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Need new earphones: Torn between Tier 2C and 2B reviews

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

Are you actually getting better earphones as you move from one tier to the next or are tiers just divided based on price range? Are there Tier 2C headphones that sound better than Tier 2B headphones not taking over all value into consideration? I am in the need of a pair of earphones for a variety of music. I've looked at the Multi-IEM Review thread and my budget allows me to purchase a pair of earphones within the Tier 2B and Tier 2C range. Based on those reviews, I was looking at earphones with a sound rating of 8+ within those tiers. For me sound is more important than accessories, or build material.


I know the RE0's are highly rated but I've also been reading up on the Audeo PFE 112/122 (may decide to stick with 112 unless the practicality of owning a mic is worth the extra $30-$40)

Then we have the Shure SE215 ($99).
The Panasonic RP-HJE900 seem like a great buy as well but I can't find them anywhere for the price bracket they're listed under, nor are the Kliphsch Custom 3 (both are around or over $200 new)


I like to have a balanced sound. Not too bass heavy (Like the V-Moda's or Monster Turbines) nor too shrilly on the treble side. Music I listen to: Rock, trance, symphonies, pop....pretty much everything except country (unless it's Shania Twain or Garth Brooks)



iRiver H140 (Rockbox'd)

Sansa Clip+ 4gb

Harmon Kardon AVR220 Receiver



Headphones/Earphones Currently Owned:
Triple Fi.10 (for use at home only)

Sennheiser CX380 (for running and lawn mowing, etc etc)

Sennheiser HD555

Audio-Technica ATH-M50s



Earphones Previously Owned:

V-Moda Vibe Duo

NuForce NE-6 (These were better than the V-Moda Vibe Duo)





Thanks for the response!

Edited by CyberAthlete - 4/24/11 at 4:20pm
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 



Also what would be a nice approximately $100 amp to go with the recommended pair of headphones...i've heard a bit about about the iBasso T4...any others that may be recommended for use with the iRiver, PSP, iPad etc....Thanks.

post #3 of 16

If you're ok with used I would try and score used triple fi's for $120-140ish...fit is often an issue with them though. Ive tried a few IEM's around $100 and they have the best sound quality around that price for my ears.  The hje900's are very good but hard to find(fs forum has them every now and then) and I think the $70ish monster turbines that pop up on amazon would be a good value as well.  I also own the PFE's and really like them...good sound and very comfortable. The filters give you some versatility as well.


post #4 of 16

oops, didn't see what you wrote about the turbines...forget what I said ;)  another option might be used re262's...supposedly great iem's

post #5 of 16
You could get your tf10 reshelled into customs if fit is an issue and you want to use them outside.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

The only reason I use the Triple Fi.10 at home is because i don't want to risk losing them or snapping the cord while running around here and there. Especially if I am running late catching a bus or a train and then I become preoccupied with that mission at hand....I have begun to commute again which is why I am looking for a nice pair within my budget (around $150) and I know I'll be using them 5-6 hours a week. Triple Fi's are the most expensive pair I've ever purchased and replacing them may not be so convenient for me if they ever were lost or stolen. The fit is not an issue with the T.Fi.10 since they do create a nice seal in my ears without any difficulty....and there is no fatigue after prolonged use.


I would like something that is not overly boomy/bassy since I can always increase the bass through my Rockboxed iRiver....tonnes of equalizer settings for that.


I'll look into the RE252. I just saw on their website (head-direct.com) that the RE262 are available for pre-order. Anyone heard those? and how they compare? the website says they were supposed to be shipped between Mar 25th and April 1st....


Any suggestions between the Audeo Phonak PFE 122, Shure 215, Shure 315, RE262, Sennheiser CX880i, Rugged Klipsch Image S5i? Also the earphones that come with a mic, I am assuming they'll work with an Android phone without any problems. HTC Incredible to be exact.



post #7 of 16

The triple.fi 10's you own are already pretty high up on the tier list.  A lot of the headphones that you have listed are going to have a lot of trouble competing with them sonically.  In my opinion, only the HJE900's and the RE252's come close, but even then they aren't even necessarily better, they just have a different sound signature. The HJE900's also have a pretty fair amount of bass, maybe even more than the TF10, so they probably aren't what you're looking for.

