These two models caught my eye with their low price:
(Prices were taken from e-earphone.jp)
BX500 7180 ¥ (~$85 USD), Official Website: http://www.zeroaudio.jp/zh-bx500.html
BX300 4480 ¥ (~$54 USD), Official Website: http://www.zeroaudio.jp/zh-bx300.html
Yet, despite their low prices, the two models appear to be very well built, both cased in very handsome aluminum housing with robust-looking strain reliefs from top to bottom.
Similar in appearance to the UE700
Strain reliefs look decent to me. With the UE triple flanges, they look mildly similar to the HF2/5.
They also seem to be using armature technology with the BX300 appearing to use a SR Siren armature and the BX500 a Single BA.
I can't read the Japanese, but that looks like an SR Armature to me!
Renderings always make things look nice.
16 kHz is a pretty conservative number. Maybe they like being truthful, instead of stamping 20-20,000 on everything like every other manufacturer.
I looked up some impressions online; my Japanese is non-existent, so whatever I've read has come from liberal interpretations of Google Translate and whatever I could glean from reading the few Kanji characters in the text.
The BX300 was described as possessing a sparkly high end, but perhaps a slightly muddy low end. Not very descriptive, but hopefully somebody with better Japanese than I do can help us out here!
Not unexpectedly, the higher end BX500 was put under more scrutiny. The overall impressions of this IEM are that it is mid-centric, but weak in the upper treble and voluminous in bass but not necessarily very detailed. (Sounds similar to descriptions of the Philips SHE9850 and Shure SE210). Vocals are supposed to be slightly sibilant but not too bad.
Again, I can't read Japanese, so take my "translations" with a grain of salt. But they certainly look nice to me!
Compared to the ER4P:
Attached to the ER4P-S 24 ohm adapter and pitted against the EX1000:
The bang-for-the-buck market has thus far been thoroughly explored only by the Chinese, but if these two IEMs sound as good as they seem, I might be taking some more trips to Japan from now on!
Edited by tomscy2000 - 2/16/11 at 4:00pm