IEMs or Closed Circumaural?
Apr 29, 2007 at 9:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

Andrew Jones

100+ Head-Fier
Aug 18, 2006

I normally use a pair of Sennheiser 595s (with a Xenos 0HA-REP) or PX100 (unamped) with a Samsung YP-Z5 (Vibez on order). The music is all 256 vbr (LAME 3.97) and mostly varied rock (ELP to My Chemical Romance) plus classical.

In addition I'm looking for some headphones which I can use when I'm in the same room as my partner & kids. I usually lock myself away in a different room while they watch the endless soaps and other **** TV shows, but I'm being accused of being anti-social (true
). I need something that will block out the noise of the TV and not leak too much sound. I already have some Beyer DT231, but don't think these sound very good at all and the ear-cups are too small to be comfortable for more than a few minutes.

The choices are clearly closed headphones or IEMs. The main attraction of IEMs is that they would also be useful for the occasions (infrequent, just a few times a year) when I'm travelling by public transport. The only in-ear devices I've ever tried are Sony MDR-EX71 and apart from poor sound quality (compared with the 595 / PX100), my main gripe was that I couldn't get them to stay in with any of the supplied sleeves. Clearly the fit wasn't right, but I really didn't find them at all comfortable.

If I go down the IEM route, the main requirement is fit / comfort (they won't get used if they don't fit and aren't comfortable), followed by sound quality. The ones I've been looking at are Shure SE310 or UE 5 Pro.

Any views on whether there is any significant difference in comfort & ease of getting a good fit for these 2 IEMs? Are there any other models I should consider (the SE310s are at about the top end of my budget - ca £160)? I am worried that IEMs will simply be too uncomfortable and would be better off getting something like AKG K 271 or Beyerdynamic DT 770 and just make do with the PX100s for travelling. Your thoughts?
Apr 29, 2007 at 10:01 AM Post #2 of 4


500+ Head-Fier
Apr 6, 2007
If you find the DT231 not to your likings, you won't find pleasure in a K271.

As for the DT770, killer bass response, recessed mids, and fair highs.

A balanced can with a slight oomph in the bass is the DT250, slightly above $150. IMO it is one of the best <$200 cans.

It depends on the sound you are looking for really.
May 15, 2007 at 10:55 PM Post #3 of 4


May 24, 2004
I love my Shure E500s. Their isolation is great, especially with the new custom molded sleeves. Comfort is great as well. I have noticed one issue with IEMs that probably won't be an issue for you too often. When people see me with them in and ask about them, I can't let them take a listen. Even before I got the custom sleeves people aren't too keen on sharing something that is in someone else's ears.

At work I use Senn HD280s. Their isolation and comfort are very good, they have excellent sound, and you can let anyone that cares have a listen. You might create a few new headphone junkies. :)
May 15, 2007 at 11:10 PM Post #4 of 4


100+ Head-Fier
Jan 5, 2007
I had/have a similar problem in my home. I'm afraid of IEMs from a comfort standpoint so went with closed circumaural A900s and now W1000s. I like the sound a lot, but they don't completely block out the TV unless I play pretty loud. Beyerdynamic DT770s suposedly have a greater amount of isolation in terms of db and specs, but they are reviewed as having less isolation than the 900s (in terms of ratings on

I think you can get better isolation from IEMs, but I've never tried them myself.

The whole point of this "rant" is to say that closed circumaural may not provide the isolation you want, at least they didn't in my case.

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