IEMs for sleeping, gym
Jun 23, 2009 at 1:22 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24


Headphoneus Supremus
Sep 2, 2006
Hey guys, I've been out of the loop for a while.. I seriously haven't browsed these forums since the Westone 3 was about to be vaporware, so I'd appreciate if you bare with me.

I'm looking for a pair of replacement in-ear monitors for my iM716. I don't want them to necessarily have the same sound signature though, as I'm looking for something substantially different (I'll be keeping the iM716). I'm looking for something somewhat warm without an overly aggressive or harsh top end. For reference one of my qualms with the ATH-ES7 was that the top end was too prominent, making long periods of listening unbearable. I want something I can listen to for a long time.

I'd also like to sleep with these on. I'm thinking I'll use these with my iPhone with a sleep timer, and I don't mind how conspicuous they are but only want them to be perfectly unobtrusive when I am laying my head on the side with my ear against the pillow (my iM716 wasn't very good at this). Comfort in this area is a must, possibly even priority one.

I would also appreciate that they be somewhat robust when facing sweat and when accidentally being tugged for gym use. Low microphonics are appreciated. I'm not interested in depodding my iM716 anymore so the pod still bugs me, so I'd like the cable to be pretty low-profile and not afflicted with anything to bog me down.

What are my options? I have a soft budget limit of $300 but I would prefer to stay at around $250 or less. I don't need to buy them new so used prices are fine, but I do have an eBates coupon coming next week good for $20 off anything I buy from eBay.
Jun 23, 2009 at 1:31 PM Post #3 of 24
When did W3 became vaporware?

Warm without an overly bright treble...
UM3X might fit your bill.
Same for IE7/8.
For unobtrusiveness you have to gamble or try them yourself.
People have fit issues with either, though a lot more with IE7/8.

Don't have experience with UM3X's cable, but IE8's cable is sturdy as hell with the
microphonics non-existent (if you wear them straight, microphonics will get a lot
noticeable), and you can buy a replacement for it. IE7 is very very very likely made of
the same material. I haven't used them much for gym work so you'll have to ask
those that do, if you are intersted.
Jun 23, 2009 at 1:45 PM Post #4 of 24
Hehe I meant that I stopped reading up on these during the big delays on the release of the Westone 3.

I'll take a look at the Custom 3 and IE7/IE8. The IE8 looks out of my budget but I'll see what kind of prices they go for second-hand.

By unobtrusiveness of the cable, I mean that the cable won't bounce around when I'm running. I would prefer an unbouncy cable while running over no microphonics by a bit. My iM716s bounce quite a bit due to the pod.

Any good middle-range alternatives? I'm cool with spending $300 but if I could get my needs met for $100-200 that would be great too. I will be treating these like crap at the gym and such as well. (EDIT: I now see that the Custom 3s are in that range now new. Very attractive!)
Jun 23, 2009 at 2:10 PM Post #5 of 24
I see...

As long as you (or someone/thing else) don't step on/crush them or let your sweat seep
inside the nozzle, I can't imagine plausible scenarios where you'll damage the IE8s or the
cable, plus you can buy replacement if your cable got in an "accident".

No bounce bounce? Shirt clip might help, but I could imagine an inflexible and thick cable
that's hard to jump up and down when you run. If you are wearing something you should
just tuck them in, given that you'll clean them afterward.

I don't think IE8's out of your range, search for post with "IE8" and "deal", there are
contacts or website already posted that could have them lower or around $300, with
the full warranty (but check with Sennheiser USA just in case).
Jun 23, 2009 at 2:26 PM Post #7 of 24
Thanks for the tip, I'm really digging the IE8 from what I'm reading so far. Are they really comfy when sleeping on the side of my head? Can't tell from the images.
Jun 23, 2009 at 2:34 PM Post #8 of 24
REALLY depends, but one thing's for sure, they sound best (usually) with shallow insertion.
A pair of big and small foam come stock with your purchase, try them on to see if you can
insert them deep and getting a seal without them falling out. You also have to play with
the fit and how you wear them, click on the link in my sig to see how "flat" IE8 could be,
and wearing wire down swapping left and right insert the deepest and feels really flat.
You mileage may vary though.

