Great idea for a contest. Here goes mine entry:
I have a a pair of Shure SE215's. At first I wasn't so sure (pun intended) what I should get as it would be my first pair of earphones that said "I give a damn" about the quality of noise that emanates from the things protruding from my ears. It would have been nice for someone (hint, hint) to have given these earphones to me as a birthday present, but it turns out that it was hard to justify to my friends and family the need for any earphones that cost over 30 bucks. The only earphones they know of are the white ones that Apple includes and hands out like cheap candy with their products. So I had to buy myself these earphones.
Being relatively new to the "audiophile" scene, I wanted to get something that would serve as an introductory product. Nothing too good or too expensive. It had to be something that performed well, but not too well. Something that was better than cheap candy, but not caviar. One of my irrational fears was that if I bought something too expensive straight from the beginning there would be no room for improvement in my personal quest for audio excellence and that I wouldn't be able to appreciate the better quality noise even if I bought a superb model. It would have been like throwing pearls at swines.
So, after doing some research on a few different sets of earphones I finally settled on the Shure SE215s. It had the right wallet-bleeding-to-performance ratio. It comes down to satisfaction with what you have. I know that I don't own the best killer earphones in the industry yet (I don't delude myself that I do), but I feel a certain peace of mind knowing that the sound is decently adequate and that there's room for upgrading in the future. I feel that the SE215's could be seen as "entry-level" earphones. These are the kind of earphones that I need at this stage in life. The basic accessories and functions (removable cables) were a nice touch.
Apart from that, my earphones say about me that I should consider using a Q-tip to clean the inside of my ears more than once a week.
Edited by moondo - 8/16/12 at 12:37pm