The brief listen to the x2 sounded great amped or through my phone. They were super comfortable as well.
From what I gathered I would say go with the x2
I'm probably passing a dangerous line here, but I'm thinking about maybe stepping out of the budget area and going for something a little bit more expensive.. I have a feeling this might be even worse for my wallet, but okay..
So what I'm looking for is an IEM that will beat everything I have, and that will preferably have really really good isolation, since I will mostly use them on my daily commute on a sort of noisy bus.
The stuff I have now that I like the most are my Takstar Pro80 and my KZ ED9 with brass nozzle and foam tips.
So the most important things are SQ and isolation. If it has a mic with remote that'd be a plus, since I am mainly going to drive it from my phone, streaming via Spotify on Extreme quality and partly FLAC from my Clip+/Topping NX1.
What would be my best options? A73 looks awesome, E80 too, but what worries me is the isolation, since even the best possible IEM in the world gets sort of ruined if I have too much external sound leaking in. Because of this I've been thinking a bit about something like Etymotic one model or another or Klipsch X10, but since my experiences with Chinese brands have generally been good, punching WAY above their price point, I wouldn't mind going the same route but a bit higher up the ladder.
If someone could help me out with this I'd be grateful..
I did that this year and ended up with the Titan 1 and AKG k553 Pro. No regrets :) Go get yourself something nice.
*PS. This didn't stop me from picking up a crap ton of budget gear that I still use and love. Good luck!
Yeah, the Titan sounds interesting too, but then there's the thing with the isolation.
CIEM is a bit above my price point, A73 level (i.e. ~$150) is what I'm thinking as my max.
The Titans are definitely not what you're looking for since isolation is key, although they really aren't that bad. They're about as leaky as the Piston 3.0s; ie. below average but acceptable.
I haven't heard the A73s but they're getting some serious hype. Probably not a bad choice :)
This simple mod and these headphones sound unbelievable.
With different thickness of foam thrown underneath the cup cushions it changes for the better from stock configuration. While very comfy for me these drivers were actually sitting on my ears in stock form. Now they don't. Plus the added benefit of better balance to the sound including a stonger low end bit wider stage. This sounds seems what Philips had in mind after this easy mod. If you haven't yet. You need to try it.
That is what price I bought mine. I saw them being sold for $50 a few more times since. It is at $67 now on Amazon. Been contemplating this mod ever since I saw it on the thread.
Proper spacing on the padding and these are at yet another level of sound from stock configuration. Light, comfy and now sounds even better using the C5 and X3ii as a source. Unreal how good these sound.
These are one of those phones if you never heard it. It would be hard to imagine how this cheapo can sound so good. These would sound good for $200 phones let me put it that way. Philips version of the AD900X. Could be.
It would be a mistake to think these sound like your garden variety Philips cheapo cans.. These belong right next to their best sounding cans they have. X1 X2 and L2s. For this reason alone these are a steal and a half, great all around cans. Couldn't possibly sound better for the price. Especially with the foam mod.
Gaming and movies sound lovely through these too.
A bit more on what that foam mod does. I had the foam mod in place, paused Metallica I was listening to and took the foam out. It was back to stock padding again or more flat on my ears and the change easily noticeable. The foam gives proper alignment to your ears it seems and therefore much better everything. Better stage is one but, even more comfort as my ears don't touch the inside of the pads, imaging is more precise, treble while a touch on the bright side sounds more controlled. mids have more space it seems, more open sounding with better punchier bass.
I also used a thicker foam previously and it made the sound much more forward which also brought up the treble and the bass as well. Sub bass was much improved but also brought up the mid bass. A bit too much for my liking. So I tried the thinner foam and while sub bass is not as good as the thicker foams the rest of the sound has a balance, clarity, texture with the right level of energy an fullness. The medium porridge.