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ISO IEMs I can comfortably wear for hours without sacrificing sound quality

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I'm new here, and somewhat new to the audiophile world so please forgive my lack of technical jargon. I did a lot of lurking before my last purchase, and y'all were ever so helpful in my decision. 
I currently have the Shure SE215s with the iPhone cable and I adore the sound, granted before these my go-tos were iBuds or whatever they call them so experience is limited. Anyway, I guess that my ears are just too small for my Shures, after twenty minutes my ears start to hurt, if I make it that long. My iBuds did the same. An outer ear pain, not inner ear.

I'm looking for something that I could comfortably have in for hours on end, possibly even sleep in on long car rides or flights and layovers, and has an iPhone compatible cable. I spend a lot of time listening to music and a lot of time on the phone and I hate having to stop daily tasks or attempt to do them one handed so that I can hold my phone.

I was eyeing the new Bose 20i, specifically the "aware" mode caught my eye. I'm paranoid and don't always like the noise isolation of the Shures. I like the isolation most of the time, but when I'm home alone I like to be aware of what is going on around me. At times like that I can use the buds that came stock with hubby's S3. I have also done some reading on the Ety HF3s, but there are sooo many options out there, not that I need to tell you that, so I decided that I needed some guidance. Before I bought my Shures, I was looking at several Klipsch sets. I'm open to suggestions, but please be specific about why you make your suggestion so that I can weigh my options and make an informed decision.

My music preferences are all over the map. I was raised on Country and Classic Rock, so those are staples. About 50% of the time, okay maybe 75%, I listen to Seether, or something similar. Occasionally a bit of Eminem or the odd classical number... I like a little bit of everything. I like to hear bass, but I don't want it to overwhelm everything else. I like hearing the little things that you don't hear on the car radio or with stock ear buds.

I plan on selling my Shures as soon as I have something else in my possession, so my budget is about $150-$200, could probably stretch it a bit more if I deemed it worth it. I have an Amazon Prime account, so yay free shipping if I can buy from there.

Thank you all so much for your time and input. I really appreciate it, I'm pretty shy about posting things because I always feel like I'm wasting all y'all's time with inane questions.

post #2 of 4

1) Seems like you'll be looking for something with shallow insertion and a smaller body (yes they do exist)


2) The Aware mode (I could be mistaken) seems to be a feature where they simply tune out the active noise cancelling - it's not really that outstanding of feature, per say, but I shouldn't judge. ANC tends to pale in comparison relative to a deep IEM seal so I wouldn't be sure how much of a difference that would make.


3) The HF3 are very deep in terms of insertion, and would be even more offensive in terms of what you're seeking against. Massive amounts of isolation, to where it's distracting. 


4) $150-200, a bit of bass emphasis - if the PFE122s were still being produced, I would have recommended those in a heartbeat, great shallow insertion, comfort, add in the green filters for some extra oomph in the bass. Otherwise the RE-400s can be pretty shallow when inserted, depends on the tips. More tending towards balance though, so the bass might not be enough (some EQ might help), but they are warm on the other hand, so in terms of quantity, really, YMMV. There's also the Q-Jays, very tiny body, nice balanced sound. Actually I'd recommend those the most out of the three, simply because of the body size.


5) Actually, you might just want to try smaller, aftermarket tips on the Shures before you pass judgement on anything else. I realize that it's an outer-ear pain, but what you can do, is use a longer, more narrow tip, which would allow for you to seat the IEM body further away from the actual ear, and not actually touch the concha, while the tips would hopefully seal enough to not let them fall loose. This is sort of what I did with the M200s, not a lot of options under that circumstance though.

post #3 of 4
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

TwinQY- Thank you very much. I'll try out some different tips before I throw in the towel on the Shures. If that doesn't do the trick I'll check out some of the ones that you've mentioned.

zamorin- I have spent hours on that thread. It's not good to give me that many options lol. There are about five different sets that I want to check out if I ever have the money to spend on a spare set. The SE215s are the only IEMs I've ever had that didn't come with a phone or an mp3 player, so how do I know that I won't like the sound on something else better... See, options aren't good for me, or my wallet...

I was almost ready to find a Bluetooth ear piece that I could use when I have to be on the phone because ever set that I've wanted to check out doesn't have a mic.

Thank you both very much, I appreciate your input!

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