I have a pair of YUIN PK3's that I've been using for the last 2 years or so. I REALLY like them, overall. Incredibly comfortable. I can't imagine finding headphones of any kind that are more comfortable. FUN sounding, and I find that I can listen to everything and anything on them, from house to post-rock to folk. I do wish the bass was tighter, as it can sound rather muddy, I wouldn't mind more detail all round, actually. Just FYI, my favorite headphones ever (that I've heard) are the AKG-K701s. My perfect set of earbuds would have that sound signature but with a little more bass quantity thrown in.
I do NOT like using headphone amps. I have enough devices to carry around and keep charged already, and I only take with me what I can put in my pockets. I normally use my smartphone (Droid X) as my DAP, which I have no complaints about. I enjoy minimalism in my listening experience, and the less devices I have to keep track of, the better.
I really want to get a pair of the 9wave Plastics, but I don't believe they are out yet... none-the-less, I will be ordering a pair whenever they are available state-side. My next choice from the research I've done would be Sennheiser's MX880. Problem is, I hear a lot of complaints about their comfort, AND I have no idea if they will sound any good without an amp, especially since I'm using a smartphone which really doesn't have the juice that an iPod or other dedicated DAP does. The Sunrise AS-Charm get good overall reviews, but I've not heard anyone compare them with the PK3s yet. Are they as versatile? Do they require more power? Are they more detailed, and more importantly, is the bass just as "flabby"?
I'd love some more input, advice, or recommendations. Budget is about 100USD. I can go higher, but only if I really think it'd be worth it.
I've done IEM route, and I just don't like them. Mostly because I LIKE being able to hear what's around me, but also because they just aren't as easy to slip on and off. I don't want or need isolation.
TL;DR: I want earbuds that are better than the PK3 while still sounding fun, and I don't use amps.
Edited by Brandon7s - 4/13/11 at 6:00am