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Old 12-29-2010, 06:16 PM
JFP JFP is offline
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Default £100-ish IEM's (Inclusive shipping to DK)

Hello, I am currently looking to invest in a PMP and a pair of IEM's. I have decided on the PMP, which is going to be the Cowon J3 from advancedmp3player.co.uk, however, I am not interested in placing my order before I have chosen a pair of IEM's, seeing as the site have the Shure's SE115 on sale for a mere £55. I am however lacking the experience with IEM's to know which ones to buy and what to look for, but felt inclined to ask here when I stumbled upon this site and it's excellent review page. But enough chit chat, I will try to fill in as many criteria as I can below.
  • Price range: I listed £100 above, but that is if I stretch my budget a bit. Should I be able to get a pair of IEM's above that price tag that are substantially better, I would only be interested should the price not deviate with more than £20 from my original maximum.
  • Environment: I intend to use them on the go, on the bus, walking around downtown and so forth. I won't be needing them at home, maybe with the exception of excercing (I excercise in the basement, but my stereo is on the first floor ) But my point is, I won't be use them for critical listening at home.
  • Preferred sound signature: Due to my lack of experience with different IEM's and headphones, and may I add poor understanding of terminology, I can't give many hints in this department. I have the impression that can I differentiate between good and bad sound quality, but I can't describe what charecteristics I prefer, only that I prefer a rather warm sound, and that I am not really content with the, to me, rather clinical sound my friends Ipods and standard earbuds produce, if that makes any sense at all
  • Media: As said, I am going to use it with a Cowon J3 and probably use FLAC as my preferred format.

The thing is, I listen to a vast variety of genres, although my preffered genre is Hip Hop, more specifically, bohemian hip hop (I.e A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, De La Soul, Jurrasic 5, and the such) But in general, I like almost all Hip Hop, especially stuff which is older than myself (1993) :P Back to the genres. I also like Reggae (Bob Marley, but also some cross-genre like Bikstok Røgsystem, if there are any danish users here), 70/80'ies rock (Queen, AC-DC), some electronic music (LCD Soundsystem), as well as some music which combines a lot of genres, like Gorillaz.

Just to name a few artists I didn't mention above;
Public Enemy, I listen to them a lot, so the IEM's will have to handle some rather complex beats.
KRS-One
NaS
Method man
Redman
Cypress Hill
Mos Def
Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh
Run-DMC

I will also list a couple of songs, some rather complex, others just to demonstrate what I wan't the IEM's to do. If you do not know them, might I suggest looking them up on Grooveshark or something like that?

Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Oh my god - A tribe called quest
Someone great - LCD Soundsystem
Can't con an honest John - The streets
Sucker MC's - Run DMC
Power to the people - Public Enemy

And finally, (Yes, this is over soon ) I had a look at several products, and these currently look as the most likely ones, but feel free to come with any suggestions.

Shure Se115
Klipsch Image S4
Hippo VB
UE Super.FI 5 2.0
Westone UM1
And finally, my favorite; RP-HJE900. Since I read dfkt's excellent review (http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56274) I have been hooked on getting these since they sound like the ultimate allrounder in this price range, but I wanted to know whether or not they're worth the extra £45 with my needs? Any input on this particular IEM will be VERY much appreciated! (Not that I don't appreciate any other advice )

I hope this list is thoroughly comprehensive, otherwise, feel to ask

Edit: Forgot one thing, decent sound isolation would be nice as well

Last edited by JFP; 12-29-2010 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention sound isolation
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2010, 12:18 PM
JFP JFP is offline
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Since my original post I have placed my order at advancedmp3players, which means that should I decide to buy the Shure SE115, it would approximately set me back £70! So I'm not that interested in those anymore, unless someone can convince me they're worth it, and even then, the Hippo VB seems like a better choice to me..

The link to the Panas http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-RP...ef=pd_sim_ce_3 from hot daily deals. Can someone confirm these are the exact same as the ones in dfkt's review? I am wondering because of the "E-K" following the name originally posted in his review. I just want to make sure that I don't get a lesser model.

In advance, thanks for any help posted!
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:25 PM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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The Panas in the pictures are indeed the same Pana HJE-900 that dfkt reviewed and that I and many others own.

