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Recommendations for ie headphones <AU$300

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I'm new, so sorry for starting a thread that's no doubt been posted a million times. Also sorry if it's in the wrong place.

I'm after some new in ear headphones for under AU$300. My hifi shop suggested the B&W C5s, but I don't know enough about the other brands in the price point, so I want to look into some alternatives.

I'll be using the headphones with an ipod classic, with a FIFO E07K. I listen to everything from EDM to hip hop, punk, metal, pop, rock, jazz and blues. I'd like it if the cables were braided, but that's not a deal breaker. Also, my ears are a bit sensitive to high frequencies, so nothing overly strong in the high bands please.

Very grateful for any thoughts or suggestions
post #2 of 14

Marcus from headphones.com.au is recommending the Audiofly AF120 highly. Their website is very useful, lots of good info and recommendations and it's all in simple terms, on here you're likely to get a lot more info than you need. Their prices can be high so if you wanted something from Asia you can often get a lower price on Rakuten global etc. But the Audiofly is made locally so their price is good. They have a forum and if you post what you're after in there they'll point you in the right direction.

 

I've just bought some AT-IM02s and love them, they are not overly bright, but depending on what your used to you might be better with something a bit warmer. The IM70 is getting good reviews too and might be more what you're looking for and much cheaper.

post #3 of 14
This thread might help a lot: http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-249-iems-compared-final-audio-fi-ba-sb-and-fi-ba-sa-added-08-03-12

Many of those IEMs can be bought off ebay or from international sellers.
post #4 of 14

I did warn you about getting too much information ^

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much guys. I'll look into your recos Redrich. 4145, that thread is amazing. Can't imagine how much work went into that. I'll certainly spend some time going over that over the next couple of days.

 

Where did you get your IMO2s from Redrich?

 

Why do you think the IM70 might be better?

 

Back story is that I got a new job and will be spending a lot more time on the bus in the near future. I normally use my QC15s, but with an ipod classic and amp, they're a bit too much to juggle, and I find myself just playing on my phone cos it's too much effort to get my music sorted out. So i'm keen for some more compact buds, and keeping the QC15s for air travel. 

 

Thanks again!

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkness85 View Post
 

Thanks very much guys. I'll look into your recos Redrich. 4145, that thread is amazing. Can't imagine how much work went into that. I'll certainly spend some time going over that over the next couple of days.

 

Where did you get your IMO2s from Redrich?

 

Why do you think the IM70 might be better?

 

Back story is that I got a new job and will be spending a lot more time on the bus in the near future. I normally use my QC15s, but with an ipod classic and amp, they're a bit too much to juggle, and I find myself just playing on my phone cos it's too much effort to get my music sorted out. So i'm keen for some more compact buds, and keeping the QC15s for air travel. 

 

Thanks again!

I bought my IM02s from Rakuten, that was the best price I could find. It's a Japanese site so some of the info is a bit hard to decipher but I had no problems, had to wait 4 days for stock but then they got her in 4 days.

 

The reason I thought the IM70 might be better is they are reputed to be a bit warmer than the IM02. Although I've had no sibilance whatsoever from the IM02. Another one to consider is the Hifiman RE400. They are just over $100 and sound fantastic for the price, nice and smooth but well balanced. They are also really easy to get in and out and carry around, although hifiman has a poor reliability record.

 

My general recommendation is to spend less when you're starting out. The reason is that without having heard any of the different options people recommend it can be hard to work out exactly what your preference will be, if you spend less and it turns out you prefer something different you lose less. Also, the folks on here are EXTREMELY picky, we make very subtle differences sound bigger than they are. So it's easy to get sucked into spending more than you need to.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

What rig are you running the IM02s off? Any experience amping them? I'd like to get the most out of my Fiio.

post #8 of 14

Recommendations for ie headphones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkness85 View Post

What rig are you running the IM02s off? Any experience amping them? I'd like to get the most out of my Fiio.


Been using them both straight out of my iphone and iMod/arrow. They sound good out of both but obviously better from the arrow. I also tried them amped and unamped from my sabre DAC and they definitely scale up nicely with amping.

The arrow has multiple gain settings and I was playing around with that. It's hard to tell but I reckon it liked the extra juice from the high gain. But it was easier to drive volume-wise than the RE400.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redrich2000 View Post


Been using them both straight out of my iphone and iMod/arrow. They sound good out of both but obviously better from the arrow. I also tried them amped and unamped from my sabre DAC and they definitely scale up nicely with amping.

The arrow has multiple gain settings and I was playing around with that. It's hard to tell but I reckon it liked the extra juice from the high gain. But it was easier to drive volume-wise than the RE400.

 

Redrich, and anyone else reading, what would be your suggestion if my budget increased to about AU$350? I'm curious about models with three drivers. is there that much difference between the these two price brackets in your opinion? Would it be as easy as a choice between the AF140s and the AT-IM03's, or do I need to broaden the range? As far as the forum in cel4145's post goes, the ATs and Westones seemed to do pretty well. Would I be getting my moneys worth?

 

My concerns with the IM02s and AF120s are that the IM02s dont come with many tip options, and id like to experiment with foam and triflange types to see if they're better than the normal rubber ones. The AFs come with a great range of accessories, but the information from Marcus at headphones.com.au suggests the AF120s can be a bit bright. This can probably be adjusted using the FIIO, but I wont always be using it.

