Anyone else dip their toes in Chi-fi and have never looked back?
Feb 19, 2020 at 7:44 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


500+ Head-Fier
Oct 19, 2010
Looking at the FS/FT section and just seeing all the IEM's that people are asking (and paid) hundreds if not thousands for makes me realize how fortunate I am to have actually tried Chi-fi.

Sitting here listening to my CCA C16's that I paid $80 for that can now be had for ~$60 while thinking how great they sound even compared to my way more expensive and definitely more praised (and EQ'ed) Hifiman HE-560 v3. Granted those aren't IEM's but just the sound quality in a 8-driver $60 IEM shouldn't compare yet...they do.

The C16 is also just the latest in a VERY long and VERY expensive line of IEM's I've owned, sold, traded, etc over the years and yet they're somehow in the top rankings over all.

So this leads me to ask...have you had the opportunity/curiosity to try Chi-fi? If so what are your impressions? Has it tainted much more expensive offerings from other more well known companies?
Feb 19, 2020 at 7:51 AM Post #2 of 6
So I've tried what many consider the top "Chi-Fi", the QDC Anole VX. It is an S-rank IEM by Crinacle. In addition to that, I have tried all the other S-rank IEMs. In my experience, I did not like the QDC Anole VX. While very detailed with top tier resolution, its timbre suffered compared to the other IEMs. If I had to order the S-rank IEMs from Crinacle in order of preference for my music, which consists 99% of Kpop and Jpop female vocalists, it would be the IER-Z1R > Hidition Viento-B = 64 Audio A12T > Vision Ears VE8 > QDC Anole VX.

I would love to own a Z1R but unfortunately it doesn't fit my use case as I only wear customs, but it was by far the best sounding IEM I've heard. The Viento and A12T, while they didn't sound as good as the Z1R, were close enough and they can be bought in custom form thus providing superior isolation. The Vision Ears VE8 are pricey. Their mids are smooth but the IEM isn't as detailed as the others. The QDC Anole VX was probably the most detailed sounding with the A12T being the second most detailed sounding. Its bass wasn't as good as the A12T and that was an issue for me because a lot of Kpop and Jpop music has some powerful bass.

With that being said, the Viento-B is the cheapest IEM out of all the S-ranks and it is by far my favorite and it should be on everybody's list looking to purchase a top tier IEM. Many of my kpop friends who visited the audio store with me agreed that it is just great with natural timbre and delivery. It doesn't have as much microdetail as the A12T or the Anole VX, but it has PRaT.

Hope this helps!
Feb 19, 2020 at 8:14 AM Post #3 of 6
QDC Anole VX

Have you ever tried anything a lot cheaper lol? Even your Chi-fi is still incredibly expensive. I'm talking more $100-$500 range give or take? The CCA C16 I have now is under $100 for a 8-driver universal.

Not to disregard you or anything as I've admittedly been out of the high-end game for a while with the newer stuff. My experience with high-end IEM's are vast but limited due to age. Like, I've owned the Sony Z5 and EX-1000, ie800, JH16 and JH13 Freqphase among many other CIEM/IEM's in multiple forms. Problem is they're all "older" at this point.

See my last IEM was a $250 MusicMaker Shockwave 3 hybrid (4BA/1DD) that I owned for a couple years. These had just been, for my tastes, the best over all I had owned by that point. Even better than the ones I listed above. The C16's however are better I think. So considering a sub-$100 IEM sounds better than a $250 IEM which sounded better than IEM's 4x the price either means my standards have fallen or cheap stuff has really gotten this good.

Also with the Shockwave 3's I can say I remember owning a pair of EX1000's (again), the Z5's, some higher end Dunu hybrid among a few other well regarded pricier IEM's and have since gotten rid of all of them in favor of the Shockwave 3's so standards haven't been too worn away I don't think?

Your case is definitely rarer I feel and a bit higher-end than what I was thinking. Would definitely love to hear your opinion though if you ever gave even the much lower-end options a listen to. Might be surprised!
Feb 19, 2020 at 10:33 AM Post #4 of 6
So considering a sub-$100 IEM sounds better than a $250 IEM which sounded better than IEM's 4x the price either means my standards have fallen or cheap stuff has really gotten this good.
Or the cheap one just happens to hit your preferred fr curve more? Check out hrtf and that may explain it.
Feb 19, 2020 at 4:28 PM Post #5 of 6
strange question to ask ,or maybe late to the party

I've been in Chinese hi-fi since 2004 and it has changed and rejuvenated my audio hobby completely. I was what you could consider a regular audiophile who bought the best he could afford. I still do that :) only I get a whole lot more and often I do a lot of modding or complete overhauls and 2nd hand refurbishing. Soundwise I've never had it better. Headfi is more of a sidestep for me, but in hi-fi my setup can compete with setups in the 100k range. Not to say I better them. I did spend a lot over the years but I'm far from rich. Maybe 15k. I never lose much when I sell off my stuff.
Feb 19, 2020 at 8:13 PM Post #6 of 6
Yeah, I am also wondering how we define "Chifi" here? If we use the term just as "Chinese Hifi" - then there are several premium earphone makers that basically are not different to "western" companies. Just think about Unique Melody, for example - they are around for a long time and have very high quality (and also price) standards from the beginning on. To me, "Chifi" is more the recent phenenomen that new Chinese makers pop up from nowhere and offer gear that is - sq wise - very comparable to the one from "traditional" High End companies - for a fraction of their prices!

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