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First foray into mid-high end IEMs - need some help comparing quite a few models...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I am a long time lurker of these forums, but I haven't posted much. I have finally decided to purchase some higher end earbuds, and I'm looking to spend somewhere between $150-300, definitely not much more then that. I would prefer to spend around 200 or less, but am willing to go up to 300 if it seems like I would be much happier. Right now I own some MEElectronic M6s which are OK, but not spectacular. I have also been using some Sennheisser HD212Pros for home for the past 6 years or so, and felt it was time to upgrade to something better sounding.

 

I think I most likely want something that is accurate, but also fun to listen to. Build quality is important, and replaceable cables are a big plus. I also want something that offers a decent amount of isolation, since I will be using these on the subway in addition to home listening. I listen to a lot of indie, some shoegaze, some funk, a little classical, and some hip hop too. Radiohead is my favorite band, so sounding good with their records is a must ;). I'm not sure if I will be able to find something to handle all of these genres, but hopefully I can find something that comes close.

 

So far I have been looking at some of these models:

 

Shure SE425s - heard that this is mid-centric and bright. Has removable cables.

TripleFi 10Vi's - removable cables, heard that they are quite good. Wish I would've known about them when they were going for 95 on amazon. Would've jumped on them then just due to price.

Audio Technica CK10s - lots of good reviews about these, supposedly built like a tank. Not sure where to buy these though.

Fischer Audio DBA-02s - heard they are similar to CK10s, cost a lot less, and are not built as well. Unfortunately there is quite a long lead time to ordering these.

Westone 2s - fun IEM?, good build quality

Westone UMX2-RC - removable cable version of the UMX2s, not sure what the difference in sound is between these and Westone 2s.

 

If you could help me out with the sound signature of some of these earphones and what I might like, that would be great. Also feel free to suggest some other earphones, since I am sure I haven't heard of quite a few of them that are out there.

 

Also if anyone is in the NYC area and knows of a good audio store I can visit to try some of these out, that would be awesome too.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13

i have se425 and dba02

 

425 = clean tight bass (not suitable for heavy bass tracks), lush smooth mids (main selling point), clear highs but not super extended (a little bit sibilant at times depending on recordings)

 

dba02 = deep bass (a smidgen more quantity than 425 but better quality), neutral mids (not better than 425), super detailed well extended highs (better than 425 imo)

 

hope that helps

post #3 of 13

Oh, thought you were talking about earbuds, but you are talking about IEM:s...

 

When it comes to earbuds (ie the same sort of design as the iPod earbud), I would say that Audio Technica CM700 and Yuin PK2 are great alternatives. Especially the CM700 has got crystal clarity and great detail. It has not got much bass, but responds well to EQing so you can always up the bass on the EQ...

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danneq View Post

Oh, thought you were talking about earbuds, but you are talking about IEM:s...

 

When it comes to earbuds (ie the same sort of design as the iPod earbud), I would say that Audio Technica CM700 and Yuin PK2 are great alternatives. Especially the CM700 has got crystal clarity and great detail. It has not got much bass, but responds well to EQing so you can always up the bass on the EQ...


Whoops, my bad, it was late when I created the title. Changed it from earbuds to IEMs in the title.

post #5 of 13

At that price range i would get customs. There are a few companies such as 1964 ears, Livewires and Unique Melody that do customs costing less than 350 and have a good reputation around here if you look around. I see no love for dynamic IEMs in that list of yours so you could probably look into stuff like the RE262, RE-Zero, IE8 and so on.

post #6 of 13

I can suggest Ortofon e-Q5, as well as Final Audio Design Heaven A1 IEMs.

Never heard later one but Ortofon e-q5 is shining right in front of my face (:

Great IEMs for Rock music, with stylish design and decent isolation. Recently new review on this came up here:

 

http://anythingbutipod.com/2011/01/ortofon-e-q5-review/

 

Ck10 and DBA02 are also in same price range. Never owned  these two but briefly auditioned them and read a lot too: both are well know among headfi members so people will comment for sure..

 

In my opinion DBA-02 is better sounding then its Japanese rival.

Ck10 are a bit costly due to the exchange rate of US dollar vs JPY Yen. (1US = 81JPY)

 

P.S. Both, Ck10 and DBA2 are available from Dimitri (MusicaAcoustics.com)

 

P.S. e-Q5 can be also purchased from MA. (there was a special last month on this for headfi users, not sure if is still up) contact Dimitri for details..

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yello131 View Post

I can suggest Ortofon e-Q5, as well as Final Audio Design Heaven A1 IEMs.

Never heard later one but Ortofon e-q5 is shining right in front of my face (:

Great IEMs for Rock music, with stylish design and decent isolation. Recently new review on this came up here:

 

http://anythingbutipod.com/2011/01/ortofon-e-q5-review/

 

Ck10 and DBA02 are also in same price range. Never owned  these two but briefly auditioned them and read a lot too: both are well know among headfi members so people will comment for sure..

 

In my opinion DBA-02 is better sounding then its Japanese rival.

Ck10 are a bit costly due to the exchange rate of US dollar vs JPY Yen. (1US = 81JPY)

 

P.S. Both, Ck10 and DBA2 are available from Dimitri (MusicaAcoustics.com)

 

P.S. e-Q5 can be also purchased from MA. (there was a special last month on this for headfi users, not sure if is still up) contact Dimitri for details..



Does dimitri have a forum account, or would I contact him through the website?

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyro_dragun View Post


Does dimitri have a forum account, or would I contact him through the website?

 

Contact him through his website, he's a friendly and talkative guy.

 

As for a recommendation for you, I think you may also want to consider the CK10's more obscure brother, the CK90 Pro. You'll find it's cheaper with apparently more bass punch and an overall more fun sound. The speed on the CK90Pro is pretty astounding, just like the CK10, and makes it great for complex atmospheric stuff like Deerhunter for instance. As the 90 Pro is usually described as having a darker sound, you may prefer it over the CK10/ DBA-02 which are alternately described as brilliantly clear, or thin and sibilant. (I can't comment, I haven't heard either, but it was the same thought process that made me buy my 90Pros.)

 

I also think you ought to consider the Ortofon E-Q5, which is apparently similar enough sounding to my FAD A1's but cheaper. Again this will be even more fun than the CK90Pro's, with quite a smooth, mid-heavy sound, but still great clarity and transparency and surprising bass punch. You can gettem from Dmitri.

 

I listened to the SE425 and I can't really say that for the price they are a good choice above cheaper options.
 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Do the E-Q5's fit somewhat smaller ears? I have heard that the E-Q7's have some trouble fitting in smaller ears, but I am not sure if the E-Q5 has the same housing or not.

 

Also, what do you guys think about the Sennheisser IE7 in this price range? Is it competitive with the rest of my list?

 

Thanks!

post #10 of 13

CK10 I just upgraded to these from q-JAYS and they are well worth their $250 current market price. You can find them on Accessory Jack with International shipping:
http://www.accessoryjack.com/-strse-618/Audio-dsh-Technica-ATH-dsh-CK10-CK10-Dual/Detail.bok
 

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

Thanks for all of your help, in the end I decided to try out the Panasonic HJE900s, since I saw some on the forums for sale at a decent price. Guess I am still not quite ready to drop 200-300 on some IEMs, heh. Maybe someday though.

 

I will let all of you know what I think once they arrive.

post #12 of 13

great choice

enjoy!

post #13 of 13

yeah, enjoy your HJE900..personally they were not my cup of tea, but A LOT of people love them ;)

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