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Cheap IEM Contenders? I Think I Have It Sorted Out. Thoughts?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
EDIT: I think I've shifted my expectations to around $70ish. That means that I'm also now considering the ER6i and the CK7.

I'm getting a friend a new pair of headphones for her birthday since her old ones broke (and this was more or less a request, not a "Homer's Bowling Ball" instance of me pushing my dumb hobby on my friends). Basically, she wants in-ears as far as I can tell. I haven't looked or cared much about cheap in-ear headphones really since the RP-HJE50 was new - and there seem to be a lot of new options.

From what I can tell, the SuperFi 3 is probably the best one for what I'm willing to spend, but I'm also considering the JVC FX66, which I've heard good things about and I've seen at Circuit City. Also, I noticed the Denon AH-C351 in Target today and thought "well, isn't that neat", but since it is apparently the cheapest of the very few IEMs Denon makes, pretty much nobody on headfi has heard it. Also, I noticed the J-Jays over on Headroom, and they seem like another contender.

Whatever I do, I need to get ahold of these before Friday, so the Denons and JVCs being available at brick-and-mortars makes for a strong case. Also, and I don't mean to sound condescending toward the non-connoisseur, but my friend isn't an audio geek, and while I know that the SuperFi is technically the superior headphone, I don't know whether it will be as satisfactory for her since it's bass-lean (I've let her listen to my headphones before - she preferred a lot of my cheaper ones over my AD900 I think).

Considering all of that, do you guys have any thoughts or recommendations?
I think I'm most iffy currently about the JVCs. I got a pair of marshmallows with a channel imbalance once, so I don't think they're matching their drivers very well.
post #2 of 13
How cheap is cheap? Shure SCL3/4, SE210/310 are pretty good value and normally availbale for about $100 to $150. UM1s are also available for around that price range, those are all worth considering. If that's beyond your price range, well there's always the ER6is, but people have commented on them as being thin sounding.
post #3 of 13
EP-630s are definitely a safe bet if you're looking for cheap, in-ear with bass. Dunno if they have these in-stores, but theyre pretty much the same as Senn CX300s which might be.
post #4 of 13
Just got back from Circuit City - they had the new Creative EP-640 for around $50. Good IEM's? maybe. Good price? Probably not... But they are available right now...
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
yeah guys, ~$50 to $60 is what I meant by cheap.

Os2k:
Hmm, I want to hear impressions about that new Creative.

Also, I just heard that the CK7 is available for around my price range over on Amazon. It seems to have become another of headfi's pet headphones... Actually, more specifically, I wonder how the CK7 and SuperFi 3 compare.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
added a poll. and some options.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
welp, I ended up getting my friend a pair of Etys, so I hope she enjoys them.
post #8 of 13
The C351 SUCKS!!!!! No bass, it's hard to get a good seal, if you do, they're VERY finicky about placement. The wire feels VERY cheap. The behind the head design and you NEED to use the supplied extension is STUPID.

The only cheap "iem's" I will ever use will be Skullcandy ink'd buds, and marshmallows. The Ink'd buds have hit and miss performance, meaning some perform and others SUCK. burn in tones down the bass, ALOT, but it has more IMPACT than the Mallows. The mallows with ALOT (1000 hours) of break-in are VERY good cans, better than a UM1 IMO. both are under $20 and are AMAZING if you like bass, as they're both very warm sounding.
post #9 of 13
I have really been enjoying my er6i's.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
yeah, oicdn. I have a pair of marshmallows and they're alright, though they have a channel imbalance. I might pick up a second pair for myself since they're apparently on sale at circuit city...
post #11 of 13
Etys - good choice!
post #12 of 13
i agree...solid choice.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkmo View Post
yeah, oicdn. I have a pair of marshmallows and they're alright, though they have a channel imbalance. I might pick up a second pair for myself since they're apparently on sale at circuit city...
All of your cheaper cans (especially at the REALLY LOW levels like mallows, etc at that level) will always have a miss somewhere, whether it be driver matching, poor quality, or cord problems.

Like I said, I ahd hit and miss with the Skullcandy Ink'd cans. One pair rocks, and the other is meh.

The mallows are like you said, I have 4 pairs of those (acquired one way or another) and one pair is AWESOME, but due to frequent use, theres a loose wire somewhere. The others are so-so, but still awesome deals.....
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