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 ).
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.