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Advice: Consolidate headphone collection to single high end IEM?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello.  I am seeking some advice regarding consolidating my headphone collection to a single BA-type IEM such as the 1964 Quad or JH 10.  

 

Right now I have three primary setups.  Portable rig 1) Rockboxed Clip + with Shure 315 single BA IEMs, Portable Rig 2) Rockboxed Ipod Class 160gb - Fiio E11 - Shure 315s or Denon D2000s, and Home Rig) Laptop - Nuforce  Udac 2hp - Denon D2000s.  

 

I use the Clip+ and the Shures 75% of the time.  Its just too easy and sounds pretty damn good.  I bought the Ipod based portable rig to power the Denons on the go, but rarely use it.  I only use it now to power the Shures in the office.  The Denons are wonderful, but not very portable.  The laptop/denon setup is used only at home when I really want to get into the tunes.  I feel like I don't use the Denon's enough to justify having them sit in a drawer waiting for the occasional hour or two a week of use.  That said, their sound is very in line with my taste.  

 

I am considering selling the Shures (my first BA iem), the Ipod/Fiio, and the Denon's and buying a high end IEM.  I would drive it from the Clip+ (FLAC files of course) and the laptop Udac combo.  

 

Have any of you consolidated to an IEM only setup?  Can you achieve the same dynamics with an IEM that you get with a full sized can?  

 

 

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

 

 

 


Edited by orbilius - 12/26/11 at 7:37pm
post #2 of 13

I'm also curious to know how many people have sold their universal IEM collections for one high-end custom IEM...

 

Was it worth it?


Edited by BassInMyFace - 12/26/11 at 7:36pm
post #3 of 13

Seems like a natural progression doesn't it?  Also, I think it would depend on how heavily you're into the hobby.  When I first got into IEMs I was a little reluctant to spend $50 for an "earbud."  Now I'm seriously considering getting a JH16, I love music so to me I think it would be worth it.

post #4 of 13

I was considering that route for a while but ultimately decided against it.

 

There are a lot of factors that kept me from doing it but the important ones are difficulty of hearing demos, no returns, poor resale value, and the possibility of needing reshells as your ears change which adds to the total cost of ownership.

post #5 of 13

^All valid reason not to. I would like to add that if you're a teenager or very early twenties, you might want to wait a little bit because you'll most likely have to get them refitted as your ears are still growing. 

 

However, like KimChee stated, going customs is a natural progression.  If you never owned a reshell (from a universal IEM) or custom, or even tried one on, a cheap alternative is to get a your 315 or if the triple.fi10 signature suits your fancy, and get either one reshelled for around $100.  The fit and most of the manufacturing process is identical to true customs.

 

I've had my taste and ownership with most of the top tier universals.  I went through two universal reshells and recently purchased the Livewires Trips for $375 plus $65 for professional impressions.   I still have my Atrio for a nice change in sound and the UE700 as a backup to the Trips.   If you can really afford it, you might as well go with the numbers game and get the 8 driver whatever custom for $1K plus and end the upgraditus.  Keep in mind that like everything else, more isn't necessarily better.  The main target market for customs are mainly musicians, singers, and studio engineers.  If you listen to music for pleasure rather than professionally like me, having a custom too detailed may sound fatiguing over hours at a time.  Of course YMMV. 

 

Also, search for post from Average_Joe or project86 as I find the two the most experienced when it comes to mid to high level customs. 

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips guys.  From what I have read, even top IEMs can't match the experience of a full sized can.  For my purposes it doesn't really have to.  It just needs to get close.  I think I am going to go for it.  Starting in the First Quarter I have a ton of work travel.  Perfect time to get to know a nice pair of Custom IEMs.  If I regret getting rid of my Denons I am sure there will be other sets out there that I could get as a replacement.  

post #7 of 13

Looking at your gear, a custom IEM will be an upgrade. The Denon's are nice, but not quad-driver custom in-ear nice. :D I know where you're coming from, I keep grabbing my little Clip+ and RE0 more than any other can/rig I own. It sounds excellent to my ears, even compared to my much more expensive headphones and the ease of use is unparalleled. I've been toying with the idea of selling my DT880, K701 and SR225i to fund a custom IEM too. 


Edited by Negakinu - 12/28/11 at 12:20am
post #8 of 13

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by orbilius View Post

 

Have any of you consolidated to an IEM only setup?  Can you achieve the same dynamics with an IEM that you get with a full sized can? 


I have always wondered this myself and I've actually asked this question quite a few times to everyone I come across that has a high end custom iem.  I owned a few high end headphones and I recently just received my first custom iem which is a Unique Melody Miracle.  The biggest advantage of a custom iem is that it's portable which means you can take it and listen to it wherever you want.  I feel that the Miracles are very detailed and offer me an experience that no headphone can.  Then again, headphones give you an experience that no iem can really give you too so it's a trade off. 

 

It's very nice to have an iem that can compete with the high end headphones but you have to consider that the iems are a different experience.  Headphones use the inner and outer part of your ear while iems just use the inner parts.  Even a vented custom iem which may have a huge head stage for an iem will pale in comparison to how a headphone can convey space.  Some people may prefer it but other people might better enjoy the spacial cues of an actual headphones.

 

Based on what you said above, it seems like you use your portable setup much more than your home setup.  In your case I would say that you should definitely upgrade to a custom iem just based on your listening habits.  I ended up selling all of my high end headphones and just have a cheap yet very capable HD600 for home use.  The custom iem is a great way to go and offers great sound with portability. 

