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How did your IEM journey start?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

How did your IEM journey start?

 

I grew up with music, playing music & enjoying music; went through a period of car audio obsession (it has settled into an 'interest' of mine) & learned to describe tonality & sound impressions through several instrument purchases.  I hadn't thought about sound as a hobby in a few years, until I was in an Apple store purchasing a laptop for my wife & bought a set of Klipsch S4i on impulse (at full MSRP eek.gif).


I was initially very impressed with the S4 & didn't think much about sound signature or other headphones in general, until Amazon put Monster Turbines on a lightning deal for $79.  I read the reviews & bought a set knowing I could send it back if I didn't like them.  I was much happier with the Turbines sound signature, so much so that I didn't even get upset when I lost the S4 on a work trip.  After 3-4 months enjoying my Turbines, I made a terrible financial decision... while looking up reviews of headphones I came across Head-Fi & specifically this section.

 

As soon as I saved up (well, got my tax return) I purchased a set of MTPC, curious if the difference was substantial enough to warrant the extra money.  At the same time I thought "heck, why not" & purchased a set of UM3X after reading many reviews, in lieu of busting the bank on a set of ES5.  I'm glad I did because while I've had multiple IEMs my memory has been jogged about tonality, sound impressions & sound preferences.  After more reading up, I'm returning the MTPC & UM3X (thank God for Amazon's liberal return policy) & my Westone 4 should be arriving tomorrow from B&H Photo/video (14 day return period with no restocking fees).  I'm sure that I'll be happy with the 4s if only 1/4 of the reviews I've read match my ears.

 

I'm not sure where to go after this, I still enjoy my Turbines very much & I like having different sound signatures around to switch between.  I would say my intended end-state is a set of IEM that match my preferences exactly but I don't think that's realistic, especially since my preferences change with every new signature I here.  I'm interested in several different customs but it's quite a risk to me to drop such a substantial amount on something non-refundable.  I've got other hobbies.... I mean children to feed.

 

I'm curious as to how many of you got your start on this journey & what your 'goals' are, if you have any, are you trying to find the perfect sound?  Get the best bang for your buck?  Are an insatiable perfectionist?  Regardless, thank all of you for taking the time to share your impressions & opinions of so much equipment, it is greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 25

I come from pro audio world and was working in artist relations at Shure when they came out with the PSM 600 in the 90s. So my first IEM was the E1.

 

 

 


Edited by JackKontney - 3/23/11 at 6:34am
post #3 of 25

Well, my iem journey is pretty much over for now.  It started with an e3c, then a se110 to replace the e3c.  The 110 sucked so I got the se530.  Then I found head-fi so I stopped with shure.  I bought a meelec m6 cause woot had it for $23 shipped.  I liked the sound so I got a hje900 when JR had them $80 and sold my 530 shortly thereafter.  Then I got a thinksound rain but I gave it to my brother.  I then got a full-size rig and stopped using my iem's at home so I decided to sell my hje900's so I am now using my m6 for portable use.  I used the funds from the hje900 sale to buy a t50rp to tinker around with.  

 

I'm still interested in a few iem's out there, but I don't think I'd use them much right now.  I'm interested in the new DDM(-2 biggrin.gif) and the fx700, as well as the MA's(e-q7, gr10, etc) and the FADs (whatever their driver type is). The only BA's I'd buy would be customs.  I'm more interested in portables like the dt1350 or hd-25 though, so I'm not exactly sure where I'm gonna go next.  


Edited by deadhead12 - 3/22/11 at 6:54pm
post #4 of 25

My IEM journey has been pretty erratic (see my profile for a list of the IEMs I experimented with), but I believe it started with a pair of Sony Fontopia something-or-others that I got for $50 from Apple's website back in 2001.  I got them to bring with me on a 3 month backpacking trip before starting a year studying abroad.  They broke sometime in 2003 and I didn't venture back into IEMs until Christmas of 2006, when I got a pair of Sure E2c--which were quickly returned for a pair of E4g.

 

I recently delved into the world of custom IEMs, with a purchase of Quads by 1964 Ears.  I'm pretty happy with the evolution and I think that I won't be updating them for a while.  In the near future, I may upgrade my "gym" pair (Westone 1) to a pair of W3 or W4 and call it a day.


Edited by vinnievidi - 3/22/11 at 6:46pm
post #5 of 25

never used the iBuds. once I got curious about IEMs as an alternative to full-size headphones (which I had been using since, like, age 14), I soon went from UE super-fi 5 to Ety ER4P, to adding an S to the latter, to customs. it's a slippery upgrade path...

post #6 of 25
I bought a lot of $100>earphones and was content. But I think it all started when I purchased a pair of shure 210's. Instantly, I was not impressed with the sound; especially at the time when I couldn't believe that I've spent $179 on a pair of earphones. After some experimenting, I found the olives to give the best results. After using them for a year, I knew that there had to be better. I found earphonesolutions and bought a pair of um2's. That changed everything. Now I have a pair of w4's and am very happy with them
post #7 of 25
I started out with the e3c.

Then I went for a HD-650.

I still have the e3c. biggrin.gif

No, I'm not trolling here. I've gone back and forth about upgrading my IEMs many times. I think I'll just go for a JH13 and be done with it. Loved the pair I heard at CanJam and might as well go for the ones I want instead of climbing the slippery slope of upgrades. Maybe I'll bite for my birthday in July.
post #8 of 25
Started off with a pair of Sony MDR-EX71LP.

