Looking for similar sounding cIEM as UM Merlin with less sound leakage
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Feb 11, 2011
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Feb 11, 2011
Due to an ear infection I was forced to stay away from IEMs for quite a while and could only over-ear headphones. Over time I started to prefer over-ear headphones over IEMs out of comfort which eventually even made me sell my UM Merlin. 
Just lately I have been thinking back on how much I enjoyed the sound of the UM Merlin´s and the benefits that come with a cIEM (isolation and portability). So I am now in for a new cIEM. Since I have stayed away from this forum for some time (financial reasons 
) I am not up to date on the products that have been launched since which is where I need your help.
The main music genres I listen to are hip hop and RnB. Occasionally also some acoustic and songs with female vocals.
So lows and mids are very important to me. 
Here`s what I liked/disliked about the Merlin: 
- fantastic bass (incredibly deep and fast while still being clean)
- highs were very good without any harshness
- wide soundstage
- VERY engaging and easy to listen to for hours
- build quality
- Mid-range was good but as in project96´s review, compared to the Miracle and a couple other IEMs it is a bit more laid back and not quite as clean and fast as I wished
- sound leakage! I do travel a lot and even when listening on moderate volume, due to the vent people in the airplane sitting right next to me were able to tell what I was listening to which is a no-go for me
Overall though, the Merlin´s sound was just so engaging and was able to pull me right into the song every time I listened to them. Also I could listen to them for hours without getting fatigued. The only big problem that is holding me back from purchasing them again is it´s sound leakage. 
So what I´m looking for is a similar sounding cIEM as the Merlin with less leakage (unfortunately that means no dynamic drivers) and ideally a slightly more forward mid-range. 
Looking forward for your recommendations! 
P.S: Also owned the JH16, but I much preferred the Merlins musicality over them. While the JH16´s were more accurate, they sounded somewhat artificial and boring to me. Very "cold" and analytical. 
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