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Hunting for THE right In-Ear Monitor, My list of favorite IEMs so far
xTobix
post Sep 25 2012, 06:30
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Hi,

I am hunting since quite a while for some new balanced IEM in the price range from $100-250.

I will use them with my mobile phone (Galaxy Nexus i9250), Laptop and eventually with a dedicated headphone driver (currently, I am eyeballing the CEntrance DACport Headphone amp)

My criteria beside the price tag are:

- Well behaved frequency response with a flat, slightly pronounced, lower frequency region (#5 the HF5 below is not great in this respect!)
- The impedance should not go to low (20 Ohm) (#2 UE600 has essentially a excellent flat line but at 13 OHM not very driver friendly IMHO)
- Impedance not vary to much across the band (#4 Shure SE 315 is pretty bad 25-160 OHM)
- A flat step response without crazy over or under shoots
- Harmonic distortions seem to be rather awful for all of them (don't know how critical this is tough...)
- Well defined stage with good mids (vocals) and highs
- Little cable noise
- Good sealing/fit (... many different ear pads)
- A little case to protect them
- Have I missed something important?

After a lot of reading & comparing I have come to the following list:

1) Ultimate Ears UE700 MSRP=$149.00
2) Ultimate Ears UE600 MSRP=$99.00
3) Phiaton PS 200 MSRP=$249.00
4) Shure SE315 MSRP=$249.00
5) Etymotic HF5 MSRP=$149.00


All constructive comments or personal experiences on those in the list are much appreciated as well as any direction to IEMs that possibly outperform any of the above.

Cheers!
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eahm
post Sep 25 2012, 07:27
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I'm buying the HF5 ($99.99 on Amazon) so, that's my suggestion. I did a lot of research, I've tried a lot of them as well, they say the Etymotic are the best for Classical music because they keep accuracy, I will let you know in a couple of months how they are, I'm sure they'll be fenomenal smile.gif

This post has been edited by eahm: Sep 25 2012, 07:30


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xTobix
post Sep 25 2012, 07:55
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QUOTE (eahm @ Sep 25 2012, 07:27) *
I'm buying the HF5 ($99.99 on Amazon) so, that's my suggestion. I did a lot of research, I've tried a lot of them as well, they say the Etymotic are the best for Classical music because they keep accuracy, I will let you know in a couple of months how they are, I'm sure they'll be fenomenal smile.gif


eahm,

Thanks for you reply. I don't know how trustworthy the frequency response measurements are, presented on the amazon page. However, I have listened to the HF5 and own a pair of Senheiser HD 280. The HF5 are a little weaker in the lower frequencies than the HD 280 and follow more the response measured on headphone.com (just click on the link in my first post). But the mids, 1-4 kHz, are phenomenally balanced indeed. They are certainly an excellent choice.

Hope you will like them.
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halb27
post Sep 25 2012, 08:40
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I'm very happy with my Bowers & Wilkins C5: Great sound, especially good bass which however is not burying everything else, fine vocals, and - important for in-ears - are comfortable to wear with no cable noise and making me feel not so isolated as with other in-ear phones.

This post has been edited by halb27: Sep 25 2012, 08:41


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Porcus
post Sep 25 2012, 11:32
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I've had a pair of Etymotic ER-4 for a few years; they are about twice the price of the HF5 (which I have not heard). I like them, but if you really want bass, then look elsewhere. Also, the cable noise is annoying. Not much of an issue to me, who use them in office.

By the way, you might spend ten seconds at http://www.earplugstore.com/isea.html . They have on occation been the cheapest I found (and sometimes not).


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megar
post Sep 25 2012, 16:28
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Oh you ought read this:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-...-added-09-19-12




I personally own a pair of JVC HA-FXT90, they sound really great and are cheap. Probably one of the best IEM trade-off ever.

I also have a Monster iSport, and they rock two (heavy bass, but not doomed bass like other Monster products like the Monster beats by Dr Dre). They are not so cheap, and they can hurt my ear after a couple of hours but they really, really stay in the ear.
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eahm
post Sep 25 2012, 17:05
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I really like JVC headphones, I was going to say wait for the new Micro HD line (http://www.head-fi.org/t/612299/jvcs-micro...-ha-fxd80-70-60) but I didn't know if he even want to consider that brand.

This post has been edited by eahm: Sep 25 2012, 17:08


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tsunarto
post Sep 25 2012, 20:01
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I've been looking for the same thing. Recently, I've been looking at the Klipsch x10i. MSRP of $350, but it's easy to find them new for $200. I've been hesitant, though, since I'd like to make sure that I get "THE right" IEM, as well. This is literally the exact type of thing I was looking for.
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Carledwards
post Sep 25 2012, 20:30
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I recently bought Etymotic for iPhone and gym and like them very much. Comfortable and reasonably balanced sound. I also like the ability to control the volume on the cord.
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probedb
post Sep 26 2012, 12:53
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Westone UM2 and UM3x, both great IMO smile.gif I've not had to touch the EQ on rockbox for either of them.
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