Hi fellow head-fi'ers it's that time of the year where I spoil myself, my ears actually. I am writing this after finally settling my divorce with the senn ie8's (boy, she really fought for custody of our comply foam tips). Ok, on a more serious note I really wanted to love them, they were my first experience with high end iem's but one thing really bothered me, whenever I listened to a song where the singer placed emphasis on the 's' letter in any word (almost like a small hissing sound), I just could not bear to listen to that word, and hence that song anymore, it was too harsh to listen to. I am too much of a noob to know what that is called musically. * I also did not care for the bass, it did not blow me away, no oomph. * What I loved was the soundstage, I really got lost in my music. * I also liked that it was not too technical and thus did not emphasize flaws in the recording, it was a fun pair to listen to. * These were the real deal, not fakes. In summary, please recommend me a pair, in the same price range (~$450), oh head fi gods.