My Westone 4 went through the washer and dryer with the laundry, and now the right channel is significantly more quiet. I've tried putting it in a bin of rice to suck the moisture out, as well as let it sit under the sun, but it appears it's done for. I've contacted Westone weeks ago but didn't get a reply. I just tried again today and hopefully they'll get back to me to let me know how much it'll cost to repair it. If it's too much, I'll just get a new pair of IEM, which leads me to the purpose of this thread. I was never totally happy with the Westone 4. In fact, I've never been totally satisfied with any of the IEMs I've owned/tested in the past. I'll describe a few of them (and a few full-sized headphones as point of reference) so you guys can help me finally find "the one" I'd be really happy with. I'll also include the custom EQ settings I have for them you can see what my ideal corrections for them are. Westone 4 Pros: Really comfortable fit, and I can sleep on the side with them on (very important). Sonic signature not offensive (no shrill sibilance), which is extremely important to me. Love the soft/thin braided cable. Much better than the really thick ones that are unruly and hard to wind and put into your pocket, or go around your ear. Cons: Bass is a bit bloated and not as neutral as could be (upper bass too prominent, yet sub-bass not substantial enough). Upper-mids a bit recessed. Highest treble rolled off (not airy enough). Westone 3 - Like Westone 4 with even more bloated bass and a bit more shrill. Definitely not what I like. Shure SE535 Pros: Nice bass with great extension, without any hint of bloat or exaggeration. Very accurate mids. Cons: Slightly brighter than neutral in the 7KHz region, and I'm very sensitive to sibilance. Needs a bit more in highest treble (not airy enough). Audez'e LCD-2 Pros: Great bass extension with substance, without any exaggeration. Treble not too bright. No sibilance. Overall a creamy smooth sonic signature. Cons: The upper-mids is a bit recessed, so a bit too polite and some instruments lack bite (guitar, brass). Not very comfortable (heavy and loose on the head). (BTW, although the LCD-2 measures almost ruler-flat in the bass region, headphones do need a little few extra dBs in the bass region to match the visceral impact of speakers, which is why I gave the LCD-2 about 4 dB of boost in the lower bass region.) Stax 007 MK2 Omega II Pros: Very fast and articulate. Fairly neutral but with slight exaggerations that are fun to listen to. Never too bright/shrill. Extremely comfortable. Cons: Deepest sub-bass rolled off a bit. Same upper-mids recess as the LCD-2, missing a bit of bite. Treble a bit etched. Sennheiser HD650 Pros: One of the most neutral headphones (I prefer it to the HD600, since the HD600 can be slightly bright on some recordings, and the HD650's slight mid-bass hump is a bit more fun). Never offensive, never too bright/shrill. Quite comfortable. Cons: Sub-bass isn't as substantial/authoritative as should be. The highest treble is rolled off (not airy enough). Audio-Technica M50 Pros: Not offensive or too bright. Has enough bass and it's not a bloated mess (though definitely prominent and not neutral enough). Cons: Bass a bit too prominent and not well-controlled enough. Treble sounds hard/etched/metallic due to uneven transition from upper-mids to treble. What I'm looking for: I'm a pragmatic guy who has no patience for some of the silly audiofool snake oil crap, and I can only stomach diminishing returns up to a certain point. Once something's price outstrips its actual performance/value, I start to roll my eyes a bit at the wasteful excess. With that said, I am also an audio professional and passionate music lover, and when I find a great bargain for something above my budget, I would totally jump on it, such as my Klein + Hummel O 300D studio monitors--I only paid $3,000 total on ebay, which is still significantly less than half of what would cost retail. They are awesome reference grade monitors and I love them, but I do use room correction to make them even more accurate (IK Multimedia ARC System 2), as well as have a proper studio I built that has full-blown acoustic treatment. These days, I don't use IEMs nearly as much as some people, since I work at home and rarely travel. The only times I use IEMs is when at night I can't sleep and want to listen to something in bed but don't want to wake my wife, or if I'm waiting at the doctor's office or doing some grocery shopping. But since I'm pretty picky about audio, the times when I do want to use IEMs, I don't want to feel like I'm making a big compromise--I want audio bliss no matter