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$500 IEM Purchase Help for a Reader in Australia

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!  I realize this is my first post, and starting a topic with your first is usually a no-no.  However, I have been reading these forums on a daily basis for the past month, and finally decided to register!  

 

I currently live in Australia for work, but I will most likely be buying new IEM's from the US (which makes it hard to try them out before purchase).  That, and even if I wanted to buy them here, there aren't any high-end audio shops in my town.  

 

I am looking to purchase my first set of nice IEM's.  I am by no means an audiophile, just a mining engineer who loves to listen to great sounding music.  

 

My price range is 0-550 USD, and I believe I have narrowed my choices down...a bitconfused.gif

 

I listen to many, many different genres; including: rock, alt, indie, classical, opera, reggae, world/latin, hip-hop, pop, rap, EDM, and many of the sub-genres within each.

 

I am sure most of you will say that based on the variety of tones I would need a couple of different sets.  Since this will be my first investment of this magnitude for portable music, I would like to just get something of good build quality, nice overall/all-around sound.  

 

I am upgrading from a pair of Klipsch S4 earphones, so I am pretty sure any of these will sound better.  

 

I will be listening to these off of (all un-amped, for now) iPhone 5, Macbook Pro, Dell workstation.  

 

Also, seems like removable cables would be a nice touch? From what I've read, seems like Shure's "Olive tips" are a good addition.

 

 

 

 

My list as of this point: 

Westone 4R

Heir Audio 4.Ai

Aurisonics ASG-1

 

 

I had Shure 535 on my list, but seems like after all of the reviews I read, they just aren't quite worth the money.

 

 

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!

 

Thanks, 

Mike

post #2 of 22

out of your list of music I do classical/jazz, rock (pop rock, ballad rock (nothing heavy)), a little bit reggae and pop old and new. with that I can say Westone 4 will do the trick very nicely. best of all it won't take up all your $500 allocated for your purchase. I have looked into the heir 4 ai but it costs abit more and i decided i might as well go for a full custom if that were the case

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input Kookoo!

Are you talking the 4 or 4R?

If you're talking about the 4R, everywhere I see sells them for 499, but yeah the 4 are a bit cheaper.

Time for bed! Check back with you guys and gals in the morning!
post #4 of 22

Dont jump straight onto 200+ iems, or even 100+.

post #5 of 22

hey mate - if you have that kind of budget (...and I know yous mining workers do haha wink_face.gif), I reckon go straight for custom IEM, maybe something like 1964-V3 or Cosmic Ears HY3.

 

If you insist on universals, then yes W4, 4.Ai, or even UE900

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sulkoudai View Post

Dont jump straight onto 200+ iems, or even 100+.

How come? Over the years I have spent a lot of money doing what you suggest, getting the 'entry' model widget. Then over time, you get bored, or tired of its performance, and you want to upgrade, so you spend more money on the mid-level. Then the same happens, and you spend even more for the next upgrade.

After having done this with several different hobbies, I have realized, that if I am capable (buying too large a motorcycle for what you can handle type of situation) than I am going to make the initial investment once, and do it right the first time.

But I appreciate your input.
post #7 of 22

I bought my w4r from www.earphonesolutions.com, which is an authorized dealer for Westone, directly sending to AU. They always get 25% or 30% off so be patient. I really enjoy my 4r, I normally listen all genres of music and it is good on everything ksc75smile.gif

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by hudy View Post


How come? Over the years I have spent a lot of money doing what you suggest, getting the 'entry' model widget. Then over time, you get bored, or tired of its performance, and you want to upgrade, so you spend more money on the mid-level. Then the same happens, and you spend even more for the next upgrade.
After having done this with several different hobbies, I have realized, that if I am capable (buying too large a motorcycle for what you can handle type of situation) than I am going to make the initial investment once, and do it right the first time.
But I appreciate your input.

That's exactly what i did,

I went from the sennheiser cx500 straight to the Westone 4R and I have absolutely no regrets. Mind you the $500ish IEMs represent just about the top tier universal IEMs out there (excluding the insane fit togo 334 @ $1500), so anything else you try won't necessarily sound better (in terms of clarity) which sucks the fun out of experimenting with different earphones regularly.

I just want to stress one last point about the Westone 4R and it's that its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. It does just about all types of music very well but at the same time it might not have the same sparkle as some others paired with that kind of genre. It did not immediately wow me like the shure 535 did with female vocals but i quickly realised it was by far the most versitile IEM and therefore the best choice for my purposes.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenliu0717 View Post

I bought my w4r from www.earphonesolutions.com, which is an authorized dealer for Westone, directly sending to AU. They always get 25% or 30% off so be patient. I really enjoy my 4r, I normally listen all genres of music and it is good on everything ksc75smile.gif

They only do 25 and 30% off on blackfriday but they do 15 and 20% off's all the time.

