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Need Recommendation - IEMs purchase asap - ~$150, online, sound-unheard

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to purchase some IEM's today / tomorrow for an upcoming business trip to China. I'm leaving the 9th. I'll be using an unamped lastest gen. iPod with 320kbps mp3s. My trip lasts two weeks and I'll have a lot of plane / travel time and a lot of solo time as well.

 

Tonally, I enjoy a tight, solid bass presence. A open mid / high end is essential too. My music taste ranges from Jamiroquai to Rush, John Coltrane to Mudvayne, Fleet Foxes to the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Throw in some dubstep and hip hop to even out the mix. I like a very full bodied sound. Good isolation (recall I'll be flying alot...) is important too.

 

For reference - I got some Bose IEMs for Christmas a few years ago. I enjoy the bass from them but they're awfully colored, IMO. The left channel's busted on them and I use them now for earbuds at work.

 

At home, I have a pair of KRK Rokit 8's for my home studio - I'm a musician, primarily play bass, and record on the side.

Living room - Polk Audio Monitor 50s front, Monitor 30s rear, CS1 center, HSU STF-2 sub, Yamaha RX-V463

Bedroom - SVS SBS-01s + Dayton Audio DTA-1, Sennheiser HD-280 .

 

I enjoy audio and and I enjoy trying different speakers / amps / setups / etc. That being said, I'm looking for a solid pair of 'everyday' earbuds / IEMs. I'm young - early 20's - and wear ear protection at most concerts and band practices I attend so my hearing is pretty top notch.

 

I say my budget is ~$150 but there's always a breaking point. If I can get something for just a little bit more that's leaps and bounds better, let me know and I may be able to stretch it.

 

Thanks for the helpl!


Edited by jmoleary - 5/2/11 at 8:13am
post #2 of 26

Hm...well, I would recommend the Vsonic GR07, but they're pretty hard to get outside of China (though if you wanted to order them within China, they can be shipped to the door within like a few days from most reputable resellers on Taobao, it seems).

 

But I guess that's totally out of the question.  A good choice, then, if you want it fast, is probably to order something like the Shure 215s from Amazon and get express shipping.  I've heard good things about them, and they're ~$100.

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

Nevermind - Re-read your post and I understand what you said now...


Edited by jmoleary - 5/2/11 at 8:20am
post #4 of 26

The Shure 215s are nice, as are the Brainwavz M2 (and significantly cheaper at around 60 bucks).  There really isn't any reason to go to 150 bucks at this point because there are some REALLY nice earphones under 100 bucks that compete with all of the 100-200 headphones in my opinion.  You'll notice a jump when you get up to the 230 dollar Turbine Coppers.

 

A really nice ~100 headphone is the Phonak Audeo PFE (with the green, bass filters)...you can get them on Amazon too.  They are by far the most comfortable headphone I've ever worn.

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbdynsty25 View Post

There really isn't any reason to go to 150 bucks at this point because there are some REALLY nice earphones under 100 bucks that compete with all of the 100-200 headphones in my opinion.  You'll notice a jump when you get up to the 230 dollar Turbine Coppers.



 

Thanks for that tidbit of info! That's exactly the sort of facts that I like to get when deciding purchases. I hear that there's a audible increase in quality when you move from 1 driver to 2 drivers but I'm not sure where that price point is. Knowing that there's quality products at the $60-100 range that compete with products under $150 is good to know.

 

Thanks for the product recommendation as well! Any comment on the tonal charcteristics of either of the two you recommended?

post #6 of 26

I'm not really qualified to give sonic or tonal characteristics...I'll leave that to the professionals.  However, I do know what sound I like, and what sounds good to my ears.  

 

Shure 215 - these sounded really good and they are getting some good reviews around these parts.  However, I couldn't get them to fit my ears correctly and ultimately I had to get rid of them for that reason.  They seemed to sound quite a bit like the Brainwavz M3 which is one of my current favorites.  Not a ton of bass, but enough to make you smile when the track really needs to hit.  Overall very balanced as far as I'm concerned.  I don't know how to describe soundstage or forward/recessed or anything like that, so I'll leave it at that.

 

Phonak PFE (greens) - these sounds the best to my ears and of course they are the most comfortable.  They literally feel like there is nothing in your ears.  They require a bit more power to run because they are pretty quiet overall, but you said you had an ipod which is plenty loud.  I have a Zune HD currently and it definitely isn't loud enough so I am actually replacing my broken Cowon J3 just because I love these headphones so much.  They are probably the most accurate of the headphones I've tried under 150 bucks (I think the Coppers may be slightly more accurate) and the bass is nice and defined.  

