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Old 04-13-2011, 10:34 PM
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Default The right IEM for me.

Hello, really diggin' this forum.

So, I come to you all for help. I know picking headphones can be tricky, since everyone likes a different sound. But Ill do my best to depict what I'm looking for, and hopefully I can leave with my mind made up.

So basically, I'm hoping to soon be getting an S:flo2. I decided I would like a decent pair of IEM's to enjoy my music to the fullest. The problem is, there are just so many.

So to start off, the price point. I would like to try to find a pair for under, or around, $100.

So far as the sound goes, I really like a nice smooth textured and extended bass, but with smooth clear mids and treble. I listen to pretty much everything from classical, to electronica, to death metal, and even ambient to ambient electronica. Currently, I'm looking at the Phonak Audéo Perfect Bass, the Hippo VB's (Although from reading, those sound like almost too much bass.) and the Head-Direct RE0's. Now don't get me wrong, I may like my bass, but I also really enjoy clear mids and high's.

TL;DR Trying to find a pair of IEM's for ~$100 that have textured and extended bass, and nice clear mids and highs. More of a warm sound if you will.

Thank you all very much, and I hope you all have fantastic days!
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:53 PM
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Three different sound signatures there. Bb has adjustable bass plates so.it can't be too much really. I really want to try the phonaks. More detailed but less bass. The re0 is light on the bass by most accounts. Take a lookbat the sunrise xscape as well. Warmer than the re0. I have a set of audio eternas than i really enjoy as well. There are many really good options at that price point.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:07 AM
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Good places to start:
http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15243

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...m-shootout-v-3

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...ro-added-04-04

@olen, welcome to ABi. You and I appear to have some similar audio preferences. I suspect you would love probably really enjoy the Panasonic HJE900s and I hate to be a one-note IEM recommender these days, but they are just so damm great IMO. Just may be very tough to find these days

I own the VBs. Love 'em. Enormous bass but still good mids and highs. But I don't use them everyday, usually pulling them out when I want a high impact listening experience [trance, heavy double bass metal, dance]. The adjustable bass plates are good, the VBs are pretty well constructed though the cord is a bit thin for my tastes. Back to the plates, I find the 0-dot [most bass] plates too overwhelming in thump, the 3 dot plates a bit too thin, so like Goldilocks and the porridge, the 2 dot plate is JUST RIGHT for me.

I was using cheesy car analogies a while back: the VBs are like driving big block American muscle cars such as Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes. The Panas IMO/IME are like upscale BMWs, M-B, Astons, Jaguars.

Both great but depends on what you want.

My own everyday go-to IEMs? Panas, no question.

Cheers and good luck - let us know what you decide and do post more possibilities for people to chime in on.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:46 AM
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I suspect you would love the Panasonic HJE900....


Les you really outta upgrade.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confispect View Post
I suspect you would love the Panasonic HJE900....


Les you really outta upgrade.
lol...i am kinda loathe to mess with perfection
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olen View Post
So far as the sound goes, I really like a nice smooth textured and extended bass, but with smooth clear mids and treble. I listen to pretty much everything from classical, to electronica, to death metal, and even ambient to ambient electronica
From the choices you mentioned, I guess you can look at PFE than RE0. PFE has much better bass quality than RE0. RE-ZERO is better in the bass quality aspect, but it still would not have great quantity. But mids are more smooth, not thin and forward and treble focus is reduced a bit compared to RE0.

There are only a few IEMs that have everything. GR07 fits the bill well as it has good presence in all ranges, has good clarity and unlike most other 'balanced' IEMs that sacrifice bass, carries good punch and impact. But it costs $155 shipped, which is over your budget.

If you are not restricting yourself to 'analytical' signature, Hippo VB, HJE900 and ECCI PR401 are good choices as well. Only HJE900 is a bit difficult to fit within the $100 range due to lack of availability.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:33 AM
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First off I would like to say wow. You guys are being very helpful and I feel very welcome here!

So, it looks like the phones everyone seems to be recommending are one that I have already looked at from reading reviews and looking at those round ups. Yet I still seem to fall back to the Phonaks. Mostly because of reviews and the price. I also like the vsonics but yeah, it's a little too spendy.

I did read a review on the Panas and came across the phrase "might be little bright" and that put me off slightly. Well, quite a bit. So far I'm still leaning towords the Phonaks.

EDIT: So I have been looking at the PFE's and was wondering what the difference was between the Perfect bass and the Perfect fit. I know they have different filters, but is that all? Is the difference that the Perfect fit just comes with more accessories?

Also, If I was able to raise the price point a bit, would I be able to get significantly better IEM's? I was looking around and came across the UE 700's as well.

Last edited by Olen; 04-14-2011 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:31 PM
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Overall I'd rate the Pana's higher but ask me to recommend a good starter phone and I'd point you toward the Phonak....don't expect bass though.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:26 AM
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Well, I wouldn't really consider myself a starter. I just haven't ever really had any higher end IEM's. But currently I'm listening to a pair of Beyer' DT880's and I'm very happy.

Also, why shouldn't i expect bass? It's in the name, the reviews, I mean thats why they have the green filters correct?
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:07 AM
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Good questions all!

I have not heard the Phonaks yet, but if you didn't know that they are balanced armature IEMs. The sound production technology is different from dynamic driver IEMs and I think the general consensus from those who know this stuff is that bass is more profound with dynamic drivers vs balanced armatures. A generalization to be sure, but seems many agree.

So, it depends what you as a buyer/music listener want/hope/expect. If you are a dedicated basshead, perhaps Phonaks and the B/A like are not ideal for you. I think the review of the Phonak Perfect Bass [filters] means that the bass is quite good for B/A type IEMs and Phonak, but my understanding is that not quite like more bass-centric dynamic IEMs.

