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Looking to buy new IEMS

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So my Klipsch Image S4s are getting old and I feel like the sound quality simply isn't accurate enough for me.  When turning the volume up, it's easy to hear many imperfections in the sound.  Since Christmas is just around the corner, I've decided to treat myself nicely and pick up some high-end IEMs to satisfy my ears.

 

Problem is, there are too many choices, and when spending so much money I'd rather not make a bad decision. My budget is $500 and I've been looking around quite a bit and narrowed my choices down to a few.  

 

This is what I've got:

-Shure SE535

-Sennheiser IE8

-Westone 3

-Westone 4 (When they are available of course)

 

Anything else I should be considering?  As far as overall sound quality and accuracy, which would you say is the best considering my budget? I understand the W4s aren't out yet, but they look promising.  Considering the W3s, would the W4s be worth waiting for? Would they likely surpass the others I've listed?

 

Ughhh, tough decision basshead.gif


Edited by DougB - 12/22/10 at 4:23pm
post #2 of 14
Maybe you should also consider getting customs? Would sous amazing and give you a perfect fit wink.gif
post #3 of 14

If you want accuracy, it's surprising that you haven't listed Westone's UM3X--that's their W3 counterpart, from their professional series.

 

Other IEMs in the same class include:

Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 (should be cheap following Amazon's US$95 sale on Black Friday)

Earsonics SM3

Audio Technica CK100 (one of the tiniest triple-driver IEMs around)

 

It's also worth noting that Sennheiser IE 7 is regarded as more neutral than IE 8. Since the former is considerably cheaper, that may be well worth considering too.

post #4 of 14

+1 on the ck100s as they are supposed to very accurate (a little more on the analytical side from what I've heard) but supposed to be great

As said aboves..customs are something to consider as well

You should check out joker's thread if you havent already


Edited by xXFallenAngelXx - 12/22/10 at 6:44pm
post #5 of 14

my thoughts exactly.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xXFallenAngelXx View Post

+1 on the ck100s as they are supposed to very accurate (a little more on the accurate side from what I've heard) but supposed to be great

As said aboves..customs are something to consider as well

You should check out joker's thread if you havent already

post #6 of 14

Would also like to throw in a caution regarding custom IEMs: 

(this is based on a friend's advice. He's a bit of a DIY-er and has a good ear for mixing live sound at church, so I trust him when it comes to sound quality and keeping budget)

 

Customs don't isolate better than universals. Some customs might beat some universals, but it is very far from the truth to claim that customs generally isolate better--my friend has owned a few customs in his time (LiveWires, remoulded universals) and still regards Etymotics as the best in this aspect. It's a common misconception that I held as well, so I'm just advising OP to stick to universals if isolation happens to be one of his key requirements.

 

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

Would also like to throw in a caution regarding custom IEMs: 

(this is based on a friend's advice. He's a bit of a DIY-er and has a good ear for mixing live sound at church, so I trust him when it comes to sound quality and keeping budget)

 

Customs don't isolate better than universals. Some customs might beat some universals, but it is very far from the truth to claim that customs generally isolate better--my friend has owned a few customs in his time (LiveWires, remoulded universals) and still regards Etymotics as the best in this aspect. It's a common misconception that I held as well, so I'm just advising OP to stick to universals if isolation happens to be one of his key requirements.

 

Definitely ..lots of foam tip can isolate better not to mention etymotic is an isolation beast..up to 42db depending on your ear shape
 

post #8 of 14

xXFallenAngelXx: ^5 man, it's good to see someone else taking a reasoned approach to this hobby.

Anyway OP, we have suggested some of the top IEMs available right now, it's up to you to decide!

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

After looking at the SM3s and it's reviews, it seems EPIC.  I'm probably going to purchase the SM3s soon, they seem to have great sound and a good price point.  Anything else I should know about them in particular?  

 

Thanks for the help guys!

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougB View Post

After looking at the SM3s and it's reviews, it seems EPIC.  I'm probably going to purchase the SM3s soon, they seem to have great sound and a good price point.  Anything else I should know about them in particular?  

 

Thanks for the help guys!

The sm3s seem to have been getting great feedback but before rushing in I would read more on them
 

post #11 of 14

they seem to be hit-or-miss - veiled highs and opinions on them are 50/50

 

if i were you , i'd go for the ck-100

 

just my 2 cents.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougB View Post

After looking at the SM3s and it's reviews, it seems EPIC.  I'm probably going to purchase the SM3s soon, they seem to have great sound and a good price point.  Anything else I should know about them in particular?  

 

Thanks for the help guys!

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Wow, now I'm really confused and torn apart! confused_face_2.gif I never thought this decision would be so hard!  Well, hmm.  I don't even know what to say haha.  Some people say the SM3s blow them away while others say that they are well, crap.  The problem is though.. If the SM3s really are that great than I'd much rather spend the $380 on them, then $500 on CK-100s.  Plus, I can get the SM3s before xmas with overnight shipping on Amazon.   But at the same time, I don't want to be disappointed with the sound.   

 

If the SM3s are as great as some describe them, then I most definitely want them, badly. If they are as bad as some others say, then I definitely don't want them.  Guess it's personal preference and I will have to just see for myself.  I'll be ordering the SM3s tonight probably, if I'm disappointed I will return them loosing a 15% restocking fee.  The only thing I'm worried about is that I have nothing to compare them to.  The best earphones I've listened to are my Klipsch S4s and I'm sure they won't compare with any of these IEMs.  

 

Thanks for the help guys, it's really appreciated. Happy Holidays to all!

 

(PS: IM SO CONFUSED confused_face_2.gif, oh well.....)

 

post #13 of 14

If I were you, I wouldn't buy the SM3 or any high priced IEMs if I was unsure about them.  HOWEVER, you won't know if you like them until you try them.  The SM3 are completely different than the S4.  The SM3 are much more laid back and warmer sounding.  There is less treble extension on the SM3 compared to the S4, but I would say the SM3 is more balanced than the S4 and not as aggressive or bright sounding.  if you are looking for accuracies, that is dependent on various factors, fitting and tips may be an issue and sound signature is another.  In my opinion, I don't think the SM3 are the most accurate compared to other IEMs/headphones I've heard.  However, it's all up to you. 

 

It's hard to say but from what I am reading out of this thread, I am 70% sure you'll probably like the SM3.

post #14 of 14

coming from the s4 , the sm3 definitely are better (they better be for that money upgrade)

 

i mean , he could get the re-zero for 100$ and they sound better than the s4

 

the focal point is , whether these are the iems he wants...or if he could buy a better(for his preferences) iem

 

You gotta try em out to know for sure rolleyes.gif


Edited by proedros - 12/22/10 at 8:49pm
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