Sennheiser HD25 vs other $200 iems
Nov 12, 2006 at 4:05 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

Killercrush

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Hi fellow head-fiers!

I just bought an ipod photo 60gb and I need portable headphones/iems wich will be drive by the player itself. So far, Sennheiser HD25 is my best shot for portable closed headphones. Now, I need some advices on iems like ety er-4s/p or any other $200 ones (used/new) versus the HD25.

Important factors (In order) :

1.Isolation/comfort
2.no sibilance/hiss
3.Details
4.Soundstage
5.Neutrality

If you can help me in any ways, it would be great!

Thank you!

Julien
 
Nov 12, 2006 at 10:55 AM Post #2 of 5

3X0

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I think it depends which you prefer more of one. If you prefer comfort, the Shure E4 or Westone UM1 might be a good choice However, the former doesn't really match some of the other criteria, such as neutrality and sometimes lack of sibilance. The latter might not really be up to snuff in terms of sound quality.

However, I think the Etymotic ER4P is your best choice. If you prefer absolute neutrality the ER4S is even better. Both of these meet most of your criteria (except perhaps soundstage, but IEMs are not good at that in general).
 
Nov 12, 2006 at 1:12 PM Post #3 of 5

zChan

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Hey, I got your email.

I can't really make a direct comparison as the usage of these two are different. Do you commute? Especially, do you take the Métro often? The HD25-1 has great isolation, but even it can't block the noise underground subways produce.
Mostly, I use my Ety for isolation reasons and not so much for the sound.
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I never really liked HD25-1 with the HD600 cable mostly due to the highs. But with the Blue Dragon (BD), it's damn good. The sound signature is warmer, imaging is improved, and adds better impact. I was surprised at the difference.
Still, even with the (BD), the HD25-1 can be rather fatiguing. I don't really like listening to it after a day of work. I'd take my K181DJ. HD25-1(BD) definitely fun though, and is my weekend can.
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Nov 12, 2006 at 1:29 PM Post #4 of 5

saint.panda

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Opinions will vary, but for me it's a no-brainer - HD 25 all the way. That's the short answer.
And I believe that based on my experience at any given price-point, headphones will always be better than equally-priced canalphones in terms of sound quality alone. Certainly, some people might disagree.

To adress some of your points:

1.Isolation/comfort
Both should be a lot better with IEMs.
2.no sibilance/hiss
The HD 25 is more sibilant.
3.Details
Depends. I find the HD 25 to be pretty detailed even though the Ety ER-4S will be better in this regard. This shouldn't a deciding factor.
4.Soundstage
I much prefer the full sound coming from the HD 25 even if the Shure E4 or Ety ER-4S both produce a more refined soundstage.
5.Neutrality
HD 25 and Shure E4 and Ety ER-4S are all pretty neutral.

In any case, ask yourself if you need bass, if you need to take of your headphones on a regular basis (e.g. when crossing a street, etc.), whether you want to throw your headphones in the bag without carefully putting them together, whether you want to spend time untangling your IEMs from its chord, etc.

I even sold my Shure E500 to keep the HD 25 simply because I feel that the HD 25 sounds better - more bass and a fuller sound - both being very important points to me - while providing plenty of detail for me to be satisfied while on the go. And it's a lot more convenient to use than IEMs when commuting or walking in the city. And the HD 25 has more style than the K81 or K181. The problem is that the Hd 25 doesn't go well with a suit, which is when I have to use Apple earbuds. As you can read from my comments. it's a very personal choice but after trying almost all canalphones and closed headphones for under $500, the Hd 25 is what stayed. It's really a matter of what you need and do consider functionality. Before embarking on the headphone journey, I could have saved myself a lot time, trouble and money if I knew what I needed a little better in beforehand. On the other hand, some of these things you only discover along the way.
 
Nov 12, 2006 at 1:37 PM Post #5 of 5

3X0

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My bad.. I didn't know he was deciding between IEMs and the HD-25 (I thought he was looking for an IEM to supplement it). I still think the ER4 is a great choice based on that specific ranking of priority.
 

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