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BEST In-Ear Monitors under $400 for running

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, I have not check out Head-fi for few years (more into speakers this days) and seems like there are alot more products in the market compare with few years ago.  Long story short, I want to buy a pair of In-Ear Monitors for running and power buy iPhone, can you guys suggest few model I can start with?


Thank you very much!

post #2 of 13

Hey welcome back to headfi...

In  $400 price range there are many option including Customs...

I can recommend few universals as I do not use customs:



Westone 4


Ortofon e-Q7 or e-Q5


Radius DDM #2

Final Audio FI-BA-SB



There are many reviews here on headfi. Reading them helps to decide. Also it will be helpful for us to know what music you listen to and what you like your IEMs to sound like..



post #3 of 13

Hey, I'm new here, but thought I'd chip in. Personally, I like Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10vi. I've also tried, and liked, the Westone 4s.  Amazon gives them about a $25 difference.

That's just me - I haven't tried everything yello131 listed.

post #4 of 13
Focusing on the running part of the question, my experience would suggest that the Ortofons won't be suitable - the fit won't be secure enough. The Westones, on the other hand, will give a good secure fit - they're a good option with minimal microphonics. The isolation is pretty good so, please, be careful when running on roads.
post #5 of 13

I've used Shure's for years.  EC2, EC3, EC5, SCL5.  They're all great.  But there is one caveat.  The isolation from the EC2 foamies are far superior to others...So I take one of the clear soft plastic earpieces from the E5 and cut everything off except the tube that slide onto the armature of the earpiece on the EC5.  This increases the diameter so that I can use the large EC2 foamies which slide over the soft plastic tubular nubs that now surround the armature of the EC5.


After many years of listening, I don't think a headphone amp is needed for this setup.  Any small increase in fidelity is offset by noise of running, and the vibrational/structural strain on the interconnects between your player and your amp.

I use a Cowon D2.  I have 2 amps including a Xin and iBasso.

post #6 of 13

If you have a certain sound signature that you prefer, we could help narrow it down to a shorter list for you to decide from.


Taking directly from ClieOS's new concise IEM thread, we have Analytical, Balanced, Mid-centric, Bass, Warm + Sweet (think lush). http://www.inearmatters.net/p/concise-iem-comparative-review.html

post #7 of 13
Um2 or um3x all the way for me. I dont even have to touch them once while running
post #8 of 13

****Double post****

Edited by nickie - 3/5/11 at 10:30am
post #9 of 13

Owned the UM2 before for over 3 years and loved them but i must say the SM3 beat the UM2 in EVERY category by a good margin.

If you have 400 to spend the SM3 is the best option.



post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by nickie View Post

Owned the UM2 before for over 3 years and loved them but i must say the SM3 beat the UM2 in EVERY category by a good margin.

If you have 400 to spend the SM3 is the best option.



I run  on country tracks wearing the SM3's.Great sound and clean Air ksc75smile.gif

For running away from roads the design of the  Earsonic SM3,Westone 4 or 3,UM3X etc are ideal,though you have to get used to the conductive sound of your feet pounding . If your running on roads they will isolate sounds that may warn you of approaching danger .so if that is the case  I'd find an alternative 'sporty' design of headphone or ear bud which won't isolate external sound .


 . If your running near traffic, for safety, I'd recommend a open non isolation headphone , Yuin G2a ,which are Clip on, may fit you securely enough to run with .I personally fitted a head band & I do find them secure enough to run with . Another alternative is the igrado headphone . Though again this depends on fit .For some it's perfect and for others it's uncomfortable . I can wear them for about 1-2 hours before they begin to feel uncomfortable,they sound comparably very Good in there ultra portable headphone class though not as balanced as the Yuin G2a's IMO.



Edited by ib1dance - 6/18/11 at 3:51am
post #11 of 13

Definitely a Westone product as they have the least microphonics.  W3 or UM3X.  I would not recommend W4 as it is pretty inefficient and needs an amp IMHO.

post #12 of 13

For running I would think the Westone/Earsonics/Shure form factor would be best, as long as your ears aren't small

post #13 of 13

 Thought I'd chip in with my first ever post, I might have missed the bus on this thread but as it is a subject close to my heart I thought I'd contribute anyway.

I run (or ran) regular half marathons, injuries are limiting my mileage these days but I have owned a great deal of IEMS, the major consideration in my case is whether they can withstand the moisture (sweat) that can gather in your ears while running, foam tips help by soaking up the moisture but they have not saved some IEMS from permanent damage, the worst offender is unfortuantelty the best sounding one the DBA-02,  my first set developed distorted bass after my very first outing with them, the replacements took months to arrive and have just developed the same fault and this was after a modest 3 miles jog, the other set to have failed on me were the Westone 3s, but I don't care much for their sound signature anyway and I've since sold the replacement pair Westone sent me.

My theory is that BAs are very sensitive to moisture (and possible temperature) in their sound tubes once this happens they do not dry out,  IEMs that have a filter in the sounds tube such as the Ety HF5 seem to be able to withstand the stress.


I listen to Indie rock, alt country and the like when I run, my sound preference is for top end clarity above all else, IEMS I currently own that can handle the pace (and moisure) are the RE0, PFE112, Sound Magic PL30, but top of the tree for me is the Etymotic HF5, recently acquired cheaply at Tel Aviv airport, they are lightweight, have extended treble and detail and don't seem to object to moisture.


Anyways, hope I've helped someone, somewhere, but just to recap, best sounding (in my opinion) DBA-02 but very easily damaged by moisture, best overall IEM for running is therefore ety HF5.





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