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Replying to this to bump it, as I have pretty much this exact same question.
I have Shure 535s, but they are back for their second repair. I'm having big problems with the connection between the cable and the IEMs themselves. So I figure I'll get some cheaper IEMs as backups, and to take the daily wear off the 535s. I like the sound of the Shures (and was thinking of getting some 215s), but I'd like to consider the Hf3s and 600vis as well. Doesn't seem like I've seen that exact comparison much.
Any opinions, folks?
So you say that after you pay 100+$ they won't last for a long time.. Its really Sad.. I need other people owning UE600 to comment so I can make a decision. has anyone bought these. and How long have you used them.. Are they really delicate??
I personally can't speak for the UE600 but I do have a pair of Etymotic HF5's which is the microphone edition not made specifically for the iPhone.
My impressions from having the Etymotics for around 6 months is that the detail is very good for an IEM. They offer really good instrument seperation and the bass is really tight and compact. They bass does lack extension but makes up for it by being very concise. Also worth mentioning is that the isolation is superb and using them on the NYC subway I can't hear anything at all which is sometimes bad.
As for the durability, I have treated these pair of earphones very roughly. I've yanked on them alot when moving around during my commutes and I've stepped on them a couple of times. However, they are still working fine and I don't think I've heard of Etymotic's having issues with durability before on these forums.
Here is my 2 cents and I hope you enjoy whatever purchase you finally end up making.