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Looking For <$200 IEM that are Perfect for rock. Good For everything else.

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've been doing hours of research the last few days on this forum and other web sites. Unfortunately, every time i find something, Someone else tears them apart with problems. Maybe there are some headphones i've missed, or maybe I should take some of the complaints with a grain of salt.

Right now I'm using sony ex75's. They are somewhat muddy and a little too warm for my tastes. What really bothers me about them is what I think is called sibilance (the weird exagerated sounding fuzzy sounding hi's). I can't stand that.

I'm looking for a set of headphones that will really make cd's like "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" by Red Hot Chili Peppers and "Dookie" by Greenday really come alive with punchy prominent bass that's still controlled without sacrificing too much of the rest of the frequency range. I also want them to be good if not perfect for other styles of music, especially blues, and pink floyd, and radiohead type music.

I was set on getting the super.fi 5 pro until i read about the sibilance which really bothers me. I'm also a little concerned about the lacking mids. Would Flea's slap base be lacking because of the recessed mid range? What do you guys think?

I also was looking at the eytmotics hf2 (i'll be using this with an iphone frequently, but don't really need iphone compatibility). However the lack of bass may be a problem. I unfortunately can't find any stores that audition headphones.


Well thats my question and i really appreciate the time anyone put into reading this. And I'll appreciate any kind of input even more. I'm definitely up for other headphone suggestions as well.

Thanks in advance,
Dan
post #2 of 29
Your crappy taste in music aside (totally kidding...), maybe the Ety ER-4P. Ok, I recommend these a lot, but only to the folks whose needs they meet. They are very neutral and uncolored, have good (not boomy, but very well defined) bass response, and no sibilance, just very clean bright highs. They are easy to drive, so you won't need an amp for ultra portability. Can't speak to the HF2, but you're not looking for an iCessory, are you? Didn't think so. I know what you mean about the EX75's...I wanted a cheap "who cares?" pair for my Blackberry, used them for an hour, hated every second of it for exactly the reasons you list, and sold them for $20.

Don't be too swayed by opinions/point/counterpoint...everyone hears things differently. You could always shop around for companies that allow 30 returns or demos and try a few different things out. One thing about the ER line, they are not the most comfy for everyone, but man...what a sound!

Welcome to the forums by the way...glad you finally made the leap of faith and posted!
post #3 of 29
The SF5's are pretty punchy. They are not perfect, but they are pretty good (as I always say, IF you have a good seal). Definitely enough bass -- I can't imagine the extra bass model; that would be too much. They could probably use a little less low-mid and a little more high end. They are also quite efficient -- my iPod can drive them to a level that is not healthy for my ears.

I did not go for the Etys because I thought they would be too precise and perhaps too light on the bass. I had the Q-Jays but they were a little too analytical for me, thus the switch to SF5.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Monkey View Post
maybe the Ety ER-$P. Ok, I recommend these a lot, but only to the folks whose needs they meet. They are very neutral and uncolored, have good (not boomy, but very well defined) bass response, and no sibilance, just very clean bright highs. They are easy to drive, so you won't need an amp for ultra portability. Can't speak to the HF2, but you're not looking for an iCessory, are you? Didn't think so.
Thanks for the welcome. You're referring to the ER-4P right? I read at iLounge that the ety HF2 is the same thing as the ER-4P. I wouldn't be going out of my way to get an iphone headset, but it is the relatively the same price as the ER-4P, so why not? I guess I might give the ety's a shot and see if they have enough bass for me. That is unless someone else has some other compelling input for me.

Thanks for the replies
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott549 View Post
The SF5's are pretty punchy. They are not perfect, but they are pretty good (as I always say, IF you have a good seal). Definitely enough bass -- I can't imagine the extra bass model; that would be too much. They could probably use a little less low-mid and a little more high end. They are also quite efficient -- my iPod can drive them to a level that is not healthy for my ears.

I did not go for the Etys because I thought they would be too precise and perhaps too light on the bass. I had the Q-Jays but they were a little too analytical for me, thus the switch to SF5.
Thats what worries me about them too. Its too bad i haven't found any that are supposed to be truly well rounded with powerful bass. I was really all set on the sf5 until i read about them having some sibilance. Sibilance really irritates me to no end. What's your take on that aspect?
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Golden Monkey, I have another question for you. How do they ety's respond to ipod eq settings? I dont use eq's much, but with a neutral set of headphones an eq setting every now and then might work out well as long as the ety's work well with them.
post #7 of 29
What is sibilance? I have seen it mentioned on these boards but I don't know exactly what it is. If you can explain it, I will try to evaluate the SF5's with that in mind.
post #8 of 29
Sibilance is that grainy, hissy "S" sound on high frequencies.

