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Does anyone prefer IEMs to similarly priced over the ear headphones?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I just purchased the shure SE425 (my third expensive headphone in a month, sigh) and I was expecting something in the vicinity of a $300 over the ear headphone. But the SE425s aren't even in the same zip code. No problems with seating either, I played with it for 30 minutes using all sleeves to get that right. This experience reminded of a thread where someone asked if the se535 was similar to the sennheiser hd800 and a person who had tried them both told him the HD800 blows the se535 away. So basically, IEMs are just for vanity / noise isolation right? They're never a preferred choice for sound reproduction are they?


Edited by ag8908 - 2/7/14 at 5:55am
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

I just purchased the shure SE425 (my third expensive headphone in a month, sigh, but this will be the last of it) and I was expecting something in the vicinity of a $300 over the ear headphone. But the SE425s aren't even in the same zip code. No problems with seating either, I played with it for 30 minutes using all sleeves to get that right. This experience reminded of a thread where someone asked if the se535 was similar to the sennheiser hd800 and a person who had tried them both told him the HD800 blows the se535 away. So basically, IEMs are just for vanity / noise isolation right? They're never a preferred choice for sound reproduction are they?

Whoa NO

 

dude there are some REALLY REALLY nice sounding IEMS.

 

I personally HATE iems for the fit, BUT they are in NO WAY inferior to headphones. Look at any professional artist, all of them wear Custom In Ear Monitors, or literally refrance level iems.

 

And those very same iems are availible to consumers. iems have just as much potential to sound good [or bad] as their full sized counter parts! 

 

In Fact Senn Hesier has a Flag Ship iem, as does AKG. 

 

my point being, iems are JUST as capable for high fidelity sound reproduction as headphones, 

 

that's like saying a Laptop can't be as power of a computer as a Desktop Pc, both have almost limitless potential the difference is in form factor, and each has it's trade offs. But neither is better than the other. They both have pros and cons, and both function very well in different settings 

 

If you like iems trust me there are some VERY nice ones you can get 

post #3 of 7
I'd say my heir 4.ai iem is in a similar ballpark to the hd600 I own taking everything into account. Can't say even owning the hd800, lcd2, he500, t1, th600, alpha dogs among others that it ever disappoints as far as quality goes even if all the flagships are ahead by a ways. Especially considering I get such good sound out of a fiio x3 on the road and with superb comfort compared to full size portable hpS in the heat.

The Logitech custom ear moniters is meant to be up in the upper tiers for sound.
Edited by Eternal Schism - 2/7/14 at 3:03am
post #4 of 7

SE535 cant really be compared against an HD800 to start off. I personally find that lower priced iems are generally better than lower priced headphones. At some point, i do believe headphones beat out iems at a higher price.

 

The downside to iems is mainly soundstage and the ability to have more of an "out of head" experience. I personally am an iem guy and love the capabilities of BA drivers.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post

Does anyone prefer IEMs to similarly priced over the ear headphones?

 

I just purchased the shure SE425 (my third expensive headphone in a month, sigh, but this will be the last of it) and I was expecting something in the vicinity of a $300 over the ear headphone. But the SE425s aren't even in the same zip code. No problems with seating either, I played with it for 30 minutes using all sleeves to get that right.

 

I love how my $299 Aurisonics ASG-1* sounds a little bit like my $399 HD600* with just a more severe treble roll-off after 12khz, but I don't miss my main system too much since I got it. Once I get a dedicated player I might actually not miss it at all (treble opened up a whole lot on the Fiio X3, although still not anything like the HD600). At the very least it runs well enough with a smartphone - strong bass without getting bloated and nice detailed midrange.

 

 

*purchased both used, roughly $175 for the ASG-1 and $225 for the HD600

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

So basically, IEMs are just for vanity / noise isolation right? They're never a preferred choice for sound reproduction are they?


I haven't met anyone bragging how they got the coolest thing in town like the people who got the LA Lakers-themed Beats, so I don't really understand that "vanity" part. If anything, what they do is offer something for a more unique situation. See, if you ask me, I wouldn't list fullsize headphones as my "preferred choice for sound reproduction" in absolute terms - that honour still belongs to speakers. However, the only room in my house that I can use (my childhood bedroom, since I can move into my parents' room as the house is effectively mine now) has really crappy acoustic qualities.* That leaves me with headphones.

In turn, when out of the house, I need isolation and I don't want to lug an iPod strapped to a DAC strapped to a balanced amp - hence, high-efficiency (ie low voltage requirement), low current requirement IEM.


*Sloped ceiling/roof on one side, so that has to be the rear of both speakers or it bounces sound around too much; in that config however one speaker is next to the outer wall, which is concrete, and a window; the other speaker is next to the interior wall, which is plywood. Sound bounces off the concrete wall almost as badly as on the sloped ceiling.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 2/7/14 at 3:41am
post #6 of 7
I agree, speakers are still the best at reproducing sound but it's expensive and hard to do in a house with a full family. I'm left with headphones and iem's have their place. I love my balanced armature sets and am considering some custom in ears. I'm also considering the hd800, just haven't come up with the money. I'm lucky as it is that I can have different set ups not only for different music, but for different moods.

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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylercaulfield View Post

I agree, speakers are still the best at reproducing sound but it's expensive and hard to do in a house with a full family. I'm left with headphones and iem's have their place. I love my balanced armature sets and am considering some custom in ears. I'm also considering the hd800, just haven't come up with the money. I'm lucky as it is that I can have different set ups not only for different music, but for different moods.

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk

 

Do you have a dedicated room? Not necessarily for speakers but jsut somewhere you can lock yourself in when listening. "Full family" and "HD800" to me conjures up listening not just to music but screaming little kids or geriatrics turning the TV waaaaaay up, on top of "you paid how much?!?! you still have their orthodontist's bill, their college fund, the maintenance on the minivan and the SUV..."

Of course I'm speaking from the perspective of a guy who's out to break out of the family mold by not having a family and going straight to a retirement home, assuming a heart attack doesn't kill me since I've been eating everything I can't eat once my digestive system goes out of whack at an advanced age (like how I finished an entire Porterhouse by myself last night, then sprinkled water on the charcoal and plopped down a 2kg brisket for this week's sandwiches.

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