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Diminishing returns with high end IEM's

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I hope no one minds me posting this here. I am hoping for an objective response.
It seems to me that no IEM at any price is perfect. In fact the more expensive the more "Marmite" with major flaws being traded for strengths.
Is this an accurate assessment?
Is there a quantum leap in enjoyment between IEM's at different price points?
Once you get past say £150 then £350. ? £600 then£1000+ is the quality of sound really incrementally "better"?
I use the term enjoyment. I know that is subjective but maybe the only factor that really matters in the end.
When I read that a £350 IEM has treble that's "as good as you can expect for the price" I really begin to wonder if it's all a charade to part the hopeful from their money.
post #2 of 3

There are no perfect IEMs, but some come closer than others. Price correlates surprisingly poorly with actual sound quality.


I suspect that this is because the human ear is very tolerant of flaws in sound sources, so even a deeply flawed product sounds 'good' to the listener. Especially if they have paid a thousand dollars for it.


This also explains why so many people are surprised by how 'good' some cheap IEMs are, because they've opened their mind to accept that they might not be so bad.



You should never think of IEMs in terms of 'tiers' and 'upgrading' from one price to another. Always think of them as individual products with individual flaws and individual prices.

post #3 of 3

 it depends on how much of a whiner you are ^_^. improvements are usually very subtle, but if they are what you needed to stop complaining then it's worth it no? that's pretty much how I roll so like you would guess it's totally mood dependent. I can very well enjoy a 30$ IEM into a clip+ one day, and be fed up with my jh13 into a portable amp the next.


2 things I know now are that comfort and durability are not factored into pricing, and that making up a ludicrous price is enough to convince a lot of people that it is the best.

-still I usually have little to complain about IEMs in the 300 to 600$ range.
-then I put cheap stuff into 2 main categories, it's a caricature but mostly that's what I think: one with big ass bass to impress and hide the misery of the mids and trebles. and the neutral/detailed ones with sibilance and/or harsh distortions.
-when 600$+ is often a hit or miss for me. I hear some nice technical qualities most of the times , but the signatures are often too pushy for my tastes, like they try to show too much for their own good, how unique they are. so you end up living the dream if that's what you really wished for, but mostly you try to get used to something not for you because you're telling yourself that it is what quality sounds like.


ok now I'm depressed. I will now go and try to kill myself from eating too much sour cream and onion pringles. and wondering what all the flavors unavailable in my country taste like.

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