Which IEM's for me?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphones & Earphones' started by jmsellars1, May 19, 2012.

  1. jmsellars1

    jmsellars1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Hi guys, I'm new here and was looking for advice on in ear monitors.

    I need some to be used mainly for rehearsal and possibly to be used as earplugs for concerts but they will also be used for some semi-serious recording.

    My main concerns are to find something:

    - With good noise isolation. I use alpine pro earplugs at the moment, if I can find something as effective as those, that would be great. I'm a drummer in a metal band so this part is important.
    - Flat frequency response. (Or as flat as possible at this budget) I have been using my Klipsch Image One headphones for recording/mixing but as great as they sound for listening to music, they have too much bass for recording/mixing.
    - Comfortable. Not a huge concern but I would like to be able to wear them for 4 hours at a time without being in discomfort.

    Lastly, if I could find something relatively low profile that would be great but it's not important.

    Ideally I would like to find something in the £20-40 range as I don't need custom moulds or ultra high sound quality but I will consider suggestions up to £80-100 too.

    Thanks in advance for any help, I am new to in ear monitoring so if anyone has any additional advice/information on the subject, it would be appreciated.
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    Hi jmsellars1

    Your budget restricts you a little bit but I have some great tips which fit well within what you are looking at spending. IEM's are great for drummers, I use some ACS T1s which are amazing but sadly very pricey - Here are some great Pro options without going crazy with the cash.

    SoundMAGIC PL30 In-Ear Sound Isolating Earphones in Black
    £29.99 - Very impressive for the price, these get used by bands and are also used by one of the UK News channels for guests and guest presenters!

    Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones in Black (SE 215)
    £79.96 - Shures bottom of the range is a brilliant IEM.

    Audeo PFE 012 Perfect Bass Earphones in Black (PFE-012)
    £89.99 - Great isolation and a comfy fit, beautifully detailed sound. Not the most bass heavy earphone but will cut through even if it sounds like World War 3 is happening outside.

    Westone UM1 True-Fit Single-Driver Earphones (UM 1)
    £94.96 - Full on Pro monitors for under £100

    The Shure and Westone normally come with foam tips, these isolate better than siolicone tips and are comfier and stay in better - perfect for musicians. You need to get the correct ones for the headphone you pick but they really make a difference - COMPLY Foam.

    If you want the best possible isolation have a look at this brilliant product from ACS.

    Hope that helps:)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  3. jmsellars1

    jmsellars1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Thanks so much for the reply!

    The reason for the low budget is that I'm out of work at the moment so I'm thinking of getting something cheap to use for a while. Then when I find some work I will probably spend £100+ to get something decent.

    After looking at some reviews of the PL30's, some people are saying that they have great sound quality but the noise isolation is a bit sub par. Does this sound right? Is it going to be possible to find something with very good noise isolation for this kind of price? I don't mind if the sound quality isn't great, so long as the noise isolation is as good as my ER-20's or Alpine Pro's.

    One more question. In terms of price, where would you say is the sweet spot of price/performance for IEM's?

    Thanks so much for the help :)
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    I would say there are a few different "sweet spots". The market is so wide price wise that you really have to pick your price point. There are some amazing earphones for under £50 from SoundMAGIC, ME Electronics, etc but probably the main sweet spot is around £100, this is where the earphones start to nail their colours to the mast. Phonaks have a crisp and clear tone with subtle but rich bottom end, TFTA have huge crushing bass, Sennheiser IE6/IE60 are a comfortable relaxed liste3n, Shure SE215 have a great contemporary mid forward sound - This is where you begin to be able to choose something to really suit your tastes.

    Someone with £300 is a very lucky person as all the earphones around this price are pretty stunning to the right person.

    On the subject of isolation, some earphones are better than others but again this is partially down to fit and can always be improved with the Comply tips or even a custom sleeve. Etymotics have excellent isolation, they can feel a little bass light but actually are a charming listen which most people enjoy if they are not a bass monster.
     
  5. jmsellars1

    jmsellars1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Thanks very much for the replies, you have been really helpful.

    I think I'll grab something really cheap for now then get something decent later. Any tips on getting something with flat frequency response? Most of the ones you suggested seem to have more of a 'coloured' sound. Something in the £20-30 range and something in the £100-150 range would be great. Keep in mind that these will just be used as monitors/earplugs really, not so much for 'leisure' listening.

    That ACS custom sleeve looks amazing, am I right in thinking it's basically a custom mould 'upgrade' which should fit almost any standard ear canal style earphone?

    Sorry to keep asking so many questions, the help is appreciated :)
     
  6. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    Yes that is exactly what the ACS Custom Sleeves are!

    You cannot really get an IEM with a definite flat response for a really low price. A flat response means a serious driver that is very accurate and detailed. Cheaper IEMs mask their inadequacies by having a very sculpted sound. The Etymotics are pretty flat, the HF5 is probably the cheapest earphone that could be considered pretty flat.

    Etymotic hf5 In-Ear Sound Isolating Earphones Black
    £99.95

    The only cheaper option approaching that is probably These.

    SoundMAGIC PL50 In-Ear Sound Isolating Earphones (PL 50)
    £59.95

    Not as good but pretty amazing for the price.
     
  7. jmsellars1

    jmsellars1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Thanks for the help, I think I have a better idea of what I'm looking for and how much I might need to spend now. I might botch together some kind of solution with my existing gear like using my headphones with the volume cranked up while wearing earplugs or something for now until I can find ~£100-150 for some decent IEM's.
     
Loading...

Share This Page