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Is it worth upgrading to better IEMs?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My Sennheisers CX870s are very good (as far as I can tell), but I only really get the best out of them when I’m in a dead quiet room. When I’m walking to and from Uni, along the side of a within town road, the sound cancelling is good, but the quality drops. I can’t tell if this is because I’m walking, or because of the cars going past. Walking to and from places, often down roads, is the most usual time I use my headphones.  The other big problem is that the little plastic thing protecting the 3.5mm plug is starting to fall to bits.


What I’d like is even better sound quality in general, and more robust build quality (Sennheisers don’t tend to last long). I’m more than willing to spend a reasonably high amount on some new IEMs. There are a couple of options I’m looking at: the Jaybird Bluebirds, and the Sure SE535s. I like the bluetoothness of the Jaybirds, and I like the idea of the superb sound and build quality of the Sures.


Money is a slight issue (I’m not sure I can get the Sures, I’ll be trying to get half the cost as a birthday present), but I can afford, and justify the Jaybirds, if there really will be a benefit to them with sound quality.


My question is, given the conditions I use my headphones in, am I going to see any benefit in getting a better pair, or will I not hear the difference? And if so, are either of those 2 a good bet, or is there a better option out there?

Edited by bobandirus - 2/10/14 at 9:30am
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

Any ideas, anyone?

post #3 of 4

I don't have a complete answer for you but I'd like to share that I have a problem with certain high-end IEM's in that if they aren't inserted absolutely correctly the sound is awful. I often just use my simple Sony XBA-2's rather than my more audiophile Westone 4's because I just don't want to bother with the adjustment... It sounds like you're running into a similar problem in that your IEM's are great if you get everything set up just right. I'm not sure if there's any particular style or brand of IEM that avoid this problem. BTW, the Sony's are really nice & the only short-coming I find is when I'm listening to more complicated music where the 4 drivers of the Westone increase the accuracy. I know Sony makes noise-cancelling IEM's as well as Bluetooth ones. I've avoided the Bluetooth just because it does lose some of the audio detail in the transmission & for me the loss is noticeable. Still, IMO, the best IEMs for your situation will be whatever works best for you. The best and most expensive IEMs aren't worth the expense if they only work under certain conditions.


Also, I found that the British magazine What Hifi? does a really good job of reviewing & recommending audio equipment. That's how I found the Sony's & they were a really good bargain.


Good luck. Maybe someone else will decide to help you out with some more info!

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Given that the XBA4iP is so close in price on Amazon right now, would you recommended them instead, or do you think the large size of them would cause more problems?

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