My lovely wife has offered to get me a set of CIEM's for my birthday, woot! I'm trying to figure out which ones to spring for, as I'm hoping I can get these and then basically be "done" with "the search" ;-) She gave me a budget that pretty much opens the door for whatever set I'd like, so I'm really looking to get what will sound best to me.
I'm looking for CIEM's that have a natural, engaging sound with lots of energy. Bass quality and quantity of very important; it needs to have impact and punch across the low frequency spectrum without overwhelming the mids and treble. Treble sparkle and extension are also important. I am not looking for phones which necessarily have to be "balanced" or "reference," I want a fun, dynamic presentation that brings my music to life. At present, the top three phones I'm considering are the JH16, UM Merlins and FS MG6pros.
I've had limited experience with balanced armature phones but have been unimpressed thus far. I've owned UE TF10's and Klipsch X10's, both of which are purported to have plenty of bass, and I found both lacking. Both also sounded somewhat unnatural to me (the TF10 were much worse in this regard than the X10.) This, in addition to reports of extreme sensitivity, worry me about the JH16's.
The Merlins interested me ever since I heard rumors of a hybrid CIEM with a dynamic driver for the bass. I'm not sure I want to deal with shipping overseas and that whole mess...
My favorite IEM's to date are my Future Sonics Atrios, but they are uncomfortable with a narrow soundstage and underwhelming separation. This leads me to the mg6pro. I don't like that they are vented in such a manner that I can't do custom artwork. There have also been a rash of reports lately of it sounding "echoey".
So...does anyone have thoughts on what direction I should go? Of course, there are other companies like Heir Audio and 1964 Ears which I would entertain if they have a particular CIEM model that might fit my tastes. Suggestions welcome!