EDIT...sorry if this is not news to you...
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Last edited by lestatar; 04-15-2011 at 02:31 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2011, 04:59 AM
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Thank you very much Les! That is news for me, as I really don't know a whole lot about IEM's.

So, if I were able to raise the budget to around the $200 mark, what would be the best IEM for me? Is it worth the price? I ask this because i started looking at the UE TF10 and the Westone UM2's, are they worth their price? I know the Westone is super pricey, but it also looks SUPER comfortable, which is a huge plus as i plan on wearing the phones for around 8-10 hours at a time during the summer while i work.

Last edited by Olen; 04-15-2011 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:20 AM
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The TF10 might has slightly recessed mids--I hate call them recessed even, not forward is more like it--so they might not be what you are looking for. Treble is very pronounced though. Bass is good for a BA, I still prefer dynamic though. Comfort is very subjective due to their size. Personally, I find the comfort to be quite good given their monstrous size. However, fit is still a problem. I have learn to get a decent fit, but it is still pretty easy to break the seal if I move around too much. The cable is terribly stiff, but it is user replaceable and there are third party cables that are better. All that said, I got my pair on Black Friday for $95 and am very happy with my purchase. At the current <$200 price tag they are still a good value. It is really just a question of whether or not you would like the sound signature or not. Then a question of whether or not it is worth the trade offs--size, cable, etc.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:45 AM
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So you like the DT 880's and you're afraid of the Pana's being bright? Don't worry about it.

Judging by FR graphs of the DT 880's the Pana's probably have about twice the bass quantity tho.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
Good questions all!

I have not heard the Phonaks yet, but if you didn't know that they are balanced armature IEMs. The sound production technology is different from dynamic driver IEMs and I think the general consensus from those who know this stuff is that bass is more profound with dynamic drivers vs balanced armatures. A generalization to be sure, but seems many agree.

So, it depends what you as a buyer/music listener want/hope/expect. If you are a dedicated basshead, perhaps Phonaks and the B/A like are not ideal for you. I think the review of the Phonak Perfect Bass [filters] means that the bass is quite good for B/A type IEMs and Phonak, but my understanding is that not quite like more bass-centric dynamic IEMs.

EDIT...sorry if this is not news to you...
What he said ^

Also agreed the Pana are not bright to all people, it was a little bright but it calmed down with burn-in, plus you can just put foam in the nozzle. Kinda hard to find though......
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:57 PM
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Hmmm... Thank you very much for all the responses!

I don't think I'll get the TF10's. But i still like the Westone's, due mostly to their comfort and reviews. But i still do like the Panas as well. How is the comfort on the Panas? Also, would these work well with the Panas?
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:53 PM
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Hey Les, I agree that the HJE900s are phenomenal, but he did talk a bit about wanting strong bass, and (correct me if I'm wrong, someone with more headphones than the three pairs I have) aren't the HJE900s a little bit more sibilant than bassy?
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:06 PM
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I guess I'm looking for a more textured bass, that is also strong, but not overpowering at all. As I am still wanting very clear mids and high's, but nothing to sibilant. As I do love my DT880's, but sometimes I would like them to be a bit warmer, or a bit stronger in the bass aspect. But I really don't want it to be overpowering. I am in no way a basshead. I guess more of a smooth, warm, textured bass is what I'm after. Oh, and comfort. As i will be wearing these from 8-10 hours at a time during the summer, as i said before.

EDIT: I keep coming back to the Westone UM2's. Mainly because of the positive reviews and the excellent comfort. Even though its way over my budget, what do you guys think? Are they worth the price?

Also, been looking around for the Panas as well, and it looks like i would be shelling out about the same as i would if i decided on the Westone UM2's.

Last edited by Olen; 04-15-2011 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:27 PM
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I own the Panasonic's. For me without the foam mod or using them with tips with narrower nozzles, I found the the highs to be a bit to much on certain tracks, however with the foam mod there's no problem what so ever. I perceive the highs are still emphasized but only perhaps slightly over regular sound signatures of consumer speakers. In no way do the highs over through the the bass as the bass is still deep and is powerful when the track calls for it.

Olen, I can understand where you're coming from as the emphasized highs were a concern for me when deciding or not to get them. After physical burn in and mental burn in (also the mod too) I quite like the amount. I should warn you though as this caveat been expressed several times on these forums, you're experience may be different. The hard part with deciding on somewhat costly IEM's is that you can never be completely certain no matter how many reviews you read until you've actually try them for a while. I've had an experience where i bought a pair of IEM's that had outstanding reviews but they ended up not fitting my ears that well and I generally didn't like their sound - luckily I only paid 20$ for them. I also have to add the Pansonic's might be a greater risk then other IEM's because they are discontinued and you won't be able to get them replaced if they ever to break on you.

You may want to also consider the MEElectronic A151. They're suppose to have a pretty balance sound like most armature phones but with slightly more bass and a more warmth. Plus, they're only $75. Here's a review. By what I've read the PFE's and possibly the panasonic's will offer greater clarity over them though.

Last edited by nathan; 04-15-2011 at 09:00 PM. Reason: fixing clarity a bit
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:34 PM
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Yea, but you also said "extended," which is where I got the strong bass thing from. I didn't mean to put you off of them, because they truly are fantastic all around. You should check out dfkt's review on here because he knows way more about it than I do. Personally, I love the sound signature, but take that with a grain of salt, cuz I have always liked treble over bass. But, look around the forum. You won't find phones that more people love and have as ridiculously high qualityrice ratio.

Much luck,
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:43 PM
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woop's, I neglected or didn't see him mentioning extended bass. Then u might not like the MEElectronic A151 because I don't think they go down all the way to the lowest frequencies or at least that well but it wouldn't hurt checking them out anyway.
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