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Need suggestion/buying guide for high-end universal IEM

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey there, I'm a newbie in head-fi (1st post/thread/activity here!), and I would like to receive some input regarding high-end universal IEM.

 

First of all, I'm not a hardcore audiophile, nor am I very knowledgeable about IEMs in general, I'm just a casual listener who wants to step up and buy a better IEM. I have been using Shure SE215 for a while now, and while I like its comfort, non-fatiguing sound signature and warm sound, it leaves me wanting more in terms of clarity and soundstage.

 

So yeah, basically I'd like to ask you guys what IEM should I get. These are the characteristics I look for in my next IEM :

 

- Decent amount of tight bass thuds. Not into basshead territory, maybe something that has less bass than SE215 but more than neutral. Also, I prefer sub-bass and I'd rather not have bass bleeds and mid-bass humps.

 

- Inoffensive treble; I prefer something that is non-fatiguing.

 

- Enveloping, wide 3D soundstage. Doesn't have to be massive, but I certainly want something that gives out-of-my-head feeling.

 

- Detailed instrument separation. I like listening to complex tracks; Jeff Beck Band - Scatterbrain comes to mind, and it sounds like a messy mush out of my SE215.

 

- Delicious, lush, sweet vocals, especially female vocals.

 

- No hissing sound/sibilance if possible.

 

- Easy-ish to drive.

 

- Budget up to 500US$

 

I could also save up for custom IEM, but I mostly listen to Apple lossless files from my iPhone 4S unamped (I also listen to AAC files here and there), so I think it would be overkill to get a custom IEM.

 

A friend of mine recommended Westone 4R based on my preferences above, but I figure I should ask around more and what better place to ask about IEMs than head-fi? smile_phones.gif

 

Oh, and I should mention that I live in Japan, so Audio-Technica or any other Japanese brand shouldn't be too pricey for me.

 

*Edit*

Forgot to mention my musical taste; I like either complex tracks (Could be rock, jazz, classical) or easy-listening (lounge, acoustic). I couldn't stand dubstep/electronic/hip-hop though @_@

 

Any recommendations/input will be appreciated, thanks!


Edited by Deadlovestory - 11/19/12 at 10:07am
post #2 of 10

The Sony EX1000, Westone 4, Heir Audio 4Ai, PFE232, UE900 and SM3 offers fairly wide soundstage, good bass response and very detailed soundquality.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post

The Sony EX1000, Westone 4, Heir Audio 4Ai, PFE232, UE900 and SM3 offers fairly wide soundstage, good bass response and very detailed soundquality.

Never heard of Heir Audio 4Ai before, I googled it and gosh that thing is pretty. Scouring more info on that in this forums.

 

Any further suggestions will be appreciated!

post #4 of 10

Shure SE535, relaxed treble sweet sweet vocals and great soundstage

 

review on my blog in my signature

post #5 of 10

I don't think the 4.Ai or SE535 would have enough bass to satisfy you.

 

Look into the Westone 4R or GR07. The GR07 is less 3D and enveloping than the W4, but if you like rock as well as acoustic stuff, you'll be hard pressed to find something better.

post #6 of 10
x2 on the Heir 4.Ai. very nice sound and build quality
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

I don't think the 4.Ai or SE535 would have enough bass to satisfy you.

 

Look into the Westone 4R or GR07. The GR07 is less 3D and enveloping than the W4, but if you like rock as well as acoustic stuff, you'll be hard pressed to find something better.

Yeah, I looked at 4.Ai reviews and while it seems to be what I'm looking for in terms of clarity/soundstage/good separation (and it helps that it's gorgeous to look at), it sounds like it does not have the slightly emphasized bass I'm looking for. I am fairly intrigued by 3.Ai, but how's the bass? Does that have the tight sub-bass thuds I'm looking for or is that too bassy?

 

More suggestions would be appreciated!


Edited by Deadlovestory - 11/19/12 at 4:00pm
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Whoa, threads got buried so fast here, so bump.

post #9 of 10

Yer talking Sony H3 territory here methinks...

post #10 of 10

Check out this review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-312-iems-compared-fidue-a63-added-03-18-14-p-885

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