Hey Joker, great thread you have here! I'm just getting into IEMs and need something portable to replace my full-sized cans. What would you recommend that's "fun" but still relatively neutral, with tight bass and easy highs? For reference I love my FA-003/HM5, although I wouldn't mind something a little more exciting either. The one thing I can't stand is harsh highs. I'm just going to be using these while walking around campus, so I couldn't care less about soundstage and detail retrieval, but isolation needs to be good. I'm really just interested in getting that sound signature and clarity. $150 is my budget but buying used is totally a possibility.
A few that come to mind:
HiFiMan RE-400 - smooth and very clear, with tight bass and neutral tone. However, it has less bass than what I remember of the FA-003. If you're using them primarily in noisy environments you may not be satisfied with the bass response.
Yamaha EPH-100 - these are the opposite of the RE-400 on the bass front, deep and powerful. They are a warm and fun-sounding IEM with pretty inoffensive treble. Too much bass might be a problem in this case but I thought the low end was rather well-done on these and their isolation would work nicely for use outside.
Sony MH1C - much cheaper than the others but they have a very smooth sound with bass that is pretty well-controlled considering its quantity. Isolation is above average and clarity is generally good, though behind the two sets mentioned above.
Shure SE215 - somewhat similar to the MH1C but a bit less refined. Makes up for it in user-friendliness, construction quality, and isolation. Again, a warmer sound, but this type of signature is probably your best bet if you want smooth treble and a bit of added "fun".
While I do consider the VSonic and HiFiMan to be upgrades over those two, you may be surprised how close the Sony/LG already are to the good $100-200 earphones. Anyway, you should expect something along these lines:
RE-400: good if you like the clarity and more neutral tone of the Quadbeat over the warmer, fuller sound of the MH1C. It won't have the bass depth of the Sony or the soundstage width of the LG, but it makes up for it with a balanced and neutral presentation, treble smoothness, and very clean bass.
GR07BE: bassier than the RE-400 but also has more prominent treble a-la Quadbeat. Wider presentation than the RE-400 but the top end is not as smooth.