Thursday, January 1, 2009

The List

Scroll ↕ for Ranking. Scroll ↔ for Sound Signature.


See The List as an independent page, click this [LINK]

This list is based upon the reviewer's personal assessment and opinion, and may change or update without any notice. 

Bewared, simple numeric ranking is fundamentally flawed as all detail are ignored. As the reader you must understand that sound signature is as important as the sound quality. You will be better off with an IEM of lesser sound quality but fits your taste than an IEM of higher quality but you don't enjoy. Remember, music is for enjoyment and headphone is no more than a instrument to fulfill that goal. An cheap instrument that does what you ask worth a lot more than an expensive instrument that sits on the shelf.  Never takes this ranking as it is, there are reasons why these IEM are ranked in such order and you might not agree with those reasoning. So please do your own research as well as read into my past reviews to determine which IEM suits you best. There is no guarantee that my opinion is more reliable than your own.


* Value ranking of 4.85 and over is designated the Sonic Diamond Award™ for outstanding price / performance ratio after considering all aspects of the IEM, including SQ, design, fit, customer service, availability, etc.



Last Update: Oct. 11st, 2013.


145 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Tai
First of all, just have to say your site is fantastic!!

I was just wondering if you can help narrow down my options. I'm looking for an IEM around $100 and am confused on what sound signatures and models i should be considering. I listen to a fairly wide range of music from Rock/Alternative/Indie (maybe 40% of my collection) to R&B/Hip-hop (25%) to Electronica (15%) and Pop (10%). Any suggestions on sound signatures and models to research further would be much appreciated!!

Thanks,
Rob

Tai / ClieOS said...

Most of your music will benefit from a good mid range and a decent bass, so I'll recommend RE400.

FUAD DHAHANA said...

I love my old SR80 n vc02 sound. If I want upgrade my vc02, Im looking for upgrade. What about Phonak 112 or 022 should I choose??

Tai / ClieOS said...

If you like VC02 type of sound, PFE112 will be a better match than PFE022.

koflok said...

I mostly listen to EDM and mainstream pop, jazz, and hip hop music. I'm no bass head but I like a bit of bass in my IEM. Alhtough clarity I think is the main thing I want to hear.

My budget is ~$100. Which IEM should I get?

Currently I'm looking at either HiFiMan RE400 or TDK IE800. Or is Shure SE215 a better match for me? (I used to own them until I lost it, kinda blah to buy another one that is exactly the same)

Tai / ClieOS said...

Hi koflok, I thought we have the same discussion on Head-fi already? My recommendation is still the IE800. SE215 is a fine IEM but it isn't as good as RE400 or IE800.

SS said...

Hi, I'm looking for IEMs with j-cord cable. What would you recommend?

In addition, how would you compare between Sony MH1 and Sennheiser CX 300-II?

Tai / ClieOS said...

J-cord is dropping out of fashion, so finding a really good one will not be the most easiest of thing. Anyway, you have mentioned the MH1, which is a good option. The other option will be the Sony XBA series - but not the newer XBA-10, XBA-20, XBA-30 and XBA-40 which all have Y-cord. Instead the older XBA-1, XBA-2, XBA-3 and XBA-4 are J-cord.

Never listen to CX300-II before.

Pyxzure said...

Hi, could you please recommend some IEMs for me?
I'm looking for a $50-100 IEM with pretty good noise isolation and build quality(one that will last without special care)
I mostly listen to classical, soundtracks (no vocal) and some pop music
Thanks

Tai / ClieOS said...

Under $100, good isolation and build quality, and suitable for Classic leaves just one choice, the Etymotic MC5.

Pyxzure said...

Thanks, that's what I've been looking at myself too.
What if genre isn't to be put into consideration, would you recommend something else?
Or if you were to compare this one with the RE-400?

Tai / ClieOS said...

If you look at the List above, you should know that RE400 is better sound by a big margin. However, it doesn't have a lot of isolation not particular fit into the music you listen to. If you are willing to put those aside, RE400 is easily the best IEM you can get under $100.

Eve Lynn said...

Hi, I'm confused on which IEM to buy.
Which one should I get Sony MDR-EX510 or Meelectronics A161P or Shure 215 ?
The local store near me sell them at the price point for:
Sony MDR-EX510($115)
Meelectronics A161P($109)
Shure 215($150)

I love rock, pop, R&B, and instrumental(Violin, piano, and cello with bass) songs. Before that, I've been using PX100 and PSvita-iem and I'm looking for a better one now. (I'm not a basshead, and I'm looking for the best SQ between the 3 of them)
Song example :
Mission Impossible - Lindsey Stirling and the Piano Guys
Radioactive - Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix (Imagine Dragons Cover)
Demi Lovato - Heart Attack
Ne-Yo - Forever Now
Chris Brown - Yeah 3x

So which one is worth the money?

