Recently I posted another topic asking if I should get something like a FiiO E07K for my Mac laptop to improve on the integrated DAC, but people said I should upgrade my headphones first as the integrated DAC isn't so bad.
My headphones are Sennheiser CX200s. I like them but obviously they're entry-level.
I also have Sony MDR-EX90s lying around and I've actually not used them in a long time, I hooked them up yesterday and absolutely hated them, the sound is muddy and just bleh.
I also have 600-ohm DT990s on my desktop setup, just to give you an idea of what I like.
The kind of metal I listen to is mostly the extreme kind -- death/black/doom etc. (lately: Watain, Gorguts, Rimfrost, Nekrogoblikon, In Vain, Arckanum, Battle Dagorath, Gehenna, Farsot), but I also listen to more mainstream heavy metal (Accept, Metal Church, Metallica, Overkill, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin), and in a completely different sound register, I listen to proper techno (Detroit style, e.g. Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Dave Clarke, Carl Cox), tech house and ambient with powerful bass (think "Houses on the Hill" or "Ancient Campfire" by Biosphere).
I like a detailed but not overly analytical sound, overall balanced but with punchy yet not overwhelming bass. To give you an idea, I had Sennheiser HD 595 and Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 and while they sounded great, the bass was too weak for my taste. I really like the bass in my DT990s though.
I need IEMs that don't require an amp to sound good, as they'll be connected pretty much only to an iPhone 5, an iPod touch (5th gen), an iPad Air or a 2013 Retina MBP and I don't feel like carrying an extra device.
I also would like to avoid IEMs that require a good seal in order to sound good. I've had Etymotic ER-6i in the past (they're broken now) and didn't like the seal requirement. My current CX200 still sound good to me without a seal and I'd like to keep it that way.
I want good build quality and the longest possible warranty (some of the ones listed below have 2 years, which sounds good to me) - I take care of my headphones but sometimes the wire gets tangled in something or I move my arm in such a way that I rip one side out, which scares me to death every time
If I can get them on Amazon, even better.
I've been looking at various IEMs and already dismissed some for various reasons.
Here are the ones I'm currently considering:
Audiofly AF56 / AF78
I'm also considering the HiFiMAN RE-400 but have been reading about build quality issues so I'm a bit iffy about it.
The following were dismissed:
Spider Realvoice - build quality issues
Sony XBA-3iP - 90-day warranty is bad
Sony XBA-H1 - 90-day warranty is bad
KEF M200 - don't like a thing (other than a wire) going over my ear
No Etymotics -- I was burned years ago when my $150 ER-6i's right side decided to stop working even though I babied the damn things
I realize the Audio-Technica ATH-IM70 are very new but I read the impressions here and am all but convinced that they are right for me (I wish they weren't red but I can live with that). Trouble is I can't seem to find them anywhere except eBay or Amazon Marketplace for $140-150 and that seems expensive since they're supposed to be ~¥11,000.
Anyway, throw options at me, thanks for reading!