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Radiohead fan looking for new IEMs

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I seem to have lost my UE Super.fi 5 Pros on a flight home from FL (reference my previous posts for more details on this weakness of mine in re: air travel).  No more need be said than that I'm in need of a new set of IEMs.  I do much of my listening on planes, so isolation is a concern.

 

The super.fi 5s were, if not a clear-cut favorite at the time, a fairly popular choice as a best buy in the $175-250 range, and I payed something like $170 in 2008.  I thought them a fair analogue to my B&W home speakers: not the best for bottom-end resolution, but warm in the mids and smoothly detailed in the highs.  That's more or less the sound I like, but I suspect that a couple of years of progress has made them a less reasonable choice, and opinion on HeadFi seems to have turned somewhat against UE. 

 

As you'd guess, I listen to a lot of Radiohead, which I would call technical, detailed music.  It's very carefully produced, and in recent years has become more rhythm-based, so transient handling, tight mid-bass and instrument separation are very important, while deep bass is a big, big plus.  I also listen to a good deal of lo-fi, "honest-sounding" music, such as Tom Waits, Sparklehorse and a favorite local metal-blues band: Eli Cook Band.   

 

A recent airport listen to basic Monster Turbines, Dr. Dre Beats, and Shure 201s (I think; they retailed at similar prices) and a couple of lesser brands left me liking the sound of the Monsters better than the others, but unconvinced that it was much better than my old UEs, and at $149 retail didn't seem like much of a deal.  Though I thought that ultimately the quality failed, I did like their sound profile, which seemed tight in the bass and smooth and detailed in the mid-highs, though, which makes me think I'd like the upper end of the line better.  I've seen eBay offers on the Monster Turbine Pro Coppers for about $235, and this would represent an extreme high for my budget, and a pretty hard-to-justify layout.  I'd be a lot more comfortable at $100.  I've read through ljokerl's multi-IEM review thread and have a few ideas, but would like to solicit undirected opinions.  

 

I've been known to use amplification, by the way, but ultimately find it a hassle for travel at levels and sizes beyond Fiio.

 

Can anyone offer suggestions?


Edited by Elladan - 5/24/10 at 6:41am
post #2 of 22

I am also a big fan of radiohead, although I don't have the collection of IEMs others might be able to tell you about, I can say that the westone 2 is very good for their music I find. The overall signiture is more flat with a slight bump in the mids (makes the vocals come out). They also have a pretty good sound stage and separation.Only thing in your criteria that it might not satisfy is the deep bass, while the quality and quantity is there, it doesn;t go all the way down to the lowest tones.

post #3 of 22

Hello, I'm a big Radiohead fan too, but unfortunately I can't recommend any earphone that fits your budget. The best IEMs I've heard for Radiohead (and I mean they really reproduce their sound in an extraordinary way) are the Ortofon e-Q7 and the FX700. The latter is the most organic fit for Radiohead all the way around, but they will hit you at the lowest price at about $320. You may be lucky and find the e-Q7 in the for sale section here for around $240-$280, or else you're going to pay about $300. But in my opinion they are two of the best for Radiohead. Good luck.

post #4 of 22

E-Q7 fo sho mofo.

post #5 of 22

e-q7 sounds great with radiohead but comfort might be an issue(but you are coming from UE so I don't think it will bother you here)

 

Westone 2 has a big soundstage but is a bit too laid back for their rock albums.

 

RE0, at $85 is probably the best bet. I won't claim that it's great for Radiohead, but it just does everything well enough and is comfy enough(and isolate enough with the double flanges) for your need and is cheap.

 

Also, being a huge Radiohead fan, I did not think Ok Computer had the best production. The Bends and Kid A are well done though.

 

How would you rank their studio albums OP?

 

Mine

The Bends

In Rainbows

Ok Computer

Kid A

Hail to the Thief/Pablo Honey

Amnesiac

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 



Thanks for the responses, gentlemen.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithfire View Post

 

Westone 2 has a big soundstage but is a bit too laid back for their rock albums.

