Well my situation is I want a pair of reliable, great sounding IEMs for use with my iPhone, because for at home listening, I have other options (better options). I've been very happy with my pair of Miles Davis Trumpets, which used to be expensive but can be had for around $150 or so these days. They also have a lifetime warranty with Monster, which they may need due to Monster's not great record on durability. Having said that, sound-wise I am still finding the Trumpets preferable to the NADs on two counts: Comfort (they just feel like nothing in my ears and I can wear them over the ear, which eliminates any cable noise) and just plain sound. I have no professional reviewing experience, nor am I an audiophile by any measure. I used two test tracks, Ode to Billy Jo (Patricia Barber's cover) and Games That Lovers Play (Raul Malo) for vocals, and the treble on the NADs just has a hint of harshness (the ssss sound) whereas the Trumpets are on the money, sound perfect. The bass line on Billy Jo is a great test too, and again, the Trumpets just sound more realistic to me.
I am going to let the NADs burn in for 2-3 days, just in the hope they can improve. But as it stands, they may end up going back to Amazon. Also, fit-wise they feel much less comfy when trying to get a good seal, more like your head is stuffed (the original poster was right about comfort). It's not the large sound tube per se, because the Trumpets are micro drivers and have a very large sound tube as well. It's more how the tips interact with the sound tube. The Trumpet tips (medium silver that came with them) are thin around the body of the tips, so they are snug but not too invasive. The tips on the NADs are not really uncomfortable but more bulky, resulting in more of a stuffy feeling while listening (you are more aware of their presence in other words).
To me, on the go in-ear phones have to sound very good, but just as much, they have to be unobtrusive. In that comparison, the Trumpets win hands down. In other words, the NADs have to really improve with burn to overcome that deficit.
Hope that helps. I am not good at things like vocal placement, etc., I just know what my ears prefer and use that as my guideline when comparing phones. I know the Trumpets get very little positive posting here, but at their discounted price, I really like them. Thought the NADs would be a logical step up because of the pedigree. But so far, not the case. I really wanted to like the NADs too, maybe I just have lousy ears.
For the $150 price point, it looks like the Trumpets will be it for awhile. The new Sony hybrid H1 looks interesting, but no iPhone controls.
Edited by mymymyopie - 10/24/13 at 8:45am