Originally Posted by thoughtcriminal
Thanks for your input. Are you a custom or universal guy? Do you feel IEM can compete with a good closed can in imaging and positioning within the soundstage? Do they do well with gaming and binaural recordings?
Actually, I feel that well designed balanced armature IEMs can have imaging that rivals the best dynamic full sized cans. For binaural recordings, IEMs with accurate frequency response like Etymotic, Phonak PFE single driver, Hifiman RE0, RE272 or Sony EX1000 should easily compete with great full sized headphones. For gaming or movies, IEMs may not be as suitable, because soundstage size may also be important for these applications and big cans usually have an advantage here, sounding less "in your head" than IEMs. However, this is usually only the case with open back over-the-ear versus IEMs. Closed back full-sized headphones often have poor soundstage size as well, even smaller than what many IEMs can manage.
Originally Posted by HybridCore
Usually that starts going into CIEM territory which can be fairly costly, especially with reshelling every once in awhile.
IMO customs don't have any inherent advantages over universals at all. They may provide better fit, but not for all people. Many should be able to get a perfectly acceptable fit with universals. As for sound quality, universals can have the exact same drivers and construction as customs, so I don't see how customs can inherently sound better. I say that is BS - universals can sound just as good or better and are more practical than customs as you can share them with other people, resell them much more easily, etc.
Edited by Pianist - 3/3/13 at 11:01am