Eve Lynn said...

Sorry, I forget to add. I don't like Klipsch S4 because the treble is too harsh and Bass was too boomy, also I've tried Fischer Consonance and still it felt too boomy for me.

But I once have tried Sony MDR-EX500 and Beyerdynamic XP3 and I like their bass sound.
(Sorry for my poor English)

Tai / ClieOS said...

Have not heard the EX510, but I don't think A161 or SE215 are particularly fitting to your preference. XP3 is kind of analytical sounding but there simply isn't a lot of really good sub$100 choice out there. If you like XP3, I do think it is an rather good buy for the price. Otherwise, you can try Apple dual driver IEM with some aftermarket eartips (Sony Hybrid is a good option).

Rhon Josivsky said...

How's Fischer Audio Consonance compare to Beyerdynamic XP3?
Which one is more worth it?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Neither is a bad buy, but Consonance is the better sounding of the two. Review of XP series will be posted soon.

Rhon Josivsky said...

Guess, I'll wait for you to post about the review on XP series

kartikk pandian said...

hi tai

i currently own a sennheiser cx 280 & plan on getting a new iem soon & was wondering if you can help me narrow it down
i am looking for something below 50 or 60$
i generally listen to alternative/rock/metal

any suggestions on the sound signatures & models to consider would be greatly helpful

also would something like the vsonic gr06 or vc02 do good for my preferences?

regards
kartikk

Tai / ClieOS said...

Those are music that needs vocal and bass, which means warm+sweet is likely better fit your need. In that sense GR06 is better than VC02.

kartikk pandian said...

thank you for the quick reply :D

also can you give me a few more recommendations in the price range?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Brainwavz M5, Astrotec AM90, and If you are in Asia, beyerdynamic XP2.

Spencer Paw said...

Just throwing a suggestion out there.. Maybe you can split them into some generic sound signatures the way you did back at your thread at head-fi?

Tai / ClieOS said...

That's the plan in short future.

Spencer Paw said...

That's great to hear, I'll look forward to it!

Spencer Paw said...

RE-400 has a value rating of 5 but not in red.. Just sayin' :p

Muhammad Ridhwan said...

Hi, Tai..i just lost my Eterna V1..love it so much..what is the best to replace it..i want sounding almost like Eterna v1 and tight and punchy bass..around rm500, what i can get? thanks..

Tai / ClieOS said...

Eterna is kind of difficult to replace as there isn't anything that's exactly like it. You can try Sony MH1C, or JVC HA-FXZ100

Muhammad Ridhwan said...

Okie..thanks ;)

Spencer Paw said...

Would it be possible to have links to the full reviews from this list?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Unfortunately no. It is one of the downside of using Google doc spreadsheet.

dauhak ahmed said...

I'm uncomfortable with my mh1c , m getting the seal but after sometime of listening its unbearable , guess due to closed vent.
Is there any iem that has similar sub bass quantity and no mid bass hump ? For Less than $50 ? I don't care if its of low sound quality , but I need sub bass rumble. Thanks

Tai / ClieOS said...

If it is your first IEM, it could be that you are not used to wearing something inside your ear canal. It won't help with another IEM, but perhaps a change to foam tips is more useful.

Otherwise, RHA MA-350 or Brainwavz M4.

Unknown said...

Hello,
I'm strongly hesitating between Rockit r-20, Meelec A151 or Sony XBA-1.
They nearly all sound the same so my major concern is about isolation, fit and microphonics.
Which one do you think is the best on those points ?
Thanx !

Tai / ClieOS said...

Neither is particularly great in isolation. Fit is decent and nothing to complain about. Microphonics can be cut down by wearing IEM over the ears (which R-20 and A151 do, and XBA-1 can be if you want to). So as far as all three aspects are concerned, there are no clear winner. Personally I will go with XBA-1. If you can, the newer XBA-10 is even better.

zamzami ramli said...

Hi Tai, i always thought that i am basshead b4 i bought ath ck100.
i like like it so much and i think with some bass boost from my hippo box+, the bass is already sufficient for me, but it's stolen when somebody broke into my house , its really made me heartache when im thinking about some 'mat pet' stealing my beloved earphone and he wont even apreciate it . How will u compare Klipsch X10 with ck100 since i dont have budget to buy another ck100. I can get x10 below rm400 from LYN

Tai / ClieOS said...

I have not listened to both at the same time but I can tell you X10 is really on the warm side, which is rather opposite to what AT's higher end IEM tends to sound like. For under RM400, I'll still say X10 makes for a good buy but don't expect it to be a direct replacement or upgrade over CK100.

zamzami ramli said...

