I've been doing a lot of research of the past couple of weeks on in-ear monitors, and I am looking to make an investment; I have never had IEMs before. My current use is primarily for listening to music, but will be using them to record within the next couple of months. The conclusion of my research has lead me to consider 4 models at present, but I am more than open to suggestion.
I don't listen to a lot of electronic music, so bass is not a huge concern for me; however I like a warm, rich bass to what I'm listening to. Clarity and dynamics are of utmost importance. Sound isolation is also a bit of a big deal as I want to use my IEMs as earplugs if necessary.
During my research I have used the Top Tier IEM charts on this website and another IEM chart on anythingbutipod, but I haven't been able to find any other charts like them. If anyone could link me to to some it would be appreciated.
I heard from someone that "It takes a fair amount of time for your ears to get sufficiently used to this level of fidelity to make it really worthwhile to invest in (say) ER-4 Etys over mc3 or hf5 Etys." I was wondering if anyone could offer some input on this subject? It could make a huge impact on my decision of which IEM to buy.
I am currently considering the following 4 models (in this order):
Etymotics ER-4p ($225)/Earsonics SM3 ($360)
Ultimate Ears Triplefi 10 ($180)
Phonak Audeo PFE ($140)
Monster Turbine Gold Pro ($250) - I've heard reports that the bass may be a little over-power and am going to do further research on this model
I was recommended Etmotics ER-4p by a lot of other forums, and they seem like a pretty good model for their price.
Comparatively, the SM3 is reported as one of the best models under the $400 mark and got pretty much flawless reviews. My only concern is the cost. Both are said to offer excellent balance, clarity and dynamics.
Phonak Audeo PFE is made by a swiss hearing aid company but reviewed a being one of the most balanced IEMs out there, the only problem was that some listeners reported a lack in bass (this was consistent in all reviews).
Lastly, the Turbine Gold Pro IEM was reviewed very well on this site's chart and in many reviews (specifically a better buy for a better price than the Beats by Dre headphones); however as aforementioned they might be over-powering in the bass. All of your opinions and advice are appreciated. Thanks for reading.
Edit: Checked out the Ultimate Ears Triplefi 10s and they seem like a pretty decent buy for $180; any input?
Edited by bmasseur - 12/29/10 at 1:12pm