Recommendations - small ears, moderate budget
Nov 9, 2008 at 5:44 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Xena

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Good afternoon/evening folks -- I'm a new user and this looks like a great forum. I appreciate the opportunity to participate.

Short background -- I have a great but "older" main audio system, and have shunned portable audio up until recently. For a few reasons I delved into having a MP3 player. And I've enjoyed it, but current equipment is somewhat lacking.

Currently I'm using a Sandisk player but with the year-end bonus coming up, I'll be upgrading that to a Cowon D2 16GB pretty soon.

The SuperFi.3 ... not crazy about. First of all, being a female, I have small ear canals and the UE's are like trying to push a 2x4 into my ear. I've tried a couple of sizes of silicone, I believe the main in-ear housing is just too big for me. I've read a few threads here and see the QJays mentioned as being the smallest, but I have to say, as I can't find a frequency response chart on them, I'm inclined to keep looking.

So ... question would be ... I love good audio. The music I listen to, classical, new age, is filled with detail and nuance. I like hearing that. On my main audio system I can hear a singer's lips parting and the soft click of a clarinet's keys, and it's hard to give up that kind of detail. I like an accurate frequency response. OTOH, if the nature of IEMs is that a flat response ends up being inaccurate because the device is in the ear which artificially boosts or attenuates certain frequencies, then what matters is that what's sensed is accurate more than what's measured (if that makes sense).

Has everyone fallen asleep yet?

Should I go with custom units? I'm willing to spend $300-ish ... maybe more, but will the sound be that much better than the SuperFi 3's?

Thanks for reading and taking the time to make any suggestions.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 8:38 PM Post #2 of 19

radlux

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Nov 9, 2008 at 10:43 PM Post #4 of 19

wtruitt

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I asked the same q, though you asked more eloquently
tongue.gif

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/i...scious-379041/

Wayne
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 11:02 PM Post #5 of 19

radlux

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tstarn06 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The SE530s being "best non-custom IEMs on the market" is pure opinion. Considered by many to be "one of the best" would be more accurate.


Point taken
smily_headphones1.gif


One gripe people had initially was that the SE530s costs $500 while the UEs were quite a bit cheaper. I just feel that at this point in time looking at overall qualities .. sound quality, comfort and now even cost the SE530s score over the UE10s as a whole package.

But yes, its still subjective I agree
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 11:13 PM Post #6 of 19

Xena

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Quote:

Originally Posted by radlux /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You can get a pair of new Shure SE530s from Ebay for $272 incl. shipping

SHURE SE530 SOUND ISOLATING EARPHONES SE-530 - eBay (item 250319711809 end time Dec-03-08 13:52:17 PST)

After 25% Live Cashback that ~$200 for the best non-custom mould IEMs on the market.

Either way, if you have small ear canals (i do) I would stay way from UE. I have the UE10s and UE super fis. Both give me discomfort with extended use.



Some of the reviews say that the SE530s are rolled off in the highs. This is one of the things I find disappointing in the UE SuperFi.3s. Mind you, I don't like bright speakers/monitors, just accurate. I don't like having to use an equalizer function to boost the highs to where they should be anyway.

Anything else with a small insertion profile, decent bass + mids + highs? I'd rather spend a bit more than my "budget" to find something I'll be happy with.
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 12:34 AM Post #8 of 19

boomy3555

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IMHO,
I went to custom molded IEC's from Hearyourself.com Best Prices and best choices.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/h...thread-368009/


They are custom molded to your ears only. I just had a set made for my ten y/o son so it dosn't matter how small your ears are.

Think about the savings in the long run.
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 1:22 AM Post #9 of 19

ThePandemonium

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomy3555 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
IMHO,
I went to custom molded IEC's from Hearyourself.com Best Prices and best choices.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/h...thread-368009/


They are custom molded to your ears only. I just had a set made for my ten y/o son so it dosn't matter how small your ears are.

Think about the savings in the long run.



what a great dad...
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 1:26 AM Post #10 of 19

hockeyb213

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomy3555 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
IMHO,
I went to custom molded IEC's from Hearyourself.com Best Prices and best choices.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/h...thread-368009/


They are custom molded to your ears only. I just had a set made for my ten y/o son so it dosn't matter how small your ears are.

Think about the savings in the long run.



only issue is by the time your son gets older they won't fit too well I think what is it 3 years before you would have to have them redone?
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 2:05 AM Post #11 of 19

TacticalPenguin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wuwhere /img/forum/go_quote.gif
An Ety ER4P.


Agreed at least on the suggestion. For classical music and very good detail as well as being small-ear-friendly, the Q-jays are their only competition. However, if you will be using them with a D2 (plenty of driving power, no?) you might consider getting the ER4S which, while harder to drive, is even more detailed. Some people prefer the ER 4S over even the UE11 for certain types of music, particularly classical which isn't going thump thump repeatedly.

The UM2 and SE530 are excellent all-around but may not play nicely with small ears and classical music. The TF10 won't fit your ears nicely at all.

The other obvious choice if you can go past your $300 cap is the UE11.
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 5:19 AM Post #12 of 19

boomy3555

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One pair of IEM's I had recently that many threads Rave about are the Sleek SA6 There SQ is adjustable on many levels and they are the absolute MICRO_TINY_SMALLEST I have ever seen anywhere. They are single amrature that uses sound tube treble filters and adjustable rubber ports for tweeking the Bass. Many different tips and detachable cables.

They have a Kleer Technology Wireless system that is also well liked.
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 5:34 AM Post #13 of 19

radlux

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One thing that I personally do like about the UEs though is the memory wire. Again, people either love or hate this.

I agree though if you are going to listen to classical predominantly the Etymotics would be definitely a great choice. I borrowed a pair for a week or so but I somehow never got into them too much but they are definitely analytical
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 5:57 AM Post #14 of 19

TacticalPenguin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomy3555 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
One pair of IEM's I had recently that many threads Rave about are the Sleek SA6 There SQ is adjustable on many levels and they are the absolute MICRO_TINY_SMALLEST I have ever seen anywhere. They are single amrature that uses sound tube treble filters and adjustable rubber ports for tweeking the Bass. Many different tips and detachable cables.

They have a Kleer Technology Wireless system that is also well liked.



The Q-jays make the SA6's look a bit big. The ER4P/S isn't far off either, it just has a big cable hookup sticking out the back.
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 4:41 AM Post #15 of 19

AmanGeorge

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ER-4P is a great option for you, it was the first obvious response that came into my mind based on your sound preferences. I don't have small ear canals, so I can't really give you a good opinion about the comfort factor, but the sound is incredibly detailed and can make good orchestral recordings sound wonderfully uplifting. If $300 is your budget, you could well hop on the FS/FT forums here and pick up both an Ety and a low-mid range amp to drive those babies - you definitely wouldn't regret it.
 

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