual review, I’d like to thank LEAR (http://www.LEAR-eshop.com/) and especially the creative head behind the company, Tatco Ma, for arranging a sample of the LHF-AE1d for my honest evaluation.
Please note that I’m neither affiliated with him nor the company in any way and that this review reflects my actual opinion.

LEAR, founded 2008 in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Forever Source Digital, one of the most well-known local professional portable audio products, quickly got attention and good reputation in audiophile circles (heck, even us geeks in Germany know them!). For good reason, as in 2014, their hard and consequent work was awarded by the renowned international business magazines publisher Mediazone with the “Hong Kong's Most Valuable Companies Award 2015”.

Looking at the LHF-AE1d’s specific values and features, one could get an idea of which other IEM will be the LEAR’s competitor in this review.
Just as the Sennheiser IE 80, the LHF-AE1d features one dynamic driver per side, allows you to tune the amount of bass with a screw that sits in the housing, and is even in the same price range.
Before I finally head over to my actual review, just let me explain the meaning of the letters in “LHF-AE1d: "L"EAR, "H"ybrid, "F"it Series,"A"djustable, "E"xchangable, 1 "d"ynamic driver. “Hybrid Fit Series” points to that the IEMs can be used with regular silicone tips as well as with separately available custom-moulded eartips from LEAR (the procedure is the same as for CIEMs (you have to get ear impressions from an audiologist which are sent to the manufacturer who then makes the CIEMs/custom eartips), but with the benefit of a better resale value as the custom eartip can be replaced without damaging the IEMs), wherefore a second pair of metal nozzles is included (which bypasses the sometimes worse sound of custom eartips, as the nozzles for the custom tips from LEAR are shorter and allow a better sound direction). “Exchangable” stands for the exchangeable nozzles for standard and custom tips; “Adjustable” is the indicator for the ability to adjust the lows through the screw. I think “1 dynamic driver” is pretty much self-explanatory.


Technical Specifications:

Driver: 10mm CCAW, 5µ diaphragm, Neodymium magnets, LEAR custom tuned dynamic driver
Frequency response: 20~20kHz
Impedance: 33ohm @1000 Hz (Adjustable knob at 4'o clock maximum position)
Sensitivity: 110dB @1mW (Adjustable knob at 4'o clock maximum position)
Price point (without custom-fit nozzles): HK$1488 which translates to ~ $192


Delivery Content:

The LHF-AE1d comes in a plain black cardboard box which has got shiny silver LEAR logos on its front and back.
Its content is pretty good and covers the in-ears which come in a sturdy black screwable plastic box with black soft-touch surface that is bolstered with green rubber on the inside, a cleaning cloth, a screwdriver for adjusting the amount of bass, an additional pair of short screwable metal nozzles for custom-moulded eartips from LEAR and last but not least 10 pairs of eartips (3x foam, 2x hybrid silicone with green core, 3x silicone (in 2 sizes), 1x bi-flange, 1x triple-flange).





Aesthetics, Build Quality:

The lightweight IEMs have got a shiny surface with a dark chrome appearance, are very well built and feel extremely sturdy – here is nothing that I could criticise. The bodies have each got one inbound screw for adjusting the lows’ level and a classic 2-pin standard connector system for the exchangeable silver cables that have got four cores, are twisted, extremely flexible and can also be found with other valuable custom-made IEMs.
The nozzles and their threads are made of metal and colour-coded, as the direction in which they are screwed in differs on both sides.
The included carrying xasw is just as commendable as the IEMs, as it is waterproof, very sturdy and has got enough space on the softly padded inside – something that I miss on some other premium IEMs’ carrying cases.





Comfort, Isolation:

The quite lightweight in-ear monitors are ergonomically shaped and modelled on the shape of the ears’ concha, wherefore they sit very comfy and securely in my ears and should also fit most other people with no issues. Due to their low weight, I barely notice them. Their cables are intended to be worn professionally over the ears (which is also my preference with all of my other IEMs), wherefore the already comfy fit gets even more secure and microphonics are completely eliminated.

It should be clear that the LEAR doesn’t isolate as much as fully closed IEMs, but its noise isolation is actually better than just mediocrity and clearly superior to the barely isolating Sennheiser IE 80, my antagonist for this review.


Sound:

Before I started more critical listening, the IEMs were burnt in for at least 50 hours with noise and sine signals (just in case).
Most of my listening tests were made with the iBasso DX90 playing FLAC, but also WAV, Hi-Res and 320 kBps cbr MP3 files.

Tonality:

Due to the bass screws (which really have got a high impact on these IEMs’ tonality), there are several types of tonality that can be achieved with these IEMs, reaching from “very balanced” to “utterly bloated and bassy”, wherefore I decided to split my descriptions below into four parts, namely “Screw at 4 dots” (which is the stock setting the LHF-AE1d arrives with), “Screw fully closed”, “Screw fully opened” and “Versus Sennheiser IE 80” (for which the screw was in the upper third).

Screw at 4 dots:

In this setting, the sound is still surprisingly balanced, with a moderately recessed treble, but without actually sounding warm or overly dark.

