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Budget Classical Music IEM

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I have scoured this forum for advice on a good classical music IEM, however the only general consensus is Ety ER4, is the best. But I dont have that much money to swing on a pair of headphones. I have included a list of other headphones people have talking about in the other forums.

 

I am a college student and needless to say, I love listening to classical music. The majority of my iPod is classical music, all CD quality 320 or better. Microphonics is kind of important, I move around a decent amount and I would not like that to interfere with my music. Isolation should be enough to tune out annoying kids in the library. One with a microphone would be awesome but I dont really see IEMs that have. 

 

Other headphones that users have said that are good for classical music:

Westone UM1

RE0

Ety ER4

Shure SE215

Ety HF5

My main concern with IEM is the price, i wont think I will be willing to pay more than 150.

 

 

tl;dr hear ER4 is the best for classical music, what is a good substitute if i cant swing 250 for a pair of IEMs?

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you very much in advance! 

post #2 of 22

Would other Etymotic products like MC5 help the situation?

post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksz210 View Post

I have scoured this forum for advice on a good classical music IEM, however the only general consensus is Ety ER4, is the best. But I dont have that much money to swing on a pair of headphones. I have included a list of other headphones people have talking about in the other forums.

 

I am a college student and needless to say, I love listening to classical music. The majority of my iPod is classical music, all CD quality 320 or better. Microphonics is kind of important, I move around a decent amount and I would not like that to interfere with my music. Isolation should be enough to tune out annoying kids in the library. One with a microphone would be awesome but I dont really see IEMs that have. 

 

Other headphones that users have said that are good for classical music:

Westone UM1

RE0

Ety ER4

Shure SE215

Ety HF5

My main concern with IEM is the price, i wont think I will be willing to pay more than 150.

 

tl;dr hear ER4 is the best for classical music, what is a good substitute if i cant swing 250 for a pair of IEMs?

 

Thank you very much in advance! 

HF5s give out essentially identical (a bit warmer, but negligible) performance already, just the build is not as sturdy. HF2/3s are the microphone versions. If you want an ER4-sound alike (and this is from someone who owns the latter), they are way too close for comfort. 

 

SE215 - not as clear, might be limiting for classical, other criterias fit though.

RE0 - Not very deep insertion/isolating, cable is fidgety, otherwise okay but might as well look at the RE-400 (have not heard) or the RE272s while you're at it. 

 

Also - http://www.head-fi.org/t/596233/buying-portable-or-in-ear-headphones-seeking-guidance-dont-start-a-new-thread-ask-for-advice-here

http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-274-iems-compared-hifiman-re-400-added-03-14-13-p-650#post_6492044

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

how are the x10's for what i am looking for? 

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksz210 View Post

how are the x10's for what i am looking for? 

Isolates well, good deep insertion, mic/remote, DEEP, warm, and lush sound, smooth treble. Quite a bit of a different sound from the Etys. Again, depends on how you like your classical to be presented.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

i dont want them to be too revealing as to show all the flaws in a recording, sometimes i use them on sources that arent the greatest. looking for something not as bassy, decent mids and treble, not a fan of the V sound sig for classical. knowing that, HF2/3, HF5 or x10? 

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksz210 View Post

i dont want them to be too revealing as to show all the flaws in a recording, sometimes i use them on sources that arent the greatest. looking for something not as bassy, decent mids and treble, not a fan of the V sound sig for classical. knowing that, HF2/3, HF5 or x10? 

The HF5s are very revealing, the X10s might be too bassy. So neither? :P

 

Maybe the A161P, PFE112, or the RE-400 (little to barely any experience with the latter, might need to do some research on that one). Not as isolating but good enough, and much more balanced, but still non-fatiguing. 

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

hmm thank you for all your help so far TwinQY, i just have a quick question, what do you mean when you say revealing? i am still new to this and i might be using the term incorrectly. 

From the reviews the RE-400 seems like a very good option.

