In-Ear Headphone for Ipod Nano

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 & 12.2 Speakers

Asit

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Hi all,

My son has bought an Ipod Nano 16 GB today using the accumulated money he got from friends and family as gift after his 12 boards.

He wants to get an in-ear headphone (to be used with his Ipod). He has done some search on the net for it and has come up with the Klipsch Image S4 for which the reviews are very good. This is available at a Mumbai distributor for Rs. 4490 (inclusive of tax and shipping).

Now, my questions are:

1) Does anybody have any experience with this headphone? If yes, then please share your experience and tell us if there exists a significant difference in sound quality compared with the headphone that comes with the Ipod.

2) Is there any other headphone comparable or better at similar or lower prices available in India?

Regards.
 

anm

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the first headphones that ever fit in my ears were the default in-ear included with sony erricson walkman phones - I like their quality as well. I think it costs 1500 in showroom - a similar one (very authentic original looking, if it is not original) I got from a local mobile shop for 500. But it sounded as good. It does have a 3.5mm connector - but that is very short. I use it with my laptop too but with a male/ female extender.

Lot of people swear by these headphones as well, including RoC in our forum - [GO] Head Direct World's Best Earphones [ RE0 ,RE1 ,RE2 ] - TechEnclave
 

srramanujam

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Dear Asit,

I have been reading through your other threads. I am sure your son has inherited some of your approach towards life. If he has saved and waited till 12th Boards for his I pod, I am sure he would have given an equal thought to his choice for the earphone as well. Perhaps me may want to stick to his choice.

I use an Ultimate Ears 5 with a Cowon D2 player, which cost me a bit more. I zeroed in on it after considerable research. There are a few choices at this price level, but generally indistinguishable. I was also contrained since you can't test and buy in-ear phones.


Regards
 

suprateep

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Okay if you do not what to spend a bomb with your iPod nano which has just about decent audio quality because of the HW involved - I suggest you order the beta brainwavz from Mp4nation.com - mp4 players Resources and Information.This website is for sale!. I got a pair from a presale along with the E5 amp a couple of days back (ordered in July 1st week though - presale got over in 1st week of August) - the sound reproduction is awesome. Very good soundstage and detailed and not muddy like many IEMs are. Only glitch is that the stuff from HK often gets delayed in the customs - mine took 12 days to get cleared.

Another good option that sounds good with the Ipod is the Sennheiser cx300 - but please see if you get an original. The market is flooded with fakes.

PS: Please do not spend a bomb on you sons first headphones - usually for most college goers IEMs go for a toss in a couple of months. You would nto want to spend 5-6k or more on a pair of headphones which will go for a toss in a quarter.
 

deba

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Why not try the Creative EP 830 / 635 / 630 at much lower price. I dont think the quality will be that bad.:)
 

unleash_me

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well ime, its bad. Very bass heavy and the highs are painful. A better alternative would anyday be the CX300.
 

psychotropic

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hey Asit, never heard the Klipsch, but if your son has done the research and found it it should be good. The problem with earphones is that auditions are impossible and opinions are what you'll have to rely on.

If you want to explore alternatives, like someone said the Creative EP630 for 800 bucks is a very good cheap option. It's slightly heavy on the bass, but that works very well for rock and pop.

Another very good in-ear i've heard is the Sennheiser CX95 for about 5,000 bucks, very nice sound. Not as detailed as my Audio-Technica headphones, but with a lot of punch, and a very nice midrange, somewhat Epos-ish :) from my limited exposure to Epos speakers.
 

Asit

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Hi folks,

Thanks a lot for your responses. There are a lot of interesting suggestions from all of you and my son and I want to address each one of the suggestions as much as we can. Actually even in the busy hours of the morning before he left for his college (he is doing Comp. Sc. in Jadavpur University) we discussed about the first 3 or 4 responses till that time. In response, he has given me some links that he has studied.
Looks like he is well informed about at least some of your suggestions. I want to share that with you as soon as I have some time during the day.

