IEM's or full size cans?
Jul 22, 2008 at 12:41 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

Poohblah

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so here's the basic deal. i need a new set of headphones for listening to my CD player and iPod. to be honest, i'm not too picky with sound - the quality of the iPod's earbuds are mostly fine for me (at a low volume level, at least) except for a few things: i would like punchier bass (but not something bassy), more resolution, better soundstage, and greater noise isolation. i did a little research and asked around and found what seem to be two suitable solutions, the ety er-4p's and senn hd280 pro's. it seems that the ety's would sound beautiful, but i would prefer to spend only $100 on headphones since my budget is $200 and i want to spend the remaining $100 on new CD's. i am also very apprehensive about getting IEM's since they are a hassle to put in/take out and i would rather not deal with the microphonic effects or put in major effort just to get them comfortable. this leads me to the senn's, which seem like a great option but i am a little concerned that the bass won't be punchy enough. lastly, i don't want to worry about an amp, mostly because i don't want to spend an extra $100 for one.

thanks for reading that. i posted this same thing about a week ago but now i have a budget and priorities. i would just like some input regarding my situation - i.e. do you think i would be happy with the senn's, should i be considering anything else, etc. any facts, opinions, suggestions, or experiences are extremely helpful.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 12:50 AM Post #2 of 18

chinesekiwi

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For one, anything is better than the default iPod buds.
Hell, when they sell for $2 each on ebay, they arn't gonna be good in any way.

For around $100 and if you're not a basshead, the Head-Direct RE2's (IEM's) are a great deal for $100.
The Denon D1000/D1001 is also another option, but they don't isolate too well.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 12:57 AM Post #3 of 18

Poohblah

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ok, that's what i was basically thinking.
so basically it comes down to what i can get for $100 and what i would like best out of that selection.

so i'm thinking to not even bother with IEM's since i'm not a huge sound prick?
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 1:02 AM Post #4 of 18

tpc41

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another recommendation for the denon D1001. I used to own the HD280s and i much prefer the denons. The 280s isolate great, but lack comfort. Denons sound better, feel better, and are a lot less bulky so they can be worn in public
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 1:05 AM Post #5 of 18

chinesekiwi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Poohblah /img/forum/go_quote.gif
so i'm thinking to not even bother with IEM's since i'm not a huge sound prick?


? with attitude....

Anyway, the advantage of IEM's is that they isolate from outside noise and are portable and designed for 'on-the-go' and also designed for portable devices such as an iPod.
The IEM is becoming more and more mainstream so mmmm with the attitude....
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 1:44 AM Post #6 of 18

Poohblah

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see, this is where i'm becoming indecisive... i really would like the convenience of cans but it seems that IEM's are better designed for noise isolation/portable rigs. i had a really cheap pair of canalphones once and they were uncomfortable and the worst part was when the cable would catch on something and tug on my ear canal if i moved. i don't want to experience that again unless there is an amazing benefit.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 3:19 AM Post #7 of 18

nickdawg

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IEMs are the best at isolation. Especially if you want portability and convenience they are the way to go.

As far as the cable thing, that's normal with any IEM. There is the microphonics from the cable plus if the cable gets caught on something it will pull on the ear.

For comfort, it depends? DO you not like having something in your ears? If that's what bothers you then IEM is not the way to go.

I have to agree with chinesekiwi. IEMs are becoming more and more mainstream. There are more affordable and lower priced models out there now than before. Hell, I even saw on another thread there are canalphones with smaller size ear sleeves for kids as young as 8. They're taking over!
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 4:33 AM Post #8 of 18

Poohblah

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i'm fine with having something in my ears. it's the tugging on my ear if the cable snags that really bothers me. microphonics don't sound too fun either.

i wish i could take these headphones for a test drive of sorts, but i can't which is why i'm asking here.

i think i'm going to get the denon ah10001's. it seems that they're a good compromise between isolation, size, and sound quality. however my research has led me to believe that canalphones tend to sound better unamped than headphones, is there any truth to this?
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 4:52 AM Post #9 of 18

stewgriff

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Wearing the cable behind the ear, like with Shures, makes an IEM less microphonic; it still sucks when they're pulled on, but it's less stressful on the ears.

Depends on the headphone as to whether IEMs or headphones will sound better unamped. Generally, headphones with lower impedance and/or higher sensitivity will be easier to drive. IEMs are generally more sensitive, but some of them are so much so that they hiss from unclean sources like iPods.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 4:52 AM Post #10 of 18

gz76

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If you want another suggestion, then maybe you could also look at the Yuin PK series. I briefly heard some of the PK1s on the weekend and was pretty impressed with them. Sure, they're not going to offer you the extra isolation of IEMs, but I think they'd be perfect for use straight out of an iPod, they're easy and discrete to wear, and they sound fantastic (never thought earphones could sound so good!). I got the impression that bass is well controlled without being artificial or bloated, which should give that faster bass response you're after too.

I didn't spend a lot of time listening critically tho, so maybe do a quick search and see what others have said about them around here. Initial impressions were very good tho -- definitely the best earphones I've heard.

Edit: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/yui...thread-227027/
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 5:25 AM Post #11 of 18

jma790

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Yes, for around ~$150 you could get the yuin's. They are decent straight from the iPod, but sooner or later you will want an amp to really make them shine. From what I've read, they have a pretty punchy bass. And personally, I prefer IEM's because they protect me from crying baby's ear shattering frequencies when going in the Bus. Actually, sometimes I wonder at how close some IEM's can get to full sized cans, but more portable...
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 5:54 AM Post #12 of 18

nickdawg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Poohblah /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i'm fine with having something in my ears. it's the tugging on my ear if the cable snags that really bothers me. microphonics don't sound too fun either.


That's a problem with any canalphone/IEM. Since the ear sleeve makes a seal in the ear it can be uncomfortable if yanked out. You may try running the cable over and behind your ears. It can help reduce chances of it getting ripped out of your ear and it reduces the microphonics.

Or just be more careful!! Yanking the cables is a good way to trash a pair of headphones.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 1:05 PM Post #13 of 18

Poohblah

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alright thanks i think i'll look around a little bit more at IEM's and find something i like
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 2:02 PM Post #14 of 18

channum

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Just keep in mind that not all IEMs are created equal.

Microphonics vary widely. Some (unclipped etymotics) are downright awful, some are almost perfect (over the ear UE products) and others seem to have eliminated it completely (over the ear SA6).

Comfort and seal vary even more widely and are completely individual to combination of your ear and the IEM design. I can't wear more mainstream IEMs like the Sony EX70 series, Sennheiser CX series, etc. to save my life. They barely form a seal and pop out at the slightest disturbance. Deep insertion IEMS make me want to take a spoon to my ear to get them out almost immediately. Then there's the UE super/triple series and the Sleek SA6 that are comfortable and fit well (the SA6 are the best fitting universal IEM I've ever stuck in my ear).

IEMs can be very good, but you may have to try more than one before you arrive at a good solution for you. I tried my first IEM back in 2004, hated it and, at the least, disliked every thing else I tried up until the UE super.fi 5 I got last year but still didn't find "the one" IEM until very recently with the Sleek SA6.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 10:15 PM Post #15 of 18

jma790

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Oh yes, for $200 you can get the SA6, people say they sound great, have a huge soundstage and isolate a lot. And they run nicely straight from the DAP!
You won't regret about buying IEM's (if you don't find them uncomfortable)
 

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