Recommendation for the best value CIEM?
Jan 19, 2015 at 8:00 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

kazuhikoaikawa

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Hi, everyone this will be my first post. 
 
I'm looking for the best value CIEM, i would like that it has well build quality and sound quality that can play all genres well.
 
Any CIEM manufacturer will be accepted, my budget is around $1000.
 
I hope you all can help me in buying my first CIEM. I would appreciate all your recommendation and suggestions
 
If my question is not ask properly, please accept my apology and sorry about my english . 
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Jan 19, 2015 at 11:44 AM Post #4 of 27

billybob_jcv

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No - I can't. I believe "value" is a very personal judgement and how one person perceives value might be very, very different from how someone else sees value. In addition, I haven't heard ANY of those CIEMs, so I can't judge them at all.

One option for you is to look at the columns in ljokerl's table. There is a column labeled "sound" and another for price. If *your* definition of value is sound quality for the price, and if you trust ljokerl's opinion of sound quality, then you can simply sort the table by sound quality and find the CIEM with best ratio of sound score and price.

That still won't guarantee that you would have ranked them the same way as ljokerl if you heard all of them, but it's probably about as good as you are going to get as far as any "value" metric.

I think a better way is to read each of ljokerl's CIEM reviews and pick the one that seems to match your own ideas of "good value".
 
Jan 19, 2015 at 12:01 PM Post #5 of 27

kazuhikoaikawa

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No - I can't. I believe "value" is a very personal judgement and how one person perceives value might be very, very different from how someone else sees value. In addition, I haven't heard ANY of those CIEMs, so I can't judge them at all.

One option for you is to look at the columns in ljokerl's table. There is a column labeled "sound" and another for price. If *your* definition of value is sound quality for the price, and if you trust ljokerl's opinion of sound quality, then you can simply sort the table by sound quality and find the CIEM with best ratio of sound score and price.

That still won't guarantee that you would have ranked them the same way as ljokerl if you heard all of them, but it's probably about as good as you are going to get as far as any "value" metric.

I think a better way is to read each of ljokerl's CIEM reviews and pick the one that seems to match your own ideas of "good value".

Thanks for the advice, but even if i read each of ljokerl's CIEM review, still quite hard for me to know which is the right one for me. His opinion and my opinion are different which you have said it. Looks to me that i have to try the old fashioned way, buy them all and that will take me quite some time and $$$$ to decide which is the best value CIEM. A look journey awaits me. 
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Thanks.
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Jan 19, 2015 at 12:28 PM Post #6 of 27

Fadem

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On the same website there's a price-range ranking of CIEMs by joe and joker. This might help you in the right direction, however keep in mind that they haven't tested all CIEMs out there. I am getting a Unique Melody Merlin myself and the ear impressions are on the way to China as I write this.
 
Jan 19, 2015 at 1:02 PM Post #7 of 27

Kalavere

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I had a conversation with my girlfriend a few days ago when I was saying that apparently CIEMs have a fantastic sound; how exactly do you go about auditioning a pair of CIEMs? 
 
Jan 19, 2015 at 10:13 PM Post #8 of 27

kazuhikoaikawa

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  On the same website there's a price-range ranking of CIEMs by joe and joker. This might help you in the right direction, however keep in mind that they haven't tested all CIEMs out there. I am getting a Unique Melody Merlin myself and the ear impressions are on the way to China as I write this.

i would love to have your impression on Unique Melody Merlin about their build quality and sound quality.
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Jan 20, 2015 at 10:32 PM Post #9 of 27

kazuhikoaikawa

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Do anyone use Lear LCM-BD4.2, LCM-5 and Fit ear MH335DW
 
I'm considering which of these three should i buy, my prefer sound that i like is fun, musical without sacrificing detail, clarity and soundstage.
 
LCM-BD4,2 and LCM-5 is within my budget , whereas Fit ear is more expensive in my place.
 
can anyone compare these three CIEMs and provide your opinion on the sound quality of these three. 
 
Your opinion will be much appreciated.
 
Jan 20, 2015 at 11:34 PM Post #10 of 27

Noobmachine

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If you're looking for "value" the Fitear IEMs are NOT them, they're EXTREMELY expensive, even if they do sound good, there are plenty of options that sound just as good for far less. A good pick for performance and value would be Noble Audio, namely the 4C and K10. Another worth looking at would be Lear, and perhaps JH audio. If you're dead set on getting a CIEM, you better head over to the portable headphones section and start looking around, options are so varied and numerous that it's really hard to find the one for you without knowing your tastes in music, tastes in sound signature etc.
 
Jan 21, 2015 at 1:24 AM Post #11 of 27

kazuhikoaikawa

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If you're looking for "value" the Fitear IEMs are NOT them, they're EXTREMELY expensive, even if they do sound good, there are plenty of options that sound just as good for far less. A good pick for performance and value would be Noble Audio, namely the 4C and K10. Another worth looking at would be Lear, and perhaps JH audio. If you're dead set on getting a CIEM, you better head over to the portable headphones section and start looking around, options are so varied and numerous that it's really hard to find the one for you without knowing your tastes in music, tastes in sound signature etc.

I know Fit ear is expensive thats why i didnt include them in my budget. Your location is in singapore which is better than where i live. Buying Fit ear in singapore would be at least
2000-3000 singapore dollars.
 
The reason i include Fit ear because there are one of the best CIEMs based on other head fiers review, so i thought it will be better to just buy ONE than many.
 
