Hi all, new here and returning after a long hiatus to being able to concentrate on listening to music. Due to lack of space and opportunity to set up and listen to a full hifi separates + speakers system, it seems like for now my best bet is to find some good headphones in a sound style I like to listen to music through my macbook, maybe or maybe not with an external DAC/headphone amp.
Anyway, reading around, it seems like there are different sound 'styles' in headphones, like a 'grado sound' or a 'sennheiser sound', and as yet I don't know which I'd prefer. I recently stumbled across a lot of old threads singing the praises of the koss KSC75s, and in particular comparing them to more expensive Grados or Alessandros. I ordered a pair for £12 today, so that's step one.
My question (now we get to it), is what other cheap 'phones (1 or 2 other examples at <£20-£30) give a taste of the 'house styles' of other more expensive 'phones? I'd like to explore how realistic a soundstage I can get, in particular - would sennheiser PX100s be a good introduction here? I'm looking more for something that illustrates a certain sound signature, rather than necessarily headphones I will use forever more - just a way to see what style I prefer. Is this even a sensible approach?
My music tastes are mostly indie rock (90s Boston bands, throwing muses, pixies etc.) through to 'characterful' male vocalists like Nick Cave and Tom Waits. Currently I have the monster beats audio in-ears that came with my htc smartphone, plus the Koss I've just ordered. I'd be listening at home, so open backed headphones are fine and I don't need any isolation.
That was pretty long, wasn't it? Thanks for any help anyone can give me.
Seems like a good way to experiment, though you could just mess around with EQ if you're doing the sound signature thing. Don't let the purist naysayers get to you first, for your purposes, EQ would be fine.
More along the lines of what you're attempting, PX100s would be a good representative of some Senn stuff. Dark, warm, rather thick. I think those new open-back Somics that people are talking about are around that price as well.
Does anybody know of a cheap pair of in-ear phones that have excellent isolation?
I'm looking for a pair soley to wear down the gym that will drown out the in house music. I'm currently using a pair of Philips sports earphones that are starting to break up. I don't want full size headphones and out and out sound quality isn't that important as long as its decent. I just want something that will prevent me having to listen to the gyms dance music.
Define cheap? Budget? Isolation is more about the tips, insertion depth, and making sure that the IEMs aren't vented. Stick some tri-flanges on anything that fits if sound's not a priority, and you're golden.
Whoever told me Westone 3s sound like HE400s is wrong...I bought a pair of W3s and they're very dark and sluggish - sounds like I'm listening to music with my ears plugged from low pressure, no detail at all.
Anything else that sounds like the HE400s? Considering IEMs or closed portables under $300. Thanks.
Dark? This sounds like a cop-out, but really a good indication that fit is not working well. People used to cry tears of blood attempting to get a good fit with them before. Check the hundreds of pages in the appreciation thread, tons of tip experimentation there. Again, the 3.Ai would be worth a look. Just bought a pair used (sold them for some UE900s later on) and they might do well. Bass presence, with that upper-mid suckout leaning towards gradual treble sparkle (seems to be a trending signature nowadays)
...Dark? Still can't get that out of my head. Weird...
Hi. A headphone novice here. Just wanted some advice before I decide to part with (and possibly waste) some money.
Got a £25 ($40) Amazon voucher left over from Christmas, don't know what to do with it, thought of maybe getting a pair of 'proper' in-ear phones. As per the OP, here are my "parameters":
- Type = in-ear, probably sound-isolating (although the Bose IE2s seem like they might be suitable)
- Budget = up to £100 ($160) approx (possibly more for the 'right' phones)
- Use = unamped, mainly for listening to speech podcasts and audiobooks, used with iRiver T60 (I know, it's old, but it's still in great condition, and I like that it uses an AAA battery)
My current phones are very basic: a pair of Sony MDR-E818LP (http://www.sony.co.uk/product/hpa-in-ear-classic/mdr-e818lp). Again, they're old, but even after several years of daily use they're still in great condition (which is more than can be said for pretty much every other pair of phones I've ever owned).
Anyway, after looking around online, it seems the following might be suitable (what puts me off in brackets):
- Bose IE2 (not noise-isolating)
- Shure SE215 (cable over the ear)
- Westone 1 (cable over the ear)
- Sony XBA-1 (seems their lack of bass irritates many people)
I guess what I'm asking is: all things considered, is it worth spending up to £100 ($160) on a new pair of phones? If so, which would be a good buy? Would it be worth (for example) spending extra on a pair of Sony XBA-2's?
