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IEM - Similar to IE8's but with more foward vocals. Any suggestions?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hey Everyone,

 

I recently got a pair of IE8's (refurbs from adgtron on Amazon) and am very happy with them for most music.  In particular the things I like about them are:

 

- Laid back sound signature, never harsh or sibilant

- Very full, lush, and musical while still having a good amount of detail.  I'm not really into analytical sounding IEMs.

- Shallow insertion.  I have fit issues with a lot of deeper insertion IEMs so the shallow fit works well for me.  Lack of isolation isn't much of a factor since these are used at home or in a relatively quiet office.

- Flexible cable with no microphonics.

 

So if I'm so happy with my IE8s why am I looking for something else?

 

Good question.  I'm looking to compliment them with something with more foward vocals and a more intimate soundstage.  A lot of my favorite music is acoustic, singer-songwriter type music where the IE8's can sometimes feel too distant and spread out.  I love the warmth the IE8 has with acoustic guitars and pianos but sometimes feel the singer is too far away.

 

Right now it seems like the Westone UM3X fit what I'm looking for the best but I wanted to see if there was another (better) option that I was overlooking.  My budget is around $350 and my sources are an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 3GS->ALO Rx amp.

 

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions.

 

EDIT

 

A few more things that are important:

 

- I like to fall asleep with my IEMs in so nothing that sticks out too far.

- I prefer to wear them over my ear.  Its more secure for me and reduces microphonics

- I'm not really looking for the frequency response to be similar to the IE8s, but I do want them to be laid-back/warm like the IE8s if that make sense.  I want something full and lush sounding but with more mid emphasis than the IE8 (and slightly less bass emphasis, but just slightly basshead.gif)


Edited by chopstxxx - 11/16/10 at 9:37pm
post #2 of 31

There several options. Check  SM3 by earsonics.

There are reviews on the forum. Also E-Q7 by Ortofon is an option but this one is a single balanced armature vs 3-way of SM3.

FI_BA-SB is a new phone out there. Not many reviews yet as it is very recent model..

How about Shure SE530?

 

post #3 of 31

UMX3 is a neutral and analytical iem. So I would steer clear of it if you liked IE8 type of sound.

post #4 of 31

I think the MTPG might suit your needs, I find the sound signature laid back and not aggressive like the HJE900. I also find the vocals the most prominent out of all the IEMs I have heard.

post #5 of 31
X2 on the mtpg's. And they r available with control talk functionality, a real plus if u r using an iPhone. I really enjoy mine.
post #6 of 31

I guess that I'll say X3 on the MTPGs.

 

I'm really inexperienced with high-end IEMs, since the Monsters are the only high-end earphones I've ever owned, but I can tell you from my experience that they're great, and they look nice with my 16-year-old look. SWAG?

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Wow not the answer I was hoping for haha.  So you mean after my years of Monster bashing I may actually need to buy something they make redface.gif

 

Here's my concern with the MTPGs (aside from the massive crow sandwich I'd have to eat): are they different enough from the sound of the IE8?  These are going to be my only two pairs of headphones, so while I enjoy the sound of my IE8s I definitely want my second pair to be distinct.  My prior impression was that the IE8 and MTPG are very similar and have a lot of the same strengths.

 

Are the UM3X really analytical?  I know they are fairly balanced but I thought I saw people describing them as lush and full.

 

As far as some of the other recommendations:

 

The SM3 was also on my initial shortlist but I have some concerns about the build quality.

 

I previously owned the Shure 530s but could never get a proper seal and they never felt comfortable to me.  I also found them lifeless but that's probably because of the seal issue.

 

How deep do the E-Q7 insert?  From their design it looks like you need to shove them pretty far in you ear to avoid them sticking out of your ears.  I tend to fall asleep with my IEMs on so I need something that doesn't stick out too far.

 

Thanks for the recommendations so far, keep them coming. 

 

post #8 of 31

 I recently picked up the same refurbished IE8s and am loving their smooth sound...

But I see what you mean.

  First of all, I think you might want to go for a BA instead of another dynamic. By comparison I find most BA's tend to require

deeper insertion and thus give more isolation which I think works better for bringing outs mids and intimacy.

  The 530s (or 535s) strength is their mids and with their excellent isolation I do think their soundstage is more "intimate". You might want to look into the 425s as well.

  The EQ-7's are similar in a lot of ways but a bit more balanced with a bit more treble extension.

And I would love to try the UMX3 myself!

 

 

Edit: I see you used to own the 530s. Although cumbersome, I was usually able to get a good seal with them. They were by far the most isolating IEM I've had. The Ortofon's do not insert very deeply but they do isolate much better than the IE8s. They do stick out a bit though. If you are really concerned about getting a secure fit or isolation I think you should look into the Westone 3/UMX3/SM3 or similar over-the-ear types.


Edited by takoyaki7 - 11/16/10 at 8:39pm
post #9 of 31

Ah, my mistake, didn't see that you wanted something different rather than similar in sound. I think your assumption is right where the MTPG and IE8s share a similar type of sound. I have limited experience with BAs and they are not for me so I cannot recommend anything there. Might want to look at the MTPCs since they are somewhat different from the golds ;)

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstxxx View Post

How deep do the E-Q7 insert?  From their design it looks like you need to shove them pretty far in you ear to avoid them sticking out of your ears.  I tend to fall asleep with my IEMs on so I need something that doesn't stick out too far.

 

Thanks for the recommendations so far, keep them coming. 


Check out the e-Q5 thread. They are more comfy than the e-Q7 to fall asleep with, if you wear them downwards. FI-BA-A1 have similar sound signature and are even easier to fit. Check out my moving armature thread. Both need only a shallow fit, but if you have small ears the A1 may be the better choice.

post #11 of 31

Definitely the Monster Miles Davis.

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 


In your defense I did title my thread "Similar to IE8s" beerchug.gif.

 

I guess by similar I mostly mean laid back and musical with a shallow fit and a good, non-microphonic cable.  Not looking so much to replicate the frequency response of the IE8s.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monoglycer View Post

Ah, my mistake, didn't see that you wanted something different rather than similar in sound. I think your assumption is right where the MTPG and IE8s share a similar type of sound. I have limited experience with BAs and they are not for me so I cannot recommend anything there. Might want to look at the MTPCs since they are somewhat different from the golds ;)

post #13 of 31

I had MTPG really nice, and i have listen to UM3X it is really analytical.

Try maybe MTPC or Miles Davis.

What i miss abit only on my MTPG was abit more forward vocals.

post #14 of 31

The IE8s and the UM3x are poles apart in sound signature, but both very good (though I personally prefer the UM3x). If you're going to get another pair of earphones you may as well go for a different flavour.

 

If you want something for vocals, with more forward mids, the UM3x would be a great choice. They are also VERY comfortable and have a great cable.

 

I notice some people are calling the UM3x "analytical" as if that's a bad thing ... well compared to the laid back IE8 sound maybe they are. But isn't that just another way of saying detailed?


Edited by TCD1975 - 11/17/10 at 1:51am
post #15 of 31

erm the obvious answer is the IE7

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