Need some recommendations, hope you guys can help me out :) Sorry for the long post and for the bullet points!
I bought a pair of Monster Turbine Pro Copper off another Head-Fier, and I've used them almost exclusively for the past month, and I have decided the sound signature isn't for me. I'm probably going to sell, so I'm looking for a good replacement IEM.
The only "good" headphones I have owned are the UE super.fi 3 and the A-T M50. The SF3 are a bit too tinny and bass-light for me (although I do still like them). The fit is also pretty annoying, and isolation leaves something to be desired. The M50 has nearly the perfect sound signature for me. In my opinion, though, the M50 need good amplification to give their full detail, and I'm not interested in purchasing an amp at this time. Some more richness in the bass/mids would be nice too.
I have demoed some other headphones as well. Due to my music genres (rock, hip-hop, various electronic genres, acoustic/folk, and only a little bit of jazz) and due to personal preference, I lean more towards the "live rock concert" sound - relatively punchy with lots of sparkle, like the M50 - and less toward the laid-back, open Sennheiser HDxxx-type sound.
First, what I liked about the MTPC:
- The gel supertips are incredible - isolation, comfort, and sound are top-notch
- The detail and texture in the bass and mids really impressed me
- A very authoritative sound, much richer than the M50
Ultimately, what turned me off the MTPC:
- It just takes me too much effort to enjoy them. With the M50, I put them on and I was instantly in love. It took a few days for me to fully appreciate the MTPC, and even now, I feel like I'm looking for its strengths rather than just relaxing and letting the music wash over me.
- They aren't any good for low-volume listening. At first, they sound excellent. Then, I find myself needing to raise the volume to maintain that level of sound. They otherwise sound very flat.
- The highs are just too smooth. I'd rather have a sibilant high end than a laid-back one. I love my cymbals!
- They are a tad too bassy to my taste.
In a way I'm looking for an M50 upgrade in IEM form :) I'd like to have M50 treble, with more texture and meat to the lows and mids. Less bass quantity than MTPC, but ideally with the same level of extension. Low-volume listening is important to me, so a V-shaped sound sig might be helpful. Isolation is also a high priority - I should be able to use them on a subway without increasing the volume more than a step or two. No preference in driver technology.
In case it isn't already apparent, I don't value sonic accuracy and soundstage too much.
EDIT: sorry, forgot to mention that I will not be purchasing an amp. Source will be an iPod Touch G3, which I quite like, and an Sony Vaio Z, which has virtually no hiss and drives the M50 almost as well as the iPod.
From my research, the two top candidates might be the UE Triple.Fi 10 and the Westone 3. I don't like the UE fit, so I've pretty much eliminated those, leaving the Westone 3. Do you think they would be a good choice, given my needs and preferences?
Any other suggestions would be much appreciated, too. I'm buying used, and I will spend up to $250. Thank you so much for reading!
Edited by yumigator - 12/11/10 at 11:10pm