Time to replace my Audeo PFE232s after many years of use. Help with best current IEMS for small ears
May 7, 2019 at 1:20 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

rbf1138

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I’ve been using a pair of Audeo/Phonak PFE232s for several years now and they’ve been great, especially as far as fit and comfort go. Having been away from here for such a long time, I’m wondering if you all can help by letting me know what in-ears are considered best-in-class in the $200-$500 range right now. A top concern for me is fit and comfort; I have smaller ears/ear canals, so many of the popular IEMs don’t really work very well. I also greatly prefer a silicone tip to a foam/comply. Whatever opinions and suggestions you can offer would be great. Thanks!
 
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May 8, 2019 at 4:23 PM Post #3 of 7

surfgeorge

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I have narrow ear canals as well, and they are rather higher and narrower, so inserting something into the canal is very uncomfortable.
Custom silicone tips worked great but changed the sound, so I ended up with fitting the IEMs into my concha.
The combination of the JVC FD02 with included spiral dot tips works great. I use MS on one side and M On the other.

Check out my posts on the FD01 thread if the signature and the modding option are for you. IMO a great contender.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/jvc-ha-fd01-class-s-solidege.868414/page-13#post-14870966

A more upscale solution would be the Beyerdynamics Xelento or A&K T8iE MKII if you can find them used for 500.
They are supposed to fit even very small ears, sound excellent and be extremely comfortable.
I have a used pair of T8iE MKII coming.
 
May 8, 2019 at 4:39 PM Post #4 of 7

rbf1138

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I have narrow ear canals as well, and they are rather higher and narrower, so inserting something into the canal is very uncomfortable.
Custom silicone tips worked great but changed the sound, so I ended up with fitting the IEMs into my concha.
The combination of the JVC FD02 with included spiral dot tips works great. I use MS on one side and M On the other.

Check out my posts on the FD01 thread if the signature and the modding option are for you. IMO a great contender.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/jvc-ha-fd01-class-s-solidege.868414/page-13#post-14870966

A more upscale solution would be the Beyerdynamics Xelento or A&K T8iE MKII if you can find them used for 500.
They are supposed to fit even very small ears, sound excellent and be extremely comfortable.
I have a used pair of T8iE MKII coming.

I see from your signature you had Pinnacle P1s and Kanas Pro - why'd you get rid of those? They were both on my shortlist to try out.
 
May 8, 2019 at 5:21 PM Post #5 of 7

surfgeorge

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I see from your signature you had Pinnacle P1s and Kanas Pro - why'd you get rid of those? They were both on my shortlist to try out.

The P1 were my first attempt at decent IEMs and I bought them after reading a lot of very positive opinions about them.
But they never really worked for me. I tried many tips, tried to adjust. I suppose the detail was there, but the treble was a bit fatiguing (spikes!) and I just missed warmth and balance from what I remember. I just could not get the sound that was described in the reviews.

10 months later I stumbled over the KPE and gave them a shot. I was really impressed. Clarity, detail, ooomph in sub bass, soundstage, sparkly treble. I liked it a lot! Thought I was done. Over time I found some niggles though, some classic music sounded a little off, and music that lives from fast and energetic upper bass lines (like “Dragonborn”) didn’t have the energy it had with the P1 (here I used them as reference)

Then I read about the FD01 and FD02, talked to a friend of James444 and had a chance to buy the FD02 (and the EX800ST) on a trip to Japan.
The modded FD02 made the KPE obsolete. More natural timbre, better detail, a silky smooth treble and a powerful, balanced and a bit faster bass.
The KPE is still nice, but made no sense to keep.

I listened to lots of good IEMs in Japan, the Tanjim Oxygen was really nice (balanced) and the Sony XBA N-3 as well (moderate bass boost and detailed BA mids and treble)

It’s a Journey :)
 
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May 8, 2019 at 5:38 PM Post #6 of 7

rbf1138

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The issue for me in trying out JVCs are that I wouldn’t be able to return them if they don’t work for me.
 
May 9, 2019 at 3:02 AM Post #7 of 7

surfgeorge

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I just went to look for a measurement of your older IEMs and found this:
cd8f2225432da0073a9f6b7425f06645.png


So these are 2 driver BA IEMs with a massive bass boost and strong V-shape.
Are you looking for something similar again?

In my eyes it comes down to the sound signature (frequency response) and characteristics (BA vs. DD) Personally I like DD and find that in the lower price range it's easier to find a good DD. But that's me. My limited experience with BA IEMs is from demo listening, and the ones I listened to were all higher priced models. Great sound, but also very expensive.

The FD02 I recommened would be smoother sounding, with much less mid-bass boost (but maybe better sub bass slam) and more focus on mids than treble. Quite different.

So sorry, I can't help with medium priced, V-shaped BA IEMs :)
 
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