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Best non-custom-fit IEM?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just curious if there is consensus in this subject.
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnm222876
Just curious if there is consensus in this subject.
Oh man. No consensus at all.

Some of the most recommended, though: Shure E500, Etymotic ER-4, Westone UM2, and -- although still in its infancy -- the Ultimate Ears triple.fi 10 Pro. If you're looking for comparisons, a search will do wonders.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll search for the models you mentioned.
post #4 of 21
Having listened to the E500 for an hour now, I can safely recommend the E500 over the E4c and ER4S. Of course, there's no real consensus, but I personally prefer the richer sound signature of the E500 over the ER4S. The E4c had a similar sound signature, but it was lacking refinement and detail. The E500 has both detail and refinement. I thought I'd never find a pair of universal IEMs better than the ER4S when I got them a year ago, but I was wrong.
post #5 of 21
Maybe the UE triple.fi 10 Pro's coming out... maybe...

But then again all of this is subjective, so everything is thrown out of the window.
post #6 of 21
I think it is between shure E500 and triple.fi 10 pro
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by aloooooh
I think it is between shure E500 and triple.fi 10 pro
It's very subjective. A Head-fi'er who loves detail will not like the E500 as much as the ER4S. They'll find the E500 bit too muddy and undefined compared to the ER4S. Having had both, I cannot say the E500 is definitely better than the ER4S, I can only say that in certain aspects the E500 is better. Each person has their own optimum sound signature.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder
It's very subjective. A Head-fi'er who loves detail will not like the E500 as much as the ER4S. They'll find the E500 bit too muddy and undefined compared to the ER4S. Having had both, I cannot say the E500 is definitely better than the ER4S, I can only say that in certain aspects the E500 is better. Each person has their own optimum sound signature.
I agree with this. While I really liked the E500 from the beginning, when I went back to my modified ER-4P I found the latter to sound clearer and straighter to the point, meaning more accurate and unvarnished. The E500 is quite warm and euphonic, which can sound a bit wrong with harder music, and its treble is generally a bit too soft for my taste, although it is there and quite refined.

So from my perspective the E500 is clearly overpriced, and if the multidriver concept primarily serves to provide euphonic fullness, as I suspect, it's not a good trend in my view.
.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
I agree with this. While I really liked the E500 from the beginning, when I went back to my modified ER-4P I found the latter to sound clearer and straighter to the point, meaning more accurate and unvarnished. The E500 is quite warm and euphonic, which can sound a bit wrong with harder music, and its treble is generally a bit too soft for my taste, although it is there and quite refined.

So from my perspective the E500 is clearly overpriced, and if the multidriver concept primarily serves to provide euphonic fullness, as I suspect, it's not a good trend in my view.
.
What sort of mod did you do on your ER4P?
post #10 of 21
I generally like highs as well, but I have been indoctrinated to the Shure sound in IEM's-e3, e5, e500. At times the e500 sounds a bit muffled (read as dark which also translates to smooth) compared to my ideal headphone, but I actually think that may be a positive in an IEM. I dont think I could tolerate the potential of shrill highs in an IEM the way I could in an full size headphone. Then again, I havent heard any competing models so I cant really draw any real world comparisons.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder
What sort of mod did you do on your ER4P?
Me too, i wanna know.

There is sort of a concensus that onc eyou get over $200/pair (E4c, ER-4p, super.fi 5) the value curve diminishes. Sort of. Maybe it starts diminishing at the im716, which i haven't heard
post #12 of 21
Out of the IEMs that I have heard, the ER4 wins, hands down, no questions asked. It is the most detailed, accurate, (where "accurate" means producing a literal reproduction of a recording with no colorations; possessing a frequency response matching the frequency response of the open ear) and most musical (according to my definition of musical) IEM there is, at least in this price bracket.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
Out of the IEMs that I have heard, the ER4 wins, hands down, no questions asked. It is the most detailed, accurate, (where "accurate" means producing a literal reproduction of a recording with no colorations; possessing a frequency response matching the frequency response of the open ear) and most musical (according to my definition of musical) IEM there is, at least in this price bracket.
PiccoloNamek, out of curiousity, which other IEMs have you compared them to?
post #14 of 21
I currently own an ER4B. I have owned the super.fi 5 pro, the Shure E4G and the ER4S. I plan on ordering an E500 as soon as my credit card payments go through, although I have no reason to assume I will like it more than my 4B. But then again, that is why I'm ordering it. In the name of science.

Anyone want to lend me a UM2? I honestly wouldn't mind hearing it, just to be sure, although the way people describe it scares me.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
I currently own an ER4B. I have owned the super.fi 5 pro, the Shure E4G and the ER4S. I plan on ordering an E500 as soon as my credit card payments go through, although I have no reason to assume I will like it more than my 4B. But then again, that is why I'm ordering it. In the name of science.

Anyone want to lend me a UM2? I honestly wouldn't mind hearing it, just to be sure, although the way people describe it scares me.
Do you want me to scare you even more? Ety to UM2 would be the nightmare that you've been avoiding. Even E500 to UM2 was a massive difference in quality. It's a personal opinion, and I'll be very frank: What were the guys at Westone thinking? Like you, I prefer listening on the natural and analytical side. However, I love the E500 but they are about as "musical" I'd like my phones to be. The ER4S still is, to me, the king of neutrality (IEM-wise, doesn't mean I like them more than the E500). E500 is A LOT of fun though. It gives quite an attractive alternative presentation of music than say an analytical phone like the ER4 or K701...

Piccolo, what did you think about the E4? I had it for a while (ie 3 months), the result of a direct trade from a pair of ER4P/S. I personally think that they were pretty good, but I would've rather kept the ER4P/S. They only problem was their lack of a refined sound: they just didn't sound very realistic. The E500 improves on the E4 in every possible way. I would feel disappointed whenever I changed between the HD650/K701 and the E4. The difference in sound quality was too big to contemplate. Changing between the K701 and the E500 was much easier: While the K701 is still the better 'phone (overall), the E500 provides a different, but not inferior sound. That's understandable as the E500 is quite a lot more expensive than the E4. That said, the E500 and E4 both have the signature Shure sound, which is very smooth sounding, nice bass, soothing and ever so slightly laid-back yet detailed highs.
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