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  #1  
Old 06-29-2011, 07:55 AM
JimKnopf JimKnopf is offline
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Default In search of a new set of IEM...3 candidates inside

Hi everyone,

I settled my mind up to a new set fo IEM and being a long term reader, I decided to ask for help.

To make a long story short, I tried to give a overview what I'm looking for:
  • Price Range:
    up to €250(==$370)
    As I'm from Germany this may not be valid for some of recommendations. Say: Westone UM2 cost more than Senn's IE8.
  • Type/Design:
    in-ear monitor (iem)
  • Primary location of use:
    stationary, but primary not at home
    while on the go (bus, train)
    no gym, no bike
  • Preferable SQ or Sound Signature:
    I'm no basshead, but there should indeed be plenty of it.
    Natural (read NOT NEUTRAL) Mids.
    Highs should be there, but not "ice-picky". May described as recessed.
    To use some of the terms of the "Sound Description FAQ" it should be/have:
    Airy, Articulated, Body, Dynamics, Full, (slightly) Gentle, Juicy, Musical, Punchy, (wide) Soundstage
  • Media:
    minimum 320kbit mp3 (lame-codec)
    Genres: mainly Rock (Blues to Heavy Rock), instrumental Rock/Metal, some Singer/Songwriter, some Pop, some Electro (moreso Lounge).
    Led Zeppelin, Nebula, Roadsaw, Kyuss, Explosions in the Sky, Gary Clark Jr., Kilowatts & Vanek...to name a few.
  • Source:
    Nokia N900, Sansa Clip
    I'll may upgrade in the near future. Nonetheless I would prefer it to sound good through both of the two.
    For the record: I would prefer a "no portable headphone amp"-rig.
3 candidates I've picked so far (ascending price):
Prices are taken straight from Amazon.de, converted via Google.com (Euro -> USD).
  • Phonak PFE ($185) (Just because they're Editors Choice )
  • Sennheiser IE8 ($285)
  • Westone UM2 ($370)
My favorite beeing the IE8 so far (regarding what I've read).

I'm looking for some opinions which IEM suits me best and am open for new recommendations.

Thanks!

Last edited by JimKnopf; 06-29-2011 at 08:31 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2011, 11:54 AM
aimran aimran is offline
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According to Head-Fi in the multiple IEMs shootout, the sound isolation of the IE8 isn't that good and considering you're using them outside a lot, it's not the best option. The best isolation is the UM2 followed by the Phonak.

The IE 8 does have the best SQ though the UM2 is just barely behind.

Have you considered the Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 also?
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2011, 12:11 PM
JimKnopf JimKnopf is offline
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Thanks for mentioning. I'm aware of the at best mediocre isolation of the IE8. I don't think this would be much of a problem for me. Primary use will be more or less stationary, with little to none background noise. I wasn't too clear about that in my first post. Sorry!

Triple.fi would make an excellent choice, but I'm afraid of the non-linear impendance as them being a 3-driver-armature...especially using them with the N900
Hearing a lot about trouble with the workmanship (or at least more as with any other IEM in this price range), doesn't make me feel comfortable either.
Though the most annoying fact is them looking way too big for my taste (listening to music while laying in bed or so).

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2011, 12:46 PM
k5r2an k5r2an is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aimran View Post
According to Head-Fi in the multiple IEMs shootout, the sound isolation of the IE8 isn't that good and considering you're using them outside a lot, it's not the best option. The best isolation is the UM2 followed by the Phonak.

The IE 8 does have the best SQ though the UM2 is just barely behind.

Have you considered the Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 also?
Having heard both TF10's and IE8's, I would say that IE8 > TF10. Plus, the TF10's are really awkward to put in my ears and may cause ear pain. The PFE's are a good choice too, but since your budget is enough to get the IE8's I would suggest getting the IE8's. I haven't had the chance to listen to UM-2's, but I used to have the UM-1's and they were DAMN comfortable and the UM-2's have the same casing so they should be just as comfortable.
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2011, 02:32 PM
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tienbasse tienbasse is offline
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TF10's with the new round Comply foams (T400 or T500) are providing you with better fit/isolation and no pain. Does not work with normal Comply foams (the conical ones).

