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High End IEM Choice

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

Hello to all fellow Head-Fiers,

 

 

I need your advice for buying an IEM. 

 

WhatI have at the moment: 

 

Senn MX980 earbuds - I love them. Neutral and detailed sound.

Beyer T1 - love them.

Beyer DT1350 - I am not sure about these. Will probably sell them soon because of portability issues.

Brainwavz M3 - pretty nice, but nothing special.

 

What I want: Fairly well isolating IEM (on the plane it is nice to have some isolation, but not nice to be totally isolated from the outside world). It needs to be neutral, balanced and at the same time be fast and dynamic. I listen to a lot of rock and I need the IEM to be well suited for that genre, but I will also listen to some pop and classical, so it cannot be a totally rock-specific earphone.

 

I want them to be well buil and have a good cable that does not bother you with too much microphonics and of course good enough ergonomics to let you listen to them on a 7-8 hour flight without problems. 

 

I am not interested in custom IEMS or anything above $600 in price.

 

So far I have been pretty much interested in Sony MDR-EX1000, but read in a review that they are not very fast and there might be better choices in this respect.

 

In the past I had AT CK10s, and now am wondering if I should not return to them, but have to read some reviews again to see how they do.

 

EDIT: Just read a review or two and these are not great for rock.

 

 

CK100s are on my list, will have to read up on them too.

 

Do you have any suggestions for me?

 

Thanks in advance,

Szadzik


Edited by Szadzik - 9/3/11 at 11:43pm
post #2 of 61

Why no Customs?

Waiting?

Impressions?

 

You can get a nice pair, with rush order and your own impressions (or audiologist for $20-40)

 

I'm researching Customs at the moment, so I'm pretty educated but no experienced with them at the moment.

post #3 of 61
Westone 4, sm3, tf10. Also you could try tw ex600, the little brother of the ex1000 to see how you like the SS
post #4 of 61

Westone UM3X

post #5 of 61
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

Why no Customs?

Waiting?

Impressions?

 

You can get a nice pair, with rush order and your own impressions (or audiologist for $20-40)

 

I'm researching Customs at the moment, so I'm pretty educated but no experienced with them at the moment.



I do not have time to get impressions and wait for them. I work in a place where I cannot get impressions or anything like that and only spend 1-2 weeks at home. Then I have no time for audiologist.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Leynar View Post

Westone 4, sm3, tf10. Also you could try tw ex600, the little brother of the ex1000 to see how you like the SS


EX600s are like EX1000, not well suited for Rock someone said. 

 

Any explanation as to why SM3 W4 and TF10? TF10 always seemed bass heavy and I do not like that. Just an impressions from reading the forums though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipes View Post

Westone UM3X



Thanks for the suggestion.

 

 

 

All,

 

Thanks for your suggestions, I will have to do some research about those IEMs you suggested and see.

 

The list so far:

 

CK100

UM3X

SM3

TF10?

W4

 

EDIT: Just as a note, I do not own a portable amp and would prefer not to buy one because ofportability problems, which means the IEM I choose should notbe very power-hungry as I am only going to use it with a Sony X Series Walkman.


Edited by Szadzik - 9/4/11 at 12:52am
post #6 of 61
Well, accurately speaking, the tf10s aren't exactly that bass heavy compared to the um3x or the w3, needless to say the ie8s or any other dynamic. The bass are more like quick thumps. The w4 is relaxed and laid back, accurate but not analyptical, pretty enjoyable for things like long rides if you ask me. For the sm3, your rock should probably have lots of vocals? Mids are what the sm3s does best
post #7 of 61
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leynar View Post

Well, accurately speaking, the tf10s aren't exactly that bass heavy compared to the um3x or the w3, needless to say the ie8s or any other dynamic. The bass are more like quick thumps. The w4 is relaxed and laid back, accurate but not analyptical, pretty enjoyable for things like long rides if you ask me. For the sm3, your rock should probably have lots of vocals? Mids are what the sm3s does best


Which makes me think that neither of these is neutral and what I am really looking for. I do listen to Rock a lot, but I still isten to a lot of other stuff and do not want something that will be best for one genre and not as nice for other genres.

 

This makes me think that maybe CK10s.

 

I keep reading and so far SM3 seem very interesting too.

 

TF10 is much too bass-happy.

UM3Xs are generally bettered by SM3s.

