Hi fellow Head-Fi forumers!
I've been lurking the forum on and off for a few years now, always leeching reviews and recommendations, but never really contributing anything myself. It was thanks to you all that I purchased my first set of decent cans a few years ago (ATH-A700), and I'm happy to say it has been an ongoing love affair since day one. Now that I'm officially part of the community, I thought I'd make my first post count with some useful information.
I'm also an avid cyclist, and have come to realize that the low-end Sony earphones (MDR-EX57) I got on a whim from the outlet store just weren't cutting it anymore. And like most of us here, I'm sure, we make up excuses and somehow convince ourselves that we deserve something better.
Once again, I scoured Head-Fi for a potential portable candidate. I also had put up a strict <$100 budget for myself, so no audiophile buds for me. Since I was already more than satisfied with the Audio-Technica headphones I already had, I thought why not go with another set of ATs, in this case the CK7, which had already been getting consistent positive feedback anyway.
So they arrived no longer than 2 weeks ago, and long story short, I was completely disappointed. It was so off from the sound I was already used to from my A700. They even sounded worse than the cheap Sony headphones I had!
The bass was muffled and overbearing, the mids we're recessed, and the sibilance. Oh my god the sibilance! I never knew I had a problem with high frequencies til the moment I put the CK7s in my ears. There had to be an explanation.
I thought maybe I had to burn it in to get the complete effect, as I read from another thread. So off I went and burned it in on and off for the next 6-7 days. In that time, periodically checking if there was any improvement in the performance. Well, there was some improvement, but not enough for me to dispose of my Sony headphones altogether since my ears we're still bleeding at low volumes from being fed razor blades.
So again, I searched for a solution. And I arrived at a thread which mentioned the bi-flanges from Ultimate Ears. Well, I ordered them a few days ago off ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Double-Flange-Ear-Buds-Tips-Ultimate-Ears-Earphones-/220735826835?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3364e16b93#ht_1701wt_1398), and they just arrived in the mail no longer than an hour before I finish this post.
I'm not an audiophile and don't have much experience with earphones, but for those who have problems with sibilance with their wallet breaking canals, don't post up a FS thread just yet. Try bi-flange tips first, as they just might work for you as they did for me.
To be more specific, for those not completely satisfied with their Audio-Technica ATH-CK7, buy the UE bi-flange replacement tips! It's a winning combination. I'm now in love with my music at home and on the road.
Thanks again Head-Fi. <3