 

RE0, at $85 is probably the best bet. I won't claim that it's great for Radiohead, but it just does everything well enough and is comfy enough(and isolate enough with the double flanges) for your need and is cheap.

 

 

How would you rank their studio albums OP?

 

Mine

The Bends

In Rainbows

Ok Computer

Kid A

Hail to the Thief/Pablo Honey

Amnesiac



The RE0 was definitely one I felt I had to consider based on ljokerl's multi-IEM review, though I also suspect that I won't be happy without a pretty good bass response.  But perhaps I'm reading too much into the relatively negative comments regarding bass.  I was also wondering about the Panasonic RP-HJE900 ($130 is the best price I've seen).  The Klipsch Custom 3 is interesting, too ($122, and ljokerl compares its sound to the EQ-7).  At the price level of the Turbine Pro Coppers ($235 if the Coppers are purchased from eBay, which would void the warranty), there's the Audio Technica ATH-CK10, but again, that's at the very high extreme of my range.  Can anyone comment on any of these IEMs in this context?

 

And as for the Radiohead albums, I'm going to have to say:

The Bends (which benefits from the astonishment I felt the first time I really listened to it)

In Rainbows

Hail to the Thief (underrated!)

OK Computer

Amnesiac

Kid A

Pablo Honey (to me, it's always seemed like generic guitar rock)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennyboy71 View Post

E-Q7 fo sho mofo.



Yeah, it sounds great, but the only place I can find them is the Ortofon website at $429.  Waaaay out of my range!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Hello, I'm a big Radiohead fan too, but unfortunately I can't recommend any earphone that fits your budget. The best IEMs I've heard for Radiohead (and I mean they really reproduce their sound in an extraordinary way) are the Ortofon e-Q7 and the FX700. The latter is the most organic fit for Radiohead all the way around, but they will hit you at the lowest price at about $320. You may be lucky and find the e-Q7 in the for sale section here for around $240-$280, or else you're going to pay about $300. But in my opinion they are two of the best for Radiohead. Good luck.

 

Thanks...I did find the FX700 at JVC's Japanese website, but at $370 (if memory serves), they're just too much!


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monoglycer View Post

I am also a big fan of radiohead, although I don't have the collection of IEMs others might be able to tell you about, I can say that the westone 2 is very good for their music I find. The overall signiture is more flat with a slight bump in the mids (makes the vocals come out). They also have a pretty good sound stage and separation.Only thing in your criteria that it might not satisfy is the deep bass, while the quality and quantity is there, it doesn;t go all the way down to the lowest tones.



I've never listened to Westones; I have the (perhaps unjustified) impression that they're a bit like Shures in sound signature, and I found the Shure 210s I listened to (these are at a lower pricepoint, of course) bland and overdark.  That may be inaccurate, but at about $279, the UM2s are probably out of my reach too.


Edited by Elladan - 5/18/10 at 3:27pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elladan View Post



Thanks for the responses, gentlemen.

 

 



The RE0 was definitely one I felt I had to consider based on ljokerl's multi-IEM review, though I also suspect that I won't be happy without a pretty good bass response.  But perhaps I'm reading too much into the relatively .  I was also wondering about the Panasonic RP-HJE900 ($130 is the best price I've seen).  The Klipsch Custom 3 is interesting, too ($122, and ljokerl compares its sound to the EQ-7).  At the price level of the Turbine Pro Coppers ($235 if the Coppers are purchased from eBay, which would void the warranty), there's the Audio Technica ATH-CK10, but again, that's at the very high extreme of my range.  Can anyone comment on any of these IEMs in this context?

 

And as for the Radiohead albums, I'm going to have to say:

The Bends (which benefits from the astonishment I felt the first time I really listened to it)

In Rainbows

Hail to the Thief (underrated!)

