Ok so I am not an audiophile...small improvements in this area or that area do not do it for me...and when I spend significantly more money on a product, I am looking for a wholly improved product with clear and consistent benefits over a less expensive one. I say this because I am well aware of the law of diminishing returns in the audio world.
I have posted before about my experience with the shure e4c, which impressed me terribly...as it should have, it was my first quality headphone. Since the cable shorted I have purchased 3 other pair....Klipsch s4, Monster Turbine Copper, and Westone 3. All of these iems are well liked, and and are certainly good phones in their own right. But to me, none of them have made me say WOW the way I did when I listened to the e4c's...and I believe that reason is quite simply because I had no point of reference before the shure's.
I even recently on a whim purchased what looked like a nice quality inexpensive iems ($10) and with equalization and a small mod, they sounded very agreeable...certainly no where near as 'bad' as they should sound compared to high end models.
However, there is one caveat which I am considering...and perhaps my underestimation of it has made me a bit of a fool for spending all this money on iems. Most of my music collection is mp3 in 128 or 256 kbps. I know from first-hand experience that even high end speakers will sound unimpressive running mp3 files when one is used to true CD quality sound, there just isn't that much for them to reveal in the first place on the compressed files.
So I come to my question, is it even worth it to spend alot of money on a headphone when you mostly listen to mp3s?