Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › IEM for newbie with budget ~$100
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

IEM for newbie with budget ~$100

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

This is my first time posting in Head-fi and I am amazed about how much information available here. It is actually overwhelming and sometimes difficult to find what I need. I've spend about 2 weeks reading various stuff here before posting and at least now I understand what you mean by IEM.

This is a little bit of background. The closest to IEM I have is the earbuds from my SonyEricsson W810i cell phone. It is not bad as far as isolation goes but the sound is a muffled. I also often heard sound from the wire when I turn my head (microphonics?).

I am looking for an IEM of ~$100. And hopefully it is something that is a big improvement (in everyway) over what I use. I would use the IEM with computer (desktop/laptop), Creative Microphoto MP3 player, and W810i.


Does anyone have any recommendation on what to get if my budget is ~$100?

So far my top two choices based on what I read here are the Denon AH-C700 and the AudioTechnica ATH-CK7.

I think if the Denon is still $100, I would buy it, but now since the price increase, I am wondering if the Denon worth that much more over the CK7.

Can anyone who have experience with both of these IEM/canal phones gives their opinion/comparison between the two? (I've read a comparison in the big Denon thread, but I would like to get more opinion).

Will spending ~$100 IEM be a big step up to what I use (if anyone ever use the canal phones that came with SonyEricsson W810i)?

Also, I am not restricting myself only on these two IEM. So if you have other recommendations within my prince range, just let me know.


Thanks a lot in advance.
post #2 of 18
What type of music do you listen to?

Do you prefer comfort, isolation, sq?

Do you want deep bass or a brighter high end?
post #3 of 18
x2 on DKaz's questions.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
What type of music do you listen to?
-I listen to variety of music but mainly pop.

Do you prefer comfort, isolation, sq?
-I prefer SQ. If I have to rank them, 1-SQ, 2-comfort, 3-isolation. The isolation should be good enough so that I don't have to turn up the volume too much but it doesn't have to be complete isolation.

Do you want deep bass or a brighter high end?
I like a balance sound if there is such thing. I don't want a boomy bass and I don't want to much on the high end that is piercing.
post #5 of 18
I would suggest SF3 Studio. I think they're pretty balanced but have much better bass and treble than my first set of IEMs (the more expensive E3c).
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
How does SF3 Studio compares with either ATH-CK7 and the Denon AH-C700? Are they significantly better than the SF3 or are they in the same class?
post #7 of 18
Not to hijack someone else's thread but I'm also new and trying to decide on IEM's, I mostly listen to Industrial, Electronic, Trance and even tho I like hearing the bass, it doesn't have to be as loud as it can be... I'm trying to decide (without breaking my wallet which is very hard) between the SF5 Pro or TF10 coupled with a Zen 16GB DAP. I should mention I've never owned a DAP before and am not an audiophile but I REALLY do get into my music when I'm, um, under the influence, let's say.. so it's really important...

Thanks!
post #8 of 18
I suspect just about anything talked about here on head-fi would be a big improvement over what you have now. Ety ER6i, UE SF 3, Altec IM616 or IM716, Westone UM1, or the 2 you are looking at. It doesn't really matter - if you continue to hang out here, whatever you buy will seem not adequate after a week or so.

Sorry about your wallet...
post #9 of 18
FWIW,

I've been an audiophile for more than 25 years. I've owned some of the finest equipment in the world. Although I haven't been active here, and (truly) can't claim to have experienced many of the available choices in your price range, it would be a mistake to not seriously consider the Westone UM1. Comfort & sound quality are excellent. GL & whatever you decide to buy.

RE
post #10 of 18
To the OP, I don't know how the SF3 compare to the ATs or the Denons. I do, however know that that the SF3 do sound good with rock, my girlfriend listens to a lot at work. When I listen to them, I really feel that they are a great balance of a nice balanced IEM with a very attractive price.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bostitch View Post
How does SF3 Studio compares with either ATH-CK7 and the Denon AH-C700? Are they significantly better than the SF3 or are they in the same class?
IME, not considering sound sig, the CK7's performance levels are notches ahead of the SF3S, being more detailed overall in the frequency spectrums, as well as having an airier sound. The CK7 is a faster as compared to the SF3s as well, and extends higher up in the treble regions as compared to the SF3S.
Its full titanium chassis is very classy, and rather bling as well. Some have mistaken me for wearing bling-bling earrings the time I used to own the CK7 as well.

