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Looking for advice on first pair of quality IEM headphones

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello world!

 

Have been a reader here on HF, but this is my first post as I'm looking to pick up my first pair of higher end headphones and am looking to get some insight. To start off, I have posted in this section as I have been leaning a bit more towards a pair of IEM's, but I am still open to any design if it offers comfort and comparable sound quality. Now then, onto the infos:

 

Source - Laptop or Android phone. FLAC quality when I'm hanging out, streaming music on the go (Slacker / Pandora).

Music - I listen to a lot of electronic music - dubstep, house, just about any form of electronica. I also listen to a lot of lighter, indie and acoustic music - think Ray LaMantagne, Coldplay, Calexico, The Strokes, Iron & Wine, etc.

Price -  Around $150. Will consider a tad bit higher if the value is there.

Needs - In order of importance to me: Sound quality, comfort, noise isolation

 

I will be using these headphones at home, at work, and on the go, sometimes for hours at a time. I work 10 hour shifts in a data center, so comfort and sound isolation is of relative concern to me. I would like something which will help block out the thousands of fans we have in our servers while preventing me from having to blast my music.

 

After doing a bit of research it sounds like IEM's are a good way to go with regards to isolation and long-term comfort. I have came across several models which sound promising, but I'm not sure how they would fit for the style of music I listen to - HiFiMAN RE-262, Fischer Audio DBA-02, Etymotic HF5, Ultimate Ears UE700, etc. The Etymotic sounds like the go-to brand for the best sound isolation, but I am concerned if they will have enough bass for electronic music.

 

Obviously I'm still an audio-noob-phile, so please feel free to make suggestions, corrections, or lend some advice! I am very open to any ideas tossed my way.

 

Thanks!

 

- Woody

post #2 of 7

As an avid EDM listener myself, I'd highly recommend the GR07, which, while not the absolute best in terms of isolation, meets each of your requirements. The equally competent price:performance counterpart, the EX600, would most probably fall short of isolation.Hence in my honest opinion, you're best off with GR07, as it sounds just fantastic with EDM! smile.gif

post #3 of 7

I have some similar musical prefs, as well as hands-on experience with some of the IEMs mentioned here. 

 

The GR07, while a great sounding IEM, is very much lacking in isolation, if you ask me.  I've tried many different ear tips, methods of wearing them, and so forth.  With the right ear tips they can be very comfortable, but isolation is about a 2 out of 5, in my opinion.

 

The HF5 is superb with isolation, especially using the tri-flange tips (included) or something like the Shure Olives.  They seat deeply, though, which can be bothersome to certain folks, though most get used to it after a week or so.  The sound stage and low-end on the HF5 weren't superb to my ears, though.  Worth noting.

 

Currently, I'm using the Klipsch X10 (outrageously overpriced, but I got mine used) -- and I feel like I got the best of both worlds: tremendous isolation, better soundstange, and low-end that's present/fun, but not overpowering.  Actually, the X10 sound reminds me of the GR07 in many ways.  True story.  If you can find the X10 for cheap, then go for it.  Otherwise, it's overpriced.

 

Finally, I'm going to suggest the Klipsch X5, which can be purchased for $125 on Ebay right now.  I've not heard them personally, but I know that the comfort, fit, and isolation is there.  Otherwise, the general consensus is that they have slightly less low-end than the X10, but maybe even a more well-rounded sound.  Some prefer the X5 to the X10.

 

Hope that helps.

post #4 of 7

X3 on the GR07. 

 

I've been on an indie binge lately, and the GR07 sounds amazing with that genre (it sounds amazing with everything, really).

 

I would give the GR07's isolation a 3/5. If you decide to get them, be prepared to find the tips that suit your ears well.The stock tips didn't cut cut it for me, so I ended up with the Jays silicone tips after a long search. You really can't go wrong with the sound though.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by i2ehan View Post

GR07

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yipcanjo View Post

GR07

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

GR07


Sounds like there may be a consensus here wink.gif After doing a bit of research and reading some of the very long (44 pages!) GR07 appreciation thread I was finally convinced and placed an order through Lendmeurears on the Bay. They sound like a fantastic deal for the money and fit just about all of my criteria.

 

I also thought the Klipsch x5 / x10 looked great, but I still had an uneasy feeling about buying used phones which the company doesn't manufacture any longer. I had also come across quite a number of reviews where people have had issues with them falling apart after a couple months of normal usage. I would not appreciate going through that after spending a good chunk of change on a used set of phones with no warranty.

 

I do appreciate the quick and honest responses here, and am looking forward to my new head gear! Thanks everyone!

 

- Woody

 

post #6 of 7

Let us know what you think my friend. Hopefully you find them to your liking as much as we found them to ours. smile.gif

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by i2ehan View Post

Let us know what you think my friend. Hopefully you find them to your liking as much as we found them to ours. smile.gif



Well, I found them in my mailbox today biggrin.gif

 

I have had them on since I opened the package and I have a feeling I'm going to be listening to everything possible for a good portion of tonight. My first goal was to go through the tips and find one which worked best with my ears and music. The only two I liked SQ-wise were the foam tips and the dual-flange rubber ones (I don't think the single flange rubber tips have enough mass to make a solid seal for isolation nor good bass). I think these two are pretty close as far as sound quality and isolation go, but I have to give a major nod towards the foam tips for their comfort. The dual-flange tips weren't very comfortable from the start and only got more noticeable over time. The foam tips are the exact opposite in that they start off comfortable and I completely forget about them after a couple minutes. The foam tips also provide a very solid feel - when moving, tilting, or shaking my head I still can't feel any movement from the phones.

 

As everyone else has mentioned already these are pretty heavy in the higher ranges. I hope this settles down over time as these would be perfect after that. Out of the box the phones are pretty ideal for electronic music. I don't know why, but it's the only one which actually has a great sounding low end to it - even other bass-heavy music sounds lacking. One more thing I'd like to note, if anyone hasn't listened to some acoustical Dave Matthews through your GR07's go do it now! The accuracy and detail of these phones make good acoustic music sound amazing! You can truly hear every breath and even the rough, warm feel of the pick moving over the twisted guitar strings.

 

Overall I am very happy with the GR07's... and this is without them being broken in. If things only get better from here then I'll be a happy camper etysmile.gif

 

- Woody

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