I just took these to a meet in New York, and had a great day listening to lots of nice, warm-sounding LCD-2s paired with tube amps.
Sitting in the silent auction table was a pair of Head-Direct RE-252s, starting at $20. I was like, WHOA! Those things are $250. So I quickly put down my name and the price of $23 (with an added note that I am a student and if people have a heart they should not outbid me).
Since they were being donated for room funds I tried them on and was prepared to be blown away by awesome sound and balance... but I was disappointed. Uneven bass-to-midrange transition, bass a little low for my tastes, and a funny balance overall.
So I went back and put on my JVC FX67s wondering if the RE-252s really sounded $234 better. Nope. Big smile on my face as I heard that smooth and warm, full bass and even treble. That night as we drove home with me listening to the FX67s, I had absolutely no envy of the person took home the RE-252s (for $100). I think the sound signature of the FX67 owns the RE-252s,
The signature is at least remotely similar to that of the HD650 and the LCD-2s, moreso than any other sub-$150 IEM I've tried. Nowhere near the detail, transparency, refined balance, and texturing capability, obviously, but to me they are quite literally at least 2/3 as good as those $400~1200 headphones, just for the frequency balance. And they sure sound a hell of a lot better than any full-sized can in the car and while walking around listening to an iPod, that's for sure!
My opinion is that in an IEM, micro-detail retrieval is not as important if you are listening at safe volume levels and in environments with noise. If you want to take advantage of great detail in these situations, you also need really great isolation, which is really hard to get unless you have customs or really great foams/functional triple flanges, which usually come in at the higher end of the spectrum. If not, sound signature is king, and the FX67 has a pretty good one.
Edited by Hayang - 12/3/11 at 10:46am