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Best <£60 earphones for 3 hour daily bus commute?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey guys. I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks as I am dire need of new earphones and have been doing my own researching, but seem to constantly be hitting obstacles or even brick walls. I will list some of the earphones I have been looking at, along with how I feel about each (through research and reviews).


First, some history & background...


I had a set of Klipsch Image X1's since November. They were my first set of real earphones (moving away from Apple provided ones) and were a huge improvement. Great noise cancelling and good quality sound. The left earbud died in April and had them replaced by Amazon. The second set died 2 months later with the same issue. Since then I've been using the iPhone 3GS earphones which are quite honestly absolutely awful! Tinny, muddy sound lacking clarity, absolutely NO noise cancellation at all, and they actually make my ears physically hurt after just 5min.


I commute for about 3 hours daily via a busy and noisy bus. It often plays host to neds/chavs sitting up the back being noisy and swearing like it's cool, or they blast their rubbish club music out their £50 mobiles crap speakerphone. I NEED earphones that will block most of this out as well as being comfortable for at least an hour at a time... the Klipsch ones I had done a VERY admirable job at £20, so I am looking for something at least a little better.


I listen to a range of music - here's what I have in my 'June' playlist:

Amy MacDonald, Anna Nalick, B.O.B, Black Eyed Peas, BT, Chicane, Coheed & Cambria, Coldplay, Ferry Corsten, A Fine Frenzy, The Fray, James Morrison, Katie Malua, N-Dubz, Newton Faulkner, Taio Cruz, Shakira, Snow Patrol, Timbaland


Ok, so I hope this is all the information you audiophiles require from me in order to recommend something. Again, having previously spent around £20 and getting good sound quality and good noise cancellation, I'm really not looking at spending much more than around £50-60. I don't really want anything less than about £30 though as I am skeptical about build quality on most.


Here's what I am currently looking at:


Shure SE102 // Sony MDR-EX500 // Head-Direct RE0


The Shure's are tempting not just because of the pedigree of the name, but because of the review over at trusted reviews website. Many other reviews show these in a good light, but the trusted reviews one seems to hail them as the earphones God would choose, and I am unsure if perhaps they may have been promised a little bonus for giving a phenomenal review... ie, "not so trusted" reviews.


The RE0's sound almost too good to be true. The main gripe many seem to have had with them was the cheap, plasticy cabling. This has apparently since been changed to a woven-fibre cable eliminating some of the issues it used to have. So really, are these RE0's really as good as some $200-300 earphones with the only real con being the cheap felt filter over the ear canal? Almost seems like a no brainer. But IS IT too good to be true? The website just looks so simple and basic, and the packaging looks like a cheap $3 chinese knock-off... what's the deal?


Please help me. I am suffering through the Apple supplied earphones and desperately need a new set, so hope to make a decision by Wed/Thurs to get them for the weekend.


Thanks for any and all help, suggestions or recommendations.

post #2 of 22



personally never owned them, but use the search function and the reviews seem pretty good, comes with comply tips aswell which are pretty comfortable,

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick reply James.


I have actually spent half an hour earlier looking at these, particularly because they are now just £18 from about £40. The reviews on Play are very favourable but the ones on Amazon have really put me off a lot.




8 reviews with none being 4 or 5 stars. Almost all reviews mention about them falling our of ears - I'm inclined to think it's just because they are using tips that don't agree with their ears or are too small... Common sense says they should have tried other tips, and one can only assume they would have before writing a review. Right? There also seems to be an annoying amount of feedback via the cable.

post #4 of 22

Haven't had experience with the super.fi 4, but good foam tips like Complys shouldn't fall out easily. My experience with long transport is that isolation and comfort is the key. I've never had issues with IEMs falling out of my ears, perhaps because I have rather small ear canals. If you remain seated most of the time, that shouldn't be a problem.

post #5 of 22

RE0's without a doubt, the cable was initially a PVC cable, changed to a woven-cloth cable, and is now a super tough PPE cable. The pictures on head-direct are currently inaccurate. They come in a very nice apple-like plastic packaging. Yes the RE0's have unmatched clarity for the price, its sound quality rivals those of $300+ They will beat the sf4's out of the water, they rival the triple.fi 10's


Originally Posted by dwoo12 View Post

Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
In case you missed this (just posted by Fang @ Head-Direct):
Here are some pictures of the revision as well...

