Most Comfortable IEMs

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by IUONA, May 3, 2020.

  1. IUONA

    IUONA Friend

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    I’ve attempted to use headphones (on & over ear) in bed for a while, now, but I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t inevitably fall off and/or hurt when I end up resting my head cheek-side down on a pillow or something.

    I’m assuming I’m not the only person who’s had trouble finding a really comfortable and not shitty sounding solution to listening in bed without bothering or waking the person next to you.

    So, the IEM hunt begins...

    Preferences & Priorities (comfort above all else, obviously)
    • No protrusions extending beyond the ear that will exert increased pressure on the ears when one rests their head on it’s side.

    • Stays in place when one moves around in bed

    • Doesn’t penetrate your ears so much that you think it’s going to mumble, “You gots a purty ear canal,” then, later, it yells, “Squeal like a pig!” while you suffer through it. ...

    • Small form factor (I imagine that’ll solve a lot of these issues by itself)

    • Sounds relatively good, or at least okay for casual listening & TV. Idk what other folks would want, but me - no crazy treble or high midrange peaks (but a slightly elevated treble or a bit of a dark tilt are fine), doesn’t resonate like a bell, a mostly flat or pleasant midrange, bass that’s somewhere between neutral & tastefully elevated (but doesn’t sound like someone put $25K & more subwoofers than seats into a car from 1996 that’s only worth $2K. Personally, I dislike overbearing bass that muddles & takes away from everything else.) I realize those preferences may set too high a bar in conjunction with the other priorities, so bottom line - just doesn’t sound like shit.

    • A cable that isn’t too unwieldy & stupid. I don’t care what kind of copper it is or how beautiful it is. (Ideally it’s replaceable, but that’s not necessary.)

    • Isn’t so expensive that a normal person would question my sanity and priorities in life. Say, around or under the $300 mark.
    Now, everyone desperately search their minds & IEM stashes so I don’t have to hear, “Turn that the fuck down! What’s wrong with you? God... And move the fuck over,” at 10:00pm most nights even though I’ve already got the god damn TV/iPad at a barely audible volume. I know, find someone else to sleep with, or sleep alone...but, that’d be harder than finding some bedIEMs.
    :Violin:

    (Generous, graceful, wise, benevolent, infallible and merciful Moderators - I didn’t spot a thread about this, but if one already exists, please feel free to delete this and nudge, gently toss, or vigorously sumo-wrestle me over into that thread.)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  2. IUONA

    IUONA Friend

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    Should probably tag @shotgunshane and maybe @purr1n would have some experience? Anybody else who’s got a fair amount of experience with IEMs, please tag ‘em for me.

    Based on a browse through @shotgunshane ’s current list, these seems like potential candidates (but, obviously I can’t tell what the ergonomics/fit are like based on this, so hopefully folks can provide their experience with that & share other options):
    • Brainwavz B400 is intriguing at only $119 right now, but the photos make them look like they might be a little too big
    • The (Mass)Drop Plus is reportedly very small
    • The Drop EDC3
    • Fostex TE-02N with the smurf mod ($30!)
    • Moondrop Crescent looks tiny, but I don’t know if that housing shape would do that Deliverance thing to me...

    I wish somebody in the industry would take a serious crack at developing decent earphones/IEMs for bed/sleep. I don’t doubt a lot of companies could make awesome options. The only thing specifically for sleep that I know of are the Bose Sleepbuds, which look remarkably comfortable, and I’d probably be okay with the sound if they could actually play music or anything other than preprogrammed noises.

    ...Start a movement, start a fellowship, call & email Elon Musk (he can take a fucking time out from Mars), and none of this will interfere with your day drinking, begging the Chinese food delivery driver to stop and get Reece’s pieces & Tums, and the other weird shit we’re all doing.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  3. JellyRhino

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  4. cocolinho

    cocolinho Acquaintance

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    Massdrop plus match your criteria, you can also check Westone.
    They may not be the best sounding IEM for the money (quite laid back) but comfort wise they are hard to beat. I got a good deal for a set of B50, without EQ they are bad but once you play with EQ (I add 4/6db on 4-8 Khz region) they become decent and again comfort wise they are fantastic (small & lightweight)
     
  5. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    No need to spend $300 on iems for bedtime, imho. First consideration for me is comfort and that means Comply tips to start. Second is size and weight. No CNC'd titanium or other precious and heavy metal. Fancy cables are out especially if you roll or pull on a shorter cable and either pull the iems out of your ears or the plug out of the jack.

