post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 

Hello, Head-fi-ers!


I have been reading this site for several months (thank you!) and finally decided to register. I see there is a lot of experienced people here and I hope I can get some help.


I have gone through a major upgrade of my hifi kit in the last year (check this if interested and I am now in the final stage - upgrading the ear phones.


I am after a pair of high-quality in-ear monitors for long-term use. I will be using them mainly during the daily work commute and during travel (plane, train), so the requiremetns are:


- good sound isolation

- comfortable fit (i.e. either a custom moulded model or a retro-fit custom tip)

- very durable

- detachable and replaceable cord


As I plan to listen to lossless tracks (ipod/iphone - who knows, maybe apple moves to support 24 bit etc on their portables one day :-) ) the requiremetns for sound quality are as follows:

- highest sound quality

- I am not sure if this is "needed", but possibly/likely multiple drivers. Three?


As most likely it will be connected to ipod/iphone I also need:

- certified ipod controls (3-button) - doesn/to have to be integrated, can be optional acessory (like Sure optional cable) 


The budget is 'as low as possilbe'. I do not want to spend unnecesserily. But I am prepared to pay for quality and the features I need. The range is 100-1500 GBP.


As I started to look into it I quickly realised that the main problem is lack of possibility to try. And this, togehter with potentially high budget invovled, makes researching things even more critical.


At the moment I am trying to understand which makes and models can fit the requirements. I would appreciate your help in putting together a short list.


So far I see the following:



Make Model Price Custom fit Drivers Cable detach? Connector Full ipod control/mic
Shure se535 gbp360 Optional gbp90 3 yes microcoax Optional cable gbp45
Ultimate Ears Reference usd1000 yes 3 Yes? ? ?
Ultimate Ears 11Pro usd1150 yes 4 Yes? ? ?
Ultimate Ears 18Pro usd1350 yes 6 Yes? ? ?
Ultimate Ears 7pro usd850 yes 3 Yes? ? ?
Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 gbp200 Optional gbp90 3 NO ? ?
Westone ES5 gbp1000 yes 5 ? ? ?
Westone ES3 gbp900 yes 3 ? ? ?
Westone ES3x gbp900 yes 3 ? ? ?
ACS T1 gbp600 yes 3 NO ? ?


I need to understand which of these have detachable cords and what connectors they use so I can see which can be fitted with ipod controls if they do not have them natively.


I then need to find ways to audition.


Any advice here?


(I am in London).