Hello everyone, my name is Matt and I am new here to head-fi. I have been reading the forums for the last few days but felt the need to post a new thread with some questions. I apologize if this is only a slightly different version of a question you are sick of hearing.
A few years ago my dad handed down his Bose IEMs to me. I realize Bose are far from laudable in audiophile circles, but having never heard high quality IEMs I was pretty blown away. They crapped out on me awhile back and I finally decided I was tired of using $30 Sony buds and the like. Wanting to try something other than Bose, I did a lot of research and decided the Klipsch S4i sounded like a great investment.
First let me say that I am impressed with the Klipsch mids and highs. I forgot what it was like to hear details in the music that you have never heard before. However I have been disappointed in the bass. I gathered from reviews that these had nice beefy levels of bass and of course it is all subjective but I am not hearing it like I want to. The largest stock tips give me the best isolation/fit/bass response but it is still lacking IMO. The bass is certainly present, it is tight and clean, but I just really miss the lows. I like a sound signature with a little extra bass emphasis, to me that is what really makes me feel enveloped in the music.
I have about 50hrs of burn-in on the phones, and while I understand the opposite is supposed to occur, it seems the bass has opened up a little bit. However I feel like it’s still just not where I want it. I don’t want my head to explode but I do really like some oomph to my music, especially when listening to hip-hop/rap/techno/industrial etc. When I crank the volume on my iPod to get the bass closer to where I like it, the mids and highs get too loud and I can’t listen for extended periods of time. EQing for a bass boost doesn’t bump the bass at all, it just drops back the mids and highs, taking out the clarity that I do appreciate.
Then there is the fit. When worn the old fashioned way, with the cable dropping straight down from the phone, I constantly feel the need to readjust position. When worn using the 180 degree method, they fit much more snugly, however I have a somewhat large noggin and this brings the Y junction up the point that its catching on my neck and jaw when I move my head around, subsequently driving me crazy. I understand comply tips may help me to achieve a better fit wearing them in the traditional fashion, eliminating this problem?
This is not a knock on the S4s. In all honesty the S4s are probably giving a very accurate representation of the recordings, but I guess had I mixed the recordings, I would have bumped the bass
That all being said, I have done a lot of research on what IEMs may give me what I am looking for. I feel that the more I read, the more options I find, and the more confused I get. Hence my appeal to the head-fi community for some guidance. I really want to get a set that I will be happy with for a long time. I am looking for something with more low end than the KS4s while still achieving the same or better clarity. I would prefer to stay ~$150. My absolute limit is ~$300. I am a student and any more than that means I will have trouble sleeping at night, no matter how great my music sounds.
Some IEMS I have been eyeing (though of course I am open to other suggestions):
- Sennheiser IE6 ~$100
- UE SuperFi 5 EB ~$150
- Future Sonics M5 ~$180
- Klipsch Custom 3 ~$100 (not sure if these will give me what I want with the bass or not, but I included them due to steal of a price and my enjoyment of mids/highs in the S4)
- Monster Gold Pro Turbines ~$250 (the weight of these scares me a bit, afraid they will not stay snug in my ear but they are getting great reviews I love the lifetime warranty)
- Sennheiser IE8 ~$400 (from what I’ve read, this sounds pretty perfect, but the price is preventing me from pulling the trigger)
Like I said before, the lower the price the better, but if I can’t have my cake and eat it too, I will spend more $ for a high quality IEM with big bass that does not muddy up the mids and highs.
I listen mainly from an iPhone 4, iPod classic 120GB, and MacBook Pro 13. My files are encoded at various qualities no lower than 128kbps, mostly 256kbps, and some Apple Lossless. I am in the processes of re-ripping what files I can to at least 256kbps. I listen to damn near everything – rap/rock/alternative/classical/acapella/acoustic/hip-hop/techno/industrial/metal
Well, alright, hopefully I covered it all. I apologize for the length. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and give any advice you have. I look forward to hearing your responses.