what I'm using (full-size, IEM, speakers). But at the same time, I don't want to go crazy on some multi-thousand dollar CIEM, because it's hard to justify that kind of money if I'm only using the IEMs several times a year. I do prefer universal over IEM, since I do sleep on my side with IEMs sometimes (listening to delta wave/binaural beat when I can't fall asleep) , and CIEMs are less comfortable when they are being pressed hard into your ears (since the custom tips aren't nearly as flexible as the ones for universal IEMs). Also, it's easier to sell universals than CIEMs. My budget is sub $1,000, and of course I prefer to spend as little as possible, but I do want excellent audio quality, so the best bang for the buck is what I'm looking for. In terms of sonic signature, this is my preference (you should already have a good idea from my descriptions and EQ curves above, but I'll summarize: -First, do no harm. This is the most important thing for me in audio reproduction. Excessive brightness with shrill sibilance is the worst thing in audio to me, because it physically hurts the ear drums when listening. I'm very sensitive to sibilance so that's my pet peeve. -General sonic signature should be as neutral/accurate as possible, and I do not mean clinical/cold/bright, because that is NOT what neutral/accurate is. REAL neutrality/accuracy is when nothing sounds excessive or anemic--everything sounds just right. No bloated or rolled off bass, no fake detail by artificially jacking up the upper-mids and treble so everythings sounds too bright or hard-edged. But beyond being neutral/accurate, I also want musicality and enjoyment too, but not if the sound is too colored. IMO, perfect neutrality/accuracy is in fact, very musical and enjoyable (such as my K+H O 300Ds), because everything sounds perfect--just right. No more, no less. Bass should sound solid, powerful, extended, tight, controlled, not bloated, muddy, and not rolled off/anemic. Mids should be clear and full, without congestion or sound recessed/muffled. Upper-mids should be clear and full but without any hint of excessive brightness and sibilance, but also not too recessed and lacking bite. Treble should be detailed and airy but not etched and hard, and not rolled off/muffled. -Must be very comfortable and ideally can be worn while sleeping on the sides (like the Westones). But if this is not possible, I'm willing to go for something that can't be worn while sleeping if the sound quality is amazing, including CIEMs (I could just use my "broken" Westone 4 when I need to listen to delta wave/binaural beat to fall asleep, since audio material like that doesn't require amazing sound quality). Some possible candidates: I've done a bit of research of what's out there (I've been out of the loop for few years), and these are some that seem promising, but I have not heard any of them,and I likely won't get a chance either, since I don't live in a big city (I'm in Lincoln, CA). Universals: Westone UM Pro 50, W40, W50, W60 - It seems Westone keeps on improving, but I'm under the impression that the "house sound" is still there, with distinctly emphasized bass, so I'm not sure if I want another Westone. Earsonics SM 64, Velvet Pot - I've always read good things about Earsonics, but never heard one before. Logitech UE900S - The measurements looks like it's the kind of inoffensive sound but fairly balance sound I prefer, although the upper-mids seem a bit too polite. Noble Kaiser 10U - Yes, this is above my budget, but from what I've read, this might actually be worth it. I'm not interested in the Shure SE846, because I've read that Tyll (Innerfidelity) thinks they sound a bit hard and he prefers the SE535. The SE535 is already slightly bright in the upper-mids for me, so I can only assume the SE846 is even brighter. BTW, I trust Tyll's opinion a lot--he's been the one reliable authoritative voice in headphones I've trusted over the years. I don't always agree with him 100%, such as I prefer the HD650 while he prefers the HD600, but generally we agree. And yes, I know about his Wall of Fame, but he seems to pay more attention to CIEMs than universals, and he seems to habitually ignore all Westone and Earsonics universals. CIEMs: JH Audio JH13Pro FreqPhase - I've read so many praises for this IEM. I'm not sure if I want to deal with owning a custom (for the reasons I previous mentioned), but like I said, if it's worth it, then I'm willing to compromise. 1964 Ears V3 - For modest price, these seem to be quite good and matches my ideal sound, and Tyll really likes these. There are probably some I'm not aware of or overlooked, so feel free to suggest them too.