"Transformation" Iron Triangle ATH-IM04 earplugs audition experience

Since 1962, this year is the 53rd Spring and Autumn of the Iron Triangle Company, and its founder Matsushita Hideo died on March 5, 2013.

Black plastic, stereo tape drive, and phonograph, I can't talk about these early iron triangle products. In the digital age, I share my story with the Iron Triangle.

Iron triangle earphone

The first information about the iron triangle moving iron earplugs found on the Internet is probably the content of its single unit moving iron ATH-CK9 in January 2007. The impression of the iron triangle in the ear of the iron earplugs at that time was very simple: 1000 price segment - - Single unit moving iron CK9; 1600 price segment - double unit moving iron CK10 and close to 3000 price segment - three unit moving iron CK100.

Although the packaging is not simple, the wire is not soft, and it is only simple black and white. But the CK9 is a very impressive earplug. It has excellent sound insulation and sweet female voice, but the low frequency, musical instruments and male voices are not worth mentioning. . CK100 continues the characteristics of CK9, the intermediate frequency is more full, and the high-frequency extension is also slightly better; if you want to make an analogy, it is like the brand of Senhai, which is the same price segment of IE6 and IE8.

Following the CK100, the Iron Triangle recently launched the CKM1000/CKW1000ANV/CK100Pro three flagship earphones. The CK100 Pro naming rules are very similar to the CK100, but there is no inheritance of the CK100 style. The CK100 Pro is fresh, balanced, but not female. However, its high-frequency extension is very good, and there are many drawbacks of the tooth sound. The sound is slightly similar to SONY's flagship earphone EX1000.

Nowadays, the product line of the iron triangle moving iron earphone series is divided into the market by IM01/IM02/IM03/IM04, and IM04 is included. It is considered to be two generations of products separated from CK100.

——The LGA775 platform does not have an i7 processor. Perhaps it is easier to understand the CK100/CK100Pro/IM04 analogy to i7 920/i7 2600/i7 4790 here.

Iron triangle earphone

Iron triangle earphone

Audio-technica ATH-CK100 & ATH-IM04

The two earplug parameters and even the accessories are similar, the actual IM04 is harder to push than the CK100. The IM04 is a low-sensitivity, low-impedance earplug. The front end of an ordinary mobile phone cannot easily control the IM04.

In addition, the ATH-CK100 is a three-unit two-way moving iron earplug, while the ATH-IM04 is a four-unit four-way moving iron earplug. The ATH-IM04 is divided into two low frequency units and one high frequency and one intermediate frequency unit.

It may not be meaningful to talk about the technical indicators of various loops. Simply introduce the biggest difference between the three-unit two-way and the complete three-unit three-way moving iron earphone style:

In the early part, I was exposed to a three-unit two-point frequency iron earplug. There is a relatively obvious short board. The low frequency, especially the drum type instrument, is very unnatural and sounds a bit like iron. The CK100 is like this, as is the UE TF10. The complete three-unit three-way earplug ATH-CK100 Pro does not have this drawback.

The titanium alloy CK100 was once the world's smallest three-unit moving iron earplug, and the accessory was sent with a pair of glasses cloth wipes.

Iron triangle earphone

An anatomical view of the earplug is attached to the back of the box

Iron triangle earphone

Product manual and warranty card

Officially opened the box. In fact, when I saw IM04, I thought of the charcoal gold SE535 worn around the ear for the first time. Compared with the larger cavity of CK100, I would think of SONY's four-unit moving iron XBA-40.

Headphones out of the box

Japanese earplugs

Even with plastic cavities, the industrial design of Japanese earplugs is as good as ever.

Headset bag

Headset bag

The storage bag delivered by CK100 is a small leather bag closed by a magnet, and IM04 is a zipper bag. The CK100 comes with an ordinary memory foam, and the IM04 contains a pair of Complay memory sponges. Aside from the secondary factors such as grades, I am actually more accustomed to the zipper bag, and I also use Haijie earplugs to pack headphones.



Red and blue logos. I don't know if anyone thinks of the "Little Four" (Inter-American ER4 series). The IM04 blind spot is designed near the "L" English logo on the left. [page]



Unplug the silicone sleeve, the CK100 filter is lighter, and the IM04 filter is deeper.

There is a very small difference that there is not a "small sill" at the CK100 earplug catheter. In fact, except for some in-ear earplugs from Weisston, few earplugs do not design this small ridge. If the ear secretes more oil, the earplugs that are not designed with this small ridge are easy to fall off after using the silicone sleeve for a long time, and must be cleaned regularly. For users with very small ear holes, the earplugs without this ridge design are more comfortable to wear.


IM04 is designed for interchangeable lines. It is slightly known on the Internet. This interface is generally IE80/W60/SE846.

Earplugs audition


Earplugs audition


Earplugs audition

Aune T1 & ATH-IM04

Earplugs audition

Aune T1 rear interface

IM04 product description, of course, for the ear-worn wear, the above is illustrated.

Instruction manual


It has been down for about 100 hours, and the test uses the smallest silicone sleeve. The D50 uses a 3.5mm PO port output. Since some of the tracks are really unable to get the lossless album, a small amount of MP3 format sound source test is used. I have already heard that IM04 is not easy to "drive", so I moved out of Aune T1 and tried to push it over.

I think the combination of IM04 and D50 is quite good. In fact, if a fan let me listen blindly and not disclose the brand of headphones, I may not be able to guess that this is the style of the iron triangle. Compared with me, who still stays in the female poison style, the performance of the instrument, especially the improvement of the low frequency, has made great progress.

In contrast, CK100's interpretation of this song, both the piano and the sound field are obviously inferior. In general, IM04's interpretation of male voices is also remarkable. Pop music is a very simple project for most headphones.

In fact, in the audition process, it was unexpectedly found that the IM04 piano performed well. Of course, perhaps I only used the IE80 dynamic earplugs for reference before. On the CK100, the male voice is relatively more neutral, and the voice is more vocal. If the song only discusses the vocal part, the difference between the two is not too big, and the style is slightly different.

to sum up

The IM04 is generally worn, and it is not comfortable. It must be worn around the ear. At this point, there is a certain difference between the CK100 that can be inserted or wound around the ear. On the wire, the CK100 is softer.

I also tried IM04 on Aune T1. When I was over-the-top, I couldn’t notice the style of the iron triangle in my impression. Just as I said before, if I don’t tell the model, let me blindly listen, maybe I It is simply impossible to perceive this as the iron triangle of today.

The former iron triangle left many people with the impression that they are only good at medium and high frequency, but the low frequency is weak. Compared with the instrument, they are better at the style of vocals. IM04 should be regarded as a sound and clear, and it is very good to grasp the low frequency and A quality balanced product, but it can't talk about female poison.

Like me, I think that the CK9 / CK100 headphones enthusiasts may not be a minority. The CK100 Pro listed later is not favored by the early batch of fans of the Iron Triangle due to the higher pricing of the Bank and the different style from the CK100. .

In a way, IM04 actually continues the idea of ​​CK100 Pro: complete multi-unit multi-frequency, but compared to CK100 Pro, IM04 tooth tone is much less, even in the D50 such a "rush" front end On the other hand, the tooth sound is also within my personal acceptable range.

However, the D50 needs 2~3 files to drive the IM04 to the normal sound pressure level, while the CK100 only needs 1 volume more than enough. I also used the mobile phone to measure it. Generally, the mobile phone can push the IM04 but it can hardly show it. The sound is clear, the low frequency has a quality and quantity.

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