New IEM Suggestions?
I currently use SoundMagic E10s and have used Phonak Audeo PFEs (whose model is now called 022 apparently). I have always enjoyed IEMs for their isolation, clarity and convenience; for all these three reasons, I will probably be looking for a new pair of IEMs. Please feel free to read as much or as little as you like and provide any suggestions you feel are worthy of looking up.
I have recently received a good chunk of money but I need to justify what I spend through my family. As for a maximum, I would say $400 is probably the best I can argue my way through. Considering they never pay more than $20 for a set of earbuds, even $400 will be difficult but I think I can. Feel free to suggest earbuds that cost more, I'll see what I can do :P.
I ride the bus for at least 10 hours every week which would do horrors for my ears if I didn't use earphones. The PFE and E10 worked pretty well on isolating all that bus sound, but the more the better (a large reason why I justify paying for earphones is that I needn't pay for a car). Comfort is relatively high on my list simply because I wear these phones so often.
I wear my earphones a lot... I listen to music at home, on the bus to school and during any down time I have at school. My PFEs used to require new filters once every month, and my E10s typically break every 6 months.
Clarity is a huge aspect of what I want from my earphones. Comparing the PFEs to my E10s, the highs no longer shine like they once did. In fact, quite a few songs aren't enjoyable any more simply because their voices are so muddied down by the E10s.
The biggest problem with my PFEs was channel balance because the filters would lose it after about a month. One ear would have more than the other and it would just drive me nuts. I simply cannot stand when middle sounds are no longer in the middle of my sound stage. I would love to have an earphone that remains well balanced even after lots of use.
I don't honestly think I care much about how sounds feel like. I mostly want clarity, balance and basses that at least exist (The E10s are a good amount of bass for me). I do particularly enjoy sound stages where the source of the sound has a particular distinct location. Almost as if I can easily tell one voice apart from another simply because it is coming from a different location. Of course, along with that, distinct pitches are also enjoyable as I would like changing pitch to be strongly audible.
The cable is annoying for many reasons but the most important one is that the cable is dangerous while I am on the treadmill. At this point, I simply don't feel safe enough to wear my earphones while connected to my Z2 for fear that it will be yanked on too much. However, if there are issues with bluetooth or otherwise, cable less is not a necessity.
For the record, I live in United States and use a Cowon Z2 (with no amplifier) as my source.
I have looked at a few threads/articles but my main concern is they tend to be outdated and most suggest that E10s are probably one of my better bets. While they are great, I am hoping I can find another pair of earphones that have equal cost efficiency but are premium.
Thanks for your time! (whether you have any suggestions or not)
Currently: SoundMagic E10 / Cowon Z2
Previously: Phonak Audéo PFE / Cowon iAudio 7
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