IEM recommendations for musicians?
Mar 9, 2006 at 4:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

bluestein

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Posts
3
Likes
0
First post ever - so please go easy on me.....at least make it quick and painless....
tongue.gif


I appreciate the passion and knowledge here. Seems you take sound seriously - and want the best (whatever that might be)

I hope to get some input about the best IEM for my applications.

I'm an older musician (52) playing mostly corporate events, weddings, small clubs etc. Sound levels (onstage) might get to 95-105 db for several hours per night. (I stand next to the Drummer) I've been using ER20's to cut down on the dB exposure.

For a number of reasons we've decided recently to experiment with IEM for monitoring. I just purchased a Sennheiser EW300 G2 system for that. If they work out for me - I'll hit Sensaphonics for some molds up the road a bit. For now, I just want to get some good canalphones.....

I've been reading here for the last month or two - and am getting very confused about the canal phone options. I went to Headphone Solutions a couple of dozen times to purchase - the confusion keeps me from hitting the "submit" button.

It seems the major players in this game are Shure E5, Westone UM2, Ety E4 and Ultimate Ears 5 pro. And now - some new products on the horizon from Shure.

All are expensive - so I don't want to make a mistake. I can't try them out - no one in Chicago has an inventory (that I know of).

I need good sound isolation. And - comfort is important. And of course - great sound. And - offstage I'll use them for music listening like many of you.

I bought my Kids some Etys for their ipods for xmas - was VERY dissappointed in the sound (bass especially). So - ETY is probably out.

Can any help me narrow it down - and make a decision?

Thanks,

stein
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 4:23 PM Post #2 of 13

PeeeMeS

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Posts
1,238
Likes
10
If you were dissappointed in the Etys, I think canalphones just arn't for you

You'd prob be dissappointed(even more so) at the top of the line $800+ multi-driver custom-molded canal phones.


Maybe best to just use your kid's Ety's for now so you don't have to buy another pair of different branded canalphones(and be dissappointed again)
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 4:32 PM Post #3 of 13

stewtheking

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 6, 2005
Posts
2,671
Likes
27
It has been reported here that the main cause of lack of bass with etymotic's is improper insertion, i.e. not far enough. You could try something like the e2c, (which although it has a slightly muddy sound, has lashings of bass) or another budget IEM, just to see if you're going to be able to get used to them.

Not much point in shelling out lots if you're about to go get some customs done fairly soon.

Stew

EDIT: Welcome to head-fi... sorry about your wallet!
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 4:34 PM Post #4 of 13

p0wderh0und23

Member of the Trade: JH Audio
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Posts
789
Likes
13
Location
Colorado
Quote:

If you were dissappointed in the Etys, I think canalphones just arn't for you


Yeah I'd have to disagree with that statement. The ETY's are good for pre-recorded music and are not really made for onstage use. Most of the compaines you mentioned offer a 30-day money back, so you may want to take that approach. Most people can get buy with a universal fit, single driver just fine, so do not think you NEED to have a dual driver or an $800 custom fit product. Drummers and bass players... yeah I'd lean them towards the dual drivers for the added low ends. PM me if you have more questions.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 4:37 PM Post #5 of 13

RockinOut

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Posts
273
Likes
0
If you didn't like Ety's bass, you can look into Shure E4c's and E5c's.

I use E5c. Comfy, lots of bass, a bit of treble roll off.

Westone and Ultimate Ears make good IEM's too. Search for posts on these.

It can be hard on Head-Fi for newbies nowadays, especially on the headphone forum. There's just so many threads, and moderators don't put reviews and comparisons in stickies or "full feature forums" anymore. It seems to be this way for last 6-8 months now.

Do a search here. Also earphonesolutions.com and headphone.com has some good iem reviews to get you started. Narrow it down, and come back here and do some more searches.

I like Shure E5c over UM2 due to 2 year warranty, but I was really interested in the UM2s also.

