shotgunshane’s IEM (custom and universal) recommendations, favorites and classics

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by shotgunshane, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    Well, I'm hoping for some IEM recommendations, which is an area I've little experience in. Right now I own the Fiio FH5, what I like about them is that they have a sub-bass boost but unboosted mid-bass, I very much appreciate how textured and rumbly the bass in general is. Treble is a little laid back which I also like. What I don't like about them is how they're not very slamming and, most importantly, the upper mids are a little too shouty for my taste, I wish they were less prominent and more in line with the rest of the midrange.

    In other words, I like the sub-bass ONLY boost, and non-shouty mids; I'm not fond of V shapes either. From reading around I suspect the UERR might be up my alley but I haven't had a chance to try them.

    Usually I use them with a Shanling UP4.

    Is there anything up to, lets say $1000 (including used) that might fit me?
     
  2. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    UERR is not going to have the sub-bass boost nor will it slam hard.

    - Moondrop S8 will have the boost in the sub-bass, but it also has a forward upper-mids.
    - Sennheiser IE800S is another good option which fits your description. But I don't like its tone in the midrange. But I've seen many who don't seem to have a problem with its tone.
    - 64Audio's U12t might also fit your description, but is a bit above your budget. But none of these 3 will slam hard.
    - EE Legend X will slam hard and is boosted in the sub-bass, but its bass boost extends a little into the mid-bass too, which creates a bloated bass. It will also be a bit above your budget, but fits your description otherwise.
    - My overall vote goes to the u12t.

    I am sure there are other candidates under $1000. But these are the ones that came to my mind.
     
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  3. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    While the UERR is more relaxed in upper mids, I don’t think it’s bass will be anywhere near what you are looking for.

    I haven’t heard any of the Fiio iems, so I can only go by Crinacle’s measurements. The FH5 seems to have a reasonable upper mid level, so it seems you need something considered laid back there.

    From your description it seems the OG Solaris would be up your alley but over your budget.

    On the cheap side, the old classic Sony MDR 7550 came to mind. And while verifying measurements, it seems the Sony N3 measurements might be the ticket but I’ve never heard it.

    If you’ve not aware, you can use Crinacle’s iem measurement comparison tool to try and find some iems that do the things different from the FH5 you want. I’d use that as a base to create a list, then start asking around for subjective comparisons of the FH5.
    Here is the link to his tool: https://crinacle.com/graphs/iems/graphtool/
     
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  4. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    @EagleWings Yeah, a bloated midbass is a big no-no in my book. Unfortunately 64 audio is pretty rare in Europe but I travel a lot so I'll keep an eye out next time I'm near one of the stores that distributes them for an auditioning.
    @shotgunshane I wasn't aware of his comparison tool, thank you! I'll go give the Solaris an auditioning sometime, maybe I'll be convinced to spend the little extra. In the meantime I might just buy the xba-n3, it's cheap enough that I can resell at little loss if I'm not convinced.

    Based on the tool, the Thieaudio Clairvoyance/Monarch might also be worth a try, though I doubt I'll ever find them available for auditioning.

    Thank you for the suggestions everyone!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
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  5. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    Anyone played with the Fiio FH3? Seems to be gathering bit of a hype. I managed to find some measurements - it seems like it's got bit of a peak at 8khz and I've very sensitive to wonky treble, but...
     
  6. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    I got the FH3: Excellent fast and plentiful bass, quite smooth transition to the mids - no complaints here at all. Things start going tits up in the treble - some localised peaks around 6khz, 8khz and resonance at around 12khz; the peaks are not massive, but I'm also finding it tough to eq them out for some reason, making for a tiring slightly etched treble listen.. For this reason I will say save few more dollars and get the JVC fdx1 from massdrop which offers a superior, more coherent and truer to source sound.

    Oh well, another one bites the dust unless I figure something out with eq and foam mod. Shame as I think these have good potential and are "almost" there.. Yet again my GAS overpowered my fetish for measurements.
     
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  7. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    * Sony IERM7 have a nice deep reaching bass, smooth mids and treble - overall neutral/smooth with a pure tone. They need quite a bit of power by the way. IERM9 seems to have more treble which I dislike.

    * U12t is above your price range and need a smooth relaxing source, but will probably meet your sound requirements.
     
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  8. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    Moondrop Blessing 2. Harmon curve tuned IEM.

    EDIT: How come no love for a $300 IEM that sounds like a $2000 one? It's my current favorite with Penon GS849 cable. My other fav is my CA Solaris SE with the new Penon OSG cable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020 at 7:39 AM
  9. pgs_audio

    pgs_audio Rando

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    Did you ever listen the planar IEM? If so, which ones?
     
  10. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I believe the only planar iem I’ve heard is the Audeze iSine20. The version I heard was without the lightning cable which has corrective EQ/DSP. Unfortunately with the regular cable, the frequency response was pretty bad, to the point it sounded broken. Many say the lightning cable EQ/DSP makes it a pretty good iem but as I said, I never got to hear that version.
     
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  11. tommytakis

    tommytakis Gear Cycler SoCal Edition

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  12. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I haven’t tried them yet but we’ve had some brief talk of them here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/iem-tip-rolling-tip-advice-thread.9423/

    If they are anything like the old Aurisonics Sure Seal tips, they should stick in place like glue and not move around.
     
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  13. pgs_audio

    pgs_audio Rando

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    Wow! You’ve been listening to so many headphones! Of all this could you mark your favorite headphones?
    We’re currently working on a planar IEM project. Maybe you’d be interested to hear them, evaluate and write an interesting review?
     
  14. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Sure, shoot me a PM and we’ll work out the details.

    I gravitate more neutral tuning in general. Here are some of my current favorites:
    Solaris, Andromeda, Ara, ProPhile 8, UERM, Starfield, FDX1 and Nair.
     

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