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Best IEM for under $100?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm having trouble finding the best IEM I can get for under $100. I know this question is very broad and I need to be more specific, but to be honest, I don't have any knowledge/experience with good IEM. My previous IEM was a Sennheiser CX 500 and at the time of purchase ~4 years ago, it was kind of a no-brainer IEM (balanced, very solid, consistent good reviews) to get at the $50 mark. Today, there's so many varieties to suit so many types of music and users--I don't know where to start. Budget is under $100, but to be honest, if I have to pay a little bit more for a significantly better quality, I will (4 years ago, $50 was the mark where you're getting the best bang for your buck--anything higher and the quality is very hard to distinguish).

I listen to nearly all kinds of music for many hours a day except for anything that is very loud, hardcore, or extreme (like hardcore punk) but if I have to narrow it down, it would be: pop music (mainstream), classical music, piano pieces, alternative rock.

Any questions/suggestions are welcome--I want a place to start reading reviews of the IEMs that are recommended (I'm hoping one or two IEMs pop up several times). Thanks a lot.


Background for anyone interested (not entirely relevant, but I hope you read it):

Not long ago, my Sennheiser CX 500 broke (one side would work on and off, then eventually both sides would not work--I had to move the jack area and twist it a little to get it to work again for a few more minutes, and now it's completely not working). Coincidentally(?) I found a cheap earphone to temporarily use until I can get a better one. The same thing happened to it and it also broke within a week my CX 500 broke. I did some quick research and found that I had a very small piece of lint in the iPod touch's jack and removed it--I'm guessing that somehow caused both my earphones to break.

My headphone is an Audio Technica ATH-AD700.


P.S.

A random question: I'm planning to get a Nexus 4 or the Samsung Galaxy S4 when it comes out. Will playing music on those smartphones have the same quality as an iPhone 5?
post #2 of 26
my first suggestion is to check the extremely comprehensive reviews by both joker and clieos. joker has over 260 iems reviewed and clieos has a great sound signature breakdown for the ones he reviewed. i haven't heard too many iems myself (8 total) but of them the ones that are the best all-rounder that plays any music with competence is the Sony MH1C. its also good as a headset for an android phone. the only gripe is the j-cord, but its something i live with for such a fun, smooth sound especially for $30.

what i have owned: sennheiser cx485 & 150, brainwavz r1, RE ZERO, munitios bullets, meelectronic m6. the sony beats all of them in every sound category except for the highs on the re zero.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Any more recommendations? I heard really good stuff about VSonic GR06 but it's not available on Amazon. Also good stuff TDK BA-200, but it's out of my budget (I can still get them, but need some really good convincing).
post #4 of 26
Philips SHE3590 are in the budget category and are fantastic for all genres. Search Philips SHE3580 (3590 is the newest models) on here to find a ton of glowing and detailed reviews. They'll set you back $15. Sound quality is shockingly good for their bargain price.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindstormer View Post

Any more recommendations? I heard really good stuff about VSonic GR06 but it's not available on Amazon. Also good stuff TDK BA-200, but it's out of my budget (I can still get them, but need some really good convincing).

 

I would recommend any of the following - UE600, M4, R1, though if you can spend a tad bit more, consider either UE700 or FA Tandem

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glove4 View Post

Philips SHE3590 are in the budget category and are fantastic for all genres. Search Philips SHE3580 (3590 is the newest models) on here to find a ton of glowing and detailed reviews. They'll set you back $15. Sound quality is shockingly good for their bargain price.

 

I never liked them unfortunately...

post #6 of 26

Audiofly AF56 (if you like good solid bass along with nice mids and decent highs); JVC FX40 (excellent and can usually be found under $20); CKM500; etc. This is really hard without knowing your preferred sound signature though. I think the MH1C is excellent also and is a good balance of bass, mids and highs. So many good choices, and a good time to be in this hobby now. There weren't so many great choices under $100 when I entered this hobby about four years ago.

post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
I honestly know nothing about IEMs and sound signatures. Based on the music I listen to, I'm guessing I would be looking for decent base and strong mids and highs? Also, I could read reviews for all these earphones, but few actually compare them. Reading a review for X and how it's really good and another for Y and how it's really good doesn't give me a reason to get one over the other. Perhaps if there were more people recommending the same IEM I can have a "safer" pick.

Like I said, I liked the Sennheiser CX 500's, but that was the only IEM I've ever owned. I don't know how that earphone compares with all these recommendations I'm getting, but I'm going to assume the few recommendations on this thread is better.
post #8 of 26

The Mee A161p might be a good IEM for you.  They have really good bass for a single balanced armature driver and the mids are a bit forward smooth and detailed along with nice highs that aren't harsh.  The cost $100 but they are a very nice little IEM, if you don't want to spend $100 I'm selling mine so if interested PM me and I'm not just recommending them because I'm selling them I truly think they're a good sounding IEM.

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
I just came across: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001V9LPT4/?t=slicinc-20&tag=slicinc-20. Suppose to be a good deal, but is it actually good? How does it compare with the recommendations on this thread thus far? I've heard that Klipsch are lenient in getting you replacements (which is very important because earphones tend to be not very durable regardless of the quality).
post #10 of 26

You can get much better IEM's under $100 than the S4, if I knew about Head Fi back when I got mine years ago I would have never bought them.

 

Check these out, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008CCSD7K/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

 

They're the Sony MH1C and the blow the S4 away in SQ and are comfortable.  They cost $30 but sound like a $150 IEM, just go checkout some of the thread about them and you'll see but please don't get the S4 what ever you do.

post #11 of 26
The only thing I've ever really liked about the S4 is the comfort/fit, which they excel at, but not much else for the amount of money you're laying down for them. The S3 are a far better bargain at $25-$30 on Amazon and sound much better than the S4, but I'd still recommend other options over these.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Would love to hear your recommendations... the S4 is currently on sale for $37, but I've read some pretty bad stuff on its durability. Warranty tends to cover that, but you can't always guarantee it and I probably don't want to have a replacement every 6 months if I'm going to be using it for many hours a day and taking it everywhere with me (which I will be doing).
post #13 of 26

There's just so many better IEM's under $100 that you can get like the MH1C, A161p ($99.99 still under $100), Many of the Ficsher Audio IEM's, UE600, SE215 and many more.

 

I think to many people look at the Amazon reviews of the S4 and the fact its rate as one of the most popular and assume its really good.  If I would have known about Head Fi back in 08 when I got my S4 I would have most likely never have got it and there's so many more options now.

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Klipsch Reference Series S4i Premium In-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphones w/ Microphone for $40 deal! Can I get a better deal? How is this earphone and is it the best I can get for under $100? Even if not, is it the best deal I can find at the moment? I desperately need an earphone as soon as possible... I have commuting times of 3 hours+ every day.
post #15 of 26

I've already mentioned a few that are much better than the S4 but you seem to be stuck on getting them so just get them.  If not you best deal is the MH1C for $30 on Amazon if you would like here's the link, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008CCSD7K/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

 

They sound a lot better than the S4 plus they have mic + controls.  So you can get the muddy sounding S4 or the clear detailed MH1C, over and out.

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