If you also happen to have a pair of comply lying around, try them, they might be the
most comfy one for you for sleep purposes (but they wear out like good erasers)

These puppies need your undivided attention, if you are willing to wait and try things that
are weird or wacky (but don't hurt your ear while doing this) they will reward you. But
they can only give you what your source and music give them, so you may need an
upgrade in that area.
Jun 23, 2009 at 2:42 PM Post #9 of 24
Haha sounds like a typical Sennheiser to me!

I'll just be using them with the iPhone 3G S with 192kbps MP3s (some VBRs at ~224 as well). I don't think I'm ready to fiddle around too much.. I've been much less critical than in the past and have mostly just "used" my iM716 and Sennheiser HD25-1 II and enjoyed them.

With that in mind, looks like the IE8s might be somewhat of a challenge.

I'm still looking hard at the Custom 3's. I think if they're comfy for sleeping with, I'll give them a try.
Jun 23, 2009 at 2:50 PM Post #11 of 24
I haven't owned the Custom 3's but I have never heard anything good about their cable. Also, the IE8 easily has the best cable out of any IEMS I have used. I've read the Custom 3 sound excellent though, maybe even better than the X10's for some.
Jun 23, 2009 at 2:54 PM Post #12 of 24
I'd say you might convert your music again! Just fiddle around during the weekends with
songs you heard to death, have fun playing with and listening to them if you do decide to

The Klipsch x10/custom 3 seem to have melt in your ear comfort, a LOT people commented
on those, so maybe buy them from a store with good return policy. You might never go
back to other tips due to comfort
Jun 24, 2009 at 10:27 PM Post #13 of 24
I am starting to reconsider the Custom 3 due to the cable issues. I will be treating the earphones like crap, stuffing them into my pocket and such and I do not believe they will handle that well.

After looking at the Sennheiser IE-8 long and hard.. they don't look like they'd take too well at all with my ear against my pillow. I am not sure I want to pay that much just for the stellar sound quality with potential problems in sleeping comfort. Same with the Klipsch X5 and X10 with regard to sleeping unless they fit very deeply.

So I am looking at the Westones ATM. I have heard great things about the comfort of the UM1 especially for sleeping but am unsure about the UM3X. Moreover how do the UM3X and the Westone 3 compare with regard to my sound preference? I know the 3 is cheaper than the UM3X and I like the look a little better but I'm not sure what the implications of the lower price are.

I have also been looking at the Shure SE530. Are these comfortable enough and flat enough into the ear to sleep with? I can get a good price on these next week.. $230 brand new with the 2-year warranty. I am not sure if this qualifies as a good deal or not.

Also if it helps at all I have VERY deep ear canals. My iM716s go nearly all the way in and look tiny and barely visible from the outside. So IEMs that are comfy to sleep with but require deep insertion to do so are perfectly fine.
Jun 24, 2009 at 10:48 PM Post #14 of 24

Originally Posted by 3X0 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have also been looking at the Shure SE530. Are these comfortable enough and flat enough into the ear to sleep with? I can get a good price on these next week.. $230 brand new with the 2-year warranty. I am not sure if this qualifies as a good deal or not.

I currently own the SE530, Westone 3's, and Senn IE8.

I always had problems with my SE530's, the only way to make them sound good and stay in place was with the Triple Flange Sleeves but they then stick out like Frankenstein monster ear pieces. Not good to sleep with but acceptable for the gym if you don't care about second glances. The price on the 530's is quite good and they have great sound.

I am currently trying the W3's for the gym, and can see how they would be okay to fall asleep over. The W3's, if fitted properly have incredible sound.

The Senn's 8 were difficult to get a good fit, managed to do it with the compfy tips, but they fall out of your ears with to much sweat. Sleeping would have been doable, I think. These have good sound as well but it leans more toward the bass end of the spectrum, but that can be a plus for the gym.

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