I've owned a good number of high end IEMs, including the Sennheiser IE 80, Vsonic GR07, Fischer Audio DBA-02 and Head-Direct RE0. While they sound good, and some are very detailed, none sound anywhere near as good or enjoyable as good set of speakers + subwoofer.
It doesn't even take a very expensive speaker to beat out all the IEMs I've listed above. Something as inexpensive as the $600 Paradigm's new Monitor series speakers sounds better in the midrange and treble while almost matching the level of detail presented. Not just that, I've never heard of any IEM that can reproduce bass as well as a good subwoofer, not even the Sennheiser IE80. While the volume was there, its nowhere near as tight and articulate. Bass from a good sub is also a lot more impactful and deeper, but IEMs can't reproduce that for obvious reasons.
What's worse, no IEM seems to be able to image at all. It sounds like the sound is coming from the IEM, not presented in a nice soundstage with speakers. I can't pinpoint anything with IEMs. There isn't even the basic vocal in the center imaging with IEMs. I expect IEMs to image like crazy because the positioning is perfect and there are no room reflections or any of the sonic problems we have to deal with speakers.
Why can't IEMs sound truly good like speakers? Anyone share the same experience?
Edited by bcodemz - 10/28/13 at 9:42am