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Best IEMs for sweaty workouts

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


Have been following this forum for a while now but this is the first time I decided to post.


After 5 years of everyday use my trusty Shure E4c finally died on me. The cable had broken in so many places that they had looked like crap for the past year. That said, until a few days ago they at least worked (left one died) and I could use them as a second IEM pair dedicated for the gym.


Once my Shures started falling apart I got a pair of Etymotic HF2 and got custom molds made for them at a local audiologist. The final product is pretty satisfactory. Not as much bass as I would like, but they do isolate outside noise very well and are more than adequate for use in the Japanese train system. That said, cause of the inline remote/mic and due to the fact I sweat like a pig when working out i can't use them for the gym... which means I am in the market for new IEMs.


Usually I listen to mostly house / industrial metal (Rammstein and the likes) at the gym and don't really care about neutral representation... the more bass the better as long as the rest is not unbearably muddy. This instantly eliminated anything that was a weak bass response (including the Ety HF5s...). Over the past week I have considered everything from the new Ultimate Ears 350 and Klipsch Image S5 to Denon c710s, s-Jays, Westone UM3x, Shure 535, and UE triple 10s. Also noticed the Sennheiser CX680s (sports model with by the look of it mediocre sound) and IE8 (which I like except for the design and the reports that they fit badly). I also went as far as to look at the UE 4 Pro but that may be pushing it with regard to price... Also - forgot to mention - looking to drive those through an iPod Shuffle 2G. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea on here but I have found it to be the best workout MP3 player around...


At this point I am confused as hell. I definitely want good sound and decent isolation (anybody who's been to a Japanese gym will know why that's needed... the background music is simply terrible) but I also don't want to ruin a brand new pair of IEMs by sweating too much on them. While price is definitely an issue I would rather pay a bit more and get some nice headphones than use crappy Sony Fontopias or something of the sort...


In your experience what is the best durability / sound quality combo out there? I was leaning toward the UE triple 10s due to the detachable cables (since the e4c I had suffered no sweat damage to the actual buds after years of use but rather to the cables...) but am not sure if they can withstand the sweat. Same applies to the Shure 535s. This leaves me with the far more crappy but supposedly durable category of the CX680s and the unreleased UE 350 and Klipsch S5i...


What do you guys think? Can the higher grade IEMs withstand the sweat from a 6 days a week workout routine?


Thanks in advance for your advice!


Also, on an unrelated note, are fake UE triple 10s prevalent online. Saw these earlier today and got somewhat intrigued by the price...


Edited by AlexT - 9/12/10 at 2:27am
post #2 of 7

For working out I prefer a cheaper IEM that I don't have to worry about. For me the meelectronics M6 is perfect. Wonderful fit, and the build and sound quality are all very nice for the price. It comes with memory wire as well if you like it, if not just cut it off. ljokerl also likes the H20 Audio Surge because it's one of the few IEMs that you can clean by literally running it under a faucet of water.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply!


Just checked... it doesn't seem like any of these two models is offered in Japan unfortunately, and importing will cost as much as the phones themselves... it's moments like this I wish I was back in the US... The only advantage about living here is that Audio Technica sets are much cheaper. LOL. And I don't even like AT...

post #4 of 7

Meelectronics ships internationally for about $7 if I remember. You should be able to do so from their webpage, and if not just send them an e-mail and they should set it up for you - their customer service is great.

post #5 of 7

I like the q-jays for the gym. They sound great, stay in the ears and the short lead means there's less cable dangling. I use them with a Sansa Clip+ (w 32gb microSD) attached to my vest. I haven't had any problems with sweat getting into the q-jays.




post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I think I may go with the s-Jays if I do stick with that company. The bass is supposed to be better. Thanks for the comment. I'd think if the q-Jays can withstand the sweat so should the s-Jays.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Finally decided and got a pair of refurbished Sennheiser IE8s. Can't beat the price and they sound great... just waiting for my Comply's to arrive in order to test them out at the gym.


P.S. The stock tips that come with the IE8s are so bad it hurts me.

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