Help me decide between 4 headphone options...
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scatteredshadows

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I've decided to potentially spend more money and also to only pursue IEMs since most of my music listening is while commuting, so I'm now considering the Audio Technica ATH-CK7 and Westone UM1's on the lower end of my budget and the Shure E4C and Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro on the upper end.

My preferences are tight, somewhat elastic bass, smooth gradation between mids and highs, definition even in quiet passages, with as deep of a soundstage and as much warmth and detail as possible in a low to mid priced IEM. I listen to a broad range of music, so they have to be able to handle airy ambient electronic AND aggressive frantic electronic, crunchy, distorted guitar, male and female vocals, and the dynamics of classical and jazz. I'm using an iAudio U3 and FLAC, OGG and 256kbps MP3 files.

Mainly, I'm trying to get at which of these headphones will be the most competent at handling a wide spectrum of music, fit well, and in the case of the more expensive options, provide a clear advantage over the lower priced options.

So, which way would you go considering my criteria? Your advice is greatly appreciated...
 
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scatteredshadows

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-bump-

Thanks for the replies so far! If I could get at least a few more, I think I'd have a great sample to base a consensus. By the way, please don't hesitate to add why you voted the way you did.
 
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SgtE

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I was about to vote for westone, but then saw it was UM1, UM2 would have been another deal. So, I went with super.fi. If you want bass, do not go with e4.
 
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Xtabi

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I've had a pair of Super.Fi 5 Pros for about 3 weeks now and they are AWESEOME!!! I too listen to all types of music. I highly recommend them.
 
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GreatDane

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Shure E4C - 11 44.00%
Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro - 11 44.00%


so far it's a tie
 
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scatteredshadows

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatDane
Shure E4C - 11 44.00%
Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro - 11 44.00%


so far it's a tie



Yeah, so much for my consensus! -LOL-

I hope it's not going to come down to a coin flip. I'm not ready to spend $400 to buy both...
 
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Dzjudz

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16-16 now :)
 
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creyc

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I've owned both the Super.fi 5 pro and Shure E4C. My vote goes to the Super.fi's however, and without going into too much detail (im tired) they are a much more fun headphone than the slightly dry sounding E4. You're milage may vary greatly, and I know a lot of people who swear by the Shure's but I just wasn't feeling them. I gave the E4's away and am rocking out to the Super.fi's.
 
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scatteredshadows

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Well, the super.fi's have pulled ahead by one.

Judging by the responses so far, am I correct to conclude that for the majority of users, the Super.fi's sound more dynamic while the Shures are more precise? I realize that those are VERY broad classifications. I'm just trying to distill the characteristics that separate the two as much as possible without getting into one being labelled "good" and the other "bad", since one thing that's clear from reading these forums is that something that draws a shrug from one lister provides bliss to another.

Looking at Shure's website, I see they are based in my home city, Chicago (well, they're in a 'burb). If this thing winds up tied in the end, I might let that be the tiebreaker instead of flipping a coin...
 
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Xtabi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by scatteredshadows
Well, the super.fi's have pulled ahead by one.

Judging by the responses so far, am I correct to conclude that for the majority of users, the Super.fi's sound more dynamic while the Shures are more precise? I realize that those are VERY broad classifications. I'm just trying to distill the characteristics that separate the two as much as possible without getting into one being labelled "good" and the other "bad", since one thing that's clear from reading these forums is that something that draws a shrug from one lister provides bliss to another.

Looking at Shure's website, I see they are based in my home city, Chicago (well, they're in a 'burb). If this thing winds up tied in the end, I might let that be the tiebreaker instead of flipping a coin...



If I was in the same poistion you are right now, which I was about a month ago, I would listen to each of them. The sound from the SF was much more sutiable to my listening pleasure.

I would not buy based on the location of their HQ. Why spend a lot of money for one thing, when the other may sound a lot better to you?
 
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milkpowder

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[Sigh] It's yet another E4c vs Super.Fi 5Pro thread... It just shows how different people can feel differently about the same earphones.
 
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scatteredshadows

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Xtabi
If I was in the same poistion you are right now, which I was about a month ago, I would listen to each of them. The sound from the SF was much more sutiable to my listening pleasure.

I would not buy based on the location of their HQ. Why spend a lot of money for one thing, when the other may sound a lot better to you?



Well, I was kidding about buying the Shures because they hail from Chicago...

I wish I could try both, but I don't know of anyplace that carries both, except for one local retailer that I found online who is charging an exorbitant amount. Normally, I'm glad to pay more to go to a store because I value the personal service and guidance I receive. At the same time, I think a nearly 50% markup is a bit much...
 
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Xtabi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by milkpowder
[Sigh] It's yet another E4c vs Super.Fi 5Pro thread... It just shows how different people can feel differently about the same earphones.


Not the same earphones though. I found them to be very different. Both high quality sound, but different none-the-less.


p.s. Don't let it stress you out so much hehe! i.e [Sigh]
 
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Xtabi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by scatteredshadows
Well, I was kidding about buying the Shures because they hail from Chicago...

I wish I could try both, but I don't know of anyplace that carries both, except for one local retailer that I found online who is charging an exorbitant amount. Normally, I'm glad to pay more to go to a store because I value the personal service and guidance I receive. At the same time, I think a nearly 50% markup is a bit much...



I know CompUSA here in Columbus Ohio carries the super.fi's. Not sure about the E4s. I flat out told them I was buying them to compair to another set of earphones and might be bringing them back. (In the end I ended up taking the SFs back to Compusa anyhow becuase I found them at earphonesolutions.com for $159 AR).

50% markup is not bad when you think about what you are getting and how long you will be using them for. My wife used to be a buyer for Limited Too...you do not want to know what mark-up is on the clothes you buy. And those don't last as long as a pair of earphones that you can use every day hehe.
 
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creyc

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While precision and accuracy and detail are all aspects that can define a listeners experience, ultimately it comes down to what I enjoy listening to. Ultimately it doesn't matter what others think or tell you but wether or not you have fun listening to the music.

I think that gets lost a bit here, in all the mess of statistics and which is more detailed or which has a warm sound. It only further emphasizes the need to TRY before you BUY. The best possible review could give you just the slightest notion what to anticipate before you try them on. These two canalphones have a very different sound and I think you should really try both, maybe buy both and return the one you don't like.
 
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