Since joining headfi I've been on the usual journey through the usual suspects, although curiosity has reared it's ugly head in the past I've normally been pretty good about resisting it. I've tried so far Monster, Sennheiser (full size as well as iem) Klipsch and Westone. Aside from the Westone I've got the aforementioned on offers so not paid the full price on any of them which makes me feel better but even so!
Reason I started trying iems out instead of full size was isolation. I'm lucky in that I can listen to music/audiobooks pretty much the whole day if I want to within reason (and there are times when I've had to put something on just to get me through the day!), however the downside is that I'm now working in an almost hybrid of office/factory with machines running, phones going, people talking etc. None of the above headphones have offered the isolation that I'd like though some have been decent (a tip of the hat towards the humble klipsch x2 here). The other issue I have atm is fit. For whatever reason my right ear does not seal as easily as the left. Left one seals straight away with pretty much any size tip, however the right ear just doesn't. I've tried different tips, insertion methods and none of them work properly. Listed below is what I thought of the iems that I've had to give some idea. All out of ipod touch gen 3, with alac.
a)Monster Turbine. Got these in a sale from play.com Whilst the fit was ok the isolation wasn't particularly great (though good enough with music playing). The one thing I didn't like was the bass. Too much of it. Found myself turning up the volume to get the clarity better but just ended up with more bass, tips tried sony hybrids, stock.
b)Klipsch image x2. Not the best sound in the world obviously, but fits not too bad.
c)Sennheiser ie7. Again got them in a sale from play, quite like these, only thing really is the lack of isolation (known problem with the ie range and knew this going in, price was too good to resist though!). Something like this with better fit and isolation would be great.
d)Westone 2. These I had great hopes for but as usual fit has been the issue mainly. Tried shure flanges modded, shure olives (knackered my first set trying to get them off!)and comply p series, make my ears itch! I'm guessing that it's the nozzle length on the side of the iems themselves that are the problem. It's this reason (and price!)that's stopped me trying out the w3 and w4's. I've been intrigued by the umx model with it's different length nozzles but not sure I want to take the plunge on a gamble at this point. Sound wise pretty good, though could do with a bit more thump with rock/metal.
So there we go. I'm now at something of a loss as to what to try next. I'm on the fence about getting customs done as feel they would be impractical at work for quick and easy insertion/removal (sadly there are days when people come up to me for work related stuff!)if anyone does use customs at work how do you get on with them?, not so sure about custom tips (I'm guessing the w2's would be the best candidate here if I ever did go that route?).
Best results so far that I've had a pair of ear defenders provided by work and a pair of sennheiser px100 drivers stuffed into the cups. Isolations fine, but comfort isn't as ears start to get a bit sweaty after a while.
To sum up
I'm after something that sounds great, is easy to fit and remove,and has great noise isolation.
If you made it this far thanks for reading, any help gratefully recieved.