My favorite full sized is the SR-202.
Heh. Now that I think about it that's almost the opposite sound signature. The SR-202 is very trebly.
I haven't heard the 202 (prob never will), but from what I've heard I think you should ease into the IEM game with the JVC FX40. It's a ridiculous bang-for-buck phone that will surprise you. If you want to jump in deeper, check out the Sony EX600. I found it better than the IE80 in most areas (including soundstage). I still say go for the FX40 first though. Another option would be the UE TF10. If you want to jump all the way in, there's the FX700 that has effortlessly extended treble, and an audiophile type basshead sound. The mids are a bit laid back though.
Then there's the GR07 MKII, which I'll have tomorrow. I'll put some impressions on the diary thread for you.
The thing about the FX40 is that they're on the same tier as the FXT90 (in my book, at least). I could send you my pair to have a listen, and decide where to go from there. Shoot me a PM if you're interested.
(3C22) Ultimate Ears 100
Added Aug 2012
Details: UE’s entry-level set available in several striking color schemes
Current Price: $14 from amazon.com (MSRP: $19.99)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.8' L-plug
Nozzle Size: 4mm | Preferred tips: stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear
Accessories (1/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (4 sizes)
Build Quality (2.5/5) – Plastic housings and plastic cabling are typical of UE’s entry-level models. The 3.5mm L-plug lacks strain relief and driver flex is a major annoyance
Isolation (3.5/5) – Long, angled nozzles and sealed housings provide good isolation
Microphonics (4/5) – Very low
Comfort (4/5) – The rectangular housings are small and quite ergonomic, with long angled nozzles and rounded edges. They should fit all but the smallest ears when worn cable-down and can be worn cord-up fairly easily as well.
Sound (4.9/10) – Clearly oriented at the consumer market, the UE100 is nevertheless a fairly well-balanced earphone with good bass and midrange presence. The low end has good extension and decent impact, though it is not as voluminous as that of the pricier UE350. It lacks crispness, detail, and texture but sounds much less boomy compared to a MEElectronics M2 or Skullcandy Smokin’. The bass-midrange balance is good, with the mids prominent enough even on bass-heavy tracks.
The midrange tends to lack crispness and clarity next to higher-end sets such as the Brainwavz Beta but for the price the UE100 has nothing to be ashamed of – it is fuller, warmer, and smoother than the similarly-priced Section 8 earbuds and far clearer than the Skullcandy Smokin’. The treble has decent extension and rolls off rather gently at the top. For the most part the top end is smooth, albeit lacking in detail. The presentation is farther back compared to most entry-level sets but has decent air. Next to higher-end IEMs it lacks depth and separation but does give a sense of space that differentiates it from the in-the-head presentation achieved by most cheap earphones. All in all, while the UE100 can hardly be called Hi-Fi, for $10 one could do much worse.
Value (7.5/10) – The UE100 is a cheap-and-cheerful set with an unusual but very user-friendly form factor, low cable noise, good isolation, and sound that - for the asking price – is decently balanced and surprisingly competent all around. It’s a good backup set or kid earphone to pick up for $10-12 but do make sure the warranty is intact as the driver flex on some pairs can utterly ruin the experience.
Pros: Consumer-friendly sound with good clarity; comfortable form factor; low cable noise
Cons: Significant driver flex
Hi joker. Back again with another intention for some recommendations. I see that you referenced the MDR-7550 three times, and once on its soundstage, and you're planning to review it. So I was wondering if you have anything in mind that has a soundstage like the Sony (or close to it) with the sound signature of the JVC FXT90, with a little bit more bass extension and/or less harsh highs. Budget not more than $200 if it can be helped.
yup , for two things , you may have a small ear canal and comply are really weak , you cant put any stress on them , this tip thing is really a pain for those who dont get what they want , not to mention im one of them , why dont you try out the monster super tips , its cheap for starter pack , but then gets expensive like 6 pairs of one size can set you back by $35 , at least here . i have the sony white ( clear ) tips on my ue 500/400 , its best for now till i find something else .
i think something was written on them , but not anymore .
How is driver flex "good" or "bad"? From my limited experience it seems to be either present or not present. The stock Philips SHE3580 do not have driver flex because of the vent in front of the driver. After I tried sealing a pair with superglue I get driver flex whenever I achieve an airtight seal with the tips; I need to pull on the ear with one hand while inserting with the other to avoid flex on insertion and after insertion, I know I have a tight seal if I get flex by pressing slightly the bud slightly in. I assume this is a "bad" case of flex? What would a "good" (but not nonexistent) case of flex be like?