Good question - I am not sure there is a way to really know. If I had to guess I'd say it's just the way that market evolved. You have to remember that the custom IEM market isn't very old and wasn't pioneered by the big audio brands with tons of experience on the headphone side of things (Sennheiser, AKG, etc). It was started by guys doing live sound in order to make the lives of musicians easier on stage. Also, I don't know if this had anything to do with it but Etymotic had already proven the accuracy of the balanced armature by that point with the ER4 launched sometime in the late 80s. Anyway, under different conditions it's conceivable that a lot of stage monitors would be dynamic - there's just no way to really know.
Iv been using a pair of VSonic GR02 Bass Edition for over a year. Though I really loved the set overall, I really felt it lacking in the bass department. Didnt quite "Feel" the punch/thump much with these. Now that they have developed an issue (the left bud keeps shutting down all the time, starts working when I tweak the plug. That obviously does not work when I am on the move, and even when I am stationary, I have to keep tweaking it from time to time), I figured I might have to upgrade soon. So I dont have a very big budget (say about INR 5000 ~ USD 100 tops after extending my budget as much as I possibly can), and I am in India, so options are limited too, kind of. I havent been able to figure out the additional cost (customs/taxes/duties) of importing sets. So I need advice on which set to go in for next. As I had said, I really loved the GR02 BEs, except for the bass, which was actually what I had been looking for when I purchased them. So I want something similar overall, with a lot more bass. And they have to be durable too, hate to spend so much on a set and have it breaking on me. I am not a very rough user per se, but still. Some of the names from the top of my head are (In no specific order of preference, and in no way am I limited to these):
> Brainwavz M5/M2/ProAlpha (dont know whether this would be an upgrade or not)
> Fischer Audio. Now im confused between 3 of their sets, Eterna, Silver Bullets, and Consonance.
> Shure SE215
> Meelectronics M11+/M21
> SoundMagic E10
> Audio Technica CKM500
> Anything Else
If you found the bass of the GR02 BE lacking you can pretty much forget about most Brainwavz, the Silver Bullet, the SE215, the MEElecs, and the Soundmagics.
The CKM500 is a little bassier than the GR02 BE (mostly more emphasized in the mid-range region) and very good overall, especially for ~$60. The Brainwavz M5 has a lot of bass but is less similar to the BE than the CKM500 with its much more recessed treble. The Consonance is a slight downgrade from the GR02 IMO.
I would go for the CKM500 - it's tough to beat for the price. You do need a good seal with it to feel that punch but it's there. Another option might be the HiSound Wooduo 2. Not sure how much it costs these days but that's the most bass I can think of with an overall sound signature close to the GR02 BE. Tons of deep bass on it - as much as with the FutureSonics Atrios - which is how it differs from the CKM500 (which emphasizes mid-bass more than sub-bass).
Edited by ljokerl - 6/2/13 at 10:03am