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IEM Hunting 2011 ( A bit long) - Page 2

post #16 of 25

Alphahelix... I like the fact you totally over looked the link i posted you. You will be suprised if you actually read it at all. The GR07 is a monitor iem, so if you are after a a flat sound with good bass then take a look. They wont cost you an arm and a leg, the build quality is great for a lower priced IEM. If you dont believe me take a look at what ClieOS had to say in his review thread. I have owned both the IE8 and SE530 and "I Feel" these have a better overall sound then both of them. http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/541204/concise-multi-iem-comparison-meelec-m16-m21-m31-sp51-added-april-2nd-2011

 

Also take a look at http://www.j-phonic.com/ they might fit your bill aswell. There is a couple of small writeups about them on Head-Fi, the customisation is pretty cool. Being able to pick your cable length and colour etc.

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Townyj View Post

Alphahelix... I like the fact you totally over looked the link i posted you. You will be suprised if you actually read it at all. The GR07 is a monitor iem, so if you are after a a flat sound with good bass then take a look. They wont cost you an arm and a leg, the build quality is great for a lower priced IEM. If you dont believe me take a look at what ClieOS had to say in his review thread. I have owned both the IE8 and SE530 and "I Feel" these have a better overall sound then both of them. http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/541204/concise-multi-iem-comparison-meelec-m16-m21-m31-sp51-added-april-2nd-2011

 

Also take a look at http://www.j-phonic.com/ they might fit your bill aswell. There is a couple of small writeups about them on Head-Fi, the customisation is pretty cool. Being able to pick your cable length and colour etc.



Hey, Townyj - Sorry! I did not overlook your post...I did follow the link and check out your recommendation. To be honest I already feel like I am so overwhelmed at this point with all the IEM selections I have on my plate. I thought I'd sift through those first, and then take the time to give more consideration to the one you recommended.


I won't like, I do LOVE the price....I mean considerably it is CHEAP CHEAP - but if the build and sound are right...I have no objections. I am going to go over the ClieOS thread now, it looks really good and involved - so I am interested to see what I learn from this! Thanks for that link.

post #18 of 25

No worries! I hope you find what your looking for :)

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

 

Ohh man!! I swear since I have come to Head-Fi, I've found so many more choices that I did not even know existed- I guess thanks to all of you for the recommendations. I have been doing a lot of online research to see which one really fits the bill for me, so here is what I've narrowed down:

 

My Seriously considered list.....

 

 

Westone 4 - Looks like I can grab it for about $429 shipped, so the price is a little better than MSRP. - I like the reviews on this one, because it comes through as really well-balanced but from what I am told the low end really holds it's own. The 4 drivers make it a top of the line contender in my list.

 

Westone UM3X-RC - The removable cable is a def plus here, but I am still skeptical on the core difference between this unit and the Westone 4. Is it true that the 4 would better fit the bill for what I am trying to achieve here (various types of music). Does the UM3X excel more in one aspect over the other. Does it fall off anywhere? The key thing for me here is that the actual price difference between the Um3X and the Westone 4 would be about $50-60....so I'd be willing to go a little out of budget if the 4 really provides me with better quality. I'd also assume, being that the 4 is newer it might hold re-sale value a bit. As I mentioned before, I am looking to do customs at some point down the road (probably more for performance use as well as personal listening)

 

Ortofon EQ5 - From what I've read, it seems like this is a balanced IEM and would probably suffice for my use. The design/aesthetics of the IEM are also pleasing to the eye, but I wonder how the fit will be considering the design itself. I don't have incredibly small ears so I don't think it will be a problem for me. Then the next question is naturally procuring the IEM in the states. It seems like it's a hassle to get it from anywhere, considering all the online vendors are I found are located overseas. I am wondering for all the headache and quite possible fitment issues, are one of my other choices better and should I fore go this one. The other thing I am concerned with is the cable design. The fact it points straight out and is not really a braided cable which l feel is much better suited for active use. I am really on the fence with this IEM as I am with others I have liked but are not readily available.

 

VSonic GR07 - So I finally looked into this one, and noticed the review that ClieOS did for it. The price point is really good for this IEM, but again I am going to point reference to the cable (being as it is not braided and doesn't look as strong). Obviously never having heard this IEM I'd have to go with ClieOS's recommendation as it being a solid IEM, especially at the price. Then the problem again becomes procurement - it doesn't seem so easy to just pick this one up in the states.

