In India, XBA-3 is available for as low as ₹6600 ($120). Even the official price is only $145. Granted that it's more on account of the currency depreciation, it is still a decent choice for those who want to avoid the hassles of shipping and customs. But one is open to taking a little risk, plenty of better options can be found in that range. IMO, XBA-1 offers better value for money.
Wow, that's less than half of what it costs here.
I really feel drawn to the Etymotic Hf5 and was thinking of getting them + the custom tips since isolation an comfort are somewaht important to me. But before pulling the trigger I wanted to ask two questions:
1. : I am not sure wether they will perform well with the music I am listening to, wich would be mainly metalcore and (post-)hardcore like
every time I die, Architects, Letlive, Sick of it all and so on...
2. : A friend of mine said that the tips will influence the sound slightly, so I wanted to ask wether this was true and if so, in what way would the costum tips influence it?
The HF5 will work very well if you like your sound balanced and accurate. (Good) custom tips pretty much give you a perfect seal 100% of the time. I don't think they improve quality over a well-sealed triple-flange (just as an example) but they may very well be more comfortable while providing an equally good seal.
The vPulse is not much of an improvement over the SHE3580 sound-wise so I felt that needed saying . I have a bunch of cheapies to add soon and the SHE3580 might be among them.
the only IEMs I have are the Beyer DTX101 and those are way to bassy for me, other than that I never owned an IEM. I also have a V-Moda M80, wich I like and normally use on the go for now, a Beyer DT-770 wich is my standard-phone to use with my PC (but to bassy for music only use) and a Senheiser HD595, wich also is nice but a bit gloomy (if that makes any sense), what i miss from all of those is a certain level of detail, thats why I was thinking about the Etymotic
The DTX101 is a bass-heavy earphone. You won't have that problem with the Etys or something like a MEElec A161P.
Pretty well overall. I think the GR99 is warmer and has more bass impact while the SHE3580 is a little brighter and clearer. The bass is tighter with the Philips while the quality of the treble is comparable with the GR99 a tiny bit smoother. I would give the GR99 the edge in presentation - it's got more out-of-the-head feel.