IEM vs Over-Ear - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-04-16, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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IEM vs Over-Ear

I own a pair of Shure 840's and love the sound they have. I am doing more running again and wanted a good pair of IEMs. I tried the Shure 112, and was not impressed. I moved up to the 215 and could hear a difference but returned it too. Im on the 315. Got it from a reviewer which had it for about a month and got extra tips from it. Now im just a little over critical, but should a 199 IEM sound pretty close to a 199 Over-ear headphone from same company? Or is it wishful thinking?

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-04-16, 06:34 PM
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Re: IEM vs Over-Ear

Based on my experience with various models from various companies, I'd expect an IEM at a particular price point to outperform a circum-aural set in a similar price point. The rationale here is that noise isolation in an IEM setup is usually easier to achieve, and then (in theory) the IEM can be listened to at a lower level and the resultant lower distortion. Granted, driver impedances and design/construction have large effects on this argument, so take it with as large a grain of salt as you like.

In the ~$200 range, I think it's fair to expect any model from any manufacturer to perform very well and any preference for one make/model over another is probably the listener's taste as it relates to the headphone's interpretation of the signal. That's not always going to be true... there are leaders and followers in every price point. Given my own experience with Shure IEMs (specifically the 115's and the 210's), I'm not surprised you were less than satisfied by those models. I was reluctant to spend the money on the 315's, so I didn't. I haven't listened to any of their other offerings in the world of headphones, so I can't say one way or the other about how they stack up... but at $200 you definitely should be happy. That's a decent chunk of change to drop on a pair of headphones. (Yes, I know you can spend 10X that without looking too far).

If you find the 315's to be lacking in comparison to the cans you own, I'd say send 'em back if you're within the return window. There are many offerings both in and below your current price point that you should find satisfying. I personally like to keep my IEMs on the cheap side, and spend more money on cans. My current favorite pair of IEMs was $30.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-04-16, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ya the 840's are the best cans i have owned. They compete in clarity, depth, soundstage with my HT setup. But at closer to reference levels begin to diminish the gap, and fall behind. They aren't as deep as my PC-13 ultra but are very good. The IEMs don't have the sonic clarity and definition as i would like. I have CD files i use to compare sound. And this drummer in the band has about 50 different percussion instruments on his setup. And they are all unique sounding on the Polk system, and my over the ear cans. But muddle up on the IEM's. I just have grown accustomed to the clarity of the other ones. I would love to just buy cheapies and not worry but my tinittus doesnt really give me too many options on it. One good thing about the shures that is very nice is assortment of tips that are interchangible between models, and removable earbuds. So you can just replace a earbud or a cable easily without buying a whole new headphone set.

And if you get a chance the 840's are one of the best sounding earphones in general I have heard. They will excel in movies and music with real instruments. With stuff like rap, techno, or dubstep you won't have a huge leap of performance, as they aren't sonically diverse enough source material to fully appreciate the accurate reproduction the cans offer.

1x Onkyo TX-SR876(Receiver)
1x Panasonic TH46PZ80U (TV)
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-05-16, 01:15 AM
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Re: IEM vs Over-Ear

Not a big IEM guy, but Shure seems to have it down. I marvel that such small transducers can have such precision, but - "Yeah science!" The 840s are great phones, I will add my Amen to that!
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-07-16, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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So im returning the 315's and ordered the 535's. All the reviewers say its fantastic. I would love to try out those kse1500's. Those look wicked.

1x Onkyo TX-SR876(Receiver)
1x Panasonic TH46PZ80U (TV)
1x Polk Audio CSi5 (Center Speaker)
2x Polk Audio RTi12 (Tower Speakers)
2x Polk Audio Rti6 (Surround Speakers)
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-10-16, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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So update, the Shure SE535-CLs I ordered had a missing earpiece. It was an open box return from amazon. And so after an hour and 2 reps later i got it all squared away. Im getting the Limited Edition Red with microphone add-on for the used price of the clear ones. I tried almost every Shure earbud before settling on the 535's. 112's, 215's, 325's. All were good in the class, just not good enough

So 378 for 550$ headphones. Im happy

1x Onkyo TX-SR876(Receiver)
1x Panasonic TH46PZ80U (TV)
1x Polk Audio CSi5 (Center Speaker)
2x Polk Audio RTi12 (Tower Speakers)
2x Polk Audio Rti6 (Surround Speakers)
1x SVS PC-13 Ultra (Subwoofer)
XBox One with 5tB External HDD
Sony Playstation2, Nintendo Gamecube, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo N64, Sega Dreamcast.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-22-16, 11:34 PM
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Re: IEM vs Over-Ear

Quote:
the_rookie wrote: View Post
So update, the Shure SE535-CLs I ordered had a missing earpiece. It was an open box return from amazon. And so after an hour and 2 reps later i got it all squared away. Im getting the Limited Edition Red with microphone add-on for the used price of the clear ones. I tried almost every Shure earbud before settling on the 535's. 112's, 215's, 325's. All were good in the class, just not good enough

So 378 for 550$ headphones. Im happy
So... it's been about two weeks. How do you like the 535's?
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-24-16, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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I want the 846's....or the kse-1500's. Wanna buy them for me?

The 535's are really nice, good sound stage. Good top and bottom. But the level of detail is still not like the canned 840's.


But still very good nonetheless. I recommend the Foam tips for best seal and fitment. I have yet to test it on a THX deep note or a good movie. But music is sonically appealing.

1x Onkyo TX-SR876(Receiver)
1x Panasonic TH46PZ80U (TV)
1x Polk Audio CSi5 (Center Speaker)
2x Polk Audio RTi12 (Tower Speakers)
2x Polk Audio Rti6 (Surround Speakers)
1x SVS PC-13 Ultra (Subwoofer)
XBox One with 5tB External HDD
Sony Playstation2, Nintendo Gamecube, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo N64, Sega Dreamcast.

Last edited by the_rookie; 04-24-16 at 05:29 AM.
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