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Advice needed: <$150 IEMs, between Ety ER6i and TS02

  1. themachina
    Hey all!
    First, this is an awesome forum, super helpful!
    So my ER-6i's finally bit the dust after many faithful years.  Overall, liked them, though they were a bit light on the bass for me.
    Just picked up a pair of TS02, after reading about them here.  Initial impressions is that they are WAAAY heavy on the bass, to the point I've been testing them with Bass Reducer EQ enabled.  2 hours of listening so far.
    So my questions:
    - Is it worth trying to grow into the TS02s?
    - If no, what other IEMs are worth looking at, in the $150 and under mark?  I was checking out Shure 4i and RE0, but seems like there are durability issues?
    FWIW, I listen primarily to blues, rock, and hip-hop, via an iPod touch.
    Thanks a ton!!
  2. AstroTurf
    Apple IEM might be a good choice.
    Fitted with the Comply Foam Whoomps, of course.
    Enjoy, Jim
  3. Pianist
    I think Phonak Audeo PFE perfect bass + grey or black filters may be just right for your needs. They have more bass than ER6i, but are still very neutral, probably more so than ER6i, while also having at least the same level of resolution with a more spacious soundstage, more air, better dynamics. The black filters will provide a smoother, darker presentation at the cost of some transparency and air. The grey filters sound best to my ears with a great balance between detail and overall balance, but might be a little too bright for you.
  4. themachina
    Thanks a ton, will check out both and report back!
  5. kmhaynes
    If you really liked the clear and detailed presentation of the ER-6i, you might want to move up the Ety ladder and try the HF5.  It will have a similar sound -- lean but sufficient bass, excellent clarity and detail across the spectrum.  They will also give you years of service.
  6. Pianist
    +1 Etymotic HF series are superb sounding IEMs for the price. I prefer them to Phonak Audeo as well, but themachina may favor the more prominent low end of the Phonaks. Both are really great though - PFE is more dynamic and vibrant. HF5 (it and other HFs all sound the same BTW) is tighter, more controlled in the bass and more even in the treble. I also feel HF series resolve more detail than PFE, especially in the midrange and have a more natural tonality. PFE has the edge in dynamics, bass punch and overall wow factor. However, I forgot to mention that PFE needs a dedicated amp or a very good, powerful built in amp to sound its best. It will still work just fine out of an iPod, but I feel that Etymotic HF sound better unamped overall. But dynamic range and bass impact is still better with PFE unamped vs. HF unamped and soundstage on the PFE is also quite a bit wider than that of HF series even unamped.The main improvement that more powerful amplification gives to the sound of the Phonaks is a somewhat tighter, better defined low end and better focus and refinement. Nothing too significant, but worth it if you can afford at least a decent basic $50 Cmoy amp.
  7. themachina
    Just received a Phonak Audeo PFE 012 set.  So far, Pianist, I think your recommendation is promising!
    I'm still awaiting the black filters to arrive -- for some reason, I assumed they were included but they're sold separately.  Anyway, I've done an hour or so with the stock green filters, which are the heaviest for bass.  It's a tad more than I need, so I'm pretty excited about trying the black ones with a bit more treble and a bit less on the low end!  Overall, promising set of IEMs!
    Will post again when I get the black filters... thanks again for the tips, all!

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