Hello dear Ijokerl,
Firstly, let me say that your work in this thread is of phenomenal importance and impact. I have come to rely on your reviews and depth of your insights becomes apparent to me when I read the review again after listening to the IEMs. I can only thank you for doing it for all of us.
Now the brief story, I am a wannabe Audiophile for about 1 year. I tried MEElectronics A161p, mostly based on your ratings last year and I really liked its clarity and sound signature( Clean quick bass,great mids) . It’s fragile cable gave up on me 3 months ago and I have been looking for a worthy replacement and upgrade. I tried UE600 Vi because I was getting a really good deal (plus its sound was mid centric which I thought I liked, wanted to try dynamic driver etc) on it but was underwhelmed by its sound quality ( Low clarity, Bass is not enjoyable like clean bass of 161P). Your full review at innerfidelity.com mentions that it “measures better than it sounds” and I could not agree more, but I read that after buying. Finally, after reading around, I ordered highly respected Fischer Audio DBA-02 MkII with high expectations and while I agree that it’s very detailed and analytical, I learned that I do not like bright IEM’s and it was not musical enough for me. It was also somewhat difficult to get good volume out of my Samsung galaxy S3 with it so I returned it after a few days.
Now the conundrum, I don’t know which IEM to get next. My budget has significantly expanded to , say, up to $250 as I have realized that its important to get a good one. Based on the experiences above, my ideal IEM would have
1. 1) Mids and bass centric signature with gentle treble. ( I would give 60 % importance to mids, 40 % to Bass, would EQ the treble up if needed), "Very very good bass with greatest possible mids " would be the title of my sonic fantasy. No V- shaped signature for me.
2) As much clarity and detail as I can muster for this kind of signature.
3) Above average soundstage (161P was somewhat intimate and “in your heads” as you pointed out, that is the only thing that I did not like about it… besides the build quality, of course).
4) Easy to drive with Samsung galaxy S3 (A161 > UE 600vi > DBA 02 mk II.
5) High musicality ( Whatever that means) , I listen to Rock, soul and pop, love a few vocalist.
6 )Built-in mic and remote, if possible, one button is good enough
I am not getting enough time to research and am thinking about reordering MEElectronics A161p as it meets most of my requirements. I am usually a silent lurker at the forum but it suddenly occurred to me that I could request your help like so many others.
I would really appreciate if you can give me a few options about IEM’s that are similar to 161P but may be considered an upgrade sonically.