Best IEM's for <$30?
Aug 5, 2009 at 6:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

amgupt01

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Hey there guys, this is my first post here so please don't eat me
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I've had a pair of JVC Marshmallows for a while (the FX33's) and I really liked them, but all of a sudden the right earbud stopped working unless I push the cord in at a certain angle. I could probably fix it by opening it up and resoldering it, but I'd like to see if I should just take this opportunity to buy a new pair of phones.

I'm too young for a job in my state and I'm really new to this quality audio stuff... I've only had the Marshmallows and a Sony MDR-EX71. While I like them both, I preferred the Marshmallows.

So basically, which in-ear headphones would you all recommend for someone like me? I like to listen to hip-hop and rap but there's some other stuff thrown into the mix, too...

I've seen recommendations for these headphones so far:
  1. JVC Air Cushions
  2. Sennheiser CX300
  3. SoundMAGIC PL30
  4. SoundMAGIC PL11
  5. another set of JVC Marshmallows
Keeping in mind that I liked the amount of bass in the Marshmallows, which of these (or anything else less than 30 bucks) do you think I should get?

Also, should I get a Fiio E3? I don't want to spend a whole lot of money on an amp, but since the E3's only like 7 bucks I'd be willing to get it if it makes a difference, but I'm not going to get an E5 or some other amp.

Thanks guys.

~amgupt01
 
Aug 5, 2009 at 6:13 PM Post #2 of 16

ethan961

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Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry about your wallet.
I would go for the E5, you can find it for $5 on fleabay if you really can't bring yourself to spend $20 for it at dealextreme.
My only experience with budget IEMs was the Air Cushions, and I can say I do not recommend them. Too much bloated bass and too much sibilance.
 
Aug 5, 2009 at 6:19 PM Post #3 of 16

amgupt01

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Hmm, the cheapest I've found the E5 for on eBay is 20 bucks... If you find a good deal for them, please post a link.

Thanks for your response though, I guess I'll rule out the Air Cushions.
 
Aug 5, 2009 at 6:23 PM Post #4 of 16

joshf52

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the best for under 30 would probably be the soundmagic pl30 i would imagine. maybe the cx300 would work well for you if bass is really important.
 
Aug 5, 2009 at 6:42 PM Post #6 of 16

ljokerl

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Soundmagic PL30 ($23) for forward mids and fun signature

Meelectronics AI-M9 ($19) (by far) for detail and high-end extension

Lenntek Sonix ($20) for deep, quaking bass (more bass than CX300s IMO
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Oh and don't bother amping these with an E3 - benefits are minimal and you could end up with monstrous hiss and other issues.
 
Aug 5, 2009 at 6:56 PM Post #7 of 16

Foie

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You may also want to try the ADDIEMs (Apple in-ear headphones). They can be found for about $30 on Ebay. I had a pair, and I liked them better than my PL30s. They got stolen though.
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Aug 5, 2009 at 6:58 PM Post #9 of 16

amgupt01

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Thanks for your responses guys... I don't want TOO much bass, but I was just saying that I liked the amount in the Marshmallows.

Also, it's worth mentioning that I mow my lawn at home and I'd probably use these headphones while mowing... so blocking background noise would be important and they should be able to stay in my ears, too since I have a decent sized slope in my back yard... that was one of the reasons I was leaning towards the PL30's since they come with the attachments for wearing them over the ear.
 
Aug 5, 2009 at 7:09 PM Post #10 of 16

ljokerl

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Well, none of these have outstanding isolation with stock tips. The pl30s are shallow-insertion, but work ok with the included biflanges or foamies (none of the others include such an assortment of tips). The sonix isolate best out-of-the box, but still nothing stellar.

If you find isolation lacking you can always pick up some comply foam tips at a later date.
 
Aug 5, 2009 at 7:11 PM Post #11 of 16

amgupt01

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Yeah, I was thinking about using my Marshmallow tips on the PL30's if I got those since people say they work with Comply T400's and Marshmallows are supposed to work with those, too (so I'm assuming they're the same size)
 
Aug 5, 2009 at 8:03 PM Post #13 of 16

amgupt01

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Well, as long as it's under 30 bucks, I don't care how much more expensive it is... although once I narrow down on a set, I'll look for the best deal (including shipping time though)
 
Aug 7, 2009 at 12:17 PM Post #14 of 16

amgupt01

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BUMP...

So far, I've really just seen recommendations for other phones instead of narrowing down on a set... Bass is important, but I don't want my IEM's to be too bass-heavy, I just want the bass to be clear and crisp... Also, I'm trying to stick to my budget of $30 or less, so please don't recommend a set that's more than that.

Thanks.
 
Aug 7, 2009 at 6:42 PM Post #15 of 16

ljokerl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by amgupt01 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
BUMP...

So far, I've really just seen recommendations for other phones instead of narrowing down on a set... Bass is important, but I don't want my IEM's to be too bass-heavy, I just want the bass to be clear and crisp... Also, I'm trying to stick to my budget of $30 or less, so please don't recommend a set that's more than that.

Thanks.



You want someone to just pick a set for you? You've been provided with all the necessary information and options. Just do some reading and make a decision or ask more specific questions.
 

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