By the way, since you're in Europe, order on french Amazon if you want the Westone 2 or the IE8, they're way cheaper in France than in Germany (around 180 euros).
Some IEMs are cheaper on german Amazon, others on french Amazon, try to check when you buy something that expensive, since your Amazon account is valid anywhere in Europe and guarantee is the same.
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2011, 03:18 PM
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jupitreas jupitreas is offline
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The IE8's isolation can be improved with Sensorcom tips.
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2011, 06:08 PM
JimKnopf JimKnopf is offline
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Thanks everyone! I'll getting a set of IE8.

@tienbasse
Thanks for the hint! That'll save me €40.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2011, 11:04 AM
aparthia aparthia is offline
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I don't know what you did, but the UM2 seems to be 279 bucks from earphone solutions.
http://www.earphonesolutions.com/wenewum2bldu.html

Using FedEx to Europe is 30$.

There is also the option of these:
http://www.earphonesolutions.com/wes...earphones.html

If you enter STORK into the coupon field you save some money I think it's 3%, making the total around 300$.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2011, 08:24 AM
JimKnopf JimKnopf is offline
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Thanks everyone for posting!

Got myself a pair of IE8's yesterday...

Just impressive!
Won't comment too much on SQ as I have nothing even close to compare.
But I was shocked hearing quite a lot new "elements" in some of my music. Considering me listening through AKG 271 Studio and a pair of Samson Rubicon monitors, I hadn't expected something like this.
Soundstage is really spacious (particularly listening to Explosions in the Sky), overall sound is very "full" or "bodied".
No problems so far with any music I've thrown on them...

Cables are the best I've seen yet, overall build-quality is exceptional!

I do like the carrying-case.

The N900 drives them really well (can't go up to more than 1/3rd on volume ), but I'll see if the Sansa or X5L can do better.

Overall I'm more than satisfied and would like to close with a quote from Martin's review:

Quote:
The IE 8 are excellent all-rounders, they are really great for listening to music on them – instead of writing about them.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2011, 10:54 AM
aparthia aparthia is offline
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That sounds like a perfect fit ..
Do you have pics?
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  #11  
Old 07-07-2011, 03:40 AM
JimKnopf JimKnopf is offline
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Hi there!

Sorry for the late reply. Got some exams to do...
Some pictures may follow tomorrow.

There's just something I wanted to share:
Reading some threads over at head-fi, everybody seems to talk about some burn-in-effect. Being a musician and knowing about psycho-aoustics, day-to-day differences (in hearing) etc. I thought, that at least those numbers (100h+) were exaggereted and simply some kind of your typical internet blabla.
But I must admit, there is indeed a burn-in effect. Bass tightens, Mids get more in front, Highs get a little more pronounced but (positive for me) lost all of their sharpness.
I tried listening to "Russian Circles" a few days ago. It simply sounded not right, too much mid-bass, drums' hihat and so on. The same goes for Brant Bjork's Gods & Godesses though this wasn't as bad.
After 25h of listening through the IE8 both of them now sound as they're supposed to sound. (Reference-Home-Rig: Denon DP-300F/Cowon X5L (line-out) -> Soundcraft Compact Mixer -> Samsung Rubicon R6a)

Best regards,

Thomas
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2011, 05:15 AM
aparthia aparthia is offline
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Burn-in is a controversial subject. There are many who thinks that using the headphones for a while will make the IEMsbetter and there is also a large grouping thinking it's only 'brain-burn in' in the sense that they think your brain has to adjust to the sound signature of the driver.

Perhaps both are somewhat true but even if burn in existed it would only be with the dynamic drivers(?) since armature based IEMs wouldn't need any physical burn in.

Last edited by aparthia; 07-07-2011 at 06:46 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2011, 06:35 AM
JimKnopf JimKnopf is offline
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Agreed!

Though I'm sure there's quite a big change within the first hours. Knowing my other setup(s) quite good, I would exclude 'brain-burn-in'.
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