Which one do u think i should go for, x10 or re-262. Both priced under rm400

Tai / ClieOS said...

I'll go for RE262 myself.

zamzami ramli said...

Thanx tai for your recommendation

zamzami ramli said...

Sadly i missed out on re262 deal. Will u recommend me t-peos h100 or do u have another suggestion, maybe something similar with ck100 or warm and sweet like re262. Budget under 200dollar preferably around 150dollar
my music genre is metal, rock , pop and female vocal

Zaini said...

@zamzami ramli,

I'm no Tai but, re-400?

Tai / ClieOS said...

RE400 is a good choice as RE262 alternative, since both are on the warm and smooth side. H100 will be closer to CK100 for a brighter presentation. However, H100 will not have as good a mid as RE400. If you don't like a V-shaped frequency response, H100 will not be a good choice.

GForceXIII said...

Hi Tai, I'm looking for an upgrade from my RE0.
The thing I particularly like about the RE0 is the details and separation. I also like that the treble is quite sparkly but not grainy and fatiguing(at least for me). Is there any IEM under $150 that sounds like the RE0 but with more slightly more sub bass?
It doesn't have to be analytic, a slightly warm sound sig is fine as long as it doesn't sacrifice clarity.
I listen to almost anything, but I particularly like alternative, rock, metal and anything vocal centric.
I'm interested in the VC1000 at the moment, or is it too warm?

Tai / ClieOS said...

I don't consider VC1000 to be very warm, but it is a step down from GR01. Phonak PFE112 would have been perfect for you but it has been discontinued. Unfortunately there is simply no RE0 replacement that I can recommend that can retain RE0 level of clarity. It is one of a kind.

GForceXIII said...

Thanks for the reply tai!
I went ahead and bought the hippo pro one. I like the bass, but the mid sounds very slightly veiled to me.
I tried the phonaks, I kind of liked them, but they cost $200 here in indonesia, don't think they're worth that much.
Have you listened to the pro one?
If you have, I want to know your impression of them compared to the gr07 and vc1000.
If not, do you have any other recommendations?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Haven't heard the Hippo Pro One. The only other options I can think of are either RE272 driven by a balanced (or semi-balanced) amp or ER4S with a smooth amp. Neither is easy to recommend as you can see.

GForceXIII said...

nevermind, the longer I've spent listening to the pro one, the more I like them.
I'd like to try the RE272, But I've never seen those sold over here.
thanks for your help tai :D

Unknown said...

I have the Brainwavz M5 and Etymotic MC5, and there is no way I'd rate sound quality higher on the M5, as the above list does. The MC5s are clearer, and more analytical sound with a lighter, but quicker bass.

The M5 sound kind of veiled in comparison to the far more detailed MC5.

David Kvasnovsky said...

What about HiFiman RE-400? I am looking for some headphones around 100 USD. I own Klipsch Image S4 but the sound of Soundmagic E10 fits more OK to me. S4 are too bassy and dark. I listen to modern metal and electronic music. Sansa Clip+ is my primary source and all my music is in FLAC.

Tai / ClieOS said...

E10 actually has a U-shaped sound as well, but not to the extreme of S4. RE400 on the other hand is warm+sweet, which I don't think is a particular good pairing to fast music like metal.

If you are looking for the same milder U-shaped sound like E10, perhaps Fischer Audio Consonance or beyerdynamic XP3 will be more to your liking.

David Kvasnovsky said...

Thank you for your response! :-) So you think that U-shaped sound is the best for fast music like metal? I listen to band like Parkway Drive, Architects etc. What kind of sound would be ideal for this music? Are there any good in-ears primary for metal around 100 USD in addition to these?

Tai / ClieOS said...

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sound signature preference. I do think an U-shaped sound will work better than a warm+sweet sound for metal, but it is not to say everyone will prefer it that way. The two I have recommended are probably the best under $100 for a U-shaped sound, based on the fact that you prefer the E10.

cholo tungul said...

hello Tai!
im planning on buying a good iem ang im very confused because there are hundreds of them. im also on a tight budget so im only spending about $50. can you suggest something?
im from the philippines by the way so (i dont know if that helps)
i listen to different kinds of music but i prefer a iem with a very good bass that blows and with a great noise isolation.
i like the looks of the meelectronics m6 and read some good reviews about it but they are hard to find here in my country.

hope you can help me!
thanks

cholo tungul said...

i also want to know how can you feel/hear microphonics? i really dont know what that is. and also i can go higher than 50 dollars if its really worth it. i can afford up to $80 but ill more like it if its below $50.

Tai / ClieOS said...

M6 are fairly outdated by todays' standard. I'll suggest beyerdyanamic XP3 instead, just a little over $50 but under $60.

