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Help an overwhelmed consumer find some new IEMs

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well this little en devour took quite a turn.

I have some sony ex71's I've been using for some time but are now falling apart due to the cat getting to them. They've actually kept working for months despite this, but I'm ready for something better.

Initially I just wanted to replace these with something cheap, probably the sony ex81s as I use my current ones for running as well as in the office and just about everything else. But then I got sucked back into the world of headphones. I can't believe how mainstream and massive the in ear market has become in just a few years, no doubt as a result of the iPod's massive success.

Anyways, a couple years ago I decided I wanted to go beyond anything I'd ever purchased as far as portable headphones go. I settled on the Shure E2c. At the time 100 bucks was an insane amount of money to pay for "ear buds". It still is alot of money, but I find it more palettable now that I understand this market and the value of quality more. If something is worth it, I'll pay up.

The problem is, this very purchase is what turned me off of this market for some time. I wound up in the long run being very dissapointed with the Shure's. I stuck with them for a long time hoping to become accustomed to them but never really did. No matter the fit, they just sound bland to me. Even now. The high's were especially exhausting and unpleasant to listen to. Then I bought the sony's and enjoyed them far more, largely I'm sure because of the much cheaper price. I could live with the fact that most enthusiasts pan them and don't consider them accurate. If I had paid 100 bucks for them, my opinion would have changed greatly.

So because of this it's hard for me to drop more than 100 bucks on a pair with it being such a gamble. You have to take someone else's word, or borrow some, and I don't know anyone as enthusiastic about sound as I am that has anything I can try out.

Anyways a few that I am seriously looking at are:

V-moda Vibes - ~70 bucks at Amazon. Saw a really enthusiastic review on here from searching the forum, and he even compared them to some others I was looking into so that turned my attention back to these a little more seriously.

Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 - Same price as the V Moda's on Amazon. Their reputation precedes them. Also have read some great things. The V-moda's seem like they might be more enjoyable to listen to for a casual listener though.

Ultimate Ears Super fi. 5 pro's - 160-ish on Amazon. Considerably less than its 250 dollar retail price tag. Read some exceptional things about them too. So far, if I am going to spend more than a hundred bucks I am looking at these pretty seriously. I am a little worried about the build quality though. I've read alot about the cord breaking and even the casing cracking. The EBs intrigue me as well. I get the feeling the added bass may be a bit much though. Again, hard for me to judge since I can't try them out.

The E2c's definitely didn't have enough bass for me if that helps any. And I don't even listen to techno, or even alot of mainstream rock. But their bass didn't even satisfy when listening to jazz or folk or more dynamic acoustic music in general.

I would also be using these for working out and running. Most reviews unfortunately don't touch on this aspect but I did read a review at IGN of the UE s.fi 5 pro's that they stayed in really well while working out.

I am definitely open to more suggestions.

Thanks for listening/reading.
post #2 of 19
Welcome to Head-Fi ... sorry about your soon-to-be-overwhelmed wallet!

The Mylarones are well thought of on Head-Fi, and would have a similar physical form to the Sonys that became a cat snack.

The Vibes can be a lot of fun, and are a step up from the Sonys -- but read the unbelievably long thread here for wild praise, scathing criticism, and everything in between.

Ety ER6i's isolate excellently and have a clear, analytical sound that takes a bit of getting used to -- as do the Etys overall, but I really find them comfortable and pleasant to use when I use short Comply foam ear tips (worth the small extra expense, for me). The isolation on airplanes makes travel fun -- and how many products can you say that about?

Westone UM1's aren't known for stunning sound, but they're at or near the top in terms of comfort -- unfortunately, it's a huge price jump to the Westone UM2's ...

Just some names to start out with ...
post #3 of 19
MylarX3 has my vote.
I got a deal from a seller in a trade and he gave me a discount on a pair, which I in turn bought for my sister.
She's not a head-fier, but she told me that she thinks they are alot better than her stock buds.

I listened to it for a few songs, and comparing with other products in its price range that I've heard (cx300, ep630, etc), I think these are a really good value, and you get alot of junk with it too if you're into freebies. (case, tips, shirt clip, airline adapter?, and some more things with their new packaging iirc, I got the old one)

It's like the KSC75 of IEMs.
post #4 of 19
If you need the isolation you schould go for IEMs, I do not know how good they are for running because of the microphonics....

Otherwise there is the yuin PK 2 or PK1 , but they will maybe fall out...., both model got high praises here on Head-fi..

If you decide to go for IEMs I would recommend the d-JAYS, they are about 100$ and works well with most kinds of music, but it is very much a matter of taste in soundsignature, the d-JAYS are very much in your face as opposed to Shure (e550) which are much more laid back....

BTW shoot that damn cat... LOL. I live in constant fear that our Guineapig get a hold on some of my wires and chew them to smitherines....It has already taken care of some of my precious comics, damn critter....
post #5 of 19
Wow 400 posts, I need a life...
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. The cat is no longer a factor. I have since moved out on my own (was living with my mom and sister. I've just turned 22, so that's not really as pathetic as it sounds). Anyways, no animals here.

