Okay, I loved my DDMs. They're not for everybody, but I'm the kind of guy that loves B&W speakers: I want musicality and a deep integration of the bass, not perfect resolution of each detail. If nothing else, I'm 40 years old, and there's little doubt that my high-register hearing ain't what it was. (Though if I can have it all, then yes, please!)
Now, I never understood several common complaints regarding the original DDM (the TWF-11r Pro). The shape of the housings was a reasonable decision in the face of the IEMs' requirements. A 15mm driver is enormous in this usage (any bets as to whether anyone will ever go bigger?), and the DDMs' design minimized the profile of that stonking thing in a very reasonable, if ear-filling way. My ears are only slightly, if at all, larger than average, and I never felt anything other than comfortable with them. I thought the original red/black color scheme nice, in an understated (yes, really) way, and the gold bar was a bit of bling that was at worst harmless, and in my case has actually started a couple of conversations in airports with girls who dug the Radii. : ) Furthermore, I suspect that the DDM's shape, inside porting, and resonant plastic housing had an enormous effect on its engaging sound.
Sadly, criticism of the DDMs' build quality turned out to be well-founded in my case. The plug-end strain reliever somehow pulled out from under the red "Radius" plug cap, and the connection to one 'phone is broken (it can be briefly revived if you finesse the cord and re-make the connection). I'm going to try to have these fixed -- any advice on who to go to in a small town? PC repair dude? Electrician?? -- but my girlfriend (who should totally ignore the above comment about meeting girls in airports) wants to get me new IEMs for Christmas!
So, I'm clearly tempted by the TWF21s. Unlike most reviewers, I like their look a good deal less than the TWF11s. They strike me as a bit Frankensteiny, the way they stand up out of the ear in photos. But meeting girls isn't really the point, so I can live with that. If the TWF21s are a better-behaved, but still energetic and in most ways more capable version of the TWF11s, I think I'd have to love them. On the other hand, the construction is obviously no better than the DDMs' so I could well have the same problem to look forward to.
The TWF21s are around $240, which is a lot for anyone's girlfriend to spend, but she was planning to get me the Monster Turbine Pro Coppers anyway, and those are only $20 cheaper fromAmazon. I had told her about that the MTPCs were the ones I'd kinda wanted when I decided the DDMs were to good a deal to pass up at nearly $100 less than the Coppers. Though some of the shine has come off their reputation with the introduction of excellent cheaper competitors like the RE262/272, the VSonic GR07 (another option I'm strongly considering), and others, I think I'll find them a gifted all-rounder with some of the things I liked about the DDMs. And yet -- there's the aforementioned GR07, and IEMs like the JVC FXT90 and the Sony EX600 that are available at relative-bargain prices, but seem to have supplanted the DDMs and even favorites like the MTMD, the IE8, and the HA-FX700 in the ears of people whose opinions I generally respect, but who nonetheless might be looking for something I'm not.
I live in a beach town, and there's nowhere within many hours' drive from my home to try 'phones, besides the places in airports, which carry Monsters (though they never have the Coppers available!), Shures, UEs, and so forth. Among the "airport wireless" brands, I tried nothing I preferred to my DDMs.
So what should I pick? One of these, or something I haven't considered?