Oh yes, of course, I'm serious
But it all boils down to personal taste. We all have different taste. What I can say, when looking for IEM under $50, please try HD381F (and the grey HD381B for more extended highs) if possible.
For me, currently I'm using Hippo Shroom more then HD381F, due to sound isolation and better high clarity. HD381F has better bass and warmer and fuller mids. Hippo Shroom has better sound isolation, detail, clarity, and highs. Looks like my taste has move towards more clarity and transparent treble, that's why I like Hippo Shroom, and recently bought Shroom EB (Extra Bass). Shroom is better for classical music (which I listen most), better clarity, detail, and instrument separation. While HD381F, is a better all-rounder, better bass, fuller midrange, better for pop music and other genre that sounds better with good bass support.
Well, you can hardly say it's a FOTM because hardly anyone has listened to these earphones (this thread was started months ago). All I can say at this point is that these IEMs have a sound quality that is well beyond its price range. Superlux seems to be a specialist in this respect. Its full-sized headphones, the HD668B, got a rave review from Mike at Headfonia and were very well received here on Head-Fi as well, comparing well against full-size mainstays like the K240, AD700, and MS1.
Well, instead of going the other way around, the HD381Fs were the reason why I bought the HD668B. That's how much I like the sound. Is it a true keeper? It's hard to tell, because the build quality leaves a lot to be desired, and the isolation is poor. It probably depends on individual taste.
In terms of sound quality, however, I'm convinced that it is a keeper, at any price range. It won't give you the most minute micro-details, and won't give you in-your-face vocals, but it is one of the flattest earphones I've ever come across that doesn't come across as boring.
I don't really have time to do a systematic review as of right now (I'm a med student in the middle of an anatomy segment), but when I get the time, I'll definitely post something up.
I agree, HD381F has SQ beyond its price range. Most friends bought it, satisfied with it. I also agree HD668B is not as impressive as HD381F, it lacks the dynamic that makes people tap their foot. HD668B is too soft and polite. I've most of the Superlux line, HD668B, all the three HD662 series, HD669, & HD660. If I have to pick, I pick HD662 (the red line) and HD669. HD662, despite the cheapest, maybe a better all-rounder from the rest, it sounds musical. The next would be the HD669, a bit more refined than HD662, but also sounds a bit more analytical, and a tad less mid bass than HD662. But both HD662 and HD669 sound pretty close side by side.
I haven't tried HD681 which is also popular, maybe soon
Edited by earfonia - 11/2/10 at 1:00am