Bassy, single dynamic-driver IEM recommendations
Jun 29, 2021 at 8:39 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

PopZeus

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I'm looking for *single dynamic driver* IEM recs. Can be V-shaped but would prefer neutral mids and treble, with bass boost instead. I like natural sounding mids and a smooth, not bright, flat top end. and a clean bass boost/shelf just shy of basshead levels. I'm not sure about price, but I'm open as long as it's worth it. I don't really know the IEM world that well, and frankly, they're never my first choice to listen to music, it's just sometimes the best convenient option.

On the higher end, is my best option something like the CA Atlas? Are there other mid-tier options that are doing something like what I'm describing? Am I missing some bassy hybrid that makes single DD designs obsolete? And most importantly, will it accept Spiral Dot tips??

Again, no BA or hybrids, please. Thanks for any and all advice!
 
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Jun 29, 2021 at 9:27 PM Post #2 of 22

Mightygrey

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It sounds like you might like the new(ish) Sennheiser IE300. And if you like that, you might really like the IE900.
 
Jun 29, 2021 at 11:53 PM Post #3 of 22

Neweymatt

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Can be V-shaped but would prefer neutralish with bass boost instead. I like naturalish sounding mids with nothing too bright. I'm not sure about price, but I'm open as long as it's worth it. I don't really know the IEM world that well, and frankly, they're never my first choice to listen to music, it's just sometimes the best convenient option.

On the higher end, is my best option something like the CA Atlas? Are there other mid-tier options that are doing something like what I'm describing? Am I missing some bassy hybrid that makes single DD designs obsolete? And most importantly, will it accept Spiral Dot tips??

Thanks for any and all advice!
There are a few options at different price points for you to consider. I've focused on value for money in my quest so far, and I think I've done ok:

BLON BL-03 and BL-MINI are cheap, single DD, and have a nice kick in the bass. I've struggled with fit on the BL-03, but the MINI is excellent for its price, a no-brainer I'd say.

I've had the Shozy Form 1.1 for about a week, and I really like it. With 1 DD and 1 BA, it has a gentle v-shape that can at times be just slightly hot in the treble, but is again good value imho.

The CA Honeydew is brand new to the market, and is by early reports a basshead dream. Don’t quote me on this, but from what I've read it seems a like for like replacement tuning-wise for the Atlas, have a look around for more impressions as they come in.

Probably the 'best' CA IEM for bass atm is the Dorado2020. I've auditioned it, and would have bought it but for other priorities for those $$$ in my collection at this point.

If you want to go full TOTL, the Sony IER-Z1R is outstanding. Bass-boosted, but in a very clean and detailed way, I love it. I didn’t consider any Empire Ears, the $$$ got to be too much for me, but they have a few that are renowned for their bass as well.

As always, you are best to try to listen to a few things to hear for yourself what works best for you. If that’s not possible, just get a BL-03 or BL-MINI, and at least you'll have a point of reference for others in future.
 
Jun 30, 2021 at 4:27 AM Post #4 of 22

Spie1904

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Sennheiser IE900, Technics EAH-Tz700, Beyerdynamic Xelento, JVC Fw10000, Dita Dream are some of the best DD I can remember.
Final Audio A8000 if you like it but I personally don't like the tuning too well.
Dunu Luna also has an odd tuning but perhaps the Zen is better.

While I haven't heard the new Dorado or new Vega, I disliked most campfire IEM's other than the Andromeda.
Sony IER-Z1R are probably great but they are a hybrid :)
 
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Jun 30, 2021 at 10:41 PM Post #5 of 22

PopZeus

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It sounds like you might like the new(ish) Sennheiser IE300. And if you like that, you might really like the IE900.
The IE3000 is a surprisingly high performing IEM but it's too bright for me. The 900 looks intriguing but way too much money!
 
Jul 1, 2021 at 12:17 AM Post #6 of 22

Dsnuts

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No need to spend a lot. Try these. https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/reecho-sg-03.25114/reviews#review-25833

These things will rumble your ear off and sound good doing it. Costs $69 on Penon web site. Highly recommended. Even if you get something more expensive. Try this and I bet your gonna be surprised how good these are. Titanium plated dynamic does bass real well.
 
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Jul 1, 2021 at 12:26 AM Post #7 of 22

surfgeorge

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The IE3000 is a surprisingly high performing IEM but it's too bright for me. The 900 looks intriguing but way too much money!
With PEQ the Sony EX1000 is phenomenal. Very fast, textured and bottomless bass, and the PEQ can fix the midrange. The bass level can be adjusted to taste.
Downsides are that you have to find a good used unit, they are an open design with bad isolation, soundstage is very wide but not deep and imaging is very fuzzy. Spiral Dots are not ideal, the nozzle is a bit thin and the SDs wide bore shifts the tonal balance, therefore I prefer the original Sony tips.
 