Moved onto an EX-51LP after one side of the 71LP died, and the cable for the 51 disintegrated.

Got me a Cresyn LM630 (?) and soon moved onto an Audio technica ATH-CK7 after auditioning it side by side with a pair of Panasonic HJE70 (had a hard time choosing between the 2).

Soon moved onto a Shure E4G, but the cable cracked, so I moved onto an SE420, which I vastly preferred over the SE530 due to the sound sig (with 75 Ohm adapter).

SE420 got damaged about 2.5 years later, no thanks to me getting mugged while they're on, so I almost simultaneously bought the Klipsch Custom 3, Brainwavz M1, Meelec M6 and Earsonics SM3.
Either one of the 4 get used on different occasions/synergy.
- SM3 creates excellent synergy with the Sansa Fuze in terms of sound balance, but the Fuze can't drive the SM3 to its full potential.
- Home setup doesn't synergize with the SM3 (uDAC -> 1HA-EPC -> SM3 = Can you say nasal?), but pairs very well with the Custom 3 for music and gaming.
- Cowon D2 plays very nicely with a Custom 3 + 75 Ohm adapter
- Galaxy Apollo plays nice with the Brainwavz M1, but isolation is pretty weak.
- Meelec M6 goes well with most (but the Cowon D2) but again, the isolation is weak

Maybe reshelling my Custom 3 in the future if its stupid cable decides to die, and combine its drivers with the SE420 drivers. Gonna need an amp for that though.
Also, after auditioning the JH10x3, JH11 and JH16, I see a JH11 in my future (didn't like the JH16, soundstage was too big, felt unnatural).
Edited by Zephyron - 3/23/11 at 4:06am
post #9 of 25

It all started with portable headphone about 16 years ago, then moving to earbuds about 11 years ago (living under the equator's heat = full sized isn't a personal favorite). The real first IEM is Shure E3c in 2004, when It was briefly introduced on CNN tech news and caught my eyes (joined HF subsequently). Then it was the Etymotic ER6i on 2005. Added the CX300 and EP-630 on 2006. Picked up quite a few pairs on 2007 and escalated to 12 pairs on 2008, and wrote my first multiple IEM shootout comparison (and a basic guide to IEM). Some manufacturers began to send me samples for review and finished the shootout with 18 pairs. Began working on my own blog regarding IEM. Wrote another shootout for another 18 pairs with new purchases as well as free samples for less than a year in 2009. Then another 36 pairs in 2010. Now I have over 100 pairs of IEM and 98 pairs of them has been reviewed, I believe. All of them are kept as reference, plus I like to collect them. Only one pair was given away since I was about to throw it out and someone next door needed an IEM. It was a pair of SkullCandy in 2006. Looking to pick up a pair or two in the next month, hopefully.

post #10 of 25

I was so happy with my Creative Zen V Plus and it's stock buds for two years before stumbling upon head-fi. Out of curiosity on why someone would stuff something inside their ears, bought EP-630 just to test if I too can (11/11/2009). At that time, I knew only the terms 'bass' and 'treble'. Most of my IEMs were bought out of curiosity to understand terms. RE0 - to understand what they mean by analytical sound, Hippo VB - to understand what is meant by sub-bass, PFE - to know what a BA sounds like and so on. To this day, that curiosity continues and my poor wallet always loses the battle frown.gif. I currently own close to 30 IEMs. But still, there's still a long list of 'To buy' IEMs (excluding customs). I have sold only one - Radius "DDM" to this day.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post

I was so happy with my Creative Zen V Plus and it's stock buds for two years before stumbling upon head-fi. Out of curiosity on why someone would stuff something inside their ears, bought EP-630 just to test if I too can (11/11/2009). At that time, I knew only the terms 'bass' and 'treble'. Most of my IEMs were bought out of curiosity to understand terms. RE0 - to understand what they mean by analytical sound, Hippo VB - to understand what is meant by sub-bass, PFE - to know what a BA sounds like and so on. To this day, that curiosity continues and my poor wallet always loses the battle frown.gif. I currently own close to 30 IEMs. But still, there's still a long list of 'To buy' IEMs (excluding customs). I have sold only one - Radius "DDM" to this day.


sorry for asking this.....but out of curiosity, why did u sell the DDM (for which reason)

 

post #12 of 25

My journey started with me getting out of bed and stepping on my ipod earbuds. After that I started to seek my perfect headphones. Ive always been into music, playing instruments, leading worship at church, etc. But I always thought it would be ridiculous to spend so much money on headphones. In the beginning, even $70 seemed like a huge amount. Now Im dropping $200 without a thought. Weird.

post #13 of 25

don't we all feel like that.....wink.gif

post #14 of 25

Etymotic 6.  Boy, did they take awhile to get used to.  Itchy, hard to adjust.  I ended up pulling off all of the rubber housing while digging them in and out of my ear.

 

IEM's have totally changed the way I listen to music.  I have a hearing problem in my left ear that makes it sensitive to high pitched sounds (think trumpets, screaming kids, Sarah Palin).  Over the ear headphone didn't help.  IEM's, especially with foam tips, such as the Comply's, allow me to listen to music on the go.

post #15 of 25

Westone offers a 30 return policy.  You only pay 15% restocking and shipping back to Colorado.

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