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Old 08-18-2011, 07:07 PM
Soul_Est Soul_Est is offline
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Default Finding an IEM with either RE-252's or similar sound signature?

I used to own a HifiMAN RE-252 until January of this year when I accidentally irreparably damaged one of the housings and driver. Fast-forward through the mourning that followed and much research and now, I'm ready to get a new IEM. My criteria is this:
  1. Must be comfortable. I will not suffer for excellent sound like I did with the RE-252.
  2. Must cost <$200.00. Though I could save up for a really good pair, I'm also looking to buy a Fischer Audio FA-003 as well.
  3. Must be easily driven from my SanDisk Sansa Clip+. I plan to only have the Clip+ and the IEM with me when in transit.
  4. Must have a sound signature either similar to the RE-252 (which for me was neutral) or flatter (if that's even possible).

I'm playing the same genres of music as I had when I owned the RE-252 which were rock, rap, hip-hop, trance, dubstep, dnb, and neo-soul. I think there are a few more but that's all I can remember.

After looking around on these forums and on Head-Fi, I found these great IEMs:
  1. VSONIC GR07 (described as accurate and a stage monitor)
  2. Audio Technica ATH-CK90Pro (described as a "blank slate")
  3. Fischer Audio DBA-02 (described as well-balanced, though with a few build issues)
  4. Etymotic Research MC5 (described as neutral and well built like the HF5)
  5. Etymotic Research HF5 (described as having excellent isolation as well as accurate, clear and detailed sound reproduction)

This is all I could come up with. The GR07 seems to be the best for my tastes but the others in the are also very well received and are perceived being best used as a stage monitor. The MC5 is the cheapest and most easily attainable of the bunch but I'd rather not base my decision on that as it may cost me more in the long run. I decided to the add the Ety's to the list as I've read about their excellent sound signature, their deal with ACS and I've seen Zoe Keating using an ER4 (S or P, I don't know) as she composed her pieces.

Sorry about the long post but I wanted to provide as much information as I could. I understand how frustrating it can be to have to pry such info out other members (work in the Electronics Department at a major deparment store).

Last edited by Soul_Est; 08-18-2011 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:16 AM
esanthosh's Avatar
esanthosh esanthosh is offline
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Posts: 207

Of the ones you listed, GR07 comes close. I am not sure if you have read my rather long review on head-fi. It's the current FOTS (Season, as few take exception to "FOTM") and great impressions are the norm . It is an excellent performer, good value for money, has a signature that could easily please most, well balanced from top to bottom (barring a bit of spike in the sibilance range), nice build quality - In short, at least above average in most aspects. I personally don't think it's a "world beater" in terms of sound, but then that's just me.

MC5 - is slightly difficult to drive with Clip+. To these ears, they play sound, not music. I don't like their tuning - bass has quantity, but not quality. Mids are flat, but not involving and the treble is slightly hot. Sound stage is not so great either. The build quality is good though. Instead look at HF5/3/2, which might be closer to the Ety house sound than MC5.

DBA-02 has great speed, but compressed dynamics with a bit of aggression - Be sure you are ok with it. With all those build quality issues and lack of availability, I'd look at Brainwavz B2, which is from the same OEM factory (except for accessories and color scheme). At least, you can open a support ticket with MP4Nation instead of waiting weeks for a reply from Fischer dealers. As far as sound goes, I'll say DBA-02 is like a better RE0. It's treble, if you can withstand the forward and aggressive presentation, is very good. Not a great sound stage, but has good enough imaging. Bass-light next to GR07, but somewhat decent on it's own. Since it would throw out all the details in your face, combined with the not so stellar sound stage, it could be a bit difficult to get used to in the beginning.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:11 AM
Soul_Est Soul_Est is offline
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Thank you for the excellent, detailed and straight forward reply esanthosh! That review of yours on Head-Fi really helped as well. I now know that if I want fast response, great isolation and more detail, go with the HF5 and for more texture, balanced frequency response and better bass, go with the GR07. I want to get the GR07 but considering that it now costs $179 (up from $155) and the HF5 costs under $100 ($94.39 at, I feel like it'll be more logical to attain and maintain the HF5 especially since the money I had been saving for the GR07 got wiped out with an unforeseen expense.

Last edited by Soul_Est; 08-19-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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