You state that Lear and JH audio would be a value CIEMs, which Lear CIEMs and which jh audio CIEMs are you referring to? Noble audio does makes fun musical CIEMs based on their reviews, but i do not kniow which is the for one for me.
 
Thanks for recommending noble audio CIEMs, If you have found other CIEMs that can be the best value CIEMs, I would be happy to know.
 
Another requirement that i want the CIEMs is that it has to be able to play all genres well, 
 
Thanks for the advice.
 
Jan 21, 2015 at 5:51 AM Post #12 of 27

ProtegeManiac

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  Thanks for the advice, but even if i read each of ljokerl's CIEM review, still quite hard for me to know which is the right one for me. His opinion and my opinion are different which you have said it. Looks to me that i have to try the old fashioned way, buy them all and that will take me quite some time and $$$$ to decide which is the best value CIEM. A look journey awaits me. 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Thanks.
atsmile.gif
 

 
The problem with that plan is how do you sell the CIEMs you don't like. You'd have to slash the reshell price from your sale price, on top of it being used and such. At the price you'll spend initially you might as well just read up on as many as you can and then get one that's a little more expensive than the average price you planned to spend but you buy only one.
 
 
  I had a conversation with my girlfriend a few days ago when I was saying that apparently CIEMs have a fantastic sound; how exactly do you go about auditioning a pair of CIEMs? 

 
You don't, really. In some meets or hi-fi shows the manufacturers can bring a "universal" demo version that has the same basic shell on the outer side but uses eartips on the nozzle, but you won't get the exact sound since the eartips can affect the sound - whether their material or the depth they go into your ears. A manufacturer may use a bore that goes deeper into your ear canal for example.
 
Jan 21, 2015 at 7:54 AM Post #13 of 27

kazuhikoaikawa

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The problem with that plan is how do you sell the CIEMs you don't like. You'd have to slash the reshell price from your sale price, on top of it being used and such. At the price you'll spend initially you might as well just read up on as many as you can and then get one that's a little more expensive than the average price you planned to spend but you buy only one.

Whether is CIEMs or Universals once you use it, definitely you are not going to gain profit  by selling them no matter how good is the condition or the sound quality. Nobody want to use second hand IEMs or CIEMs,
 
In my opinion, the only way to truly know how good that IEMs or CIEMs sound, is to try them all, but if you try them in a universal version or demo set, it won't sound exactly like the custom version.
 
By reading others head fi reviews on CIEMs does not guarantee it will sound the way that you have hope for even thought his opinion and yours are the same. 
 
No choice, you have spend time and $$$$ to know exactly how good and how bad it is. 
 
Jan 21, 2015 at 9:44 AM Post #14 of 27

ProtegeManiac

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  Whether is CIEMs or Universals once you use it, definitely you are not going to gain profit  by selling them no matter how good is the condition or the sound quality. Nobody want to use second hand IEMs or CIEMs,

 
I  never at any point claimed you might have a chance to profit from it - what I'm saying is that buying up several CIEMs is going to cost a lot of money due to the much lower resale value for each unit. A used universal for example can be sold for, say, 75% of its acquisition cost. For each CIEM, let's use a few ballpark figures to illustrate my point:

Ear impressions + shipping : $85
CIEM MSRP :  $500 
-----------------------------------------------------
Total : $585
 
 
Now, when you sell it, you don't base your computation on $585 - you base it on $500.


CIEM MSRP  : $500
(Subtract) Reshelling fee : $150
(Subtract) Depreciation : $100
-----------------------------------------------------
Estimated resale value : $250
 
Estimated acquisition cost to buyer (why the reshelling fee is subtracted above) : Estimated resale value + Reshelling fee = $400, + shipping costs where applicable
 
 
Loss per unit: $335, multiplied by how many $500 CIEMs were tried and sold. To the buyer, they're still effectively paying for 80% of MSRP, assuming you can sell it at that estimated resale value.
 
----
 
Now compare that to a universal IEM worth $500; worst case scenario, you tried all the included tips:
 
uIEM MSRP : $500
(subtract) used tips, full set : $40
(subtract) depreciation : $100
--------------------------------------------------
Estimated resale value: $360
 
Total loss per uIEM: $140
 
-----
 
See my point now?
 
 
 
  In my opinion, the only way to truly know how good that IEMs or CIEMs sound, is to try them all, but if you try them in a universal version or demo set, it won't sound exactly like the custom version.
 
By reading others head fi reviews on CIEMs does not guarantee it will sound the way that you have hope for even thought his opinion and yours are the same. 
 
No choice, you have spend time and $$$$ to know exactly how good and how bad it is. 

 
I made the same point in my previous post about the "universal" fit demo units, but my main point was that the plan to try out several CIEMs and then selling them at higher losses due to reshelling costs to the buyer can ultimately result in total losses that probably would potentially be enough to buy a CIEM, depending on how many you go through. I'm just trying to keep you from spending too much money, especially when starting out with a strategy like that. People joke around with "sorry about your wallet" and the context is usually light ribbing but still in a way  goading people to just blow money. That's necessary for a hobby but doesn't mean you swipe your card like a machine gun spits out bullets.
 
 
Jan 21, 2015 at 9:51 AM Post #15 of 27

billybob_jcv

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I wouldn't say *nobody* - I have bought several used universal IEMs on head-fi. I throw away the ear tips give them an alcohol wipe and use them. You aren't going to make a profit buying and selling - that's not what the head-fi buy/sell forum is for. But, you can trade-up or sideways for less than it would otherwise cost. CIEMs are probably more difficult to sell - someone wanting a CIEM probably has the money to buy new and will want to go directly to the company for a new pair.
 

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