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durable IEMs for under $100?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have had to constantly buy new IEMs because none of them seem to last more than 6 months. I've gone through 2 pairs of MEElectronics m9's this year. I love the way they sound, but one channel always stops working after a while. And this is isn't from freak accidents, just normal use.

I have the etymotic mc5's, which are exactly the type of durability I want, but I dislike their sound. I find it dull, boring, and undetailed.

 

Are there any non-etymotic IEMs that are durable? Also note, I don't want to turn on EQing on my ipod, since it wastes battery life.

 

And by durable, I don't mean "they look like they're durable" or "they weigh alot, so they must be durable" or "they are made out of metal, so they're durable" or "the cord is thick, so it must be durable". I mean, do they have sufficient strain relief? Can they survive longer than a year from being constantly wrapped around an ipod and removed from and shoved into a pocket?


Edited by Eisenhower - 9/4/12 at 10:45am
post #2 of 15
If I might...

Goto mousers website and purchase a couple of green acoustic dampers for your MC5s first.

You might be surprised by the change, I know I was.

Well worth the couple of bucks. It might save you some time & money in a search for something better than what you already have.

Jim
post #3 of 15

If you constantly changing IEMs every 6 months then perhaps considering to purchase Philips SHE9700 if it's still available in your country, or you could buy couples of Philips SHE3580 variants for more less USD 25.

 

They have almost the same sound signatures though SHE9700 has more power in sub-bass department and also has clearer wider high frequency. You should give it a try. :)

post #4 of 15

from what I have experienced with 100 dollars price range earphones (, Hippo VB, Re0, Silver Bullet, Eterna, Se215, M3 etc) , the quality of earphones is not so well desired. In some cases they last longer, but overall I would not expect the build of sub100 price range earphones to  200 or even sub 200 price range 

Some time better to just save on few weeks on starbucks coffer or other addictions biggrin.gif , and get a more reliable pair.

note, now expensive not always mean better however I own  few 150-250 like  DBA02,  Radius W21, ortofons e-Q5 which still last 2 years.

post #5 of 15

Phonak PFE022s are pretty durable, they're at the edge of your price range though.  Bass heavy signature with a slight veil may turn you away though.  ThinkSound has Kevlar re-enforced cables (like Etymotic and Phonak) and wooden housings tend to be durable, unless you have an axe at hand... I've personally heard the TS02 and MS01, both of which are recommendable.  Etymotics are always durable as well.  They have an angled jack over the rest.  Westone models may also work, as would the A151.  It all really depends on what sound you're after, there are durable headphones for the price, but please read on.

 

Part of what determines how long an IEM lasts is how they are treated when not in use.  If you don't use a case to shield them, they tend to not last as long (some people count this as normal use; it isn't, you should use provided cases).  As you stated, you wrap around iPods and shove into pockets...  This will make ANY IEM go bad quickly.  It doesn't matter how durable it is.  You are forcing cable problems and stress when you do that.  If you choose to do this, I suggest getting an IEM with removeable cables as the cable will go bad, not the IEM itself.  Cables aren't cheap either though.  Take care of your IEMs, then you won't have as many problems. 


Edited by tinyman392 - 9/5/12 at 6:03pm
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroTurf View Post

If I might...
Goto mousers website and purchase a couple of green acoustic dampers for your MC5s first.
You might be surprised by the change, I know I was.
Well worth the couple of bucks. It might save you some time & money in a search for something better than what you already have.
Jim

 

How exactly did the sound change from having green dampers?

Don't the ER-4P use green dampers too?

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

I have had to constantly buy new IEMs because none of them seem to last more than 6 months. I've gone through 2 pairs of MEElectronics m9's this year. I love the way they sound, but one channel always stops working after a while. And this is isn't from freak accidents, just normal use.

I have the etymotic mc5's, which are exactly the type of durability I want, but I dislike their sound. I find it dull, boring, and undetailed.

 

Are there any non-etymotic IEMs that are durable? Also note, I don't want to turn on EQing on my ipod, since it wastes battery life.

 

And by durable, I don't mean "they look like they're durable" or "they weigh alot, so they must be durable" or "they are made out of metal, so they're durable" or "the cord is thick, so it must be durable". I mean, do they have sufficient strain relief? Can they survive longer than a year from being constantly wrapped around an ipod and removed from and shoved into a pocket?

 

How long have you had / used the mc5?  For all we know they can't stand 6 months of your use either.  I now always keep IEMs in their own pouch, if only to prevent dust and debris from falling into the drivers and affecting the sound.  I still shove those pouches into my pockets though lol


Edited by Joe Bloggs - 9/5/12 at 9:37pm
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

How exactly did the sound change from having green dampers?
Don't the ER-4P use green dampers too?

Joe, The MC5s use the white filter as stock. Resistance value 680 ohms.
The ER-4 Series use the green filters with a resistance value of 1500 ohms.

So, by swapping in some greens in place of the whites, I have further filtered or restricted the higher frequencies.

Thus, I feel the... Nut Rattlin Bass of the MC5s.

This can be studied further here: http://rinchoi.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-effect-of-acoustic-dampers-on-iems.html?m=1

Cheers, Jim
post #9 of 15

You might like the V-Moda Vibes. They are more "fun" sounding (but I like the Etys more tongue.gif) And they are almost indestructible. They're only $30.

 

http://v-moda.com/vibe/

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yello131 View Post

from what I have experienced with 100 dollars price range earphones (, Hippo VB, Re0, Silver Bullet, Eterna, Se215, M3 etc) , the quality of earphones is not so well desired. In some cases they last longer, but overall I would not expect the build of sub100 price range earphones to  200 or even sub 200 price range 

Some time better to just save on few weeks on starbucks coffer or other addictions biggrin.gif , and get a more reliable pair.

note, now expensive not always mean better however I own  few 150-250 like  DBA02,  Radius W21, ortofons e-Q5 which still last 2 years.

