I started doing a lot of online reading and researching to find some new in ear headphones. My four or so year old V-Moda Spin (Costco special) IEMs were starting to show their age. I would occasionally get crackling in one or both channels and sometimes a mild shock that didn't seem like static. They always seemed slightly loose and muddy anyway so the hunt was on...
So I read and scoured and my budget inflated as I read reviews. I listen to a few genres of music, but my favorite band is Tool. Since they tend to put a lot of emphasis and detail in the lower regions of the frequency spectrum I knew I wanted something that would represent the bass well, if not emphasize it slightly. Ultimately some V-sonic GR07 BEs and SoundMAGIC E10s showed up at my door.
I'm not using anything special to listen to the IEMs. My Droid 2 streaming free Pandora or Slacker or MP3s from the memory card is the main source. Hardly audiophile quality, I know. I tried my PC because I have some FLAC files on it but I have a LOT of noise (fuzzy and high pitch whine) coming out of it. The phone is actually the least noisy source I have tried. I'm shocked at how little difference I hear. Definitely the V-moda is at the bottom. The E10s bring more clarity and some nice tightness to the low end. To me the GR07 BE though isn't even as different to the E10 as the E10 is to the V-Moda. Tighter bass, yes. I'm having a hard time finding anywhere else that I can hear a significant difference.
The question is; What am I missing? Is there something common (a source, a score, a composition, a modern album) that you can point me to and a specific thing to listen for that will highlight the difference? Or have I found a point of diminishing returns for myself?