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Please help Ed9 owner find his first IEM's

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

Right off the bat I must say that I'm a total greenhorn in regard to IEM's. Never had one, never tried one, and (my bad) never really read any IEM or earbuds threads. I know how to use Seach, but I don't know what to search for...

And so, I'd like to ask for help from IEM gurus here to point me to the right direction. If I can end up with 2 or 3 candidates, then I do my thread reading homework, but first I need to weed out the vast IEM field.

So far I was pretty happy with my krammer moded KSC75 in Sportapro headband as my portable rig (fed from iRiver H140). Bush walking dog, ride bike, paddle kayak, gardening, house maintenance - the trusted 75's were with me.

Couple of weeks ago I bought iBasso D1. Nice gadget, sound of 75's ha improved a bit but these don't seem to scale well with amplification (tried them with Opera, no cigar there either).

Since my last couple of months with Edition 9 though, I'm not happy with KSC75 anymore... Well, Ed9's sent bigger guns (Darths, ATH AD2000 and D2000) than KSC75 packing to their boxes. PX100 and ATH ES5 didn't last long with me - ES5 got broken and PX sound wasn't my cup of tea.

For a while I was looking at AT ESW9 as my portable cans, but I know I'd be reluctant to take them where KSC had gone with me - they are too big and too nice looking for "dirty jobs". Mind you, it is hot and humid here for most part of the year.

Here is my IEM selection criteria (in order of importance):

SOUND - Deep, powerful bass with impact. No boomy, muddy doof-doof please. Speed and detail resolution are of utmost importance, good PRaT.
I don't like bright cans or anything biased towards highs.
Replies from Ed9 owners would be much appreciated,as they would know exactly what I'm looking for. I want (if possible) to bring that Ed9 goodness with me when on the go.

COMFORT - That is as important as good sound to me. I'd even be prepared to sacrifice SQ (EQ a bit if required) for more comfort. Easy insertion and pull out are important. If the IEM will cause me discomfort or I will feel constant pressure, most likely I won't use them no matter how good they sound. Availability of spare tips of different sizes would be big bonus. I'm wearing glasses, so I think I wouldn't have problem wit over-ear cables.
I'm not interested in custom molds at this stage.

BUILD - The sturdier, the better. As they be used on the move, microphonic could be an issue.

LOOKS - don't care

My budget is lets say up to $500, I'm flexible.

It will be used 50/50 from iHP140 headphone out or from iHP140 optical> iBasso D1. Opamp rolling iBasso to get better synergy would be no problem at all.

Music: 90% rock and metal of all kind, 10% blues, jazz-fusion, classical. No rap or hip-hop.

Thanks for looking.
post #2 of 20
Why not a custom? I'm a ED9 owner who recently picked up the UE11. I must say I'm pretty nuts over the UE11 sound... and the whole idea of a custom. I might even prefer it to the ED9.

If I were you, I would save up a bit and get a nice custom. Or even the $249 Livewires seem appealing.

If still no, I would probably suggest the UE Triple.Fi 10 Pros -- with the comply tips and/or flip mod. The triples have a very balanced sound and while the treble is amazingly vivid and detailed, it is laid back and not intrusive. The bass is smooth, accurate, and balanced. I disliked the fit, and didn't stick around long enough to try the mentioned mods. I decided to just go for the top.
post #3 of 20
I say bite the bullet, fold those Edition 9's, keep them in your backpack and pull them out anytime you would put on IEMs. I have 3 pair of Edition 9's two for portable and one for home (balanced). I just can't go back to IEMs, but in fairness I haven't tried the UE11. I don't care about the dork factor, etc., just the Edition 9 sound. Hooked for good.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Having another Ed9 pair crossed my mind. There are few very practical reasons against:

1. It is illegal to ride bike without helmet here
2. not much hair left on my noggin, so in summer I always wear a hat or cap, in winter a beanie. Ed9's are just to big and heavy for that.

Originally Posted by thread View Post
Why not a custom?
Because I wonder if for some reason I will not like IEM's inserted in my ear canal, what I'm going to do with expensive customs? I'd guess it would be impossible to sell a custom molded IEM's.

(I had a bad experience with contact lenses, lost a bit of money when being told that the initial eye irritation will go away. It never did)

So far I looked at Klipsch, Sleek SA6, FS Atrio and Triple Fi. I have to read more though.

