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Battle of the mid-priced IEMs

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm having an incredibly tough time deciding on IEMs in the $150-180 price range. There's so much to read and so many different opinions, it's hard to know what's what. I realize there's a lot of material here on these headsets, and I've tried to sift through a lot of it - but I think I'm even more confused.

What I want: Sound first, and I like bass but not overwhelming bass - I found my pair of Ety ER6i's that I bought two years ago to sound too tinny. Second would be comfort, and third durability. Here's what I'm considering:

Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 $150 - Been getting great reviews. I'll save a few bucks on these over the pros, and they're apparently more comfortable. Cable noise can be fixed by looping over the ear.

Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro $180 - Apparently they're uncomfy? But I hear they sound great. Have replaceable wire too.

Jays q-Jays $180 - I love the look of these but I've heard horror stories of them breaking and the replacement process being a pain. Also, couldn't find if the wire near the bud was bendable memory wire or just regular?

Atrio M5s $180 - Obviously getting a lot of love here. Wondering about the quality and about not getting dual drivers in this price range. These are a wildcard for me because I really just heard about them.

Etymotic HF5 or ER4P $150-170 - Not sure why there are even two models in this price range, assuming the ER4Ps are a bit nicer sounding based on reviews. The plus here is that the isolation is supposed to be superb but sound lacks in the bass department.

Sorry if this thread has been beat to death already!! And thanks for the suggestions.
post #2 of 17
Jays q-Jays - Very bright and forward treble. Very small and discreet, but bass a bit lacking for some. Wire goes right up to the bud and is bendable - no memory wire.

Atrio M5 - More warm and bass driven. Don't worry about lack of dual armiture as there are some very good single driver earphones about (Sleek Audio SA6, Denon AH-C751, Atrio M5).

Don't know much about the rest other than what I've read on these forums.
post #3 of 17
the sf5p are great for me... very comfy with comply t500 tips. They sound better than any phones or speakers i've ever heard. Better even than grado sr325i imo.

The bass is great for me bc i like a lot of good quality bass. The separation is great. Awesome detail and great soundstage for an iem. They get my vote for rock, electronic, hip-hop, and jazz
post #4 of 17
I'm another Super.fi 5 Pro user and I'd agree with the comments above. I do enjoy them quite a bit.

I have to say that I've got my eye on the Sleek SA6 though, and those might fit the bill with another $20 in your budget.
post #5 of 17
The Sleek SA6 are amazing. You can get 'em at SoundEarphones for $189 shipped with their current Fall Sale.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f115/f...phones-359789/

http://www.soundearphones.com/result...=Sleek%20Audio

1) They sound superb. The bass is deep and strong, but not overpowering. They absolutely blow the ER-6i out of the water. Plus, the bass and treble can be customized with their interchangeable bass ports and treble tubes. It's hard to describe the sound, because it's so easy to tune them to your liking.
2) They are quite comfortable, and Shure black olives fit them very nicely.
3) Not only are they durable, but if the cord breaks all you need to do is unplug it from the earpieces and swap in a new one.

***4) Sleek's customer service is stellar. If you have any issues at all, they will more than satisfy your needs.

You really can't go wrong with the SA6, as far as I'm concerned.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalGeek View Post
The Sleek SA6 are amazing. You can get 'em at SoundEarphones for $189 shipped with their current Fall Sale.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f115/f...phones-359789/

http://www.soundearphones.com/result...=Sleek%20Audio

1) They sound superb. The bass is deep and strong, but not overpowering. They absolutely blow the ER-6i out of the water. Plus, the bass and treble can be customized with their interchangeable bass ports and treble tubes. It's hard to describe the sound, because it's so easy to tune them to your liking.
2) They are quite comfortable, and Shure black olives fit them very nicely.
3) Not only are they durable, but if the cord breaks all you need to do is unplug it from the earpieces and swap in a new one.

***4) Sleek's customer service is stellar. If you have any issues at all, they will more than satisfy your needs.

You really can't go wrong with the SA6, as far as I'm concerned.
I hadn't considered those either but just started reading about them on this board. This is so hard!

But wow, thanks for the tip on the sale too... All of my options are sold here, with $10 off and free Fedex shipping. Can't go wrong!

I'm going to do my final comparisons tomorrow and pull the trigger on one. Is the 60-inch cable overbearing? Seems like I would have to stuff a lot of excess into my pockets.
post #7 of 17
Good advice from MetalGeek, at their sale price the Sleek SA6 is a good buy with all the positive reviews favouring it over the IEMs you mentioned.
post #8 of 17
I am in a similar situation.

I think it's coming down to the SA6s or UE Super.fi 5 Pros.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
I am in a similar situation.

I think it's coming down to the SA6s or UE Super.fi 5 Pros.
I was between the SA6, SF5 Pro, and the new SF5. I read a ton of reviews and comparisons before I made my decision, but it seemed like anybody that could actually compare them usually either picked the SA6, or said it was at least very close. Plus, with their outstanding customer service and customization capability, they really seemed to have an edge.

Also, Sleek is developing a wireless adapter for the SA6, which is getting some positive feedback so far. It'll be interesting to see how that turns out. Can't do wireless with the UEs...at least, not if you want any sound coming out of 'em!
post #10 of 17
Love the Sleeks, I go back and forth between them and my SE530's that cost almost twice as much.
post #11 of 17
my vote goes to Atrios!
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by azarel View Post
my vote goes to Atrios!
yeah i vote the atrios too. I thought I'd lost my se530's and was looking to buy some 2nd hand atrios... i was this |---| close to buying a pair of atios after reading some fantastic things on them.... then today i found my se530's after 2 months being lost! :P
post #13 of 17
Go Atrios, Joshatdot would say the same thing! They are great for the money.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering if it will be a problem that the SA6's have so many interchangeable parts - are they easy to lose?

As it stands right now, I'm leaning ever so slightly towards the new UE5s just for sheer bang-for-buck value. But both the Atrios and the Sleeks are very intriguing.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekimneems View Post
I'm wondering if it will be a problem that the SA6's have so many interchangeable parts - are they easy to lose?

As it stands right now, I'm leaning ever so slightly towards the new UE5s just for sheer bang-for-buck value. But both the Atrios and the Sleeks are very intriguing.
from everything i read on the atrios, they will be FAR better than the UE super.fi 5 especially if you like decent low bass
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