first post! sorry if this has been asked before, but i couldn't find any threads on point and i have a few special needs/interests in my pick.
I'm a musician/self-producer who does most of my critical listening on a pair of vintage akg k240s (amped). They sound great to me. very even and perfect for reference but obviously full-sized headphones that need to be amped don't cut it for everyday listening, travel, etc. Also the open-back design makes them unusable for tracking, libraries, and other situations where one or two way isolation is required.
i'm looking towards IEMs as a more portable alternative to sennheiser hd280s (which i often use at studios during tracking) and something i can use on stage (i'm a singer/guitarist), as well as for everyday listening when i'm not at home. since this is my first serious foray into IEMs, i'm trying to keep it around $100, but can bump it up to $150 or higher range if there is a big payoff in sound quality. Aside from good isolation my only other constraint is that they must be wired above/around the ear as a consideration for stage use.
i'm looking at the westone um1s, and shure se215s, which i'm sure a lot of people are familiar with, but also the creative aurvana in-ear3s. The shures have dynamic drivers so i'm not sure i want to go down that road (want to really get a taste of how IEMs sound in comparison with traditional headphones). I'm leaning towards the westones but the aurvana's are on sale for something like $10 more than the westones (thanks, logicbuy) and they have dual armature drivers. Detail and balance is pretty important to me and i figure dual armature would likely provide that more than a single armature driver, but the westones may be "better" earphones to begin with.
music preference is all over the place. pop, rock, hip hop, electronic, ambient. not a whole lot of jazz or classical but pretty much everything else is in good rotation.
thanks for the input! been reading the site for a while and its a great resource.
Edited by re-animator - 1/24/12 at 8:54pm