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<$150 iems with proven build quality+comfortable

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,


Back in 2009/10, I got caught up in the flavor-of-the-month type IEMs and was burned by the poor build quality/ quality control of the early Phonak PFE and the Head-direct RE0. 


So, I am looking for an IEM under $150 usd that has been available for at least 2 years with a great record in build quality. I have considered the Etymotic HF5 but I think because of their deep insertion I would find them uncomfortable. Metal construction is not required. As seen from RE0, metal construction means 0 if quality control isn't there.


Sound wise, I am willing to make some compromises to detail if I can get better construction. I listen mainly with Audio Technica AD700, so any similar sound signature is a plus. Both RE0 and PFE were acceptable in terms of sound quality. I do not enjoy huge bass or a very bright sound. 



Thanks for reading






PFE/RE0 experiences:

The plastic casing on the PFE cracked within weeks; I exchanged it, cracked again. I returned it under warranty.


The glue holding RE0 right metal casing came apart within a year of purchase. I was lucky not to lose any small parts as I was walking outside when it happened. I sent it back for a replacement. The replacement unit showed obvious re-gluing on the same side as my originals. Now, 4 years after purchase, the right side driver has died. Recabling didn't help, so I am fairly certain it's the driver. I have been extremely careful with it as it was my most expensive IEM. It is out of warranty, and the only help I got from Head-Direct is to purchase some out of box RE0s for $50. Nice try.

post #2 of 4

Perhaps try the Brainwavz M2 and install some Comply T-400 foam tips.  They are very comfortable this way and have a great sound.


You can check out the graphs here:




My only gripe is that cord does not stay straight and is slightly microphonic. A decent clip takes care of that problem.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

@ Na blur


Thanks for the reply. Any particular reason you recommend the Brainwavz?




I am leaning towards the RHA MA750 right now. They are newer than I'd prefer but that 3 year warranty sounds excellent. Probably more bass than I'm used to. Does anyone know if they are manufactured in the UK?

post #4 of 4

Brainwavz have great reviews here and are relatively cheap.  They are well made and the sound and comfort are excellent for the price.  I am not familiar with the RHA MA750.  Perhaps take a look over at joker's master IEM review sheet here:




From the looks of his review they also receive excellent marks.


I would not hesitate going with the RHA MA750 either.

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