What are some online retailers that sell d-JAYS? I found their official site. Is it Swedish? I don't know what currency kr is.

And, wow, more brand names I have not even heard of. Looks like I have some more researching to do. I have a feeling in the long run, whatever I buy, won't be the last. My wallet will hate me.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm having trouble finding anything on the Mylars as well. Can't even find an official site for that one. Is this kind of like an indie rock snob thing where the more obscure it is the cooler it is?
post #8 of 19
I'd go with the Ultimate Ears Super fi. 5 pro's. The cheapest duel driver you can get and I think there's a guy on ebay selling them for $120. Check out earphonesolutions' top ten list.
post #9 of 19
"Is this kind of like an indie rock snob thing where the more obscure it is the cooler it is?"

Um ... well, yes, kind of. (You catch on quickly...)

Check the reliable site Jaben for information on the Mylars (in Singapore, with good customer service and I believe free international shipping) ... and check threads in Head-Fi about any suggestions that are made.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by emagination View Post
Thanks for the replies. The cat is no longer a factor. I have since moved out on my own (was living with my mom and sister. I've just turned 22, so that's not really as pathetic as it sounds). Anyways, no animals here.

What are some online retailers that sell d-JAYS? I found their official site. Is it Swedish? I don't know what currency kr is.

And, wow, more brand names I have not even heard of. Looks like I have some more researching to do. I have a feeling in the long run, whatever I buy, won't be the last. My wallet will hate me.
Yes it is swedish, but not that hard to read if you are from Denmark
there is the possibility to choose english..

5,5 kr is close to one dollar give or take some cents..

maybe your wallet will hate you, but your back will love you (it is not being weighed down on one side, because of your heavy money)...

I believe that Audiocube and headroom sells the d-JAYS..
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claus-DK View Post
5,5 kr is close to one dollar give or take some cents..
Actually, a (1) dollar is about seven (7) swedish kr (crowns).
post #12 of 19
Oh sorry I was thinking of danish kroner... my bad
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
After looking at the Vibes thread I think I've ruled them out. Sounds like they changed quite a bit with the second generation.

Looking into the Mylars. How long do they take on average to ship over? I also noticed no one seemed to be using the stock plugs. Not sure if I'm really interested in buying a bunch of plugs to try out, nor do I have a personal collection large enough to mix and match with.

Also still seriously considering the Super.fi 5 Pro's. I don't think I could be disappointed with dual drivers. The only thing that really worries me is the build quality. I've seen enough threads and reviews that describe issues with cord shorts and casing cracks to scare me a bit. Their reputation for support is comforting but still, who wants to buy a product with a high likelihood of breaking, even if their warranty is ridiculously good?

d-JAYS look interesting too.

I told myself I would make a decision by the end of the weekend. It's almost over and this is getting even more difficult to decide . . .
post #14 of 19
The good news is that everything mentioned here so far is an upgrade over the Sonys (some by far). I got the EX71s as my first foray beyond stock buds (and unlike many here, I kind of like them, still, although I've switched to Creative EP630s in that category), and it has been an ear-pleasing (but wallet lightening) experience ever since. (One thing to think about -- I've made many slight upgrades and some "sidegrades" -- you might save money in the long run by going out on a limb a little bit and spending more than you intended, now, rather than later. Just a thought.)


_________________________________
Phones (in order of purchase):
Sony MDR71, Sony MDR51, Etymotic ER6, Panasonic RP-HJ50, Shure E3C, Koss PortaPro 2, Creative EP630, Etymotic ER6i, Sennheiser PX-100, Sennheiser HD555

Sources (in order of purchase):
2nd Generation 10GB iPod for Windows (retired)
Creative Muvo 256MB
Creative Muvo 1GB (out on loan)
Rio Carbon 5GB
Cowon iAudio 5 1GB (out on loan)
Rio Karma 20GB (low-mileage collector’s item)
Creative Zen Nano 1GB
Samsung YP-U2 512MB (out on short-term loan)
4th Generation 40GB iPod (monochrome; used as home jukebox)
2nd Generation iPod Nano 4GB
Creative Zen Stone 1GB
iRiver T60 2GB
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
I really don't think the Sony's are bad at all. I wouldn't pay retail from a B&M for them, but they seem well worth sub 30 dollar price you can get them for at Amazon and various other online retailers.

Anyways, still seriously considering the Super.fi 5 Pro's. I keep reading, and discovering even more IEMs, but based on everything I read, despite some of the negatives, I have read enough positives that seem to resound with me more than what I've read about others.

That said, as I climb even more deeply into this world and clutter myself with even more decisions to make, I am seriously considering purchasing an amp and interconnector for my Nano. I mean, why the hell not? I'm really looking at the mSEED.

Does this alter the recommendations any?
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