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high-end IEM, is it worth it?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

This is my first post on this forum, although I've spent many hours on here already reading through numerous great posts and advice.

I'm a big fan of IEM and can wear them for hours without any discomfort. A couple of weeks ago, however, I broke down and purchased my first over ear headphones, the Beyerdynamic custom one pro. I haven't had much luck with cans in the back, as they get my ears really hot in 30-60 minutes. Along with the COP, I purchased the velours pads to make these cans even more comfortable. Unfortunately, it all didn't help, and I'm having the same issue as always, which pushes me right back to IEM.

long winded introduction, sorry smily_headphones1.gif here my question: I'm not an audiophile and have a hard time noticing all the subtleties you guys describe when listening to the music. I do enjoy a strong bass and clarity of sound, which I'm getting from the COP. Do you think I would get a benefit from getting something like Sennheiser I8, or is it pearls before swine? What IEM would you recommend? Here my criteria:

- microphone included would be nice, but not required.
- Remote would be great to change songs (Android phone)
- Flat cable preferred, not required
- comfort important (ideally possible to lay on side of head)
- Strong bass also important (not muddy, though)

i will be connecting them mostly to smartphone with primarily 192 to 320 kbit/s quality. I listen to a huge variety of music, including Rock, pop, Electronic/House, Hip-Hop, Classic.

Budget is up to $250 or so, but again, if the differences are very subtle, it may be lost on me... frown.gif I do know, however, that I enjoy wearing IEM for hours on end, so I'd be willing to invest a bit more if there's a clear benefit.

would much appreciate your thoughts, as after hours on the forum I'm still not sure what route to go.


PS: I read good things about comfort and sound of the Klipsch Image X7i - wondering if that one goes in the right direction.
Edited by inbruCHes - 3/19/14 at 12:46pm
post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 
...oh and I also hear good things about the Klipsch x11i, but apparently less bass?

very open to other brands as well, of course.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 



Anyone having some advice?

post #4 of 28
There are some great IEMs out there between 70 and 200 dollars with absolutely great sound quality.

Hifiman RE 400 99 dollars
Shure SE 215 $99
JVC HA-FXT90 $70-90
Vsonic GR07 $170 or thereabouts
Yamaha EPH100 $150

All these models offer very good value and are well regarded on here and elsewhere.

I've owned the hifiman REs and JVCs.

The JVCs might be a good fit, but have no mic.

The Shures and Yamahas seem like they would work well for your tastes also, but I've never owned them so I'll let others speak for those.

The only issue is that most of these lack a mic, flat cable, or remote
Edited by newton2105 - 3/19/14 at 1:08pm
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Just realized that they are lacking mic/remote as well when looking them up online. Some of them also seem a bit more clunky, so not sure how comfortable they are to lay on.


Do you have any experience with Klipsch? On Amazon it shows that the X7 and X11 are discontinued, but I read good things about them in this forum - particularly around comfort. What I'm not sure if i) they work for Android as well, and ii) whether I can actually justify paying $150 - $250. Since there's no way of testing them, I'm not sure I'll hear a difference...

post #6 of 28

Try this list.


Some highlights I noticed amongst the list (not that I own/have used them):


  • Westone 2 dual driver (varies)
  • Dunu DN-1000 (~$200 - eBay)
  • Monster Turbine Pro Gold (varies)
  • SteelSeries Flux Pro ($103 - Amazon)
  • VSonic GR07 Bass Edition ($179 - Amazon)
  • Shure SE215 ($100 - Amazon)


If you can afford it, the Monster Turbine Pro Copper are good too for a little bit more than the MSRP of their Gold counterparts (assuming you can find them). ljokerl has reviewed both; he found the Coppers a little less aggressive on the bass but more controlled.


Metal-housed IEMs are heavier but a lot of them can be really comfortable.


I couldn't tell you about the Klipsch X11, but the website I linked has a Klipsch X10 review, and they're quite a good value.


The Munitio NINES I feel inclined to suggest looking at. They're bassy IEMs, but very polarizing - you either love or hate it depending on if you lean toward bass or separation. There's a thread somewhere on Head-Fi.org about those IEMs - might even be ljokerl's review.


I've used none of these, but I see them come up in discussions a lot.

post #7 of 28

Note that some of the IEMs recommended above have strong boosted bass response so check out some frequency charts before deciding.

post #8 of 28
Wish I could help on the Klipsch, but I haven't listened to any of their IEMs.
post #9 of 28

It's worth noting that the Klipsch devices optimized for Android don't actually "work" for Android. Let me explain: if you're looking for a three-button inline remote that works for Android, forget it. I have never seen one that exists. Volume control inlines exist only for Apple devices (and their licensing fees must be absurd, because most three-button inline variants cost $20-50 more).


Klipsch Image S4A, for example, just uses one button which actually is compatible with Android: pause and play. I can't vouch for all headphones, but I know that my headphones - which actually are designed for iOS devices - has a pause-play feature that works on Android. The volume controls don't. The microphone does.


I'm not even really sure why an Android variant of Klipsch's IEMs exists. Probably so that they can sell a cheaper version to Android users since, like I said, Apple gouges quite a bit of cash for certification.

post #10 of 28

I suggest the Vsonic GR07. You can get it here for $130 with free shipping:


Other suggestions include the DUNU DN1000 and Tpeos H-200.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your insights. Much appreciated! At this point, I have narrowed it down to the following contenders:


- Vsonic GR07

- Shure SE215

- Klipsch X10


What at this stage is most important is COMFORT (being able to lay on the side of your head with them), and strong BASS.


Could I ask for your assessment on these two criteria?


Thanks a lot!



PS: I plan on using them without external amp - if that's a consideration.

Edited by inbruCHes - 3/21/14 at 1:33pm
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
One more to add to the three above: HiFiMan RE-400
post #13 of 28

What do you exactly mean when you say strong bass? Is it the kind where you can "feel" it? Or do you mean clear, punchy bass?


If your answer is the first, I'll go with the SE215. The LTD version comes with boosted low end, but make sure you get the blue one, iirc.

If your answer is the second, I'll go with the GR07 BE. This is the bass edition and it con be found here.





My rationale is this. If you want comfort and able to sleep with them, you'll want something with a low flat profile. The x10 and RE-400 goes with the traditional IEM design of a straight barrel. For me, my ears are rather small and shallow so these designs are a PITA to sleep in with. The x10 is even more so since the super small barrel almost feels like a deep inserting ety which I'm not a fan of.


Well, others might have a different opinion and this is really just my own opinion after having tried these IEMs.

Edited by Artem - 3/23/14 at 1:10am
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Sleeping comfort is really important, so appreciate your advice. Can you please elaborate on the bass? Wouldn't 'punchy' mean that you can 'feel it'? Sorry for the noob question...
post #15 of 28

I own the Shure SE 215 and I was rather disappointed with them. They sound fine, but I was honestly expecting a lot more out of them. They are the only "nice" IEMs I have ever used. For some reason, my favorite pair of earbuds I ever used were some that I found. Apparently they come with a phone and cost ~$10 on ebay. Those broke after a year so I got these. I would honestly trade these for my old ear buds in a second lol. I do love the design for the gym. No comfort issues and they stay in. You could lay your head on a pillow with these no problem.The bass is more than I had in my other headphones and it made my realize that I don't care for heavy bass(Especially in my rock/metal). There are 2 electronicish songs that literally sound COMPLETELY different from before and I don't like these songs now. I would be mad if I paid the $100 for these IEMs. Design is 10/10 sound is 5/10 imo.

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