Thanks for suggestions.
post #5 of 20
Sound likes the triple.fis with Foam/Comply tips would be the right thing for you
post #6 of 20
my opinion is shure se530 comfy great sound reliable well known brand and great customer service
post #7 of 20
I love the Editions and I like very much the Sleek and the Image from Klipsch, specially the X5, IMO thye sounded miles better than many multidrivers that I have tried...if you are going for the custom one, FreQ ahve very reasonably priced three driver units and they do a very good job, and fast in comparison ot the rest...I'm in the process of getting the FreQ Show with Music lover Xover refit for a perfect seal, after that I'm feeling that I will be done with IEM's..

Tried a few from UE, Westone, Shure, and I didn't like them...another old but nice is the Etys....
post #8 of 20
Westone UM2, TripleFi 10 and SE530 are the best candidate for high-end universal IEM.

[TripleFi 10 = SE530] --> UM2 (I have never heard UM2 before, but with only dual driver, I expect it to be lower than others)
If you like nice bass, SE530 has exceptional good deep bass - but only after EQing (but of course, any IEM won't be able to compete with full-size headphone thump)

SE530 is very2 comfortable and relatively easy to insert compared to other IEM - it's my 1st real canal phone and i need only 2 days to get used to it.
On the other hand, triple-fi wasn't really comfy for me. it has an awkward position on my ear and cause fatigue.
[SE530 -> UM2 --> TF10]

Build quality:
SE530 is well-known to have some cabling issue. But Shure have 2 years warranty to cover this issue.
[TF10 = UM2 -> SE530]

Note, moving around with IEM will be quite annoying as you can hear the friction noise between your canal and IEM.

Suggestion: SE530.
post #9 of 20
Just a little addition...
The microphonics (friction noise) will be reduced if you wrap the cable over your ear.

post #10 of 20
While I have no doubt the UE11 would be a better choice the shure 420 is an outstanding IEM and my current favorite. I like this above the 530 and the ety 4s as well with the 530 having too much bass and the ety being a little thin, the 420 is just right IMHO.
post #11 of 20
Using the realistic equation of an enthusiast's stated budget being just about half of what they can be convinced to spend, you are a perfect candidate for the UE11's. If you don't agree that you should dive right in at the top, think about the reasons why you didn't go with the Proline 750's instead of the ED9's.
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by islewind View Post
Using the realistic equation of an enthusiast's stated budget being just about half of what they can be convinced to spend, you are a perfect candidate for the UE11's. If you don't agree that you should dive right in at the top, think about the reasons why you didn't go with the Proline 750's instead of the ED9's.
Haha this is pretty much what I was thinking of myself and also of the OP. One who goes for the Ed9 obviously isn't taking this stuff lightly. Why not get a top-tier IEM, too?
post #13 of 20
If this is your first IEM experience then you should try something comfortable, IMO get the customs or the shures 530s or the UM2, Triple fi 10 might sound good but there might be a thick wall between comfort and SQ. It depends person to person, some find them comfy and some don't
post #14 of 20
I haven't had much listening experience with proper IEM's, though I've auditioned quite a few of them.

One that I suggest you to try out is the Shure SE530. Seems to fit your criteria pretty well. I'm actually listening to my friend's 530 dialed to RSA Predator then iPod classic as I'm typing, while he is listening with my Ed9 in the sofa (he's loving it lol). This particular Shure IEM sounds quite good
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone contributing to my request-for-help-thread.
And here's the update after reading some massive threads for last couple of days.

The shootout was between TF10, E530, Sleek SA6 and Klipsch X5.

E530 was a strong candidate. Big on sound. It lost in bang for buck stake compared to others.

TF10 reported comfort issues and possible need for mod to make them more comfy put me off. It might not be an issue with my ears, but I decided not to take the risk at this stage.

Klipsch X5 were very appealing (what wouldn't be with name like that made in speaker business?) I've read every possible info I could find. Apparently very comfortable, good sound. But few people complained about microphonic cable on them. As my IEM's will be used literally on the move 90% of the time, I reluctantly passed these.

That leaves us with the winner - Sleek SA6. No comfort issues as such are reported on this board. The detachable cable and ability to fine tune the sound are very appealing features. The near future release of wireless adapter sounds interesting as well.
SQ was described as on par with other IEM's in this price range. I see them in couple of well respected Ed9 owner sigs, so I'm taking the plunge.

Thanks again to everyone contributing, your help was much appreciated.

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