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  #1  
Old 03-14-2010, 07:37 PM
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Default Cheap(ish) IEM Suggestions

OK, so I'm a long-time fan of Sennheiser CX-300 IEM (in-ear-monitor) headphones, but I'm looking for alternatives, as my current pair have given up the ghost.

I'm tempted to stick with habit and just order another pair of CX-300s, but are there any others out there that are worth buying? I have used some Creative EP-630s that came with my (now lost) Zen X-Fi, and they were as good (if not slightly better) than the Sennheisers.

What I'm looking for is a noticeable difference, but at a maximum of 30 - I would love to go all-out on a pair of CX-870s but I just don't have the money (yet!).

I'll be ordering on Wednesday (don't want to be without my Zen for too long!) so any suggestions are welcome
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2010, 08:07 PM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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Hey there:

I have/had the exact same 2 pairs of IEMs that you do so I have a common reference base with you.

I recently bought these:
http://www.amazon.com/iM-590-Enhance...8614619&sr=8-1

To my inexpert [but slightly discerning] ears, the Maximos are noticeably superior to either of my previous IEMs. I chose them based on very positive web reviews - Google for yourself and do the due diligence. I find them extremely crisp, with firm but not crazy bass and am very impressed with the build quality/accessories included. I highly recommend them.

However, I think I might be the only one here at ABi that actually has them! Hoping they get reviewed here one day to determine if I am alone and crazy or if these are as good as I believe/hope they are, especially for the price.

Check this link out:
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...ad.php?t=15243

Great recommendations and reviews there. Seems a lot of folks have either the Hippo VBs or the REOs depending on their musical tastes [more bass vs. little less bass] - I have tried neither but am thinking about checking out the Hippos based on such strong recommendations.

There are a ton of great folks here who can/will offer you helpful suggestions for your price range. But I am learning myself that headphones are so incredibly subjective for most people - because I love my Maximos does not mean you will. Same thing goes for pretty much any brand/model, regardless of price.

Anyway, am sure you will get lots of recommendations. Nose around on the forums and check the reviews on the main ABi site - excellent, fair information all around.

Good luck!
-lestatar

EDIT:

ps: This offsite link was very useful/educational to me and may be to you as well...
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/m...1-10-a-453836/
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Last edited by lestatar; 03-14-2010 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:43 PM
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It seems that I can't find a UK distributor for either the iM-590s, the RE0s or the Hippo VBs, so I think those are out of the picture.

I have however found what I think could be a bit of a steal, the CX550-II for 24 on Play.com: http://www.play.com/Electronics/Elec...s/Product.html

Reviews have been pretty good, so I'm leaning towards these, but any opinions are appreciated - I'm in the UK so minority audiophile makers are pretty hard to come by here
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:52 PM
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Hmm, well I don't know the CX-500s, though I am sure others here have experience with them...Hopefully they'll chime in...

Also, at least a few folks here are from your side of the pond...possibly they can help with suggestions/store recommendations for you...

cheers,
-lestatar
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:03 PM
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There are several alternatives in the price range you mention. As a newbie myself, I'd just mention a few choices and then let others trash it or narrow it down for you.
  1. Head-Direct RE-2 ($29 from Head-Direct)
  2. SoundMagic PL-30 ($29 @ Head-Direct, available elsewhere too with world-wide shipping)
  3. SoundMagic PL-11 (this one is bassy. A few on Indian forums have upgraded from EP-630 and have been satisfied. YMMV, of course)
  4. MEElectronics M9 ($20 from MEElectronics)
  5. Hippo Boom ($43 from Jaben)
  6. Hippo Pearl ($43 from Jaben) - IF you want to try something with a different sound signature.
Will these give noticeable difference you ask? I do not know as I have just read about these .
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:28 AM
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Ideally, I don't want to buy from outside of the UK, shipping times are generally pretty slow and prices are inflated - some people sometimes read "" as "$" - so I'm looking for something under 30GBP (pounds sterling).

Does anyone have opinions on the CX550's?
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:57 AM
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Sony EX300s These are really good for the price, They're what ship with the new A Series http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk/...Unit.4030.html
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion - it seems like they're on a par with the CX-300s from some reviews, which isn't what I'm looking for - I'm after a noticeable quality shift from the CX-300s without paying silly money (45+) or having to have them shipped from overseas.

I know I'm being pedantic and picky, but us audiophiles are like that
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:25 AM
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They're actually quite a bit better than cx300s in my opinion - the bass isn't as overwhelming. I have the ex500s which are the same but in aluminium, and the Sonys are easily better than lower end Senns and Shure 102, 210 etc.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:45 AM
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Well I've been impatient and ordered the CX-550s from PlayTrade, so hopefully they'll be up to scratch - I'll post again when I have them
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