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In-ear canalphones (under $50)

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I've been looking at these in-ear canalphones lately (to use with my new vgf-ap1l) , in the sub $50 range and came up with these:

Panasonic RP-HJE50

Pioneer SE-CL20 / Pioneer SE-CL30


Audio-Technica ATH-CK5

Which should i get (best price/quality ratio), and are there any others i should consider? Thanks for sharing any experiences/suggestions you have

Edited by skyshard
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Panasonic, without a doubt, is one of the best in-ear phones for sub $50 (well, what I'd call semi-canal phones, since it doesn't go all the way in like Shures or Etys). The biggest problem with the RP-HJE50s however are their somewhat questionable durability and build quality. Of the two pairs I had, one had questionable diaphgrams and the other? The driver housing is a bit fragile.

I've not tried Sony's new EX81s, but I can easily guarantee you that the Panasonics will outclass the EX81s and EX71s.

This is coming from someone who swore by the EX71s (and bought 3 pairs of those all willingly).

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i have a pair of Pioneer SE-CL20, and two paris of Sony MDR-EX51LP.

i bought the SE-CL20 first in japan, and i thought they were good. but i prefer to use the sony ones because the ear piece fits in my ear more comfortably. the pioneer ones seem to stivk out a little bit out of my ear.

also i prefer to use the sony earphones because they are long corded, but that is your own opinion.

the 'phones cost me:

SE-CL20 (2280 yen)

white/blue MDR-EX51LP (225 hk dollars)

black MDR-EX51LP (68 australian dollars) <- such a friggin rip-off

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  • 2 weeks later...

Personally, I'd say save yourself the trouble and get the Pana HJE50s. However, the EX71s/81s (by extension, I've not used these) pairs well with the white DAP that shall not be named. Something like two mediocre parts combining into one good part. Or something like that.

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No. Friends don't let friends get inferior headphones!

For the same price, or lower, the HJE50s all but spank the EX51s. Unless you're planning to use it with an iPod, then I'd almost recommend the EX series over the HJEs. The EX-series has some serious synergy with the iPods, with the small exception of making the iPod sound even brighter (Treble Reduction helps here). Other than that, for most of Sony's offerings, the Panasonic HJE50s does a better job vs the Sony's own EX series.

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I've been shopping around for earphones too, the standard sony ones just aren't good enough. I was considering the EX71 (same as EX51), and found them for $60 CDN shipping included on ebay. After I read the post by Damage, I found Panasonic HJE50's on ebay for $20USD + $10 Shipping! This almost seems too good to be true... how much better are the Panasonic's than the Sony's? Can anyone else back this up? Which one would be better for the nw-e4/5xx's?

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  • 4 months later...

I was going to get the panasonic hje50s, but they were sold out at every futureshop/best buy i looked at. Then i saw the JVC hafx55s at 2001 audio video for $5 cheaper than the panasonics, so i got them. Overall, i'm very pleased. Very nice sound, clear and full. Also very balanced, nothing is overpowering (like the bass on the Sonys). Speaking of which, the bass is very good on the JVCs. It is clean and not muddled or flat like on some other headphones. I notice that if i switch between small and medium sleeves, i have to add +1 bass to the smalls if im coming from the mediums.

overall great set of headphones. highly recommended.

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