Unfortunately only a very small handful of IEM that will give you excellent isolation, and not of them will fit both your budget and listening preference. XP3 is only okay for isolation, but no batter nor particularly worst then many others.

Microphonics is the noise coming from the IEM's cable rubbing other object (clothing for most cases). Well, hard to explain but you will know once you hear it.

cholo tungul said...

hey Tai/ CLieOS,
i also have a problem with some iem brands such as beyerdynamics, brainwavz, etc. they are very hard to find here in the philippines.
the only brands i see here are: sennheiser, etymotic, sony, meelec, altec lansing, soundmagic, panasonic, philips, pioneer, klipsch, shure, beats, skullcandy, nuforce, westone etc.
i have another question:
what is the difference in warm+sweet and balance in terms of bass quality and quantity?
i just borrowed my friend's beats tour and i liked the sound of it.

thank you for helping me!

Tai / ClieOS said...

Warm+sweet sound emphasizes bass and mid with a warm tone. Balanced sound emphasizes bass and treble with a more distanced/recessed mid. Since there are a lot of strings (electronic and bass guitar) and drum in Metal, and not quite as important to hear the quality of the voice, a balanced sound will work out better in that sense.

Given your circumstance, it is not likely I can recommend an IEM that will be very easy for you to find, especially given the budget you have (for example, Sony XBA-3 should work well for you but it is too expensive for you). In that case, I will suggest you give NuForce NE-600X a try. If you can, NE-700X is an even better sounding, though more neutral and less bass.

cholo tungul said...

hello Tai / ClieOS, im getting a samsung galaxy s4 this month and the reason that i am searching for an iem is to replace the earbuds that comes with it. i think the model name is HS330. it has 2 drivers and im hearing good thoughts about it though.

by the way, i've tried the sony xba-1 and the klipsch s4 yesterday and i ended up buying the xba-1 because it costs smaller. it has a good isolation for me but the bass on the s4 are better, i think. but for now, i'm not yet satisfied with my xba-1 but i'm starting to like the sound of BA iem.


i've already heard microphonics with my xba-1 and i was surprised because in my apple earbuds, i hear no microphonics.


and now, im searching for a new iem. i've already saw a store in my place that sells the brainwavz but they dont have samples to audition and they dont have the M5. what they have is the M2, M3, M4. and ive found beyerdynamics too but there's no xp# series

i think my music preference is "warm+sweet" or "balance" now.
these is the list of iem im interested to:
1. brainwavz M4 or M5
2. Meelectronics A151 or CC51
3. nuforce ne-770 or ne-700
4. sony xba c10
5. soundmagic e10 or e30
6. tdk eb950 or eb900
7. Audio Technica ATH-CKS55
8. AKG K350
9. Beyerdynamic DTX 71 IE

or feel free to suggest other iem.

thank you for reading this long post.
i'd really appreciate your help.







Tai / ClieOS said...

Actually the S4's headset, HS330, is surprisingly good for a stock. I really don't think you could get an inexpensive IEM that can easy outdo HS300 by a lot. If you haven't heard the HS330 yet, give it a try first before spending money that you might not need to.

Beyerdynamic XP series is exclusively sold by Jaben.net and limited to Asia only.

cholo tungul said...

Last bunch of questions. which is better for isolation and build quality?

TDK EB950 or Brainwavz M4

*i heard that the eb950 leaks sound like the apple stock earbuds?
is that true?

and can you suggest good songs for auditioning iems?
(mainly music in the US)

thanks!

Tai / ClieOS said...

No, EB950 doesn't leak that much sound at all. Isolation is not great on either, but foam tips do help. build quality wise, EB950 is a little ahead.

You should use the music that you are most familiar with to audition IEM, preferably something some with a mix of instruments as well as some vocal.

kartikk pandian said...

Hello Tai,
I have a friend who is a metal drummer & he is looking for good iems for around 50$
1.can you give a few recommendations for him?
2.do you think BAs would be a better choice?

Tai / ClieOS said...

With $50 budget, you probably won't find a BA IEM that will outdo a dynamic.

Given it is Metal and he is a drummer, A 'balanced' sound will likely be most appealing. A good budget choice will be SoundMAGIC E10. Other choices include Fischer Audio Consonance, beyerdynamic XP3 (Asia only), Brainwavz M4, NurForce NE600X.

Tai / ClieOS said...

XBA-1 is an excellent buy for $30, but not necessary a Metal / drummer's IEM, so to speak.

kartikk pandian said...

He had the SoundMAGIC E10(he seemed to like them) but they broke down recently(no volume on one side) so he is looking for new iems.


sony xba-1 seems to be 30$ on amazon right now.

how do the NurForce NE600X compare against the Brainwavz M4?

thank you very much for your help :)

Sandro said...

