Earbuds/IEMs on a $50 budget

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eqblues

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Ive been reading older posts here to find out more about a set of earbuds or IEMs that fit my budget but Im still in the dark as to what to get.

So far the Sennheiser CX300's seem like the best choice but Im REALLY put off by the asymetrical cable. Thats the only thing keeping me from getting them.

My budget is around 50 dollars, so its limiting my choices a lot.

I would like to get the UE metro.fi 2's but those are more expensive and the Amazon.com reviews are not that great about them.

So what else would you recommend within this budget, and this anti-asymetrical cable thing I got going? Im thinking I might have to live with the cable after all because the Senn's price is great and so are the reviews.
 

bfcoughlin

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I just bought a set of JBuds J2 HiFi noise isolating earbuds. I haven't had a lot of experience with them, but they seem sturdy and seem to have good sound. There's very litle in the way of cord noise. They were $24 at amazon.com. I chose them because they got very good reviews there. Mind you, I'm not an audiophile.

I've got a pair of Sennheiser CX300s and I like the sound very much--if I'm sitting and listening; but I do find the asymmetrical cord annoying if I'm moving around. I always end up ripping it out, and they have a LOT of crod noise.
 

mlokubo

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maybe give the Griffin Tunebuds a shot. i've had their Tunebud Mobiles for almost a year now with no issues. the Mobiles are just the mic equipped version of the Tunebuds, designed for the iPhone. i originally bought them for wearing under my helmet when i ride and because they came in black (the white buds just look so tooly, imo). they've pretty much become my "old reliables" now as i tend to grab these on the way out the door no matter where i'm going or what i'm doing... Griffin has always made great quality, nice sounding accessories and these are no different.

the sound is decent, on par with the Sony EX71's but with more controlled bass response. the highs are pretty crisp although the mids do get a little lost. side by side with the sennheisers, i prefer the Tunebuds as they're a little less boomy and still just as bright, with a slightly fuller sound. granted, this is just MY observation. YMMV.

as for the pack-ins, they come with a zippered nylon case, 3 sets of silicone fittings, and SYMMETRICAL wires, which i assume to be your preferred wire setup.

they retail for $29 but can be found for about $20 shipped. if you're planning on using an iphone, go for the Tunebud Mobiles. they retail for $49, but i think i got mine for $35 shipped on Amazon... the Mobiles have a great microphone, and they step it up with braided nylon covering over the wires to minimize sound conduction as the cables sway and control tangling.
 

eqblues

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The Griffin Tunebuds look nice but they seem to be the almost exactly the same thing as the previously available Griffin Earthumps that I bought for my sister a while ago. Its nice that they have a symmetrical cable and all but at 29 dollars, they wouldnt feel like enough of an upgrade from the iPod earbuds.

Something thats closer to the $50 mark would be nice.
 

-HAZE-

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I used the 20% Microsoft Cashback deal to get a pair of $67 (retail $139) Ultimate Ears Super Fi 3s for $53.

You will not find a better set of IEMs for under $100.
 

gravity

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I recently got my Ultimate Ears metro.fi 150 for upgrading my CX 300. And they are better in my opinion. Just look for them. And: They are newer than the metro.fi 2 ones. (2008 > 2007)

I really like them, symmetric cable. ;)
 

jasoncordelle

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Metro.Fi 150's are a better bet than the competition at the same price point.

Nice bass (but not intrusive), amazing clarity and separation (as you'd expect from UE) and a good price point.

They are by far the best earplugs I have ever had...
 

eqblues

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jasoncordelle said:
Metro.Fi 150's are a better bet than the competition at the same price point.

Nice bass (but not intrusive), amazing clarity and separation (as you'd expect from UE) and a good price point.
I think Im gonna end up going with either the metro.fi 150s or the metro.fi 200s. The 200s are more expensive than what I had planned but oh well.

Does anyone know the difference between the metro.fi 2's and the metro.fi 200s? they look exactly the same but have different prices.
 

k1ng1992

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for $50 check out Skull Candy IEM's. I used to have them before i moved on to Shure IEM's (which are amazing) they are all really good deals and people say they are better than the V-Moda Vibes (which are $100).
 

robertwage

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There is a great solution and an inexpensive set of earbuds. They are called isobuds. It's a cover that goes over iPod earbuds or any other standard earbud. It gives the earbud a customized fit.
 

eqblues

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robertwage said:
There is a great solution and an inexpensive set of earbuds. They are called isobuds. It's a cover that goes over iPod earbuds or any other standard earbud. It gives the earbud a customized fit.
I wouldnt consider that enough of an upgrade to the normal buds. I want an improvement in sound that not only comes from improved outside noise isolation.
 

AdrianW

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Why the hate for asymmetrical cables? I loved that cable on my Sennheiser CX300s - it's so much more convenient to have the cord around the back of your neck, then if you need to take the buds out to listen to something, the buds just hang safely. With the straight cords your buds end up on the floor when you take them out (if you're not careful).

Check out this store Headphonic - Ear Buds, they have a great range and they've recommended certain models - just note that this is an Aussie store, so the prices won't be what you're expecting. There's a couple of models that are recommended and relatively inexpensive - HeadDirect RE2 & OVC TC20 (note: I haven't had experience with either).
 

N e s s

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eqblues said:
I think Im gonna end up going with either the metro.fi 150s or the metro.fi 200s. The 200s are more expensive than what I had planned but oh well.

Does anyone know the difference between the metro.fi 2's and the metro.fi 200s? they look exactly the same but have different prices.
When Ultimate Ear released Metro.fi 100 and 150, they changed 2 to 200. There are absolutely no differences. I've owned Metro.fi 150 and I cannot recommend them unless you have a large ear canals. I have medium size ear canals, and because the body of the earphones are slightly larger than the medium sleeves, I can't get a good seal because they don't go in as far.

I have yet to try HeadDirect RE2, but I heard they are best bang for buck. You can get them for $50 US with free shipping.
 

kyussmondo

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enfirno

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I've had some Sony EX-71SLs for a couple years and they have treated me very well. With the proper earsock, you pretty much cut out all ambient noise. Bass is good, but not too crazy like some Sony models. They have an asymmetrical cable though. Only thing is, if you run with them in, you have to tuck them into your shirt because you'll get a stethoscope effect when the cord bumps into you. it's not too bad.

They can be had for really inexpensive($30 or so) and come in white if that tickles your fancy (just search on amazon, I'm new so cannot post links). Waaaay more earbud than the price suggests.

Personally, hugely expensive earbuds are a waste of money for me because I don't encode my music in a lossless format. I have home and car stereo systems for hi-fidelity. Just my 2c.
 
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