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Really need to find some new portables...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey y'all. Haven't posted in a while seeing as for a while I was in audio bliss with my M50s and my ER-6 Isolators. Unfortunately, I think it's time to replace the IEMs, as my last pair of tips is disintegrating, the strain relief is totally destroyed, the shirt clip broke, the yoke to keep the wires from separating broke, the casings are yellowing and starting to crack, and the wires feel ever so slightly loose in the casing. I've had them for at least four years, wore them a lot in high school, and then wore them practically every day for a few hours my freshman year at college. In short, they've had a good run of it and probably should be retired. 

 

In the mean time, I picked up a cheap pair of Skullcandy clip-ons, and I'm already regretting it... So I'm not sure how long I'll be able to stand it.

 

What I'm looking for is something similar to the ER-6, but with a little more bass. I'm considering the ER-6i, but I know they generally haven't been as well liked as the original ER-6.

 

I've been perusing the forums and Head Room to see what is generally recommended for around $100, and these are my thoughts so far:

 

Head-Direct RE0 - I know they're popular, but people say that the bass is nearly non-existent. Is this less bass than the ER-6?

Etymotic ER-6i - Tempted by the fact that I know I like the normal ER-6

Etymotic MC5

Klipsch Image S4

Grado iGi

Shure SE210

Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 4

M-Audio IE-10

Westone UM1

Sennheiser IE6

 

So that's where I'm at. Additional details: I use a Zune HD for my portable listening with all of music transcoded from lossless WMA to 192 so I can fit it on my player. I mostly listen to metal, hard rock, and alternative (bands like Trivium, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Coheed and Cambria, etc.), but I do throw in a fair amount of jazz, classic rock, and classical.

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

Bump.

post #3 of 16

If you have not yet found what you want check my all time favorites radius DDM also known as HP-TWF11R

here is a good review to get started.

Hope this helps

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/486541/radius-hp-twf11r-review-and-impressions-thread

post #4 of 16

i would love to buy the ddm if it werent for that dang shape/fit issue.

post #5 of 16

 

Head-Direct RE0 - Not much bass, really, but good for ety fan. 

Etymotic ER-6i - good, but die fast. Mine died after 2 years (Ety 4p live 4 years without any problems, better then 6i, but have less bass)

Etymotic MC5 - nothing.

Klipsch Image S4 - can be sibilant sometimes, Pain after etymotic.

Grado iGi - hear nothing good about those phones :-)

Shure SE210 - total crap. Not even worth looking, IMHO. Total lack of highs for me, sound cheapo

Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 4 - ok, but sound different from ety. May try Altec Lansing Bakbeat Pro. The same thing, but rebadged. Cost only 24$.

 

May try Klipsch Custom 3. Awful cord but great bassy sound, not as detailed as Ety, but has more weight. 
 

post #6 of 16

I'm the last person to be giving advice about this since I have a limited amount of items to report on, but if you would like an opinion on Westone UM1's then I can offer at least that much.

 

Pros:

Very comfortable to wear and listen to - can wear them for hours and the music just gets warmer the longer I listen.

Small size - if you have small ears inside and out, then these will fit and not stick out or rub any part of your ear.

Sounds awesome - neutral flat flavor, but still some bass. good isolation with the Comply or flanged buds. (modded triple flange to double from Got Ears) I don't EQ on the iPod or the computer when listening and usually play 192-320 kbps MP3's or Apple Lossless files.

Excellent cord - may look flimsy but it's flexible and sturdy with almost no microphonics.

Price performance - excellent sounding monitor for the money

Build quality - UM line Made in USA if that's important to you, plastic housing still looks great after 3 years of daily use. No static or lose connections in the wiring.

Customer Service - had left monitor started crackling and going out. Could have been multiple reasons for this, dropping out of ear and banging into a cabinet, catching cord on handles, etc. But called Westone before the year was up on my warranty and they fixed it quickly and perfectly with a quick turnaround.  Has been working great for the past two years and I'm constantly hanging up the cord on knobs and door handles, sometimes resulting in them being yanked out of my ears. No problems.

 

Cons:

Only one driver - but still sounds nice regardless

Only comes in clear housing - maybe a con for some but I prefer clear to black

Sometimes cymbals don't sound natural even if it's a high encode file

 

Well that's about it.  If you have any other questions just ask!  Good luck!

post #7 of 16

 Since you like the er-6, you are into balanced armatures with analytical sound (to each his own i guess ).

So if i were you i would take a look at the new phonaks pfe012, they are within your budget, have a detailed analytical sound with added bass thanks to a sound filter they employ. Take a look at the pfe thread, there are allot of comparisons between etymotic and phonak sound.

 

  The only dynamic phone from your list that competes with balanced phones in details is probably the re-0 and with an impedence of 64 ohmes, you will really need an amp for them. You could also go for the re-zeroes, they cost 99$ but have an impedence of 16 ohmes, so you won't need an amp with them.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies so far!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiesOfAzel View Post

 Since you like the er-6, you are into balanced armatures with analytical sound (to each his own i guess ).

So if i were you i would take a look at the new phonaks pfe012, they are within your budget, have a detailed analytical sound with added bass thanks to a sound filter they employ. Take a look at the pfe thread, there are allot of comparisons between etymotic and phonak sound.



