My history with IEM'S is as follows:
Purchased Shure SE215's as my first effort toward enjoying better sounding music. I found these to be fantastic....so much so that it got me to wondering "if these sound this good for $100, how must more expensive IEM's sound?". I answered this question by purchasing Westone's W4Rs. Sold the Shures to my girlfriend, who is elated with them.
What I learned by listening to the Westones is that I am not a purist. While the W4Rs sound fantastic, I could not justify the improved sound for the additional cost ($300). I was somewhat disappointed in the bass, which tells me that accurate is not what I am looking for - well, not in the low end anyway. The mids and highs on the westones are phenominal, but I found myself wanting more bass.
And this brings me to the SE215 Special Edition IEMs. Accordingly, the Special Edition version has enhanced bass and maybe some improvement on the highs and mids as well. I really liked my SE215s so I am thinking maybe that is what I need - 215's with heavier bass. The problem is actually finding a pair to buy. The SE215's were not a problem since ebay is saturated with them. But when it comes to the Special Editions, at least on ebay, I find that I can only get them from Japan or Hong Kong. I found only one source here in the US for them and even he stated that they were imported from Japan.
What makes me nervous about buying higher end goods from Japan is the counterfeiting problem in the electronics industry. I have read too many accounts of people buying products such as the Sennheiser IE80 only to find out that they are substandard counterfeits.
So, my question is: has anyone here purchased the SE215 Special Editions here in the states? If so, where? And, has anyone purchased them from Japan? Does anyone know why they are only available in Japan?
At any rate, thank you for taking the time to read this post.