Edited by iemmustiane - 6/29/10 at 7:38am
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

iemmustiane, The RE0's sound more and more like a good deal.


Just so I can be sure, these are the right ones from the right manufacturer, right?



Also from the new packaging it looks like there's now 5 sets of the felt filters. Is this just because they want to give us more accessories or because they are prone to needing replaced regularly? With the right set of tips on, do the filters stand any chance of becoming damaged or needing replaced?


Any idea how warranty works? Being in the UK, if these break on me 6 months down the time... will they replace them?

post #7 of 22

They have a one year warranty. The seller is head direct yes. The filters were pretty useless when I had them although it wasn't for very long. I don't see you using up all 5 filters given any time period.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

So for commuting these should be spot on for me, you reckon?


Also, given these guys are based in America, will warranty still be honoured for those buying overseas? That was really what I was trying to ask. Klipsch wouldnt have anything to do with my warranty claim, saying as I was outside the US I would need to speak to the seller (Amazon). Just unsure what issues I might face should I need a warranty replacement.

post #9 of 22

Why buy from Amazon? head-direct.com is their website and they have a rep here in the forums and I've had no issues with communication with them. Warranty is the same whether you are in US or not.


They are a bit microphonic but you can wear them over the ears. Isolation is around average but adequate. The question you should ask is not if they are good for your commute but if you like their sound signature which is fairly neutral.

post #10 of 22

I highly doubt that you'll ever need a filter replacement. There just being generous when giving those filters. My meelectronics came with the same type of filters and they are still standing quite strong. If you don't like the filter you can always remove them and glue on your own wire mesh.

Isolation is above average. More than enough for commuting and bus rides.

Mids and Highs are some of the cleanest you'll ever hear.

Bass is very detailed and good, it improves even more with an amplifier.

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

rawrster, I'm not buying them from Amazon - the UK site doesnt even sell them. What I was saying is I've had trouble with warranty claims with products bought overseas before, and was just wondering what Head-Direct were like with warranty claims from people in Britain. Many American manufacturers only accept warranty claims from Americans and dismiss other countries. That is why I asked about it.


Really just after good quality (ie, won't fall apart or die in 3 months) earphones with good enough noise isolation to block out the sounds of a busy bus which have a good all-round sound performance.

post #12 of 22

Well I highly recommend you buying some type of case for your iem's, an altoid's mint case should do very well.

Learn this method of wrapping http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcND46YrB1o then store in the case.

With this method your RE0's should last a lifetime as opposed to wrapping it around your mp3 player. 3 months per IEM will cost you alot of money in the long run.

Head Direct has a very good customer service so I think you can work something out.

post #13 of 22

V-Moda Remix, Klipsch S4, Philips SHE9850, Brainwavz M2, Phiaton PS210, D-Jays, Denon C710 and JVC FX1000.......

Edited by ZARIM - 6/29/10 at 9:46am
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Apart from the Phiatons i've already looked into all of those. Only the S4's and Philips are actually sourceable within the UK. From what I can see anyway.

Cheers for the wrapping tip and travel case suggestion, iemmustiane

think i might go for the RE0's once i finish work tonight.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

I can't believe I didnt mention my source earlier...


I still have not made a complete decision but having looked around these forums a bit more, it seems most people who have RE0 are using them with amps. I intend to be using just my iPhone 3GS - will the RE0 still perform well or do they ideally need an amp? If an amp is required, would the Shure SE102 be a better choice for myself?

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