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Should I give up on IEMs?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Alright, so over these past two months, I've researched many threads including ClieOS's and Joker's - I've bought these three IEMs:

 

- Ultimate Ears TF10

- VSonic GR06

- Sennheiser CX300

 

... And I didn't like any of them. The GR06 are still brand new and were used today after a couple hours of burn-in (still burning-in) at school, and it sounded very thick, muddled, and unclear. It was detailed and the bass extended very well, but the overall sound quality was lacking. The treble wasn't crisp as most make it out to be. It seemed like the mids and bass swallowed it up. The TF10 isn't too bad, but it still feels very lacking in mids and the highs aren't as edgy as I liked. The CX300 was a lot like the GR06 in terms of sound signature.

 

So I ask you, Head-Fi, what IEM should I go for next? For a reference of my personal tastes, the ATH-M50 is my favorite headphone and hits everything spot on for my likes; extended bass and sparkly highs (although it could be a touch bassier). I've heard some recommend the CKM series, so I might look in to that. Other than those, what else would you point me towards? I'm looking for IEMs that are very similar to the M50's sound signature. Price doesn't really matter as long as it stays sub-$120.

 

IEMs I've been looking at:

- Thermaltake Isurus/CKM99

- ATH-CKM50


Edited by Agony - 6/14/12 at 5:14pm
post #2 of 19

What don't you like about the CX300? I have that earphone.

 

If you want a much brighter sound, try the JVC HA-FX40. It is bright sounding, but also has strong bass. It needs extensive burn in though(perhaps 100 hours?)

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

My friend had those. They were indeed bright sounding with a punchy low end, but the bass seemed bloated and the highs a bit tinny.

post #4 of 19

So you want something with  faster bass? Perhaps you should try the JVC HA-FX40.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

I was talking about the JVC HA-FX40, haha

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Bump, still need help on this.
post #7 of 19

Well, I agree that the GR06 might be too sweet and thick, especially if you want something with more treble or leaner notes. Comparing it to the cx300 is a little bit excessive though as the cx300 is utter crap in my book. You may sell the tf10 and get a Vsonic GR07 although I think that with some eq you can balance the mids of the tf10. Or maybe try the HiSound Audio Crystal. Also, you may consider something cheaper with good treble extension and detail like the hifiman RE-0 and get an amp like the Fiio E11, which can add the sub-bass needed for a better bass punch. I don't think you should give up on iems but comparing sub-$100iems with $150 headphones like the ATH-M50, which is a real bang for the buck, is kinda unfair (the tf10 is an exception as I also never like its mids). There are a lot of great iems that you might like but to find an iem with great bass and great highs while retaining good mids is harder to find as sparkly and crisp highs are usually present in BAs and most of them will be leaner on bass without an amp and will have a higher price than the one you want.

post #8 of 19

To be honest, it's going to be hard finding an IEM that sounds like the M50 for less money than the actual M50.

 

Not to mention, it's full sized sound vs IEM sound. You may have to spend substantially more to match the sound.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kova4a View Post

Well, I agree that the GR06 might be too sweet and thick, especially if you want something with more treble or leaner notes. Comparing it to the cx300 is a little bit excessive though as the cx300 is utter crap in my book. You may sell the tf10 and get a Vsonic GR07 although I think that with some eq you can balance the mids of the tf10. Or maybe try the HiSound Audio Crystal. Also, you may consider something cheaper with good treble extension and detail like the hifiman RE-0 and get an amp like the Fiio E11, which can add the sub-bass needed for a better bass punch. I don't think you should give up on iems but comparing sub-$100iems with $150 headphones like the ATH-M50, which is a real bang for the buck, is kinda unfair (the tf10 is an exception as I also never like its mids). There are a lot of great iems that you might like but to find an iem with great bass and great highs while retaining good mids is harder to find as sparkly and crisp highs are usually present in BAs and most of them will be leaner on bass without an amp and will have a higher price than the one you want.

 

True, but in every comparison I've asked, everyone seems to agree that the TF10's SQ 'blows the M50 out of the water'. I'm not too interested in amping either, portable amps are really annoying when I'm out and about around campus. And I also think the TF10 and the M50 aren't really unfair comparisons, seeing as both are from the same general price range; I think the TF10 is on average more expensive than the M50. It isn't that I don't like the TF10's mids, I just don't like its sound quality, in particular the highs. I actually think the mids were fine.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

To be honest, it's going to be hard finding an IEM that sounds like the M50 for less money than the actual M50.

 

Not to mention, it's full sized sound vs IEM sound. You may have to spend substantially more to match the sound.

 

Yes, but I am willing to sell both my TF10 and GR06 on top of $100, which is remarkably higher than the M50's price (~$260-280 vs. $130). Would you point me towards any in particular?

 

EDIT: Sorry for the double post; used to forums where it automatically merges posts.

post #11 of 19

Maybe you'll like the new DBA-02 mkII. I'm not sure if the overall quantity of the bass will be enough for you but its speed, control and texture will be enough to surprise you in a good way. Also, the mids will have more detail and better balance than the ATH-M50 and the treble is something that will definitely not dissapoint you. ATH-CK10 will probably be also to your liking if you can find it as it has been discontinued for some time.

post #12 of 19

What about the Audio Technica ATH-CKM50?  Supposedly quite similar in sound to the full size M50.  I own a pair and they definitely have solid bass and sparkly highs.  (*too* solid and sparkly for me... but then I tend to prefer the opposite to a V-shaped signature)
 

post #13 of 19

I agree about the CX300's....really not the greatest, yes, good compared to standard stock earbuds, but not against their competitors.

 

Read the thread on the Audio Technica ATH-CKM500 (AT newest release)...I got myself a pair based on the general consensus and I'm really happy with them. Great sound stage, instrument separation sparkles, bass is there when the music needs it to be (o.k I'm using a RoCoo-P, which for my genre of music tastes, beats to competition hands down) but not to the point it swamps all else. You can get them for $70...so well within budget..

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607006/the-new-ath-ckm500-the-best-ckm-earphone-yet

 

TF10's...never used, so cannot comment.

 

Hope this helps..

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

What about the Audio Technica ATH-CKM50?  Supposedly quite similar in sound to the full size M50.  I own a pair and they definitely have solid bass and sparkly highs.  (*too* solid and sparkly for me... but then I tend to prefer the opposite to a V-shaped signature)
 

 


I've been looking heavily at these, luckily found a pair for $15.. Can anyone else elaborate? Also on the Thermaltake Isurus/ATH-CKM99?

post #15 of 19

Well 2 of the most balanced, detailed and just great sounding IEM's I know of are the EPH-100 and Rockit Sounds R-50.  The EPH-100 is balanced with good detail and punchy bass with an average to slightly above average soundstage.  Now the R-50 which is my favorite IEM out of all of mine is also balance with a bit more over all detail and very clean well textured bass and an airy open soundstage with some of the best imaging and separation I've heard.  The EPH-100 has a little more bass but the R-50 can still go deep with good impact and its just a cleaner sound imo.  I have some IEM's that are around $300 and the $119.99 R-50 sounds better than all of them including the TF10 and GR07.  I think its worth giving them a try and if you don't like them you can always return them.

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