 

That really is about as good as I can do.  Last time I tried to explain what I was hearing I got ripped to shreds on these boards, so I'll just leave it at that. :)

post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbdynsty25 View Post

I'm not really qualified to give sonic or tonal characteristics...I'll leave that to the professionals.  However, I do know what sound I like, and what sounds good to my ears.  

 

Shure 215 - these sounded really good and they are getting some good reviews around these parts.  However, I couldn't get them to fit my ears correctly and ultimately I had to get rid of them for that reason.  They seemed to sound quite a bit like the Brainwavz M3 which is one of my current favorites.  Not a ton of bass, but enough to make you smile when the track really needs to hit.  Overall very balanced as far as I'm concerned.  I don't know how to describe soundstage or forward/recessed or anything like that, so I'll leave it at that.

 

Phonak PFE (greens) - these sounds the best to my ears and of course they are the most comfortable.  They literally feel like there is nothing in your ears.  They require a bit more power to run because they are pretty quiet overall, but you said you had an ipod which is plenty loud.  I have a Zune HD currently and it definitely isn't loud enough so I am actually replacing my broken Cowon J3 just because I love these headphones so much.  They are probably the most accurate of the headphones I've tried under 150 bucks (I think the Coppers may be slightly more accurate) and the bass is nice and defined.  

 

That really is about as good as I can do.  Last time I tried to explain what I was hearing I got ripped to shreds on these boards, so I'll just leave it at that. :)



 

Thanks! Right now - since Amazon doesn't have any green PFE's I'm not sure what I'm looking for - I'm looking at the Shure 215's and the Brainwavs M3. I like the 215's because of the negative profile. Reviews are stating that it's actually easy to sleep with them in and that's pretty appealing for my flight to China. On the otherhand having the cord detatchable doesn't make me excited - more 'moving parts' or something to break. The reviews of the M3 sound like something I'd like.

post #8 of 26

The M3s if worn cable down can be slept in no problem.  Cable up is another story as the little "arm" sticks out ever so slightly...just enough to bother you when laying down.  Again, if you're sleeping, wearing them cable down is fine because microphonics isn't an issue when you're sleeping.  At least it isn't for me.  :)

post #9 of 26

You can always get the blacks (which are supposed to be very good as well) here:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Aud%C3%A9o-Perfect-Earphones-012-Black/dp/B003V9QDXK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1304368780&sr=8-1

 

Then if you want a little more bass, you can always order the green filters from Audeo directly for 15 bucks.

 

http://na.audeoworld.com/products/accessories/

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

M3's or the Audéo Perfect Bass Earphones 012? Comments?

 

I just found another 2 review of the M3's that I really liked...

post #11 of 26

As you can see from my picture of my gear from the Portable Gear thread...I can't decide between the two.  LOL.

 

1000x500px-LL-31ec92c8_Collection.jpg

post #12 of 26

Cough up a bit more dough and get the MTPCs to get a foot into the door of high end IEMs, $223 at amazon. Or you can get them refurbed from Monster for just $100, should arrive before the 9th either way.

 

They have very full sound yet still extremely detailed and clean, sound signature is very close to big cans and home systems. 

 

The budget brands are pretty good, as good as you can get for a pretentiously hifi sound experience but looking at your home setup I'm sure you already know the one thing that's always true: you get what you pay for. 

post #13 of 26

As great as the Brainwavz may be, I think you should stay away from them for now simply because they're generally shipped directly from China and may not arrive in time.  You should stick with resellers within your country. (I've had first-hand experience with this, in fact due to a trip to China as well - I ordered a Fiio E7 from the United States and it didn't arrive before I left)

post #14 of 26

I'd say FTM ("for the money" in case you're a newbie), the Shure SE215 is probably one of the best choices. If you need isolation, the Etymotic ER6i, MC5, or HF5 would be your best bet, although the bass is somewhat anemic. The MC5 will have better bass than most Etys, but it still leaves something to be desired. The SE215 has good isolation as well, especially with foamies and the bass response (since it's a dynamic driver) will probably fit the bill.

 

Edit: Accidentally wrote FOTM instead of FTM. Sorry for the confusion.


Edited by calipilot227 - 5/3/11 at 5:12pm
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by calipilot227 View Post

I'd say FOTM ("for the money" in case you're a newbie), the Shure SE215 is probably one of the best choices. If you need isolation, the Etymotic ER6i, MC5, or HF5 would be your best bet, although the bass is somewhat anemic. The MC5 will have better bass than most Etys, but it still leaves something to be desired. The SE215 has good isolation as well, especially with foamies and the bass response (since it's a dynamic driver) will probably fit the bill.



I'm pretty sure FOTM means "flavor of the month"

 

I'd give a rec for the SE215s if you don't wear glasses, otherwise the cable is very microphonic and uncomfortable.

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