Audio Newbie needs help delving into the IEM audiophile hemisphere

New Year's round the corner and its time i broke free from mediocrity. I currently own a set of ep630s(cringe) and was wondering what the next step should be. Ive been doing a lot of forum hunting and these were a few things i could infer:
1. ep630s are muddy. Their bass is exaggerated so much so that it starts interfering completely with the mids.
2. The Klipsch s4s also imho the same as the 630s in the sense that bass is extremely exaggerated and starts seeping into the mids. Good for casual listening.
3. The Brainwavz M2 and M4 have a decent soundstage and can clearly separate the lows from the mids and so forth. Decent bass quality. M3 is good but not as good as m2s in terms of expanse(soundstaging) (can the pros clarify?) Headphone AMPs are not mandatory.
4. The RE0s are on the analytical and the FiiO e5/e11s will go a long way in boosting the lows. (How are the Re0s without the amp springboarding?)
5. The Soundmagic PL series and the MElectronics' m6s are drawing in quite a number of positive reviews. Whats the scene here? Yes? No?
6. Any other suggestions? (Id impulsively act on what the majority says here cause you know the trade)
Im now torn between the m3/m2/m4 and the Re0/ReZERO universe. I listen to a lot of 70s rock, Kanye/Kid Cudi, Bollywood/Rahman, Alan Parson's, and occasional Indie rock playlists, very very very rarely into trance.
My Budget is $4000 ( 4.5 if you'd put a gun to my head..)
Planning to get a pair by the first week of Jan. Help! :)


thechordmaster said:
My Budget is $4000 ( 4.5 if you'd put a gun to my head..)

2.1 Lakhs budget? Sweet :lick:

Now to reply to your queries....

  1. Yes
  2. S4 has muddy bass, but it's a decent sounding IEM that is far better than EP630. It's a personal preference thing. I don't like it that much, but others do. No way of knowing which category you would fall into.
  3. M3 has a better sound stage than M2, M1 and ProAlpha. Have not heard the M4, so can say nothing about it.
  4. RE0 does not have much bass without an amp in the middle.
  5. SoundMagic, Brainwavz, MEE are all budget brands, which basically cater to the $10-100 range. They all use Chinese manufactured drivers and technology. Difference is SM is a Chinese company, Brainwavz basically re-brands Visang (which distributes only in China) and sells world-wide though it has started using other OEMs as well, MEElectronics is located in the USA but does the same thing - gets a OEM phone, adds accessories and packing and does the re-branding. As with everything, some of the IEMs are hits and some of them are a miss. With SoundMagic, there are varying experiences with the life time of their products - I know of PL30 lasting 3 years as well as breaking within 3 months in this same forum. MEE's direct customer support is good, but I have no idea about their local distributor's support (JSA?). Brainwavz has local warranty and support though and PristineNote has a presence here. They also sell the old line-up of SoundMagic now.

    Mee's hits include M9, M6, A151 and CC51. SoundMagic would be PL11 (here especially), PL30, PL50, E10, E30. Brainwavz would be M1, M2 and M3.
  6. Since you are a little confused about whether to go for warm sound / analytical, better try M2 - it's a safe choice. Alternatively, you can buy PL30 and see if something with less bass suits you. Not sure if you can audition anybody's RE0/ZERO/M2, because that would be the most ideal. I have listed some alternate choices in this thread -
Wow that left me red-faced for a while there...So much for first impressions ...rupees it is :p

I guess the best way forward would be to grab two IEM's one with slightly colored bass such as the m2 and one entry level analytical (oxymoron?)

Which springs another slew of questions:

1) Any place in Bangalore where i could try the Re0s/m3s?

2) Any place in Bangalore where i could buy the MEElecs/Brainwavz?

3) Ive decided ill go with the m2's...Having said that im not quite the textbook basshead...would the m2s still be worth the buy considering im not into electronica/trance? If yes, i still have 2.5k left.Any analytical sounding ones in that range? Im now a lil wary about SM PL's after your "3 months life" mention.

Btw esanthosh...

It says you live in coimbatore! Cheers to that! Peelamedu guy here! vanakkamungov! :p



M2 are, IMO, not bass-head IEMs. Even though many TE-ians feel that way, they simply do not have the bass quantity or punch as you'd expect from bass-head or bass heavy IEMs. In and around that range, Xears TDIII had gobbles of bass and that would be a bass-heavy IEM, Eterna would be a bass head IEM (and probably Consonance as well). In my book, a bass-head IEM is one which makes "bass" the first word to pop in your head when you think of it.

M2 are much softer in approach with a warmer sound, good bass quantity with a slight bump in mid-bass, forward mids and laid back treble. What they have is a pleasing overall signature that is agreeable to many. That is why I said it's a safe choice.

Analytical IEMs are hard to come by at the budget range. I suggested PL30 because of it's bass light nature, sparkling treble and good mids. It's a decent IEM which can be sold back without much loss in case you do not like it. As for 3 months life, it could be a batch thing as quality control is not strictly enforced in sweat shops. This could happen with even reputed brands and 10X the price of PL30 too. Another thing is how you handle the IEM. RE0 is notorious for failing, yet I had it for 2 years without any issues.

Other queries will need to be answered by fellow Bangalore members.


I am from EP630. I find PL11 more bassy compared to EP630. And I bought M2 @ 2100 [brand new from Veer] :eek:hyeah:

and it is awesome :D

@aritra - still waiting for offers on M2 ? :p


thechordmaster said:
Thanks a zillion! m2 it is!

On a tangent, how has your experience with online purchases been - if any?

More than a 100 international purchases - only a few have been bothersome, about 3-4 lost, some were charged too much customs duty in proportion to cost, but on the whole - good with a few hiccups here and there.

Local online shopping - not as much experience! But whatever I've done turned out to be good.


Hows Klipsch S4i. Any comparison to RE-ZERO? i need an IEM(5-7k budget) for my galaxy S2 with mic (preferable but not compulsory)
thechordmaster said:
@avi who is veer?

2.1k sounds like a steal. any place that sells it for that price now?

not at the moment.. the lowest you can get is for $52 if you order through mp4nation

Pristine Note is selling it for rs 3800/-
The mp4nation page says free shipping..and the phones retail at $59.50. Does this mean ill only have to pay this much or are there additional costs involved? Has anyone had experience with them?


Cooler "Master"
^^ I think the BRAINWAVZ sound pretty good out of the box, but after a burn-in your hearing gets accustomed to their sound signature and it feels as if they sound better.

Hope this answers your queries, by the way I got myself the M1 recently and they sound great to me.