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Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Koss KSC75 and Audio Technica ATH-CK7
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 12:45 PM --- Post#115017391737186890

Im not really an audiophile, so if i make any mistake please correct me.

T H E K S C 7 5
Last year, under BlackStar's recommendation, i bought my 2nd earphone, which is the KSC75. The 1st that i bought was the old Sony MDR-55, and some other no-brand buds not worth mentioning. The KSC75 was bought to replace my Cresyn stock buds from iAudio G3.

I have to agree with a lot of forums that despite the low cost of only $44, this clip on is really heaven. With $44, u cant even get any decent Sony or Audio Tech cans with $50. This proves that its not pricing that matters. So readers, dun get carried away by the high pricing and nice outlook of some other clip ons, if u are tight on budget like me, this clip on is for you. Another good choice might be the Sennheiser MX 400 to 500 series ear buds. This is especially good for iPod users as the stock buds is really can throw away one...

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Koss KSC75
+ nice bass, the bass sorts of "stands out" from the music and u can hear the notes of the bass chords clearly, like those from bass guitar or synthesizers. Some ppl call it having THICK bass.
+ nice trebles, can hear the crisp "cing cing cing" from high hats!
+ Clear music, can hear lots of instruments though you might needa jack up the volume a bit.
+ Good sound stage, since its a clip on, the driver is far from your ear, the music sound more far away rather than the singer screaming into your ears.
+ The music is damn lively, what some ppl call the "fun" sounds. You can sort of feel the vibrancy of the music and dance to it
+The clip can be pulled off! Meaning its convinent for music testing where you need to keep switching cans or players or the listener.

- Vocal is not brite enough. Despite having tons of bass and treble, the vocal part need some equalising. Personally, i prefer overly bright mids, so that i can hear all the words in a rock music.
- The clips can be quite uncomfortable. It took me quite some while to learn how to wear the, i get ear fatigue when the clips clamp tight on my fat ear.
- The soft plastic of the clip will shed after some use. It wun cause serious problem but its not nice looking lah.
- The clips get loose if your continually pluck it off and put it on, quite irritating.

T H E A T H - C K 7
Then a few weeks ago i bought a Audio Technica ATH-CK7. This is an in-ear buds. Its not really an IEM, but i would just call it IEM for simplicity sake. IEM means "In Ear Monitor". Those that Jay Chou and Jolin and other performers wear on stage. They are like an ear plug with speakers inside, meaning outside noise will be shielded. For performers, they need it to listen to the producers and back-stage crew under the noisy cheering of their fans.

The CK7 cost me a whopping $120. Got it at Hung Bros in SLS. Its worn around your ears and then the cables goes from your back. Normal earphones you see on the street have the cables running in front (ears > chest > tummy > pocket with your mp3 player inside.) With the cables round your ears, its hard to shake off these tiny IEMs.

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Audio Technica ATH-CK7
+ Brighter mids and treble. Comparing the KSC and the CK, this CK7 has a much brighter vocal, which i like lah. The treble is a little better as well.
+ More clarity! Its even more clear than the KSC75! Not only you can hear all the instruments, you can hear then clearly!
+ Punchy bass. Unlike the KSC that produces "stand out" bass chords, the CK7 bass is more punchy. Meaning the bass drums sound more shiok. The bass chords comes more the the form of "tightness". For a 11mm driver, its already damn nice for such bass. The smaller the driver, the harder it is to produce lower frequencies.
+ Comfortable. I feel that its more comforty since its small.
+ No material noise. Be it worn with cables running from front or back, there is no noise from my clothes rubbing on the cables.
+ Nice built. The body is made of forged titanium and it looks quite tough to me.
+ Nice isolation. Tested on plane, MRT, hawker center and beside high way! It isnt excellent when compared to other IEMs, but its good enuff.

- The vocal sounds a wee bit too bright, need to be careful while EQ else high harsh will come out.
- Its not as "lively" sounding as the KSC
- the cable must be worn round your ears, else it will drop off easily

Other advantages:
+ since the cables runs from the back and the IEMs are small and that it blocks out outside noise. Its a perfect earphone to use during lectures! No way your audio equipments will be seen by the lecturers from far!
+ Use it as a earplug when my mum is nagger. Beri good!!!

Which is better? The KSC75 or the CK7? Its hard to say...really. Both have their own strong points. The KSC is 3 times cheaper than the CK7, it shows how value for money the KSC75 is. Maybe becos its cheaper as the drivers of the KSC75 is larger (easier to produce sounds) and it has no much fanciful outlook other than the wheel-like plastic casing.

So is the CK7 not worth $120. Not really, since the pricing of IEMs are already high, for a better sound, it will go up to like $200 to $300 or even mroe than $500 for Shure or Beredynamics.

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