I have the Galaxy S4 with the HS330 and I find it "not good" with a thin sound, the typical cheap sound. On the other hand the Samsung EHS64 (from the galaxy S3) is extremely good! But the I prefer the less U-shaped Sound Signature of another stock Samsung IEM that came with the Galaxy wifi 3.6 player, from the outside is identical to the EHS64 (expect for the jack) but the sound is more balanced/warm, I would say almost like the Brainwavz M1, unfortunately I have no idea of the model!

Tai / ClieOS said...

@kartikk pandian, I have answered your XBA-1 question above. M4 will be better than NE600X overall, but comes with a very V-shaped sound (much more than E10). It is a bit risky unless you know your friend will like that kind of sound.

@Sandro, Strange - I have two pairs of HS330 and don't find any of them thin sounding (though they are not very full sounding either). I haven't spent a lot of time on them but my first impression is that they are nothing less than EHS64. Than again, everyone's idea of a full vs. thin sound is very likely to be different.

Sandro said...

I'm 99% sure because I even tried to use the ear-tips that came with the EHS64 and the HS30 sounds nothing like it. Anyway the "other model" of the EHS64 I was talking about apparently (from pictures I can see online and stores) is just the black version but it definitely sounds different, could it be?

Tai / ClieOS said...

That's a question only Samsung can answer, I'm afraid.

cholo tungul said...

hello tai!
what is the difference of jbl j33 from tdk eb950 in terms of everything(from SQ to build quality, comfort etc.) ?
they are similarly priced here in the philippines
so can you help what to choose?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Sorry, never hear the JBL to tell you anything useful.

Carlo Giovanni said...

Hi, it's a very nice list. I got my eyes on brainwavz m4/m5 and T-peos D-200, coz it's the only ones available in here..
Can anyone recommend me, which among the 3 mentioned above fits my taste? I listen to diff. kind of music namely, mostly rock,metal and alternative, but some of hiphop with those nice bass beats. Any suggestions/comments would be appreciated. Thanks! :)

Tai / ClieOS said...

@Carlo, M5 will probably be the best for your music genre. D-200 is almost just as good but comes at half the price. So if you want to get the bet bang for the buck, D-200 is a great choice as well.

cholo tungul said...

Hello ClieOS!
Have you heard the Meelec M-Duo? I've read that it have dual drivers . so how do this iem compare to the meelec a151 and tdk eb950?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Sorry, never listen to M-Duo before.

Hiroki Hirayama said...

Hi clieos! Is it a reccomended that I get the meelec a151? I am currently using the shure se215 se, the bass edition ones. I feel like they're a bit muddy.

Tai / ClieOS said...

Never listened to the SE215SE before. But if it is similar SQ to the original SE214, then A151 will likely be a step-down. I'll suggest A161 instead.

Hiroki Hirayama said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I got the xba 3's instead. :)

Tattari said...

Hi Tai! I need help on getting an iem that let's you hear the sound of every instrument . With sweet clear yet not powerful bass . And would let you hear the singer's voice clearly . I currently have the westone 4 and the vsonic gr07 on my mind

Fery said...

Hi Tai,

I already had a TDK BA 200,I would like to know the type of sound do you think for these earphones?I,m interested to ety hf 5, please give me a description of the sound quality between the two.is it the ety hf5 have more clear and detailed sound?then how about the bass between the two?Thank You and sorry for my bad english:)

cholo tungul said...

Hi Clieos!
Which of these three is the most bassiest and has the better soundstage?

soundmagic e10
nuforce ne 600x
nuforce ne 770x

Tai / ClieOS said...

@ Tattari, Westone 4 is a great choice.

@ Fery, BA200 has been reviewed, so please look for the review for detailed description. hf5, like almost every Etymotic, belong to 'analytical' sound, meaning it will be highly detail with leaner mid and bass.

@ cholo tungul, Bass: NE600X > E10 > NE770X; Soundstage: E10 > NE600X > NE770X.

Agasthya said...

Hey Tai
How was your vacation? Which iem did you take along? :)
Have you listened to any of the new hybrids from sony? Very curious to hear your take on them.

Also, I'm trying to choose between the XBA-H1, XBA3, RE400 and the Fidelio S2.
My preferred sound sig is not the most important factor as I want them to be my entry into the relatively balanced world. (I currently use the Brainwavz R1 and they drive me up the wall sometimes. I love the amazing soundstage and it performs decently on most of my music. But the shy mids and boomy bass occasionally becomes glaringly evident. I've sealed the vent with tape and poked a small hole through. This seems to tame the bass a bit and bring the mids out a tad.)

Which of the above would you recommend for my entry into the audiophile world?
Or do you feel another iem that would be a better choice?

