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Best Warm Portable IEM setup under $450

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys.

 

I was wondering if you could help me out. I'm looking for portable IEM's. I have $350 in cash + $100 in a gift card on Amazon. Right now I have the Sennheiser IE80s, but I'm going to return them. Yes, I did let them burn in for some time. I actually do like the sound a lot through my desktop setup; however, through my HTC One, they sound pretty poor. I am looking to get an iPhone 5s soon; don't know if this will improve the sound or not. The main reason I want to return the IE80s is that they are too big. After about 20 minutes, my ears start to get sore. Also, I feel like I should get a little more for this price. What IEM's do you think I should pick up? Do you think I should get universals only? Universals and an amp? Customs and an amp (remember, I can only spend $350 outside of Amazon)? I listen to all kinds of music; here are some examples of albums I love:

 

Inception Soundtrack - Hans Zimmer

Until Now - Swedish House Mafia

Any John Mayer Album

Any Coldplay Album

Any U2 Album

Take Care - Drake

Machinarium Soundtrack - Tomas Dvorak

For Lack of a Better Name - deadmau5

Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Late Registration - Kanye West

Some Day My Prince Will Come - Miles Davis

21 - Adele

The Nightfly - Donald Fagen

Giant Steps - Coltrane

Musiquarium - Stevie

 

As you can see, I like a wide variety of music (at least, I like to think so). What kind of IEMs/setup do you recommend? Obviously, good bass is pretty important to me, although I would not consider myself a basshead. No bloated boomy crap for me. I'm also obsessed with clarity in the mids and highs. I don't know if this helps at all, but I have Unity Audio The Rock studio monitors (http://unityaudioproducts.co.uk/the-rock.php) in my studio and if they could be put into IEM form, I would be in heaven. 

 

So, what would you recommend?

 

Thanks so much

HFT

 

P.S. One thing to note: I have abnormally small ear canals. Even the small foam eartips for the IE80s wouldn't stay in my ears; only the small silicon single flanges. I have normal sized ears though, just the canals are small.

post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention that I want good to very good isolation.
post #3 of 18

Have you tried different tips with the Senn's to get a better / more comfortable fit?? maybe hold off sending back / selling until you have tried to get a better fit….those are good IEM's you already have! 

 

What will be your predominate source?? the new iPhone??

 

Westone 4R is $349.00 right now at http://www.earphonesolutions.com/westone-headphones.html

post #4 of 18
The IE80 might be great with the iPhone 5s. I have the iPhone 5 and the SQ is superb with most of my IEMs and headphones.
I noticed with my other phones that Android phones just don't do well in terms of audio.
post #5 of 18

+1 for the 4r and I'll add the TDK BA200, at ~$140 this is largely under your budget, but I can't think of another IEM i've heard that oozes warmth yet maintains plenty of detail retrieval and clarity. Plus you could use the extra money allotted for a good portable amp or DAP like the DX50 (which pairs wonderfully with the BA200s!)

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy C View Post

The IE80 might be great with the iPhone 5s. I have the iPhone 5 and the SQ is superb with most of my IEMs and headphones.
I noticed with my other phones that Android phones just don't do well in terms of audio.

Any more apple bias left?
post #7 of 18

You can probably get a used W4R and DX50 for $450 and you will have a winner setup. iPhones really aren't that great in the SQ department and are not much better than android if better at all. 

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TekeRugburn View Post


Any more apple bias left?

For your info I am not an apple fan. I have multiple phones at work that I test with multiple apps and came to realize that after A/Bing a few of them. Most Android phones sound dull. Other head-fiers mentioned it way before I did. 


Edited by Tommy C - 10/26/13 at 8:27pm
post #9 of 18

I'd definitely recommend the Earsonics SM3v2.

post #10 of 18
Honestly just pick up a Sansa Clip+, BA200, and an SD card. Save yourself some money.
post #11 of 18
Apple is still garbage.

Get the Carbo Basso. You'll be satisfied. Maybe the BA200, costs more.

DAP get the clip+ or c3.

Well under budget.
post #12 of 18

Forgot to mention this earlier, but the Fiio X3 is another great option for a slightly warm sounding DAP. Its highly capable, memory expandable, and comes with Fiio's excellent customer service. The BA200 + X3 + 32gb Micro SD would run you well under $400. 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TekeRugburn View Post

Apple is still garbage.

Get the Carbo Basso. You'll be satisfied. Maybe the BA200, costs more.

DAP get the clip+ or c3.

Well under budget.

I really wonder based on what you say Apple is still garbage.  Most members here who actually listened to iPhone 5/C  or iPhone 5S with IOS7 were pretty impressed, me included although I was always an Android user.

post #14 of 18

Please don't turn this into an Apple Vs Android Vs FiiO Vs Sansa V's woteva debate....it gets very old, very quick:rolleyes:

 

OP is asking for new IEM's not a new DAP device.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackRabbitSlims View Post

Please don't turn this into an Apple Vs Android Vs FiiO Vs Sansa V's woteva debate....it gets very old, very quick:rolleyes:

OP is asking for new IEM's not a new DAP device.

Actually he asks for a portable setup which includes daps but nice try.
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