I'm a huge Mahler fan myself, as you can read in my Sony EX1000 review. Scroll down a bit to read the listening notes with the Symphony #2 and the Sonys vs. JVCs. I'd love to recommend the EX1000 (or even EX600) to you, but sadly they're prone to wind noise and thus unsuited for cycling. But the JVCs are very close in every way and among the very best phones I've heard with that kind of music.
Sometimes, it's hard for us IEM-using audiophiles to accept that household brands like Sony, JVC or Panasonic can create decent IEMs. Thx for adding the Sony model to my mix of IEMs to watch for. How fast are the Sony's (or JVCs) in your opinion? This is a pretty important qualitative sonic metric for me. As noted earlier, when I use IEMs and listen to music, it is very much and interactive experience -- I like the music (with its beat, pace, rhythm) to psychologically merge with my activity (cycling, jogging, office work etc., household errands and chores like cooking/cleaning). In the SM3v2 thread, I comment that I can't really do that w/the EarSonics (tho' those IEMs have certain strong and desirable sonic attributes, rhythmic and temporal mechanics are not among them). I've heard some users (e.g., MunkyBalz) comment that FX700s are no more rhythmic (= fast) than SM3. The SM3s are not bad at rhythm, but compared to the pace-n-rhythm king (Sennheiser IE8; there may be other equivalent or even ones better/faster, but I don't have time/$/desire for en masse IEM testing !!), they are relatively slow and, hence (IMO), boring and unspectacular. The SM3s also "compress" macro-dynamics to a significantly important extent: the surprise element and excitement of 1812 Overture or movie-soundtrack explosions are gone. Not good!
In the IE8 appreciation thread, some folks note positive comparisons to the top Monsters, so I may try them out some time. Regular Grado (non-IEM) are the fastest dynamic cans I've heard, so maybe Grado IEMs are fast, too. Dunno.
One last thing I have noticed is that I tend to prefer IEMs with wide (and short) nozzles (and all these, I think, are also dynamic [not armature]). The IE8s have short nozzles that are 5.5mm wide (I think this is widest, based on |joker|'s massive survey). That said, many have said that if I want dynamics and quickness, the Fischer DBA-02's are hard to beat. Their nozzle diameter is only 3mm wide (dunno how short/long, tho') -- and they are armature to boot (so take my theory with a whole lot of salt!).
Maybe the new AKG USD$1500 IEMs will be the fastest. I wish beyer would put out a high-end IEM. And it's about time (my suggestion!) for Senn to start thinking about a successor to IE8.
Edited by alphaman - 6/10/11 at 6:23am