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IEM Ety ER-6i options: HF5, Q-Jays, RE-262, ACS T15, DBA-02?

Discussion in 'Headphones & Portable Music' started by pollen, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. pollen

    pollen Member

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    Really, really liked my Etymotics as my first pair of proper IEMs. Need replacements asap. Originally chose ER-6i for the extra bass and the isolation quality for travelling, as I'm on train or around and about most days (found triple flange works best). Source mostly macbook pro, or iPod/phone (no amp). Mostly electronic music, soul/funk/disco, dub, reggae, some jazz, rock/indie, occasional classical. Almost always minimum 320kbps.

    Here's where I'm at:

    Budget of c£100, but could be persuaded up.

    HF5 - first thought, as seem natural Ety progression from 6i's, but slight concern about depth of bass. Avail on offer at £85.

    Q-Jays - very tempted but seem difficult to source in UK. Found for £115 (but in odd colour)

    Head Direct HiFiMAN RE-262 look good. Found for £99. Bargain?

    ACS T15s also look interesting, although outside what I was going to spend @ £149. Are they worth the extra?

    Fischer Audio DBA-02 - really like these if price right. But cannot seem to find anywhere in UK/Europe. Is there a mk2 coming?

    Ruled a few makers out during research, including Westone, Shure. So grateful for any comments on what I've chosen that I think will best suit my preferences. No opportunity to try before I buy AFAIK. Many thanks.
  2. Steven

    Steven Senior Moderator

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    Relatively speaking (emphasis on), £100 for a well reviewed IEM is pretty good imo. If you don't like it after burn-in (that's what reviewers say) then can always sell it with minimal depreciation on head-fi, assuming you can retain it in 'as new' condition
  3. joelk2

    joelk2 Active Member

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    May I ask why you have ruled out some of the brands? UE700 can be ha for under budget. Also a new contender in my search has been the Shute SE215. Under budget and has removable cables (positives and negatives on this)
  4. mark2410

    mark2410 Member

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    skip the UE700, it sucks


    the 262 is the best but not so isolating. actually id take the q-JAYS, not perfect but wonderfully musical. hf5 isnt too far behind but not quiet as good or enjoyable but isolates like a mofo. bass depth is good but lacks abundance, not really any more so than most of the ones you mention though.
  5. HiFi Headphones

    HiFi Headphones Member Assured Advertiser

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    Just to confuse things even further... :)

    Don't forget the Phonak Audeo PFE 012. This is our number one choice under the £100 mark, unless you really want big bass and then we would suggest a dynamic driver earphone like the Beyerdynamic DTX101ie.
  6. pandemic

    pandemic Active Member

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    I use the Phonak PFE 012 model and they are excellent for my needs. However, the OP mentions wanting to choose the ER6i's for the 'extra bass'. Now in my opinion the Phonak's do not provide very much bass in terms of quantity, but the bass quality is excellent.

    I'm guessing the etymotics the OP has used were using balances armatures and not dynamic drivers. In which case you might want to try out a dynamic pair of earphones to see if you like the sound. Personally, I prefer the Balanced Armature headphones, there is a difference in the sound 'signature' between the different types of drivers. I only mention it as if you jump in and buy a dynamic pair, you may not like the sound reproduction.
  7. pollen

    pollen Member

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    Thanks all. As I understand it, the UE700 is a bit bright, with emphasis on mids and treble. It's not all about the bass, but I'd like it deep and punchy without needing an amp to get it. On these grounds I think I've also now ruled out the HF5 and RE-262 (the latter being very mid-centric with coloured sound).

    The SE215 has a better sound sig, but my concerns are around the wiring/connectors preventing a really good fit - isolation is v. important to me. There also seem to be a lot of complaints about the connectors failing too.

    I am definitely in the market for BA over dynamic for the more balanced analytical sound.

    The phonac is confusing! Concern here is that I don't seem to get the same isolation with foam/silicon tips.

    As the q-jays are proving elusive (at least in anything that's not red/white or blue/white) I think that leaves me with the ACS T15 (which look a good balance of sound sig and isolation even if they are single armature and more expensive) or the DBA-02 MKII (less low end but much wider stage) on import for c£120. Decisions, decisions!
  8. joelk2

    joelk2 Active Member

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    I've read about the connections too but shure customer service is excellent also it seems the connection issues were related to an earlier batch and has now been rectified.

    For myself I've decided on these and it gives merge opportunities for making my own custom iem cable.

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