 

Earsonics SM3 - From everything I've read on this forum - I feel like this should be at the very top of my list. Seems that this has the most neutral signature, no coloring - music will come thru as the artist has intended for it. So does that mean I will get a accurate studio feel with this one? The bass will show up if it is supposed to be there, and won't be enhanced and so forth. One reason I don't like the Beats (or the concept of the IE8), is the enhanced bass response. I wan't it to be accurate. If the song has it, then yea - let me feel it. But don't insert it into the song if it doesn't really exist. I guess in this sense I understand why it is adjustable on the IE8....but then again I don't to fidget with my IEM between tracks....so that is why I took out the IEM. But again, based on all the reviews the SM3 looks like a solid contender. The only downside to me is going to be the build quality (i read if you drop it it will break, well that's no good), the cabling (love the braided design, but what's up with all these y-connector/chin level length comments?), overall everything being in French and it coming from France (although Amazon does carry it through a re-seller). This might be a solid choice based on all I've read.....

 

Ultimate Ears Triple Fi - So these are the ones that I've owned before. I don't think I would get these again. Mainly because of the cabling being very fragile, and the overall comfort level not being where it should for a sub $300 IEM. I figure I'd mention these, because I understand the sound signature here, and I felt they were overall balanced and not bad for the money I paid for them. I'm also glad I was able to get a decent resale out of them.....the main reason I am mentioning this is because down the road, I might go for some custom work from UE, I've heard their customs (if you are willing to pay a little more) are the cream of the crop - at least this is what most stage musicians I've spoken to have told me.

 

 

So all that said, I think it's going to come down to these 3 for me:

 

Westone 4 - $429

Westone UM3X - $369

Earsonics SM3 - $369

 

So between these, what would you say is the one to go with? Seeing as the 4 and the SM3 don't have user replaceable cabling, I am just going to have to put my faith in these IEMs and hope the cables are what they should be and not fall apart on me. So between these....for comfort, soundstage (important), accurate sound reproduction, and their ability to shine in all genres of music.....what would you recommend to me.

 

Pricewise, the prices I'm seeing are as posted above....let me know if this is accurate.

 

Thanks again everyone...

post #20 of 25

I agree with the Westone 4, they're amazing in every genre I've tried - everything from Coltrane, Getz, Yes, Lady Danville, opera, string quartet, Ben Folds, Joe Cocker, Dr. John, Dru Hill, Stevie Wonder, Earth-wind-&-fire, Oscar Peterson, Mahalia Jackson, etc.  B & H Audio - Video is in NYC and has a good return policy with no restocking fee, I mail-ordered my set from there.

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesta View Post

I agree with the Westone 4, they're amazing in every genre I've tried - everything from Coltrane, Getz, Yes, Lady Danville, opera, string quartet, Ben Folds, Joe Cocker, Dr. John, Dru Hill, Stevie Wonder, Earth-wind-&-fire, Oscar Peterson, Mahalia Jackson, etc.  B & H Audio - Video is in NYC and has a good return policy with no restocking fee, I mail-ordered my set from there.



I just noticed earlier today that B&H carries them for $449. Do you know if they also demo the IEMs there before you buy them? I've demoed some IEMs at J&R, but they don't carry any Westone products.

 

 

 

 

Also, I've been doing some more research online, and I am wondering if someone can chime into this - what if I was to add the UE4 Pro Custom IEM into the mix here? How would that stack up against the W4/UM3X/SM3 -- I only arrive at this quandary after realizing the phones themselves are $399 at MSRP, and even with $100 impression, I am in the ballpark of the W4.

post #22 of 25

I will give a simple warning.  In the world of head-fi, there will always be newer, greater, and different earphones out there.  This really isn't a matter of trying to find the perfect earphone.  That's a hard thing to do when one both does not know absolutely what they want nor know absolutely how the products out there sound in relation one's desires.  I've personally owned and compared a majority of the top level universals.  I am one who does have a very good understand of what I want, but at the same time, there is so much variation out there and a lack of understanding that one can not make a very good decision without first hand experience and really only a mediocre decision reading all the user reviews and comments that only portray a vague sense of what a particular product offers.  In a less wordy way, you're still only going to be guessing, you still may or may not be content with the option you pick, and you will still look at other products and wonder what if.  At the end, just make an educated guess, try it for a while, and decide if you still want different.  It is extremely likely this will not be your last choice, so don't feel too absolute about your choice.  I will note that buying and selling used helps limit any lose associated buying and trying hardware.  You shouldn't feel bound to the purchase choice.

post #23 of 25

x2....word of advise, just pick 1 and get along with it, never go back to headfi if you are happy with it.