With the default position at four dots, sound is already surprisingly unobtrusive and tempered, with a moderate bass emphasis of little more than ~ 4 dB compared to a strictly flat IEM. Bass is emphasised pleasantly even and reaches down to the lowest registers of sub-bass without noteworthy roll-off. To the top, the bass’s emphasis reaches up into the middle ground-tone, adding just a little warmth to them.
Mids are pretty spot-on in terms of level, although somewhat darker than neutral although lower highs are a bit emphasised.
The ensuing treble is moderately in the background, but evenly comes back again already after just 2 kHz without noticeable dips, wherefore nothing is missing, although it is a bit recessed. On the whole, there are no peaks or valleys in the treble or frequency response in general, wherefore especially highs sound very natural and realistic.
Super treble has got a good extension as well.

Screw fully closed:

In this setting, treble remains the same, although it subjectively appears more present due to the lesser amount of bass.
With fully closed bass-screw, lows are audibly reduced. In the upper midbass, upper bass and ground-tone, a slight “emphasis” of about one dB (which is less than before) remains; mid- and subbass are obviously more neutral and probably even a very slight tad recessed.
In this setting, sound could be seen as a relaxed adaption of “neutral”.

Screw fully opened:

This is what all bassheads are probably looking for: with the screw in this position, a mighty wall of bass appears, which even exceeds the Sennheiser’s level.
Although the bass emphasis is quite enormous, it surprisingly doesn’t bleed into the mids too much, although ground-tone is obviously more present than before and also affects the lower mids, but as the transition from bass into ground-tone is quite smooth and even, mids are in relation overall quite free of bass-bleeding. Although, in consequence of the quite humongous bass emphasis, treble unfortunately perishes somewhat.

Versus Sennheiser IE 80:

The IE 80 has got a very warm sound because of its broadband ground-tone emphasis which also bleeds into the mids, which therefore are warm, dark and voluminous. Luckily, this is not the case with the LEAR, even if the bass adjusting screw is in the upper third. Ground-tone is vastly less present and also decreases earlier and more evenly towards mids, wherefore the LHF-AE1d sounds clearly less warm and has got the noticeably less dark midrange. Lower and middle highs are less present on the Sennheiser’s side, but there is a narrow peak at about 7-8 kHz which compensates for the bass emphasis. Although the LEAR has got more level in the lower and middle highs, to me it sounds darker than the Sennheiser, as its treble is more even and has got a consistent level of lesser amount between 7 and 8 kHz. Clear win for the LHF-AE1d.

Resolution:

I want to keep it short here and come to my core statement of this paragraph:  LHF-AE1d’s resolution is clearly above the IE 80’s and also additionally beats it in terms of naturalness. Tiny details are audibly better unmasked by the LEAR. Because of the more even frequency response and the treble, which is also more consistent and without considerable peaks or valleys, instruments simply sound more natural and realistic. Although bass is also rather on the soft and slowly decaying side, it is faster than the IE 80’s, which is especially audible with fast double and triple bass punches, which just sound like uniform mud with the Sennheiser, but are distinguishable with the LHF-AE1d. However, I wouldn’t mind a bit more speed, though body and texture sound very good and not boomy or muddy.
As a side-note, a positive thing about the LEAR is that its lows don’t soften towards subbass, but remain the same level of speed all over the whole low-range.
Although the LHF-AE1d doesn’t noticeably cave in with very fast and complex music, it sounds a bit more strained and can’t retain the same amount of dynamics and effortlessness as Balanced Armature drivers, whereas everything is just fine with slow and moderately fast music.
Even with utterly opened bass-screw, lows don’t tend towards muddiness and boominess too much, although they appear less precise than before (but still faster and more arid than the IE 80’s) and overall resolution decreases.

Soundstage:

The LHF-AE1d doesn’t create an enormously expansive soundstage as the IE 80, but doesn’t sound constrained by any means either.
Lateral expansion is better than good mediocrity, with a good balance between width and depth, and LEAR’s dynamic in-ear monitor creates an authentic spatial depth with decent layering. Instrument separation is on a good level as well and exceeds the Sennheiser’s, although the latter is able to create the roomier instrument placement due to its soundstage’s wider expansion. Nonetheless, the LHF-AE1d has got the more precise borders between single instruments. Even with very fast tracks, the stage remains pretty coherent, steady and effortless.


Conclusion:

With the LHF-AE1d, LEAR has created a very good dynamic IEM which clearly exceeds its direct opponent, as well as all in all other dynamic IEMs in the same price range (such as the RHA T20).
The bass screw is a very effective feature and allows many steps between a relaxed balanced-neutral and massively bassy sound signature, wherefore a whole lot of individual preferences can be covered with one single IEM.
The entire sound is spacious, high resolving and especially appears very natural, as frequency response is quite even and smooth, without any striking peaks or valleys.

The premium build quality, the high resolving, natural sound and the high versatility make the LHF-AE1d an excellent IEM, which solely could have a faster decaying bass with a little more aridness, which leads me to an overall rating of 4.75 out of 5 stars (I’ve rated it 4.5, as 4.75 is not possible on Head-Fi and the bass would have to be a little more arid, along with the mids being a tad less dark to give it 5 stars).
Shortly summarised: the LHF-AE1d is a brilliant and versatile dynamic in-ear for a very fair price.

原文連結:http://www.head-fi.org/products/ ... hones/reviews/14313


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