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Inner Ear Monitors For Home Use.


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#1 raymondluxuryyacht

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 01:26 AM

first up i don't know the 'correct' term? IEMs?, canalphones?, earphones? personally i just say earphones even though most people think you're talking about headphones.

anyway.

i use earphones when listening to my mp3 player. are earphones suitable for home stereo use?

does anyone actually talk about their 'stereo' anymore? its stereo an outdated word?

so can the little speakers handle a home stereo ok?

if so, can you name some of the better ones?

thanks.



#2 doggiehowser

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 03:46 PM

In Ear Monitors I believe was originally created by J Harvey when he was working with performing artists as a way to monitor their own performance while performing. It was usually customized to the performers ears and had great noise rejection so the performers only heard their own parts rather than the entire band. Jerry went on to start and sell Ultimate Ears which marketed these designs for consumers before starting up JH Audio a few years later. Of course UE also began creating universal fit versions of IEMs.

Earphones are usually generic/universal fits from more conventional manufacturers like Sony et al.

In use, I guess there's nothing much to differentiate them except for price :)

These days IEMs often include the ability to handle digital crossovers and amplification (JH3A) or custom tunes (UE).

I like IEMs primarily for when I travel. My old UE11Pros are small enough to pack on trips and for long trips to the US - it means I can cut out the noisy kids and engine noise and sleep throughout. I guess for those on train commutes, it's also a good companion - plus its closed design means you won't upset the guy seated next to you.

At home tho, I prefer the use of headphones. The sound IMHO has a larger presence. But they are heavier so not as portable.

#3 Aze

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 02:23 PM

Afternoon all,

I have wondered at times about these as well, what with the myriad options of in ear, dual driver, noise cancelling etc and the massive variation in prices I have contemplated where one can actually audition these? I have seen earphones at up to 1500 pounds and you have to think are these SO much better than $100 options or is it a case of diminishing returns? I use the old apple earphones and Sennheiser HD205 headphones although I have the newer apple EarPods as well. I'm not overly fussy as its usually only when I am watching videos on youtube and don't want to disturb anyone that I bring them out.

Aze



#4 doggiehowser

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 10:35 PM

The custom IEMs require you to make molds of your ears so the final acrylic (usually) piece is an exact mirror of your ear. The perfect seal gives you the best isolation and bass response. Whether it's worth the premium is (like with all things HiFi and hobby related) a personal determination.

I remember reading there was a company in China that would take your existing universal fit IEMs and fit them in a custom shell for not too much dough.

#5 mmu16

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 08:41 AM

Yes mate, headphones are an acquired taste. Best to try demo some.  If you are in melbourne, there are a few good places you can do a decent demo. Addicted to Audio are fantastic. Jaben melbourne is also good.  I would recommend joining head-fi.org forum. Pretty good resource.  With headphones you have 3 types. In ear monitors (IEM - small), ON ear (sits on top of your ear - medium size) and Over ear (covers your entire ear - large). 

 

I started my head-fi journey recently since a newborn is not conducive to music appreciation at half decent volume.  I bought a pair of Xiaomi Piston 2.1 in ear monitors and they are fantastic! Rave reviews all over the internet.  Cost me only $25 USD + shipping (lots of fakes around so have to be careful). I compared them to some $100+ IEM's and these came on top. I also ended up buying a high res digital audio player (FIIO X5) which is an awesome bit of kit. Pair it up with either the Xiomi's or Beyerdynamic T51p's which are outstanding. These are closed back on ears so they dont leak sound and are portable.  For home I have a pair of classic Grado SR125's. Amazing sound but open backed so leaks sound in and out. Not great for public transport but fabulous for home. I would recommend a good pair of open backed on ears for home.  

 

Good luck!



#6 raymondluxuryyacht

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 01:30 PM

so is it ok to use earphones with your home stereo, will the little speakers be ok with it?



#7 mmu16

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 11:05 AM

I'd recommend going for bigger, open backed headphones. On and Over ear speakers have a much wider sound stage.  in ears are more suited for travel. Open backed designs sound better than closed back. Sennheiser momentum series is a perennial contender. AKG 701's are also great. Depends on your budget (first) and then music style and source. 



#8 Aze

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 05:31 PM

Thanks for the advice mmu16, I might check it out. I don't use them a lot so not sure if its worth it for me to upgrade from my low-end sennheiser's as if I want to listen to music I usually do it on the lounge system but will read up on the models you mentioned because Xiaomi's aren't going to blow the budget :)

Aze



#9 doggiehowser

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 05:49 PM

The XiaoMis are incredibly good value. But as mentioned before - beware of fakes. Can't understand how there can be fakes of something so cheap :)

I did damage my XiaoMis before. The connection became intermittent so I sometimes lost audio to one side or both. And there was no way to replace the cable.

But at that price it's hard to quibble when you can get a full replacement complete with cable for what it costs to replace the cable on my UE 11Pros :)

#10 mmu16

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 12:10 PM

Aze,

 

Read this thread on head-fi.

 

http://www.head-fi.o...tons-thread-2-0

 

Make sure you buy yours from a verified seller in that list. I bought mine from ibuygou.com. The 1st pair i bought off amazon were fakes. 



#11 Aze

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 10:20 AM

Thanks for the link, good reading for anyone wanting a cheap pair of earphones :)

Aze