Your favourite earphones for under $150

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by FrenchPB, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. FrenchPB macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    Guys, I'm about to replace my longtime Sony MDR-EX71 with some new earphones, for under $150. I need a perfect isolation since I use them in the public transport. I'm mostly listening to rock, brit pop, classic rock (Muse, Placebo, Oasis, Queen, Franz Ferdinand, Green Day, ...).

    Right now, I'm narrowing my choice to the following :
    - Etymotic ER-6
    - Jays D-jays
    - Jays Q-jays
    - Phonak Audéo PFE 112
    - Bose Infra
    - Schure E210
    - Ultimate Ears 5

    Would you have any advice for me, and in general, what are your favourite earphones for under $150 ?

  2. thomahawk macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    Osaka, Japan
    i love the bose in-ears, the shure line-up is very nice as well for under 150.

    but overall i love my bose in-ear headphones i got them for 80 dollars from a sale at fry's
  3. Vanel macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    I have the ER-4P, honestly I don't think they sound that much better over the apple earbuds to justify the almost $160 price.

    I've never actually used them specifically for noise isolation, so I can't comment on actual usage in a noisy place, but they do definitely block out at least 50% of any other noise IMO, I think they are rated to something like 30 decibels blocked.

    Remember these go pretty far in your ears, for me they aren't all that comfortable sometimes as I have sensitive ears, I'm gonna give them a try soon at the gym, FYI they are very good for the gym because they are in your ears very tight and won't fall out like the apple earbuds.
  4. Ferris23 macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2007
    I got the Apple In Ear headphones and I love them. A little light on bass but otherwise a fantastic sound and great fit for my ears.
  5. Romanesq macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2003

    Ultimate Ears .5 super fi. They are some really incredible phones. Many user sites say the same.

    Landed up selling mine to a neighbor. Then went to the triple fi. They are expensive and worth it though. (Got some do it at home custom molds too.)
    Now they go in and out and sit in your ear like butter.
  6. m3coolpix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2007
    Sorry about your wallet!

    I've not heard the ones you've mentioned.....but have considered the Phonak's, Q-Jays, and the Apple IEMs mentioned. Haven't made a choice yet, still looking.....even looking for the Klipsch X10 (used).

    I've got/had a bunch (Ultimate Ears 5 Pro, same Sony's, AKG 701s, Sennheiser CX300s, VModa Vibe, some Shure's that I can't remember the part number, and my current daily use of the NuForce NE-7M).

    FWIW, the NuForce NE-7Ms are awesome with the Comply T400 foam tips on them. I can wear them for hours. They have good isolation, and very nice, full rounded, accurate and detailed sound. Not bad for $50 ($65 if you go with a couple months supply of the Comply tips). I prefer IEMs that have a bit of added bass (accurate, a bit accentuated, but absolutely not boomy).

    If you aren't familiar with the Head-Fi site, it's a great resource. They have a very experienced group with all types of gear. As they say over there, 'Sorry about your wallet!" :D
  7. Love Juice macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2008
    i LOVE my atrio m5's! they fit well and are some of the best sounding iem's that i've tried ....and i've tried a lot of higher end ones. great range w/ excellent bass, more so than most but not overly bassy. just enough punch.

    the only thing i did was replace the tips w/ the black foam shures.

    i think i got them for $150 ...but they might be a lil more. i really don't recall.

    oh ...and +1 for checking out head-fi. it is THE source for headphone opinions :)
  8. DigMe macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2008
    What Love Juice said. If you can go about 10 bucks more you should be able to get some Future Sonic Atrios. I don't know of anything better in this price range. I've used them for both live music in-ear-monitoring (as a bass player) and for listening to recorded music. They sound incredible. Check out the huge thread on them at

  9. STEVESKI07 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Washington, DC
    I should have a set of NuForce NE-7M earphones arriving today. I ordered them because somebody reccommended them to me and they got really great reviews. They are only $49 but most people say they compete with most higher end sets. Send me a message in a couple days and I can let you know how I feel about them. Either way, I think it's worth a try for the price:
  10. jersey macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    I'll give the old +10 for the NuForce. Best headphones I've ever had. Small company easy to deal with, and they are easy to return if you need to (which you wont).
  11. nezff macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2009
  12. bcs732 macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2009
    I'm planning to get the sennheiser mm50 for the iphone. It seems popular in the apple store website. I'm wondering why no one has mentioned this yet. For those that have this, are these earphones good?
  13. DigMe macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2008
    this means nothing without listing the other headphones that you've had.

  14. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    Right now, I'm looking at q-jays, ultimate ears 5 and atrio future sonics... however, since I've never had very good earphones before, I don't know what type of sonority I should be looking for.

    Basically, what would be the best earphones under 150 euros to listen to Muse, Placebo, Oasis and Franz Ferdinand ?
  15. Romanesq macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2003

    you can check the head fi forum and they'll spell out how great the super fi .5 are and in addition you can replace the cord should they break for any reason as well.

    Most other brands that's not going to happen.
  16. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    That's quite interesting since most problems come from the cord I guess. Between the UE 5and the UE 700, is there a big difference ?

    Since I really like live rock performance, I guess I'm more looking for warm sound and dynamic lows, which would eliminate the ER6i.

    At this time, it looks like the D-jays, Philips 9850 and UE 5 are the best fits for my needs. They're all in the same $100 price category, and share some of the same sound qualities.

    - D-jays : I question their durability, but if I order them at their official UK resseler, I'd have a 2-year warranty
    - Philips 9850 : I've had great reviews by friends on those earphones, which have the closest look to the Sony MDR-EX71 I've had so far. I really like their look, but I haven't seen too many reviews on websites
    - UE 5 : I'm not a big fan of their look, but they might have the best quality of the three and a mic which would be convenient with my iphone
  17. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    The D-jays seem like they are a very good product for my tastes, especially at this price. What higher end model in the $200 price range would have the same "warm" sound at an even higher quality ?
  18. jason221 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2009
    I just ordered the Shure SE210 ($150), so I can't yet speak personally on how good they are. However, I was recommended to them while looking at the Apple In-Ears ($80). I was told I'd be much happier with the Shure earphones because of the lackluster bass on the Apple earphones. That person who recommended them to me works at the Apple store and got them for me for 1/2 off. :D
  19. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I like my Panasonic RP-HTX7s. But I suppose that those will not be a favorite around here.
  20. meglet macrumors member


    Jun 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have these, and they're fantastic. One thing to note is that the iPhone-compatible model is the mm50 iP, the non-iP mm50 model can control the blackberry and palm phones but not the iPhone.

    I've had the mm50 iP earphones for over a year, and they are my only headphones. I use them almost every day at work, and after a year of use they are still in perfect shape.

    For the OP, with the right size of tips, the mm50 iP phones are plenty isolating. I tend to wear them a little bit loose with the volume turned down so I can hear my coworkers, but if I need to block any noise all I have to do is put them in properly and turn the volume up a couple notches, and they block out all of the office noise.
  21. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Philips makes some nice earphones. Better than you would expect. I like their SHE9550 right now...
  22. map1978 macrumors 68020


    Feb 9, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    These are the best headsets i've ever used for my iphone

    They cost me $55 shipped and the in-line mic works smoothly.

    I've used VModa, Sony, Senn, Shure, you name it, and these have been a TREAT to use while on the trains/subways/workouts. They also handle calls perfectly and with a brings up Voice Control (awesome).

    I highly recommend these to anyone looking for some high quality, great sounding headphones.

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