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Old 07-05-2011, 06:58 AM
tovarnak tovarnak is offline
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Default Need stylish IEMs for ~300$

Since I am getting some money this summer, I decided that I want to expand my headphones collection. I currently own Audio-technica ATH-EW9 portable clip-ons, I love them but I am in need of something for noisy environment (you know, when you are vacuum cleaning, mowing etc). Eventhought I dont rly like the feeling of putting smth into my ear, IEM is the best I can get for my purposes.

My demands are:
budget: lets say it can go up to 350-400$, but below 300$ would be ideal (well, its also important to say I live in Slovakia, and in most cases shipping+taxes from amazon are not under 100$ for this kind of good, so keep that in mind)
isolation: well, it doesnt need to be top-notch, but still more than decent, in numbers it would be 7.5+/10
comfort: 9+ out of 10
sound performance: balanced with capability to bass-it-up
genres: I listen to a lot of genres, from metal/rock (like Iron Maiden, Nightwish, Queen etc) through classic (mostly trumpet, piano and symphonical concertos, but I like classical recordings of all kind) and techno-classic (like Vanessa Mae, Caitlin, Escala) to jazz (Louis Armstrong), occasionally I do some pop (Michael Jackson rox)
source: Cowon J3 (top mp3 player, songs mostly in FLAC) but its possible that I will use them sometimes with PC
look: eventhought its not as important as noise cancelling and SQ, but I like stylish things

To be more specific on what I would like to have, I want IEMs which provides excellent sound quality, balanced through whole sound stage but with potential of good handling of bass heavy source (when I listen to Nightwish or Iron Maiden, I want it really bassy).
I have done some research in last couple of days, and my favourites at the moment are Monsters Miles Davis Tribute; they are pretty stylish, a lot of (maybe the most of all) accessories included in basic package and from what I read so far, pretty much also what I want in SQ. Its also has lifetime warranty, which is big plus. But there are a lot of competitors that had equal or even maybe slightly better review in some aspects (I can remember Monster Turbine Pro Copper, Sennheiser IE8, Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 pro and Shure 535).
So, if you have some recommendations, comparisons and bad experiences with IEMs in that price range, feel free to write it down here, every help is appreciated.

Regards, John
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:50 AM
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DragonBottles DragonBottles is offline
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Perhaps the Sennheiser IE-8 is your thing? They sound great, with a really good bass response (There's a dial on each 'phone for extra bass). Not sure if they're "stylish", but hell, you may like them.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:41 AM
cnhardwick cnhardwick is offline
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I would probably drop the UE SuperFi 5 Pro from the list. It uses the same design as the TripleFi 10 and I can tell that while not uncomfortable exactly, they would not be my first choice doing anything active even if it is just vacuuming because it is too easy to break the seal. It is just too much of a pain to keep readjusting--especially if you do not like in-ears to start with. On top of that, I do not believe the SuperFi 5 is in the same league as the others you mention in terms of sound quality. Oh, I would not consider it stylish either.

