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Love Audio, probably never REALLY heard

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Well, just a little background;

 

I'm 37 y/o 8.5 year Army vet and work in a nuclear power plant.  I love to ride motorcycles and whenever I'm movin, either on two or four wheels I love listening to my music.  I listen to all types of music from country to rap, classic rock to hard rock and some heavy rock.  I love good sound quality, I usually upgrade my vehicle sound systems ie new head unit, amps and upgraded speakers.  I did the same on the motorcycle, just didn't change the head unit as it is integrated to other systems on the bike. (cb, handlebar controls, intercomm)

 

I often listen to the headphones while working in the yard.  Now that I am getting into the bicycling world (no radio) I want to get some nice headphones.  I have purchased numerous brands of universal in ear buds such as Urban Ears, Klipsch, Skull Candy, JBL, mostly the average Best Buy type stuff that you get for around the $30-$80 range.  The problem I have always found is the sound is never the quality that I am looking for unless I have them crammed so tightly into my ear I end up with an earache within 30 minutes of use.  I have used the different ear canal adapters but they aren't the right kind that will hold the bud in or prevent the pain.  And if I am to start actually doing some serious cycling I am gonna need some that will hold up to getting a bit sweaty and stay put but not kill my ear. 

Someone suggested CIEMs but I am curious, all the reviews that I have seen on this forum and online elsewhere the prices are pretty astronomical.  I wouldn't mind spending $200-$400 if I were to buy some that fit perfectly and were durable and strong enough that I wouldn't need to buy another pair for a say 5-10 years.  I have probably spent that much on the average Best Buy type ones over the past 10-15 years anyhow. 

 

What I am looking for as far as sound quality is the warm sweet sound.  I like the bass to punch a bit but hate when that punch kills the mids and highs that make the sound what it is.  This is why I believe some 3 to 4 driver monitors would be exactly what I'm looking for in a good pair of headphones.  And since either I'm a sensitive little girl or my ear canal is just not "Universal" is why I was leaning towards the Custom molded ones.  I don't need studio quality sound but I am definitely looking for good quality sound that will keep me "in" the music experience, something that stays put but doesn't cause me pain.  Is that too much to ask for?  Am I expecting too much?  Should I lower my expectations just because I want good sound from something small and light?  I use supra-aural headphones on my computer and don't need something that ungainly while riding either of my two wheeled ventures or doing some yard work.

 

Thanks for your input and any advice is much, MUCH appreciated.

 

Caveman

post #2 of 3

I think you should try some higher end universal IEMs before jumping straight into CIEM territory. I think the Earsonics SM3 or SM64 are what you're looking for in terms of sound. You could also try the Westone 3, or Westone 3 RC (same thing, just with a removable cable). I never had a problem with my Westone 4 (universal IEM) coming out of my ear during listening, and if you aren't satisfied with the comfort, you can try different tips that adjust the angle of the IEM itself. By the way, all the IEMs I mentioned are the same shape and size for the most part.

post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by cCasper TFG View Post
 

I think you should try some higher end universal IEMs before jumping straight into CIEM territory.

 

He already mentioned that he has some trouble with the fit, where the insertion of the tips - where much of the friction to stay where they are is - causes him earaches. CIEMs depend a lot less on the eartips to stay in place, as they spread out the friction all around the outer ear as well. I have a custom-like universal, the Aurisonics ASG-1, and I use a smaller tip when out and about (streets, train, etc), and although they are loose and very low isolation at the ear canal, they stay in place while letting me hear what's going on around me, considering how bad people drive (including cyclists) over here. Of course, a true stage-use CIEM can have an ambient noise port.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveman77 View Post

 

Someone suggested CIEMs but I am curious, all the reviews that I have seen on this forum and online elsewhere the prices are pretty astronomical.  I wouldn't mind spending $200-$400 if I were to buy some that fit perfectly and were durable and strong enough that I wouldn't need to buy another pair for a say 5-10 years.  I have probably spent that much on the average Best Buy type ones over the past 10-15 years anyhow. 

 

What I am looking for as far as sound quality is the warm sweet sound.  I like the bass to punch a bit but hate when that punch kills the mids and highs that make the sound what it is.  This is why I believe some 3 to 4 driver monitors would be exactly what I'm looking for in a good pair of headphones.  And since either I'm a sensitive little girl or my ear canal is just not "Universal" is why I was leaning towards the Custom molded ones.  I don't need studio quality sound but I am definitely looking for good quality sound that will keep me "in" the music experience, something that stays put but doesn't cause me pain.  Is that too much to ask for?  Am I expecting too much?  Should I lower my expectations just because I want good sound from something small and light?  I use supra-aural headphones on my computer and don't need something that ungainly while riding either of my two wheeled ventures or doing some yard work.

 

I'm not sure whether you might even find any three to four driver CIEM for $400, and a few (not the majority) of the $299 2-driver CIEMs or reshells at that price range have a reputation for absurd turnaround times (assume they keep costs very far down, only one assembly line, and people flocked to the lowest price available) or some needed several refits. 

 

That said you might want to check out this universal IEM in the shape of a custom IEM. If it fits you well, it still won't be like a custom, but assuming you can find tips that fit you right, it still spreads out the friction to anchor on your ear around the entire shell, so any tightness in the tips is solely for sealing the ear canals for isolation.

http://aurisonics.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=23&products_id=140&zenid=0a24b01c7ddc533075146e0a0869e6e7

 

They also have this universal IEM that has a different type of system to stay on your ears, but I haven't read enough feedback on how well it works and how mch more comfortable it is.

http://aurisonics.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=23&products_id=141

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