First of all, thanks to joker for compiling this awesome comparison thread... Now on to my dilema. I'm torn between the MEElectronics M9P, the Nuforce NE-7M, and the Maximo iMetal iP-HS5 (same drivers/construction as the iM-590, but with a mic, you should add that to the post btw joker). I realize that the M9P are probably a slight step down in SQ from the other two, and the budget isn't a big issue ($20-25 vs $50-55 for the other two), but the build quality and low microphonics make them pretty attractive nonetheless.
I just wanna make sure if I spend 2x the money for either of the latter two that I'm getting my money's worth... I'm coming from a pair of CX300's (which I use to travel, work, study, etc.) and a pair of JVC HA-FX34 Marshmallows. I bought the Senns years ago when they were pretty much the only budget IEMs around (pretty sure i paid over $50 for 'em!) and I bought the JVCs recently from a Best Buy vending machine at an airport when I realized I left my CX300 at home... No joke, not bad at $20 and a quasi-emergency. I'm now using them to exercise (running) since they perform better than the CX300 in an active environment (less microphonics, tips slide out less, etc.).
I also use the JVC HA-RX700 at home, FWIW. I started reading Amazon reviews for the NuForce and Maximo (I know, they're to be taken w/a grain of salt) and there seemed to be a lot of complaints about the Maximo's build quality despite joker's praise of it. A lot of people seem to have had issues with the cable specifically (saying it frayes or opens up and lets the inner cabling show, etc.). I know any of 'em should be an improvement over the JVC (let alone the CX300), but still I'm torn...
Don't people usually say that an I-plug puts more stress on the connector? Joker mentions the Maximos have an I-plug even tho it looks a bit angled on the picture (I guess it starts straight and bends, farther out than the MEElec's 45 deg. plug I suppose). I'll be using 'em primarily with my netbook & phone so I'd guess an L plug or a shorter angled plug is ergonomically preferable. Anyway I've read a few other reviews here and elsewhere and I still can't seem to make up my mind, so if anyone's got any further comments I'd appreciate it, thanks!
Edit: The accessories aren't a big deal to me, the Shack sells Comply tips and I already have a serviceable pouch to carry them. I'd put equal emphasis on everything else.... I guess NuForce's excellent support and Maximo's lifetime warranty are worth a lil' extra $ but if they end up being more fragile than the MEElec's that's kind of a dubious distinction. Never had any issues w/my CX300, or the JVC after having used 'em for 4-5 months of running (3-5 miles about 2-3 days a week), Never used the CX300 to run as they seemed a bit fragile (and expensive, given what I paid) for that.
Edited by Impulse - 5/29/10 at 11:35pm