Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Question about IEMs vs headphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Question about IEMs vs headphones

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

at a certain price point, something like 300-400$ which would generally sound better, an IEM or a full sized headphones. i know it depends on the specific set picked but lets just assume each are the best in the range.


Edited by hawk1410 - 7/19/12 at 12:31pm
post #2 of 16

What are you looking for, sound-wise?  Dynamics, detail, sound-stage?  Where are you coming from, headphone-wise?  What kind of music do you listen to?  Where will you wear them?  How important is comfort?

post #3 of 16

Are you looking for portability or just wanting to listen at home?

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post

What are you looking for, sound-wise?  Dynamics, detail, sound-stage?  Where are you coming from, headphone-wise?  What kind of music do you listen to?  Where will you wear them?  How important is comfort?

Honestly this is just a random question that popped into my head. I currently own HFI 580s and AKG K701s. I have never spent more than 50$ on IEMs though. Used the Kilpsch S4s until they broke and been using some old Creative EP630s. I currently have about 400$ and was thinking of spending on another set of headphones, maybe the HD 650 or HE-400s. Since i have never invested in IEMs i was wondering if should buy better IEMs now instead of getting another expensive full sized headphone. 

 

My music collection is too vast to be generalized into a certain genre, but if i had to pick top 2 i'd say indie rock and hip hop. I like having a nice sound stage, and a decent enough bass impact. I mostly listen to music on my desktop rig in my room(around 70% of the time, the rest 30% is on the move, my 580s are just fine when I'm on the move). Comfort is important.

 

I am currently torn on whether i should spend the 400$ on IEMs or Headphones. I could do a 200-200 split but I dont wanna get another 200$ headphone, wanna move up the ladder. So I'll probably spend all of the money on either  an IEM or a Headphone


Edited by hawk1410 - 9/15/12 at 10:06am
post #5 of 16

I was late in the game finding out about IEMs. So I guess in Head-Fi terms you could call me old school. I would buy actual home hi/Fi headphones as they were all you could get and IEMs didn't even exist!

 

 

 

The amazing benefits of IEMs are you use em a lot as you can take them anywhere. They run off of low cost portable and high cost portable amps or just Ipods!

 

 

IEMs don't get your ears hot like big headphones do. Unless you use them in cold weather and enjoy the ear-muff capabilities.

 

 

The real question you need to ask yourself is what headphone gives you a Passion . My AH-D 7000s were purchased used for 450.00. I am passionate  about them. Find what you are passionate about by trying different stuff. It's like finding a girl................................................................................................no one can tell you what to do.

post #6 of 16

I'd tweak your title to reflect the content of the question.

 

In general, there is something amazing about the capacity of an iem. The blend between portability and detail is astonishing, especially as you hit the $300 price point, and even lower like with the RE272. I do think an iem's potentially greatest sonic strength is detail.  Perhaps, that detail is helped by the noise isolation that some iems offer. Up to $300 or so, I think one is better going with iems. But as soon as you get into the HD600/650, K702, DT880 range, ($300 and above)., the race is tight between the headphones and iems. Personally, I've not yet found an iem at that price point that can match what over ear headphones can do, especially regarding realistic timber. Iems can also suffer in regard to soundstage as compared to over ear headphones. I "feel" that if I really want a realistic take on cello, violin, drums, etc. I'm better going with 300$ over ears, even if their presentation differs.

 

I've sold off headphones a couple times to go back to iems in this price range; I also find them lacking. I also find $300 overkill for an iem, when 5/6 of my listening can be at my desk. I've landed with a balance of both: HD650 for most of my listening and am looking to a cheaper in/ear for portable. For my tastes, the clear winners out there for ratio of sound to value are the GR07 and RE262, near the $130-150 price. I like what the RE262 offers but it being slightly amp dependent reduces its value for me. Unless I needed more portability and isolation or listened almost exclusively on the go, $150 gets a heck of a good iem for the occasional usage on a trip, at starbucks or doing paperwork. I find that I prefer iems in this price range to over ears.

post #7 of 16

Yep.................get em both 6 to 8 hundred.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

I'd tweak your title to reflect the content of the question.

 

In general, there is something amazing about the capacity of an iem. The blend between portability and detail is astonishing, especially as you hit the $300 price point, and even lower like with the RE272. I do think an iem's potentially greatest sonic strength is detail.  Perhaps, that detail is helped by the noise isolation that some iems offer. Up to $300 or so, I think one is better going with iems. But as soon as you get into the HD600/650, K702, DT880 range, ($300 and above)., the race is tight between the headphones and iems. Personally, I've not yet found an iem at that price point that can match what over ear headphones can do, especially regarding realistic timber. Iems can also suffer in regard to soundstage as compared to over ear headphones. I "feel" that if I really want a realistic take on cello, violin, drums, etc. I'm better going with 300$ over ears, even if their presentation differs.

