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Looking for recommendations on my continued search for in ear headphones

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am figuring some of you (maybe many of you) have had the opportunity to audition some in ear headphones I have not. So, I appreciate any suggestions any of you might have.

I tend to like very open sound stages with lots of air. While I am not a bass head by any stretch I do like a full range sound and my music to have some weight to it. I think that is important in the presentation.

I use my in ear headphones with an iPhone. I travel frequently for work, I live in the city so I use them walking around and I use them while riding bikes. So, they see heavy use.

A little about me. I am a longtime music junkie. I play drums in a couple of bands. I listen to a wide variety of music with the exception of hip hop, country and classical. While I hate to admit it I listen to a lot of indie (beach house, Chelsea wolfe, m83, all the usual suspects). I also listen to a lot of punk, lo-fi garage and some hard rock and metal (red fang, acid king, fu Manchu, etc.)

I listen to music for its emotional effect. That said, being that I play I do get into separation and picking apart songs.

Thanks I advance for any suggestions you might offer...

All the best,

post #2 of 8

Hey Jack,


Well I can tell you I have had Ultimate Ears UE 10 Pro's for years and they are nothing short of simply insanely awesome.  I listen to a lot of what you posted and even (I will admit it) a little Lady Gaga...some of her songs are just plain killer... you mentioned emotional.. her solo on the song "Gypsy" in Germany was just amazing.  


Now over the past several years the IEM (In ear monitor) community really came out with some really great IEM's.  You can google a lot and really get the info but all I can talk about are the Ultimate Ears because quite frankly to purchase a whole bunch of these you would have to have a ton of cash lying around lol... 


As far as the UE10Pro's go they have now come out with UE11Pro's.. as the 10's are not available anymore.  UE is now owned by Logitech but I believe the company is still the same.  You'll have to get molds of your ears made but thats not really a problem if you want the best sound.  They do have IEM's that are standard without molds but I find customs just really give you that seal against your ear that is perfect.  Another advantage of IEM's is that you seal out the external noise.  Comfort is another question, if the molds are done right comfort is great.  However, for very long exposure, meaning wearing them all day you may notice some slight discomfort but nothing that would really be annoying.


Anyway... for $900 - $1600 you can buy an IEM that you probably will never have to replace.  They are that awesome.  The clarity is superior to any headphone I have ever listened to.  Your soundstage will not be as vast as say a Sennheiser HD800 but in many reviews the UE10Pro has beaten many headphones hands down making it a game changer that can incorporate all the other advantages of portability as well as sealing out noise to nearly 100%.


Hope that helps and check em out... 



post #3 of 8
Hey there! Since I am not aware of your budget, I'll toss you a couple cheap options!

The vsonic gr07, they're good across the board and are just great for the price! Hard to go wrong!

Shure se215: has a weighted sound which you stated you like. It has thick lush mids, some strong full bodied bass, and a bit rolled off but detailed treble. Another great bang for buck!

Westone um3x/Earsonics sm3 v2: I put these 2 in the same category as they remind me of each other. Overall the earsonics is a better pair, IMO, but they both have a heavy-ish low end, buttery, thick mids, and a detailed forward high/treble range. (These can be found for around $200-$300). The UM3X have a more forward sound and everything is right in your face, but laid back enough to have no fatigue, and the earsonics are even a bit thicker sounding than the um3x, but have a better soundstage, and a bit more of a fun treble, imo. I like em both!

Lastly, for another cheap option, the Yamaha eph100 are great, they have a fun, dynamic sound signature which gets along with most music types! It's very comfortable imo, and has a good all round sound, with a strong bass response, sparkly treble, and a present midrange which isn't forward enough to make them completely balanced and is more fun!

Tell me what interests you in the bunch or maybe include a budget to help me recommend different things, but this is what comes to mind for now!

Just tell me whatcha think!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the thoughts and suggestions. I will definitely look into them. Comfort is import to me since I go long periods of time on planes sometimes with buds in. I haven't had the custom in ear experience yet but, I am considering going that route.....not sure yet. Universal is nice because if it doesn't work out you can sell them and move on...

I am also curious about noble audio. Have you had the opportunity to hear any of their products?


post #5 of 8



You might also be interested in these two as well:




JHAudio is really good to...alot of great reveiws on these puppies - http://www.jhaudio.com/content/jh13-pro 


Best of luck,



post #6 of 8



You might want to check out the JH13Pro from JHAudio and also there is a Swedish company - Cosmic Ears... check them both out.



post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi milk,

The chili peppers are one of my longtime favorites. I really dig some of john frusciante's solo stuff too.

So, here's my take on what I've heard and what I've had

UE 215 - had them until I killed them. I always found the presentation to be too thin and brash for my liking.
Shure 3 driver model - I had and killed twice the old Shure 3 driver model (the one's before the removable cords and big bodies). I liked these and felt they presented well overall.
Klipsch s4 - I have an older model prior to flat cord inline mic model - I thought they were relatively lively and a decent value for $100. However, they certainly weren't as transparent or full range as my old shure's. I also have the newer model with the flat cord and inline mic. I never liked these. They always sounded to me like there was a blanket between the music and me. Ironically the old weaker round cord klipsch are still working and the super duper flat corded one's shorted out in one ear last week.
Klipsch x4i - I thought they sounded ok but, overall weak soundstage.
Shure - new lines, I didn't feel any of the Shure products I listened to below what I think was the 400 or 500 level had a full enough soundstage and I wasn't terribly enthused with the fit of the shure's.
Martin Logan - I picked these up on sale while traveling with no earbuds. these have nice highs...pretty transparent and crystal but, no lower end. In fact, it is so pronounced that you can actually hear it (or lack of it) in many songs but, the upper mids and highs are nice.
Wetstone - I don't have any experience with but, I hear good things.

My budget is flexible to reach the sound I need. I figure I probably won't be really happy with most offers under $300. However, if something presented itself really we'll I don't mind spending less!

Thanks for the suggestions and takings the time to read my post.

post #8 of 8
Heya Jack!

Yeah, the Chilis are awesome biggrin.gif

As for Noble Audio, I haven't had a chance to try them much, but I did use their older models (Heir Audio 4.ai, and 3.ai) and I love them both, I hear the noble audio versions are just better tuned, and all together have a better sound quality. The 3.ai, and 4.ai (and I believe their newer editions) are nice, the 3.ai is a very fun and rich sound. Has a nice v shaped signature. Very musical! The 4.ai are a bit more neutral, with an elegant thick midrange, a detailed, sparkly treble, and just enough bass to give it all some weight!

I've also heard good things about UM like the mentors and merlons. The mentors are very fun and musical, and the Merlin's are thick with a great midrange focused sound!

I'll have more recommendations later on, friend!(:
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