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IEMs for rock/metal lover

Poll Results: IEMs for rock/metal while commuting

 
  • 9% (3)
    Brainwavz M2
  • 3% (1)
    Ultimate Ears 500
  • 6% (2)
    Ultimate Ears 600
  • 6% (2)
    Panasonic Zirconia HJE900
  • 75% (24)
    Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10
32 Total Votes  
post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

Hi!

 

I'm new to Head-Fi but I've been lurking around for quite sometime before I decided to post my query. So here goes-

 

I'm not technically an audiophile. I try listen to details in the music I usually hear but I lose my concentration at some point and just lose myself in it. So I don't mind colored sound signatures if they help to improve my experience and make it enjoyable. 

I listen to rock/ heavy metal- mostly Children of Bodom, Gamma Ray, Sepultura, Metallica, Megadeth, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Opeth, Black Label Society, Thunderstone, Emperor...you get the drift. I do listen to Pink Floyd too- I love them despite the fact that they don't fit in with my usual genres. 

 

My headphone/IEM collection's pretty sparse unlike what the pros here have. I've been using the Creative EP-630 for my commute for many years (since 2008). The turning point was when I bought a pair of Grado SR-60i-s. I was totally blown away! Except for the dodgy Y-spliiter, I love them! I quickly found out that they were perfect for the genres I listen to. As many know, they are like a gateway drug into the audiophile world. I think this's happening to me too- I'm finding flaws in the EP-630-s nowadays...like its bloated and slow bass, terrible midrange (as compared to the awesome Grado mids) and the unrefined treble. So, I'm looking for an upgrade- possibly a huge one- something that doesn't send me running back to my Grados every time I decide to listen to something on the bus.

 

Most of my listening is during the 2 hour commute to work and back and another 2-3 hours at home. I use the Creatives on the bus and the Grados at home. So, for the long commute, I've shortlisted the following IEM-s: (cheapest to costliest in India- I'm only looking at the ones avail. in India through Indian online stores... the ones imported from abroad by ebay Globalbuy can get really expensive- almost by 2x/3x).

 

1) Brainwavz M2

2) Ultimate Ears 500 (400 in India)

3) Ultimate Ears 600

4) Panasonic Zirconia HJE900

5) Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10

 

What I'm looking for:

 

Bass: I like some bass in my music. I hate it when it sounds too dry. But I don't like it to be too bloated, muddy and giving me a headache. It should also be snappy, quick and impactful otherwise the fast drumming in metal would feel awful. I hope I'm clear here..

 

Mids: I chose the Grados and for a very good reason- guitar solos and basses never sounded this good! I don't find the mid heavy sound of the Grados fatiguing. However, I don't have a clue as to how good mids would sound on an IEM as opposed to an open-ear headphone.

 

Treble: Easy- I'd like some decent definition here. I'd like to hear the cymbals crashing and sparkle unlike the lousy reproduction of my Creatives. I don't mind a hot sound here as it adds to the excitement.

 

Isolation: should be good and comfortable. Buses in India are quite noisy and the traffic gets very very loud. If stock tips of the IEM-s you suggest are bad, please do suggest another pair of tips to use.

 

Cable & microphonics: I'd like a well-built cable. I take care of my gear pretty well usually but in most cases an IEM fails because of a busted cable. I don't want that to happen here. About microphonics- well, I listen only when I'm seated and never while walking- so I guess it's not an issue.

 

If I give off the impression that I'm too demanding, I'm sorry. I can live with a little shortfalls here and there. The most important thing here is that my next IEMs should be enjoyable to listen to.

 

I'm personally inclined towards the M2-s, UE 500 and the Pana HJE900. Sure, the Panas are expensive in India, but I don't mind paying more if I get a better product that can last for a really long time.

 

Sorry for the long post. Please do try to read through my ramblings and help me out. Finally, I thank the every member for their reviews of these IEM-s (esp. Joker's giant 200+ IEM thread). Without them, I wouldn't even be able to compile this list.