K2, yeah, I meant the ER4-P. Comparing the ER-4P and hf2:
ER-4:
Response Accuracy: 86%
Noise Isolation: 35-42 dB
Frequency response: 50-10 kHz ± 2 dB; 20-16 kHz ±4 dB
Acoustic polarity: + electrical = + acoustic
Transducer type: balanced armature
Sensitivity: 1 kHz 108 dB SPL for a 0.2 V input (102 dB @ 0.1 V; 106 dB @ 1mW)
Impedance (ER•4P): 27 Ohms nominal
Maximum output: 122 dB SPL
Maximum continuous input (ER•4P): .75 Vrms


hf2:
Frequency response: 20 Hz -16 kHz
Noise isolation: 35- 42 dB (depending on eartip used)
Acoustic polarity: + electrical = + acoustic
Transducer type: Balanced armature
Sensitivity (1 kHz): 105 dB SPL for a 0.1 VRMS input
Impedance: 16 Ohms (nominal)
Maximum output: 120 dB SPL
Maximum continuous input: 0.55 VRMS

So, similar, but not quite. Same eartips, but you get a mic, lol. As for EQing them, they do well. The low impedance makes them easy to drive, and the flatness of the frequency response means you can tailor them to your liking. They have awesome isolation as well, so that means you can listen at lower volumes and not miss anything. They are SO nice, but you can't really wear them for a long time, as they can be uncomfortable for some. The most I usually go is about two hours, then take a 30 min break.
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information. I Think i will try the ER-4P. I have a few weeks to make up my mind. My birth day is on july 5th and my girlfriend said she would buy me some good headphones (i think she'd like some quiet to do homework hehe). I've been raised going to rock concerts since before i can remember. I've also been raised on wearing ear plugs to all of them, so hopefully that will mean I wont have any comfort problems with the ER-4P. I'll also have to find a good iphone adapter. Preferably one that doesn't stick out as far as all the ones i've seen in stores.
post #10 of 29
Sweet, glad I could help you out. Whatever you get, enjoy them! Keep in mind, you may drive the g/f crazy now with the ER-4P, because you'll never hear her talking to you...drives my wife nuts, but sometimes it's a good thing, lol. Hell, I can't even hear the vacuum cleaner when I'm vacc'ing if I have them in...
post #11 of 29
how come no one ever mentions the sleeks, should at least check them out. They are family owned and operated.

They might be out of your price range at 249$ though. I dunno, however i think its worth it for the ability to change the way they sound. If you want more treble, sup out a tiny tube...you want more bass? swap out the backing...very nice sounding for rock. Decent for jazz.

The Etys are nice, however most call them bass shy. If you want to really enjoy Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood, sugar, Sex, Magik (one of my favorite CDs btw) you need a IEM that can bring those nice bass tones into your ears. If not the music sounds flat.

I had the Shure E4 for a while, were great for jazz...however one of my favorite bands (Primus, Claypool is god) just didnt sound the way they should.
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
$250 is out of my price range. They do seem like an interesting set of headphones though. Definitely one i might get if i could afford more than one set.


I would like more opinions about the super.fi 5. Especially regarding sibilance (which ruins the listening experience for me) and if the supposed lack of mid range has a negative impact on non-rock music.
post #13 of 29
For my money, there's no better buy at that price point than a used set of Westone UM2s. They're extremely comfortable, and they sound brilliant. I'm a bass player, and they've rendered my own bass recordings more faithfully than any other IEM I've ever used, including the ER4p which I definitely love.

If you don't want to go used, though, I second the ER4p. They're readily available cheap(ish) and they're the gold standard in midrange neutrality and good high frequencies.

If you have an amp, you might want to also considering getting a "P to S" cable for them. It's an inline 75ohm resistor, and helps pump up the bass on them somewhat. They're readily available on here.
post #14 of 29
I, personally, would recommend the SF5 pros over the Etys. I have listened to both, and the bass is much better on the SF5's. And I have never had a problem with sibilance with them. Now the Shure E500 are another story--lots of sibilance there, so I keep going back to the SF5.

I've tried a bunch of IEMs over the past 3 or so years and, for the money, I think the SF5's are among the best. The Triple.fi's are better yet, but they cost up to twice as much.

As an aside, I would also recommend investing in some Comply foam tips for them as they improve the isolation and, for me anyway, tend to stay in better. If you do decide on the Etys, I would recommend Comply tips for them as well as they are MUCH more comfortable then the bi-flange Ety tips.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by eberggren View Post
As an aside, I would also recommend investing in some Comply foam tips for them as they improve the isolation and, for me anyway, tend to stay in better. If you do decide on the Etys, I would recommend Comply tips for them as well as they are MUCH more comfortable then the bi-flange Ety tips.
Are the Comply tips disposable after a period of time or can they be cleaned and reused?
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