    My faves are dirt cheap, small, light and do not stick out much but need a decent cable extender because of their stupid lopsided Y cable. They also need more power than your iphone or the like. Many will laugh but even not eq'd these things can go toe to toe with some older $300 plus iems I have lived with. Hard to find but they are out there and for peanuts. At least they would be a good starting point til you find out what other quirks iems in bed may present. Sony MH-755 with Comply T-200 isolation tips and a Sony extension cable. Less than $40 all in.
     
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  6. IUONA

    IUONA Friend

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    I don’t think I’ll be adding any layers of complexity at all. Finding a way to EQ something straight from the bedroom TV, I’d rather just get decent sounding gear that doesn’t require EQ to be okay.

    I had a Westone 4R years ago, top of their lineup at the time, I think. It was really weird sounding - like some suck out in the low treble & the bass/mids balance was just odd sounding. So I’ve just avoided Westone since then.

    Yes, comply tips (or equivalent) are pretty much my go to. They’ve been consistently more comfortable than anything else I’ve tried.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  7. IUONA

    IUONA Friend

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    I forgot ! I had the Audéo PFE’s when they came out and they were incredibly comfortable! (Aside from the plastic part that stuck upward where the cable attached, which, when laying down on a pillow, could begin to irritate the cartilaginous area it rested on after a while. But that was like taking something 95% comfortable and lowering it to 80% - still above average & good.)

    So, that’s my current reference for comfort. I’d like to beat it.
     
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  8. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    I have weirdly shaped ear canals and the only thing that works for me is CIEMs. Not something I'd spend money on just for bed time listening but if you needed them for say travel or other applications they're worth it IMO (no need for a $2k pair or whatever)

    Also if you're getting CIEM and they don't use a laser scanner, IMO it helps to know if you like a tighter or looser fit. If they give you bite blocks, you'll get a slightly tighter fit if the bite block opens up your mouth a little more. A slightly less tight fit (w/ possible loss of sound quality and outside noise due to leakage) if you use the smaller side of the bite block.
     
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  9. Biodegraded

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    Tanchjim Blues ($79) might be good for the purpose but you're limited to over-the-ear cable routing:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...orites-and-classics.2229/page-101#post-293596

    I haven't heard them myself, but they might be a little peaky around 3k (the coupler/mic used for that measurement underestimates it a bit there), especially with no bass bump to balance it.

    Brainwavz B400s have had QC issues (channel balance in the bass). The Fostexes and the Crescents are no longer available - if you have sources for either, buy them now :)

    bixby's MH755 suggestion would be a good cheap solution but an extension cable is required (a cheapie will suffice). They do sound remarkably good for the pennies you pay but are pretty bassy, and they're a bit fragile too, so buy more than one pair. The market is reportedly full of fakes so take care when shopping.
     
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  10. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    I'm probably the most irritatingly particular person when it comes to IEM fit because most anything that's not small and bullet-shaped hurts my ears, so hopefully that persnicketiness comes in handy now, haha. I've got way less experience than most on here with them, but here are a few I find I've liked:

    Advanced M4 is minuscule, and with Comply tips it was great for me for casual listening and served well as earplugs when walking painfully noisy sidewalks. The braided cable is a nice touch too, sturdy and looks neat! Fixed attachment and reactive to skin acids, which was a problem for me (cough). Mind though, there's a 7Khz peak that may be irritating to you. I didn't mind it very much because I don't often crank volumes, but others take offence to it. Not the most nuanced set and I remember blackground was lacking, but there are worse for TV use.

    InTime Sora is a much more well-balanced pair of IEMs but I've only ever tried em in various meet settings. IIRC they're a pain to get outside Japan (the pairs that I got to try were all off the same dude who goes there often for weeb events), but the sound is good enough that I'd say they're well worth MSRP here (about $40) and then some, plus shipping from Japan besides. Sound had decent texture and from memory better attack than most cheapo IEMs I've tried, and a nice deep bass boost that helped mask foibles. Cable is thin and seems like it wouldn't last between my skin and all the pets we keep, but the shell itself is small, unobtrusive, and feels sturdy as a knock upside the head; the crap-ish cable is the main reason I passed and happily took a pair of Galaxy Buds for a gift, haha.

