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Best IEMs between $100 and $250?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to get IEMs between $100 and $250. I have been on a hunt for the right headphones. I tried out the SE310s, the SE210s, and the UE Pro5s.

The Ultimate Ears are very uncomfortable and large. The Shures are pretty comfortable and I like the sound but I can't see much of a difference between the SE210 and the SE310. Also, I've seen reviews saying there are headphones better than the shures for the price range.

Theres also a bunch of other IEMs that I've seen that I've yet to try like the q-jay and the Etymolic 4P. I'm sure there are many good IEMs that I have overlooked.

Isolation is a must for me and I would like something with good sound with adequate bass but also detailed treble.

The Q-jays looked pretty good but they don't have foam. Do they isolate enough without foam and are they uncomfortable? What I really want to know is what is the best IEM that I can get between $100 and $250?
post #2 of 13
I'll be watching this thread closely.
post #3 of 13
If you are not afraid to go custom then I would suggest Livewires (Maybe even FreQ's). I find it hard to suggest any universal IEM at $250. If you wanted to saty around $150 then go for the Denon AH-C700:

Denon AH-C700

Also, it would help to know what kind of music you prefer, if you need a lot isolation, whether you want analytical or colored sound.
post #4 of 13
I've been really happy with my Atrio M5's ($140). Yesterday I ordered a set of Comply Foams that I am hoping will isolate better. I am using the double flange tips that come with M5's, and they isolate ok, but not as well as I think they should.

Isolation aside, the sound is great to my ear. I do think about upgrading but am hoping the new tips will tide me over for a while.
post #5 of 13
For Universals, it is hard to beat the UE Super.fi 5 Pro's. They are almost as good as my UE Triple.10's for almost half as much!

That being said, at this price range, I would seriously consider true customs like the Livewires or the FreQ (newer than the Livewires, so there is less feedback on them). I love the sound of my Triple.10's, but I am ever closer to ordering true customs for the ultimate in comfort

post #6 of 13
The ER-4S are the best IEM's under $200, IMO.
post #7 of 13
If you are lucky you can get a pair of SE530s second hand for just under $250. Some people find that the ER4p/s lack bass however they are the most accurate IEMs you can get.
post #8 of 13
what type of music do you listen?
post #9 of 13
Yeah, the etymotics are extrordinarily accurate. And in the age old quest between accuracy and musicality - I'd choose musicality every time. That is... the younger me would've chosen accuracy, but the older me would go for musicality. Are they one and the same? Sometimes yes - but not always. Musicality is always more forgiving. The Westone UM2 isn't a far stretch beyond your budget, and used, should be found in the $200. range. It is less accurate. It is very musical, comfortable - and you can even fall asleep wearing them. Not that they're boring - but that that don't stick out of your ears like the Etys. Keep an open mind.
post #10 of 13
Ill sell you ec3 for 100, cannot stand the feel of a IEM

I found ec3 to bassy and had to eq it.
post #11 of 13
If I had $250 to spend on new IEMs, I would probably go for a set of Livewires.

For universals, I think SF5 Pro has the best sound with q-Jays being more balanced.
post #12 of 13
there are some good suggestions already made but i'll vouch for 2 that've gone unmentioned so far in this thread. the altec lansing im716 is like the ety (ety design (and manufacture?)) except that in has a convenient bass switch (sort of like being able to toggle between 4p and 4s). they are worth their original $200 retail price imo but at times they've been available for considerably less (saw 2 fs the other day at the stone cold bargain price of $45!). the other one i'd like to mention is the oft overlooked and very fun (and comfy for a canal phone) audio technica ck9. for those who've heard and enjoyed the AT es-7, this is certainly a worthwhile consideration. i'm not saying it's exactly the same sound signature, but if you like one you may well like the other. one of these days perhaps i'll directly compare them.
post #13 of 13
I do like my Livewires, I prefer them over my Shure SE530
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