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Looking for durable IEMs, price range $80-$200

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hello there. First post here cause I'm kind of stuck with my search.

 

A few months ago I bought Panasonic RP-JHE900-K as a special deal for about $80 from J&R Electronics. Now, only about 6 months later, the right side has cutting-offs caused by the cable. I bought them also because they had exchangeable cables cause I had this happen to me before with all my $50 and lower earphones. Support told me new cable costs $65. I'm not gonna give them that amount of money for a cable that will probably again break within the next 6 months.

 

Sorry for this long intro, but I thought you should maybe know the pre-story. The RP-JHE900-K's were also my first pair of high-end headphones.

 

So, now I'm searching for a replace. I enjoyed the incredible sound of a high-end IEM, however, my highest criterion became durability. I'm not willing to spend so much money on earphones if they break that fast.

 

The following products I have had a look at:

  • Westone UM2: pro: in reviews they sound great, except for a little to low bass; nice design also; con: too expensive, durability issues reported by some people
  • Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10: pro: with $185 they seem like a good deal for that quality sound; con: too fancy design and a lot of people complaining about durability issues; some also report that there is always something in the package that does not work...
  • Shure SE210: pro: price is fine, nice design; con: many say sound is not as good as expected for that price; again many durability issues
  • Shure SE310: pro: somewhat OK price, according to reviews nice sound; cons: again, for a few not good enough for the price payed, durability issues, also not really cheap, i.e. not a really good deal :)
  • Shure SE315: pro: even better sound then the other Shure; cons: still not the expected sound enjoyment, more expensive and durability
  • Etymotic ER-4P: pro: great sound, so they say; simple yet good design; I think - not sure though - not many durability problems reported; cons: expensive, some say not the greatest sound for the given money, e.g. Shure E3 "better"; many complains about cracking sounds or sounds while walking/moving

 

For all of them I only briefly searched. Each time, I maybe read one serious review but most of my knowledge I have from amazon reviews. I decided that that's not the best source for recommendations as a lot of people on amazon judge

  1. their first high-end headphone product in which they invested a lot of money so they tend to give high ratings
  2. after a very short period of usage

 

So, that's the state of mine. I now give myself into this community's hands and hope for some good recommendations or hints. :)

For further information: I will use my IEMs with an iPod 6G from 2007. I know it's not the best player but still working, so I'll keep it until it breaks. (For that scenario: if you also want to name your favorite portable MP3 and Video player of similar iPod size, capacity and price, I would appreciate that! :) )

 

And last but not least: in another thread, I read something about a member of this board called Joker who has done a good thread on IEMs. Could find it, though...?

 

Thanks for taking the time to read through all of this. And please excuse my language, non-native English speaker.

ichbinder

 

 

post #2 of 27

http://store.sleek-audio.com/accessories/replaceable-cable.html

 

That cable works.  The only difference is that it has L-jacks.

 

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hm, awesome! That's already a great help! :D

 

Like I said, non-native English speaker, hence, I'm gonna leave the US soon. So, I'm still looking for a nice pair of high-end IEMs... :)

 

However, given that my RP-JHE900 where a nice deal, can UE TripleFi 10 or the others mentioned above compete with the RP-JHE900, soundwise? According to older reviews, the RP-JHE900 once were sold for 350$ and more, correct?

post #4 of 27

It will be a much different sound than the JHE-900, but the ER4 is one of the most durable phones out there, cables too.  There are people who have owned their ER4 for up to 10 years.

 

And if you aren't doing this, you might also want to buy a cheap small camera case to keep and carry your player and IEMs, even putting the IEMs in a separate little pouch to protect them. 

post #5 of 27

Like Topspin suggested, don't give up that easily.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/607987-REG/Sleek_Audio_Replacement_Cable_for_SA6.html

^much cheaper replacement cable ($15)

And why couldn't you send it in for warranty? That sounds like a defective cable to me. I've never heard any problems with breaking the HJE900 cable.

