IE8 to what?
Sep 23, 2013 at 5:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


100+ Head-Fier
Feb 25, 2010
Dear Mods, apologies, I realised I've posted this in the wrong thread. Is it possible for this to be moved to 'Recommendations..."?
Hi there head-fiers,
I'm getting myself a bit worked up over what my next IEMs should be and wanted to see if I could get some direction from those that may have found themselves in a similar position. I recently modded my Rockboxed iPod 5.5 with a groovy CF/SD card adaptor and it's given me renewed zeal for improving the potential sound from this device.
I've gone from the IE7 to the IE8 (and also have a pair of V-Moda M80s and Shure SRH840s). All this has at least enabled me to realise some basic things about what I think is important to me sound-wise.
Have to say firstly the IE8s are superb. I'm using them with the comply T500 isolation tips. However, I think I'd like to get something that's a little more open with a wider soundstage. I've always felt the mids feel a bit squashed on the IE8s (mid-bass hump perhaps?). Isolation is also very important to me (if I was earning more I'd get customs made but that's just not a possibility right now.)
I'm extremely tempted by the Westone 3s (at the upper end of my budget - but I'm also feeling that to trump the IE8s I'd need to make a big jump). But, is there something out there that would be considered an evolution of the IE8 sound? Where the mids are more defined and crispier and the soundstage has been expanded whilst retaining a nice bottom end?
I listen to every type of music (mainly flac) from Jazz and classical, a lot of 60s/70s rock, electronic/house, blah, blah, blah. I think the IE8s don't do classical particularly well and it'd be nice for my next IEM to raise the bar on that type of music. 
The £250 I'd need for the W3s would be a massive indulgence so any cheaper alternatives would be good to consider but they'd have to be something special to beta the IE8s I guess.
I've looked at the Etymotics but I think they're maybe too far in the opposite direction (but I may be wrong with that assumption. I can see they have devoted following on HF). Just how much of an improvement are the IE80s. What about Shures?
Should I just stay with what I've got!?!?
One annoying thing is it's virtually impossible to audition IEMs so I need to be confident before I commit myself.
Sorry if this is a bit rambling but thanks for any advice you might be able to throw my way.
In a nutshell I want an honest sounding IEM across the spectrum with good isolation and a wide soundstage (and no microphonics on the cabling -I like the IE8 cable for that reason) with a max spend of around $350/£220.
- Bruce

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