Just a heads up.
This is a brief comparison of my three favorite iems.
The ath-im02 is my second favorite out of the three iems, it has resolving vocals with impactful drums and bass, while having a crispy and tender treble
The h-3s have become my personal first favorite, and eric was right about it above the m200s, not exponentially, but enough to warrant an additional $100 purchase (I bought it with additional $150, right now amazon japan has them for 300 or so, so you can save 30 dollars with the cost in japan than the us).
the m200s score the third favorite iem that I own.
and the ck10s are pretty much the fourth if I had to include a fourth one.
The mids are pretty smooth, smoother than the im02 while still sounding full and timbre accurate. The ck10s fail in this regard as they cannot keep a full sound with at least some crispness to the instruments and vocals, and totally messes up the timbre altogether. The m200s sounds fuller and has great timbre in its own right, but due to the lushness of the mids, the timbre falls short when compared to the h-3s. The h-3s do have an emotional upbringing to my music collection, just as the im-02 and m200s do.
In fact, I Sometimes I pick the im-02 above the h-3s for more clarity and cleanness, sometimes I switch with the h-3s for that smooth bass, awesome balanced highs (not silibant or dark), and those nice creamy mids. The m200s have that wonderful bass that I will explain a few lines below, and the fact that the mids are lush as heck, while having the highs still detailed while sounding somewhat dark.
This means something, doesn't it?!
I will have these three iems as my companions for years to come (or until dsnuts hypes another unknown iem)
M200's bass vs the rest
It has a different bass than the h-3s, as the h-3s have a different bass sound and texture as the im-02s. The ck10s have similar bass to the im-02s, but I prefer the im-02s for its profound rumbling, which is something the ck10s lack. The h-3s rumble is stupendous, enough to satiate a basshead. Unfortunately, the bass is a bit too smooth at times, and makes me lose the full tone of the bass sound, so the im-02s and m200s fix that regard, only the m200s does it the best imo. However, the bass in each is different sounding, and cannot be compared, it is all about preference.
Basically, these three earphones have different sigs that should warrant someone's attention in the best iemi for them based on their SQ preference.
M200s mids vs the rest
m200's mids are lusher, while the highs are pretty laid back, followed by a nice defined and warm, tight bass.
H-3s mids vs the rest
the h-3s mids are slightly less lush than the m200s, but has more clarity than the m200s and makes the instruments sound more natural (as well as vocals) imo. Unfortunately, the volume, like the m200s, have to be high in order for the vocals to be heard.
IM-02s mids vs the rest
The im-02s mids are euphonic and pretty smooth in its own right. It has this trait of the ck10s, but adds additional detail that the ck10s lacked. The highs have a good crisp, and at times, hot bite that people may enjoy. The h-3s highs are usually between bright and dark, just the perfect balance imo. It has that nice and refined detail that the im-02s slightly lack, but the h-3s lack the crispness, yet still smooth, sound of the im-02s.
Nice write up vlenbo!