Any advice appreciated.
Didn't get much of a improvement from the XBA-1 to XBA-2. Sound preferences/genres?
I'm looking for a new pair of in-ear headphones since the cable of my Sennheiser CX-280 broke. This time I'm looking for a more high-end pair of headphones. My budget is up to +/- €100/$100. I mainly listen to my Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip (rockboxed).
I'm considering the Shure SE215 or the Sony XBA-1, but I don't know which one I should chose. My main point of doubt is the bass part, because the SE215 is said to be a in-ear headphone with a lot of bass, and some people say that the XBA-1 pretty much lacks bass. I'm not considering myself to be a bass-head since I found my old Sennheisers had a bit too much bass, but I don't consider a lack of bass as a good thing, because I like a nice, warm sound.
So which one should you recommend? Or do you have an other great quality alternative?
Thanks in advance.
The Shures would definitely be warmer. Bass quantity isn't THAT excessive, most certainly not at the Senn levels.
Just remembered that the RE262 dropped to around your price because of the new models. Still some left on Amazon it seems. Warm, smooth, no bass bump like the SE215s though.
Also the new RE-400 that replaced them, but no idea how those sound. Right on budget though, worth a look?
I need help choosing some portable phones. I'm not very savvy on these matters and i have a tight budget (below $30).
after spending the day searching the web for the best value i can afford i've reached a list of , what seems to be , very interesting phones. but i can´t make my mind about them:
Sennheiser hd 219(they are $26 in slickdeals), monoprice 8320($7), audio-technica fw-33 bijoue(around $9 with a deal), koss ksc75($15), coby cv-185($10), MEElectronics ht-21($25), koss sportapro($23), koss portapro($35), sennheiser px100(if i can find them at $35).
for what i read buying the monoprice 8320 is pretty much a given since they are so cheap, it would be nice to have them as a spare.
but i'd like to buy another one to use on daily basis.
the koss porta pro and the sennheiser px100(if i can find them a 35) are a little out of my budget, but if the build cuality and sound are far better than the other options i might stretch to get them.
sadly, i can't test the phones since i'm in argentina and a friend visiting USA will be buying them. So i'd like to hear your opinion or experiences on this phones.
Sound preferences/genres? Would just spring for the PortaPros at that price.
I'm currently debating about picking up the GR01 because it cheaper than the GR07 on headphonebar currently, and the GR01 are considered more superior technically .However, I was just wondering how was their bass. I don't necessarily care about bass but with my previous experience with IEMs were only the RE0, the bass was obviously a little lacking. Despite it being very clear unless you actually tried to listen to the bass it wouldn't be very noticeable. I mostly listen to Post-Rock (Mono being one of the top bands for me), downtempo, Rock.
I just wondering if anyone had any comparisons for the GR01 vs RE0 despite them clearly being in different price ranges. It would be helpful because it was the only IEMs I have experience with. Thanks.
Also listened to them at HB. Almost all my songs are post-rock, so I can safely say that these sound spectacular with that. Tonality for that genres is much more preferred compared to the GR07. Not much difference in bass quantity wise, from memory, compared to the RE0. Just more detailed and better fleshed out. Extension is not the best on either.
Hello, I need some help.
I'm searching a portable headphone which give me a balanced sound or a little emphasis on treble. I'm not a bass huge fan, so a sound focused on bass stuff isn't my priority. I'm looking for a headphone that matches my Sansa Clip Zip sound. I've been looking three models: Audio-Technica ATH-ES33, Sennheiser HD219 and Sony MDR-EX600. Which one do you think is more suitable for me and more affortable with U$80 of price range? P.S.: I need a store that ships to Brazil!
Having just tried a bunch of cheapo ATs, the general formula for them seems to be leaning towards the treble. The other choices are rather warm and smooth. Would go for the ATs, assuming that most of the stuff in that ranges aims for a similar sig.
Hi all, I'm seeking a high quality pair of IEMs for the gym (mostly weights, not running, although if suitable for running they would be used instead of my current crappy, but good for running gym ones!). Budget £100-£200. I listen to trance, progressive house, house and hip-hop and I love bass. Outside the gym I have Ultrasone Pro-900's and love them to pieces.
