Decent In-Ear 'phones?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Britalian, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    Mine are going on three years.

    Same, I've had the same ones for 2-3 years and they're excellent. Cost about $100 back then.


    IEM's aren't even comparable to Ear Buds, especially stock ones.
    Around the $100 mark, some contenders are Shure e2c (and others), Etymotic Research (er) 6i's, others - Ultimate ears, westone UM1, Sony MDR-EX71
    and - http://reviews.cnet.com/headphones/?...serRating+desc
     


  2. Macintosh

    Macintosh Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest Apple In-Ear Headphones. They sound really good, a lot of clarity and bass (as they have two drivers). They are $79 and come with one year warranty, so if they break, you just go to the Apple Store and get them replaced for free.

    Second choice is Sennheiser CX-300, the quality is almost as good. They can be found for $25-30 online but they don't come with Apple service. They also lack the remote/mic feature (if you have an iPhone/iPod).
     


  3. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Senior member

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    I'd suggest Apple In-Ear Headphones. They sound really good, a lot of clarity and bass (as they have two drivers). They are $79 and come with one year warranty, so if they break, you just go to the Apple Store and get them replaced for free.

    I second this recommendation, with one additional reason.

    Most IEM's require continual purchase of filters to keep dust and earwax away from the drivers. I found on my old ones (Etymotic) I needed to replace the filters roughly bimonthly with heavy use, possibly because I regularly just stuff them in my pocket instead of putting them in a case.

    Apple's ship with removable wire mesh filter that screws off with a nice textured metal thumbscrew-rim for cleaning. (I put them in a glass with warm water and a little bit of hand soap for about half an hour.)

    And if you break or lose the filters, an extra pair ships with them.

    They are above the stated price-range, but worth it. The Shure E2's aren't as good sounding or as well-made, and the Sony EX-71/81 are very poorly made and sound just awful in comparison.
     


  4. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    Same, I've had the same ones for 2-3 years and they're excellent. Cost about $100 back then.


    IEM's aren't even comparable to Ear Buds, especially stock ones.
    Around the $100 mark, some contenders are Shure e2c (and others), Etymotic Research (er) 6i's, others - Ultimate ears, westone UM1, Sony MDR-EX71
    and - http://reviews.cnet.com/headphones/?...serRating+desc


    Great post. I had the Sony MDR's for about 5 yrs -- till they broke. They were great. I got the Etymotic 6i's after a thread here last year. They've been great too. Better passive noise cancelation than the Sonys.
     


  5. couturehomme

    couturehomme Well-Known Member

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    shure is cool but for top quality sound and noise canceling effect, get a v-moda bass....

    guaranteed...
     


  6. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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  7. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer Senior member

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    Rubbish! I heartily recommend Shure E2C - they're around the $70/£40 mark but build quality is very high, sound quality is *excellent* and they have rubber squeegees that not only allow them to sit a lot more comfortably in your ear becuase they conform to the shape on your inner ear but also provide very effective isolation from outside noise (and will also allow others not to be disturbed by you).

    Me too, I have a pair of Shure e2Cs and I love them. I believe they've been superceded by a newer version but for the $40 I paid (got them on sale) they are great.

    Note that the Shure e2C is no good if you want to use it during vigorous activity (e.g. jogging). For those activities I suggest the Klipsch Custom II -- I've found that they stay put and they provide halfway decent sound -- much better than my Sennheisers.
     


  8. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    I have heard good things about Audio Technica's in-ear phones.
     


  9. Macintosh

    Macintosh Well-Known Member

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    I second this recommendation, with one additional reason.

    Most IEM's require continual purchase of filters to keep dust and earwax away from the drivers. I found on my old ones (Etymotic) I needed to replace the filters roughly bimonthly with heavy use, possibly because I regularly just stuff them in my pocket instead of putting them in a case.

    Apple's ship with removable wire mesh filter that screws off with a nice textured metal thumbscrew-rim for cleaning. (I put them in a glass with warm water and a little bit of hand soap for about half an hour.)

    And if you break or lose the filters, an extra pair ships with them.

    They are above the stated price-range, but worth it. The Shure E2's aren't as good sounding or as well-made, and the Sony EX-71/81 are very poorly made and sound just awful in comparison.


    Yep, and they replace those filters for free. I lost a silicon tip once and apple just replaced the entire headphone. You cannot beat the quality and the service for $79.
     


  10. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    The old Apple in earphones were horrendously bad. The new ones are not that much better. In fact, for the price, they are dreadful. The imbalance/lack of bass is epic.
     


  11. stickshift

    stickshift Senior member

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    I love my Shure SE530 to death....but this is a useless recommendation since it's way out of your price range :p
     


  12. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Senior member

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    The old Apple in earphones were horrendously bad. The new ones are not that much better. In fact, for the price, they are dreadful. The imbalance/lack of bass is epic.

    I agree with you on the old ones. Complete garbage. They were also not really IEM's, in that the earpieces didn't go that deep and they had conventional drivers rather than balanced armatures.

    But the newer IEM's, with dual balanced armatures, are really very good. I have found that the highs are slightly cleaner and the overall sound is less fatiguing with the smallest ones. Perhaps, though I have no data to back up this assertion, I wonder if that is maybe because the tube is much shorter, and thus there is less space for high-order modes (HOMs) to develop. By comparison, the sound of the Etys is less fatiguing - they use foam filters, which may help randomize HOM's - but their earpieces are (to me) less comfortable.

    I can't imaging anyone finding that they lack bass. Unless your frame of reference is a hooptie with 150dB worth of subwoofers and stock mids/highs, or you did not achieve a proper seal, that is simply impossible. You really need to try them again, but work on getting a proper seal this time.

    Used properly, the bass is, if anything, more prominent than that of Ety ER4's and similar to the Shure 530s. Bass articulation is also markedly similar to the Shure 530's, though there will always be something unnatural about the bass from IEM's due to their inability to excite the body's actual receptors for bass frequencies in the face and chest.

    There are some Ultimate Ears IEM's and Grado headphones that have a markedly more prominent midbass (the 80-160Hz octave), if that kind of coloration appeals.

    The one thing that disappoints me about the Apple IEM's is that they are a bit power hungry. They sound somewhat cleaner with a dedicated amplifier. Much more so if you listen loudly, because at least a white MacBook and a 5.0G iPod can/will audibly clip at high volumes. I have not thus far been able to detect differences in them driven by my HeadRoom Total AirHead compared to my HeadRoom Portable Micro Amp, but I plan to do some measuring of the two amps, and maybe some more rigorous (blind) listening at some point in the future, because part of me thinks I might be hearing a difference between them using other headphones.
     


  13. blackdarkeye

    blackdarkeye Senior member

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  14. macmed

    macmed Member

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    what about yuin, from what i heard it has great range of sound..
     


  15. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    what about yuin, from what i heard it has great range of sound..

    I have never heard of them. Did you do a search on Head-Fi's site?
     


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