 

Yeah but I'd also rather break a pair of $100 IEMs instead $200 ones. I've even considered just continually buying cheaper IEMs (a pair of m9's every few months wouldn't be so terrible).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

Phonak PFE022s are pretty durable, they're at the edge of your price range though.  Bass heavy signature with a slight veil may turn you away though.  ThinkSound has Kevlar re-enforced cables (like Etymotic and Phonak) and wooden housings tend to be durable, unless you have an axe at hand... I've personally heard the TS02 and MS01, both of which are recommendable.  Etymotics are always durable as well.  They have an angled jack over the rest.  Westone models may also work, as would the A151.  It all really depends on what sound you're after, there are durable headphones for the price, but please read on.

 

Part of what determines how long an IEM lasts is how they are treated when not in use.  If you don't use a case to shield them, they tend to not last as long (some people count this as normal use; it isn't, you should use provided cases).  As you stated, you wrap around iPods and shove into pockets...  This will make ANY IEM go bad quickly.  It doesn't matter how durable it is.  You are forcing cable problems and stress when you do that.  If you choose to do this, I suggest getting an IEM with removeable cables as the cable will go bad, not the IEM itself.  Cables aren't cheap either though.  Take care of your IEMs, then you won't have as many problems. 

 

Those Phonak's do look well made. I'll consider them, so long as they have a decent warranty. But like I said in my opening post, the reliability doesn't really have anything to do with the housing at all. I've never broke an IEM housing, or heard of anyone who has. Even plastic housings are very strong. Its the connections between the driver and the cable, and the cable and jack, that (I suspect) are what commonly fails.

I sometimes drop my ipod with my IEMs in (so it dangles from my ears), and all of that tension is going right onto the cable and connections. And no, I don't unplug them and put them in a pouch after use. I probably should, but I don't find that to be a reasonable solution. I use IEMs in the first place because of how convenient they are to keep in my pocket. I believe an IEM should be able to withstand this type of use for at least 1 year.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

How long have you had / used the mc5?  For all we know they can't stand 6 months of your use either.  I now always keep IEMs in their own pouch, if only to prevent dust and debris from falling into the drivers and affecting the sound.  I still shove those pouches into my pockets though lol

 

I've had them for 3 years, but I only use them intermittently between other pairs of IEMs. I'm confident that they are durable enough to last. These things are extremely well built.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroTurf View Post

Joe, The MC5s use the white filter as stock. Resistance value 680 ohms.
The ER-4 Series use the green filters with a resistance value of 1500 ohms.
So, by swapping in some greens in place of the whites, I have further filtered or restricted the higher frequencies.
Thus, I feel the... Nut Rattlin Bass of the MC5s.
This can be studied further here: http://rinchoi.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-effect-of-acoustic-dampers-on-iems.html?m=1
Cheers, Jim

 

I will definitely try this mod. I didn't really understand what you were talking about at first. I still don't really understand how acoustic dampers have "resistance" values in ohms.. that's a unit of electrical resistance...?

I always thought that the mc5s sounded like there was a veil on them, but I didn't know that there was LITERALLY a veil on them, lol.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpartanD63 View Post

You might like the V-Moda Vibes. They are more "fun" sounding (but I like the Etys more tongue.gif) And they are almost indestructible. They're only $30.

 

http://v-moda.com/vibe/

 

I don't know, the Amazon reviewers seem to think that they are not durable.


Edited by Eisenhower - 9/6/12 at 8:16pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:

I don't know, the Amazon reviewers seem to think that they are not durable.

I've twirled and thrown them around quite a bit when they were my daily IEMs. The only problem that ever came about was that the filters fell out later in their lifetime (but I did use them every day....) *

 

I am interested in what AstroTurf said about the MC5s. "Nut Rattlin Bass" is not a term I'd use to describe Etys. Is the MC5 that different from the Hf5?

 

*Keep in mind I have no idea if the build quality has changed since when I got mine at twice the current price...


Edited by SpartanD63 - 9/6/12 at 9:24pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpartanD63 View Post

I've twirled and thrown them around quite a bit when they were my daily IEMs. The only problem that ever came about was that the filters fell out later in their lifetime (but I did use them every day....) *

 

I am interested in what AstroTurf said about the MC5s. "Nut Rattlin Bass" is not a term I'd use to describe Etys. Is the MC5 that different from the Hf5?

 

*Keep in mind I have no idea if the build quality has changed since when I got mine at twice the current price...

 

The MC5 is a dynamic driver from what I remember, while the Hf5 is a ba. I too am looking at the same price bracket with a demand for durability. The isolation and build quality of the mc5s is appealing, but the lack of bass (Although Astro seems adamant that they have the potential). 

post #13 of 15
Why yes they do...

The NRB Mod turned my MC5 into a goto IEM.

Before, They were good and now. I like them better.

Cheers, Jim
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post

The MC5 is a dynamic driver from what I remember, while the Hf5 is a ba. I too am looking at the same price bracket with a demand for durability. The isolation and build quality of the mc5s is appealing, but the lack of bass (Although Astro seems adamant that they have the potential). 
post #14 of 15

Wow really guys? odd responses...

 

Get Shure SE215's from an authorized Shure dealer and they have a 2 YEAR WARRENTTY! Plus they shouldn't break anyway.

 

Monster Jams would also be good.


Edited by ScaryFatKidGT - 10/2/12 at 5:17pm
post #15 of 15

Shure SE-215 is durable around 100.00

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