Regards.
 

suprateep

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Hi folks,

Thanks a lot for your responses. There are a lot of interesting suggestions from all of you and my son and I want to address each one of the suggestions as much as we can. Actually even in the busy hours of the morning before he left for his college (he is doing Comp. Sc. in Jadavpur University) we discussed about the first 3 or 4 responses till that time. In response, he has given me some links that he has studied.
Looks like he is well informed about at least some of your suggestions. I want to share that with you as soon as I have some time during the day.

Regards.

Comp Sc in jadavpur.....someone from the alumni. I have done my chem engg from JU actually.....:clapping:

PS: On a side note has all the construction work in JU stopped - last time i visited everything was in a mess.
 

suprateep

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Why not try the Creative EP 830 / 635 / 630 at much lower price. I dont think the quality will be that bad.:)

if hip hop tops his list ten 630 is a option - else the overemphasized lows and highs will hit him hard. I would say refrain from those.
 

Rem

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Shure,Etymotic makes some of the best in ear headphones in the world but they are way overpriced in India

Klipsch is comparatively new in the headphone arena but the one you have mentioned has got rave reviews everywhere but I do think it would also be overpriced coz when I enquired about Klipsch Image thy where costing around 10k in India where as its less than 4.5k abroad.

So Asit do your price research and then go for it; as always I am sure you would have done enough research on this:)

Amazon.com: Klipsch Headphones

Amazon always is a good starting point to check the price
 

Asit

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Comp Sc in jadavpur.....someone from the alumni. I have done my chem engg from JU actually.....:clapping:

PS: On a side note has all the construction work in JU stopped - last time i visited everything was in a mess.

Great, Suprateep. Actually he is already deeply into activities. He will be very happy to know you are from JU.

Well, I do not go to JU campus all that often. But I was there at the day of my son's admissions. Didn't see a lot of construction though, at least the part around the football ground I was roaming around. Did like the canteen near the football ground - good food, great price and even greater atmosphere. Brought me back to my UG days.

Regards.
 

srramanujam

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Hi all,

1) Does anybody have any experience with this headphone? If yes, then please share your experience and tell us if there exists a significant difference in sound quality compared with the headphone that comes with the Ipod.

2) Is there any other headphone comparable or better at similar or lower prices available in India?

Regards.


Sorry. Didnt answer your specific queries.

Generally, the stock buds that come with the players can be improved a lot. The first series of Ipods came with terrible buds. This has improved, but not fully. Therefore, yes, replacing buds with in ear phones will have a big improvement in sound quality. The second benefit is volume control. In ear phones shut out (not cancel) most of external noise. Therefore, you tend to listen to them at lower volumes. I have experienced both these benefits. I used to have a Sony MDR in ear phone (1.5K), which served me well till it was stolen with my player and laptop and many other things one day. I had used it for a good four years.

Will you get better products at cheaper rate. Cnet seems to think highly of your son's choice and swears that it sounds better than phones three times its price. You just may want to check how the Sony ones fare in reviews. When i bought them, i considered the purchase as exceptional value for money. I hope your son doesnt taunt you by comparing the cost of Leben and the ear phones.

Would also appreciate, at a later point, to share research that you may do on the right volume levels to ensure no damage to ears.

Regards
 

soulforged

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Hi Asit,

Klipsch S4 is a very good option though it is slightly overpriced in India. From a comfort and noise isolation point of view, they are excellent adn work quite well with all kinds of music.

Out of what is available in India, they certainly top my list. The other option is of course the Senns. Shure, UE et al are hard to come by here and might be significantly more expensive.

Apple also has an in-ear model available which is fairly good. He could consider these as well. Monster has come up with 'Turbine' earphones that are supposed to have pretty good bass response. Not sure if they are available here but worth a try.
 

Asit

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Hi,

Let me summarize the situation as much as possible.

HiFiVision and Marsilians have suggested the Etymotic. From reports it seems like the Mercedes of earphones for Ipods. Unfortunately, their lowest priced one (the 6i) goes for USD 150, which will be around 10K in India.

Now I have no problem investing 10K for good sound, but 10K seems to me a bit too much to spend on something to be used exclusively for an Ipod. I would be happy with a budget of at most 4 - 5K for such an Ipod accessory. I agree with Suprateep here regarding how much is to be spent on a earphone for a college-goer (I hope we do not have any college goers among us, deep deep apologies) even though my son is a bit on the conservative side.

