Thanks to the members on this thread I recently gave IEMs another try, 6 years after being disappointed by the Etymotic ER-6. This time I got it right with the EPH-100.
I didn't hate the ER-6, but I never loved them either. A thin analytical sounding midrange quality was probably the biggest culprit. A close 2nd was the near total lack of bass, even when achieving a very good seal with either the foam or flanged tips. I gave them many chances, but their only real redeeming quality was good passive noise isolation on an airplane.
Fast forward to 2014 and I decided to give IEMs another go. This time I am thrilled with the very even tonal balance and musical sound of the Yamaha EPH-100.
Not the last word in detail retrieval, or high frequency air/extension, but I wasn't looking for that. I just wanted something that was even handed and easy to listen to, with bass, and I found it in the EPH-100 without getting into the rarefied air price points IEMs can occupy these days.
Maybe not the very most comfortable to wear for long periods, I'm using the included super small tips, I think I'll probably end up buying some foam tips for these.
It looks like I got the real McCoy through Amazon. Sealed retail packaging and the logo and L/R markings are engraved, though not deeply, but you can feel the recess with your finger nail. I bet it's laser etched as opposed to actually engraved by machining.
Thanks again to the members for promoting this model, I feel like it has managed to stay fairly well under the mainstream radar over time even though it's a great value.
Edited by MikeyFresh - 4/30/14 at 6:55am