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Help finding IEMs or headphones under $800. Big soundstage, rich vocals, slightly sparkling highs

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for either a custom IEM or a pair of headphones that has a terrific spacious soundstage with rich vocals, and a relatively lively presentation overall without being overbearing in any one aspect. I don't want a clinical sound, would like slightly sparkling shimmering high with clarity and a reasonable amount of bass. 

Budget is $800 willing to go up a little if necessary. Planning to use it unamped through my laptop and Sony X series walkman with 320 kbps mp3s. 

Willing to buy a highly portable amp if necessary, but would prefer not to. Appreciate your help. 

I listen to some instrumental, a lot of female vocalists, a decent amount of pop, alternative rock. Very little hip/hop and rap. 

 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 27

I would not hesitate to go with a pair of Jerry Harvey HD10 Pro IEMs.

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/jh-audio-jh10-pro.php

 

They have a slight darkness to them which lends themselves to a less bright sound signature.

 

A less expensive option would be to go for a pair of Etymotic ER-4PT IEMs.  You may want to invest in a set of Comply foam tips to ensure comfort.  They sound really good for a $300 or less IEM and offer great isolation.

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/etymotic-er-4pt.php

Drawback:  Microphonics with the cord and the time to burn them in can take a few hundred hours.  The shirt clip provided helps remove 90% of the microphonics, but if that is an issue for you stay away from the ER-4PT.

 

As for headphones going with something like the AKG K550 will bring you  lively sound stage without sacrificing comfort or neutrality.

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/akg-k-550.php

Drawback:  The headphone in really thin and sharp.  Add some padding and you have yourself a great set of headphones.

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Would I be happy with a JH13pro?

post #4 of 27

That is a very subjective test and only you will be able to decide that.  I can tell you that the JH13Pro is a definite upgrade from the JH10Pro.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

JH13 pro vs. EM4 pro? what are the strengths weakneses 

post #6 of 27

Unique Melody Miracle should sufficiently blow your mind for an IEM.

 

http://uniquemelody.co/lineup/miracle/

post #7 of 27
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

I won't have the luxury of re-ripping everything to FLAC. My collection is largely 320 kbps MP3's, and a decent amount of 256 kbps VBR mp3's. I will also be using these a lot for just watching videos on my laptop. 

I have a Sony X series, and do not want to lug around an amp. The headphone out on the X is fairly good. I need something that is reasonably forgiving of source material, at this point I can't invest a lot more in the source and an amp. 

post #9 of 27

I bought UE RM after much research (and since I liked UE TF, I knew I could trust UE).

the set goes for $1k plus ear impression and tax if you live in California.

 

these monitors are flat (but not boring), big soundstage and very clear. After using these monitors, I developed preference of albums based on recording quality.

 

I have an older generation iPod with Corda Move. I like that amplified sound better than straight from the iPod. I don't think an amp is a must for these monitors. but I like it amplified.

post #10 of 27
Originally Posted by Origin89 View Post

Unique Melody Miracle should sufficiently blow your mind for an IEM.

 

http://uniquemelody.co/lineup/miracle/

 

...and the 4 month waiting time.

post #11 of 27
Originally Posted by ucrags84 View Post

Would I be happy with a JH13pro?

 

Based on what you wrote in your sound preferences, most likely not.

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucrags84 View Post

I have a Sony X series, and do not want to lug around an amp. The headphone out on the X is fairly good. I need something that is reasonably forgiving of source material, at this point I can't invest a lot more in the source and an amp. 

 

I'd be careful about using your X with multi-armature IEMs.

I have an A845 (similar or same s-master amp inside) and here's what it does with multi-armatures:

 

 

(source)

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

So what do you think would work better for me? 

I really loved the sound sig of the Sony EX1000... but could not get a good fit even with hybrid tips. Customs give me the hyper-detail just because my ears are a little unusual and are hard to fit with regular sleeves. 

post #14 of 27

you wait for a few month, ultrasone IEM is coming

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucrags84 View Post

So what do you think would work better for me? 

I really loved the sound sig of the Sony EX1000... but could not get a good fit even with hybrid tips. Customs give me the hyper-detail just because my ears are a little unusual and are hard to fit with regular sleeves. 

 

Take this with a grain of salt (cause I don't know for sure whether your X behaves exactly like my A), but at least try to demo before you go for multi-BAs. Some of the multi-BAs I tried sounded noticeably off with my A845. Heck, not even the $1000 single-armature FI-BA-SS synergizes well with the Sony. I got the impression that their s-master amp was made with dynamic drivers in mind, since it sounds great with the EX1000 and downright amazing with the DD based Final Audio 1601 and 1602 models.

 

Frankly, if you want to go custom and can't demo before buying, you better be prepared to either add an amp (preferably from the HPO, since the LO sounds worse than the former, at least on my A845) or swap your X for a less touchy DAP. jm2c.


Edited by james444 - 8/22/12 at 1:14pm
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