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1st time CIEM buyer!! Help!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello all this is my first time posting and joining this wonderful community(Sorry for wall of text). Ill start off by saying I don't own very much audio gear due to living arrangements but have been a long time audiophile ever since I can remember. Quality is very important to me as I would rather pay that extra $ for the quality equipment that will last longer then saving but skipping on quality.

I have a family background in classical music so music has always been a huge part of my life. The current setup I use is a laptop and laptop amp for denon AH-D7100 with focusrite scarlett 2i2 which I love to death but its hard for me to compare or contrast other hifi items due to my limited experience. Especially since in ear monitors are a completely different game. Onto the gist I'm looking for some CIEM's that are a good investment that I stick with for at least year minimum of high quality (not being outdated or have technically issues). I do not own any portable amp yet but that would be next purchase after I've chosen the correct CIEM.


I listen to wide range of music basically everything is on the playing field.The few genres that matter the most to me are metal (Djent), electronic music ranging from EDM to prog to anything electric, jazz, classical music, rap, and just pure instrumentals in rock. I wanted an monitor that could play everything very well as details/subtle tones are very important to me. The most important aspect would be the bass as it needs to be strong enough to be pronounced but not overbearing while still keeping the music crystal clear. I would like to also mention I would be using the CIEMs mainly for traveling, working out, and just on the go where I want that awesome quality but without the huge cans on my head. I also plan on joining the military in couple months if that matters.



So far these are the choices that Ive been reading/reviewing/creeping everywhere for information:

-Lear LCM-5 ICEM, LCM-4B, or ultimately LCM-BD4.2

-Heir 5.A or 8.A

-Noble 5C or 6C (acrylic)


I've been leaning more towards Lear LCM-5 just because I really like the options and components they offer for the price seems the most reasonable for what I want but its extremely hard to make up my mind even after narrowing it down to these three companies.


I appreciate taking time to read my thread(sorry for sloppiness) and would love any suggestions/opinions/information helping me finally decide on the purchase or if I have missed any other great CIEMS. Thank you!

Edited by HellbringerB - 6/10/15 at 11:23am
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Really no one? Shameless bumb.:confused_face_2:

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

After further research and reading Ive come down to narrowing my options more again this is what it looks like;

-Lear LCM bd4.2

-Hier 8.a

or Hidition nt-6


my final decision will be coming soon.

post #4 of 5

It's kind of difficult to get advice on CIEMs as people tend not to have a bunch of them. I've not tried the BD4.2, but given it's hybrid design it is obviously a competitor to the Unique Melody Merlin. I currently have this CIEM; I bought it in the beginning of this year - my first and only CIEM thus far.


Based on your musical considerations, the Merlin might be one to look out for. It has a slightly boosted bass; the IE80 has more of a mid-bass boost compared to the 'flat' bass boost of the Merlin. It took me a while to get used to this as you don't really get a big thump when the bass hits. The UM Merlin has a clean boost that does not infringe on the mid-range and only really shows when called for - I think any good CIEM at around this price point should be able to deliver just that! Based on the frequency response chart that is given along with the Merlin, the mid-range should be slightly recessed compared to low and high-end, but I don't notice this really -  unlike with the IE80. There is a slight boost around the upper treble region that improves the details without becoming overbearing and sibilant. I would say the details are in this respect less pronounced than the UE900.


As for genre-specific performance; I listen to electronic and instrumental a lot and it manages these genres really well. Can't really say much for djent as the only djenty stuff I listen to is Animals as Leaders, but the clean and tight bass boost make it sound very natural to me.


If you decide to go with Unique Melody I would recommend going through the order process via Stephen Guo of custom-iem.com. He absolutely nails good customer service IMO, furthermore some stories regarding other distributors' communication and customer service are a bit worrisome.


Hope this information helped and good luck getting your CIEM, whichever you may choose! (And good luck with the wait during shipping/production! :D)

Edited by Fadem - 6/12/15 at 1:03pm
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Appreciate the information as so far you are the only one to respond to the thread I will do a thorough in depth research on the UM Merlin as I haven't heard of them yet!

Thanks Fadem.

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