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Author Topic: Best $100 or less Earbuds?  (Read 5903 times)

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Offline BlindGuyEars

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Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« on: March 25, 2014, 10:11:35 PM »
Hi folks.

Currently I use some very cheap Sony earbuds with a rockboxed Sansa Clip Zip player. The Sony's are nowhere near flat, and it takes about a 12dB treble boost on my player to compensate.

What would you recommend for $100 or less? I'm not looking for something that overemphasizes the bass. How flat can I get for this modest amount of money?

Brands? Models?

I have Grado RS1-I's at home with a great DAC for "serious" listening. These buds will be for all other non-critical situations.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Chris

Offline DigiGal

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 11:48:59 PM »
These are perfect for your budget Shure se215 and you can have custom ear molds made for them down the line.

edit:link fixed

« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 12:00:04 AM by DigiGal »
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Offline BlindGuyEars

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 03:44:53 AM »
Thanks! :)

Offline George

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 08:17:45 AM »
The Soniq Pulse earphones/iem's are great.  I use them with my Sansa and they sound quite magical.

edit:  http://www.amazon.com/Soniq-Performance-Earphones-Frequency-Neodymium/dp/B007W8LYOY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395836845&sr=8-1&keywords=soniq+pulse

They normally run for $50. 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 08:27:55 AM by George »
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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 10:55:39 AM »
Another se215 vote here.  Sound is very good, cable is robust but also replaceable if the need arises and they're comfortable.  There are definintely better sounding IEMs out there, but I don't think there's a better value in the $100 range.  Note also that Head-fi.org and headphone.com also rate these very highly in the $100 range.

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 03:37:25 PM »
Another se215 vote here.  Sound is very good, cable is robust but also replaceable if the need arises and they're comfortable.  There are definintely better sounding IEMs out there, but I don't think there's a better value in the $100 range.  Note also that Head-fi.org and headphone.com also rate these very highly in the $100 range.

 :facepalm:  I have created a monster.... LOL

Agreed 100% on the se215.
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Offline willndmb

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 09:08:00 PM »
Do you guys know how the 215 comp to scl4
I have those but the fit in uncomfortable after a little bit and the 215 fit the budget if I sold the others
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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 04:50:27 AM »
Do you guys know how the 215 comp to scl4
I have those but the fit in uncomfortable after a little bit and the 215 fit the budget if I sold the others

search those 2 sites I suggested earlier.

I listen to music in bed and regularly woke up the next morning with my se215 still in my ears, so yeah they're comfortable.  I use past tense bc I upgraded my iems to sennheiser ie80, but I believe in the 215 since I used them for 3 years daily with no issues.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 04:52:49 AM by tonedeaf »

Offline jlykos

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 07:10:57 AM »
I just went through this process a couple months ago. I wanted an inline phone control for when I travel so I want with the Philips Fidelio S2. So far I like them a lot. I thought about the Shure 215 but decided to go in a different direction. Inner Fidelity had a great review of the Philips that swayed my opinion. You also may want to check out the Hifiman 400, it has received excellent reviews as well in the $100 category.
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Offline DigiGal

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 12:52:12 PM »
Shure sells a phone control cable for the se215's too, if that's a consideration.
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Offline BlindGuyEars

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2014, 03:52:15 PM »
Thanks again guys... loving the SE215's - got them yesterday.
Sound great and fit comfortably. I must have big ear holes - immediately switched to the largest inserts.

I do notice the low end is a little lacking, but that might be my tiny music player's fault.

Only adjustment I made with the player's EQ is lowering 8,500Hz by about 1dB.

Similarly, when I use the big Grado RS1-I's, I lower around 2K by a couple dB.

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 04:11:52 PM »
You should be getting a good low end response with the 215s.  If you have big ear openings, that's probably why you're losing low end.  Try all of the different tips you can because they can make a huge difference especially in the amount of low end you hear.  If that doesn't do it for you, I'd suggest seeking out the off brand tips by the name of Comply.  They're not cheap...something like $15 or $20 for a pack of 8 or so, but I like them.  They're kinda like the spongy ear plugs that your roll up and they expand into your ear canal.  But anyway the Comply tips provide a pretty tight fit.  The bottom line though is that the better tighter fitting are your tips, the more low end you'll retain.  Some of those tips that don't have alot of rubber in them don't isolate all that much and you lose alot of low end. 

