I'm relatively new to this world of beautiful audio, and I'm looking for an excellent, most bang-for-the-buck upgrade; an IEM that'll be mainly worn cable-down, around but preferably under $100. I'd like something with crisp detail, a wide soundstage, and packing plenty of tight + punchy bass. Durability wise, it'd be nice to have something solid-feeling with a cable and plug that have a decent amount of strength to. The driver housing outta be something that can resist scratches well and won't have paint that wears off in a week. An absurdly large collection of eartips isn't necessary, but comfort would be good.
As of now, I've got the Steelseries Flux In-Ear. I do in fact really like these earbuds, apart from the plug breaking a month into light use and having to make a new one out of epoxy glue + electrical tape. The thing looks like a real eyesore sticking out of my phone. The mic and remote no longer work, either. The sound on these is pretty warm, but not as detailed as I'd like. Bass is also great on these, but can be boomy. The highs are good without sounding extremely sibilant. Mids are good and aren't too recessed, despite these having a V-shaped sound signature. Durability of these buds (besides the plug) is incredible. They don't look any different than when I unboxed them months ago with heavy use every day.
My source is a Galaxy Note 3 tweaked with Viper4Android, which is a miracle app that has made these IEMs sound bloody amazing. My files are mainly mp3's with a ~320 bitrate at 44.1 kHz, although I have an option in Viper to help the audio sound lossless. I listen to a wide range of music, but mainly indie/alt. rock and some rap/hip-hop.
I also have the Brainwavz B2, but the sound on is quite a bit harsh and sibilant for my taste. The soundstage is pleasantly wide compared to the Steelseries however, and the details are great. Durability on these isn't up to par, though. The white paint on the housings have worn to a great degree, and small scratches cover the plastic on these buds. The black-and-white twisted cable has cracked on the left side, exposing a bit of the wiring within.
I've heard a lot of acclaim about the Xiaomi Pistons, but I'm not sure if the sound would be much of an upgrade from what I have now.
Thanks for your time!
Edited by mocklee - 8/4/14 at 7:09pm