$300ish IEMs, SQ + ruggedness. Shure SE425 vs.....?

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  1. ocharlas
    I had my travel/drumming/running in-ears ($50 Fostex buds) break, and I'm looking for a replacement. I probably won't run in them though, I'll get a cheap pair for that. Anyway, years ago I had a pair of 425's, and I remember the sound as being very detailed and very mid forward, which is nice once you get used to it, but going straight to them from my HD600's, which I love, was always a bit unexciting. I also have a pair of Heir 4.ai's but I'm leaving them at home lately since I was a little rough on them for a few years and they're starting to show it.

    So first and foremost, having not heard them in a while: Are the SE425's still a relevant IEM compared to the competition in that price range? They must be going on 10 years old by now, and I know there have been some massive leaps forward in the technology.

    However, one thing I love about Shure is that they essentially make tanks that just look like in-ears. I like the rugged housing, I like the rugged cable, I like that if they break Shure sends you another pair, no questions asked.

    I didn't mind the lean bass at all, but I did always want a little more sparkle from them. I've been trying to find something newer that will be both indestructible and great to listen to. A removable cable is a must, as every pair of attached cable phones I've ever had has broken. I looked at the DUNU DN2000 which people seem to love, but no detachable cable is a deal breaker. I also checked out the Mee P1's which seem nice and sturdy as well as fairly neutral (according to reviews), but I haven't found any comparisons to the 425's. Any others I should check out? Or is the 425 still going to be the best thing for me?
  2. ostewart
    The SE425 is still a great IEM, but there is the Oriveti New Primacy now which is similar but with better extension on both ends and an excellent buy for just under $300
  3. ocharlas
    Oops...just spend the last 4 hours reading reviews on those New Primacys. They seem very nice, and actually sound like they might be pretty close to what I'm looking for sonically. I'll wait a little bit to see if anyone else throws another contender in the ring but they seem like they could fit the bill. I listen to a range from warmer sounding recordings (Norah Jones, Neil Young, John Mayer, lots of Motown/blues, etc...) to faster harder *brighter* stuff (a lot of punk and rock, NOFX, Offspring, Foo Fighters (the last few Foo records are so bright!)). Sounds like they would both present the warmer songs nicely and tame the heavier stuff a bit. My Fostex TE-03's were definitely treble forward and for rock they could get unpleasant pretty quickly. Meanwhile my 4.ai's will seem a bit dull off the bat, but by the end of the first song sound fantastic.
  4. Grimbles
    I've got a pair of 425s which I absolutely love, but recently picked up a pair of UE900s on massdrop for about $170. They are blowing me away in terms of SQ... they have the bottom end oomph that the 425s lack sometimes, and they have a top end tingle that is a bit more evident than on the 425s. Problem is they aren't nearly as physically comfortable. I've never listed to the new primacy but a LOT of people recommend them here. For those genres (we listen to some similar stuff and agree esp re Concrete and Gold) I still love how both sets sound, but I think the UE900s is a notch ahead in terms of overall SQ.
  5. ocharlas
    Interesting, I never bothered to look at the UE900's because I always assumed they were in a higher price bracket. Did they used to be? I should also add (and they are obviously, but I was looking at massdrop and saw some interesting things) that this pair of IEM's needs to be readily available on Amazon since it's being purchased courtesy of holiday gift cards. Except for the P1's which are about $100 less than the other 3 discussed so far, each pair is within $10 of each other. Decisions...
  6. serman005
    You might also check out the Campfire Orion--it is very high-value for the price.
  7. Grimbles
    I just had a look on amazon (uk) as around the same time the ue900s was on massdrop it had dropped to about gbp200, but theyre back up to gbp279 now. If i were in your shoes i'd probs pop to a shop that stocks both and have a listen for a while to work out which i like best. I think the hybrid driver means the new primacy will fill out the bass, but i love the way the 425s sound and they are a go-to iem for me. If it makes a difference i think the 425s do perform better from an amped source (esp the bass) and sounded a bit thin straight out of my recent phones (s6 edge +, s8, note8).
  8. Grimbles
  9. ocharlas
    Oh well, that unfortunately rules them out ha. I wish I was a grown adult that took care of his things, but I tend to lean towards heavy handed. Unfortunately I don't think there's anyway for me to audition anything around me (Richmond VA if anyone knows of anything) so it'll have to be a blind online purchase.

    Side note: Any reason the gloss black New Primacy's would be selling for $40 less than the matte black ones on Amazon? The only ones I ever see people with are the matte ones, and they're probably the ones I would prefer too, but for ~15% less I don't think I'd mind having the shiny ones. I just don't want to wind up buying old stock Primacys or something.


    It's a little weird because sometimes the cable looks like braided, and other times it looks like a twisted pair, like in this case. Anyone have experience with this seller or know if it looks legitimate?
  10. Grimbles
    Pass on that one mate - i leave to the americans to answer!
  11. ocharlas
    Whoop nevermind, I sent them a message asking about it and they actually answer VERY quickly. Seems they are the same New Primacy, brand new and unopened. Apparently they are discontinuing the jet black finish at some point and so are running a promo price for the holidays. Makes them a little more appealing.

    Also for what it's worth, whatever I get will be driven 99.9% of the time from an iPhone 7. I'll use my magni/modi a few times just for kicks, but when I'm home I listen to my HD600's. I think all of the IEMs mentioned in this thread have fairly phone-friendly impedance though.
    Grimbles likes this.
  12. ostewart
    You will likely need an attenuator to use the New Primacy with your amp/DAC setup as they are very sensitive and also a little prone to hiss
  13. Grimbles
    Looks like youre going new primacy. Good luck and let us know how you get on with them - as an aside, imo the 425s come to life with amplification. Theyre good out of my phone but amazing when amped.
  14. ocharlas
    Well like I said, I only planned on using an amp as a curiosity, but will be driving them pretty much exclusively from my iPhone. The only other thing that might be weird is that I also teach drums, and often will run a splitter with my students listening through ATM-50X's. Thinking the low impedance of the New Primacy's will be very mismatched for this application...Not terribly important, but I'm guessing I'll have to pick up another pair of something cheap.

    I wish I knew what I'm going with so I can go back to getting sleep at night! Most recently I ran across the $113 Massdrop Mee Px's, and while they aren't on Amazon, it seems like such a silly deal for that amount of headphone. Are the Oriveti's worth $150 more, or more than double the Px's? Do I get both? Is this why we have credit cards? My brain hurts...

    I remember my first pair of in ears, SE210's back in...oh who knows. It was so easy, there were so few options! We barely had internet, and it was uphill both ways
  15. Grimbles
    Hehe 1st world problems! No idea re the mee px's, never heard em.
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