Any <$120 IEM recommendations for isolation, bass and comfort?
Jan 20, 2008 at 4:25 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


New Head-Fier
Nov 28, 2005
Hey all,

After a year of contentment with my previous recommendations (HD595 and MS-1) I have decided that I need more headphones - in this case, some IEMs - and after hours of trawling the forums, I need some help in making the decision.

I've just moved to London and will soon be faced with 2 hours of tube journeys each day. If anyone has been on the London Underground, they'll tell you it's pretty loud sometimes. Using my PortaPros is not really practical, as I have to have them set pretty loud in order to hear much.

I'm by no means a bass-head, but a lot of the music I carry with me at the moment is rather bass-centric, so decent performance there is preferable. Ideally I'd like a sound somewhere between the HD595 and the PortaPros. The source will be a Sony Ericsson K800i, so anything with particularly awesome sound quality will most likely be wasted anyway.

Another important point is comfort. I had some Ety 6i's and found them to be too uncomfortable to wear for long periods and ended up selling them.

So, my main requirements are: Isolation, Bass, Comfort - at around $120.

From what I've learned, the following phones would be good:

Ultimate Ears Super Fi 5 EB/Pro
Atrio M5
Altec Lansing inMotion IM716
Westone UM1

Can anyone provide further recommendations or confirm that any of these would suit my needs?

Much appreciation as always.
Jan 20, 2008 at 5:06 AM Post #2 of 4
Have not heard Atrio M5.

Altec Lansing IM716: probably not enough bass for you, isolation and comfort are average.

Ultimate Ears S.F. 5 pro: very good in terms of sound quality, good bass, isolation and comfort aren't bad, but really depend on the individual's ears. Somewhat detailed and warm sound.

Westone UM1: The best in terms of isolation and comfort. Good sound quality, though not quite up to par with S.F 5 pros. A smoother and warmer sound.
Jan 21, 2008 at 5:01 AM Post #3 of 4
Hmm, ok... I'll remove the IM716 from the list if they're a little bass-light.

So, it's a toss-up between the similarly priced Atrio, Super.Fi 5 and UM1...

Is there much difference between the 5 Pro and EB? I know the bass is heavier on the EB, but does it detract from the overall SQ? I see they're slightly cheaper than the Pro.

I'll probably want to lay down (possibly even sleep) in them at some point, so perhaps the UEs aren't such a good idea... although I love the things everyone's saying about their sound.

How much more comfortable/lay-downable are the Westone UM1? Is the sound quality vastly inferior to the UE/Atrio?
Jan 21, 2008 at 5:11 AM Post #4 of 4
If you want to lay down or sleep in them, you do NOT want any of the Ultimate Ears. They are really big, and would be really uncomfortable to sleep with in. Also, the extra bass on the EB really detracts from the overall SQ. The westone um1 are supposed to be the most comfy, and easy to sleep with in. I think there was a thread on that a while back. go to to see pictures of these in the ear.

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