Headphones aren't the only thing, a good source (transport / DAC) and a good headphone amplifier are really important to nice sound quality also.

Have fun, and sorry about your wallet.
etysmile.gif
eggosmile.gif
etysmile.gif
580smile.gif
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 5:18 PM Post #6 of 13

beedee

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Posts
312
Likes
28
Quote:

Originally Posted by bluestein
First post ever - so please go easy on me.....at least make it quick and painless....
tongue.gif


I appreciate the passion and knowledge here. Seems you take sound seriously - and want the best (whatever that might be)

I hope to get some input about the best IEM for my applications.

I'm an older musician (52) playing mostly corporate events, weddings, small clubs etc. Sound levels (onstage) might get to 95-105 db for several hours per night. (I stand next to the Drummer) I've been using ER20's to cut down on the dB exposure.

For a number of reasons we've decided recently to experiment with IEM for monitoring. I just purchased a Sennheiser EW300 G2 system for that. If they work out for me - I'll hit Sensaphonics for some molds up the road a bit. For now, I just want to get some good canalphones.....

I've been reading here for the last month or two - and am getting very confused about the canal phone options. I went to Headphone Solutions a couple of dozen times to purchase - the confusion keeps me from hitting the "submit" button.

It seems the major players in this game are Shure E5, Westone UM2, Ety E4 and Ultimate Ears 5 pro. And now - some new products on the horizon from Shure.

All are expensive - so I don't want to make a mistake. I can't try them out - no one in Chicago has an inventory (that I know of).

I need good sound isolation. And - comfort is important. And of course - great sound. And - offstage I'll use them for music listening like many of you.

I bought my Kids some Etys for their ipods for xmas - was VERY dissappointed in the sound (bass especially). So - ETY is probably out.

Can any help me narrow it down - and make a decision?

Thanks,

stein



stein,
icon10.gif
hi, my first post too...although, I've been reading these forums for a year now. I'm a weekend warrior drummer/vocalist in a band and I just recently purchased the UE SFP5s. I'm happy with them b/c with the small tips they provide enough isolation, but I still get enough ambient stage sound to "get into it." If you need the isolation, foamies are the way to go. You seem to be a seasoned musician, so you have to know that you usually get what you pay for. IMO and from what I've read on these forums, I'd say any good brand name canal phone (Shure E4,E5, Westone UM2, UE SF5P) would do fine for you. If you're on a budget do the E2s, UM1, SF3. If not, UE 10 customs or other reputable custom. IMO, anyone of these will definitely satisfy your live monitoring requirments and also provide an enjoyable recreational listening experience. But like I said, you'll probably want to use the foamies if you're wanting the most possible isolation with a universal fit canal phone.

I hope I didn't over step my bounds for my first post. I've been just reading these forums for so long I feel like I was already a part of the crew. Thanks Head-Fi. I'm very grateful for the wealth of info. that you guys provide!! And ummm....thanks for getting rid of those nasty excess dollars from my wallet.
biggrin.gif
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 7:08 PM Post #7 of 13

thorrad

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Posts
26
Likes
0
Bluestein,

If you are in Chicago then you are in a really good spot. the factory for Sensaphonics is right around the corner! It sounds like you already knew that though.

Sensaphonics has universal fit demo versions of the Soft 2-X (2XS) IEMs available. I have been using the custom fit 2XSs for about a year so far and I am amazed. I have been amazed every single day with these phones. they are comfortable, isolating, attenuate all frequencies equally (no lask of high end or "cotton in the ears" feeling), and best of all they sound incredible!

There are a few things to think about when demoing the sensas though. The demos have a slightly different sound than the custom fit 2XS that you will eventually get. The demos have both drivers going through the same single sound port. This leaves the sound a little "pinched." The high end rolls off and the detail gets a bit muddied. If you can hear your way through this you'll be very impressed with the final versions.

