A little bit of backstory: I've unfortunately never been able to own or try many pairs of headphones at all. However, many years ago I decided to purchase my first "proper" pair of headphones and got the old Sennheiser HD485s. They of course opened a new world to me and I enjoyed them a lot. More recently I upgraded to the 558s, which I am currently using and loving as well. Now, I can't really compare them to anything else, but I can say that I really enjoy the sound signature that they give me. I can't say I wish they had more or less of anything.
Aside from that, I needed a pair of portable cans to use on the go and on the bus back and forth from school. First, I purchased a 20$ pair of Sony IEMs. They were alright, I suppose. But I quickly grew pretty frustrated with the sacrifice I had to make in sound quality coming from my 558s, to the point where I would avoid listening new albums for the first time on them since they lacked so much detail, even though these commutes are the best timeframe to do so in my busy college schedule.
So next I did some reading around here and decided to get the JVC HA-S500s. These are a lot better. They provide a great sound for the money and were much more acceptable to me as a companion to my Senns. But they ended up having one major flaw for my use case: the isolation is not nearly enough in loud buses and the city I live in. I lose way too much detail because of outside noise, especially on the lower regions. The other (lesser) problem was that, even though they really are quite portable and convenient with the way they fold, they still are a bit awkward to carry around when compared to IEMs.
So, as the title says, I am on the hunt again. I would ideally want some IEMs that could make a good companion to my main cans, but I'm willing to consider other on-ear pairs if necessary. They should obviously also have good microphonics an comfort.
I listen to a lot of hip-hop, progressive rock, some experimental/noisy stuff. In terms of specifics, I don't think I'm a basshead. As I said, I really like the sound of my 558s. I find the bass really satisfying, punchy and textured. They provide a very nice soundstage, and have yielded incredible results with positional audio. Every part of the spectrum feels well represented and balanced. It does great with female vocals and shrill noise as well. So I would say it's important to me to get a similar sound with all these features.
The other crucial thing is of course the isolation, since that killed the S500s for me even though they were otherwise quite good.
Finally, in terms of budget, I'm looking to spend under 100 here, ideally around 50-60. However, I would still like to hear recommendations in all price points as an aside, just to know about other options I could want in the future and to get an idea of what the landscape looks like.
Oh, and the source would be my iPod.
Thanks in advance.
Edit: I forgot to say that from reading around here I've gathered the following options:
-Steelseries In-ear Flux
Any comments on those?
Edited by Gyrael - 1/13/14 at 11:53am