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Earbuds WITHOUT recessed or colored mids

  1. ikamusume
    The connector on my god tier Sony MDR-A44's has finally given up, where I have to hold the wire to get sound from the left. Still, not bad for over 20 years of use!

    From what I understand, most people like a V shaped sound, with recessed mids, but it's not for me. I struggle to hear the vocals, so I turn it up, then the bass is booming and the highs are piercing, and usually everything is too warm too. Are there any earbuds where I can get solid mids, neutral to slightly bright highs, and deep and definitely present (but never booming) bass... where everything is balanced together (nothing takes over, nothing takes a back seat)? I'm also looking for as efficient as possible, I'm used to the 108 dB/mW 16 ohm Sony's, and I'll be driving these with portable devices.

    My preference is for earbuds (the style that doesn't use the rubber tips), however, I realize that's probably too picky.

    Thanks for your help!

    p.s. If it's simply impossible to figure this out by a description, is it worth buying one of those headphone measuring devices like the miniDSP EARS, or would I end up still not finding a match?
  2. serman005
    Budget? Prices have changed over the past 20 years :ksc75smile:.
  3. ikamusume
    I don't have a super strict budget on this, as long as I can return it if I don't like it. Less than $300?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  4. GREQ
    There are now some incredibly good (and cheap) earbuds coming out of China and Indonesia based on the Sennheiser MX500 earbud shell.
    I'm currently using Sabia Elibud V6 (v-shaped), Kube V1 (neutral warm), Vido (v-shaped) and ANN200 (neutral) based on this design.
    To find exactly the bud that suits your taste best, I would ask in the Earbud Roundup thread - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/earbuds-round-up.441400/
    But to me, it sounds like you need to get an ANN200.
    One good thing about buds is If you find them too bassy, just take off the foams. Should be quite easy to tune to your taste.
    They're quite difficult to find, but an Indonesian seller will apparently relist some 'soon' on ebay.

    miniDSP EARS would be a total waste of your time and money as the way these are designed makes them extremely bad for measuring earbuds ... (honestly it's quite tricky to measure headphones too, they're far from perfect)
    I know this because I own one.
  5. Sgt. Ear Ache
    Vidos are about $275 less than $300 and have some pretty great not-recessed mids! :D Then, with some of the money you have left over you could get yourself some EMX500S, RY4S, Snow Lotus 1.0+, and Yincrow Rw-9's and a whole slew of other great buds and have enough left over for a nice little DAP!

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