 

To answer your main question, do I feel like a high end custom can achieve the same dynamics as a full sized headphone? Yes but in a different way.  I can definitely say that in my experience, a custom iem can rival the sound of top tier headphones.  I don't think I'd ever sell my HD600 because it's always nice to have that for movies and such but it's definitely bearable to just have a high end custom.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post

Looking at your gear, a custom IEM will be an upgrade. The Denon's are nice, but not quad-driver custom in-ear nice. :D


And you know this from experience? I bet it's pretty easy comparing a headphone to an iem that you don't even own =)

 

On a more serious note, I personally think you should just sell all your low end stuff and upgrade to something better.  If you sold your vast plethora of low end / middle range gear you'd easily be able to afford a top custom iem / headphone. 

post #9 of 13


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetik View Post

 

And you know this from experience?

 


Yes. :) Although I must admit I ofcourse haven't heard ALL custom IEMs in the world. And most of the customs I've heard were in the universal shell. But still, in my opinion, the D2000 is nice, but for someone who keeps grabbing their IEMs over their headphones a quad driver custom will offer a better experience. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetik View Post

On a more serious note, I personally think you should just sell all your low end stuff and upgrade to something better.  If you sold your vast plethora of low end / middle range gear you'd easily be able to afford a top custom iem / headphone. 

 

 

If I sell all that low-fi stuff I'll barely earn enough to buy a decent meal, let alone a custom IEM. And my biggest disappointments in audio aren't from the low-fi stuff, most of my choices in that spectrum actually offer great value for money. :) It's paying heaps of cash for a DT880 that's so bright the sun pales in comparison that bothers me more. ;) 

 

Btw, I saw that you listen mostly to hiphop and RnB. You should really consider selling all your gear and getting a Beats by Dre. Oh wait, I haven't heard that one either. tongue_smile.gif


Edited by Negakinu - 12/28/11 at 2:44am
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the encouragement.  This is the hobby, right?  Trying new things.  Nothing done cannot be undone.  

 

Going to an ENT today to see if I have any debris that needs cleaning before taking molds.  

post #11 of 13
I have a decent desktop setup with T1s and I have tried some other high end setups. In every case the Miracle has come out on top for me or at worst a sideways step.


On top of that its way better with portable sources so I find myself using them a lot more often and they are way more comfortable. So yeah in my mind they could totally replace everything else. Bang for the buck there is no question to me that they are better than any full sized setup I've heard for 1k
Edited by ronrad - 12/28/11 at 7:58am
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrad View Post

I have a decent desktop setup with T1s and I have tried some other high end setups. In every case the Miracle has come out on top for me or at worst a sideways step.
On top of that its way better with portable sources so I find myself using them a lot more often and they are way more comfortable. So yeah in my mind they could totally replace everything else. Bang for the buck there is no question to me that they are better than any full sized setup I've heard for 1k

 

Great reply man and thanks again for helping me choose the Miracles.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post

Yes. :) Although I must admit I ofcourse haven't heard ALL custom IEMs in the world. And most of the customs I've heard were in the universal shell. But still, in my opinion, the D2000 is nice, but for someone who keeps grabbing their IEMs over their headphones a quad driver custom will offer a better experience. 

 

If I sell all that low-fi stuff I'll barely earn enough to buy a decent meal, let alone a custom IEM. And my biggest disappointments in audio aren't from the low-fi stuff, most of my choices in that spectrum actually offer great value for money. :) It's paying heaps of cash for a DT880 that's so bright the sun pales in comparison that bothers me more. ;) 

 

Btw, I saw that you listen mostly to hiphop and RnB. You should really consider selling all your gear and getting a Beats by Dre. Oh wait, I haven't heard that one either. tongue_smile.gif


Maybe I should buy some beats but then I wouldn't be following my own advice and I'd be buying low end gear.  I'm not trying to put you down because I see all that stuff you have and know that if you truly wanted a custom iem, you could get it.  Not to mention that based on the gear you own, it would most likely be the best thing you've ever heard. 

 

That's just my observations and opinion so take it as you will.  I just know that I've owned the re0's and although it's a decent sub $100 iem, there is much  more out there that will make you happier. Look at ronrad's post, he owned a t1 and a lot of times he prefers the Miracle.  Hell I've owned a recabled HD800 and a T1 and I prefer the Miracle over them too. 

 

It's weird because after owning some high end dynamic headphones, I didn't mind going back to something like the HD600's.  However after owning a custom, I doubt that I would never go back to using a universal.  I mean probably a spare set for the gym but besides that, I wouldn't. 

 

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetik View Post

 

Great reply man and thanks again for helping me choose the Miracles.
 

 Look at ronrad's post, he owned a t1 and a lot of times he prefers the Miracle.  Hell I've owned a recabled HD800 and a T1 and I prefer the Miracle over them too. 

 

 


No worries, glad you're liking the Miracles.  I always get a little nervous on that recommendation as it is a big leap of faith to jump to them, and people do have different preferences!

 

Actually, I still own the T1, and it mostly sits on my desk.  The only times I reach for it over the Miracles is 

 

a) I'm feeling too lazy to get my Miracles out of the bag I take them to the office in

b) I'm likely to get up and down a bunch, or I need to keep a closer ear on my kids, so less isolation, and faster in and out time on the headphones.

c) I'm slightly annoyed by the cord being too short (need to fix this by getting an extension cord for the Miracles for desktop)

 

But pretty much never reach for the T1s as a preference of sound quality over the Miracles

 

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