Those Phonaks look promising, but do you know where I can buy them? I found them on Amazon, but it's from an unknown seller... And as far as my sound preference, the ER-6 was the first IEM I ever had, so I never really compared the sound to much else. However, I grew to love the detail in the mids and highs. Like I said, if I could find a similar sound signature with just a bit more bass, I'd be in love!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgirl View Post

I'm the last person to be giving advice about this since I have a limited amount of items to report on, but if you would like an opinion on Westone UM1's then I can offer at least that much.

 

Pros:

Very comfortable to wear and listen to - can wear them for hours and the music just gets warmer the longer I listen.

Small size - if you have small ears inside and out, then these will fit and not stick out or rub any part of your ear.

Sounds awesome - neutral flat flavor, but still some bass. good isolation with the Comply or flanged buds. (modded triple flange to double from Got Ears) I don't EQ on the iPod or the computer when listening and usually play 192-320 kbps MP3's or Apple Lossless files.

Excellent cord - may look flimsy but it's flexible and sturdy with almost no microphonics.

Price performance - excellent sounding monitor for the money

Build quality - UM line Made in USA if that's important to you, plastic housing still looks great after 3 years of daily use. No static or lose connections in the wiring.

Customer Service - had left monitor started crackling and going out. Could have been multiple reasons for this, dropping out of ear and banging into a cabinet, catching cord on handles, etc. But called Westone before the year was up on my warranty and they fixed it quickly and perfectly with a quick turnaround.  Has been working great for the past two years and I'm constantly hanging up the cord on knobs and door handles, sometimes resulting in them being yanked out of my ears. No problems.

 

Cons:

Only one driver - but still sounds nice regardless

Only comes in clear housing - maybe a con for some but I prefer clear to black

Sometimes cymbals don't sound natural even if it's a high encode file

 

Well that's about it.  If you have any other questions just ask!  Good luck!



That's more or less the general feeling I seemed to have noticed about the UM1. When you say there's some bass, how would you describe it? Like say you're listening to a track that makes heavy use of double kick, is it just enough bass to hear the drum? Or is it a little stronger than that?



Quote:
Originally Posted by yello131 View Post

If you have not yet found what you want check my all time favorites radius DDM also known as HP-TWF11R

here is a good review to get started.

Hope this helps

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/486541/radius-hp-twf11r-review-and-impressions-thread


Hmm... Those look like they might fit the bill as far as the sound I want, but people say the fit is weird and that they're not the best headphones for being active (I forgot to mention that for the hours I'm listening to music I'm walking or riding the bus, not just sitting in my dorm). Also, if people with normal ears are having fit problems it might be a bit trickier for me: my ears are really picky when it comes to finding a comfortable IEM.
 

post #9 of 16

Radius DDM purely for sound quality in both bass and treble (very full mid-range too for that matter!) Note: I don't think it will fit you, just as the KDE/250 in my profile pic doesn't fit the vast majority of people who try it.

 

If you want isolation, clarity, and the most natural frequency response, then I suggest the Mc5, especially if you get something with a good custom EQ.

 

I have the Mc5, and have done a direct comparison to the Hf5, which uses a balanced armature. The Mc5 has more bass quantity, but very slightly less extension... Very hard to notice as the freq. response is essentially the same. The dynamic driver in the Mc5 isn't really any less detailed than the balanced armatures I have heard (Shure SE535, Westone 2 & 3, ect.)

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm actually in the process of reading the MC5 thread... I don't like running EQ on my Zune. Although it has a basic preset EQ, all of the various settings are incredibly unnatural sounding to me.

 

I'm also sitting here listening to my ER-6. The more I think about it the more I realize I actually love the analytical nature of the sound.

 

So at this point, I'm thinking it's between the MC5 and UM1. I'd also like to throw the HF5 in there as well as the Monster Turbines: both are currently on sale for a pretty heavily discounted price at B&H.

post #11 of 16

^1st paragraph: it sounds like you need a Cowon... there is simply no other player that can match it EQ wise.

 

2nd paragraph: Mc5 analytical and natural... also much more durable than the Hf5; It's a matter of plastic (Hf5) vs. aluminum (Mc5) for the housing. The Mc5 also has a far nicer cabling job.

 

3rd paragraph: From listening to the Turbine PRO Gold, it is anything but analytical. Bass wise it sounds thunky and smeared. In my opinion it doesn't really have any strong points when it comes to sound quality.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Lack of EQ doesn't bother me. Besides, I like being able to surf the net and play a few games on my Zune, something Cowon can't do yet.

 

In regards to the Turbines (not the Pro version) and the HF5, I guess that leaves it to between the MC5 and the UM1.

post #13 of 16

[1] It will once you hear a Cowon, trust me, I heard a friends S9 and promptly returned my rockboxed 5.5g video... then the Zune HD came out, a few friends bought it, and SQ wise, they all could hear the difference even with my PortaPro

 

[2] Cowon Q5W? V5W? Both have WiFi, and you can play frets on fire on the Q5W, not to mention the USB OTG possibilities... regardless, I am still waiting for someone to acknowledge the dead and over beaten horse... Flash compatibility!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laboitenoire View Post

[1] "...Lack of EQ doesn't bother me..."

 

[2] "...I like being able to surf the net and play a few games on my Zune, something Cowon can't do yet..."

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, I stand corrected. However, it's not really relevant to my current inquiry, so I'm not going to give it serious thought.

 

Back to the main question: MC5 or UM1?

post #15 of 16

Well not too many people have heard the MC5 outside of a handful here and there. UM1 is pretty old however so you would need those who have been here a while to have heard them. I highly doubt anyone has heard both however.

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