Treading new waters.
Jul 7, 2010 at 8:11 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

revolink24

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I've always been a full-sized headphone guy, but I really now want something truly isolating for long airplane journeys. Since these aren't going to be my main pair by any means, I'm looking for something around $100. I will be listening to both music and spoken voice (podcasts, audiobooks, radio shows, etc for long trips) so I'm looking for something very isolating with smooth and liquid mids. To be used unamped (Zune 120, Droid) or with a very mild amplifier a la the FiiO E5, if necessary. So basically my biggest criteria are 
 
1. Very isolating
2. Smooth, warm tone
3. No amp necessary, or FiiO being enough
4. Durability
5. Comfort (Must be able to fit small ears, my E2Cs are dreadful at this)
 
Pardon the extra thread, I know there are people who will point me to a bunch of other threads but I've searched and searched and every time I think I've found the right headphone, I find something wrong. For example:
 
ER6i: Currently my top choice, but not exactly warm, from what I've read.
K271: Lots of people complain about these, but they look nice, should isolate reasonably well for full-sizers, etc. But unamped might not be great.
Super.fi 3 - May not sound all that great or have terrific isolation.
 
Two companies I haven't really had the chance to look at are Klipsch and Sleek.
 
 
Update 1: The S4 really has me interested... 
 
Jul 7, 2010 at 8:23 PM Post #2 of 11

rawrster

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I'm not going to give a recommendation since my experience is limited under $100. I'd take the ER6i off your list if you want smooth and warm. They are fairly neutral however and not many phones at any price level can match the isolation they give out outside of other phones from the same company.
 
Have you looked at jokers iem thread? http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/478568/multi-iem-review-81-iems-compared-senn-ie8-fs-atrios-fa-eterna-hippo-vb-added-07-01
 
There's also a iem thread by ClieOS but I didn't find it in the first 2 pages and too lazy to search but it's a good place to start a under $100 budget.
 
Jul 7, 2010 at 8:45 PM Post #3 of 11

revolink24

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Wow, I can't believe I forgot to check that thread. I knew it was there. D'oh!
 
I might get the Klipschs. Either that or I'll cheap out and get the Nuforce NE6s.
 
Jul 7, 2010 at 8:56 PM Post #4 of 11

zero7525

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No point of spending little if you already have money. Trust me, you will have a great urge to upgrade after you've bought them; so might as well buy the best for the money you have. This was true for me when I bought the ne-6. I sold it after a month and bought the RE0 instead and now I have no reason to upgrade anymore.

I recommend the soundmagic PL-50 if that's what your looking for. Or even the Fischer Audio Eterna if you want to move up the line.
Good luck on your headphone search!
 
Jul 7, 2010 at 10:04 PM Post #5 of 11

revolink24

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Thanks for the kind words. I'm not too worried about upgradeitis though, I have my full-sized headphones for that. And I'm really lusting after customs.
 
But college students can only afford just so much.
frown.gif

 
Jul 7, 2010 at 10:20 PM Post #6 of 11

rawrster

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I honestly wouldn't get any of the expensive universals if it is just for flying. Keep in mind however that most universals have good isolation although there are exceptions. Tips play a large part in this as well as how the phone is built ergonomically. My M9 had pretty bad isolation with the stock tips and once I put on some triple flange tips isolation increased by a large amount.
 
However none will come close to the ER6i except maybe the MC5 which is another earphone from Etymotic. Those are pretty much isolation king regardless of which one you get lol.
 
Also I think you can do better than the S4. They are comfortable and their isolation goes up with shure olive tips but their sound isn't that great for their price.
 
Jul 7, 2010 at 10:26 PM Post #7 of 11

revolink24

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I'm still considering the ER6i. I'm just not used to the neutral sound and not sure I would be a huge fan.
 
That said, they are just for flying and probably won't matter too much. Maybe I'll start listening to more classical on those long flights. 
dt880smile.png

 
The other thing I'm concerned about with the ER6 is the long insertion with the triple flange being uncomfortable.
 
Jul 7, 2010 at 10:34 PM Post #8 of 11

rawrster

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well outside of what I've mentioned I can't really help you much. Maybe joker or ClieOS or one of those other members with more experience at this price range can help.
 
If you don't want to spend much and the PL30 or M9 is on your list and you are in NYC you are welcomed to PM me for a listen where one of them I use for triple flanges if you want to see that.
 
Jul 7, 2010 at 11:17 PM Post #9 of 11

ZARIM

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Turbine, EX500, HJE900, M2 and PS210...........
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM Post #10 of 11

zero7525

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Quote:
Turbine, EX500, HJE900, M2 and PS210...........


The PS210 does not isolate at all..
But the PS200 does, but not so much.

I think that the PS 200 should be named the "real Monster Turbine."
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 12:53 PM Post #11 of 11

ljokerl

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IMO the PS200 isolates a lot but it's way outside the OP's price range. It's also not very smooth, at least not in the conventional sense. 
 
My pick would probably be the FA Eterna, followed by the ViSang R03 (which doesn't isolate as much but is smoother/warmer and has more forward mids). The S4 can be harsh and sibilant, especially coming from proper full-size cans.
 

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