Tai / ClieOS said...

I brought Etymotic ER4 and DUNU DN-1000 (also a hybrid) with me. ER4 is for its isolation and DN-1000 is because it has impressed me enough. The XBA-H series hasn't reached the local market yet so I have not heard them.

Fery said...

Hi tai,
Hope you had a great vacation,
Thank you for your answer and I have also seen your reviews about tdk ba200.
I agree with you about the mid and highs of ba200 but i think the bass sounded shy in my ears,I have already replace the eartips with shure black tips and just help a little increase in bass amount (You need to know i am not a basshead).Finally i tried to convert the songs in my blackberry from mp3 be wav format,as a result the bass sound perfect for me But i got a new problem, with the wav format the trebel be very sharp and uncomfortable to hear.I need your advice because I am going to buy another, I also have the SE 215 and I am not satisfied with both.I want the iem with lows and mid like SE 215 but with highs as ba200 or the SE 215 lows with ba200 mids and highs.


Tai / ClieOS said...

Unless your mp3 playback software is particularly bad, converting between different format shouldn't improve SQ at all, but possibly degrades it. If it is all in the software, the better thing to do is to find an EQ software to tune the sound to your liking.

Fery said...

Thank you for your suggestion Tai, I think it is the best solution at this time than I had to try a lot of iem that would later breaking my wallet,lol.

cholo tungul said...

hey Clieos, is the review of brainwavz R1 be finished already? i'm waiting for it.
can you make a good preview now? how does it compare to nuforce ne-600x and 770x?

Tai / ClieOS said...

R1 will be reviewed next. But to give you a quick answer: R1 is very bassy, so don't get it if you don't enjoy basshead. In fact, all three IEM have really good bass response and a warm sound, so they are not the choice if you are looking for something analytical or neutral. They are not very far part on SQ, but I'll rank them as follow: NE700 > R1 >= NE600.

cholo tungul said...

im actually searching for a basshead iem in an affordable price. so i think all of them would be nice to try. why would you rank the ne700 better than r1?

what about the 770x compared to the r1?

Tai / ClieOS said...

NE700 is slightly less bassy than the other two but offer more detail and wider soundstage, thus it is rated higher.

NE770x isn't quite as good as the three mentioned

Yulius said...

hi ClieOS..

i really like the SQ from my brainwavz b2, and if i remember it correctly, i got the recommendation from this post as well.

If i am about to upgrade from my brainwavz b2, with the same detail and sound stage, can you recommended one that being the price range less than $200

Thanks a lot..

Tai / ClieOS said...

A good B2 upgrade under $200 will be the new DUNU DN-1000.

Huu Tin Pham said...

Hi ClieOS
I was stuck between the BA200 and the RE262 . I had BA200 once and I find the bass a little soft , also there's some siblant that I really not a fan off . Is the RE262 bass has more impact and not siblant . Also which has better soundstage and Imagine . Thanks

Tai / ClieOS said...

RE262 has been discontinued for a while now, so I really won't recommend it as you will not get any warranty even if you are able to get a new pair.

Anyway, RE262 doesn't have a bigger bass than BA200 (in fact, the opposite is true). It is however smoother and has a better layered soundstage, though the difference is not vast.

Huu Tin Pham said...

thanks for your reply.
so the ba200 has more bass . but which is less soft (more texture) . also which has better treble

Tai / ClieOS said...

RE262 will have better texture, but it really isn't a bassy IEM by any mean. They are more or less equal on treble.

wafflez said...

Hey ClieOS,

I am considering buying the RE400 but I'm not sure if it will have enough bass (I listen to a mix of hip hop, indie rock, and pop). I have a pair of ATH-m50s, and I would be happy with a bit more bass than that. I briefly owned the Klipsch S4s before, but I thought the bass was a bit overpowering in those. If the RE400 isn't suitable, would there be a good <$100 alternative? Thanks so much for your help!

Tai / ClieOS said...

The problem would be that another sub-$100 IEM might not be as good sounding as RE400, and no, I don't consider RE400 to be bassy by any mean. You can consider JVC HA-FXD80 as the current $65 on eBay is quite good.

Samuel Fishman said...

My Etymotic ER6i just broke. I currently have a bunch of Etymotic foam ear pieces that I received from a friend that worked for Etymotic. I am interested in the ER-MC5 and the TDK BA 100 (as they would work with the foam ear pieces). I was curious if the Hifiman RE400, Fischer Audio Consenance, or the TDK EB950 could use the Etymotic ear pieces. Any help would be awesome.

Tai / ClieOS said...

