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Custom I'ems or Full size 1k budget

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

I think this question would fall into several categories so forgive me if this is the wrong one. I have made my way up the IEM ladder from s4i’s to MC. Coppers and now Triple Fi 10’s. Problem is I don’t find any of them comfortable. I have large ears and to get a good seal it gets uncomfortable quickly and when I have a comfortable seal it seems that I lose it often and find myself distractingly fiddling with them constantly. I have tried tons of different tips and still have been generally unsatisfied. I was set to order my first custom Iem’s next week hoping this would solve the problem. I have my audiologist appointment on the 7th for the molds and planned on ordering the UM Merlin. I Love the MC coppers powerful- it’s there when you need it bass- and the Triple fi’s super clear highs. I am nervous however about getting the right fit and sending them back for possible refits. Here is my question, I read the other day about the new sennheiser HD 700 and realized I was about to spend around same money on customs Iem’s.   I really don’t know how sound quality compares between Iem’s and over the ear. Would it make more sense for me to get the customs or go with over the ear? I do most of my critical listening in different areas around the house so portability beyond that is not that important. I am more interested in great sound and comfort. I should add that I listen to mostly Flac and apple lossless from my iPhone 4s. I don’t believe the iPhone could drive a quality over the ear without a separate amp. So the third option might be to by less expensive headphones and a portable amp or dac amp combo?  My budget is about a 1k plus or minus. Thanks for your input

post #2 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTAbq View Post

I think this question would fall into several categories so forgive me if this is the wrong one. I have made my way up the IEM ladder from s4i’s to MC. Coppers and now Triple Fi 10’s. Problem is I don’t find any of them comfortable. I have large ears and to get a good seal it gets uncomfortable quickly and when I have a comfortable seal it seems that I lose it often and find myself distractingly fiddling with them constantly. I have tried tons of different tips and still have been generally unsatisfied. I was set to order my first custom Iem’s next week hoping this would solve the problem. I have my audiologist appointment on the 7th for the molds and planned on ordering the UM Merlin. I Love the MC coppers powerful- it’s there when you need it bass- and the Triple fi’s super clear highs. I am nervous however about getting the right fit and sending them back for possible refits. Here is my question, I read the other day about the new sennheiser HD 700 and realized I was about to spend around same money on customs Iem’s.   I really don’t know how sound quality compares between Iem’s and over the ear. Would it make more sense for me to get the customs or go with over the ear? I do most of my critical listening in different areas around the house so portability beyond that is not that important. I am more interested in great sound and comfort. I should add that I listen to mostly Flac and apple lossless from my iPhone 4s. I don’t believe the iPhone could drive a quality over the ear without a separate amp. So the third option might be to by less expensive headphones and a portable amp or dac amp combo?  My budget is about a 1k plus or minus. Thanks for your input

If you already like the general sound of IEMs, a full-sizer may shock your ears, and not in a good way. Also, the HD700 will most likely want to be fed some really nice amping equipment, so you can add another few hundreds AT LEAST to the MSRP.

 

That said, custom-mold IEMs can also feel very invasive for first-timers, so the comfort factor may be different, but not necessarily better to you.

 

I'd go IEM, but you can decide.
 

 

post #3 of 45

I agree that you will need a nice amp with big cans. Are you planning on taking your music with you outdoors? I do every day and a big can, player and amp will be a big problem for me. Do you like bass in your music? Try Atrios universal earphones which cost less then $200 and add the custom silicon tips.

post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

Also, the HD700 will most likely want to be fed some really nice amping equipment, so you can add another few hundreds AT LEAST to the MSRP.

The hd700 can be run from a "portable rig" according to jude review. So I  don't think that's another few hundreds.
 

 

post #5 of 45

Get custom IEMs and never look back. I wasted a lot of money before I figured this out. 

post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response.

 

Ssrock69 could you explain "the shock my ears  not in a good way" comment? 

 

Bmiamihk. I think if I would want to venture very far from home, I would just use one of my Iem's

 

Extrabigmehdi. If an amp is truly not necessary, that may make up my mind.

post #7 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTAbq View Post

Extrabigmehdi. If an amp is truly not necessary, that may make up my mind.