 

Where did you see than the SE535's aren't as good? Everything I read tends to loop back on them being the defining IEM in the $500 group. I just ordered them for earphonesolutions on blackfriday for $350. I was also looking at the UE900's. I don't like how Westone charges $50 for a removable cable, or how Shure charges $50 for an iPod cable.

 

I looked into customs but got so confused that I gave up.


Edited by ScaryFatKidGT - 12/5/12 at 10:50am
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryFatKidGT View Post

They only do 25 and 30% off on blackfriday but they do 15 and 20% off's all the time.

Where did you see than the SE535's aren't as good? Every thing I read tends to loop back on them being the as being the defining IEM in the $500 group. I just ordered them for earphonesolutions on blackfriday for $350. I was also looking at the UE900's. I don't like how Westone charges $50 for a removable cable, or how Shure charges $50 for an iPod cable.

I looked into customs but got so confused that I gave up.

Hey not at all that they are not good, just that they may not necessarily be worth the 500 dollar price tag. smily_headphones1.gif
post #11 of 22
add the asg-2 into that list as they will retail at $500

but i agree with the others, if you can go custom, get them

edit: also for universal iems, check out the jvc fxz100 and fxz200
they've had very few reviews out but they're very favourable so far (theres a thread on them)
and they're at around $200, so half the price of all th others
Edited by fuzzyash - 12/4/12 at 9:28pm
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey fuzzy, thanks!

Earlier today I actually called Aurisonics and got an ear full about the excitement around the ASG-2! smily_headphones1.gif

So what is all the hype about the idea behind more is better?

Seems like plenty of 2 and 3 driver phones get great reviews, as do 4,6, and 8 driver ones?
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzyash View Post

add the asg-2 into that list as they will retail at $500
but i agree with the others, if you can go custom, get them
edit: also for universal iems, check out the jvc fxz100 and fxz200
they've had very few reviews out but they're very favourable so far (theres a thread on them)
and they're at around $200, so half the price of all th others
post #13 of 22

Hudy, if you're interested in the W4 or W4R, you may want to consider the Heir Audio 4.Ai. Many consider them to be a direct improvement over the W4. I personally use the UE900 since I could not audition the Heir 4.Ai in my area.

 

Edit* You may also want to try and make a journey down to Jaben Australia biggrin.gif You could audition almost everything you could think of there.

post #14 of 22
Well, I've spent an absolute motsa on IEMs and accessories. I also would defend the Shure 535s. I think they are very well built and unamped are a fun IEM with great mids for outstanding vocals with plenty of sparkle in the highs (especially the red LEs, and I have both). But sometimes they can be too forward. So depending on my source I swap between them and my W4Rs. I find them just a bit muddy though and don't get the instrument separation of the Shures. Tip selection is crucial. I don't mind the olives but they are too tight on the W4Rs if you want to change from time to time. Plus you'll only find them comfortable if your canals are a perfect fit for one of their three available sizes. Mine are between the Med and Large. Mediums done seal well enough so bass is weak, and the large puts just a bit too much pressure on the canals and becomes uncomfortable after a while. I use the silicon tips that come with both Shures and Westones most. Fair isolation, good seal and can wear for hours. What would I buy if only could have one set?

I'd probably go with the W4R and a decent amp with good EQ. I use a Fiio E17. It helps me adjust bass and treble for the different source music when relaxing. Lets face it when you're on the go, you just want nice sound and a bit of isolation. The W4R are very forgiving in the isolation and fit department. And in a pinch you can either use your iPhone's EQ if needed for the genre or a 3rd party app like Bongiovi DPS if no amp.

Finally, check out Addicted to Audio for a source in Australia. They often have some good prices. I bought my SE535LE for $425 recently from them with free shipping. Also purchased from Earphone Solutions. Both seem reliable and fair pricing. Look out for ES coupon codes. Register with them to get their offers. They've had heaps of codes lately up to 30%.

EDIT: After another month of using the Westone 4Rs, I'd have to withdraw the "muddy" statement. I am now finding them my go to IEM most of the time. Love them for every genre, greatest comfort and good isolation while travelling.
Edited by Jpfe8851 - 1/22/13 at 12:29am
post #15 of 22
I would seriously consider including the SE535, it is a great IEM, not the most versatile, but what it does well, it does excellently. I hear the W4 is versatile but it doses nothing exceptionally well.
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