Tricky first foray in a brave new world - advice on budget IEMs
Aug 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7


New Head-Fier
Aug 17, 2012
Hi there everyone,
I've spent a couple of weeks searching and reading this forum in an effort to try and learn all about IEMs and how to purchase the right model. Finally I decided to ask you guys directly, and I apologize in advance for the inevitable overlapping with so many other threads.
I really knew nothing about all this before doing my research (seriously, I didn't even know they were called IEM) - I'm just looking to buy something for my daily computer activity, which is mostly games, movies, tv shows and to a lesser extent music. Now, obviously I read all the threads by people asking for gaming/movies IEMs, but I still couldn't get a clear picture.
For the past 3-4 years I've been using a pair of non-in-ear Sennheiser buds which I have now lost (can't recall the model - I could swear it was MX470 but search results look different from what I had). They were good altogether but terrible with bass, in movies I would just hear cracks when there was an explosion, it was completely cut off. I also have a pair of Creative EP630 which are ok but a bit flat maybe? (please forgive me and keep in mind I have no idea what I'm saying)
Now, my research made me familiar with the likes of Brainwavz M4 (or M2, or M1), SoundMagic PL30 and a few others. Problem is, I learned quite early that it is all very subjective and your impressions of each of them cover a wide range, from rubbish to stellar. For all my efforts, I could not draw a clear hierarchy, aside from bits like "M2 is the flagship, M4 is a mid-revision with more bass" and things like that. In short, I have no idea what they sound like and I cannot try them on.
A few weeks ago I caved and just went for the JVC HAFX101 (the consensus being they're cheap but surprisingly capable with a lot of bass, probably too much). But the Amazon delivery went wrong and I never got them, which brought me back here thinking it was fate. Just give me your best guess, please. Should I go for the M4? I'm looking to buy on Amazon UK almost certainly, I am in Europe and my budget is up to around 30 euros (around 40 dollars). I just want to understand one thing - are these models going to sound pretty much like the Creative EP630? Because I found those unremarkable in quality (but very good considering I paid around 10 dollars), and I'm trying to gauge how much of a step-up this would be.
Thanks to everyone who read all this! Love your dedication to sound quality :)
Aug 17, 2012 at 4:40 PM Post #5 of 7
I never heard any mention of the M4 being a bassier revision of the M2. I did hear that about them being a bassier B2, which is a weird statement considering how different the B2 are (dual balanced armature instead of dynamic, less bass extension, much brighter, much faster transients and better treble extension). It's like saying the K518 is a bassier revision of the K701, they have nothing in common.
I liked the M4, although I thought it was missing treble in quantity for my taste, and missed a bit of extension as well. It's nothing like the EP630, I listened to that a long time ago, but the M4 is clearly better. These had plenty of both mid-bass and sub-bass. The mids were ok, I didn't have them long enough to compare them and actually understand what I didn't like. Another suggestion in this kind of signature, if you're interested, would be the JVC HA-FX40.
Aug 18, 2012 at 5:36 AM Post #6 of 7
Thanks to all three of you.
- The VSonic GR06 look great, but I can't find them at a reasonable price. On Amazon I found the R02. How do they compare?
- The Soundmagic E10: great, but the problem is, how do I choose?
- The JVC are similar to the ones I tried to buy on Amazon, I was just wondering if the M4/GR06/PL30 are better for my needs (again, gaming and movies primarily).
Aug 18, 2012 at 1:46 PM Post #7 of 7

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