HJE(JHE?)900 are not worth $350 but they should compete well with each phone you listed. 

I also second ER4 as incredibly durable


Edited by rymd - 3/25/11 at 12:46pm
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhaynes View Post

It will be a much different sound than the JHE-900, but the ER4 is one of the most durable phones out there, cables too.  There are people who have owned their ER4 for up to 10 years.

 

And if you aren't doing this, you might also want to buy a cheap small camera case to keep and carry your player and IEMs, even putting the IEMs in a separate little pouch to protect them. 

Hm, sounds logical that the Etymotic ER4P are durable since their design is so simple. Have you yourself owned some of these? Since these would only be my second pair of high quality headphones, I am still not sure how to take care. You said something about putting the IEMs in a separate little bag or something. However, most of the time, I have the headphones plugged in, dangling down in front of my shirt whenever I don't have them in my ears. However, sometimes I have them in use for hours also... so what should I do? Is it bad practice if I have them hanging down in front of my breast? Is my idea of "taking care" just not careful enough? smily_headphones1.gif

And whenever I don't have the player in my pocket and the phones around my neck, I normally wrap the cable around the ipod and that's it... bad?

Oh yeah, and what do you mean with "And if you aren't doing this"? Sorry, non native speaker, didn't understand that... :-/

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rymd View Post

Like Topspin suggested, don't give up that easily.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/607987-REG/Sleek_Audio_Replacement_Cable_for_SA6.html

^much cheaper replacement cable ($15)

And why couldn't you send it in for warranty? That sounds like a defective cable to me. I've never heard any problems with breaking the HJE900 cable.

HJE(JHE?)900 are not worth $350 but they should compete well with each phone you listed. 

I also second ER4 as incredibly durable


Ok, cool! Thanks for that Link rymd! I'm just a bit concerned how comfortable those L-shaped heads would be cause the JHE900 have a straight connection:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-RP-HJE900-K-Zirconia-Earbud-Headphones/dp/B002R1MDQY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1301214565&sr=8-1

Well, I called Panasonic and they said, that their warranty is 3 months, no longer. I bought these back in September or October, so they said, I don't have warranty anymore... I said that as far as I know, they have to give me 1 year warranty on electronics - that's what I heard as a foreigner sometimes - but the support agent said no, not for headphones, they only have to give 3 months...?! Anybody else got different information?

I agree on their quality. They sound great but not worth $350, even though I never listened to $350-phones. smily_headphones1.gif Still, said that their workmanship is so bad... frown.gif

 

Oh, and thanks for giving me more feedback about the ER4... Hm, they are pricey, though... couldn't find them cheaper than $230 or so.

 

If there are others than can speak about Etymotic's ER-4P's durability I would greatly appreciate their input!

 

Thanks to all who answered, fast community here! smily_headphones1.gif

 

Ah, and since time's running out for me - have to leave the country soon - I guess I will make a decision and order another pair of headphones within the next 2 days or so. So let me be so rude to say that timely replies would be awesome! Thanks people! biggrin.gif

post #7 of 27

looking for durable  IEMs,  get ortofon -eQ5 with lifetime warranty

Dimitri from Musica Acoustics might still offer a "special' price for headfi members.

tip: email dimitri, he ships worldwide so no rush..

post #8 of 27
my SM3's just went through a full wash cycle when I forgot to take them out of my shirt pocket while doing the laundry.. they still work and the only damage is to the plug end... pretty durable if u ask me...
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yello131 View Post

looking for durable  IEMs,  get ortofon -eQ5 with lifetime warranty

Dimitri from Musica Acoustics might still offer a "special' price for headfi members.

tip: email dimitri, he ships worldwide so no rush..


 

Thanks for responding yello131! I had a quick look at the Ortofon E-Q5. The reviews on here and other places sound great. The price of above $250 mentioned on some websites is definitely too much for me. :-( Any information available on an approx. special price or do i have to contact Dimitri? No problem if so, just a question: is he on this forum or should I use their website?

