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Quality IEM recommendations for heavy use, ~$600

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

First — sorry for yet another "please recommend an IEM" thread.

 

I'm a big fan of the sound and comfort of the older Westone ES series, but two sets I've owned have been fairly unreliable under heavy use. I've had driver issues but the biggest consistent issue were the cables, which kept breaking at the pins.

 

I'm in the market for new in-ears —a driver in my ES2s went bad after three years and I was quoted close to a $300 repair — and am wondering if anyone can make any recommendation for a high-quality set that might hold up a little better with daily use. The new Westone ES20s have a coaxial-type cable which seems sturdy but bulky. Older Ultimate Ears had the two-pin cable, but they were inset a bit into the body; I'm looking at the UE 4 Pro but it seems the new cables are similar to the older Westones in that they are a two-pin connection flush to the body. I also have heard great things about JHAudio's ears, but their cable connection looks identical to the older Westones.

 

Any recommendations are highly appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 3
This is a really hard one to answer. It completely depends on your behavior and your expectations. Many people would say that getting 3 years of daily use from a single set of IEMs is better than average. I mean, let's be realistic - as you say, a bulky cable is also not desirable in an IEM. How tough can the tiny wires in an IEM be when they are being wiggled and stressed every day? No matter what, it's still a thin piece of copper that needs to be able to bend. In addition, a huge number of IEMs use very similar BA drivers (and often the EXACT same Knowles BA drivers). I would expect their life expectancy of the drivers themselves to be fairly similar across the majority of brands.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

Many people would say that getting 3 years of daily use from a single set of IEMs is better than average. I mean, let's be realistic - as you say, a bulky cable is also not desirable in an IEM.

 

Just to be clear, the cables would break at the pins (not the wire) about every six months. The drivers on my last ES2s went out after three years. So it was three years of ownership but a lot of repair. The issue with the Westone ears is that the connectors were flush with the body, so removing or just moving the earpiece would bend and stress the pins. The UE models seem to try and prevent this (I don't know about others).

 

Quote:
a huge number of IEMs use very similar BA drivers (and often the EXACT same Knowles BA drivers). I would expect their life expectancy of the drivers themselves to be fairly similar across the majority of brands.

 

That's a drag…is three years a typical lifespan?


Edited by roger wilco - 1/20/14 at 2:29pm
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