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First Custom IEM ($600-700 budget)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I'm contemplating moving up to custom IEMs soon, but I want to make sure before I make the whole investment. I currently own the Heir 4.Ai which I love, but I've never been a huge fan of the fit of a lot of universals, so I figure that customs would be much better in this regard. As for a sound signature, I would prefer a slightly mid-forward sound (similar to the 4.Ai, maybe even a bit more forward) with a good soundstage and accurate bass and treble. My second favorite IEM was the UM3X which has slightly boosted bass -- I enjoyed that bass, but I don't want anything too boomy or uncontrolled. I would love to combine the treble extension and detailing of the 4.Ai with the bass and mids of the UM3X with a slightly larger, out of head type sound if possible. I would say that I don't like mids that are too forward -- the SM3 had a very "in your head" vocal type sound that I didn't enjoy.

 

I was wondering if it would then be worth it for me to get CIEMs, probably in the $600-700 range. I have a few requirements:

 

  • Made in the US (since it's my first custom, I can see problems with fit and don't want too much of a hassle with international shipping); this can be relaxed if an IEM is really tons better than US options
  • Would prefer BA over hybrid systems (a bit afraid of bass boominess with hybrids; I'm certainly not a basshead)
  • Slightly mid-forward with vocal clarity as my number one requirement, but not so much that everything sounds "in the head"
  • Mainly balanced sound, with not too much of a bass or treble emphasis. I really dislike V-shaped sounds, so none of that.
  • Good soundstage, since if possible I'd like to replace a full-size rig (HD600/Asgard right now)... this requirement might not be possible
  • Doesn't butcher poorly produced songs; I listen to a lot of rock/indie rock that might not be the best produced, I don't want resolving to the point that those tracks become unlistenable; a lot of my files are also 256-320kbps mp3 and I use an iPhone mainly for a source
  • I would prefer not to use an amp, but if it really helps I can see myself getting an Arrow; I own a DragonFly for computer use which I'll use

 

I was looking at mainly two IEMs that seem to fit that description: the Dream Ears aud-5x/6x and the 1964 Ears V6. I was also considering the UM Miracle and the Westone ES5 at much higher prices, since I'm heard good things about each that seem to have maybe the right sound signature for me, plus I've enjoyed the Westone sound. Any other recommendations would be appreciated (or even the recommendation of not going custom).

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 

No one with any info to help?

post #3 of 27
For $600 price range, 1964-V6

There aren't any others better in this price range, unless you don't want it to be made in the US.
post #4 of 27

Alclair could be a good choice!

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Han Bao Quan View Post

For $600 price range, 1964-V6
There aren't any others better in this price range, unless you don't want it to be made in the US.

 

??? 

 

There are other manufacturers in the US that make products in the price range that are very good including Audio Earz (Dream Earz) and Alclair.  There is a review of the lower end 1964 V3 which has a comparison to the Alclair Reference.  I am not saying 1964 is bad, not at all, but that there are other companies in the US that have good products in that price range.  There will be Alclair RSM reviews, and there are some people that own Audio Earz 5X (including my review), 6X, and 7X.

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

??? 

There are other manufacturers in the US that make products in the price range that are very good including Audio Earz (Dream Earz) and Alclair.  There is a review of the lower end 1964 V3 which has a comparison to the Alclair Reference.  I am not saying 1964 is bad, not at all, but that there are other companies in the US that have good products in that price range.  There will be Alclair RSM reviews, and there are some people that own Audio Earz 5X (including my review), 6X, and 7X.
In that case, looking forward to your reviews Joe. I love my Alclair Reference, wondering what the RSM will be like.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I looked at Alclair too. So it seems like those three would be the best few choices? I've read a few of averagejoe's reviews and a few by joker too which seems to suggest that for US based, those would be the best choices.

 

But how much better are they than my Heir 4.Ai? Would it be worth the cost? I feel that just the custom fit alone might make it worth the cost.

post #8 of 27

I haven't heard the 4.Ai or 4.A, so I can't compare the Alclair.  Dream Earz could also be an option, specifically the 6X or 8X, which are both supposed to be on the neutral side (and I should find out in the near future).

 

If you do want to consider overseas CIEMs, the Ambient Acoustics AM4 pro and Lear LCM-5 seem like they would fit, as well as most of the Rooth lineup, especially the LS6.

post #9 of 27

Hmm I'm sort of in the same boat, but this isn't going to be my first CIEM. I just randomly decided that I'm going to get myself new CIEMs as my priorities changed to more on-the-go rather than sitting down at home. I already have a CIEM, but unfortunately no one's able to re-shell and "upgrade" them for cheap so I just decided on getting new CIEMs. I am VERY interested in the DE AUD-7X as I'm informed that they have mildly forward mids (which I like) and excellent bass considering there's 3 drivers for the bass. I just don't know if they sound detailed enough because I hate sloppy sounding IEMs. I looked into the UM Merlin, but Mids is sort of a priority and I just get good vibes from Dream Earz. I'm just oddly more interested in smaller, independent companies.

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

I haven't heard the 4.Ai or 4.A, so I can't compare the Alclair.  Dream Earz could also be an option, specifically the 6X or 8X, which are both supposed to be on the neutral side (and I should find out in the near future).

 

If you do want to consider overseas CIEMs, the Ambient Acoustics AM4 pro and Lear LCM-5 seem like they would fit, as well as most of the Rooth lineup, especially the LS6.

Yeah, the LS6 and the LCM-5 are a bit out of the price range along with being overseas. Looks like the aud-6x, the V6, or the Alclair are probably the best three options. The Alclair is quite a bit cheaper and has fewer drivers -- of course, fewer drivers don't necessarily mean worse sound. Does anyone have a comparison between any of these three (I know it's difficult to own that many customs...)?

post #11 of 27

Gorilla Ears is also US based. Out of North Carolina I believe. I have the AT5's and love them. Im working on a review now for them.

 

With a budget like that you can get the AT3's. 3 premium drivers, case, cleaning cloth and cleaning tool. Leaves you $50 for impressions and shipping and you can stay right around $700.


Edited by whitedragon551 - 12/27/12 at 3:43pm
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedragon551 View Post

Gorilla Ears is also US based. Out of North Carolina I believe. I have the AT5's and love them. Im working on a review now for them.

 

With a budget like that you can get the AT3's. 3 premium drivers, case, cleaning cloth and cleaning tool. Leaves you $50 for impressions and shipping and you can stay right around $700.

 

Hmmm... I'm not quite willing to work with a company that no one's really heard before... seems like too much of a risk. I'll definitely take a look at your review though when you're done.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeroicPenguin View Post

 

Hmmm... I'm not quite willing to work with a company that no one's really heard before... seems like too much of a risk. I'll definitely take a look at your review though when you're done.


Every company started out never being heard of. The Janus Group, who owns Gorilla Ears, has been around for 10 years and has multiple patents. They have more claim to fame than alot of the CIEM companies that everyone mentions. Thats why I got a set. The finish on them is just as good or better than any CIEM Ive seen pictures for. Ive worked with the president of the company on a personal basis and he is very quick to respond and knowledgeable about the entire process.

post #14 of 27

If you like the 4.Ai, why not get the 4.A?

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anoxy View Post

If you like the 4.Ai, why not get the 4.A?

Maybe he wants something different? Well, it does depend per person. Some people say there's a drastic change between the two, and others don't.

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