Thank you very much to Joker for a truly astounding effort with this thread. I only joined the forums very recently, but about a year back I used this thread (the result of some Googling) to select a pair of VSonic GR06s for myself. Unfortunately I never really found them to be extremely comfortable in my ears, but the sound quality was definitely on point, so thanks for that! Sadly the left ear has stopped working on them already, and I got them online for a really low price with no warranty. Caveat emptor, I suppose.
I was wondering if you could possibly point me toward a pair of IEMs with these criteria:
- $50 or under
- Preferably worn straight down, but I can deal with over-the-ear
- Isolation is paramount; I do a lot of flying and airplane noise behind my music annoys me if it's too overwhelming. This was my main problem with the GR06s: for some reason, despite the massive variety of earbud tips it came with, I was unable to get a truly complete seal with them, which was bothersome and generally uncomfortable.
- I tend to prefer an analytical-ish sound, though not on the level of, say, Etymotic Research stuff. I listen to a very wide variety of music including classical, jazz, indie rock, and electronic.
I realize that I won't be getting something crazy good for $50, but hopefully I can find a solid pair- I would be willing to stretch the price range a little bit for something really great.
Etymotic Etykids, maybe? They aren’t as thin-sounding as the BA-based Ety sets. I haven’t done a full review but I’ve heard them three times now and have always been impressed. You simply won’t beat the isolation for the price. The Etys won’t have as much bass the GR06 but (without A:Bing) I would say the quality of the mids/treble would be nearly on-par. Another option might be the VSonic VC02 but it won’t isolate as much as the Etykids and sounds brighter overall. If you want something with more bass and are willing to give up a chunk of isolation the UE500 might work for you - it comes with Comply tips and has above-average isolation. Most of the appeal is in that it's currently quite cheap, typically <$40 on amazon.
I have owned my JVC-FXT90L2 for over a month now. The SQ is better than all of my previous IEMs, however, I found that for some songs the vocals are sibilant while for others the vocals are not strong enough (compared to the instruments). Should I have chosen EPH-100? :P
Sounds like you don’t like the v-shaped sound. The EPH100 has more focus on the mids relative to the treble so in that respect it should be better. The only caution would be if you’re used to very forward upper mids, which present forward and sort of ‘shouty’ vocals, from some other headphone. The EPH-100 doesn’t do that.
I have just recieved Trident DN-12 and boy oh boy, what a disappointment - they sound no where near PortaPro and compared to samsungs S3 original headphones fixes only annoying sound at high frequencies (but still too much highs for my taste). Compared even to stock samsung headphones, Trident has almost no bass and sounds flat. Overall Trident sounds like outside the window, music is somewhere else (sorry, but this the only way I can describe it). Middle range and clarity is good. Do I do something wrong or should I wait for that good sound to arrive? Or is it even possible to get that solid sound of PortaPro's in an in-ear headphones?
It sounds like you’re not getting a proper seal with the Trident – the lack of proper imaging, weak bass, and excessive treble are all indicators of a bad acoustic seal.
Great job |joker|, your IEMs ranking is just superb!
I've been looking for a long time for something better than Brainwavz ProAlpha (more refined, more wow factor) but with similar sound signature: warm (reasonably bassy), sweet but detailed and airy - especially natural sounding, like ProAlpha does for me. What would you recommend?
It depends on your budget. The aging Brainwavz M2 is a more refined ProAlpha at $50 or so. It’s not a huge step up, though. If you’re okay with a brighter sound something a little more v-shaped, like the Astrotec AM-800 ($65), would be a good option.
Ok how do you feel about the over the ear part i never liked sony's over the head design for earbuds. i'm not highly sure what it feels like and if i dont care for them its going to suck seeing how you cant wear those straight down.
And do you think its worth the upgrade from the Klipsch s4's? TIA
That's down the individual. I prefer over-the-ear earphones, personally - the fit is typically very stable and cable doesn't bother me at all.
I don't like the S4 all that much so for me it's a worthwhile upgrade but again it really depends on what you're looking for. The S4 is pretty biased towards mid-bass and treble. The GR07BE is not.