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Choosing my 1st pair of "nice" IEM's

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

For the last 2 years I have had a pair of JVC marshmallows and really do like them, Just feel like it's time to get something a little nicer because I have some extra money laying around.. looking for something in the 50-100 range.

 

I really enjoy the isolation of the marshmallows and want to keep that. I really like the idea of a non rubber cord to help the tangling and keeping them "clean"

 

I do a lot of running, walking, skating, and normal around the house listening..

 

Have my phone/mp3 player is a Droid, so none of the "iphone" controls do much for me either..

 

My listening is all over the place from Dubstep, to Phish, to Jazz, to Rock...

 

Have considered the : Etymotic mc3 , the Kipsch S4, the MEElectronics A151, Scosche IDR400m, and the Maximo HS3's or 590's.

 

At the same time, I've considered just getting a new pair of the Marshmallows or maybe something cheap again, because maybe I really don't need a pair of "nice" IEM's.

 

Thanks for any advice, I feel like this has probably been posted by hundreds of people...

 

Opinions?

 

 

post #2 of 22

I've tried the A151 and S4i out of the ones you mentioned and pick the A151. It's one of the best bang for buck earphones out there.

post #3 of 22

MEElec or S4 would be the way to go. The Klipsch need minimum 50hrs burn-in before the highs will calm down and the bass will tighten up. After that, they are a really nice pair of IEMs, although some were not impressed with build quality. I thought it was fine.

 

You can also consider the DUNU range. Your previous being the Marshmallows rules out the Crius and Ares but you should consider the Tridents ($40) or the Hephaes ($95). The Tridents are one of the best bang for the buck IEMs.


Edited by navmau - 8/18/11 at 9:12pm
post #4 of 22

Brainwavz m2's are always a good choice.

I assume you like bassy music?  If you do then the mc3's and basically anything Etymotic makes is not the way to go.  The A151's probably aren't that bassy either since they're balanced armature although I've never heard them so I can't be sure.  The S4's are nice but they're a bit too bassy for some peoples tastes, the bass tends to cover up the rest of the spectrum a bit.

post #5 of 22

I don't remember what the Marshmallows sounded like since mine broke after 2 weeks and I didn't want to file warranty for a pair of 10-20 dollar headphones (I forget how much I paid for them).  Looking at your listed headphones:

  • The Etymotic MC3 might be enough for all your listed genres except for dubstep and maybe phish (never heard of this genre :p).  Etys are normally drier, brighter headphones.  From what I've heard, the MC3s are a little darker though.  I've also heard they are very boring. 
  • The Klipsch S4s might actually be a good choice for what you are listening to.  The sound signature is bassy and some people complain of sibilant treble (goes away with burn-in apparently).
  • Scosche, I'd avoid since there is close to 0 data about them on the web :p
  • Maximo is a good company (or so I've heard), I have no idea how they sound though :p
  • MEElectronics A151: They aren't bad headphones, I couldn't get a good fit with them.  The bass is warmer, the mid details are there, but not like other balanced armatures.  The highs were kind of smeared for me and recessed.  Again, take those words with a bit of salt since I couldn't get a good fit with any tip :(

Other things to consider:

  • ThinkSound TS02: Good v-shaped signature that keeps details intact.  It's a really fun IEM.  The bass is booming, the treble gives it life, the vocals are recessed though, the the low-mids and high-mids are still there.  They would work for your music preferences.
  • DUNU Trident: Another v-shaped signature.  It's at the level of the ThinkSounds, with a cleaner mid-bass (but you do lose texture).  The details come in a bit more due to this as well.  They are a good pair of headphones, especially for their price.
  • DUNU Hephaes: Good IEM for the price.  The bass is textured and smoother.  The mids are detailed and pleasant.  The highs are where this loses off at though.  They are somewhat smeared.  They too are a V-shape, but have a greater emphasis on bass.
  • XEars N3i: Another V-shaped signature.  Good mids still, and booming bass.  The highs are somewhat harsher, but not too over the top.  The extension and detail is there.
  • XEars XE200: Flatter signature that doesn't have as impactful bass. The rest of the spectrum is sweet music to your ears though.

 

There's a small list to look at...

