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Best built IEM/ear buds under $150, suited to working out

  1. scatteredshadows
    My price range is flexible downwards but I want to stick as close to $150 as possible on the upper end. I have some higher end headphones and IEMs for careful listening and quiet environments, so these mainly will be used at the gym, when doing housework or other more physical activities where I want something light, that fits well and can handle some sweat and cord strain. These will be used with a Samsung Galaxy S, or early next year, a similar new Android phone.
    What I don't want to do is get something for $20 with the intent to buy new ones every couple months. For ~$100, I don't expect the utmost in quality or performance, but I would like to be able to use these for a few years.
    I was using the Sennheiser PX-100 and PX-100-II, but the cord shorted within 6 months on the second gen model. For $60, less than a year is just unacceptable. I also tried the Sennheiser PMX 680. I don't know what I was thinking. The behind the neck band does not work for weight training (duh), the ear pieces would be too big for most elephants, and even when I managed to stuff them into my ears, they sounded dark and muffled.
    In terms of sound preference, I tend to like a neutral/analytical to warm signature. I am definitely not a bass head. I listen to a broad cross section of music: http://www.last.fm/user/scatteredshadow . If I could get something that sound a bit like my Grados, that would be fantastic.
    Right now, I'm looking at:
    1. Sennheiser ie6
    2. Phiaton PS 210
    3. Brainwavz M2 or M3
    4. NuForce NE-700X
    5. Shure SE115 or 215
    6. Westone UM1
    I'm definitely open to other suggestions.
    There seems to be some difference of opinion on the build quality of some of the candidates in the threads I searched.
    Some advice would be very greatly appreciated.
  2. Baiton
    Shure has such impeccable build quality all around that IMHO the 215's are the obvious choice, nicely balanced and a humongous sound stage for a lower tier IEM, plus they feature the removable cable (mostly unheard of on lower tier Cans and IEMS). Happy hunting! :D
  3. RealSlimSeto
    The UM1s are among the smallest, most comfortable IEMs one can have, and they're still made in the USA iirc.
    I think those would be a good choice for the gym.

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