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A portable headphone/IEM recommendation?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi head-fi experts!

 

I'm planning to buy a portable headphone or an IEM for my daily on-the-way music enjoyment. Currently the best headphone I have is the AKG Q460, and it works pretty well. However, since I decided to take a step further and bought a Q701 a couple days ago, I thought I should change a new portable headphone as well.

 

So far my budget is $500 maximum, and it can be either a portable headphone or an IEM. It must be portable, so no amps required to sound good. Also it should have decent (if not good) noise isolation if not active noise cancellation, at least good enough for me not to be disturbed while walking around campus.

 

As for the music I listen to, most of the time it's either classical or new age (e.g. Yanni and various piano solos), and I tend to focus more on the highs and mid-highs, so-so on the mids, and less on the bass. The few occasion where I care more about bass is the occasional pop and dance music, but that's only about 5% of the time. 

 

So in conclusion, my criteria are sound quality (should be better than my Q460) >= portability (no amps needed, and not bulky if it's a headphone) > noise isolation > (only if possible) iPhone/iPad remote & mic support.

 

Thanks guys! :)

post #2 of 9

I recommend Shure or Westone earphones in IEM category. 

post #3 of 9

did somebody say highs and mids? etymotic er4 is the way to go.

 

Other iems to consider are the westone 40 and the earsonics sm64 though they're more mid centric. The shures may be too laid back in the treble for classical.

 

You should ask joker here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-310-iems-compared-iem-buyers-guide-updated-p-873-03-01-14

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0000 View Post
 

did somebody say highs and mids? etymotic er4 is the way to go.

 

Other iems to consider are the westone 40 and the earsonics sm64 though they're more mid centric. The shures may be too laid back in the treble for classical.

 

You should ask joker here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-310-iems-compared-iem-buyers-guide-updated-p-873-03-01-14

Wow, that's a loooot of earphones in that post. But I did some of my own research, and I didn't see any mention of sennheiser ie80 in that post. Considering that ie80 is around the same price range as the er4 and sm64, which one would be better?

post #5 of 9

The ie80 is the sucessor to the ie8, so it may have a lot of bass as well. The ie8 is bass heavy even on its lowest bass setting.

 

You should post on the thread i linked you. Joker is pretty much the iem guru in this site. Might as well read the review of the ie8 and the er4s there.

 

I still stand on my recommendation for the er4s based on your sonic preferences. (just in case you didn't find it)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-310-iems-compared-iem-buyers-guide-updated-p-873-03-01-14#post_6492056

When the er4s is being compared to an iem that's joker's current 10/10 (jh13) you know that it's definitely good. But of course it's a matter of taste. The only reason why people usually stay away from it is that they want more bass, want something more smooth and lush, or because they want something more comfortable.

 

ie8 (4th one down): then i guess just read about the differences between the ie80 vs ie8 from people who owned both

http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-310-iems-compared-iem-buyers-guide-updated-p-873-03-01-14#post_6492057

 

I've never heard the ie8 (never plan to, don't like midbass heavy stuff) or the sm64 (nowhere to audition, hard to get).The sm64 is less dark than its predeccesor the sm3, but whether if it's good for classical or not, i don't know. Joker will definitely be able to tell you.


Edited by b0000 - 3/3/14 at 9:39pm
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0000 View Post
 

The ie80 is the sucessor to the ie8, so it may have a lot of bass as well. The ie8 is bass heavy even on its lowest bass setting.

 

You should post on the thread i linked you. Joker is pretty much the iem guru in this site. Might as well read the review of the ie8 and the er4s there.

 

I still stand on my recommendation for the er4s based on your sonic preferences. (just in case you didn't find it)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-310-iems-compared-iem-buyers-guide-updated-p-873-03-01-14#post_6492056

When the er4s is being compared to an iem that's joker's current 10/10 (jh13) you know that it's definitely good. But of course it's a matter of taste. The only reason why people usually stay away from it is that they want more bass, want something more smooth and lush, or because they want something more comfortable.

 

ie8 (4th one down): then i guess just read about the differences between the ie80 vs ie8 from people who owned both

http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-310-iems-compared-iem-buyers-guide-updated-p-873-03-01-14#post_6492057

 

I've never heard the ie8 (never plan to, don't like midbass heavy stuff) or the sm64 (nowhere to audition, hard to get).The sm64 is less dark than its predeccesor the sm3, but whether if it's good for classical or not, i don't know. Joker will definitely be able to tell you.

I see. So I checked on Etymotic website, and I see two main versions of er4, 4s and 4pt. Although 4s has better accuracy level, it has a 100 ohm impedance. And the post said that an iPhone alone may not suffice. So should I go with the 4PT?

post #7 of 9

Read through this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/538615/if-you-still-love-etymotic-er4-this-is-the-thread-for-you

 

And then make YOUR own decision.

post #8 of 9
The if there's any discussion about different versions with different impedances, the differences are (usually) very small. Get whichever is cheaper, though in theory, the lower impedance will be better on portable players.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha421 View Post
 

Read through this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/538615/if-you-still-love-etymotic-er4-this-is-the-thread-for-you

 

And then make YOUR own decision.

 

Why don't you just give us the tl;dr? In the beginning, the guy likes it a lot. What happens later?

 

ER4P impressed me and HF5 did too. ER4P is more resolving but HF5 is better than most, and certainly at its price. The big difference to me was build quality as ER4P is much sturdier and bears less noise.

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