Need Recommendations for Durable and Balanced IEM's - $100 USD
Jul 2, 2018 at 7:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

Swanka

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Hey guys! As the title says, I'm on the market for a new pair of IEM's to replace my Apple Earpods and thus begin my journey towards a proper audio setup. My budget is $100 USD. For now, I'm just listening from my iPhone 7 and my laptop. I listen to a lot of classical, drum corps, jazz, and rock, which likely means that while I've never used enough actually decent products to know what a proper "balanced" sound is, "balanced" seems to be the most appropriate sound signature (though I do like a strong low-end, but not an overpowering one). I can be a bit treble-sensitive when things get too sibilant, so please avoid recommending models that may cause issues when the volume gets louder.

However, I do a LOT of travelling, so great build quality that can take a beating is an absolute MUST, preferably with a replaceable cable for extra piece-of-mind. Going along the lines of travelling, good sound isolation is a definite plus. Also, I'd like IEM's where the cable goes straight down; having a wire wrapped around my ear gets annoying REALLY fast.

I'd also like to add that I've done some of my own research already, and I've come across the 1MORE Triple-Drivers (currently available for $80 on Amazon). Many reviews say that they sound amazing for the price, but I'm very hesitant about seeing the many customer reviews talking about how the cables and/or drivers fail after a short amount of time, especially considering my very active lifestyle. I've also heard good things about the Tin Audio T2's, but I'm VERY skeptical about buying off the Chinese markets, not to mention I could get something nicer within my budget (they currently cost $50). The reason I'm posting is that I'm just not sure what I should get, and the sub-$100 range is really quite bloated.

Let me know what recommendations you guys have! I'm looking forward to seeing what the best options for me are. (I'm also just excited to have something better than my Earpods.)

NOTE: Amazon Prime preferred
 
Jul 2, 2018 at 8:30 PM Post #2 of 9

Stillhart

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I'd recommend the Echobox Finder X1. It doesn't have replaceable cables, but it's got a unique system that has them in there pretty good. I use them as my "throw em in my bag and take em anywhere" headphones. I'd call the sound as balanced as you could expect in the price range. They're extremely durable, super light, and sound pretty good for the price.

One thing to note, they really do need burn-in. The treble is a little... off... out of the box. But given some time to settle in, it sounds much better.
 
Jul 3, 2018 at 12:15 AM Post #3 of 9

Swanka

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I'd recommend the Echobox Finder X1. It doesn't have replaceable cables, but it's got a unique system that has them in there pretty good. I use them as my "throw em in my bag and take em anywhere" headphones. I'd call the sound as balanced as you could expect in the price range. They're extremely durable, super light, and sound pretty good for the price.

One thing to note, they really do need burn-in. The treble is a little... off... out of the box. But given some time to settle in, it sounds much better.
Thanks for the recommendation. While I love that these are described as basically indestructible, I am NOT liking that they're very bright. As I said, I can be a bit treble-sensitive, which could pose a legitimate problem. At any rate, could you compare them to other IEM's in my price range?
 
Jul 3, 2018 at 12:37 AM Post #5 of 9

Swanka

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You might also check out a 1More Triple Driver. Maybe read about it and see what you think. It sounds quite good for the price-point. It could work for you.
As I said above, I HAVE researched them, and while they're argued by many to be the best-sounding IEM's under $100, I'm not entirely sold on their durability. Do you have any personal experience with these?
 
Jul 3, 2018 at 12:49 AM Post #6 of 9

serman005

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Sorry--I somehow missed that you had read about them. Apologies. :frowning2: I do have personal experience with them and I am impressed with the SQ. I have not had any of the build quality issues you report, but I know some have. That said, the build quality is not in the league of the IT01, which has a superlative cable for the price-point. Big fan of the IT01 at the $100 price-point, FWIW.
 
Jul 3, 2018 at 1:12 AM Post #8 of 9

serman005

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The IT01 is somewhat v-shaped with terrific bass and extended highs. The mids are somewhat recessed but not dramatically so. The detail is superior to the 1More in all facets and separation is on another level, IMO. The 1More tends to be more neutral than the IT01, but much less lively and exciting as well. Build quality and cable we have discussed. Overall, I believe the IT01 is a significant upgrade sonically over the still very good-sounding 1More. Just my take and YMMV, of course.
 
Jul 3, 2018 at 1:34 AM Post #9 of 9

Stillhart

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Thanks for the recommendation. While I love that these are described as basically indestructible, I am NOT liking that they're very bright. As I said, I can be a bit treble-sensitive, which could pose a legitimate problem. At any rate, could you compare them to other IEM's in my price range?
I don't find them to be "very bright". Like I said, treble is a little weird at first and settles down after burn in. These use a weird material in the driver, which causes it to need more burn-in than you might expect.

But if you're treble sensitive, better to just err on the side of caution and get something dark. I don't have much experience with the sub $100 price range, though, so I can't offer much beyond the X1 (which was $199 when it launched and I think is a bargain at $89). Good luck on your search!
 

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