Originally Posted by oomingmak
The point of this thread was not to turn it into another one of the countless "recommend me a headphone" type threads, it was about trying to find out how people deal with the fact that they are selecting an (often expensive) audio device that they can't audition beforehand. To me, that's a bit like buying a painting that you're not allowed to see, so you instead have to decide based on someone else's description of the colours.
Even if you do spend months reading reviews and detailing your requirements in order to get various opinions and recommendations, you may still not like what you end up with when you finally hear it.
We don't even have that many brands available in India and those which are available are @ exorbitant MRPs (which is understandable when they have very, very low volumes). So, whatever I buy, I have to buy 'blindly' based on reviews and opinions.
At the end of the day, most of what you read in forums are individual opinions, not the ultimate truth. So, someone could find the treble "harsh", while it would be perfectly fine for me. The best way is to find out someone who has a similar sound preference to yours or someone who describes the IEM's signature similar to what you hear. Luckily, I found a couple of reviewers I trust. So, I give more importance to their reviews than others. And to find them, I needed to spend on and experiment with a few IEMs and read a lot more, but at least my buys after that (which are the majority) worked out well.