A lot of people (including me) who decide to up grade their standard ear plugs, choose initially for the Sony MDR-EX71. They do this, because the MDR-EX71 has an excellent reputation for price versus quality. The insulation, however, is not as good as in the more expensive models, which makes them less suitable for usage in a noisy environment. On the other hand these IEM are a useful leg up to the high-end IEM and a fine way to find out whether in ear is to your liking.
Sony earphoneThe MDR-EX71 excels in the bass tones. Very much so. For a lot of people that is a must, to others it is irritating. Because of the predominant bass tones, the middle and higher tones are in danger of being overlooked. The weaker points of these IEMs are the flimsy cables. Three times in a row, I had to toss away my MDR-EX71 because of a break in the cable. The comfort in wearing, however, is unequalled. These are the only IEM I know with which you can lay your head down on a cushion without feeling like the in ears are being pushed into your head.
The MDR-EX71 don’t go as far into your auditory duct as most others, which makes it possible to wear them for hours and hours without any problems. The fact that they come in three different sizes makes that even more likely.
In short, the MDR-EX71 are a fine way of getting acquainted with IEMs and for many people they represent the beginning of an expensive hobby. The sound they provide you with is not superb, but certainly much better than is offered by standard plugs.