I was considering the Shure SE 215's; Senheiser IE80 and the Sony XBA 3ip. Would appreciate your feedback on which of these would be the most bassy headphones, ideally ones that do not sacrifice the rest of the sound range. Open to other suggestions, but ideally IEMs that are easy to obtain in the UK.
IE8s would have the most bass of the three, not sure of the IE80 other than that it's supposed to have slightly more control and less quantity. For trance, house, would go with the Atrios personally.
hi! im back with my newly bought sunrise xcape impressive edition :D
i've upgraded from a pair of cheap panasonic earphones to the sunrise xcape IE and i was wondering if it's normal that sometimes the vocals seems to be in the center but i hear like more drums on the left/right ear.
sometimes like 2 beats of drum on the right ear then 1 strum of guitar on the left ear.
this feeling is really weird, i like to know if this is normal or that i received a pair of faulty earphones.
i am also wondering if it's possible that the sunrise xcape ie has a better "soundstage" that's why on the song where the drum beat that seems to be right ear biased seems more obvious in my xcape ie compared to my panasonic.
on the panasonic for the same song, the drum beat still sounds right ear biased but its close to the middle of my head. could this be what the pros call "analytical" and "soundstage"?
If it's very distinct, balance problem with the drivers. Actually even if it's subtle, it still might be that. Does sound like you're describing soundstage though.
Hi all, I've been reading the reviews and IEM shootout on this site for a while and have come to a point where I'm ready to spend some cash but can't settle on a final model to go with.
I'm comfortable with spending around £100 to £200, mainly listen to EDM but stray into the world of folk, acoustic and jazz. Ideally would like something with punchy bass / sub bass rumble but also the detail to pick out instruments in the other styles I like.
I had looked at the GR07, Atrio MG7, Velodyne vPulse and Beyer DTX / MMX 101 which are at the cheaper end and recently looked at the Monster Turbine Pro Gold and Gratitude models - has anyone any experience with these or could recommend anything else that may be suitable?
Cheers in advance.
Punchy with texture = GR07. Especially if you want to keep a good balance. EPH100 would do as well, less balanced, more warm and coloured, but definitely fun with electronic. Atrios are overwhelming for jazz, just can't enjoy them for that.
I work at an animal shelter. When im around the dogs the barking is at a dangerous level. I have ear buds for my ipod but i have to blast it at an even more dangerous level to hear the music. Im looking for something thats under 100 that will block the noise and let me enjoy my music without going deaf.
Etys for the utmost isolation, unless you need some level of awareness, in which case any IEM that isn't shallow or vented would do. Sound preference/genres?
[revised to include the full scope of what I'm looking for]
Ok, so I'm trying to find some things for a friend (1 earphone, 1 headphone). I would like to have an answer ASAP to start the ordering process soon.
The three big criteria are:
- Price <$100 USD in total, no more please
- Decent sound quality (she listens to a wide variety of music genres)
I was thinking the Shure SRH440, JVC HAS400B Carbon Nanotube, Creative Aurvana Live!, or Sennheiser HD201 or 201 for headphones; Monoprice 8320, this one on-sale on Groupon, or one of MEElectronics's earphones.
I'm not really an expert with sub $100 headphones/earphones, so hopefully you guys can help me recommend a combination.
Thank you so much in advance.
The SRH440s for durability for Shure (puns) :P More of an all-rounder, and just built like a champ (this is coming from a current CAL! owner)
Hey guys, new here. First post and all that.
Anyways, I was hoping for some advice on in-ear headphones.
I'm looking for something that really keeps the sound in, rather than keeps other sounds out. Perhaps it seems silly, but the idea of bothering people with my music gives me a bit of anxiety.
Obviously I'd want something that sounds good too, but stopping sound leak is a really high priority for me.
I've already read through http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-268-iems-compared-visang-vs-k1-added-01-03-13, and based on that the Etymotic Research ER-4S seemed like it would probably be a good fit.
Basically I guess I wanted to ask if they keep sound in as well as they keep sound out? If not, or if you have no idea, does anyone else have any other suggestions?
Thanks for your time.
They would do well with isolation. Generally IEMs that aren't vented don't leak much sound anyways, so you're in the clear.
