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tried UE700s with my iP4, better altenatives?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I picked up a set of UE700s after reading some pretty positive reviews here and elsewhere to use with my iPhone4.


The sound was definitely a huge upgrade over the stock apple earbuds that I had been using, but they just didn't wow me like I expected an expensive (for me) set of IEMs to.  Mainly though, I was really underwhelmed by the apparent build quality.  They really just did not feel any more substantial than a pair of cheapie phones.  I guess I just had higher expectations, maybe they were unrealistic. 


Is it mainly the weak DAC and low power output of the iPhone that is causing the less than great sound I am experiencing?  I figured that many of these nicer IEMs need a dedicated amplifier to drive them properly.


My roommate has a pair of Shure 210s, and they seem to be of much higher build quality than then UEs.  The thickness of the wiring, the robustness of the connectors, it all just seemed more substantial.  Also, my UEs wire snapped off at the 3.5mm jack after I stood up with them in my ears and connected to my macbook, and the cord snagged on the corner of my ottoman.  My fault, I know, but the stock Apple buds held up to the same abuse time and time again.


I am awaiting replacement from Logitech, and plan on selling the 700s on eBay, and purchasing another set with that money, which should be $130ish.  Does anyone have any suggestions in that range that both sound good and are robustly constructed?  I know that this topic has been beaten to death in the past, but most topics concentrate solely on SQ and don't address build quality.



Edited by parker770 - 9/6/10 at 8:13pm
post #2 of 4




Both of these massive IEM reviews include sections on build quality.


Hope this helps!

post #3 of 4

Etymotic hf5, although some people find the bass too lacking.

post #4 of 4

I'm finding with my iPhone 4 that compared to my 3G and old Sony Walkman, the amp is just a little better and the bass/treble extension a lot better than both - though it still doesn't have that warm signature of the Sony, it outstrips it in detail. However, it still isn't powerful enough to bring out the best in something like the RE0, or even the oddly hard to drive MC5's I just got.


The UE700, just going by their spec is similar to my Audio Technica CK90Pro (Dual balanced armature on both, UE700: 40ohm resistance, 113db sensitivity vs 37ohm, 111dB on the CK90Pros) which to my ears seems not to benefit much from amping over the iP4. So I couldn't be sure that amp power is your problem here, though you might want to actually plug them into an amp and see if you get better results.


Thinking about good build quality at your price range, there is definitely the Etymotic HF/MC series as Yilu suggests, with the headset versions with the added benefit of volume /music control and microphone for your iP4. The cables and overall build quality seem great on my MC3's, with a reassuring 2 year warranty. The sound however is just a little bass light, though noticeably better than something like say the RE0. As the new HF3 with the same cabling is getting good reviews, I'd look at those as well.


Welcome to Head Fi btw! :)

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