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Dollar for dollar - IEMs or Cans? (Under $200)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 


I'm trying to get the best pair of phones money can buy under $200 - I've figured out that for under $200, the best IEMs I could probably score are a pair of Triple Fi.10s (second hand).  Which are known as one of the better IEMs out there.  On the other hand, the best cans seem to be the Shure 840s or ATH-M50s, which are pretty much at the lower end of the spectrum of cans price-wise.  


So my question is, dollar for dollar, at this price range, am I going to get better sound out of sub-200 dollar IEMs or one of these lower-end cans?


These are going to be fed out of a FLAC > S:flo2 set up.  I'm not a bass head so I'm leaning towards the 840s if it does come down to the cans.  I haven't included any open cans in the discussion as I'm going to be using these on shoulder-to-shoulder NYC commutes so isolation is a must.  I also want all-rounders because I dabble in everything...acoustic/scores/folk/jazz/rock/rap/classical/reggae.


I posted this in full-size but want the opinions of the IEM crowd as well..

Edited by sphinxvc - 9/19/10 at 11:44pm
post #2 of 7

Under $200 there are DBA-02 from Fisher Audio (russian company)

There are quite few reviews out there. DBA-02 isolates nicely.

Sounds great overall for the $170 price range.  This are hard to get. Sold out very fast.



My other best favorite under 200 is Radius DDM but this do not isolate as well as DBA-02. 


Also many reviews available on the web.


post #3 of 7

I'd say get the TF10s. One of the best sounding IEM's imho, if you can get a good fit.

post #4 of 7

personally didn't like the TF10s.... i hear the RE0s are very good and are probably one of the best for the 79 dollars. Same with the HJE900.

post #5 of 7

Full size cans will generally outperform IEMs at the same price level.  For $200 my choice would be the Grado SR225.  That's personal preference though.  There are lots of other good choices in the under $200 category.  Beyerdynamic 770's are in that range.  Used Sennheiser HD580's or HD600's may be in that range if you can find some.  Any of those choices should be much better than any IEM under $200, depending on your preferences.


You might also consider the Yuin PK1 earbuds.  They are competitive with everything I know of at their price of $159.  They need to be amplified though, so if you don't already have an amp they would be more expensive.


As far as IEMs, the RE0 is a good bet.  I haven't heard them, but the buzz is that they are excellent in detail but lacking a little bit on the bass end.  They are only $79, but there isn't a standout choice between there and $200 that I know of.  There are huge IEM threads by Joker and ClieOS that give a pretty good rundown of the choices.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I ended up pulling the trigger on the Triple Fi's.  If I don't end up liking them, I'll try to wait for a cheap used set of cans.  HD600 or 325is, etc.


post #7 of 7

Normally I would say cans win bang per buck hands down.  After hearing the DBA-02 that's a harder decision for me.

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