For ****s and giggles I decided to order a set of Spark IEMs by id America. A thread was posted last week stating these could be obtained fro around $30 from MacMall and at that price I figured there couldn't be much too lose. I bought them initially to compare to the Audio Technica CKM50 I've been using for a few weeks now and enjoy very much, ****ty cabling aside.
The buds were delivered and initial thoughts are positive - the construction is all aluminum and the buds themselves seem very sturdy. The only piece I would consider remotely cheap is the in-line Mic but those usually feel that way to me on a lot of brands. It works just fine and sounds good. The headphones sounded pretty sweet right out of the packaging, which was quite nice actually. For a set of phones with 8mm drivers they seem to deliver bass quite nicely. The other frequencies are well covered and just sound very good with the flac files of Steely Dan that I used as a test. I listened to all of Gaucho with an ear to ear **** eating grin.
I still like the ATs and I would say the Spark will compliment rather than replace those. The Spark is a compelling option at the $30 (list $60 on their website) price point. If you like bass and aren't looking for something to satisfy a hardcore basshead's need then these outta work quite well for you.
Solid build, great sound, and a decent price is a combination that always sits well with me.
Update: I wanted to include the link to the Jet Black model I ordered and it seems that they have since jacked the price up $20 to $50. Still $10 cheaper than direct from id America but not the bargain they were last week. Sorry to burst any bubbles. Wasn't my intent.
If I had to replace either the AT CKM50 or the Spark, I'd grab the latter for the metal construction, less flimsy cable and in-line Mic. Both sound very good but the Spark is a bit less bassy than the ATs.
Edited by stingx - 3/5/12 at 8:27am