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Recommendations for New Earphones

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

How's it going, people?


So after 4 years, my UE Super.fi 5 Pros are starting to die on me and I'm looking to upgrade.

My musical preferences are mainly metal and rock, as well as some pop and indie. I've got a little bit of jazz and electronic too,

And I usually plug in while travelling on buses and trains (don't really use earphones at home).

I use my iPhone 4/5s (soon) as an mp3 player and my files are mainly V0 VBR/320 mp3.

Based on my musical preferences, could you guys recommend me some good IEMs?


I've been hearing good things about UE 900, Westone 4R and Heir 4.Ai.


Actually, I was thinking of getting a portable amp if I have some spare cash too.

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 7

Can you specify a bit more with regards to the sound? You've listed musical preferences - but that's such a crutch when it comes to asking and giving out recommendations. You're going to get people having back-and-forths between how this would do better with which and what genres, but the fact of the matter is that you have a stronger grasp on how you'd like music to be presented - so cut out the middleman and simply list out what you want in terms of how they should sound. We'd still be going off of assumptions (I mean the whole point of giving recommendations is to guess what someone else might like out of experience) but at least you would give us more context, more specific details, to work with.


Sound descriptors and daunting terms might seem daunting - don't be daunted by them. Go with language that you're comfortable with - but be specific about it. When you think critically and ask the right questions, give the right details, you'll siphon off far more enthused and developed responses.


And to add to that - any specific specifications you'd be wanting out of these IEMs, with regard to build (you say you'll be lugging them around as your last pair broke - how? Anything you would have wanted more out of your previous pair in terms of how they were built? Strain relief, cabling, etc?). Do you want anything different/similar with regards to fit?

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

The wire of the right side of my Super.fi 5 Pros seems to be loose or something.

Actually, the part which connects the wire to the monitors seem to breaking.

I really liked the fit on these so my next one would preferably be something similar.

I could have these on for hours and not tire.


I'm not too sure about describing the sound, but here goes.

I guess I would prefer a more natural sound?

I like clarity. And since most of my music involves instruments played simultaneously, I wouldn't want these sounds to be lost in the mix.

But at the same time, I'd like a warm sound. Don't want my music to sound flat and robotic.

I'm not a big bass head and it should be punchy, impactful but not excessive.


Not sure if I made much sense there, but that's about how I'd like my earphones to sound.

Oh, would be really great if they isolate noise well too.

Microphonics isn't that much of a problem since I don't use them for exercise.

As long as it isn't too bad.

post #5 of 7

I don't remember if the Super.Fi had good strain reliefing or not, guessing we can start from there.


I like my W4 strain relief (it's not thick, but it's flexible, and has a bit of ruggedness, still thin-ish but holds fairly well day-to-day), over my previous 3.Ais (same cable mechanism as the 4.Ai). The UE900 has the MMCX which is great, but there's been a huge influx of complaints about the connector plating coming off and sound cutting off, at this current time, I can't recommend that with confidence, although my old pairs didn't seem to exhibit this.


The W4 is nice and punchy with enough of an emphasis to keep you going, most likely, but clarity is not a strong suit compared to the other two, though it's not a slouch. That being said they are warm too - I'd say try them out, they'd probably fit best out of the choices above for your needs.


Although things like the BA200 has that nice flat cable (although there's less re-enforcement on the strain relief) and goes for a clearer presentation - still warm though not as warm as the W4. Hey, it's cheaper too.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've tried the UE900 before and I kinda liked them. Seemed like the most logical upgrade from the Super.fi.

Wasn't a big fan of the memory plastic hooks though. The ones on the Super.fi were better imo.

But I haven't heard of any other complaints regarding the build so far.


As far as Westones go, I don't think I've ever audition any before.

How does the W4/4R compare to Heir 4ai/UE900 in terms of sound though?

I think UE900 has a very neautral sound which is great, if not unspectacular.

post #7 of 7

The Westones I hear as more subdued up top, more warm, and focuses more on punch than texture - case in point, the mid-bass hump that gives off the warmth. The UEs are clearer to these ears, and extends better with the subbass. 


You might want to go on the UE900 in its current state....


Too short a time with the 4.Ai, been too long, not comfortable commenting extensively on that, sorry.

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