 

 

Updated list: CK100 removed - too source-demanding.

 

CK10
SM3
W4


Edited by Szadzik - 9/4/11 at 1:43am
post #8 of 61
You should really just save up for the custom UERMs. Completely neutral and seems like it fits your "jack of all trades" demand. Pity you don't want customs, you should really consider trying to free up yourself for it. Just my 2 cents
post #9 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leynar View Post

You should really just save up for the custom UERMs. Completely neutral and seems like it fits your "jack of all trades" demand. Pity you don't want customs, you should really consider trying to free up yourself for it. Just my 2 cents


A few things that stop me from going custom:

 

1. Resale - a big problem. If I cannot listen to an IEM before buying it I have no guarrantee I will really like and if I want to sell it quickly it is going to be a pain.

2. The hassles of making impressions and all that. I work in Asia, and live in Europe, I only get around 21 days off. That means that within 21 days I have to take care of all personal matters, go on holiday and travel across Europe to visit my family. Not enough time.

3. I live in  a small country where I doubt I will even find an audiologist anywhere and would have to fly to get them taken. A hassle.

4. I would have to go up with my price as for now looking at the IEMs I think might be for me are $450 tops, and with customs, $600 would be the starting price.

5. I only use IEMs while travelling as I have a pair ofnice earbuds and full size cans for all other purposes.

 

 

 

EDIT:

 

To keep my list up to date. 

 

SM3 removed.

CK10

Westone 4.

 

I have decided to try and buy a pair of W4s first. I will buy them and see for myself how they are. They seem to be pretty interesting and if I do not like them I will go for CK10s.

 

Alternatively I will buy both of them at the same time and just send back the ones I like less.


Edited by Szadzik - 9/4/11 at 5:33am
post #10 of 61

Grado GR10, E-Q7, EX1000(highely recommended), RE272, SM3 and Westone 3.

post #11 of 61

Who in the world said that the EX600 or EX1000 are terrible for rock? I listen to metal and rock primarily using the EX600. They are no slouches to those genres. Whoever said that had a poor fit, or is just wrong. To clarify, the EX600 (or EX1000; will be at my house soon enough :) ) are not the fastest IEM I have ever tried, but their pros far outweigh their cons.

 

And saying the UM3X is completely bested by the SM3 is also incorrect. I have not heard the SM3 so I cannot compare.

post #12 of 61

Why no SE535?

post #13 of 61

Given his requirements, I can't believe that no one has mentioned the GR07.

Pretty high isolation for a dynamic, very good comfort and pretty non-fatiguing for extended listening, balanced, fairly neutral (a bit warm), surprisingly quick with excellent separation and layering accentuating their speed, and excellent for metal and rock but is pretty much a jack of most trades. 

Caveats: Not the best cable, not microphonic but has some mind of its own issues. It may have some sibilance if you're sensitive.

 

Good luck with the W4. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post

Given his requirements, I can't believe that no one has mentioned the GR07.

Pretty high isolation for a dynamic, very good comfort and pretty non-fatiguing for extended listening, balanced, fairly neutral (a bit warm), surprisingly quick with excellent separation and layering accentuating their speed, and excellent for metal and rock but is pretty much a jack of most trades. 

Caveats: Not the best cable, not microphonic but has some mind of its own issues. It may have some sibilance if you're sensitive.

 

Good luck with the W4. I doubt you'll be disappointed.


Definitely. The GR07 was the first thing to come to mind when I read the original post. The timbre is ridiculous, especially with cymbals. And the price is a huge factor in the decision. With the GR07, you're getting 95% of the performance of the EX1000 for less than half the price. Furthermore, these things are far more comfortable than any other IEM I've inserted into my ears. Several prominent head-fi'ers have declared this among the best universals. You can go check out joker's review on them too. It's a no-brainer in my opinion.

 

post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post




Definitely. The GR07 was the first thing to come to mind when I read the original post. The timbre is ridiculous, especially with cymbals. And the price is a huge factor in the decision. With the GR07, you're getting 95% of the performance of the EX1000 for less than half the price. Furthermore, these things are far more comfortable than any other IEM I've inserted into my ears. Several prominent head-fi'ers have declared this among the best universals. You can go check out joker's review on them too. It's a no-brainer in my opinion.

 



Not sure about being the absolute best universals - but definitely the best value for a high-end one.

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