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Need help deciding on IEM's

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,


First off, I am new to the forums so excuse my noobiness.  My research into purchasing some decent IEM's has inevitable lead me to these forums.  I know that there is an incredible amount of information on IEM's and I have been sifting through the countless threads but I figured I would ask the community for some help anyways.


Here is where I stand, I am in college so it goes without saying that my budget is limited (~$100).  I usually listen to music on my iPhone because of sheer convenience (I try to keep a high bitrate).  I do use the inline buttons quite frequently so they are mandatory on whatever I purchase. 


I recently bought a pair of Klipsch S4i's but was disappointed due to the cord length, and the position of the buttons.  I run the cord under my shirt/sweatshirt most of the time so I like the buttons near my neck.  Additionally, I am not very tall (5'7") and found that any cord longer than 4 feet is just too much.  I have a pair of Shure e2c's, but I don't use them often because of the cord length and the absence of iPhone controls.


My restrictive criteria has lead me to seriously look at the Etymotic HF3's, but am very open to taking suggestions from experts such as yourselves.




post #2 of 4

Pretty new to these forums aswell and surely no expert but have owned the s4i (which I wasn't that impressed by) and currently own the HF3. 


When I looked for something with i-gear controls I found that it wasn't that easy to find iems with decent sound quality which also had inline mic+controls. If you can accept not having volume controls but only one button+mic it opens up for more options. 


Concerning the HF3 I am happy with mine but would say that your sound preference probably should be towards the neutral and colder side as opposite to a warmer sound sig in order to be satisfied with it. It brings quite a bit of the qualities from the ER4 (which I also have and love) but with slightly more bass quantity and being a bit more monitor like in the soundstage. Only imo of course.


As I remember the s4i you will probably find HF3 to be colder and much more precise from bottom to top and female vocals blasting away in the treble area will give you something that you never heard on the s4i as it would probably have made you turn down the volume to avoid the sharp sound before. Just remember to have the your music files in a good quality.


With one button-control I also have the Beyerdynamic mmx 101iE (warmer sound sig) which I sound quality wise find being below the HF3 but it has despite its short comings an ability to almost never to sound unpleasant.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 4

The HF3, Harmen Kardon AE, Bose IE2, Shure SE215 and Sennheiser CX500 are great buy.

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