Offline jlykos

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 05:16:00 PM »
The Shure ear tips are pretty good; I use them on my Westones and get a great seal. The lack of a low end is definitely because you are not getting a good seal. You kind of have to make the IEMs sit flush against your ear to know that you have a decent seal. You can't just let them sit against the outside of your ear like an earbud; you have to stick them inside.
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Offline powermonkey

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2014, 06:14:20 PM »
Never got on with in-ear phones, maybe I have really oddly shaped ears or something. Hence for years I've used a sucession of really cheap Philips Philips Shs3200/10's, spending £5 or so every 6 months. I've got so used to them now and pretty much any sort of earphone or headphone sounds wrong.

That said, I've got myself some Porta-pros and I've just invested in a Fiio E17 to power my DT770 Pro's, so in time I'll get used to those instead...
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Offline willndmb

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2014, 10:04:56 PM »
Order a pair of these last week, arrived at po fri with estimated delivery sat
Still not here tonight
Called mf to see if they had any more detailed tracking and nothing
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Offline airbladder

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2014, 10:14:23 AM »
I like ear buds more than iems for casual listening.  I use sennheiser cx300II and love them.  They sound good, are way under the 100$ Mark, and don't block everything out.  They have good isolation but I still have some awairness of my surroundings.  For me this is safer to use with a portable player and causes less problems with the wife.  At a certain price point I don't want to just throw headphones in my pocket because I am afraid to break them.  But with these i dont get stressed out every thime they get ripped out of my ear when I am doing yard work.
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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2014, 02:37:27 PM »
So, I've had a pair of Etymotic ER-6's since 2005 that originally cost me $80. I just noticed the other day that one of the channels stopped working. I've read stories of people running their sets through the wash and they ended up still working fine. My guess is there's a cable issue or something going on inside the housing. They have always been stored in their soft case and never really experienced any 'trauma' that I'm aware of.

Anyone ever fix theirs? I may have to start looking into the some of the recommendations in this thread.


Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2014, 11:10:42 AM »
I've had a  channel on my ER-6s stop working for two different reasons:  <1> bad cable, and <2> clogged filter.  Not much to do about the first problem, except repair or replace (and I'm all thumbs, so can't help with DIY).  For the filter, it's a breeze to remove / replace.  Your ER-6s should have come with a filter removal tool, and possibly extra filters.  Both are available for not a lot of money from Ety:  http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6-acc.html

If you have the filter removal tool, but not replacement filters, remove the filter and see if it helps.  If yes, that was your problem, and simply replace the filter.  If not, the problem lies elsewhere.
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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2014, 12:29:55 PM »
Thanks for the response, Brian. I forgot about the accessories that originally came with these. Unfortunately, swapping in a new filter didn't fix the issue.

Oh well, a 9 year run wasn't so bad.

Offline raymonda

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2014, 09:45:23 PM »
Hi folks.

Currently I use some very cheap Sony earbuds with a rockboxed Sansa Clip Zip player. The Sony's are nowhere near flat, and it takes about a 12dB treble boost on my player to compensate.

What would you recommend for $100 or less? I'm not looking for something that overemphasizes the bass. How flat can I get for this modest amount of money?

Brands? Models?

I have Grado RS1-I's at home with a great DAC for "serious" listening. These buds will be for all other non-critical situations.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Chris

Late to the dance here but if you like grado you'll like thinksound ms01. Think grado with actual bass you can feel and hear.

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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2014, 04:51:49 PM »
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=8320

I'll chime in here for the Monoprice 8320s.  Super cheap and sound surprisingly good for the $$
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Re: Best $100 or less Earbuds?
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2014, 04:57:24 PM »
Another se215 vote here.  Sound is very good, cable is robust but also replaceable if the need arises and they're comfortable.  There are definintely better sounding IEMs out there, but I don't think there's a better value in the $100 range.  Note also that Head-fi.org and headphone.com also rate these very highly in the $100 range.

 :facepalm:  I have created a monster.... LOL

Agreed 100% on the se215.

And yet another vote for SE215. I use them to mix on the fly at the club and they give me the isolation I need in a loud environment and the sound quality seems pretty good to me. Great bang for the buck!
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