Recommendations please...

Discussion in 'Portable Headphones & Earphones' started by great_badir, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. great_badir

    great_badir Casual Listener

    Nov 18, 2011
    Hi all – long time reader, first time poster/member.

    I’m after some recommendations/pointers for my next in-ear buds (preferably noise isolating, but not a major deal breaker), please. Although I have reasonable experience with numerous makes at the low to mid range price level, I generally have a history of being a bit of a slave to mid-range Panasonic buds (always limited with what I could afford) and was always basically satisfied. My most recent buds were Sennheiser CX55s, which I absolutely loved but, unfortunately, they succumbed to the usual Sennheiser problem of a faulty jack after a couple of years’ relatively light use. The cable noise could get a tad annoying too.

    So, my audio source is an iAudio X5 with Rockbox installed (I’m hoping to upgrade to an X7 after christmas, funds permitting, but let’s work on the X5 for now on the basis that the sound shouldn’t be too different). I’m a bit of an awkward customer in that I like bass, mids and treble all set quite high on the EQ (preferring custom settings over pre-sets), almost to the point of where they’re competing with each other, but still like to hear individual instruments and background ambience as well. I get massively frustrated when the levels bleed or distort (something that was never a problem with the CX55s). I know – I’m my own worst enemy…

    My most HATED feature would be flat, or lack of decent bass, so I think the most important factors to consider would be centred on bass, but not to the expense of the mids and trebles. I also don’t like muffled or distant sound – I like things to be quite close and up front.

    My favourite/most listened to genres are prog rock and modern jazz, but I do otherwise have quite an eclectic mix on the iAudio which also includes pop, classical, English folk, acoustic, soul, blues and funk. I also like live music – I would say at least 60% of my collection is live stuff. Very little of all of that is any later than late 90s, with most of it being 60s and 70s.

    I’m an audiophile to the extent that I can easily tell the difference between MP3 at 128 and Ogg at 160 or higher and that iPods are one of the worst sounding players on the market, but not to the extent that I can tell much of a difference between £300 Monster Turbine or Grado ‘phones and £150 Shures (having demoed all three in the past).

    I would generally be using them during my walk to work (which goes by busy main roads) and in the office, occasionally on a train or bus commute.

    I now find myself in the position of being able to afford up to £100. If best recommendations are less than that, then that’s fine too – it doesn’t HAVE to be £100 or near as possible. I could probably stretch a little bit over £100, but it would have to be really special for me to do that.

    I’ve spent a lot of time researching and reading reviews on websites, and reading through numerous threads on here, but every time I think I’ve found THE one, I then come across a review or two which mentions something that puts me right off (Brainwavz B2 being the most recent example) and I am at the end of my tether. RHAs are at the top of the list at the moment but, with up to £100 to spend, I can’t get past that price and refuse to accept the possibility that they are that good.

    So, now I am turning to the pros. Over to you…
  2. burton

    burton Dynamic Driver

    Jan 25, 2011
    Have you thought about the Klipsch Image 4 earphones? Good sound for the money and come under the budget that you have.

    I have slowly worked my way up and I am happy now with X10i but started with a pair of Shures - CX300II - IE8 - Klipsch 4 and now I have the X10i awesome sound but over your budget but I would give the 4's a go as they are worth the money.
  3. ClimacticCoda

    ClimacticCoda Well Balanced

    Oct 2, 2011
    I would have to agree that the Klipsch Image S4 is a good choice. Emphasized bass, clear mids, accurate highs, noise-isolating of course and well within your budget.

    You can also look into the Monster Turbine Pro. The bass is emphasized and controlled, mids are clear, highs are extended and the soundstage is impressively open. They don't offer the best accuracy, but they're still solid. They isolate sound, they're durable and they come with a lifetime warranty. They're priced at the high end of your budget depending on where you look. Best of luck!

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