 

Cheers, and happy Friday.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkness85 View Post
 

 

Redrich, and anyone else reading, what would be your suggestion if my budget increased to about AU$350? I'm curious about models with three drivers. is there that much difference between the these two price brackets in your opinion? Would it be as easy as a choice between the AF140s and the AT-IM03's, or do I need to broaden the range? As far as the forum in cel4145's post goes, the ATs and Westones seemed to do pretty well. Would I be getting my moneys worth?

 

My concerns with the IM02s and AF120s are that the IM02s dont come with many tip options, and id like to experiment with foam and triflange types to see if they're better than the normal rubber ones. The AFs come with a great range of accessories, but the information from Marcus at headphones.com.au suggests the AF120s can be a bit bright. This can probably be adjusted using the FIIO, but I wont always be using it.

 

Cheers, and happy Friday.

The word is that the IM03 is not better enough to justify the price tag over the IM02, although I haven't heard it myself. I'm really interested in the AF140, but there's not much in the way of impressions on them yet. Marcus from headphones.com.au is recommending the AF120 as less bassy and more detailed than the older AF78, which had a reputation of being smooth and dark. Joker who runs the huge IEM thread heard them at CES said he was surprised by the AF120, thought it was better than the AF78, but he thought the AF140 was much more impressive.

 

I generally trust Marcus, I asked him about the AF120 v IM02 and he said "I'd give overall detail and balance to the IM02 - they have really nice instrument separation. The AF120 have more solid bass response." He thinks the Audiofly is better value, but they have the IM02 at $350. Apparently headphones.com.au have just gotten the AF140 in but haven't listened to them or listed them yet.

 

What earphones are you currently using and what sort of sound are you after?

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redrich2000 View Post
 

The word is that the IM03 is not better enough to justify the price tag over the IM02, although I haven't heard it myself. I'm really interested in the AF140, but there's not much in the way of impressions on them yet. Marcus from headphones.com.au is recommending the AF120 as less bassy and more detailed than the older AF78, which had a reputation of being smooth and dark. Joker who runs the huge IEM thread heard them at CES said he was surprised by the AF120, thought it was better than the AF78, but he thought the AF140 was much more impressive.

 

I generally trust Marcus, I asked him about the AF120 v IM02 and he said "I'd give overall detail and balance to the IM02 - they have really nice instrument separation. The AF120 have more solid bass response." He thinks the Audiofly is better value, but they have the IM02 at $350. Apparently headphones.com.au have just gotten the AF140 in but haven't listened to them or listed them yet.

 

What earphones are you currently using and what sort of sound are you after?

 

 

Currently using V-moda vibes. They're not awesome. Sometimes I think the standard Sammy ones that came with my Galaxy Note 3 are better. I also go through phases of using bose QC15s, though they lack bass.

 

I think on the balance of everything you've said, the IM02s are the go, especially given I can have them posted for <250. The comparative lack of accessories does bug me though - especially when I'm yet to find an online supplier of tips etc.

 

I want clear true sound with good separation, and not too sharp with the trebble. I listen to a really broad range of music, and want something that provides a good reproduction of all of it. Anything you've suggested will no doubt be night and day better than the V-modas.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkness85 View Post
 

 

 

Currently using V-moda vibes. They're not awesome. Sometimes I think the standard Sammy ones that came with my Galaxy Note 3 are better. I also go through phases of using bose QC15s, though they lack bass.

 

I think on the balance of everything you've said, the IM02s are the go, especially given I can have them posted for <250. The comparative lack of accessories does bug me though - especially when I'm yet to find an online supplier of tips etc.

 

I want clear true sound with good separation, and not too sharp with the trebble. I listen to a really broad range of music, and want something that provides a good reproduction of all of it. Anything you've suggested will no doubt be night and day better than the V-modas.

I think the vibes were supposed to be quite bassy from memory, I've never heard those myself. You need to be careful because strange as it seems, "balanced" is a very subjective term. To me the IM02 is very balanced, good tight bassy and lovely sparkly treble. They are quite revealing, which means on poorly recorded materially they can sound a bit harsh. It's not excessive to me, but I'm used to and prefer that sound. Coming from bassy phones you might see that differently.

 

My recommendation would be the Hifiman RE400. They are really great value and have an excellent reputation on head-fi and elsewhere. In his massive thread, Joker gives them a 9 for sound, which is very high, especially given their price. They have nice detail and balance and are very smooth. You might find you are happy with them, but if in a while you find you want something better, you'll have better reference point to go from. If you buy them from Headphonic you'll have full warranty protection.

 

If you really want to spend more, I'd post a thread on the Headphonic forums and ask them. But, my guess would be they'd suggest the Audiofly for you because it is a bit warmer.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Redrich. I've gone with the IM02s. You dont know where I'd start with buying braided replacement cords do you?

post #14 of 14

Recommendations for ie headphones

They're great phones, congratulations you're gonna love them. They've only just come out, there's not likely to be after market cables yet. There is a smart phone version and special better sq cable AT are making. Check the IM series thread for discussion of those.

I just got some ts500 complys from headphonic and really like them.
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