looking for iem with good isolation, low microphonics, budget ~$100
Good day everyone!!
I'm looking for a pair iem's with good isolation, low microphonics and acceptable sq , my budget is ~$100 shipped to Europe.
Now I use a pair of re2's. They sound very nice but their low isolation and annoying microphonics made them quite useless for my daily commute. I tried to improve isolation using diy foam tips but it wasn't enough (because I have rather narrow ear canals I can't use the stock bi-flanges that came with the iem's). For the microphonics I bought a pair of ear guides but, because of the shape of the earbuds, the cable don't stay in place.
So my requiriments are:
-Isolation: Better than re2's with foam tips.
-Microphonics: The lowest possible, they must be easy to use over-the-ear.
-SQ: I really like re2's sound signature. My music collection is roughty 50% baroque, 30% electronica (Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada) and 20% podcasts. Then I suppose that an easy to equalize iem will be useful (my dap is a rockboxed fuze).
I made my homework and based in ljokerl and ClieOS multi-iem reviews, my options are (in no particular order):
Soundmagic PL50 (not good isolation, but very comfortable and low microphonics)
Nuforce NE-7M / NE-6
Fischer Audio Silver Bullet
Fischer Audio Eterna (superb sq, isolation and comfort)
Hippo VB (lestatar sugestion)
Which of them is the good one? Any sugestion is welcome.
Hey there, Welcome to ABi. I also am a fan of ljokerl and ClieOS's comprehensive and constantly updated IEM thread over there. To be honest, that is really the only thread I look at and care about.
In fact, I bought my Maximo i590s largely because of the very strong reviews there are elsewhere online - I love em and continue to check that thread because I found their take on the i590s to be spot on.
However, 1 pair comes to mind that is notably absent from that thread - the Hippo VBs.
I got them pretty recently and I was completely blown away. Please see dfkt's review on them here:
IMO, these are indeed as dfkt and others have said: a basshead's dream. However, I am a freak for guitar music, vocals and love firm, tight bass, not boomy bass - I have found that the VBs bass-oriented sound does not detract from the part of the sound spectrum I usually prefer to be a bit more emphasized. Also, I have found that the VBs take very well to my EQ from all my very good, but low price, no frills DAPs.
I am not familiar with the IEMs you mention [though I am a recent owner of a pair of Soundmagic PL-21 which I like as well, especially for the price I paid in Hong Kong] - so the VBs may not be for you.
While no expert, I really think the VBs are worthy of your consideration, especially at your price point [$79USD atm]. The tunable bass plates on the VBs absolutely work - they are not a gimmick. The construction of the shells/housing is excellent and they feel like they will last forever. I get an amazingly great seal even when using the default tips [so much so that I can hear/feel a bit of suction when I remove them from my ears] and outside noise is almost non-existent even on the streets of New York. I have been using Sony Hybrids per people's recommendation with great success as well. Microphonics is present to me, but much less than the i590s - to me, nothing that detracts at all from the VBs.
The VBs are my first [and hopefully not last] pair of medium price, good quality IEMs. Again, definitely bass-centric, so maybe not for you.
But man, I really love em alot.
cheers and good luck,
Thanks lestatar for your fast response.
In fact I considered the Hippo VB's as they are in the editor's choice here in ABI, but in ClieOS's review they are classified as low isolation (like the re2), for that reason I didn't include them.
But if you told me that they have acceptable isolation I'll put them on my short list (Brussels' Metro system is quite noisy). And they can be used over the ear which, for me is, a big plus.
Thanks a lot.
No worries - got some time these days... :-)
Isolation: I would never dispute ClieOS - even as a noob, I know his is a significant voice in these matters. I can only speak about my own experiences [and of course, the physical fit in my own ears].
For sure though, even as a new enthusiast to quality IEMs, I would never classify the VBs as low isolation - I simply cannot imagine this to be the case. With no music and the VBs inserted, outside noise is dramatically reduced for me. While NYC subway noise is not gone completely, my seal is so good that I hardly even notice the trains, even during more quiet passages of music. And I am listening at far lower volumes these days than in the past.
As always, YMMV so take this for what it is worth... :-)
@ lestatar: I agree. I own Hippo VB, and I use it for my daily commute in a bus. Even with the stock tips, VB's isolation IMHO is quite good and could reduce the noise coming from the bus' diesel engine significantly.
Have you looked at the first post in this thread?
The Hippo VBs are rated as "Medium" isolation by dfkt.
I know this is an old thread, but the table is updated by dfkt as he experiences additional iems. (Suggestion to dfkt...put a last editted date in the post somewhere.)
Good day everyone!!
Thanks a lot for your posts.
Finally I pulled the triger and, based in your recommendantions, I bought the Hippo VBs. Now I'm waiting to enjoy them :D
Also, be aware that there may be a typo/print error on the box:
- the pre-installed default bass plates are the ones offering the MOST BASS. These are the 1 white dot plates.
The 3 white dot plates offer the LEAST amount of bass.
I personally use the 2 dot plates as for me they are just the right balance between bass and everything else. :D
any questions about the VB's, just post it :)
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