which headphones should i buy?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by spacejunk, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. spacejunk

    spacejunk Well Balanced

    Dec 26, 2010

    i would like to buy some new in ear headphones and wondering which i should buy

    i currently use Sony MDREX500 - i like the range of frequencies they appear to cover; the treble is clear and the bass heavy. I use an ipod classic and usually listen on the bus, tube, train and walking. I listen to a mix of 80s hip hop, jazz, funk, soul, rock and electronic.

    Money isnt an issue (tho I need a really good reason to buy the Shure 535)

    I only want to buy one pair or earphones and without listening to them before purchasing i would like a recommendation.

    I have been looking at the following...

    Shure 535
    Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10
    Etymotic HF3
    Etymotic ER4
    Monster Turbine Pro Copper

    I have a few concerns that maybe someone can help with too...

    The Shure 535 are expensive and the Shures I have heard in the the past of been lacking in bass (these were only entry level but even those had a better separation than my Sonys).
    The Ultimate Ears appear like I may have a problem fitting them and keeping them in - i have a tregas piercing which made the Atomic Floyd earphones I tried out uncomfortable. Also, the heavy part of the UE's, do they bounce (like the Atomic Floyd which feel like they are slipping out as you walk) and fall out?
    The Etymotic seem to offer the best noise isolation but they dont seem to be as highly recommended as my first 2 options. Also they have been said to be lacking in bass.
    In my experience, the Monster products I've encountered have been poorly made and generally cables split and casings fall apart...

    The UE seem to have a better bass response and are cheaper than the 535's but the cables I've heard are easy to split. And theres the issue with the weight of the external part of the earphone.

    Anyone have anything to tell me that may sway me into a firm decision?

  2. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    In-ear headphones

    If you like the sound signature of the Sony MDREX500 then I would think twice about the Etymotics. They have a sound signature that is really quite lacking in bass response.

    The Shure SE535 really is the best in-ear headphone on the market. There is plenty of bass response, although not as much as something like the Westone 3. The midrange is truly excellent with the SE535 and the cabling is a work of art.

    The UE Triple.fi 10 is excellent value for money, but as you suggest fit can be a problem due to the size of the nozzles on the earphone bodies.

    I'm afraid I don't have experience with the Monster Turbine.

    Another earphone well worth considering is the Westone UM3X. These compete with the Shure SE535 for fit, sound and are nearly there (but not quite) with build quality.
  3. dave998

    dave998 Casual Listener

    Jan 17, 2011

    hi,have had 535s and did not care for them,and the pth is a waste of space,also be aware shure,whilst bieing excellent, are modular units and cant be split to repair, i found the 420s as good and a better fit,( i think these have just been superceeded so maybe bagains out there, hope this helps,best way to go,try em all,dave.
  4. dave998

    dave998 Casual Listener

    Jan 17, 2011

    ps, i am currently using ue triplefis,great but can work loose,and a bit big to get custom fit moulds(see my earlier post),cheers,dave

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