Hi, years ago I had my friend buy me iMetal - i590s and boy was the review (multi IEM reviews) invaluabel to me. The only problems with them have been two things: the earflange tore a little one one side, that the fit isn't very good with them, and the other issue is that on both sides, they came apart and almost got ruined, but super glue fixed that. Now for my question: I am sending my girl a care package with a bunch of things, mostly electronics and toys. My sister gave me her Sansa clip + mp3 player. I am sending it to my girl as where she lives there is not variety and electronics is outrageously expensive. She is only 5 feet tall, has small hands, and I think, probably smallish ears She listens to music I tell her about, but she's mostly a Carpenters, Air Supply, ABBA type person (I know, I know). I want to get some IEMs with phone mic that will sound good, fit her well, not break easily, and be less than 25 dollars (my budget is VERY limiting). I was thinking the MEELectronics M6Ps, and ordered one off eBay, but the seller shipped me some M9s instead, which failed after only a few minutes use. I went back and forth with the seller and they finally refunded me, and admittedly I don't buy much, and have only bought off eBay twice before. Only one channel works on the phones, so they are useless and I guess I should throw them away. So now I need something else. I need help here, can anyone advise me on what to look at getting. I am willing to buy used to get a better quality item if necessary. Small ears clear highs without too much harshness average bass not prone to breaking mic built in for cell phone use around 25 bucks can be used suited for vanilla love song music
The VC02 aim to be pretty small. People say good things about them, as well as clarity and treble in general. The main thread's worth a look.
It's easy for people to miss someone out in between all the other sea of requests. And the fact that most probably haven't heard the ones you're asking about.
Hey, first post here (:
I'm looking for some in-ear headphones and I'm willing to spend about $30~$40. I usually listen to K-pop (sometimes J-pop), I want headphones that can bring out the beauty of songs like this (skip to 3:49) or this, basically, songs that are strong on vocals. At the same time, I want songs like this to sound great too. Also comfort and isolation are important to me too. Don't know if that's too much to ask for.
I've done some researching of my own and I've been thinking about purchasing the Soundmagic E10's. I've noticed these headphones are constantly praised for it's bass. Bass is something that is emphasized in Hip Hop and not K-pop. These reviews make me think that the main selling point of the E10's is the bass but if bass is not something that is emphasized in K-pop then will it really benefit me?
Oh, and I'm using the iPhone 5.
Also a DBSK fan. As mentioned, E10s aren't strong on vocals. MH1C with some EQ at that price works wonders for K-Pop. 8 pairs snatched up by friends looking for the same thing (K-Pop cheapo IEMS)
Looking to find a replacement for my Sony mdr-ex90lp buds. The left ear cable has a short in it that only passes audio if is carefully positioned. The Sony buds (not fakes...heh) were bought new about 7 or 8 years ago and lasted a very long time and provided the kind of tonal balance I really like as well as providing the best fit and comfort of any buds I have owned.
I also had a set of Shure e2c before those, but the casing on those started to deteriorate after a year or so, and the fit was not quite right along with a being a bit shy on the low end despite excellent mid/high end.
I purchased a set of mdr-ex310lp buds about 6 months ago that seemed to be an equivalent model but have to say that they have been a major disappointment. The updated shape does not fit as well, the mid/high frequencies are definitely not as defined, and to top it off the rubber covers on the edges of the buds that appear to be held on by rubber cement have both fallen off exposing the wiring behind the driver on both sides.
I am definitely not willing to go above $200, and am really wanting to be around $140 but will stretch for something that is in another league.
I would really prefer to repair the cable on the buds I have, but not sure if that is a realistic option.
If you can't personally recable them, I think people like BTG Audio do recables for IEMs. $45+ a cheaper CIEM cable for ~20-35 would be almost the same price as the original IEMs though. Apparently takes pennies to fix them yourself.
I'm looking for a low-budget IEM (<$35) but the following is my criteria for selection:
noise isolation (important): I will wear these in areas ranging from places with minimal talking and background noise to buses, and occasionally airplanes.
minimal microphonics (important): I had Skullcandy Titans (I'm done with Skullcandy; definitely hyped) but the thumping whenever I brushed against the cord annoyed me.
mic (preferred, but optional)
"balanced" audio (optional): I don't listen to music at loud levels, and the types of music I listen to varies from classical, movie soundtracks, classic rock, and alt rock - but I don't think an exaggerated bass or treble will improve my listening experience. The other criteria definitely trumps this one since I'm fairly easily satisfied audio-wise.