 

So my list now is:

HF5 (depending on the definition of revealing)

RE-400

A161P (reviews make this headphone sounds pretty good)

 

btw, how are the UM1s? unless they are so bad for what i am looking for. i guess what i am getting at is i love listening to classical music however i do listen to other things such as EDM (i know matching EDM and classical is extremely difficult).

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksz210 View Post

hmm thank you for all your help so far TwinQY, i just have a quick question, what do you mean when you say revealing? i am still new to this and i might be using the term incorrectly. 

From the reviews the RE-400 seems like a very good option.

 

So my list now is:

HF5 (depending on the definition of revealing)

RE-400

A161P (reviews make this headphone sounds pretty good)

 

btw, how are the UM1s? unless they are so bad for what i am looking for. i guess what i am getting at is i love listening to classical music however i do listen to other things such as EDM (i know matching EDM and classical is extremely difficult).

Oh, no, I haven't heard the UM1. I think the consensus was warm, though that might just be the UM2s I'm remembering. Those are warm and luscious.

 

Revealing - from stereophile's glossary

 

Very detailed and clear at the same time, high levels or resolution.

post #10 of 22

I second the Klipsch X10 as well, and it can be had for about $100 now.  Best neutral and balance sound for the price and great for classical.

post #11 of 22

Rock-It R-50 and don't look back. Seriously, there can not possibly be a better IEM at $120 for classical music... it is totally tuned for that genre. The Klipsch X10s are nice and warm, but they lack the extension and serious micro-detail that are desired for classical.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Just read a review of the R-50, they sound pretty good for what i am looking for. ive had the klipsch s4, i am looking for something new not as bass heavy.

 

TwinQY, any thoughts on the R-50? 

 

 

btw, thank you all for you continued help

 

my choices:

HF5

R-50

Re-400


Edited by ksz210 - 3/19/13 at 10:43am
post #13 of 22

If only listening to classical music I think the best choice for you is Etymotic HF5.

 

I don't have the HF5 but I have a ER4PT and it should be somewhat similar. I have all the others you mention too. The HF5 has the best isolation of them all. It depends a little if you like triple flange tips, but those give the best isolation imo. HF5 and R-50 lacks bass compared to RE-400 but they have more treble presence, they're brighter. To me RE-400 is the most neutral because it doesn't lack bass (though it lacks some sub bass). Still I think classical music benefits a little from brighter IEM's but imo R-50 is too bright. Also R-50 distorts some when played louder.

 

For classical music I think that soundstage is important. None of those are very special in that regard. I would probably pick RE-272 over those if only listening to classical and care about soundstage but that is more expensive and discontinued.

 

Also with the RE-400 you could mod it to provide more treble and soundstage, if modded it is the better one of the three you mentioned imo.

 

Either way all of them are better than Klipsch S4 for classical (and generally also).


Edited by Deni5 - 3/19/13 at 8:06pm
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

deciding between the r-50 and hf5, seems to me the r-50 have more treble (from reading reviews) if i stray a little further away from only classical music, which of the two is better suited for a variety of music? i listen to 75% classical 20% EDM 5%Indie Rock, so its more important for the headphones to be suited for classical, but also have some variety for my other types of music. thank you! :) 

post #15 of 22

For EDM and Indie Rock I find RE-400 much better. But still you are listening to classical 3/4 of the time. R-50 should have more treble, yes, it is the brightest and it is very detailed because it lacks warmness. Even if HF5 is considered warmer I wouldn't rate is as warm (if it is anything like my ER4PT).

 

I've read comments that you can convert sound signature on the HF5 by using a impedance adapter as in ER4P to S adapter. Google "hf5 impedance adapter". But if using an adapter you must more or less use an amp as you up the total impedance.

 

Biggest problems for me with the R-50 is that is has an interesting sound signature (very detailed) but I was bored of it not long after because I was missing bass and some general warmness. I also didn't like its comfort that much with the memory wires and I have a imbalance issue with mine (right is playing much louder - I've read others comment about the same issue although most don't have this problem).

 

The colder signature from the R-50 could be fixed if coupled with a warmer amp and a slight bass boost.

 

Which ever you choose is good. Personally, I would still pick HF5 over R-50.

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