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In-Ear Headphones on a Budget

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

After a year of non-stop use my trusty Panasonic RP-HJE120E's (Best £8 I ever spent!) recently broke on me and so I'm on the look out for a new pair of in-ear headphones.


I'm on a very tight budget right now, I want to spend no more than £25 preferably but I can (reluctantly) stretch to £40. And these headphones will have to last me a long time, so I don't want to make the wrong choice and make a purchase that I later regret.


Looking on Amazon I immediately found the Klipsch Image S3's (£18) but after reading some reviews I got the impression that the Klipsch Image S4 (£39) are much better. But at twice the price, are they really worth the extra cost?


I also had a look at what Sony were offering and found the Sony MDR-EX77's (£18) but they appear to have the same awful design as the MDR-EX90's which I own and absolutely loath using (They sit awkwardly in my ears and I don't hear any bass whatsoever from them. And they hurt.) But maybe the EX77's are more ergonomically designed?


The other brand I've been looking at is SoundMAGIC with the PL30's (£22 at iHeadphones.com) which look great from the reviews I've read, but I've never worn over the ear-style headphones before so I have serious reservations about whether they'll be comfortable or not? The PL11's (£16) look more comfortable but do they sound as good as the PL30's?


As far as what music I like? I listen to lots of folk and electronic music, with a bit of jazz thrown in occasionally. I don't care for rock or hip-hop. So I want headphones with clear treble and an immersive soundstage, but at the same time I don't want them to have completely non-existent bass. Although if they have bass, but it's lacking in punch, then that's not a dealbreaker.


I'm sorry for the rambling nature or of this post. :)


So basically are any of the headphones I mentioned worth my hard-earned money? Or do you know of a completely different pair which you'd like to recommend?



Edited by coda - 4/27/11 at 12:21pm
post #2 of 3

From what you have listed I would easily go with the PL-30's, I think it was Joker that mentioned he had a thousand hours on his.  I find them very easy to wear over the ear more so then other over the ear IEM's that I have.  They are super light and I forget about having them in.  I haven't used mine all that much as I recently got them. 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

I went for the PL30's in the end - £22.50 delivered from Amazon.co.uk, I'm pretty sure they were the last pair they had in stock which was lucky.


So far I have mixed feelings about how they sound, I like the soundstaging and singing voices sound good on them. But after getting used to the heavy warm sound of my MDREX90's I'm finding the sound of the PL30's to be a bit shrill and unexciting in comparison.


But maybe I just need to let them burn in a bit? Has anyone got any advice to how I could speed-up that process? What's "pink noise"?


And one extra thing, I'm confused about the knobs on the headphones.. I know they control the two bass modes but am I supposed to know which mode I've got the headphones set to? There's no indicators on the headphones and they didn't come with instructions. confused_face_2.gif

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