IEM for £50-£75?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Andunemir, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Andunemir

    Andunemir New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    London, UK
    I've always been a faithful Sennheiser buyer since I started having the money to afford a decent pair of headphones. At home I have a pair of HD 800 that for obvious reasons I don't usually take for a walk and for my iPod I've always stuck to the CX series.

    Last year I got a pair of CX-870s and the sound is really good compared to the lower series but the fit is far from perfect, the fixing where the cables split gets caught in everything, you need to be constantly adjusting the volume and after less than a year I've suddenly lost like 80% of the left channel (no idea why, probably accidental pulls of that damn piece of plastic). So basically not particularly good if you move around a lot like I do.

    They're still on warranty and in perfect condition so I'll probably get them replaced but I was thinking of moving away from them to something more reliable and with more value for money. I know I can get the Phonak PFE 012 from the same distributor I got these. Is there anything else interesting apart from those ones for 75-80 quid max?

    Thanks!
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    Hi Andunemir

    The Phonak 012 are one of the best in-ears around - pretty amazing for their price because they are one of the cheapest Balanced Armature earphones, the micro drivers are the same type as found in most of the flagship in ear models. These drivers are capable of more detail than traditional mini dynamic drivers but don't tend to be as warm. The only similar earphone build design and quality wise at around this price is the Westone UM1 which are excellent earphones. They have fatter mids and suit Rock and Indie really well. Tough to pick between these two excellent earphones, both have pro fit, good cabling and are comfy to wear - I prefer the Phonak 012 as based on the sound signature though.
     
  3. Andunemir

    Andunemir New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    London, UK
    I'll go for those ones then. These guys have them so it should be fairly straightforward.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Andunemir

    Andunemir New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    London, UK
    I've been testing them for some time already and I'm coming back with my impressions. I like the sound signature but I have to say I'm disappointed by the fitting. Most of the time they sound airy and cold. If I press my ear around them, then the warmth of the bass comes back and the full sound is there but I can't get that with any sleeves. I've tried all the silicone tips and the large Comply tips and the fit is just not tight enough for the real sound to come through. Are there any sleeves around I can fit to make it tighter? I've heard Shure have some olives that are nice...
     
  5. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    The Shure Olive foam tips are denser than the comply tips, you might try the comply P-Version, if you can find them, as they contain the largest amount of foam of any tip. Even though the olive tips have a slightly smaller diameter internally than the Phonak tipsthey should still fit. Fit is still the most irritating area of IEMs as our ears are so individual. Please keep coming back to me for ideas and sharing your thoughts here as it is all helpful to others:)
     
  6. Andunemir

    Andunemir New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    London, UK
    I had heard they fit, but just in case I wanted to check if there was anything better.

    I have to say I had never had any problems with fit, but I guess the higher you go on the scale and the more demanding you get the more important it seems. Also I have to say I'm a bit of a basshead and I was coming from the CX-8xx series that move a lot but when they fit they fit well and lean towards the bass. So it's easier to feel the difference. I'll try and find those tips and see if I can get it right...

    Thanks for the help!
     
  7. Andunemir

    Andunemir New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    London, UK
    Just got the Shure olives and that basically solved the problem. If they were a bit denser (or a bit rougher so they didn't have that slight sliding move out when you put them in) that would be perfect, but it's more than enough. I know Shure also have the yellow foam tips that are slightly wider and the foam is rough but for what I've heard they get filthy in a matter of days precisely for that reason.

    So now I've been testing my gold standards of tracks in terms of pushing the limits with each one of the ranges and I'll have to readjust the EQ setings I had for the CX-8xx because I have a bit of a scratch in the mid-high range. Apart from that they sound gorgeous. This track is able to kill most cheap/unbalanced earphones and it sounds crystaline with these:

    Dark Piano - Storm Song (Live) #1 - YouTube

    So, thank you for all the help. I'll keep reporting if I find any other little thing ;-) .
     
  8. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    I am going to have a listen to that track a bit later:)

    Really glad the Shure olives made the difference!:D
     

Share This Page