The others you mentioned though sound good. My opinion is once you reach that price range of IEM's, the difference in sound quality is minimal. It is best to just choose the sound signature that suits your taste. So do with the MDT if you like it. The only bad thing I see with it (apart from being made by Monster maybe, LOL) is I do not believe it has replaceable cables? (Correct me if I am wrong.) That is one thing I would like to have on an expensive IEM if I was going to use it for chores as you never know when the cable might snag on something.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:49 AM
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jupitreas jupitreas is offline
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The Sennheiser IE8 does not isolate very well, so they might not be the best IEM to use in a noisy environment.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:41 AM
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I've heard the isolation on the IE-8's are at least reasonable, just not a strong point of the headphones. Could be wrong.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:54 AM
tovarnak tovarnak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post
... do with the MDT if you like it. The only bad thing I see with it (apart from being made by Monster maybe, LOL) is I do not believe it has replaceable cables? (Correct me if I am wrong.) That is one thing I would like to have on an expensive IEM if I was going to use it for chores as you never know when the cable might snag on something.
to be completely honest, I havent even thought about checking whether they have interchangable cable or not. Well, I am not sure why you consider Monster as bad brand, since I dont have any experience with it (mainly because point of my interest was only about highend/audiophile fullcup headphones/clip-ons before), I can only judge basing on reviews (which were kinda nice tbh). Actually, Monster gives life-time warranty on their high-end models, which I find much more important than replaceable cabel.
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:55 AM
aimran aimran is offline
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Westone 2 is a good choice and costs less than your other alternatives.
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:13 AM
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DragonBottles DragonBottles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovarnak View Post
Well, I am not sure why you consider Monster as bad brand, since I dont have any experience with it (mainly because point of my interest was only about highend/audiophile fullcup headphones/clip-ons before), I can only judge basing on reviews (which were kinda nice tbh). Actually, Monster gives life-time warranty on their high-end models, which I find much more important than replaceable cabel.
Monster is gimmicky fashion crap.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:16 AM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovarnak View Post
Actually, Monster gives life-time warranty on their high-end models, which I find much more important than replaceable cabel.
Koss has a lifetime warranty on all of their models.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:26 AM
cnhardwick cnhardwick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovarnak View Post
to be completely honest, I havent even thought about checking whether they have interchangable cable or not. Well, I am not sure why you consider Monster as bad brand, since I dont have any experience with it (mainly because point of my interest was only about highend/audiophile fullcup headphones/clip-ons before), I can only judge basing on reviews (which were kinda nice tbh). Actually, Monster gives life-time warranty on their high-end models, which I find much more important than replaceable cabel.
I have nothing against Monster personally, it was just a reference to the fact a lot of people dislike the brand (see above poster). Despite their reputation for selling over-priced gimmicks though, their IEM's are actually a good value from what I have read. But there are still a lot of haters that will discredit them solely because of brand.
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:45 AM
tovarnak tovarnak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post
I have nothing against Monster personally, it was just a reference to the fact a lot of people dislike the brand (see above poster). Despite their reputation for selling over-priced gimmicks though, their IEM's are actually a good value from what I have read. But there are still a lot of haters that will discredit them solely because of brand.
well, if actual prices were those suggested by manufacturer, I wouldnt even be bothering myself checking them (Coppers 400$, MDT 500$). Actually in our country there is only one shop selling them (unfortunatelly for MSRP,which is too high), but fortunatelly amazon ships Monsters goods into Slovakia and that means I can get them much cheaper (basically same price as for IE8).

EDIT: By looking at direct comparisons of IE8 and Monster MDT (or Turbine Copper) in http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...lua-added-6-26 it seems that IE8s have slightly better SQ but they are much behind in ambient sound isolation (2.5/5 for IE8, 4/5 for MDT and 4.5/5 for Coppers). I guess I will narrow down this battle for IE8 vs MDT, everything else in same price range is either unavailable in our country or it would cost much more to get them shipped here. They are selling IE8 for 250e (without shipping) here and from amazon I can get MDT for 254e including shipping and taxes. I just hope those prices will hold for another month maybe two, because I wont have money till mid august.

Last edited by tovarnak; 07-05-2011 at 12:05 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2011, 02:06 PM
h1a8 h1a8 is offline
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I would go for the monster pro coppers, monster pro gold, or the sm3 v2.

The monster gold looks the best if you are into the gold thing (9.5/10)
The sm3 v2 looks the second best (9/10)
The monster pro coppers looks pretty good too (9/10). I would say slightly under the gold in looks (I like gold looking things) or slightly above if you are not into the flashy gold look.

The sm3 v2 sounds the best (9/10) of the three. Very good at everything and has the best soundstage and dynamics of the three.
The coppers and golds sounds the second best (8.4/10). Great bass, slightly clearer midrange, but smaller soundstage.

