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Balanced IEMs for ~$20

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I know the budget is low.

I've been using Sony Ericsson IEMs for years (the ones that come with their phones) and love that they are quite balanced, not excessive on bass - even though there is plenty.

I just want reasonably crisp highs / mids and enough lows but not the drowning bass that a lot of cheap IEMs and even some expensive ones (think VModa Vibe) have.

Any suggestions? I'd even be happy with any fake / ebay specials that people have found "surprisingly good".

I found the cables on the SE items surprisingly strong, I really want to just buy them again but they are a bit hard to find.

post #2 of 13

The Sony MH1C is around $20 used. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, any thoughts on how they sound?

I ended up buying my old ones again, MH650 (I think) for $9.

I wonder if the MH1C sounds a lot better.. I found in the past the regular Sony branded IEMs were too bassy compared to the more balanced SE ones, but it seems the 1C is a phone earphone as well so maybe they are good / better than mine. Might try them next time.

post #4 of 13
The MH1C is a bit dark with emphasised sub bass.
post #5 of 13

i cant recommend the she9700 more, mh1c are technically better, but these are way more fun.

post #6 of 13

The Soundmagic ES18 is only $12 on Amazon and sounds great!

Edited by JK1 - 8/21/13 at 6:11pm
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey thanks for the heads up on those!

Could you share your thoughts in a little more detail if you own some?

I already bought a couple pairs of my old ones, but at that price I could buy a set of ES-18s as well.


I really like the idea of having a few good + cheap IEMs kicking around than one $$ pair because I always misplace them.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Stuff it, I just bought some ES18 in red... just wish you'd posted this sooner, but I suppose I can have a few different ones now.


Will update with my thoughts when they come.

post #9 of 13

How do you like the ES18? I am listening to the ES18 now as I am writing this. How does the ES18 compare with what you are used to?

post #10 of 13

Maybe you should get the Monoprice 8320 too...less than $10.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

They're excellent, I couldn't be happier with them.

The build quality is great, cord length is perfect for me, appear to be fairly durable, and sound great.

I would say the sound is quite balanced, pretty much what I was looking for. I listen to them with a neutral EQ on most devices, and bass / treble levels are both not too high and not too low.

I found a lot of cheap earbuds are very bass heavy, these are not like that thankfully. However they aren't lacking in bass either, I think it's a good amount.

I managed to drop one bud in a coffee (or someone pranked me, not sure which haha) and it still works and sounds normal.

Would buy again.

Only complaint maybe is that they look a bit cheap and cheesy (colour wise), but the quality is good even though they look like that. I got red.

post #12 of 13

I haven't heard these myself, but I have seen a lot good reviews about Superlux HD385.


$14.95 shipped with Amazon Prime. 

Edited by Joni1991 - 11/11/13 at 1:54pm
post #13 of 13

I guess they might purposely make the ES18 look cheap to get some people to buy the E10 at 3x the price. A number of people claim that the E10 might have same driver as the ES18, however I haven't seen anyone try to verify that by opening a pair of each.

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