 

Thank you.

post #2 of 44
sup dude! i listn to hell of a load metal as well.. i do actualy listn to lot of my dying bride , opeth , behemoth , ahab, , canibal corps etc. etc.. so i know how exactly the sound should be like.. for me westone 4 is the most ideal universal iem in the world for metal.. i bought it for around 400$. but considering your in a qit a budjet i suggest u to go with the UE Triple-fi. mostly because its a triple driver iem with a 3 way crossover. so you will be able to hear individual guitar riff clearly. trust me man you will feel like opeth is playing live in your bedroom or what ever the place you are... trust me the soundstage is that big.. by the way im from srilanka.. glad to help you out! \m/
post #3 of 44

How about grado gr10? Really rs1 sound in IEM.

post #4 of 44
for me grado gr10 actualy sounded pretty bass havey. and a bit choppy in mids . i think it depends on what kind of a music genre you listn to. but for metal ... i dnt think! but its only my openion. although they cost nearly 350$ its better to do a audition before you by it.
Edited by Sylaw - 2/10/12 at 9:41am
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylaw View Post

sup dude! i listn to hell of a load metal as well.. i do actualy listn to lot of my dying bride , opeth , behemoth , ahab, , canibal corps etc. etc.. so i know how exactly the sound should be like.. for me westone 4 is the most ideal universal iem in the world for metal.. i bought it for around 400$. but considering your in a qit a budjet i suggest u to go with the UE Triple-fi. mostly because its a triple driver iem with a 3 way crossover. so you will be able to hear individual guitar riff clearly. trust me man you will feel like opeth is playing live in your bedroom or what ever the place you are... trust me the soundstage is that big.. by the way im from srilanka.. glad to help you out! \m/


Hey man! Thanks for replying at such short notice! Glad to see a metal head here! Unfortunately, the Westone 4 isn't available in India and over ebay globalbuy it's extremely expensive and would require me to take a mortage or something! However, I'm quite interested by the quad driver concept. If I get more serious about my listening (and get more time for it), I would be considering upgrading to a Westone 4.

As for the TF10, I was initially interested but I lost out on a fantastic deal on them on ebay so I was looking around for contenders. How about those Panas? I've read great reviews about them everywhere (even though they're dynamic drivers)... Oh well, if the TF10-s are the best in this range for metal, I'd go for it. Cheers mate! \m/

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sling5s View Post

How about grado gr10? Really rs1 sound in IEM.


I'd love to audition them but neither are they available in India nor are there a lot of reviews on them. Lastly, they're really expensive- almost as much as the quad driver Westone 4's on ebay globalbuy.


Edited by lepermessiah - 2/10/12 at 9:48am
post #6 of 44
haa.. ya westone 4"s are expensive.. i had to go hell of a loat problams as well.. i gt it from a dealer in srilanka... she sells stuff for pretty cheap.. if you can contact her. .. cuz i dnt think shipping frm srilanka to india is expensive.

about the panasonics i have no idea dude! definatly it should be a hidden jem which i never spotted... but do not depend on reviews. chek what zort of music are they tested it with.

as for the tf10 yes. thell probably the best in your price range. worth buying man...
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepermessiah View Post
 How about those Panas?


Definitely great for metal, but they're not at the same levels as TF10 or Westone 4 of course. Provided tips are flimsy, they isolate better with Comply Ts-400 or Ts-500.

I wouldn't pay more than 140 US$ for them.

 

Otherwise, would you have access to GR07 ? They're relatively universal, and less expensive than Westone 4, while being less colored than HJE-900. They only isolate correcty with Comply foams though.

If you like more aggressive sound signature, JVC HA-FXT90 may also suit your taste for a relatively modest price.

post #8 of 44
even i whent through sm good reviews abt them nw.. but im saying buy smthing better in qulity.. try to invest sm money on a better pair when u hv it.. choice is urz man...
post #9 of 44
The JVC FXT90, Sony EX600, Etymotic HF5 willbe great buy and they all sound amazingly detailed yet offers good bass response and good separation and guitars sound rich and detailed on these.
post #10 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylaw View Post

haa.. ya westone 4"s are expensive.. i had to go hell of a loat problams as well.. i gt it from a dealer in srilanka... she sells stuff for pretty cheap.. if you can contact her. .. cuz i dnt think shipping frm srilanka to india is expensive.
about the panasonics i have no idea dude! definatly it should be a hidden jem which i never spotted... but do not depend on reviews. chek what zort of music are they tested it with.
as for the tf10 yes. thell probably the best in your price range. worth buying man...


