Not sure if this has been discussed here before, just thought of sharing my impressions on a lowly priced Panasonic RP-HJE180 (bought from Ebay India for roughly US$3 after applying discount coupon) I received this morning.
OOTB with stock tips: I find these to be very lively sounding IEMs with great clarity and instrument separation. Bass appears to be very controlled/fast/tight and there is this sparkle in treble without being too harsh makes these IEMs such a joy to listen to. Mids are bit forward placed than many other IEMs that I have tried before. To my ears, these are sounding very musical for such low price. Without an iota of doubt, are one of the best IEMs I have ever listened to OOTB and also best 3 US$ I have ever spent on buying an electronic product in my life. :-)
Source used were: Fujitsu Laptop, Foobar2000 with WASAPI output plugin @ 25% Volume, MP3 320 kbps, AAC 256 kbps. Artists/Albums tried: Tamil OSTs, ColdPlay, RHCP, Alesso
(I am just an audio enthusiast and no expert so my description of what I am listening may or may not match with yours)
How are they compared to ATE? I can only find them about same price as ATE or even higher atm.