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Tiny, Phish is a "Jamband" if that helps at all..

 

Looks like I might be headed toward the a151's the reviews on here seem really good bang for buck.. 

 

I guess I might be disappointed with the bass though?

 

To add to the fun, I'm trying to buy this stuff with a giftcard from walmart, or bestbuy.. oh fun.. so some of the random not bigger name brands I'm just not going to get my hands on..

 

The Thinksounds TS01 I can get, but looking at the reviews.. it really seems like the 151s are awesome.. 9.5/10 value...?


Edited by manning - 8/18/11 at 10:15pm
post #7 of 22

A151 aren't bassy enough for your needs, try the cc51 instead, cheaper and more suited to what you would want (be careful though! they require so much burn in)

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaqueh View Post

A151 aren't bassy enough for your needs, try the cc51 instead, cheaper and more suited to what you would want (be careful though! they require so much burn in)



+1 on this, it should fit what you want...  I haven't personally heard them yet though.  Same with the SP51P.  Walmart sells them now: http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=meelectronics&ic=48_0&Find=Find&search_constraint=3944

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post





+1 on this, it should fit what you want...  I haven't personally heard them yet though.  Same with the SP51P.  Walmart sells them now: http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=meelectronics&ic=48_0&Find=Find&search_constraint=3944

they're quite good, i hated them at first, the mids were harsh, bass was bloated, and everything sounded congested. They mellowed and cleaned up quite a bit after burning in. Treble is slightly lacking in extension tho.
 

 

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaqueh View Post

A151 aren't bassy enough for your needs, try the cc51 instead, cheaper and more suited to what you would want (be careful though! they require so much burn in)



just trying to understand this one... if I would have not said dubstep, but maybe a less bassy electronic music would you still feel the same or is it that I'm coming from a punchy bass marshmallow? .. I'm really leaning toward the a151's because I really like the idea of the BA.. but not sure if I will like it or need it.. or hate it.. 

 

Sounds to me that if I were to get the 151's I would end up missing the lower deep "pounding" bass? But the 151's BA will be nicer for more midrange/treble?

 

Thanks again for all the help guys!

 

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by manning View Post





just trying to understand this one... if I would have not said dubstep, but maybe a less bassy electronic music would you still feel the same or is it that I'm coming from a punchy bass marshmallow? .. I'm really leaning toward the a151's because I really like the idea of the BA.. but not sure if I will like it or need it.. or hate it.. 

 

Sounds to me that if I were to get the 151's I would end up missing the lower deep "pounding" bass? But the 151's BA will be nicer for more midrange/treble?

 

Thanks again for all the help guys!

 


I haven't tried the a151's but knowing single armature's, they'll produce bass sound but not feeling. I think the cc51s are the best of both worlds in terms of bass, they're clear, pretty controlled, and extend really deep

post #12 of 22

Hey how bout the Monster Turbines!!!

50 bucks from the monster cable outlet store 

heres the link http://www.monstercable.com/outletstore/linelist.asp

post #13 of 22

WArning about refurbished...  You only get 90 days warranty (might be 30, I forget), you can't buy it at walmart and the Turbines are known for build issues...  Just a few warnings.

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

WArning about refurbished...  You only get 90 days warranty (might be 30, I forget), you can't buy it at walmart and the Turbines are known for build issues...  Just a few warnings.


yea i'd still say he should go for the cc51s, theyre all around good headphones for just about anything.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by manning View Post





just trying to understand this one... if I would have not said dubstep, but maybe a less bassy electronic music would you still feel the same or is it that I'm coming from a punchy bass marshmallow? .. I'm really leaning toward the a151's because I really like the idea of the BA.. but not sure if I will like it or need it.. or hate it.. 

 

Sounds to me that if I were to get the 151's I would end up missing the lower deep "pounding" bass? But the 151's BA will be nicer for more midrange/treble?

 

Thanks again for all the help guys!

 


The A151 was tuned for accurate sound with a slight touch of bass boost compared to most single BAs with a neutral-dark sound, and in terms of note cleanliness/resolution/speed, it's like a typical single BA. That's what I was told by MEElec and I agree plus the cable on it is pretty sweet.

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