I'd love to contact her. It's not  the shipping costs that worries me- it's the customs duty. That's supposed to drive up the prices a lot- 2 to 3X at least. But still, it'd be great if you could pm me her contact details.

The Panas are literally something of a gem all right- its Zirconium Oxide housing's tough as nails and the reviews are fabulous too. But what you've said is true- the reviewers didn't mention the type of music they used to test it with.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tienbasse View Post


Definitely great for metal, but they're not at the same levels as TF10 or Westone 4 of course. Provided tips are flimsy, they isolate better with Comply Ts-400 or Ts-500.

I wouldn't pay more than 140 US$ for them.

 

Otherwise, would you have access to GR07 ? They're relatively universal, and less expensive than Westone 4, while being less colored than HJE-900. They only isolate correcty with Comply foams though.

If you like more aggressive sound signature, JVC HA-FXT90 may also suit your taste for a relatively modest price.

 

$140 for the Panas? You guys are lucky. I'll have to pay about twice for that in India- roughly $210. The TF10's even more expensive- $324. The Westone 4's cost a cool $750.

The sad sob stories about the Indian duty structure aside, I was intrigued about the JVC FXT90's too until I saw that it would cost more or less the same as the Panas.

Guess I'll keep my eyes peeled for used ones on ebay or something...

post #11 of 44

I listen to a lot of metal (mainly black, death doom), and would say that the TF10s would be the most suited on your list. But this recommendation is based on reports I've read, rather than personal experience. Out of the IEMs I've owned, I'd recommend the FXT90s over anything else. They have a forward, aggressive presentation, which emphasizes upper mids and treble, giving guitars real bite and crunch.

post #12 of 44

Buy GR07 and forget about everything bad. They are best for metal.

post #13 of 44

To me, for metal and hard rock to sound its best, you need really great grit and bite on distortion guitars.  The 3 best for metal distortion guitar crunch and bite are: Panasonic HJE900, Vsonic GR07 and JVC FXT90.  If you choose another IEM you will be giving something up on guitars.  Not a big deal if other aspects may be more important to you.  If you want to move up the price chain a bit, you can add the JVC FX700 to the list but isolation takes a bigger hit with it.

post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

To me, for metal and hard rock to sound its best, you need really great grit and bite on distortion guitars.  The 3 best for metal distortion guitar crunch and bite are: Panasonic HJE900, Vsonic GR07 and JVC FXT90.  If you choose another IEM you will be giving something up on guitars.  Not a big deal if other aspects may be more important to you.  If you want to move up the price chain a bit, you can add the JVC FX700 to the list but isolation takes a bigger hit with it.


Tis true. I can't speak for the HJE900, but the GR07s handle rock / metal drums better than anything I've heard. In turn, the FXT90s handle guitar crunch better than anything I've heard. You can't go wrong with either. 

 

As stated, the FX700s also fit the bill, though what you gain in treble and bass quantity / quality, you lose in overall usability.

 

post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 

Oh, I'd totally forgotten to mention my source of music. I do not use amps- either at home or while commuting. While on the move, I listen to music on my modded Xperia X8 Android smart phone. I do not use the equalizer with the Creatives, but I do use the bass boost function ( I set the effect intensity to slight/moderate) on the DSP Manager. The music in the X8's mostly 320 kbps mp3, but it has the occasional flac files too. It's a different story at home- the source's my laptop and I have a huge flac collection which I listen to everyday.

 

Does the source matter a lot with these IEM-s? I mean, whether a hardware upgrade to a Sansa Clip+ or listening to flac content exclusively a necessity for best results with these IEM-s?

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