The customs are made of a soft gel silicone material that is very strong and yet moves with you to prevent loss of seal or sound leakage when you open and close your jaw. It also just feels better that hard acrylic (so I have heard. You'd better ask Lindrone who has purchased both the 2XS and the UE10 Pros)

The big deal with the sensas is the near perfect sound reproduction. Everything from slammming bass to scintillating sizzle is there and reproduced super accurately with no bloat or sibilence.

These are High end (and therefore very expensive) IEMs, you need to do your homework before you plunk down the green for them. That being said though, I would very much recommennd them for your stage setup. They will also quickly become your favorite iPod phones as well.

Take care!

Thorrad
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 7:12 PM Post #8 of 13

thorrad

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Posts
26
Likes
0
Oh, and a note to both Bluestein and BeeDee,

Welcome to HeadFi!

Sorry about your wallet!

Nice to have you aboard.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 8:59 PM Post #9 of 13

sc53

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Posts
600
Likes
10
Bluestein, were you listening to your kids' E4's or those white E6i's? The E4's are much much better with more bass and refinement that the E6i's. I also recently bought the Shure e4c's and find I am using them far more often than my Ety's. They fit me better than the e5c's and sound fantastic with my various iPods.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 10:46 PM Post #10 of 13

JeffS

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 1, 2003
Posts
725
Likes
0
The main thing with bass on the etys, is the propper seal.

I was always happy with my er-6i, which is supposed to have more bass than the er-4 series. However when I tried the er-4, it had quite a bit more bass. I discovered, that while I was getting a really good seal with the 6i, it didn't go as deep into my ear as the er-4. It's just the way they're designed.

However, if you don't get the seal right, both the er-4 and er-6i will sound very bad. It takes a while to get the seal, and figure out what method works best for you. After about a week of doing it the right way, it's second nature though.

-Jeff
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 7:15 PM Post #11 of 13

bluestein

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Posts
3
Likes
0
Thanks for all the input and suggestions !

I went to a local Guitar center and bought a couple pairs of UE Superfi 5pros.

Not that I thought they were the "best" or whatever - they were the only ones I could find locally in stock.

Initial impressions are very positive. I've used them for 3 gigs so far - with excellent results. Very comfortable, excellent sounding and good isolation.

Like many have mentioned - the seal is very important. I'll have to give another listen to my kids Etys. (They absolutely LOVE them)

I am astonished at the detail I'm hearing in recordings I've been listening to all my life. I am literally hearing things for the first time. One thing that comes to mind is in a section of a recording I can tell whether the bassist is playing an upstroke or downstroke. WOW ! And some parts are clearly doubled - I've never heard that before in the recording.

I'll follow up with Sensaphonics later this month and get some molds....but overall I'm really happy with the UE's.

You guys have (collectively) created another fanatic....and I thank you for it!

stein
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 3:27 AM Post #12 of 13

IZCool

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 2, 2002
Posts
192
Likes
0
If you're using these for serious gigs, consider getting a pair of fully custom moulded monitors. You will probably get more comfort and better sound quality again from them. There is of course a (significant) price premium, but just another thing to consider...
Manufacturers (3 biggest in USA with biggest following on these boards):

Sensaphonics
Westone
Ultimate Ears

And if nobody has said to you before:
Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet! (standard greeting!)
 
May 19, 2010 at 12:24 AM Post #13 of 13

drumrdoc

New Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Posts
10
Likes
10
I know this a late reply to this thread, but you don't have to spend a lot of money anymore to get what you're looking for in personal iems. Do yourself a favor & check out some of the less expensive alternatives to the high, over priced iem companies out there. Always keep in mind that the bigger companies mentioned in earlier posts give away tons of endorsements that us, the buyer ends up paying for..... boo..... There are several smaller companies out there making the same quality professional products, but @ way less expensive price. Do a google search on custom fitted in ear monitors & you will find many alternatives..... Murdock the Drummer
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top