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My first hi performance earbud - under 350$

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 


I wanna buy a new pair of in ear headphone. My budget is max 350$.

I listen to pop, commercial, rock and some house music, I use my iphone or ipad.

I come from Sennheiser cx300.

I read about Custom art music one and rhb ep2 but i can't understand if they are ok....

what do you suggest to me?

post #2 of 3

Earbuds are different. You are looking at IEMs. Check out these IEM comparison threads:

post #3 of 3
Originally Posted by stracciarevenge View Post

I listen to pop, commercial, rock and some house music, I use my iphone or ipad.

I come from Sennheiser cx300.


Past the difference between IEMs and earbuds, look into the Aurisonics ASG-1, before which I considered the IE80. On hearing about it I was never actually excited about them and actually thought they wouldn't fit right, but a local fellow head-fi-er/headphiler was selling his and I got to try it out, and eventually bought them when I got the cash (and luckily for me at least no one else was interested). A few notes:


1) Fit and shell design
It's in the shape of a custom IEM shell but Aurisonics claims it's built to an average size (probably from audiologist databases?) to fit 90% of people, then the sound bore itself uses an IEM tip. The fit of the shell on the outer ear doesn't have to fit absolutely perfectly, but enough to anchor the whole thing so it doesn't fall out or rely on deeply inserted, tight-fitting eartips. I like the fit because as much as I like the ergos of the Westone/Shure-shaped IEM shells, every eartip has caused minor (but nevertheless annoying, itchy) irritation in my ear canal. I can't go halfway through an album without pulling them out several times to scratch unless I fell asleep at some point.


Then there's the IE7 and IE8 (and the IE80 but I never got to try that one). While the UE TF10 made you look like Frankenstein's Monster, these actually made me feel like Frankenstein's Monster, with bolts in my ears instead of behind them or on the temples. The non-organic shapes didn't work with my ears.



2) Sound

Marketing blurb says lots of bass, reviews say almost no treble. Without getting into the the micro details of frequency response, a bumped up range can make for an impression that other areas are "recessed" (a term that I only see in headphone-related reviews or sites, not so much with speaker folks), and while measurements do present the reality that it rolls off too early relative to other headphones (others are rated well above 30khz, speakers on average only rated up to 20khz), I have noted that the ASG-1's aren't far off from some speakers using fullrange drivers which overall only feel deficient if compared to really good (meaning smooth and well-integrated to the midrange, as opposed to just "there") high frequency drivers.


I started out, for the most part, accepting the trade-offs given either my ear canal itches or my ear drums cry for a break, using general-purpose but otherwise good enough mobile devices (SGS3, iPad2). But when I brought them home I remembered I had a couple of clear eartips lying around that were firm yet comfortable (IIRC, I was given these spares by a fellow headphiler, from an old UM2 kit), and surprisingly enough they fit perfectly both on the soundbore and in my ears. They still don't seal as well owing to not pushing them in deep (again, at least it's more comfortable) but the sound was a little closer to even - considerably toned down bass (that doesn't have the bass guitar or viola competing with the guitars or sax) that let a bit more treble to be perceived. Or it actually brought out the treble too, not sure really as I don't have the measuring tools. Either way the sound was more balanced, kind of like if you got the tuning on a T50RP right.


Oh, and when I tried the Sennheiser IEx EQ correction profile on the Accudio app, the treble opened up a lot more. Even other headphones being corrected for close to flat (of course, their specific profiles) didn't come out like the ASG-1 did. Where my HD600 comes out a bit like the HD800 tonally, the ASG-1 came out sounding like the in-ear equivalent of Fostex fullrange drivers in whatever cabinet worked best with them - extended enough but very smooth, organic treble.



3) Durability

So far there is oxidation on the cable and a little discoloration on the shell, but my kind of OC is more bothered by the clear shell going with a black cable than it is by wear and tear (unless it's just plain grime) so it doesn't bother me. The Otterbox it comes in is a really nice touch - no waste on a cardboard (+plastic) box and I don't have to buy the Otterbox for it. Not that I wouldn't use a proper water-proof backpack when I go to the mountains, but in the climate here, every bag I use needs to be water-resistant at least thanks to typhoons. Knowing my earphones (and my phone, as I have a ziplock bag for it all the time) will survive even if all I have is a small-ish bag for hard-copy documents, and having at least that small a bag with me 95% of the time when I'm out of the house, makes the bulk of the Otterbox a non-issue for me. I did get a smaller, more typical IEM carry case as a freebie but I keep extra tips and cleaning tools in it, then stashed it in my drybox along with my camera.

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