The only thing that seems clear from jude review, is that the amping requirements are smaller for the hd700.
 

 

post #8 of 45

Custom IEMS for the win. They are very portable and can go with you everywhere. They offer you great isolation and amazing sound for such small devices. You can go wrong with them I feel.

post #9 of 45

Seems that  everyone prefer custom IEMs .... But I  guess the answer wouldn't be the same with universal fit IEM vs full size.

post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTAbq View Post

Thanks for the response.

 

Ssrock69 could you explain "the shock my ears  not in a good way" comment? 

 

Bmiamihk. I think if I would want to venture very far from home, I would just use one of my Iem's

 

Extrabigmehdi. If an amp is truly not necessary, that may make up my mind.



IEMs and full-sizers simply have different sound characteristics, and no matter what's good about a headphone compared to an in-ear, it will still sound different to you, and your brain may take it in as unpleasant.

 

Also, I doubt that it can logically be used portably, and it definitely cannot be used unamped. While it is >100dB sensitive, it's still a 150-ohm headphones. You will need a serious amp.

 

For home use I'd go HD700 if you have some extra money to spend on some nice amping, which would help expose you to a good high-end full-size so you know which you like better, but if you plan on portable at all or don't want to pop $1k+ on something your ears may not adapt to well, go IEM.

post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post

Seems that  everyone prefer custom IEMs .... But I  guess the answer wouldn't be the same with universal fit IEM vs full size.



Not quite. But with even universal there are quite a few great IEMS out there that can still give many full size cans a run for their money. The fact that these IEMs are so small and can compare somewhat is quite interesting.

post #12 of 45

Headphones

 

Pros:

 

- Headphones will last you a very long time (statistically on mid to high end cans)

- Mod-friendly

- SQ is more natural (timbre)

- Can be shared (with your gf, family, etc)

- Much much better soundstage

 

 

Cons:

 

- Strictly for home listening

 

Subjective stuff:

Comfort - some people find IEMs annoying/cannot stand IEMs for a long period of time // Some people might find HPs bulky

Hygiene factor

 

CIEMS

 

Pros:

 

- Portable

- Excellent isolation

- Custom artwork, etc

- Handmade

 

Cons:
 

- Growing ears (will probably have to be reshelled every two or three years)

- Exclusively for your ears (Your family and friends cannot try them on)

- Easily lost?? Due to their small size.

- Bad resale value (expect to lose at least $300)

post #13 of 45


I'm not so sure about re-shelling every 2 to 3 years though. Unless you lose a lot of weight or are a child still growing. I've heard figures around 5+ years for re-shells which is not bad at all considering most people replace stuff within that period of time. 2 to 3 years is being very Conservative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikp View Post

Headphones

 

Pros:

 

- Headphones will last you a very long time (statistically on mid to high end cans)

- Mod-friendly

- SQ is more natural (timbre)

- Can be shared (with your gf, family, etc)

- Much much better soundstage

 

 

Cons:

 

- Strictly for home listening

 

Subjective stuff:

Comfort - some people find IEMs annoying/cannot stand IEMs for a long period of time // Some people might find HPs bulky

Hygiene factor

 

CIEMS

 

Pros:

 

- Portable

- Excellent isolation

- Custom artwork, etc

- Handmade

 

Cons:
 

- Growing ears (will probably have to be reshelled every two or three years)

- Exclusively for your ears (Your family and friends cannot try them on)

- Easily lost?? Due to their small size.

- Bad resale value (expect to lose at least $300)



 

post #14 of 45
Thread Starter 

ssrock64: Not to derail my own thread but what amp for the iphone 4s & HD700?

 

nikp: Thanks, I had not considered the resale value. It seems the HD700 would have a high resale when first released, maybe I should give it a try and if I don't like it sell them and get the customs. 

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post


I'm not so sure about re-shelling every 2 to 3 years though. Unless you lose a lot of weight or are a child still growing. I've heard figures around 5+ years for re-shells which is not bad at all considering most people replace stuff within that period of time. 2 to 3 years is being very Conservative.

 


People around me change quite a lot in 5 years so I averaged them out. Yes you're right, I should have mentioned that reshells depends entirely on individual growth. 

 

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