Also: couldn't find anything about their durability... do you speak from your own experience or can you give me some link on this? Thanks for your help again!


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinxbailey View Post

my SM3's just went through a full wash cycle when I forgot to take them out of my shirt pocket while doing the laundry.. they still work and the only damage is to the plug end... pretty durable if u ask me...

Also thanks to you for taking the time to answer. I looked up the SM3's, but those are really above my wallet... approx. $360, right? Congrats to those durable beasts but unfortunately, I'm still a poor grad student. :)

 

So, anything that's know for it's durability but might be a bit cheaper?

post #10 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ichbinder View Post




 

Thanks for responding yello131! I had a quick look at the Ortofon E-Q5. The reviews on here and other places sound great. The price of above $250 mentioned on some websites is definitely too much for me. :-( Any information available on an approx. special price or do i have to contact Dimitri? No problem if so, just a question: is he on this forum or should I use their website?

Also: couldn't find anything about their durability... do you speak from your own experience or can you give me some link on this? Thanks for your help again!


 

The special on e-Q5 from Musica Acoustics is $249 USD including shipping cost

 

Contact him via his website..

 

Ortofon e-Q5 is among most solid IEM out there next to CK10

This info is based on my own experience as well as on few reviews available today.

and even if e-Q5 fail, , Warranty through MA is 2 years.

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yello131 View Post


 

The special on e-Q5 from Musica Acoustics is $249 USD including shipping cost

 

Contact him via his website..

 

Ortofon e-Q5 is among most solid IEM out there next to CK10

This info is based on my own experience as well as on few reviews available today.

and even if e-Q5 fail, , Warranty through MA is 2 years.


Thanks for letting me know about the price... the reviews sound great and 2 years or warranty is great too... but $249... is there nothing that's a bit cheaper and still durable? Or actually, have the price... rolleyes.gif Do you also have a comment or experience about the durability of the ER-4P?

 

And just in case: comparing the Etymotic ER-4P with the e-Q5, what are the pros and cons?

 

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ichbinder View Post

I'm just a bit concerned how comfortable those L-shaped heads would be cause the JHE900 have a straight connection
Someone (napilopez I think) bought those sleek cables and reported a somewhat awkward looking but still decent fit. Pictures he took are lodged in the middle of some thread somewhere.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rymd View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by ichbinder View Post

I'm just a bit concerned how comfortable those L-shaped heads would be cause the JHE900 have a straight connection


Someone (napilopez I think) bought those sleek cables and reported a somewhat awkward looking but still decent fit. Pictures he took are lodged in the middle of some thread somewhere.

thanks for that. Found the image quickly: http://assets.head-fi.org/d/d9/d9157665_IMG_20100916_200658.jpg

it's then over ear but i'll give it a try. At least a cheap solution for my JHE900...

 

Looking forward to more input about the e-Q5, the ER-4P, and maybe some recommendations for cheaper but durable IEMs ranging from $100 to $200. Thanks! :)

 

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

sorry that I double post, but thanks to and in response to TopsinTEC and rymd, I just found these:

 

replacement cable for SA1

http://store.sleek-audio.com/accessories/sa1replaceable-cable.html

 

I wonder if these would also work for my JHE-900-K? Or are the connectors for the headphones different than those L-shaped ones?

 

Thanks guys!

post #15 of 27
A couple of things: youo can wear the sleek audio cables pretty much anyway you like. The photo you linked ichbinder was like, the most awkward one of all the styles I tried, XD. The most comfortable method was having the cable so that it wraps around over the top of your ears, as a normal over-ear IEM cable would go.

Secondly, that SA1 cable will work perfectly fine. Most people only get the L-jack cable because it's cheaper at some stores.. The sleek audio cables aren't as durable as the stock, but at least they are cheaper to buy. Some seem to prefer the sound from them though.
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