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Best in-ears for $100 or less?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, 

Fresh start here at Head-Fi; seems like a great community here.


I've been on a little hunt for some in-ear phones for the past couple of days and have come across quite a few suggestions so I thought I would bring my search to Head-fi to see what you guys have to say about it.


My headphone inventory is quite weak and right now I just own some over ear Beats by Dre Studio's (yes, don't hate me) but there's times where I just want to throw in some lightweight in-ears instead of hauling around my Beats. I'm a casual music listener, usual just listening at home, on the subway, at school, etc. I do some music production as well, but I wouldn't be looking to monitor my mixes with in-ears anyways.


I'm an avid listener of hip-hop and R&B; rarely do I listen to other genres.


I'm looking for some good in-ears that provide good bass (not messy bass, but still heavy bass that doesn't ruin the other sounds in the song) and overall good sound quality. I want amazing quality for the price, just like every consumer.


I have seen quite a few people suggesting the Shure se215s. I know they have these on Amazon for $99


My budget is around $100, maybe a little more if absolutely necessary and if the price increase truly justifies the sound quality.


Thanks for your input guys, really.

Edited by Dawkinz - 10/18/12 at 11:03am
post #2 of 19

If you want the best bass earphone for $100 gonna get you it will be the XB90EX. 16mm Dynamic drivers that pump out a crazy amount of Sub bass. The type that make you pee a little when you hit them low lo notes. lol.



Edited by Dsnuts - 10/18/12 at 11:10am
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'll definitely check 'em out. Thanks for the input Dsnuts. Is the bass really that good? haha


Just a little more information


Looks aren't of too much importance but I don't want anything that's just horrendous (cause I'll mainly be using these in public) and I mainly will be listening to music on my laptop and my iPhone (no amps, no FLAC; just mp3s)

post #4 of 19

They are very efficient so they will sound great on anything you got. These are easy to listen to. The newest Extra bass earphones from Sony. I listen to much hiphop and Edm myself so great quality bass is important for me.


Others I own. CKS77, CKS90,  JVC FX3X, XB41EX, ATrio Mg7, Monster Miles Davis Tributes, Velodyne Vpulse,  Just to name a few bass earphones. The Sony I consider bass kings. The mids are full an clean and the highs while not as extended as neutral earphones they are solid as well. Very big, full dynamic sound and that sub bass is monster.


If you want to try one a bit cheaper for the money the JVC FX3X is another one that I would consider a great buy. Actually a better value than the XB90EXs. But you want to see what your $100 can get you. You want the best bass earphone for the cash. I actually payed $150 or so for mines. They are sold on ebay and there is a used pair on the for sale forums. 

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

In terms of comfort, how would rate these? Besides bass, how would you rate the overall sound quality? Would you say that the bass is TOO much at all?

Edited by Dawkinz - 10/18/12 at 11:31am
post #6 of 19

Sony did the impossible and threw in a big 16mm driver in and earphone. They go in sideways in your ear canal. Isolation is above average. Good actually. I have standard/ medium sized ears and they sit comfy for me. They do stick out a bit as they also have an air chamber out back but this gives a big stage to the sounds. These do sound even better using more powerful sources but they drive just fine off of a small MP3 player.


The JVC FX3X actually has the more detailed sound over the Sonys and very deep solid sub bass end to them. The Mids and Bass is better on the Sonys. But the JVCs don't fall too far behind. Either way I think you will be happy with one of these. Both require burn in and I use a wider tip to bring out more sound from them. The JVCs are around $65 on ebay the Sonys are now going for around $100.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

So it looks like the only way I'll be able to get my hands on these is through international shipping from eBay/Amazon. Were there any comparable phones that are sold in the US or are these that unique in the market? If so, I'll wait the week or 2 to get these in Canada.


Is the sound quality difference between the JVC FX3X and the Sony's worth the $30 in your opinion?

post #8 of 19

Well to me yes but for someone that don't own both. No. What I mean is. You will be blown away by either one. If you had the FX3X and then bought the Sonys. Then you will hear the differences. For your musical enjoyment the FX3X is fine and is actually better than many of the Top bass earphones. The Monsters the ATrios. Imo. If you want to save a bit of cash. Try out the JVCs. It will be worth the wait. Plus these are unique iems. Meaning it is an Asia product only. So you will not see anyone else with these earphones around your city that is for certain.  That black n Red one is awesome looking. Carbon drivers require big burn in. I would say at least 150 to 200 hours of burn in.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Okay, I think this will be the deciding factor right here.


Which of the two do you find to be more comfortable? (I also have standard/medium-sized ears and would be wearing these while studying for long periods too so the last thing I want to do is get annoyed and always have to take them out)

post #10 of 19

Both are very comfy. No comfort or weird issues. I will give the FX3X a bit more for comfy as they are physically smaller but the Sonys like I said is comfy for how big they are.I think if you had smallish ears the Sony's might be an issue.


The X3X don't stick out as much. And both sound Boss with bassy music. Burn in is just throwing them on your source. I use a 5 hour long drum n bass compilation on a loop. I just let it blast the music. Fairly loud and it does the job every time. Let me know how they turned out for you. I think you will be happy with either one. The JVCs are a bit easier to drive than the Sony's by the way.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for your input and all the helpful information. I'm gonna for for the X3X and I'll definitely let you know how it goes when they're delivered and I get a chance to burn them in nicely.

Edited by Dawkinz - 10/18/12 at 1:56pm
post #12 of 19

Even better. Ya go for it..Now I am very serious about burn in for them earphones. On open box the highs will have some sharpness to them. spiky on the upper registers but this tames and sound great after this longer burn in I wrote to you about. Absolutely needs burn. The overall sound smooths out becomes a bit more tighter and the highs tame. 


So it does seem future shop got them. I just got a new pair of Sony XBA-3 from them through a buddy of mine that lives in Vancouver.  Future shop seems to have some great deals on earphones. Let me know how you like em. If you can get them locally that is a no brainer.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

So I picked these up earlier today from Future Shop for $69.99. Came home, unpackaged these bad boys and fell in love with em straight out the box. Can't wait to burn these things in, wow.


So what's the best/fastest way to burn them in besides listening to them? Leave them playing overnight? Is there a recommended type of song I should have it playing?


It's quite funny, because I came home and I saw that my Dad bought a new pair of iBeats; a $40-50 difference and mine sound much better than his straight out the box. Even though I'm a proud owner of Beats' Studios and their Portable Boombox I definitely won't be paying an insane price for this brand again.

Edited by Dawkinz - 10/18/12 at 5:35pm
post #14 of 19

Ya get your biggest heaviest bass n drum tracks on a loop. Throw them in your ears raise the volume till you feel they are fairly loud.  For example for me it is usually around 70-75% of max volume. Take them out of your ears. Turn up 1/2 notch more. So it ends up being 80-85% of max sound.  Don't worry about damaging them or anything like that. Those driver in there are made of base material for Diamonds. No kidding.  So when you take them out of your ears you should hear music chatter through them as you put them down. Cover them with a jacket or something and just leave them over night. You can check on them now and then of course and that is half the fun. Keep them on the burn though as Carbon drivers are very stiff..Congrats. You was smart came in here and found out one of the best bang for the dollar bass earphones. Enjoy a good one my friend.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Alright, I'll definitely do that. What can I say, you're an amazing salesperson, haha. Thanks a lot for the information; not many people can make me be so quick to buy something, but it definitely seems like you know what you're talking about and I'm happy with my decision. I wish I could shop with you all day man lol.


I'll let you know how the burn in goes!

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