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