 

If you went back and read anything about it compared to a new product, it will drive you crazy and make a large hole in you wallet like me. lol. :))
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

I will give a simple warning.  In the world of head-fi, there will always be newer, greater, and different earphones out there.  This really isn't a matter of trying to find the perfect earphone.  That's a hard thing to do when one both does not know absolutely what they want nor know absolutely how the products out there sound in relation one's desires.  I've personally owned and compared a majority of the top level universals.  I am one who does have a very good understand of what I want, but at the same time, there is so much variation out there and a lack of understanding that one can not make a very good decision without first hand experience and really only a mediocre decision reading all the user reviews and comments that only portray a vague sense of what a particular product offers.  In a less wordy way, you're still only going to be guessing, you still may or may not be content with the option you pick, and you will still look at other products and wonder what if.  At the end, just make an educated guess, try it for a while, and decide if you still want different.  It is extremely likely this will not be your last choice, so don't feel too absolute about your choice.  I will note that buying and selling used helps limit any lose associated buying and trying hardware.  You shouldn't feel bound to the purchase choice.



 

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

I will give a simple warning.  In the world of head-fi, there will always be newer, greater, and different earphones out there.  This really isn't a matter of trying to find the perfect earphone.  That's a hard thing to do when one both does not know absolutely what they want nor know absolutely how the products out there sound in relation one's desires.  I've personally owned and compared a majority of the top level universals.  I am one who does have a very good understand of what I want, but at the same time, there is so much variation out there and a lack of understanding that one can not make a very good decision without first hand experience and really only a mediocre decision reading all the user reviews and comments that only portray a vague sense of what a particular product offers.  In a less wordy way, you're still only going to be guessing, you still may or may not be content with the option you pick, and you will still look at other products and wonder what if.  At the end, just make an educated guess, try it for a while, and decide if you still want different.  It is extremely likely this will not be your last choice, so don't feel too absolute about your choice.  I will note that buying and selling used helps limit any lose associated buying and trying hardware.  You shouldn't feel bound to the purchase choice.



 

I'm noticing a trend here....you consistently give good advice, and seem to really know your stuff. I do agree with you, I mean I am a huge technology snob, so I know there will always be newer and better things out there. I think I'm on my 3rd smartphone in the last 12 months so I'm quite familiar with re-cycling and early adopting. That being said I also like my life to be as simple as possible. I feel there are so many complexities in every day life, and I don't want to add to it by having an IEM for this another headphone for that....etc. So I figured something which does it all, and has a balanced feel to it would be right up my alley. You have responded to a few of my posts and you seem to be most well versed on the IEM matter. If you were in my shoes and had to pick....which way would you go. I mean I've narrowed it down to the W4, and the SM3 and on the off change the UE 4 Custom (although being that it is the lower end of the UE custom range I don't even know if it is half as good as the Triple Fi I used to own). Your advice will be taken into very serious consideration

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingice10 View Post

x2....word of advise, just pick 1 and get along with it, never go back to headfi if you are happy with it.

 

If you went back and read anything about it compared to a new product, it will drive you crazy and make a large hole in you wallet like me. lol. :))
 



 


Lol, see now I am quickly getting addicted to head-fi....I feel like it's going to pull me back sooner or later, regardless of what I choose. I like the community here, you are all anal about sound....and I like people who take passion in their work/hobbies. You don't see that a lot anymore....so I may just stick around for a bit :-)

 

post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 

I know I created another thread and all....I figured I'd just update this one also in case anyone comes wandering through....

 

So after all the consideration, I just ordered the Westone 4

 

At the end of the day, it came down a toss up between the W4 and the SM3, and it seems like everyone feels it's 50/50 according to my poll thus far on my other thread. I guess what pushed me over the fence towards the W4 was really the accessibility of it. Earphonics SM3 has been known to have some build issues and the company is based overseas, so I really didn't want to shell out the $ and then have to deal w/ fit issues, RMA issues, and whatever else falls within that gamut....

 

Let's hope I made the right choice!

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