You can consider looking in the Brainwavz B2's or Fischer Audio DBA02's.  From what people have been saying, they're pretty much the same headphone, and they've been getting very favorable reviews.  A lot of people consider them to have better mids and highs than the TF10's, and the bass is also much tighter and less boomy, so it could be what you're looking for.


As for amps, the fiio e7 is a popular choice for that price range.  There are a few other good ones as well.

Edited by sari0n - 4/22/11 at 7:53pm
post #8 of 16

I just find it ironic when you don't want bass heavy IEM but listed the HJE900.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Sorry about the confusion. What I was meaning to say was that I don't mind bass as long as the mids and highs are pretty good as well and don't get lost or lose details due to bass. Some headphones like the v-moda's have the low end as their prominent feature without much focus on the mids or highs. I only found this out after listening to others and realized what I was missing with the V-modas.


I listen to a lot of trance music as well and God knows sometimes the bass beats are pretty fast. So a well rounded headphone I would say, the best it can do for $100-$150....that is good enough for me.


I wouldn't compare it to my Triple.Fi.10 that wouldn't be fair.


Amps: Fiio e7 or iBasso T4?


post #10 of 16

Hey there! I own Hje900 and I think it's a very good Iem. For my dnb music I'll go for my Atrios because of the bass and overal signature of the sound. But for anything else i would use the HJE900. It sound very nice, with the treble where they really sparkle. And it copes with any type of music very well. To make them bass heavy I need to eq my S9 to the max. And replacable cables are a very nice option as well for that price. Build quality is exceptional! But you would need to get different tips for them, cause the stock ones are really bad. I have seen just a few days ago they have popped up on the for sale forum, the guy there was looking for offers for practicaly brand new ones. I would say anything up to 150$ is quite reasonable.

post #11 of 16

The Phonaks are very good for the price (~$100 in the forums), and the filters let you change from a slightly V-shaped sound (black filters) to a slightly n-shaped sound (grey filters). I prefer them over the RE-0/RE-ZERO/Sunrise Xcape due to having a little more "energy'. The RE0 sound was just a little too thin in the mids and bass and too boring for true portable usage. You might want to try them out, though, since they're so cheap in the FS forums (~$60) and sound so good for what they cost.

post #12 of 16
Audeo PFE 112

Don't go for the HJE900 unless you are sure of what kind of sound you are getting into..they have this weird sound signature with very veiled character, which I positively hated after listening to q-JAYS and CK10. HJE900 are definitely bass heavy and do affect the other frequencies in an adverse fashion atleast to my ears.

The Phonaks would be my clear pick at this price point.
Edited by kingpintps - 4/24/11 at 1:38am
post #13 of 16
I bought Aflac's PFEs yesterday, so I'll be able to comment on how they sound once I get them (around Tuesday or Wednesday). I can compare them to the Q-jays, Triple Fi. 10s, Hippo VBs, and Monster Turbines if you would like. Although my comparisons will be based off of memory, I do retain a good memory of what each of them sound like.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses guys, I think I will purchase The Phonak PFE after the Monster Turbine Pro Gold/Copper. figured I'll forgo an amp for now and just get the headphones instead. I am assuming these should sound a lot better than the Phonak but I think I'll still get those since the MTPC don't come with a mic and that can come in really handy when you're not carrying your phone around with you.


Thanks mastershake for offering comparison reviews. how do they sound compared to the Monster Turbines and the Triple Fi.10s? Thanks!


Thanks everyone! 

Edited by CyberAthlete - 4/24/11 at 3:53pm
post #15 of 16
I don't have the PFEs yet bud;). Once I get them, which will be around Tuesday or Wednesday, I can compare them. If you want me to compare the TF10s with the Turbines I can do that. Hopefully I will be getting my MD Tributes this week too...
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