 

I've sold off headphones a couple times to go back to iems in this price range; I also find them lacking. I also find $300 overkill for an iem, when 5/6 of my listening can be at my desk. I've landed with a balance of both: HD650 for most of my listening and am looking to a cheaper in/ear for portable. For my tastes, the clear winners out there for ratio of sound to value are the GR07 and RE262, near the $130-150 price. I like what the RE262 offers but it being slightly amp dependent reduces its value for me. Unless I needed more portability and isolation or listened almost exclusively on the go, $150 gets a heck of a good iem for the occasional usage on a trip, at starbucks or doing paperwork. I find that I prefer iems in this price range to over ears.

 

Well-said; great IEMs = detail monsters, great full-sized headphones = natural-sounding (both in terms of imaging and tonality). Obviously naturalness is not mutually exclusive with detail, but the two types of ear loudspeakers tend to veer toward one side or another.

post #9 of 16

Get em both and enjoy all head-fi has to offer your soul.

post #10 of 16

The fullsize headphones requires more power and need AMPs help to shows there best, the IEMs are more apealing for both use(home, portable) with or without AMP. The real question is you want to built quality fullsize desktop setup or just want to spent as minimuim possible. I think if you are on tight budget then IEMs are the way to go for better soundquality like Westone 4, UM3x, Sennheiser IE80, JVC FX700 and Sony EX1000.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post

The fullsize headphones requires more power and need AMPs help to shows there best, the IEMs are more apealing for both use(home, portable) with or without AMP. The real question is you want to built quality fullsize desktop setup or just want to spent as minimuim possible. I think if you are on tight budget then IEMs are the way to go for better soundquality like Westone 4, UM3x, Sennheiser IE80, JVC FX700 and Sony EX1000.

This could be the answer............................I'm too confused at this point in time.basshead.gif

post #12 of 16
Since you mentioned wanting good imaging/staging, I'd probably steer away from IEMs. Comfort is also a question (do you find them uncomfortable?).

Full-size headphones (and I include supra-aural models like Grados) can offer advantages in those areas over IEMs. But the isolation coupled with the generally high fidelity usually means more detail extraction (I have never compared "really good" IEMs to my 'stats or higher end dynamics though - but the ones I have heard, do not get to the same level as the higher end big stuff, but compared to similarly priced full-sizers, they're better).

Personally for home use, I'd put $300-$400 in full-size cans. But that's me. I wouldn't get too wrapped up in buying trinkets for them though. redface.gif
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post

The fullsize headphones requires more power and need AMPs help to shows there best, the IEMs are more apealing for both use(home, portable) with or without AMP. The real question is you want to built quality fullsize desktop setup or just want to spent as minimuim possible. I think if you are on tight budget then IEMs are the way to go for better soundquality like Westone 4, UM3x, Sennheiser IE80, JVC FX700 and Sony EX1000.

 

Great thoughts! In general, I agree. I do think that the HD598 or D2000 w/ an entry level amp might challenge the sound quality of these iems; but they are near the same level. 

post #14 of 16
An IEM in that price range carefully chosen can fully compete and beat a full size set of cans.

Portability being it's Ace Card.

Superior Isolation being it's second.

Lower Power to drive... And the list goes on.

Kinda like... Subaru vs Lincoln

Cheers, Jim
post #15 of 16

Just to put my 0.02 in - I have Panasonic RP-HJE900s which are the most natural-sounding of any of the headphones/IEMs I have ever had. I haven't heard many IEMs but I've heard a number of headphones and for some reason the timbre/realism and decay on these little IEMs are hard to beat. The imaging, soundstage, and detail are also good. They're not perfect, but I still haven't found a closed-back headphone that can surpass how natural they sound (still looking since I am more of a headphone person and not much of an IEM person - however, I'll never sell these little gems or will I care for other IEMs except for the ones I have which are Etys for more isolation).

 

It's really complex and subjective for anyone to figure out which one's better - headphones vs. IEMs - in the end it all depends on what you want and look for when it comes to sound sig, if you want portability, which aspects of the sound you put first, etc. For me, I am always just looking for the SQ on any HP or IEM to be as close to the real thing as possible. It all depends on the headphone/IEM, not even necessarily the price.


Edited by roma101 - 7/19/12 at 2:59pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Question about IEMs vs headphones