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Author Topic: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?  (Read 2418 times)

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Offline Scooter123

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High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« on: May 16, 2015, 05:02:09 PM »
Most earbuds I have purchased are just plain crap--ill fitting (maybe I have big ears) so nothing short of 16mm silicone mushroom tips work for me to make a good seal and so far Urbeats are the only ones that fit right. 

So I thinking venturing into the ambient noise cancellation IEM market and the Ultimate Ears product sounds interesting.  It's made the USA, right here in California.

I was wondering from the group what IEMs people have, and their sound characteristics, flat, warm, bassy, tinny etc. 

Thanks in advance for those who respond. 
Regards,
Scooter123

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Offline dyneq

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 05:17:41 PM »
I have Westone UM3X IEMs. Not surprisingly, since they're intended to be musicians' monitors, they're pretty flat. I have had the best luck with the foam tips (no-go with the silicone tips) and get good enough isolation that I've never needed to consider a set with noise-canceling. I like them a lot when they're required (at work, etc.), but still prefer my full-sized speaker system with sub when I want to feel the full impact of my music.

Observation: it's tough to shop for IEMs because you can't audition them before buying. For that reason, if you're going to spend some money, make sure the vendor's return policy is solid.


Offline dabbler

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 06:12:44 PM »
I'm very happy with the Etymotic ER-4S.  The sound is neutral and a very well-known IEM which has been around for around 2 decades.  There's a wide variety of tips and sizes available, including aftermarket ones; and the passive isolation level is still very high compared to newer models.  While not advertised, cables are removable and replaceable (either in factory or aftermarket) when they inevitably break.

The high impedance and reasonable sensitivity allows it to work directly with high impedance outputs such as my netbook and the M10 headphone out.  It's great for listening to recordings during post-show flights.

The lower impedance variant (ER-4PT) has an adapter which raises the impedance up to ER-4S levels, but to me it's another thing to lose or break.
Beware of sensitive IEMs such as the Shure SE535 and SE215, they have lots of electrical noise with high impedance sources such as the M10.

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 07:32:14 PM »
Happy owner of Sennheiser IE80.  These are well known to be bass heavy but when i got them I was surprised they weren't more bass dominant based on what I read.  I received a good variety of tips with these headphones and tested them all out.  What i learned is that tips have a pretty significant impact on the sound you get from an IEM.  Like the others I've enjoyed the foam tips quite a bit more than the Silicon tips.  I wouldn't buy a pair of high end IEMs if the cable couldn't be disconnected from the drivers.  Just too much money invested just to have the inevitable cable issues that tends to happen eventually on all IEMs.

Offline raymonda

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2015, 09:30:06 PM »
Before you spend gobs of money try thinksound ms1. I liked them more than m akg 701Q. I sold the akg ' s soon after.

Offline jlykos

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 05:56:24 AM »
Funny this thread started; I just purchased a set of Westone W40 IEMs yesterday after my UM3x crapped the bed after five years. Here is what I have and use:

1.) Brainwavz Delta ($20 at Amazon.com): These are great IEMs for the gym. Solid construction and can handle a beating. The newer versions are stronger in the bass than the previous versions, but sound great for the price. Highly recommended.

2.) Philips S2 ($120 at Amazon.com): I use these in the office because they have an iPhone thing on the cord that allows me to take calls. I really, really like these a lot. Solid construction and look fantastic. Neutral overall with slightly hyped bass and a slightly congested presentation. Not the best isolation in the world, but that's a positive in an office environment where I need to know if somebody would like to talk to me.

3.) Westone W40 ($500 at one of those airport places): I bought these in the Atlanta airport yesterday for the flight over to Nigeria after my Westone UM3x stopped working after five years of heavy use. The airport place actually did allow me to audition these, and I did so, along with the Shure 535s. I spent most of the day listening to the W40s yesterday and I love them. Honestly, I can't see myself ever upgrading or wanting anything different. Absolutely neutral and clear presentation, with no hint of a veil or any imperfections. Clear, clear, clear, with a nicely focused soundstage and the most coherent presentation that I have ever heard in a headphone or IEM. They have four drivers in each earphone and driver integration is off the chart. I used these with an iFi Micro iDSD and an iPod, and it makes for an outstanding portable rig.

Westone UM3x (RIP, trade-in from Westone): These are a lot of fun. Very neutral sound signature with a soft but extended high end and the most immense quantity of bass that I have ever heard. The bass on these is something that you need to hear to believe. Giant, immense quantities of the extended, smooth, well-controlled bass. Fantastic if you like chopped and screwed music.
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Offline scb

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 10:48:56 AM »
check out Noble Audio

Offline pohaku

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 10:07:44 PM »
The cables are now removable/changeable? I have an older pair where the cables died and I have been debating replacing them.  I was reluctant to do so if the cables wouldn't hold up.  I like the 3 flange silicone plugs.  May have to look into their replacement discount.  It is not terrific, but it is something.




quote author=dabbler link=topic=173107.msg2142984#msg2142984 date=1431814364]
I'm very happy with the Etymotic ER-4S.  The sound is neutral and a very well-known IEM which has been around for around 2 decades.  There's a wide variety of tips and sizes available, including aftermarket ones; and the passive isolation level is still very high compared to newer models.  While not advertised, cables are removable and replaceable (either in factory or aftermarket) when they inevitably break.

The high impedance and reasonable sensitivity allows it to work directly with high impedance outputs such as my netbook and the M10 headphone out.  It's great for listening to recordings during post-show flights.

The lower impedance variant (ER-4PT) has an adapter which raises the impedance up to ER-4S levels, but to me it's another thing to lose or break.
Beware of sensitive IEMs such as the Shure SE535 and SE215, they have lots of electrical noise with high impedance sources such as the M10.
[/quote]
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Offline dabbler

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2015, 01:17:50 AM »
All the ER-4 series might have replaceable cables. If one is already damaged, you might as well give it a firm tug where the bend is to see if you can expose the 2-pin connector.  I'm not sure how much Etymotic charges for the replacement, but as far as I've heard, they won't sell you the cable alone for DIY (but there are aftermarket ones).

Offline Scooter123

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Re: High End Earbuds IEMs Ultimate Ears?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2015, 02:32:30 PM »
Ultimate Ears has a 90 degree TRS Jack into the IEM--which is retarding in my opinion.  There is usually an antenna and volume knob on top and a 90 would most definitely interfere with that function.  They don't even offer a straight jack, I would have to get in modded.  Nor does UE have any frequency response chart.  Both of these are really odd, for a high end unit.
Regards,
Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

 

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