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New Member Intro, question about IEM and where to get high quality music

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fi community,

My name is Peter , I am 29 years old, and this is my first post on any forum ever. I have always appreciated high quality sound starting about 11 years ago with the bose tri-port headphones to UE700 iem and most recently B&W MM-1 desktop speakers (with a few other not so great products in between). Recently, I found the Head-Fi forums while looking up the best IEM's and read extensively through the threads and the glossary. I was in the market for IEM's in the $100-200 range, but reading the reviews, I wanted better and better until finally I decided on the Sennheiser IE800 . I was wondering if this is a mistake by jumping from $150 IEM's?  should i try something in between first? And lastly, in the threads of high end headphones, a constant theme is mp3's suck, high quality music in, high quality music out. Where is a good place to buy high quality music? I currently buy mp3s from the itunes store and stream on Pandora One subscription. Thank you everyone for your help. I hope to become more knowledgeable, be able to have intelligent dialog, and to help others in the future. 




post #2 of 5

I love my shure SE215

as for high quality music, I'd say your best bet would be to buy CDs and convert them to FLAC (I use foobar2000), or even a high bit-rate mp3 or other format if you need to save some storage space. On amazon, I believe if you buy the CD you get the instant mp3 for free too.


I use spotify premium to stream most of the time when I am on the go, but I have experience with MOG and Google Music too both of which are good options too.

Edited by stin - 12/23/13 at 11:28am
post #3 of 5

What type of sound signature do you like? I think IE800 doesn't give you much value for money.


You can get high quality music from HDtracks.com or you can get free high quality FLAC format audio files from here (but they mostly have only EDM type music):



post #4 of 5

If you want to experience high end sound you need to focus on three important things.


They must be of decent quality and a major part is them all working as one. (especially the headphone/source)

The most increase will always come from your headphone purchase however if you're spending $1000 on Sennheiser IE800 and running them with an iPhone and MP3 files there's no way you're going to extract their full potential and it's basically a waste of time, an earphone/headphone will only be as good as the weakest link or bottle neck. You may find yourself purchase IE800 and not like their signature at all, then you've just wasted almost $1000 in a puff of smoke.

The best way to progress in this hobby is start in the $100-$200 range and try a few different earphones, get a taste of different signatures such as bright/cool, dark/warm/ bassy, analytical, musical etc, it's not as easy as spending the most money and achieving the best sound, you have to think about the synergy of the source you're using with the earphone, the files, fit, tips, cables, it's more or less endless why people who get a taste for portable hifi end up never leaving because to me, (and I'm sure others) there is no end, there is no perfect end game rig. Some claim they found it, but then immunity to a signature kicks in, the brain becoming immune to the detail levels and technical ability starts craving for more. It really is an endless hobby and advisable to leave before you get dragged in.

If you want good sound, I can offer it and all for about $300 or at least provide some things to research, this would give you a starting point and something to focus on. If I was you I would cancel the IE800 purchase and look into this hybrid IEM which is really hot right now, Dunu DN-1000, ($200) also do some research on what hybrid IEM's are then, do more research on the audiophile player called Colorfly C3 ($100). Finally, start finding yourself some 16bit FLAC files  (very important) and enjoy a clear, clean well separated and decently detailed set up on the go. 

When you try that you can come back and tell us what you liked or disliked, start forming an opinion of what you like, dislike for future options. I can assure though the $300 you would spend will offer you good sound. 

Edited by H20Fidelity - 12/24/13 at 1:11am
post #5 of 5

I borrow CD's from the library and rip them to my computer. Though some of the CD's are pretty scratched up and unreadable, most are OK, and they're free, can't complain too much!

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