Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Upgrading From Stock iPod Headphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Upgrading From Stock iPod Headphones

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well this is my first time upgrading from stock iPod headphones. 


People keep on telling me how I should upgrade and I finally decided to splurge, but I'm confused and would love to have some guidance before I go out and spend money randomly.


The headphones I'm considering right now are:

- Super.Fi 5vi $70

- UE 700 $150

- Monster Turbine $107

- Monster Tour $150


I'm willing to spend up to $150 on these headphones. (If they're not too far off like $170, that's fine too)

(Value isn't really an issue for me. I just want the best headphones under $150.)


I usually listen to these times of genres:

- Alternative 

- Pop 

- Punk

- Rock


Do not listen to Rap or Hip-hop at all though, so it doesn't have to sound good for those genres.


Things I care about:

- Build Quality - Do not want to deal with changing cables or etc.

- Noise Isolation - I live in NYC and need these to block out the street noise.


Would someone please guide me? 


It doesn't have to be from that list by the way, those are just some that stood out.

Edited by kenshiu93 - 8/25/10 at 5:57pm
post #2 of 7

What best is for me it ain't be for you my friend. If you consider the fact that each and every one of us has preferences and likes and dislikes we can only recommend what I feel is best. In $160-170 price range you can get best sounding earphones depending whether you prefer Balanced Armature driver or Dynamic one??


Best example for dynamic earphone is Radius DDM, first ever dual driver headphones by this japanese brand.

There is also dual driver Balanced armature one from russian brand Fisher Audio DBA-02,

Panasonic HJE900 is a single driver.

all 3 earphones are among top sellers here on the forum. People seem to like them for their amazing price vs sound quality.

One has better isolation then another. Radius DDM fit could be an issue for somebody with small ears. Isolation is not bad specially using comply foam tips (like I do).

DBA-02 isolates better but sound is not as great comparing them to DDM or my other earphones e-Q7 (ortofon)

read reviews and ask questions.

You will get help here.

You can get all 3 of this earphones in USA from AlO Audio.

google them.

Good luck

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

To be honest, most of that went completely above my head.


This is my first time upgrading from stock headphones, and I just want to make sure that I'm paying for the sound and not the branding.


I do want a dual driver however, I heard they're better at sound in general.


I looked at the DDM's and people are commenting that it's not very good for Rock, so I'm not too sure about it.


DBA-02's do look promising though.

post #4 of 7

Before you get mislead, more drivers most definitely does not always mean better.

The ER-4 from Etymotic is a single driver IEM, and for 10 years it has been a tried and true star. It beats out many dual and even some triple driver IEMs in some aspects.


My point is that it's not good just because it has 2 drivers - it can still be 2 crap drivers. So be careful, and make sure you read reviews comparing to other products, as sometimes you'll have a dual driver on the level of triple drivers, and single drivers on the level of dual (or even triple) drivers. Comparing only dual drivers, for example, could lead you to overlook things like that.


Best thing for you is to do your research, read up on threads and reviews here. You'll find that driver number isn't something that's even considered in 95% of cases. That 5% is people who don't know what I'm telling you now. The ultimate goal is the best sound for your dollar. It doesn't matter what technology is inside, as long as the end result is satisfactory for you. That means you should research dynamic and balanced armature drivers. In a nutshell, dynamic drivers move more air and generally sound warmer, but at the expense of control and detail (generally). Balanced Armatures are more controlled and refined sounding, but they don't always have the warmth that dynamics usually have and don't have the same degree of tactical bass, as balanced armatures move less air. It's all what you're after, and remember, this changes between IEMs like you wouldn't believe. The EarSonics SM3, for example, has lots of dynamic driver liking fans, despite it being a triple BA IEM.


Make sure you do your research on the individual IEMs and read lots of reviews and comparisons so you have a good understanding of all your options. If you have any specific questions, just ask.


I highly recommend reading this thread, it's truly a work of art. http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/478568/multi-iem-review-100-iems-compared-westone-um3x-turbine-pro-copper-added-08-18

post #5 of 7

I have had nothing but Eytmotic for the last 4+ years and I commute to NYC daily.  For what you are looking for I would strongly recommend the Etymotic Mc5s.  I have been using my pair for 1 month now, and it sounds better every time I use them.  With the dynamic driver, you get the great Ety sound, which is very suitable to your style of music.  In addition you get a little more bass then the ER-4s in my opinion.  I would describe it as a clean bass sound, but you need to break in the IEMs for at least 100 hours.  Once you do, they will be a better product then the ER4s.


I love my Mc5s so much I am getting custom tips made for them.  Having spoken to my audiologist, he even agreed on the things that Mc5s delivers is amazing for the $80 price tag.  Etymotic tries to give as close to a real world sound as possible.  I listen to similar music as you, and I have to say, these are my favs.


The only down part is:


1- The shaft is long, so the fit may not be comfortable.  I tried the triflanges but they hurt.  The sliders are good, bit don't isolate as well as the triflanges.  I am going to use the sponges until the custom ACS tips come in.

2- My previous 2 ER6i IEMS broke after two years of use.  I hope the Mc5s last longer, but they have a two year warranty.  So I hope they break before the warranty expires if they do break.  Keep in mind that I commute 4 hours daily, so I use them 20hrs a week at the minimum.  So it lasted me almost 2400 hours with the ER6is.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well, I decided to splurge and opt for the Monster Turbine Pro Gold for $160.


I decided not to go for the Copper since it was $230 and people said there's only a minute difference.


I read how most people love the Monster Turbine Pro Gold/Coppers


I hope I didn't make a bad choice.


Thank you guys for all your help.

post #7 of 7

good choice

i miss them somehow

they were my first expensive iems

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Upgrading From Stock iPod Headphones