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looking for my first pair of nice iem

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

hello i was lead to this site because of all the wealth of knowledge about headphones ,iem ect.. i am very virgin about it all but have been doing some reading here and other sites i have a budget of max 400$ i listen to all types of music im not a bass head but i would like to hear the song asif it were intended if bass is present but overall im really big on clarity i love live instruments of all types and when listening to a vocal record its a must the vocals come through clean and sharp as if im there live i guess like a suround sound overall effect  is this too much to ask with a small budget of 400$ if so i may up it a little but not really what i want to do, ive read about some names on here like shure se535, westones,senniheiser ie80 ,ie60 ultimate ears just to name a few please i only need to choose between 2 or 3 solid great iem i know everyone here has their own opinion and the debate could go on for days but im sure we could come up with 3 hands down good pick that sound great across the board ... thanks ...

post #2 of 6

Etymotic ER-4 (P, PT, S, B) will all fit the bill for what you want.  

Shure Models should also fit the bill with the vocals you seek.

Maybe a HiFiMan model might do?  They have 2 new ones coming out, the RE400 and RE600 along with their older models.  The RE262 has been recommended for vocals while the 272 seems to have sound closer along the lines of the Etymotic.


The Westone W4 is a warmer sound and tones the vocals that direction too.  It isn't as "sharp" as you probably would want it.  

post #3 of 6

If you haven't already done so, check out ljokerl's awesome IEM comparison:




IEMs that come to mind: Audio Technica CK10/CK100, Hifiman RE-2X2, Phonak PFE Series, Fischer Audio DBA-02, Etymotic ER-4P/S.


Based on your description, I would avoid Westone's universal IEMs, as well as Sennheiser's and Ultimate Ear's. Shure SE530/535 may be a decent fit. 


BTW, if this is your first expensive IEM, I wouldn't jump directly into the $300-$400 range. If this was my first good pair of IEMs, I would pick something under $100 (Hifiman RE0 would be awesome in this respect) to ensure I knew exactly what type of sound signature I liked. Who knows, maybe the RE0 is all you really need. 

Edited by violinvirtuoso - 12/29/12 at 3:54pm
post #4 of 6

I woulden't jump straight to a $400 IEM. There are high quality IEMs that have reduced price tags as they are recently discountinued, such as the Klipsch X10 and the Ultimate Ears Triplefi 10.

post #5 of 6

You may also consider taking a look at the JVC FXZ100/200 thread. They may fit the type of sound you are looking for. I am not sure Etymotic ER4's will be what you would want to start with because you may find them to sound a bit thin or bass light... this is often the case when someone goes from more consumer grade sound signatures to the amazingly flat response of those Etys.


I second the idea of getting the RE0's for $50 as a place to start, they are also a great entry into a more analytical sound signature (though they are still slightly colored, which makes them fun!). Head-Direct also has pretty good customer service and you can return them within 30 days for your money back (just pay for return shipping).

post #6 of 6
Shure SE425 or 535
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