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On the search for a new pair of IEMs…

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi there,

So as the title says, I am on the search for a new pair of In-Ear Heaphones.
Now, my present situation:
I started with a pair of Sennheiser CX 300, but after two years the connection to one earpiece broke. The sound was ok, but the bass too dominant and not so detailed.
Then I tried out a pair of Etys ER 4P from a friend. I liked the neutrality of the headphones, but they lacked bass.
After that I bought a pair of Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio. However after some time I lost one earpiece (exchangeable cord). I liked the sound of the Super.fi 3 very much but the fit would loosen up after some time (I used the single flap tips, not the foam ones).
Atm I'm back on a pair of CX 300 II but I want smth better.

What I am looking for now, is a pair of IEMs that have a similar sound to the Super.fi 3 Studio but with a little more bass. Also a better isolation (compared to the Super.fi3). My source is an iPhone 3G a the moment and later an iPhone 4, so a mic and buttons would be very welcome but not necessary.
I would like to spend no more than ~150$ (unless ofc it is really worth it).
If you need more information, please ask!

On a sidenote, is this realistic to think that I could use the in-ears without music as a pair of isolating earpieces?

Thank you very much for any help and suggestions


Edited by ssppooff - 8/20/10 at 6:09am
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 12

Hi there. Sorry not familiar with the Super.fi 3 but can recommend you few things.

Check the Radius DDM (HP-TWF11R) coming from a japanese company making its debut with one of the best sounding Dynamic dual driver in ear headphones. Value is around $160-180 US but most of head-fiers compare this to top tiers earphones such is SM3, FX700, Ortofone-Q7,  MTP, IE8 by sennheiser.

Check the web and reviews of this beast.

Those are sold in USA, UK, AU, pretty much anywhere. Can even get them from Japanese agency. www.musicaacoustics.com


Another things to consider is DBA-02 by Fisher Audio. This one is a BA driver earphones. Has clear sound but small base for my taste.

What kind of music do you like?

post #4 of 12

super.fi 5 pro?

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi there and thanks for the suggestiones.


After re-reading my initial post, I must say I made a few mistakes.

First, I have the Super.fi 5 pro, not the 3, sorry about that typo.

And secondly, the phones I have right now are a pair of CX 400 II, not sure it there is a difference between those and the 300 II tho.


I have spent some time re-listening to my single SF 5 pro.

So what I am looking for in an IEM is good isolation (better than SF 5 pro, the more the better) much less microphonics than the SF 5 pro and a better fit. Sturdy cable ofc, since I will be using these also while commuting.


Soundwise: The sound of the SF 5 pro is ok. I am looking for more clarity and detail.

I listen to a lot of different music

indie electronic, electronic, house, rock (n roll), pop, metal…


After looking and reading throuh the web I have picked out a few in ears.

Tell me what you guys think of them:

Fischer Audio DBA-02

Phonak PFE 122 (with mic)

Radius HP-TWF11R Pro “DDM“


I was looking at the Q-Jays but they are a little over what I would like to pay.


Which one would you recommend more, less? And why?

Personally I am tending for the Phonak PFE…


thanks very much for the kind help



post #6 of 12

Not sure of SF 5 pro isolation issues (never tried those) but Radius DDM do not have best isolation out of those 3 phones you are looking at, specially with the ear-tips this come from factory.

With DDM I use comply tips and also a silicon which come from my e-Q7; Finding right tips will help with isolation issues, not only with Radius DDMs.

This one also come with microphonics nevertheless I found a solution for my self; just get a clip and attach it to your wear, this will prevent the cable to slide while you waling/running. I do use Radius outdoors in public and have no complains, specially for the money paid.

Latter are in the same price range as DDM but you cant get them anywhere at the moment. They are sold out and nobody knows when this will be available yet.

post #7 of 12

if you have dissliked tho bass on the cx300 skip the Radius,  the other two ive not heard.  the Q-Jays are really really nice but they are lots lighter than the cx300 in the bass dept so be prepared for that

post #8 of 12

  I am also a newbie here but i will try to help you as best i can. I've not heard the phones you are contemplating on buying (yet) but i must have read the entire iem section of the forum in the last two months .


  The CX400II have even more bass than the cx300II (i've owned them both, although i am not proud of that fact ).


  From the choices you've listed, the dba-02s will probably have the most clarity and detail but they will also probably lack bass. I haven't listened to allot of armature phones, but the SF 5pro is by far the bassiest of the ones i did listen to. It is also the most uncomfortable pair of phones i've put inside my ears. The dba-02 reportedly provides a comfortable fit and good isolation too.


  I have ordered the DDMs, so i can give you my opinion of them once they arrive. If isolation is a top priority though, i doubt they will cut it for you from what i read about them.


  The phonaks pfe022 might be a better option than the pfe122 for you, since they are essentially pfe122s with a filter that provides more bass. They are also cheaper.


  My advise to you is to search in the dba-02 appreciation thread for people that own both the dbas and the phonaks, and ask them their opinion about the sonic characteristics that you require.


  Btw, Mark and Yello are really great guys, they are always the first to give a helping hand to a newbie. Thanks guys!

post #9 of 12


  Btw, Mark and Yello are really great guys, they are always the first to give a helping hand to a newbie. Thanks guys!

post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by ssppooff View Post


I was looking at the Q-Jays but they are a little over what I would like to pay.

What about the D-Jays? They seem to be almost on par with Phonaks (but cheaper, if you order online) with a balanced sound. They can be worn both over the ear and conventionally.

post #11 of 12
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hm, thanks very much for the advices.


I did indeed dislike the bass heaviness of the CX 300 & CX 400 II, so I'll take your advice on that Mark!


I wouldn't mind having less bass than the SF 5 pro. I agree, the fit really isn't great, esp. after longer periods of time!


A comparison is always a good thing!


Well I'm trying to cut on the bass from the CXs. So I would prbly stick with the 12x/11x (w/ mic & w/o mic)…


In the appreciation thread for the DBA-02 everyone found the Fischer Audio better than the PFE.


Now what do you guys think of the UE700? I have heard those are just as good as the Q-Jays…


Yes indeed! Even after my suckish first post they keep helping! I'm very thankful for the help of all you three! thx so much



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