HELP a new guy out please!
Feb 22, 2008 at 3:53 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17


New Head-Fier
Feb 22, 2008
Hey guys, I dont know if this is the best or the worst day of my life.

I bought my first set of cans...the Bose AE...yeah don't flame. I found the comfortability to be the buying point, and I haven't been around the audiophile world long enough to really compare them. But anyways, I just lost them, or someone stole them.

At one point I feel like I lost 100 bucks.

At another point I feel like I gained rights to a new set of phones.

So what do you guys think? At a price range of 150, what's the best set of IEMs or cans that I can get. I've been looking at the shure e3s, but then...I dont know if those even look comfortable anymore.

Help a set of ears out please! They're presently being raped by apple's earbuds.
Feb 22, 2008 at 4:31 AM Post #3 of 17
The e3c is alright. I keep a pair around for air travel, but am not a regular IEM listener.

So, what kind of music do you listen to? Are you looking for an IEM, or would you like a full-sized headphone? Are you willing to consider an amp?

One good all-rounder that rocks and doesn't need an amp is the Grado SR-60. At $70, it's one of the best deals. It should blow you away, but even if it doesn't, you can sell it here in a couple hours (seriously) and lose maybe $10.
Feb 22, 2008 at 4:40 AM Post #4 of 17
The E3c is the most comfortable IEM that I've tried and it's a good size, but I don't think that the price is justifiable.

If you post your preferences people will be able to help you a lot more.

Welcome to Head-Fi!
Feb 22, 2008 at 4:51 AM Post #5 of 17
yeah thanks a lot. people answer fast here.

Well I listen to a lot of different types of music. But the main things I listen to are down-tempo, beat driven types of bands, aggressive rock, or alternative rock: Deftones, Bjork, Bonobo, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley.

With my Bose, I noticed a lot of mushy guitar tones, like the sounds were sloshing into eachother. I want to be able to hear the notes better with my next set of phones. oh, And I really want the headphones to be aggressive and with pretty decent bass. This already sounds like the sr80s, but what about IEMs?

I set the price to 150 because I wanted to set retail price, but I can usually find the same set for cheaper.

Thanks a lot guys
Feb 22, 2008 at 4:57 AM Post #7 of 17
The SR80 would definitely sound great with your music taste. They are open so they don't isolate and they leak a lot of sound. They are also uncomfortable for some people. Those potential issues aside, if you are in the market for open cans I would go for the SR80.

For IEMs, I would check out the SF5 Pro. They have strong bass but not muddy at all and they sound great with rock.

Pretty much anything for that price will sound better than the Bose that you bought originally. So basically, it depends on if you want open cans, closed cans, or IEMs.
Feb 22, 2008 at 4:58 AM Post #8 of 17
I don't know much about IEMs, but this is the right place to get a recommendation. Hopefully, some of the IEM guys will show up shortly.

I do see a pair of Grados in your future. And some vacuum tubes. You'll bliss out over guitars on Grados - that's what they do best. Then you'll go crazy all over again when you hear tubes pushing them.
Feb 22, 2008 at 5:05 AM Post #9 of 17
yeah i've always wanted a set of SR80s but I couldn't justify the open ears, cause I'm a college student studying in libraries. That's another reason i bought the bose.

I guess I'm waiting on the IE guys to see what they say. Although, if someone can show me a damn good pair of closed cans, I'll be all over them.
Feb 22, 2008 at 5:07 AM Post #10 of 17
It you like a lot of bass? I think the Beyerdynamic DT770 would be right up your alley. Other popular options are the Audio Technica a900, Denon d1000, and Equation RP21
Feb 22, 2008 at 5:10 AM Post #11 of 17
I don't have much experience with closed cans so I can't help you there.

Like I said, consider the SF5 Pro for IEMs. It has the bass that I think you are looking for, and it definitely sounds great with rock and guitars in general. They are a little more than $150 I believe. Shures in that price range have a nice warm midrange but the bass and treble is lacking.
Feb 22, 2008 at 9:13 PM Post #14 of 17
Atrio M5/M8 from Future Sonics -- IEMs with deep, natural-sounding bass -- very good for down tempo and other bassy music (but it doesn't ignore mids and highs). Available on eBay from Road Dog online, or you could try Road Dog directly.

Do you need isolation? If not, there are open headphones available within your price range (the rule of thumb being that IEMs tend to cost a lot per increment of performance ... the Future Sonics are somewhat of an exception -- they're not inexpensive, but they have a hugely pleasing sound for the reasonable price).

EDIT: By the way, the Atrios sound very good with unamped iPods; even my iPod Nano combines well with the Future Sonics to produce ample bass and impactful kick drums. With players that have a lot of bass EQ'd into them, the Atrios are so deep that I prefer to set the EQ to flat or nearly flat.

Phones (in order of purchase):
Sony MDR71, Sony MDR51, Etymotic ER6, Panasonic RP-HJ50, Shure E3C, Koss PortaPro 2, Creative EP630, Etymotic ER6i, Sennheiser PX-100, Sennheiser HD555, Future Sonics Atrio M5
Feb 22, 2008 at 10:07 PM Post #15 of 17
Another vote for the Pro IEM. I think they sound great and have a good price. I also find them to be comfortable and provide the right amount of bass when using an iPOD with no amp.

My favorite IEM's though are the E500's and UE-10's, the 10's being my No. 1.

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