OK Computer

Amnesiac

Kid A

Pablo Honey (to me, it's always seemed like generic guitar rock)

 

 



Yeah, it sounds great, but the only place I can find them is the Ortofon website at $429.  Waaaay out of my range!

 

 

Thanks...I did find the FX700 at JVC's Japanese website, but at $370 (if memory serves), they're just too much!


 



I've never listened to Westones; I have the (perhaps unjustified) impression that they're a bit like Shures in sound signature, and I found the Shure 210s I listened to (these are at a lower pricepoint, of course) bland and overdark.  That may be inaccurate, but at about $279, the UM2s are probably out of my reach too.


ALO Audio in Portland carries them at $329. No international shipping to deal with. 

 

http://www.aloaudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_66_78&products_id=393

post #8 of 22

In your budget, maybe give the Klipsch Image X5 a thought. (currently $150 on Amazon).


Edited by vinnievidi - 5/18/10 at 2:20pm
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnievidi View Post

In your budget, maybe give the Klipsch Image X5 a thought. (currently $150 on Amazon).



Vinnievidi -- is the Image X line preferred to the Custom line?

 

post #10 of 22

I can't say which is preferred across the forums; but if you ask me, I think that the X10 surpasses the X5, and the X5 is slightly better than the Custom 3 (in overall sound and fit).   

post #11 of 22

Elladan, at the time you asked your questions I had only heard the e-Q7 and FX700 as what I thought were perfect phones for Radiohead. Of course, both out of your price range. Well, since then I have received the Radius DDM (dual driver dynamic earphone out of Japan). It's one of the best sound in-ear monitors I've heard at any price, and you can pick a pair up for $150-$180. These are perfect for Radiohead in every way, especially if you don't want to invest in higher end earphones. Check the thread out and do you research, but I personally think they are the best bang for your buck earphones to come out so far (that I've heard).

post #12 of 22

Elladan,

Yes I agree with Ericp10, the best bet for your price range and taste is DDM (HP-TWF11)

They are also available in the states through ALO audio, or you can get them a bit cheaper from ebay where I got them from. (Japanese dealer).

Radiohead and other Rock music just sounds best with this monsters. Also e-Q7 is a great BA but a bit more expensive.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/HP-TWF11-Radius-W-Pro-DDM-in-ear-headphones-NEW-/220597517522?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Other_MP3_Player_Accessories&hash=item335ca2fcd2

 

good luck with your search.

post #13 of 22

I've owned the RE0s, CK10, and SoundMagic PL50. I am a huge fan of Radiohead's music and would suggest the RE0s if you have a good portable amp already or can get one for a really good price otherwise the CK10s would be cheaper and better for their music. Without a good amp, CK10 have a wider soundstage and the bass has more impact than the RE0s. On the other hand, if you have to pinch pennies, the RE0s will sound OK but certainly not as immersive. The PL50s are also really good (I use them daily over the CK10 because of comfort), but their overall SQ is not as high as the other two. 


Edited by AN0INTD - 5/22/10 at 5:30pm
post #14 of 22

I don't listen to much Radiohead but the RE0 works very well with OK Computer and In Rainbows.

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey, thanks for the additional information!  I had almost talked myself into the Monster Turbine Pro Coppers at $250 from Onecall (received after offering a myprice of $225).  I'll read up on the DDM tonight for sure, and continue to consider the RE0 after further recommendations, but I'd like to ask: has anyone heard the Coppers AND the DDMs?  This comparison-review of the Coppers versus some strong competition, in fact, http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/478813/monster-cable-turbine-pro-copper-vs-the-ie8-ck10-ck90pro-modded-re252-triple-fi-10-fx500-wm2-silver-and-some-e-q7 specifically used a Radiohead song in the comparison, and the Copper fared extraordinarily well.  

 

I do, by the way, have a good portable amp, the Meier Headsix, which is soon to be back in service, as Dr. Meier has shipped replacements for the stripped originals!

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