Jul 1, 2021 at 2:24 AM Post #8 of 22

Malfunkt

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Can be V-shaped but would prefer neutralish with bass boost instead. I like naturalish sounding mids with nothing too bright. I'm not sure about price, but I'm open as long as it's worth it
Going to throw in another recommendation for the BLON Mini. Remarkably good for the price. Took me a couple days to warm up to it but now its a favourite tuning. The bass digs deep into the subbass, yet it is a fast driver that delivers punch at the same time as detail.

Even more important than the sound is the fit. The Mini has very unique design that manages to get a deeper insert and be super comfortable and provide good isolation. There is no intrusive and itchy Etymotic style deep fit. It’s slim fit also allows a better seal and easier improved stereo image.

It has a finished metal build quality with a great cable included. And costs $27-ish USD.

for all these reasons it’s more that a starter piece of kit. It will have use, even if you upgrade, as no other IEM does as much as the Mini - at any price bracket.

Also, it’s good with binaural recordings and would work for gaming.

Lastly, you can sleep comfortably on the side with it, all the while listening to music and surfing head-fi!
 
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Jul 1, 2021 at 2:03 PM Post #10 of 22

silent-circuit

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AAW x TCA Project 4+2. Dual dynamic isobaric for bass, 3 mid/high BA, 1 NOVA (nozzle-less) BA for top end. Swappable bass modules allow it to be flat to bass heavy. My fairly favorite IEM by far. $750.

Head and shoulders above everything else I own save maybe the Custom Art FIBAE 4. Will probably sell all my other IEMs soon since they get no use.
 
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Jul 3, 2021 at 4:08 AM Post #11 of 22

Yokanos

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I would recommend the Sony MDR XB75AP, heavily bass boosted and I don't think it has the V shape that is akin to Chi-Fi IEM. You don't get any sibilance and the bass is very rich and will blow your socks off.
 
Jul 7, 2021 at 7:57 PM Post #12 of 22

PopZeus

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There are a few options at different price points for you to consider. I've focused on value for money in my quest so far, and I think I've done ok:

BLON BL-03 and BL-MINI are cheap, single DD, and have a nice kick in the bass. I've struggled with fit on the BL-03, but the MINI is excellent for its price, a no-brainer I'd say.

I've had the Shozy Form 1.1 for about a week, and I really like it. With 1 DD and 1 BA, it has a gentle v-shape that can at times be just slightly hot in the treble, but is again good value imho.

The CA Honeydew is brand new to the market, and is by early reports a basshead dream. Don’t quote me on this, but from what I've read it seems a like for like replacement tuning-wise for the Atlas, have a look around for more impressions as they come in.

Probably the 'best' CA IEM for bass atm is the Dorado2020. I've auditioned it, and would have bought it but for other priorities for those $$$ in my collection at this point.

If you want to go full TOTL, the Sony IER-Z1R is outstanding. Bass-boosted, but in a very clean and detailed way, I love it. I didn’t consider any Empire Ears, the $$$ got to be too much for me, but they have a few that are renowned for their bass as well.

As always, you are best to try to listen to a few things to hear for yourself what works best for you. If that’s not possible, just get a BL-03 or BL-MINI, and at least you'll have a point of reference for others in future.
I have BLONs in my collection. The BL03 is a rite of passage IEM for anyone entering the hobby, imho. anyways, I'm looking for something better than that. Not interested in any hybrids or BAs, so the Shozy's out. As far as CA IEMs go, I'm looking at the Atlas. It's priced better than the Dorado or Vega and has a better tuning than the Honeydew. I think Sony is fine but, again, no BA recs! LOL
Sennheiser IE900, Technics EAH-Tz700, Beyerdynamic Xelento, JVC Fw10000, Dita Dream are some of the best DD I can remember.
Final Audio A8000 if you like it but I personally don't like the tuning too well.
Dunu Luna also has an odd tuning but perhaps the Zen is better.