I have an AKG headphone (K500 bought 19 years ago, may not be the best one these days, but still pretty good). For my SE phone, I think I have exactly the one Anm has suggested, we exclusively use that for SE phones, because both my son and I use SE phones. I do not like to use headphones or earphones, but at times one has to.

Marsilians has also suggested Shure and Sennheiser. Sennheiser has also been suggested by Psychotropic and Suprateep.

Now the Sennheiser CX300 (at USD 80) seems to compare well with the Etymotic 6i in some reviews. We would love to consider it, because it seems to be within budget, but I cannot locate one easily in Kolkata and also do not know how to ensure that it's not fake one. It seems to be a big issue with the CX300, there are a lot of fake ones around.

Also one point about the price. We checked out a few days ago the Sennheiser LX90 (USD 50) which is significantly inferior to the CX300 and still going around 4K in Kolkata stores. At that conversion rate, the CX300 may be 6.5 - 7 K.

The Shure SE 110 is again comparable in dollar price. But in Kolkata from a store in Chandni Market that keeps also Shure cartridges and other stuff, the quoted price is Rs 5580. The SE115 is a better and more expensive model.

The Ultimate Ears 5 suggested by Ramanujam is also more expensive.

Deba and Psycho, the Creative ones you have suggested may be great value for money, but may also be comparable to the stock one. While we do not want to spend 10K on earphones for an Ipod that cost just a bit above 10K, at the same time we also want one that will better the stock one by a significant amount, otherwise there is no point. Don't you agree?

The other remaining options are the mail order ones by Anm and Suprateep. I always am bit put off by mail orders unless it's superfast. The only thing I ever bought by mail order was a Gateway PC (I do not know if you know the brand) in the early 90's and it was delivered in a couple of days COD. I have to ask my son about these options and see if he is willing to wait.

Ramanujam, thanks for the last post for the specific answers.

Now let me come to a few links my son gave to me this morning. I understand these were some of his reasons for choosing the Klipsch Image S4 (as some of you also noted great reviews this one has recently got).

Kindly look at Klipsch S4 or Shure SE115 - HiFi Headphones Forum - online headphone & earphone community forums where a member is trying to upgrade from CX300 and considering the Shure SE115 and the Klipsch Image S4. The Klipsch is actually recommended by the moderator of that forum.

Also look at the very critical review of the Klipsch Image S4 at
Klipsch Image S4 Noise Isolating Earphones Review - MP3 Reviews - TrustedReviews where they are also comparing with the Shure 115 and one expensive Etymotic.

He has a few other links as well which I am not going to give you to save each other's times. Actually many (may even be around 20) stunning reviews of this particular Klipsch Image S4 are available at the Klipsch site Image S4 Headphones - Reviews.

What do you guys say? Price in India also seems to be quite commensurate with the USD price.

Regards.
 

Rem

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I think you can safely go for it. It has got really good reviews everywhere on the net it costs around $80 abroad

klipsch-image-s4.3096366.jpg



With the S4 earphones, you also get an earwax cleaning tool (ick), 3 different sized silicone tips, and a metal case to hold everything.:D
 
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Asit

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I hope your son doesnt taunt you by comparing the cost of Leben and the ear phones.

Would also appreciate, at a later point, to share research that you may do on the right volume levels to ensure no damage to ears.

Ramanujam,

Well, the Leben is for everybody in the family. It's not exclusively mine, my son also uses it quite extensively. Just that he felt he needed something on the go.

Earphones/Headphones have to be used at low enough volume and also not for longish hours. I have already stressed that to my son. He is not a fan of loud music, and likes softish music and these would help preserving his ears, I suppose. But one cannot stress enough the safety issues. These have to be reminded at periodic intervals (not very frequently though, then it looses its value, parenting involves a bit of tricks :D, some of you sure know.).

Soulforged,

Thanks for your impressions on the Klipsch model. My son already considered the Apple one, because one of his friends has one. While he is not against it, he probably wants to have a different one (at least for novelty's sake). There is a Sony one (if I am not mistaken) that could have been considered, but more expensive. Monsters we have not seen in Kolkata, cables yes, but no earphones here.
 
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