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Old 03-19-2011, 10:40 PM
sergivs sergivs is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 69
Default Looking for quality in-ear monitors

Hi all,

I'm looking for a pair of comfortable, isolating earphones or in-ear monitors with clear balanced sound to use with a portable player.

Hopefully I can get some good suggestions from the knowledgeable people here.

I almost never use earphones because they always feel very uncomfortable, but I have only tried the cheap stock ones.

But recently I bought the Sansa Clip+ and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the stock earphones. I would like to find something better both in terms of SQ and comfort, but still they are the best that I have tried so far. I'm actually using them. Their impedance is 16 Ohms, but I would prefer 32 or higher.

As far as the sound signature, I don't really know how to describe what I'm looking for, or maybe I don't know what I'm looking for in the first place. Something clear and balanced, as I said. I have a couple of different circumaural monitors:

- AKG K240 DF, 600 Ohms (obviously too high for portables), open back,
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohms, closed back.

They do sound a little different, but I like them both. Maybe a slight preference for the AKG.

I'm more interested in the in-ear monitors, although I have a couple of concerns. One is the possibility of hearing damage. Is it more likely with the in-ear monitors?

The other is that I think I have a narrower than average ear canal (my wife was shocked), so they may not fit. I know that some models (or perhaps all higher-priced ones?) include a set of interchangeable tips, and maybe it's possible to get a custom-molded fittings.

For example, I have silicone ear plugs, a couple of different kinds (one is soft moldable, the other fixed-shape, smallest size available), and they are always uncomfortable in the ear canal and exert some pressure on the ear drum because of the sealing, so I have the urge to swallow or yawn to equalize the pressure, which does not work, of course. Hopefully, it will be possible to find monitors with good isolation that don't seal completely.

My budget is $200-$300, although it does seem a little expensive, and that does not necessarily mean good quality. At least objectively.

I'm also interested in balanced armature transducers, I don't think I've ever tried them and it would be interesting to hear the difference. Would be really cool if they had interchangeable tips with and without high isolation. And were water-resistant. And had tiny heaters in them.

OK, this post is getting pretty long. Thank you for reading this far. To summarize:

Use: Portable player
Sound: balanced, clear
Type: Not sure. Thinking about in-ear, isolating, small tip, with possibility of using custom fitting
Impedance: 32 Ohms or higher preferred
Price: 0 - $300

Many thanks,


Last edited by sergivs; 04-26-2011 at 03:47 PM. Reason: typo
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