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Help Me Choose New Earbuds

Help Me Choose New Earbuds

Old Jul 29, 11, 1:48 am
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Help Me Choose New Earbuds

I had a great pair of earbuds with the Comply foam tips - amazing sound, but I lost them at YYZ during boarding after stupidly removing them from the carry-on

I am looking for a pair that offer good sound isolation (when used with compatible Comply foam tips), but exceptional sound reproduction across a broad frequency range as the music I listen to is almost exclusively classical - so a narrow frequency range is a deal breaker. Also, they must be compatible with Comply foam tips as the tips that ship with every headset just don't work with my ears.

I've narrowed the list down to the following sub-$100 options - hoping some folks here might tip me towards or away from one option or the other.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDREX310L...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-NE-700...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/GOgroove-Ergon...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/Shure-SE115-BL...639448&sr=1-26

http://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-M2-I...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-IMAGE-...ref=lh_ni_t_mi
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Old Jul 29, 11, 10:38 am
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First, I would highly recommend increasing the budget if possible. $100 is right on the verge of some super high quality 'phones.

I have had Shure (the wife stole them from me) and now have Etymotic and they are fantastic. I am waiting on my custom earmolds to show up, I have high hopes for even better comfort and noise isolation.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 10:58 am
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I'll second the Etymotic recommendation -- you really can't beat them. I've been through most other brands, but short of some of the higher end Ultimate Ears, I keep going back to my Ety's.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 11:04 am
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After doing LOTS of research, and asking on FT (there is a thread here asking about headphones that has some earbud comments you should check out) I ended up buying my husband for his birthday the Shure 425s. Yes, more than $100, but the sound quality is great, good noise isolation and they are very comfortable.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 1:10 pm
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Ditto on the Etymotics. I've used the ER-6i for about 4 years now. Still outstanding noise isolation, superb sound quality. A check of their website shows Etymotic now sells this for $99, and they have a less expensive alternative, the mc5 ($79) with equal or better specifications in all areas.

I've seen the ER-6i appear on sale on several websites for in the low $80's over the last two years, though I find none right at the moment from any online vendor I've done business with. I noted, however, that Best Buy is listed as an authorized dealer, but no ER-6i or mc5 models show up on their website. Local stores may have some in stock.

They really are quite good.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 6:08 pm
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I'm a Shure fan and still rue the day I left mine in the seat pocket of an AA flight, the last leg of the usual 24 hour grind coming back from Asia.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 10:36 pm
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Sony MDR-ED21LP = inexpensive, surprisingly good sound (I haven't found any I like better) and comfortable (for me, the in-ear isolation buds are irritating)
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Old Jul 29, 11, 11:59 pm
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The Shure and Etymotics are a little more than I want to spend, especially since I need to buy the Comply foam tips on top of the headphone cost...and possibly a carrying case as well.

I saw this pair of Sonys that were highly rated: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-XB40E...pr_product_top

My only concern is the large bass driver - which might not be classical music friendly, and they apparently stick out of the ear quite a bit, making resting on your side on the flight impossible.
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Old Jul 30, 11, 12:27 am
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http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...cle-added-7-24

informative post at head-fi that reviews MANY IEM's. I used this to purchase 3-4 pairs in the past year or so...and its been spot on.
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Old Jul 30, 11, 3:24 am
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I started with Logitech Ultimate Ears 700, around $170. Great sound and great isolation. They lasted one week, then the sound level dropped on one side, apparently a dead driver, so returned for refund.

So then I decided to go cheap and got the Sony MDR EX58V for under $30. Great sound but fair isolation because the tips aren't so good. I got a Monster assortment of tips and experimented to find the best ones for me and now sound isolation is great, almost as good as ear plugs but not quite. Tiny size is perfect for resting head on pillow without discomfort.

I'm amazed that cheap ear buds are so good. I use them for all sorts of classical and rock with a Sansa Clip+. Piano is awesome, as are live concert recordings. Also a lot of movies on my laptop. Movie sound so awesome, I can't believe how the ear buds change the experience.

Then I wanted a second pair as a backup so I tried the more expensive Sony MDR EX310. The sound is great but no better than the cheaper model. I tried
switching back and forth and couldn't hear a difference. However this one comes with hybrid tips that are decent so I don't feel the need for Monster tips. The size is little bigger so not so good with head on pillow.
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Old Jul 30, 11, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
I had a great pair of earbuds with the Comply foam tips - amazing sound, but I lost them at YYZ during boarding after stupidly removing them from the carry-on

I am looking for a pair that offer good sound isolation (when used with compatible Comply foam tips), but exceptional sound reproduction across a broad frequency range as the music I listen to is almost exclusively classical - so a narrow frequency range is a deal breaker. Also, they must be compatible with Comply foam tips as the tips that ship with every headset just don't work with my ears.

I've narrowed the list down to the following sub-$100 options - hoping some folks here might tip me towards or away from one option or the other.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDREX310L...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-NE-700...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/GOgroove-Ergon...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/Shure-SE115-BL...639448&sr=1-26

http://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-M2-I...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-IMAGE-...ref=lh_ni_t_mi
Not sure about those earpieces but I have Ety HF3s and they are really good at about $100 on Amazon. Those have a microphone for talking as well as a remote control on the wire. They make a version without the microphone that is under $60 I think. I like them a lot. Left my first pair in the seat back of a 777 after arriving at ORD from NRT last year. Immediately ordered another pair. I dont travel without them.
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Old Jul 30, 11, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by qoodoo View Post
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...cle-added-7-24

informative post at head-fi that reviews MANY IEM's. I used this to purchase 3-4 pairs in the past year or so...and its been spot on.
, that's my other forum beside flyertalk. To OP, how much is your budget?
If you double it, you might want to consider Fischer DBA-02
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Old Jul 30, 11, 12:32 pm
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The Etymotic come with foam tips
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Old Jul 30, 11, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by 9Benua View Post
, that's my other forum beside flyertalk. To OP, how much is your budget?
If you double it, you might want to consider Fischer DBA-02
I'd like to keep the total cost around $60 or less including the headphones, any foam tips, and carrying case
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Old Jul 30, 11, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
I'd like to keep the total cost around $60 or less including the headphones, any foam tips, and carrying case
Etymotic MC3 and MC5 are both under $60 on Amazon.
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