The question is whether you just don't want to waste the foam or you are looking for something better than ER6i. As far as sound signature, MC5 will be the closest, while the other you have mentioned do not really share the same sound as ER6i. However, I don't presonally find MC5 a very enjoyable IEM to listen to, but it is still a minor upgrade over ER6i. If you really like your ER6i but don't have the budget for the top-of-the-line ER4, I'll suggest the Etymotic HF5 instead.

Michael Gunin said...

Hello,

May I ask for your recommendation for IEMs for jazz? Budget is within USD 150, sources: iBasso DX50, Nexus 5.

Tai / ClieOS said...

I'll suggest DUNU DN-900 first, and TDK IE800 second.

Samuel Fishman said...

Thanks for the earlier advice. If I am just looking for an improvement on the ER6i, what would you suggest? My price range is $50 to $100, preferrably in the $50-$80 range.

Tai / ClieOS said...

If you are in Asia, beyerdynamic XP2 (an Asia exclusive model) will be a great upgrade over ER6i. Otherwise I guess MC5 might be your best choice.

Samuel Fishman said...

Thanks Mr. Headphone Guru!

736IU said...

Hi Tai / ClieOS,
I am currently using the Meelec A151, and am looking at RE 400 and VC1000 as an upgrade. How do these iems compare to each other? And do you have any other recommendations for a warm+sweet sound under 180SGD?

Tai / ClieOS said...

A great warm+sweet IEM that fit your budget is the DUNU DN-900, which you should be able to get from eBay under SGD$180

736IU said...

How does the RE 400 compare to the DN-900 in terms of sound quality and value?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Just as good value wise, and better in SQ with a similar sound signature.

736IU said...

Errr, so RE 400>DN-900 or DN-900>RE 400? Sorry, my english not that good.

Tai / ClieOS said...

DN-900 > RE-400.

736IU said...

Thanks for your advice :)

Jack Nathan said...

I considered DN-900, RE-400 and RHA MA750.
I chose and bought the RHA MA750 for SGD198.
I hope I made the right choice, I like the sound signature.

Zak said...

Please clarify one thing for me: balanced vs flat vs analytical. Is it the same thing. What sound signature would be considered uncolored? I'm looking for iem with unaltered sound, straight down wires and where all frequencies are even. Can you recommend few that has a good clarity,comfort fit, durable enough and is under $100. Thank you.

Tai / ClieOS said...

There is no such a sound in the headphone world that is considered to be totally uncolored - or at least not with an universal consensus. Each company has a slight (if not vast) difference in interpretation of what is neutral sounds like. Some opt for a measured flatness, while some prefer a more musical tuning. Mix in the personal preference and interpretation, you get an even more complex issue at hand - you might believe you want a totally uncolored sound, but you might not enjoy it in actual listening. Thus experience also come to play.

Anyway, a good neutral IEM to shoot for at the $100 mark will be Etymotic HF5.

Unknown said...

Hi ClieOS,
I am having RE0, brainwavz b1 and m4. I prefer the sound signature of M4 and a bit of B1 as well. RE0 is excellent in detail but it sounds boring. I was looking at purchsing Dunu DN1000, do you think it will suit my taste as I don't seem to like RE0 which is characterized as analytical.

Tai / ClieOS said...

M4 has a more V-shaped sound, B1 is more of an analytical with bright top, where RE0 is analytical but neutral. DN-1000 is more of a mild V-shaped with good bass and detail, so it should match your taste on M4.

Raphael Onisaki said...

Hello CliOS ! This is a great website , thanks for the work!
Can you give me some help about sound signature ? I have don't much experience.
Many years ago I bought a MDR-EX500 , fell in love with it , airy spacious and a really clear dynamic sound.It broke after around 1 year of use.
This year I bought a XBA-10 thinking it would have the same sound, it has clarity and detail but it feels claustrophobic compared to the mdr-ex500.

Do you have any idea of what I might like ? I have no idea what the curve of the mdr-ex500 looks like and I want to hear that kind of sound again!

Thanks!

Tai / ClieOS said...

Unfortunately I have not heard EX500 myself, and I can't say in certainty which IEM will be suitable for you. But what you are describing is pretty common between dynamic and balanced armature based IEM (and vented vs. not-vented IEM). If you have a budget in mind, maybe I can suggest a few for you to choose from?

Raphael Onisaki said...

Thanks for the reply,
my budget is around $100 , I don't want to spend more than that in a IEM before I know what type of IEM i really like.
I think the EX500 is vented , other people around me were able to listen to the sound when I had it in my ears.
it had good differentiation between sounds and no part of it was overpowering , maybe the treble a bit.

Thanks a lot!

Tai / ClieOS said...

