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Sub-£100 IEM for folk/blues


Active Member
Hi guys,

I currently have a pair of Sony MDR EX71s that I've been using for the last few years. I like them a lot but last week lost one of the tips so I'm taking that as a sign to try out something different :). Will replace the tips on the Sonys as well as they still have plenty of life in them.

In the past I've tried Shure E2Cs (was disappointed although can't remember why exactly as it's about 5 years back) and Koss Porta Pros (absolutely loved the sound but too clunky for carrying around).

On my list this time around are:

Phonak Audéo PFE Perfect Bass 012
Head Direct RE0
Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio

I mainly listen to folk, blues and indie/alternative music. I have very small ears so comfort is key but I guess with IEMs that's all down to the tips you use anyway.

Does anyone have any comments to make on the above models especially with regard to suitability for my music taste? Also, are there any earphones I should definitely add to the mix?

Thanks folks.


Active Member
actually id say C751, IE6, IE7 if you can stretch.

all 3 you mention will feel rather light on the bass compared to your sonys (largely because the sonys are too bass heavy.) the sf3 also really isnt in the same league as the other 2.

is isolation important?


Active Member
Thanks Mark. Will have a look at the models you suggest.

I'm happy to go a bit easier on the bass this time round. Agree that the Sonys are a bit bass heavy and whilst bass is important for acoustic music, I don't need the thumping bass that someone listening to other types of music might want.

Re isolation, I'll be using mainly for commuting by train so yes, isolation is pretty important. Don't want to listen to people's boring mobile phone conversations :D. I also run, so would like to use for that but will probably end up getting more suitable phones for the purpose esp as isolation isn't really advisable for street running.

Member 266567

Active Member
actually id say C751, IE6, IE7 if you can stretch.

All of the above are bass dominant and have a decidedly warm presentation in my opinion. They are all dynamic driver designs, which gives plenty of warmth without the clarity of a balanced armature design.

The Super.fi 3 Studio and RE0 are both very bass light. Lots of accuracy, but not much warmth. OK as a monitor earphone, or if you LOVE detail.

The new PFE 012/022 is a wideband balanced armature design, so tons of detail. The new green filters Phonak have developed bring back the warmth that is missing in many wideband balanced armature designs. This one is my personal favourite.


Active Member
Thanks for that. Am veering toward the PFE 012s at the moment. I'm no expert and have taken my eye off the headphone market for the last few years so prob need to start with something that is balanced and a good all-rounder.


Active Member
ahh, then yeah the pfe's are probably a reasonable option. id also suggest the PL-50 and HF5.

if you want isolation armature things are the way to go. i recommended the items i did before due to you saying you didnt like the E2c's, many find the bass on things a big shock coming from bass monster low end IEM's.


Distinguished Member

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