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help! i have tiny ear canals! (looking for mid-range IEMs)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I'm looking for some mid-range IEMS ($200 or under).

I currently use the UE super.fi 3's and the sennheiser cx300s. I end up switching between the two frequently because I love the high-end and detail of the super.fi 3's and i like the memory wire, but they have virtually no bass and the smallest ear tips that come with the UEs are still a bit too big to where they hurt after an hour or so. I use the cx300s a little more often because they're more comfortable and I use the smallest ear tips (which are a bit smaller than the UEs). I really like the emphasized bass, but it's kinda muddy, and these phones seriously lack high-end.

so i'm looking for some mid-range IEMs but I don't know much about them. I've read so far that the UE super.fi 5 pro's, the shure E4Cs, and the Denon C700s seem to fit the bill, i'm just wondering which one is most comfortable for small ear canals, and then secondary is which one sounds the best, has the best high end and a good thumping bass. would comply's on the UEs help at all or do they detract from the sound at all? any other suggestions for good-sounding phones and comfortable ones would be a lot of help.

i listen to rock mostly, and i've currently been listening to muse, breaking benjamin, stp, and some sublime. (i have to listen to stockholm syndrome and time is running out with both the SF3s and the cx300s back and forth because i need the bass and the high-end! it's driving me nuts that i can't get both!)
post #2 of 12
I would go with probably a shure since they are very comfortable and have small tips and are fairly well rounded but usually a little warm there are a lot of choices though
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
i've determined after using the super.fi 3's a bit more today, that i definitely can't get the super.fi 5's. not only are they too uncomfortable, a lot of the times they just won't stay in even with the smallest tips.

i think i'll try the shure's. anyone have experience between the shure se310's and the e4c's? i've heard the sound signature is a bit different, and if i'm correct, the se310's have one driver, while the e4c's have two. any thoughts?
post #4 of 12
SE310 and E4c are both single drive IEM.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks for correcting me ClieOS, that's very helpful info.

i'm going to hold off a bit, considering i want to look at some other phones and see which would be best. i've been reading good things about the sleek sa6's and that huge thread on the freq line which might work well with my freakish ears (tiny ear canal, but huge ears, so ear buds don't stay in and most iems are uncomfortable).

the custom buds might just be the best thing since comfort is an issue... just have to see whether the sound quality is worth it.
post #6 of 12
Maybe try some small size foam tips?
post #7 of 12
The SE-310s are really quite tiny and comfortable (and basically an updated version of the E4c), but the Sleek's are getting amazing reviews. Considering that they're basically the same price range, the Sleeks might be the best bet unless you want to spring for SE-530's (doesn't seem like any UE universals would work for you) or customs.

I do think the SE-310s have a nice neutral and smooth presentation without any glaring issues and with nice bass extension once they're properly fit (never an easy task at first), but the Sleeks from what I've read are at least a league or two better.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
yeah, i haven't tried the small foam tips, which i'll be doing soon, but are they really smaller than the smallest tips that come packaged with the super.fi's? assuming you can compress them all the way down to nothing, they might fit a bit better.

I've read more on the sleek's and they seem pretty intriguing from all the reviews, but can a single driver really compete with multiple drivers? can the se310's, sa6's and denon c700's really cover as much range as the super.fi 5 pro's?

with the sleeks now at $200 reduced (as i read in another thread) i might just have to jump to those. se310's and sf5 pro's are in at $200 as well from what i've seen.

more comments/recommendations please!
post #9 of 12
I would go for the Future Sonic Atrio M5/M8 with Shure foam tips (the ones that look like olives). You can get them for around $150. The Shure tips are not very expensive. You could also get some other comply tips for the Atrios. The Atrios sound awesome with great bass. They have very small tips. I have very small ear canals and have no problem. I have tried the UE super.fi 5 and 3 and they are definitely WAY too big for my ear canals.

By the way, the tips that come with the Atrios are horrible. Do not bother with them. I wear my Atrios hanging down (I also removed the memory wire which made them much more comfortable). Some people like to wear the wire over the ear though...
post #10 of 12
UM1 brand new is like $100. If you wanna max out, find a used UM2 for $200.

I have small ear canals (and ears), and can't get any of the Ety or UE to fit my ear and sound good (with a plethora of tips tried). Only the UM1 and UM2 fit my ears, got a good seal, and sounded spectacular.
post #11 of 12
if you have really tiny canals stay away from UEs, if you are happy with the fit of CX300 then you should go for the CX500; from what I have read they have better bass and highs....
if UE was your first actual IEM then you would certainly need a lot of time getting used to it. Most of the IEMs get uncomfortable after some time. How they sound depends a lot on the kind of seal you get. So if you are getting a really tight seal then the IEMs are bound to get uneasy after some time.
post #12 of 12
Also, the UM1 and UM2 are UNDOUBTEDLY the most comfy IEMs out there, customs aside. Many people even wear them to bed/fall asleep with them on....I know I have.
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