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Recommend a <$300 set of buds

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Bodeanly, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    I have tried to read and understand the pages and pages of IEM stuff on here, but I just want you all to recommend a set based upon your experience. My two requirements: more than one driver and less than $300. I have a set of Shure SE425's in my cart, but wanted last minute opinions/ advice before completing the transaction.

    Update: I decided to try the KZ ZS7's and TRN V80's. Thanks to everyone who chimed in.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    BurnOut and electracoyote like this.
  2. i’m a huge fan of the TRN V80s ($40 on Amazon) quad drivers, with Comply foam tips. Others here swear by the KZ AS10s 5 drivers ($50 on Amazon). most rate them better than the Shures you’re about to drop $300 on.
    EdO., singlemalt, Burwabit and 3 others like this.
  3. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thank you for your response! While performing searches on TB, I found the stuff for KZ. I read reviews elsewhere. I simply have trouble believing that something so good could cost so little. What am I missing? Why are they so cheap? Why aren't other brands cheaper? Is it just a matter of paying for a name?
    ThePez likes this.
  4. Waltsdog, gidbass and Bodeanly like this.
  5. why are they so cheap? one word: CHINA.

    they really are that good though.
    EdO. and Bodeanly like this.
  6. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
  7. yes, i use them live and for rehearsals. if you get them, also get the foam tips for a good seal. if you’re not impressed, then you’re out $50.
    Bodeanly likes this.
  8. I have three sets of Westone UM 2's or 20's. They are still on sale I think at MF for $189.
    Plectrum72 and Bodeanly like this.
  9. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Why did you go with these? Have you tried the cheaper KZ buds that have been mentioned? I mean, there's a reason some people spend more, right? If the cheapos are as good as others claim, why are the more expensive buds selling? I'm not trying to start an argument. It just seems strange.
    fhm555 likes this.
  10. Yes live and no problems.

    I used the ZS5s first (twin driver, plastic cases) for about a 18 months, then discovered ZS6s (? drivers, metal cases) and have used those for the last year with no problems.

    The original cord was a bit stiff for my liking, an upgraded cord cured that. I got a second pair for listening to mp3s.

    I started out using triple flange silicone buds but switched to memory foam because they seal just as well and are more comfortable for me.

    Every ear is different (even on the same person) so it is best to grab a handful of different buds and see which suit best.
    freedomryder and Bodeanly like this.
  11. freedomryder


    Nov 21, 2012
    Seattle area
    Bodeanly likes this.
  12. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    I recommend you not go with armatures... and go with miniature drivers (speakers) instead.
    jmbjandfam and Bodeanly like this.
  13. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Bodeanly likes this.
  14. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I have a set of custom westones. They fit and sound great. That being said, I use my KZ ZS5s more often. There are a few reasons for that. First, they were cheap. If I lose the I’m out $20 and I will immediately buy another pair. Second, they sound really good. Surprisingly good. Third, they’re monitors. I don’t use them to mix or listen to high end recordings. I believe that monitors don’t have to be hi fi, they just have to sound good. Finally, they really do sound good. Plenty of bass, I can hear myself just fine. At the very least, it’s a cheap way to try I ears to see if they’re for you. If you decide to buy a better set, they’re a good backup.
    Bodeanly likes this.
  15. furym


    Aug 31, 2014
    Carthage, NC
    I use the KZ ZS10 every week at church. I can only compare them to Shure 215s. I like the KZ better for bass response. Even though they claim 5 drivers per side I think the fine print is 1 active and 4 passive per side. Having said that, I find them perfectly fine for the level I am willing to invest in a hobby/non professional capacity for IEMs. I did get the upgraded silver cord and memory foam tips.
    Bodeanly likes this.
  16. chandman1004

    chandman1004 Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2008
    I tried a ton of the cheaper ones, and was not happy..until igot the as10s ,comply tips,and a m-audio heaphone ampllifier. Way better sound than even the shures.HOWEVER...they are larger.not an issue for me,i don't usually have them in for more than an hour
    Bodeanly likes this.
  17. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    I use Westone 20s. They are good and under your budget (or they were a couple months ago). I probably would have checked ot the KZs if I knew they existed prior to this thread. I'm very happy with the 20s and use them both for reahearsals and gigs.
    musicman7722 and Bodeanly like this.
  18. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    Alclair Dual XB fits the criteria and is custom to boot, but getting impressions done will put you over $300. I am very happy with mine.
    Bodeanly likes this.
  19. Go on the Bay and look for the KZ ZS7 - $59. I have the ZS7 and the AS10 and the ZS7 are better. Metal body, 1 dynamic driver and 4 balanced armatures per side. Bass is tighter and more defined than the AS10. The stock cable they came with is great - same as with the AS10. Both will blow away anything from the big names for your price range. It’s not hype - they really are great!
    EdO., ObsessiveArcher and Bodeanly like this.
  20. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    I believe I’ve read your review on Amazon?

    I’m starting to lean towards the ZS7’s... anyone wanna talk me out of em? And back into the Shure’s? What’s this I hear about driver>armature?

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