For me, the Panas are the best all-round IEMs I have ever heard. Totally worth the price IMO.

No idea about the E-K designation. But the pictures are of the same ones we pretty much all love here.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:27 PM
nodirectionhome nodirectionhome is offline
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I'm in the market for new iems as well.

I'd say forget the Shure 115s - they're nothing special. i don't think you'll get better iems for your money than the Pana's you linked to.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:57 PM
JFP JFP is offline
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Thank you for your reply Do you have an idea on how suitable they are for listening to hip hop in general? Not only the bohemian kind, but also the more bass-heavy Crunk and such at times. But the quality of the bass is more important than the quantity in my case, although plenty of bass would be nice in some situations , but perhaps the Cowon J3's Mach3Bass setting can compensate in those situations?
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:13 PM
JFP JFP is offline
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#NDH After reading several reviews of Shure's within that pricerange, my impression has as well been that they are rather bland and neutral, not exactly the sound I'm after. As things stand, I think I will end up buying the Panas. The reason why I have not bought them yet is probably because of two factors: 1. Panasonic is not usually a brand I associate with high quality audio but rather TV's and such. 2. I am always extremely thorough in my market research when searching for any kinds of electronics, and as such I will often be disinclined to buy a product which has not been reviewed favourably and extensively (and the review by dfkt was the first serious one I stumbled upon )

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:26 PM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP View Post
Thank you for your reply Do you have an idea on how suitable they are for listening to hip hop in general? Not only the bohemian kind, but also the more bass-heavy Crunk and such at times. But the quality of the bass is more important than the quantity in my case, although plenty of bass would be nice in some situations , but perhaps the Cowon J3's Mach3Bass setting can compensate in those situations?
I don't listen to much hiphop. I do listen to a wide variety of music, mostly prog/metal, jazz, trance. The bass from the Panas is more than sufficient for my needs. Quite great actually IMO.

Not bass monsters [with still good overall frequency response like the Hippo VBs], but the Panas get down quite low - the Pana bass is super fast, punchy and present.

Best I can do to describe them for you.

The Panas are my go to pair of IEMs for like 75-80% of use. They handle everything I have thrown at them and sound terrific.

You can do far far worse than the Panas.

Plus they look schmexy as hell, should last a helluva long time and the replaceable cables are an extra nice touch of insurance.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:16 PM
JFP JFP is offline
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Wow, that almost sold them for me, the bass seem to posses the characteristics I'm looking for!

If you heard the Public Enemy song I mentioned earlier, you might get an idea of how important a fast and punchy bass is to me personally.

But you mentioned you listened to jazz a lot, how do they perform at Jazz particularly? I'm rather interested in this, seeing as a lot of the music I listen to incorporate some elements from Jazz.

One last thing. I am thinking about buying these http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-Ear...f=pd_rhf_p_t_2 with the IEM's while I'm at it because I've seen a lot of people recommending using their UE tips over the defaults, are these the ones to get?

Again, thanks for the help!
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:15 PM
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I use Diana Krall's Live In Paris CD as one of my reference music. All I can say is that the Panas kill here - I can clearly hear her breathing and the rest of the instruments totally cut through clearly to me. Soundstage [my definition is if I close my eyes, can I imagine in my head where instruments seem to be coming from] is excellent as well.

For bass, look up Photek, Seven Samurai. The Panas get down very low and again, bass is punchy and fast as hell. Not VB sub-bass levels which I can feel in my chest, but quite great all the same.

dfkt here I believe loves the Super.fi tips so they should be a good match. I haven't used them myself yet, but plan to. I love and use Sony Hybrids on all my IEMs - my fave so far of all tips I have tried.

hth!
-les
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:30 PM
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Urne Urne is offline
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The J3 was definitely a good choice, I am very satisfied with it myself.

As for headphones, I have been considering the Panas myself too, but I think the VB's fits my own needs (and my wallet) better. I might change my mind depending on what your own conclusion on the Panas are. Could you consider come back and tell your opinion? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:37 PM
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cartelps11 cartelps11 is offline
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You listen to similar music as myself. For 50~60USD you can get the vi-sang r03/Brainwavz M2s. They're excellent at handling rap/hip-hop and especially well at reggae.
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