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Calling on the forum to help me make a choice!

  1. AlexB1001
    I love music. And I don't just care about the music - I care about how it sounds. Clear vocals, crisp beats and bass with a nice "thud" are what I want, and I never like one to override the other, for all levels to be in balance. A devoted ambiance, electronic and chilled acoustic music fan, I like my earphones to provide an immersive experience, to create a bubble around my head where no sound leaves or enters.
    So here's my history of headphones. Back when I didn't know anything about anything, I used the terrible iPod earphones. Discovering the spongy silica-based in-ear headphones, I bought the Sennheiser CX 300 II for under £40 or $60. It served me well, but I was always feeling that the sound could get a lot better. When they broke after a year of use, I bought the Skullcandy Ink'd earphones, also for under £40 or $60. They were surprisingly good, able to get very loud without becoming too tinny, and the best part was they slid deep and comfortably into my ear and stayed there. But yet I still craved better sound. Enter a few days ago, where I spent 149 euros (I'm British but bought them in Paris) on the Diddybeats Earphones. I have to say - what a disappointment! The bass was slightly better than the Skullcandy, but max volume was NOT very loud, the treble was much too quiet (even playing around with my iPod's EQ) and worst of all, it barely fit in my ear, and didn't stay there as the earphones were TOO HEAVY, bogged down by the stupidly large metal earpieces and clunky metal piece where the two wires converged into one.
    I decided to not fall into the trap of thinking I needed to use the Diddybeats just because I had spent more money on them, so decided to stick with my Skullcandy until they eventually broke (I had heard they were notoriously prone to damage). But, unsurprisingly, the moment I plugged them back into my ears, the left earphone DIED.
    So here's my question (I salute you if you've kept up with all this): I'm buying an iPod touch, I have a decent amount of cash, so I'm going to go for it again and purchase ANOTHER pair of earphones. But this time I'm not going to rely on (misleading) Internet reviews, but ask the experts themselves - you guys. This is what I want in my earphones:
    1. A price of under £150 or $250.
    2. For them to be light, and have a range of comfy (silica-based) earplugs to STAY IN YOUR EAR, even when walking fast.
    3. Provide the best sound quality available. I love heavy bass, but it can't dominate. The treble has to be loud, and all the different ranges have to be balanced.
    4. For them to be able to go VERY LOUD, if needs be. I was surprised at the Diddybeats as I could easily withstand full volume (and I am not in any way deaf).
    If there's a pair that's, say, $300 but it's the best thing you've ever heard, go on and post it. I really hope you guys have answers, because this is really eating me up now.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. lucozade
    KLIPSCH CUSTOM 3 , HJE 900, if you run to it TF10
  3. basementdweller
    Man oh man, I am not very good at recommending phones for others' desired sound signatures simply because my history suggests I prefer a darker sound signature(IE8/M50).  I will say that you and I have traveled almost exactly the same path as I bought low end, picked up some Dre Tours(the same as DIddy I presume) and felt unsatisfied.  Now if you are like me, you think you know what you want, but since you've only been exposed to crap, you really might not.  Since joining this forum I have bought a pair of Sennheiser IE8 and a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and, while they are my only references, the most striking change in my listening experience, compared to the Beats, comes not from treble or bass or loudness or soundstage but from an absolute improvement in overall clarity and neutrality.  Now I know from research that my new phones aren't considered the poster childs for either clarity or neutrality, they are usually suggested for other reasons, but they are so much better than the mass marketed products I had before that I feel rather confident that any upgrade suggested on this forum will be an improvement and, if nothing else, will help you understand what you expect from a headphone.
    For IEMs I can only suggest the IE8 simply because that is the only high end IEM I have any experience with and I would never recommend the Beats to anyone I didn't secretly hold a grudge against, but for what it is worth....I was, and still am, interested in Panasonic HJE900, Klipsch Custom 3, Radius DDM, and Monster Coppers.
  4. AlexB1001


     thanks very much for the detailed help!
    with reference to darker sound signatures, what do you mean - I'm very interested!
  5. basementdweller


    From research only, I gather that my phones are all darker and since I like them I assume I like a darker sound signature.  There are ample explanations between dark/light on the forum but I gather phones like the RE0 or CK10 are all lighter and place emphasis on analytical sound vs musicality but I really can't give much more advice than what I did simply because of my limited exposure.  I think darker phones add coloration to the lower end of the spectrum which means they sometimes put bass in areas where a true 1:1 reproduction wouldn't have any.  I gather that most mainstream phones are very dark, but they are also usually muddy in presentation and tend to cover up mid frequencies and put out harsh treble...which is quite an accomplishment and, to me, are what the Beats accomplish...all while having less bass quantity and far less control than the IE8 or M50.

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