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Budget IEM Battle (under $40)

Poll Results: Which headphones should I choose?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 34% (8)
    JVC HA-FX40
  • 8% (2)
    MEElectronics M9
  • 8% (2)
    SoundMagic E10
  • 4% (1)
    Sennheiser CX300B MK II
  • 17% (4)
    Brainwavz M4
  • 26% (6)
    Other
23 Total Votes  
post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm buying my first pair of IEMs, or really my first pair of headphones because all I have ever used are the stock Apple ones. The last few days I have been OVERWHELMED by all these different brands and their headphones. For instance MEElectronics has like 4 pairs within $10 of each other and it's just so tough to make a decision.  After spending hours of looking through reviews and threads I've narrowed my selection down to a few and want some good advice. Remember, I have never used any IEM's and I bet anything will sound great. I listen to a lot of alternative rock and some hip hop if that makes a difference. Bass isn't TOO important, if anything I'm willing to sacrifice bass for clarity.

 

My favorite from reading reviews are the JVC HA-FX40. They are well priced, and based on some reviews sound like the latest thing. Lastly, unless one IEM blows out the rest in the polls I'm going to base my final decision off of the posts. If you have any questions I'll be checking this thread every hour or so. Thanks so much!

 

EDIT:If there are cheaper headphones that are equal to/better than what I have listed then that's awesome. I don't see why I should pay $35 if I can find something that sounds the same for $15. Thanks for that, stevenlongs.


Edited by mattchine - 6/23/12 at 10:34pm
post #2 of 8

Hey I was sort of in a similar situation a couple days ago. There seems to be many bang for buck IEMs out there for under 40$...even for under 15$. This is a chart I made for myself to search for a headphone under 15$. Knowing nothing and having to only go by reviews and prices. I did what i could with what I had. I looked up reviews from the 2 big threads. If they had a value score I noted them by the author's name. I also noted the price of the phones during the review and the currently what I could find on amazon. After that I just read the descriptions to see if they would fit the music I liked or the qualities I wanted (build quality was a big one for me). After all this I personally found the MEEl M16 at 13$ to be quite nice for me but this is considering I wanted something under 15$.

 

One thing you might want to add in your post is if you being cheaper is a bonus or you want to spend the full 40$ if this means better quality. At this price point there are too many to choose lol.

 

 

IEM under 15                 Style              Best Current Price     Price during review    ljokerl            ClieOS - 
 
Under 15
Coby CVEM79                 Warm                7 $                      10 $                          7                       -
JVC HA-FX34                   Warm               14 $                     12 $                         8                       -
MEElectronics M2            Balanced          13 $                     10 $                          8                     4.6/5
MEElectronics M16          Mid                   13 $                     25 $                          8                     4.6/5
MEElectronics SX31        Balanced?          7 $                       8 $                         5.5                     -
Monoprice 8320               Balanced?          9 $                       7 $                          9                       -
Philips SHE3580             Balanced            7 $                        - $                           -                       -
 
I extended this list far beyond this point because I am crazy but you get the idea. 
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenlongs View Post

Hey I was sort of in a similar situation a couple days ago. There seems to be many bang for buck IEMs out there for under 40$...even for under 15$. This is a chart I made for myself to search for a headphone under 15$. Knowing nothing and having to only go by reviews and prices. I did what i could with what I had. I looked up reviews from the 2 big threads. If they had a value score I noted them by the author's name. I also noted the price of the phones during the review and the currently what I could find on amazon. After that I just read the descriptions to see if they would fit the music I liked or the qualities I wanted (build quality was a big one for me). After all this I personally found the MEEl M16 at 13$ to be quite nice for me but this is considering I wanted something under 15$.

 

One thing you might want to add in your post is if you being cheaper is a bonus or you want to spend the full 40$ if this means better quality. At this price point there are too many to choose lol.

 

 

IEM under 15                 Style              Best Current Price     Price during review    ljokerl            ClieOS - 
 
Under 15
Coby CVEM79                 Warm                7 $                      10 $                          7                       -
JVC HA-FX34                   Warm               14 $                     12 $                         8                       -
MEElectronics M2            Balanced          13 $                     10 $                          8                     4.6/5
MEElectronics M16          Mid                   13 $                     25 $                          8                     4.6/5
MEElectronics SX31        Balanced?          7 $                       8 $                         5.5                     -
Monoprice 8320               Balanced?          9 $                       7 $                          9                       -
Philips SHE3580             Balanced            7 $                        - $                           -                       -
 
I extended this list far beyond this point because I am crazy but you get the idea. 


It's good that you brought this up, because I saw that the Philips SHE3580 and Monoprice 8320's were good for their price, but how would they stack up to the ones that I listed?

post #4 of 8

Considering how much praise the JVC FX40's are getting, I think it would be safe to go with those. They are currently 17$ on amazon. 

I just recommended a friend to cancel his order on the monoprice ones and pick those instead. I would have done the same, cancelling my order on the M16

if it wasn't too late.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenlongs View Post

Considering how much praise the JVC FX40's are getting, I think it would be safe to go with those. They are currently 17$ on amazon. 

I just recommended a friend to cancel his order on the monoprice ones and pick those instead. I would have done the same, cancelling my order on the M16

if it wasn't too late.


Wow thanks so much. At $30 they are a bargain, and now for $17? That's an absolute steal. I just made up my decision, thanks again.

post #6 of 8

I voted " Other" , and I have used or own all you have listed.

My picks for under $40

Vsonic GR99  $27   Vsonic GR02 Bass $36  Astrotec AM90 $41  or MEE CW31  $30

 

All these are MUCH better then what you have listed..  Remember you get what you pay for, The JVC are $17, you'll get a $17 product...I gave mine to a neighbor kid who doesn't know any better.

 

If you have to pick one from your list  The E10 is the best of the bunch...

post #7 of 8

The JVC HA-FX40 has great detail, but some find them to be too bright. The Panasonic RP-HJE355 has almost as much detail as the HA-FX40, but it is warmer sounding, and doesn't have the issue of excessive treble that the HA-FX40 has. The HA-FX40 is fine with some music, but with other music the excess treble can be an issue. The HA-FX40 also needs plenty of burn in to sound its best.

post #8 of 8

I have 2 earphones you have listed, (FX40 and M9), and I like the Philips SHE3580 better than both of those.  The FX40 is very similar in sound to the SHE3580, but the 3580 has better sub-bass and is smoother sounding and better mids, IMO.  The Meelec M9 to too bombastic for me -- boomy bassy and sizzling hot highs -- not well balanced.

 

For only about $15, go to WalMart, CVS Pharm, etc and pick up a pair and be done with it.  They are the best for the price.

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