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Please recommend me some in ears? (max $250)

  1. ok1907
    Hi. I need some suggestion. I listen to all kinds of music and I'm looking for earphones which do everything perfectly. I want them to satisfy me when listening to metal,rock,r&b,trance,classical,instrumental etc. They must be airy,detailed,easy to drive,comfortable. I don't want midbass hump that ruins some kinds of music.  So, these are my expectations. If there are iems which contain the characteristics above at this price range, please let me know. By the way, I would be very happy if I could buy them for $150 or so. Thanks in advance.
  2. mvw2
    There aren't a whole lot of earphones I call airy.  Many just do have that transparency and openness.  The Sleek Audio SA6 is about the only IEM I've used that I readily describe as airy.  With the new SA6R to replace the SA6 and new dual driver SA7 coming out, it might be something to look forward to.  The SA6 has a smooth treble response, not recessed or rolled off, just smooth.  There's a very natural sense to the note in body, dynamics, etc.  Bass starts rolling off around 100Hz or so which can make them sound a little lean and lacking some visceral sense of bass.  They respond well to EQing though and can provide a well extended, tight, clean bass line.  They will be quite a change from your IE8 though.
    Now the SA6 is one of a whole slew of options.  I simply bring it up because it is one of the few IEMs out there that are truly airy in nature.
    I always like to suggest the Klipsch Custom 3.  It's really a great sounding IEM, only about a half step down from the absolute best universals out there and at 1/3 the price.  It won't have the air you seek, but the sound stage is spacious and better layered than the IE8, and the response is more even too.  The notes are a little thicker and the treble isn't sparkly/crisp, so you don't get air that you might seek.  I think the excellent sound stage and separation may make up for it though.  The midbass isn't overpronounced which you will like.
    I'll toss in the Triple.Fi 10 too.  Now this does have a midbass hump, but it's more likable than the IE8.  It's more fun than annoying/intrusive.  The treble of the Triple.Fi 10 is more pronounced, sparkly, and sweet.  You get a good sense of openness and air but at the same time the robust low end is full and enveloping.  I tend to describe them as having a "club like" experience.  EQing up the midrange can also balance out the response and take out the coloration that you may or may not like.  The fun and engaging nature of the Triple.Fi 10 is enjoyable.  At the same time, the Triple.Fi 10 is very refined and detailed.  It's just a good mix, plus the price of these can be quite decent at under $200 and you're getting a lot of performance for that price.  Is the $200 Triple.Fi 10 worth double the $100 Custom 3?  Well, they present different sound signatures.  I could call the Triple.Fi 10 slightly better overall, but the Custom 3 is less colored and more balanced from the start.
    I'll also toss in one of my favorite IEMs, the RE252.  This is an incredibly well balanced, highly revealing earphone.  This is one of the more accurrate earphones of the bunch I've listed, a truly reference level product.  This is often overlooked.  The mids and treble are outstanding, but the bass can be a hair lean.  The earphone does make up on the low end with a decently extende response and an uncanny amount of note impact and speed.  This earphone scales strongly with the quality of the source so a bad song can sound terrible on these earphones but a quality recording will sound amazing.  The sound is a little closed in though.  While there is good sound stage depth, it's as well spaced, layered, and open as say the Custom 3.  The RE252 does offer better balance and more top end detail though which is on par with the extension and level of detail of the Triple.Fi 10.  With a wide range of music, it is typically important to have a well balanced earphone.  The RE252 is one of the best in terms of balance.  It may not be as open and airy as you may like though.  Fit is a mixed bag.  The gummy housing isn't liked by a lot of people, although with a foam tip, it can be easy to fit and get a good seal.  You might just have to invest $20 into tips though to make fitment a piece of cake.  Pricing can be good on this, $200 new, but these have sold for less than $150 which does make them a stellar deal for the audio quality.
    In the end, the Custom 3 is arguably the best bang for the buck earphone out there.  This can be had for $99 on eBay and offers great balance, great note presence, a lot of detail, and is just all around solid performer.  The cord is an eventual issue, but it can be replaced with a little soldering work, or you could get custom molds made up for them to fix the issue.  This can be a reasonable thing given its high performance and low initial price.  You can spend $100 now and another $100 later on molds and still be under $200 for a great earphone.  There is a lot of value to that.  I could call the Triple.Fi 10 more fun and enveloping, the SA6 more natural and airy, and the RE252 more revealing, and detailed, but there is something to be said about how much the Custom 3 offers as a total package and how well it can hang with the big dogs at a fraction of the price.
  3. ok1907
    Thanks for this fantastic reply [​IMG]  I've always wanted to get very detailed iems which are very balanced. therefore I just bought phonak earphones. They may not the best for all kinds of music but I guess they will repsond very well for my some favourite music. I thought that IE8+Phonak would be a very good combo and cover almost all kinds of music. They are not best but not far from the best also. I haven't heard phonaks though [​IMG]
  4. a_recording
    I think you'll find that something from the Etymotic range will probably sound airy and transparent to you - I've only heard the MC5 myself but its probably the most transparent earphone in my collection as far treble and mids go. (It's also one of the cheapest at $80, with the best build quality, so it's a real winner.) My friend who is a big metal head (I myself personally am just learning about it haha) really likes them because they don't bleed bass everywhere during faster tracks. You also have a custom mold option with those so its worth a think about.
    The very airiest earphone I have heard is the Head-Direct RE0, again for a similar price, and you can find plenty of reviews on those hear. The treble extension is amazing, but they are not quite as transparent to my ears as the MC3s - and definitely a worse build. So you win some, you lose some.
    Hope that helps!

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