Need IEM advice. Impressed by Senn IE800S and FA Fibass
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Noobzilla

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Hi Everyone,

(Tldr at the end)

I'm currently on vacation in Japan and didn't plan on bringing my laptop and dac\amp. I only happen to visit a few electronic stores here while my sis-in-law was shopping for camera lens.

My oh my I was not expecting an entire floor full of audio stuff including high-end headphones like the HD800 on display for trial! I didn't spend much time listening to headphones though since there's too much background noise. I did try most of the popular models just to check out fitting and comfort. Had enough time to also try the Pioneer XDP 300R for a bit.

Most importantly, my first introduction to the world of mid and high-end iems! I'm still using my 7-year old Klipsch X10, which is my very first quality audio gear and surprisingly still working after a full laundry and dryer cycle. I tried several Shures like 315 and 425, but didn't find them impressive. Better than my X10 for sure, but not wow enough for me to consider upgrading. There were several other brands too that I tried but had no idea how to fit them in properly so I just moved on (Am I automatically crossing out a lot of great iems if I don't want to deal with wrapping cables over my ears?)

Now the fun part. Sennheiser IE800S and Final Audio Fibass (FI-BA-SS, Fi-bass, Fi-BASS?). Holy moly! How on Earth are these things able to bring out more music from my crappy phone?! The IE800S was clear with the perfect amount and quality of bass. The Fibass bass lacks the usual amount of bass I prefer and is a bit bright for my taste, but geez it has astounding detail and clarity. It brought out some clear details that I have never really noticed before even on my main set-up. Wow! Again this is using my phone. I can only imagine how much better they would be with a real set-up. Too bad I can't take the display DAPs and bring it over to the iems.

I don't have $1000 to spare, but maybe up to $600 max if I sell my Denon D600 (rarely used after I got Fostex TH-X00 Ebony) and Denon MM400 (current travel and office headphones, will be replaced by the iem). IE800 goes for $529 on Amazon right now, but I read it is more v-shaped than the S version which could be a problem for me. I'm doing as much research as I can during downtime, but it won't be enough :frowning2:

Tldr. Have one more week in Japan and not enough time for more research. Very limited time to try other iems. Liked IE800S but have $600 budget max. Prefer iem that I don't need to wrap around ears. What should I try if I spot them? What are iems close to IE800S? Thanks!
 
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Noobzilla

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Saved for updates.

2/12 Adding Beyerdynamic Xelento to the list. About $200 more. Might end up selling a kidney for this.
 
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Noobzilla

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Spent an hour with the Xelento and IE800 (non S) and a few minutes each with FA Heaven 6, 7, and 8. Xelento sounds the best for me.
 
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