Originally Posted by reddragon
but speakers, you can only have so much since they take up a lot of space. speakers also require you to place them in certain places and such... and they are also more expensive... i know what you mean when you say you dont like the sensation of a full sized headphone on your skull or pressed against your ears though. im also turning to ciems even though i dont particularly like putting stuff inside my ears because of comfort issues, hygiene issues, and the fear that i may damage my ears by having drivers so close to my eardrums. i dont even plan to go portable with audio anymore partly because i got robbed at gunpoint, i guess... and another reason is im not a careful person, i may lose or damage my stuff in public. not being aware of the surrounding is also another one. however, im still thinking of going ciem because of the intimate presentation iems offer that headphones dont.
Before CIEMs I was most impressed with my Etymotic HF2 (same as the HF5 but for Android devices). I marveled at the isolation, the sounds set against a black background, the portability. At the same time I loathed shoving silicone or foam deep, deep into my skull. The Comply foam were the most comfortable but didn't last very long and still required constant small adjustments to sound 'just right'.
A CIEM is an enormous improvement, when it fits properly it does so every time with a simple screwing/unscrewing motion. Isolation is excellent. Comfort is (for me and many others) superb. You mentioned you're scared of damaging your ears; the thing is the combination of a custom fit and great isolation means you don't have to play your music loudly to enjoy it. If anything a CIEM can help you save your hearing.
P.S. One more thing: If some %$#& robs you the CIEM is personalized and will be useless to him personally and difficult to sell.
Edited by Deviltooth - 6/4/13 at 7:53pm