All are comfortable and have more than average bass and isolate better than average.

I would have mentioned the ie8 but the isolation is only average (not bad as some are saying though, I would say 6-7/10). The sm3 is better in every way except bass quantity and soundstage. The se535 looks the better than all of them and has the world's greatest midrange but doesn't have great bass quantity and only average soundstage. For some songs the bass is good enough but for others the bass is not enough. Also, it can get fatiguing to listen to with a slight edgy treble. The UE super.fi 5 pro isn't as balance as the midrange is somewhat recessed. The Monster pro Miles Davis are very bassy and have a sweet yet texture and forward midrange (not balanced at all but do still sound good). Textured means it isn't 100% crystal clear and has some slight veil to it but in a good way. It has below average soundstage though which I do not like. Although the shell looks excellent, you may or may not like the look of the blue cord though.

In summary, I would get the sm3 v2 as they look great, have removable/replaceable cable (in case the cable gets damaged), are the most balanced besides the coppers, have good bass, decent neutral to forward midrange (wish it was a little clearer though), and excellent soundstage and dynamics. They isolate well. My second choice would be the coppers for they also have good balance with good everything. I just wish the soundstage was a little larger (like the sm3).

Hope that helps.

Last edited by h1a8; 07-05-2011 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:48 PM
tovarnak tovarnak is offline
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thx for ur input h1a8, really appreciated.
well, sm3 v2 looked good on paper to me too, but unfortunatelly they turned out to be highly over my intended budget, they are currently unavailable on amazon, there is no official dealer of EarSonics in our country (and I am sure if there were one, it would be heavily overpriced as every electronic here) and price in original ES eshop is 350e(+38e for shipping), so its in 500$+ category and being almost 200$ above my max is just too much.
About copper vs gold, I am more like silver guy, so neither of those match me, but I still prefer copper over gold. Also coppers (as earphones) seem to be designed as upgrade from golds, but I read they kinda sound different with gold being a bit more special sounding and coppers being more balanced.
So I guess with IE8 being off the battle due to insufficient isolation, I need to pick between Monsters Copper vs MDT or find sm3's for much lower price (maybe amazon will stock them by the time I get money :P ).
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:48 PM
aparthia aparthia is offline
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Personally I like the Westone 3 a lot, I listen to much of the same as you and they have been a great pleasure for me, I had a Westone UM2 beforehand. The Westone 3 is a bit expensive($349 from EarphoneSolutions.com) and perhaps you might go for the Westone 2 which should be pretty good as well. They have a really great comfort(All Westone 1-4 and UM1-2 have more or less the same form factor) and they have good isolation.
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  #15  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:32 PM
h1a8 h1a8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovarnak View Post
thx for ur input h1a8, really appreciated.
well, sm3 v2 looked good on paper to me too, but unfortunatelly they turned out to be highly over my intended budget, they are currently unavailable on amazon, there is no official dealer of EarSonics in our country (and I am sure if there were one, it would be heavily overpriced as every electronic here) and price in original ES eshop is 350e(+38e for shipping), so its in 500$+ category and being almost 200$ above my max is just too much.
About copper vs gold, I am more like silver guy, so neither of those match me, but I still prefer copper over gold. Also coppers (as earphones) seem to be designed as upgrade from golds, but I read they kinda sound different with gold being a bit more special sounding and coppers being more balanced.
So I guess with IE8 being off the battle due to insufficient isolation, I need to pick between Monsters Copper vs MDT or find sm3's for much lower price (maybe amazon will stock them by the time I get money :P ).
Try here
They usually have coupons and great sales. I'm fairly sure you can get a least 10% off. Try head-fi and ask around. Also maybe someone is selling them in the classified ad there.

If you can deal with the blue cord then the miles davis are pretty good sounding. The have a lot of bass and decent midrange. It's just that the soundstage is rather smallish. The for balance you can't go wrong with the coppers. Just know that the sm3 is a little bit better than those two though.
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