In-ear monitors are good sounding, portable and noise isolating at the same time. They are very popular among beginning headphone enthusiasts as they tend to be the cheapest of all the headphone types.
I have a lot of IEM’s myself and while I haven’t really owned the ‘top ones’, I’ve tried the good ones. Here are the best universal in-ear monitors today based both on experience and research.
Sennheiser IE800 – The Sennheiser IE 800’s audio performance warrants a standing ovation. Rediscover your music collection and tailor it to your aural tastes with a tunable bass frequency response. The customized sonic signature is complemented by a unique fit thanks to the included ear adapters, ensuring a perfect fit, guaranteed. Sennheiser IE800 on Amazon.
Etymotic ER4SR – This is arguably the best in terms of isolating yourself from outside noise. Etymotic IEM’s can really get deep inside your ear canal and it’s a bit uncomfortable at first, but once you get used to it, you get to truly enjoy listening to your music without any distractions from the outside world.
ER4PT, just like other high-end earphones from Etymotic is known for sounding very detailed and transparent. Etymotic ER4SR on Amazon.
VSonic GR07 – A lot of people seem to be raving with these headphones considering it’s not expensive but at the same time competes with the more expensive headphones.
The sound signature of this IEM is neutral although it has a bit of a warm tilt. It doesn’t isolate as much as the Etymotic headphones mainly because it’s a bit tricky to get a good seal but overall this is a good choice for those who are on a tight budget. VSonic GR07 on Amazon.
Philips Fidelio S2 – These little gems are competitive sounding IEM for the price especially if you want that little oomph in the bass. No, they don’t overpower the mids and treble, but if you want a punchy and warm-sounding IEM but can’t afford Shure 535, then the S2 is your best bet. Philips Fidelio S2 on Amazon.