I don't expect a perfect solution with my tight budget, but it's been a little difficult researching on my own since it seems like this forum appreciates superior audio quality a lot more than I do in terms of monetary value. (I guess I'm just an audio noob =P )
Thank you in advance for your help!
Hard to find a mic-capable device at that price other than the MH1C. But not exactly balanced. E30 might be worth a look.
im looking to buy a new pair of iems ive been using meelectronics m9's and for a cheap pair i think they sound pretty good considering the price tag but i want to upgrade plus they are starting to bother my ears
i would prefer to spend no more then 80 dollars but can go up to 100 i need them to be comfortable ive had problems with finding the right tips in the past and just problems in general with iems i have small ears so im sensitive..
type of music i listen to is metal/rock mostly some rap but not often
if you need to know anymore info from me please ask
would like to hear as many recommendations as possible so i can compare.....please be strict to my dollar amount cant really go higher and also dont want to have to get an amp for them so they have to be good in every aspect as is
Definitely SE215s for metal. Great bass kick, Shure Olives are plush and comfortable.
I am looking for some new IEM's, I my previous IEM's were the Klipsch image S4a but they broke and I wasn't completely satisfied with them, mainly because the treble was too sharp/hars, I am Dutch so I have a little trouble describing in english what exactly I mean but I'll do the best I can.
I'll be listening to them with my Samsung Galaxy S3, mainly via Spotify at 320 kbit/s so they should be compatible and sound good with this.
The music I listen to is very varied, from artists like Jack johnson to club/house music. I work at a bar/club so I want to be able to listen to the music we play there and have it sound great while other genres also sound great. Basically a very versatile pair of IEM's.
I have looked through this forum and the Rock-It Sounds R-50 seem a great choice but the Head-Direct RE-0/ZERO also seem like good alternatives. This is also about the kind of money I want to spend, however if it's realy worth it I could go a bit higher.
I use my IEM's a lot while riding my bicycle or even running, so they should be comfortable and stay in my ears well, also I'd like them to have good isolation.
I really hope you guys can give me good advice on what to buy and if you have any questions please ask me!
Clubs usually have a lot of bass cranked up, though I shouldn't generalize. But the two mentioned are usually perceived as bass-light, so might not be the best fit. Don't exactly see a budget, so that'd be helpful for us.
I am looking for a pair of iems that have a mic to use with my Galaxy S3. I mostly listen to hip hop/rnb/dubstep and currently use the Brainwavz M2's since I like bass. Are any of these a good replacement? Anything for no more than £120
I'm looking for some budget earbuds around $40-50.
I currently own the JVC Marshmellows which were good but my pair is starting to break so I'm looking for an upgrade.
I listen to bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for my Valentine, Disturbed,etc.
I want good bass and noise canceling.
So far I've been looking at the Brainwavz M1, Brainwavz R1 and the SoundMagic E10.
Does anyone have any opinions on these or other earbuds in the $40-$50 price range?
M2s keep the darker sound sig of the Marshmellows. Never liked the M1 for the sig, but it would probably do better for rock.
'Ello guys, i'm looking for some sort of portable can, i can take IEMs aswell, I need something that does metal and orchestral and all of those as good as possible with an emphasis on deep male vocals. I'd also like there to be no sibilance at all.
As far as i've dabbled in IEMs and headphones in general i've found that dynamic drivers dont do it for me. None of them has the speed to reproduce these tracks well and it all comes out as a congested blob. I've found vintage orthodynamics (Namely the elektronika tds-5m) to perform excellently, to make vocals pop out and sound brilliantly, although there was a bit of lack in the highrange, nothing an EQ couldnt fix.
IEM Balanced armature drivers also did the trick - the cold analytical yet ligtning fast and astoundingly detailed sound signature did a number on me but all of my IM716s died due to the damn filters getting damaged by hair.
I've tried beyers, i've tried ultrasones, i've tried v-modas, i've tried most AKGs (except the k550).
Grados seemed to do the trick, but it wasnt anywhere near the level of what orthos could do or the sonic marvel that were balanced armatures.
Pricerange : maximum of 220$ , I have nothing against them being used. I wouldn't mind hunting for them on the head-fi marketplace either.