Generally I'll recommend something closer to $100, but given I haven't heard EX500 and really don't known excatly the sound signature you are looking for, I've rather recommend something cheaper but excellent in value, so even if you didn't like it, you won't be spending too much. My recommendation is XiaoMi Piston 2. It is gold in color, and vented on the housing, big sound, good and open soundstage, slightly on the bassy side but still very enjoyable. It is usually around $30. If you see it too cheap, it could be fake. But the real one is well worth every penny.

Raphael Onisaki said...

Thanks a lot ! I'll buy it in a few months and post my first impressions here when I get it.

Jack Nathan said...

Hi Raphael
I read ClieOS's comment on the XiaoMi Piston 2 and I couldn't resist buying it even though I just bought my RHA MA750 last month.
I bought it on Aliexpress:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/xiaomi-new-huosai-piston-in-ear-Headphone-Headset-with-Remote-Mic-For-xiaomi-MI2-MI2S-MI2A/1523173690.html
It sounds amazing fresh out of the box! It packs amazing SQ and value for US $25!!! You should buy it!

cholo tungul said...

hi clieos, tdk eb950 is on sale on my local store. its priced for about 52 US dollars. my choices are between nuforce ne-600m ($35), tdk eb950, rha ma450i($56). which one should i pick ? im looking for a koss portapro sound signature but in an in-ear type.

cholo tungul said...

i forgot to mention, which one handles driver flex better ? i want an iem that doesnt have driver flex...

Tai / ClieOS said...

EB950 should be the best sounding of the three, Never heard the ProtaPro myself so I can't make a comparison. Neither of the three has any noticeable driver flex issue

cholo tungul said...

joker from head-fi mentioned eb900 have driver flex... does the eb950 share this thing with the eb900? isnt it they have the same housing ?

Tai / ClieOS said...

I don't know about EB900, but the driver flex on my EB950 is very minor, not enough to cause any concern. But if you really can't tolerate any driver flex at all, then go with the other two.

cholo tungul said...

hello tai, what about t-peos d202 vs ne600x ? which of the two would you recommend the most ? i have the same thing in mind. i want a bassy and with a nice soundstage and separation. also, have you heard the vsonic vsd1? can you make a brief comparison ?

Tai / ClieOS said...

While D202 has wider soundstage than NE-600, it isn't what I'll refer as a bassy sound. Same goes for VSD-1. Between them, NE-600 seems more fitting to what you are looking for.

cholo tungul said...

thanks! i will get the ne-600 maybe tomorrow. but i will try them both to be sure. does the sony hybrid foam tips fit in the nozzle of ne600?

also, when is the next review coming out ? i noticed that the review section did not even change in like 3 months (it did not move from last year)... its still the brainwavz r1 that's hanging there.

you have been very helpful in my headphone journey. keep up the good work!

Tai / ClieOS said...

Yes, Sony Hybrid will fit NE-600.

Review will come when it comes. Can't really promise anything now as I am fairly busy outside of the Internet.

luigi tungul said...

Hi clieos. What's the difference between the xba-1 and xba-10 aside from the new cable and new color? And what's the difference between the new cable and the old one aside from the old one being assymetrical?

Tai / ClieOS said...

XBA-10 actually sounds slightly more balanced than XBA-1. Not a huge upgrade, but I'll definitely recommend XBA-10 first. The new cable has an oval cross section, making it much more tangle-free but not quite as annoying as a flat cable.

luigi tungul said...

Well i have the xba-1 already. Do you think its a worthy upgrade if i sell my xba1 and but the xba10? The xba-10 is priced at 88 dollars and 68 for the xba1.

Tai / ClieOS said...

I really won't recommend upgrading XBA-1 to XBA-10. There simply isn't big enough SQ difference. These days you can pay less and get more - I'll recommend you the Xiaomi Piston 2 instead.

Khaidir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tai / ClieOS said...

I have not listened to it but from what I have read elsewhere, it is not identical to the original GR07. Since I have no experience on it, I can't really tell you what it is suitable for.

736IU said...

Hi ClieOS, between the Phonak PFE 112 and the Vsonic VC1000, which one would you recommend?

Tai / ClieOS said...

VC1000 is a step-down model from GR01 and it is actually about on par with PFE112. I'll recommend PFE112 first because of its better versatility of sound signature and comfort. However, do note Phonak has discontinued the Audeo line of IEM so getting warranty claim and accessories in the future might not be easy.

736IU said...

What about the PFE012? What is the difference between them and PFE112? Is it just the filters and accessories only or are the iems/drivers different as well? Sorry for asking so many questions, I just want to clarify before investing in a good pair of iems. Thanks :)

Tai / ClieOS said...

You can read about the difference here: http://www.inearmatters.net/2010/10/review-phonak-audeo-pfe-022-perfect.html

736IU said...

Thanks for the quick reply. I guess I'll be getting the PFE012 and extra gray filters :)

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