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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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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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