While I haven't heard the new Dorado or new Vega, I disliked most campfire IEM's other than the Andromeda.
Sony IER-Z1R are probably great but they are a hybrid :)
Thanks for the recs, but none of those IEMs are what I'd describe as bassy and not bright (admittedly just from the graphs). Perhaps we have very different tastes.
No need to spend a lot. Try these. https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/reecho-sg-03.25114/reviews#review-25833

These things will rumble your ear off and sound good doing it. Costs $69 on Penon web site. Highly recommended. Even if you get something more expensive. Try this and I bet your gonna be surprised how good these are. Titanium plated dynamic does bass real well.
If it can hang with more mid-tier or higher end single DDs, I'm game.
With PEQ the Sony EX1000 is phenomenal. Very fast, textured and bottomless bass, and the PEQ can fix the midrange. The bass level can be adjusted to taste.
Downsides are that you have to find a good used unit, they are an open design with bad isolation, soundstage is very wide but not deep and imaging is very fuzzy. Spiral Dots are not ideal, the nozzle is a bit thin and the SDs wide bore shifts the tonal balance, therefore I prefer the original Sony tips.
I should've mentioned that I'm looking for a bassy, not bright IEM without EQ.
Can't offer any impressions cause I don't have one yet, but the new Campfire Audio Honeydew is looking very tempting for a big bass dynamic IEM

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/campfire-audio-satsuma-and-honeydew.958323/
The Honeydew is cool looking and the price is right, but that FR graph looks way mid-scooped. Altas by comparison has much fuller mids, at least on paper.
I would recommend the Sony MDR XB75AP, heavily bass boosted and I don't think it has the V shape that is akin to Chi-Fi IEM. You don't get any sibilance and the bass is very rich and will blow your socks off.
Ok, this Sony rec is actually interesting. Thanks!
 
Jul 7, 2021 at 9:49 PM Post #13 of 22

Neweymatt

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I have BLONs in my collection. The BL03 is a rite of passage IEM for anyone entering the hobby, imho. anyways, I'm looking for something better than that. Not interested in any hybrids or BAs, so the Shozy's out. As far as CA IEMs go, I'm looking at the Atlas. It's priced better than the Dorado or Vega and has a better tuning than the Honeydew. I think Sony is fine but, again, no BA recs! LOL

Thanks for the recs, but none of those IEMs are what I'd describe as bassy and not bright (admittedly just from the graphs). Perhaps we have very different tastes.

If it can hang with more mid-tier or higher end single DDs, I'm game.

I should've mentioned that I'm looking for a bassy, not bright IEM without EQ.

The Honeydew is cool looking and the price is right, but that FR graph looks way mid-scooped. Altas by comparison has much fuller mids, at least on paper.

Ok, this Sony rec is actually interesting. Thanks!
OK, so what's better than a single DD? How about 3x DD??

I received the UM 3DT this past Monday, and while not a bass-cannon, they go quite deep while maintaining nice control of mids & treble. I reckon they're quite good value at around $300.
 
Jul 8, 2021 at 2:06 AM Post #14 of 22

Spie1904

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I have BLONs in my collection. The BL03 is a rite of passage IEM for anyone entering the hobby, imho. anyways, I'm looking for something better than that. Not interested in any hybrids or BAs, so the Shozy's out. As far as CA IEMs go, I'm looking at the Atlas. It's priced better than the Dorado or Vega and has a better tuning than the Honeydew. I think Sony is fine but, again, no BA recs! LOL

Thanks for the recs, but none of those IEMs are what I'd describe as bassy and not bright (admittedly just from the graphs). Perhaps we have very different tastes.

If it can hang with more mid-tier or higher end single DDs, I'm game.

I should've mentioned that I'm looking for a bassy, not bright IEM without EQ.

The Honeydew is cool looking and the price is right, but that FR graph looks way mid-scooped. Altas by comparison has much fuller mids, at least on paper.

Ok, this Sony rec is actually interesting. Thanks!
Some of them are bright indeed like final audio and dunu Luna.
If you want only warm and bass boosted, my recommendation would be a final audio e5000
 
Jul 8, 2021 at 7:37 PM Post #15 of 22

PopZeus

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Some of them are bright indeed like final audio and dunu Luna.
If you want only warm and bass boosted, my recommendation would be a final audio e5000
Already own the E5000 and think it's great! The only real issue with them is that the E5000 tends to need balanced amplification in portable applications to really shine, and can be a distraction to others since it leaks sound, so I don't really use them while outside. That's what the IT00s are for.

All that's to say, I just picked up the JVC FW01 and it's hitting enough sweet spots for me to keep them and phase out the IT00. Still might pick up the Atlas if it goes on a sick sale. Everything on paper is telling me to get them, but CA is such a lightning rod of controversy in the hobby. It's hard to know what to make of the actual quality of their successful IEMs.
 
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