    Ortofon EQ5 I'd say is about on par with the Soras for textural resolution and nuance, maybe edges it out a bit in attack and dynamism, but like the M4s it's got a bit of treble effery. The good thing about this v. the M4 is that the weirdness it higher up in frequency so feels like it'd be easier to tamp down with teabag filters! Once seated I hardly had an issue with them, though they're girthier than either two above. They also have the added benefit of having some damn good stock eartips that were very comfortable and sealed well. Cable is even less durable-feeling than the Soras', though, which was blergh.

    There are some other cheapo IEMs I might recommend, but those are all Philippine brands so might be a pain to source your end; I imagine getting the InTimes might be easier since the Sora had a massive hype train a while back, haha.

    P.S.
    Galaxy Buds make my ears hurt after a bit (yes I'm using appropriately sized tips and wings), but they're convenient and unobtrusive enough that I hold onto em. Usually just let my one sister have em though, especially since I've no reason to head out of the house nowadays.
     
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    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  11. IUONA

    IUONA Friend

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    Awesome input from all of you. I appreciate it.
     
  12. Crinacle

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    If it's a bedphone you're looking for, I personally use the Galaxy Buds (Plus edition these days) for sleeping. No wires, fits snugly inside my concha and no pressure when laying on my side.

    The Advanced Sleeper is also an ultra cheap, ultra small bedphone option, but it sounds like ass so it's a heavy compromise.
     
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  13. Poleepkwa

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    The Shure SE215SE could also be a viable option for comfort and light weight. Not quite as light as the Phonaks, but in that ballpark. Cable is sturdy, but not very ightweight. Treble rolloff not a bad thing for movies. Intelligibility is good enough and no BA timbre.
     
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  14. IUONA

    IUONA Friend

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    Yeah, the whole pandemic thing & being at home more has somehow meant I'm in bed more. I think that’s why finding a decently comfortable side-resting option has become more of a priority for me right now.
     
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  15. IUONA

    IUONA Friend

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    I saw the ADV 1M, which looks incredibly tiny (though it’s also metal), out of curiosity, has anybody heard that? And their Model 3 is strangely cheap and looks like it mimics the Shure style housing. The FR measurements they have on their site seem useless without more information & context.
     
  16. bixby

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    I've heard it and did not like it. Not comfortable either because of the weight. I did own their Model 3 and liked it a whole lot better. Similar fit to Shure 215 which I have owned, but Shure is better sounding to me.. Nothing in recent memory is as comfy as the Sony's I mentioned and they sound more natural than the Audeo PFE which I have also owned. There are literally tons of iems out there, Good Luck!.

    I have not compared the Sony vs Shure in a lying position, though. My gut tells me that the concha filling Shure design may be fairly comfy, especially because the weight is not nearly as bad as the metal designs like the Comet.
     
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  17. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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  18. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    And here I am without my main headphones, which work so well straight out of my phone, haha.

    But yeah, I definitely agree with crinacle that the Buds make for excellent bed use (that's a weird phrase...), only it's my super picky pinnae that chafe and get inflamed easily. The latency can be a bit much (has improved a bit with firmware updates! Still get syncing issues that go away whenever I rewind videos though) and it's not the last word in textural nuance and dynamic swells, or even attack for that matter, but I'm coming around on it not being "worth" MSRP when it really is a massively convenient thing to have; macrodetail is pretty damn good, really.

    You'll likely want to be on an android phone for the Galaxy Wearables app. Not mandatory, sister has been using the Buds with her iPhone for several weeks now, but that locks you out of the various functions like Ambient Sound and a battery monitor. The baked-in EQ presets cover a wide gamut of preferences too. These were made with older firmware and it sounds to me like the latest update might have changed their stock sound a bit, but @antdroid posted some measurements over on another forum of the various sound profiles that may come in handy if you're considering the wireless Buds:

    https://forum.headphones.com/t/samsung-galaxy-buds-true-wireless/3528/2?u=lyer25
     
  19. IUONA

    IUONA Friend

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    Thanks for showing me that. I saw those on Amazon & immediately dismissed them because they looked like a ridiculous gimmicky thing and because once I understood the eartips were part of the housing I thought, “What if I don’t like the eartips...”

    That is surprising and intriguing... 2 pairs for $20. Lol
     
  20. IUONA

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    The Galaxy Buds look interesting, but as an iOS user I’ve always avoided android-centric things since I’ve had a spotty track record of their functionality when used with my iPhone or iPad. (I know, I know. I just like Apple products. Though, in fairness, I still use an iPhone 6S, before that a 4, before that the original, so I don’t sheepishly buy every new one.)
     

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