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Best earphones under 400 for recording?

  1. caliskimmer
    Hi, I used to do a lot of mixing and recording until I ran out of ideas. I got back into it recently after I discovered how to properly use Ultrabeat in Logic Pro and I got a new idea in my head. Here's the deal though, I've been using Audio-Technica ATH M50s to record, but I soon realized I preferred earphones over headphones for this (and that the ATH-M50s aren't exactly too neutral on the low end).
    What I would like is some neutral sounding earphones. I have been analyzing live music for a while as I have heard some bands perform lately and I would like something that sounds like something that I'd be listening to. (I know there is the speaker factor and impossible to replicate live music issue, but what the heck! :)
    Right now, I'm heavily considering the Westone UM3X and currently own the Audio-Technica CK10s (which are too bass light for me).
    What I would like though is something like this:
    -warm sound
    -clean, but impactful bass
    -clean treble (does not have to be sparkly, but I really do need something clear)
    -mids DO NOT have to be really forward, but can be if the other factors are present or if it is clean
    I understand that to get this sound, one may have to pay a large amount of money, but after learning about the UM3Xs, I saw some reviews that explained the sound is something like what I mentioned above.
    What do you guys think?
    Some more factors to consider:
    -I own the Sennheiser IE8s and I REALLY do not like the laid back feel or the slight muffled sound
    - I previously owned the Monster Turbine Pro Coppers and they would not fit in my ear with ANY tips including the Sony Hybrids.
    - CK10s and Klipsch Image S4s fit beautifully in my ear (small seems to be good!)
    -I own the Hifiman RE0s and they also fit quite nicely after a little fidgeting around in my ear.
    Thanks in advance! :)
    EDIT: By the way, almost all of my recordings are either trance or electronic w/ piano. Thanks!
  2. LegendaryLvl1
    Hmm... there are 2 factors here that caught my eye
    1st, you said that the MTPC's did not fit your ear's
    2nd, ck10's fit your ears well.
    Well.. just taking this into account and combining it with my opinion: I believe you should try the ck100's
    I bought a pair of them from ebay for 400USD and have been enjoying them ever since.
    some factors to take into consideration:
    mids are forward!
    sq is source dependant - which i would like to believe would help in recording???
    anyways these are just my 2 cents
  3. caliskimmer
    Sounds interesting, but I heard that there isn't too much bass impact. Is there enough?
  4. yello131
    You should look into SM3 by Earsonics. Perfect bass impact,.  SM3 is very close to UM3X but according to reviews, SM3 has few advantages over UM3X
    I believe Ck100 is not very suitable for your needs.
    Price is also higher then SM3.
    If you are in the states you can get SM3 it for under 400USD
  5. LegendaryLvl1
    bass impact is 'moderate' by moderate, i mean roughly 50 - 70% greater than the ck10's
  6. Trysaeder
    CK100 should be the last earphone to consider for recording purposes. They're very fun if you like the sound signature, and have treble to DIE for, but it will skewer all your recordings unless you have something neutral/natural to compare it against.
    SE535 might suit you if reports of 'no more recessed' treble hold more weight than the headroom graphs.
  7. caliskimmer
    Yeah, that's what I thought about the ck100s. I read many reviews on them. I am indeed going to look into the SM3s, but I just haven't had the time yet. Hopefully, I will right after I finish some work tonight.
    So right now:
    -Westone UM3X
    -Earsonics SM3
    -Shure SE535 (perhaps, although reviews aren't doing to much goodness right now [at least for me])
    and DO NOTS:
    Thanks for the help guys! More suggestions are welcome!
  8. Getwired
    Well, not that UE is on your radar, but for comparisons in the bass department, my new Westone UM3x's totally stand their own with some "fun" EQ settings against my old Super.fi 5 Pro's (which seem to be known for bass-heaviness as well). 
    I have been listening to these UM3x's non-stop since I got them early last week, and the physical comfort is TOP-notch.  In fact, my Beyerdynamic DT880's are collecting a bit of dust this past week.  The UM3x's are crisp and very detailed, and are in no way harsh.  I've not experienced any fatigue whatsoever, even after 5-6 hours use.  For me -- with the medium Comply tips -- the isolation, fit comfort, and sound quality is unparalleled, and they even warm up a bit when paired with my RSA SR-71A to knock off some of that low-impedance hiss (UM3x's aren't "low" per se, I just guess my portable source isn't super clean -- in fact I can tell it's not).  Guess I'll need an RSA Tomahawk now... :wink:  But I dunno, even FLAC files off my Droid X here with PowerAmp sound pretty  M A S S I V E  when I play with the EQ ...  Fun when you want 'em to be, serious and analytical when you're really checking things out -- that's what I've experienced so far. 
    Good luck!
  9. mythless
    If you;re looking for headphones, the only I can think of is the Ortofon O-One, very clean and revealing and spacious sounding (once burned in).  Might be too revealing.  If you're looking for IEM, from what I've read the SM3 are very good.
  10. caliskimmer
    Lol, the triplefi pros WERE on my radar until I learned they are somewhat laid back and that's a deal breaker right there for me (I like things more upfront). I'll have to take a look into those SM3s soon!
  11. caliskimmer
    Ok, SM3 and UM3X is what I'm looking for most likely. Question though is which one is more neutral (but has the factors I originally posted)?
  12. proedros
    check out grado's GR-10
    i have a feeling these could be the best universal out atm , unless i go for some customs these should be my next upgrade from 252/262
    and don't beleive everything you hear about those SM3...they are good , but far from the second coming of christ.
    check out the grado GR-10....and good luck finding your dream IEM.
  13. caliskimmer
    Supposedly, it doesn't have as much bass as the se535. My definition of neutrality (notice that this is a personal definition) says that there is a strong, but clean bass presence in the IEM.

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