I have not heard the C700, but according to another user mwallace, the CK7 are in the same performance class, different sound sigs, with the CK7 being more neutral and detailed but the C700 being warmer sounding (which makes me think that it may sound like the Goldring GX200, which I liked a lot).
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0b View Post
Not to hijack someone else's thread but I'm also new and trying to decide on IEM's, I mostly listen to Industrial, Electronic, Trance and even tho I like hearing the bass, it doesn't have to be as loud as it can be... I'm trying to decide (without breaking my wallet which is very hard) between the SF5 Pro or TF10 coupled with a Zen 16GB DAP. I should mention I've never owned a DAP before and am not an audiophile but I REALLY do get into my music when I'm, um, under the influence, let's say.. so it's really important...

Thanks!
ph0b, you should give Etymotic ER4P a try ,excellent headphones in every way. And they probably suit your bass needs, not too much but accurate and fast. ER4P's are also really detailed, and they are way cheaper than TF10, 120$ used, 160$ new.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply guys.

The SF3 studio is attractive for the price, but I think can get something better for my budget.

Ety 6i based on what I read is good on the high range and very good detail but lacking the low end. This is not really what I wanted.

the Altec IM716 looks like a good iem but somehow I got the impression that you need to mod it. I haven't read so much on this one though. But I don't want to do any mod.

Westone UM1, I need to read up on this. Can anyone give me a quick summary of how is this?

How is Goldring GX200? I've never heard of that. What is its strength and weakness? I need to read up on this one. How much is it?

Denon AH-C700 is my top two choice at this moment because the feedback on this is very positive. And based on the feedback, it has the detail that I am looking for. Kudos to Soozieq for making a unified thread which makes it easier for me to find more info about it. Unfortunately the price increases to ~$140 which makes me think alot about spending that much for first time IEM. If it drops back to $99, I am almost sure buying it.

The ATH-CK7 is the other top two choice at this moment. If this is comparable to the Denon at the price of about $70, I might go with this. Based on what I read, a lot of positive feedback on this too with detail that I am looking for. However, I am afraid that the low end is a little lacking because mwallace said that it couldn't pick up some low end that Denon picked up. Is this something that I should worry?

One other note, I would like to get something that is durable. I don't want things falling apart that easily. I think the Denon and CK7 seems to be durable based on what I read.
post #14 of 18
Its been sometime since I last used the GX200, but from what I remembered about its sound VS the CK7, it definitely sounds warmer (but the bass does not overpower), more liquid like and has slightly less treble energy as compared to the CK7.

The PRaT of the GX200 is that slightest bit slower in comparison, and it overall feels more relaxed, something I would use to listen to some Lounge Jazz as compared to the CK7.

The CK7s only weakness IMO, is its sub-bass. The extreme lows do exist, but they're somwhat softer in comparison to the mid to high bass regions. Then again... It maybe the fault of a lot of portable having sub-bass roll-off due to them being unable to handle the high demands of low-impedance phones.

That said however, the CK7's difference between the ER6i is, IMO, that it can slam you REAL hard when called for.

If you plan on OTG-amping (or amping in general), I found that the cheap Xenos 0HA-REP (not the 0HA-RHP) mates with the CK7 quite well, subtly changing its sonic signature to something slightly more coloured towards the mids and bring bring out the sub-bass a little bit. Amps with bass boost should somewhat help a bit as well though (A PengAmp comes to my mind, its cheap and according to HeadphoneAddict, is good. I've gone through the specs myself and found them to be impressive, especially for deplying the ever finicky AD8397 Op-amp), and would bring the CK7 up to the point where it becomes a canalphone without any sort of weakness whatsoever.

The CK7 is a durable phone. I no longer have mine, but its still working in mint, burned in condition, and is now with a friend of mine back in the island of Singapore, ever since I got in back in Chinese New Year back in 2006.
post #15 of 18
Sorry it took me so logn to get back!

I would honestly have to suggest the Denon's. The price however, is now $141. Are they worth the money, Yes. Do you have the money, I have no idea.

If you are staying under $100 then I would second the ATH-CK7. I prefer a dynamic driver over a single armature. They are ridiculously marked down also, $68.09 shipped:

Audio Technica ATH-CK7
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › IEM for newbie with budget ~$100