150 word Entry:
I would have to nominate the Etymotic HF2/3/5 as the best IEM under $150 because of it's unrivaled passive noise isolation. In my own usage patterns, I tend to only use IEMs in very crowded locations. In these environments, it’s just so convenient to be able to pull out the Etys in a noisy café or aboard public transit and completely escape into a personal bubble of great music. The Ety house sound is also remarkably versatile, so it’s very easy to recommend these to people looking for their first foray into the $100+ category of IEMs. Finally, The optional phone controls are attractive to smartphone users who are driving the demand for IEMs. The DAC portion of many phones are not going to give the best possible results, however, I found the HF5 to be forgiving enough of a weak source like my HTC phone. And they scale beautifully.
I would love a pair of these just so I could post a review on amazon that isn't an amateurish "vine program" review. If you want to chortle, or have a spit take, read the Aurvana 3 reviews that have been posted so far. One reviewer used a youtube music video as his reference point for judging the quality of the IEM.http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Aurvana-Ear-Noise-Isolating-Headphones/dp/B004SNCZ3K
Edited by lazuline - 11/3/11 at 8:37pm