BEST BUDGET SUB-100$ EARPHONES THREAD- Chi-fi, Obscure brands and impressions sharing-REFERENCE LIST
Jun 6, 2021 at 7:33 PM Post #28,336 of 28,469

NymPHONOmaniac

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Possibly not as related as I think, but I remember Joshua Valour saying something to the effect of having to spend at least 300$ to get loudspeakers that sound as good as the BLON BL-03 in the review of said IEM.

I remember a wikipedia article stating somewhere among the lines of being easier to achieve accurate treble response in loudspeakers while bass response is easier on headgear. This one had one huge Citation Needed slapped at end. So id like to see other opinions on this matter.

Asking out of interest to DIY a home theater.

Maybe someone here owns a Neumi BS5 or any other sub $100 loudspeaker.

To budget loudspeakers really get destroyed by budget headgear like he implies?
wthat t f with comparing iem and speakers thats odd....and if your wise, you get TOTL vintage speakers for 50$.

Go VINTAGE BRO VINTAAAAGE! (for low budget-minded)
 
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Jun 6, 2021 at 9:03 PM Post #28,337 of 28,469

PhonoPhi

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Few months ago, i ask several reviewer on youtube of their recommendation in CCA CKX price range,
i forgot but around three of them replied and recommend the Tin T2+ for its balanced and natural sound.

I wonder, whether the incoming Aria (albeit a bit pricier) will shake that throne.
I got Aria recently, so I can offer few thoughts and comparisons.

Aria is beautifully made, the fit is one of the most comfortable, if not the most (the trade off is a relative lack of isolation for me).

The sound is nice and competent. It could be outright boring though, if not for some peaks at 7-8 and 15 kHz that makes Aria a bit more sparkly to my ears. Bass is tight and nice.

So a very good all-arounder.
Yet in some fun/uniqueness, Aria was no match to TRI I3 and my modified ASX to my preference.
ZAX also wins for me (minus the bass).
Even Blon 03, while not nearly as resolving and closely bass competent, offer its unique "organic" timbre, so I may likely reach more for Blon than Aria.

Then, even if not my cup of tea, is Aria competent and great for $80 - absolutely! Aria was made to be a pleasing not offensive IEM - its main strength and some limitation.
 
Jun 6, 2021 at 9:32 PM Post #28,338 of 28,469

r31ya

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The sound is nice and competent. It could be outright boring though, if not for some peaks at 7-8 and 15 kHz that makes Aria a bit more sparkly to my ears. Bass is tight and nice.
So a very good all-arounder.
Yet in some fun/uniqueness, Aria was no match to TRI I3 and my modified ASX to my preference.
This reminds me when the shop i goes to offers me to listen to mid-fi relaxed open back headphone Khastadio OS-01 (retuned Brainwavs apparently) something.
"This is awesome" he said,
Then i (who at the time used to KZ sig) tried it and...
"huh? the bass doesn't have enough slam or rumble, the treble is not that sparkly, mids are ok i guess... Not sure why this is awesome"
Well, even Grado have more character that that headphone. It sincerely lack the "fun" aspect. But apparently its neutral and natural sounding.
Anyhow it cause me to try to understand the seller taste, so i will know if he said A, it might be B for me.
 
Jun 6, 2021 at 10:14 PM Post #28,339 of 28,469

PhonoPhi

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This reminds me when the shop i goes to offers me to listen to mid-fi relaxed open back headphone Khastadio OS-01 (retuned Brainwavs apparently) something.
"This is awesome" he said,
Then i (who at the time used to KZ sig) tried it and...
"huh? the bass doesn't have enough slam or rumble, the treble is not that sparkly, mids are ok i guess... Not sure why this is awesome"
Well, even Grado have more character that that headphone. It sincerely lack the "fun" aspect. But apparently its neutral and natural sounding.
Anyhow it cause me to try to understand the seller taste, so i will know if he said A, it might be B for me.
A very good point.
Surely, subjective preferences and habits and then also sources are an important factor.

Then, exactly, my main motivation (and exxuse) getting Aria and TRI I3 was to expand horizons and to compare.
With I3, I learned that I am not so much treble-centric, just the resolution is important. I3 became a great addition to my collection - the stage, bass extension and good glimse on planar capable smoothness are unique and enjoyable to me.

With Aria, I did spend few days and confirmed that Harman tuning is not for me at a reasonable cost :)
 
Jun 7, 2021 at 3:31 AM Post #28,340 of 28,469

JEHL

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Depend on your priority or wants.
But its not exactly "destroyed" speaker world per se but Speaker at certain quality set-up will understandably more pricier than iem sets in the same sound quality.
I remember a month ago BGGAR as he listed his Headphoine tiers, he noticed that in the same price range especially in low-fi and mid-fi, you'll get much better sound in IEMs than Headphone.
Things like soundstage or optimal positioning will be nearly all-in-one in IEMs (at most tip rolling and cable swap) but its much more complicated and pricier process in Speaker set-up.

---
Here's more of tech upgrade vids, but it covers all the complication on speaker set-ups.

All in all, if you have cash to throw a really good speaker setup. The experience on listening to it together with friends and family is not something that IEMs could replicate.
I wonder if the 2 most important points I can take from this is that.

Since my living room appears to be only marginally larger than James' it's safe to assume I can get away with bookshelf speakers.

He needs a subwoofer anyway, so he got the SVS SB-2000 Pro. To which is probably worth mentioning I can feel (or hear?) as low as 13Hz on the BLON BL-03 if any information lies there. Cranking the volume up has yielded information from as low as 4Hz but this isn't practical most likely. So again I'm not sure where the BL-03's reputation for non existent subbass come from, horrible fit notwithstanding.You'd think reviewers would make 100% sure to double check their ears for airtight seal before drawing a conclusion, but that's too much to ask apparently.

I was thinking something among the lines of ordering a pair of Dayton Audio DAEX25VT-4 or some variant of and hang them in ceiling tiles facing a wall powered by a Kinter K2020A+ limited edition (because who knows were regular edition went). At least I think this is a cheap enough setup that's worth the shot.

The subwofer however. IS A NIGHTMARE. To my understanding according to a certain video about infrasounds, it seems that the magic number for an awesome home theater experience is 19Hz, which happens to be eyeball resonance frequency.

I guess one possibility is the DCS385-4 also from Dayton Audio in a 310l internal volume cabinet with a 4in diameter 6in long port which tunes it to 18Hz or so... Those are the results WinISD throws anyway.

I guess the other is test my luck finding a used subwoofer, preferably a powered subwoofer, or at least sold alongside the amplifier. I'd imagine I'm trying to find the needle in the haystack in this option.
 
Jun 7, 2021 at 7:37 AM Post #28,341 of 28,469

NymPHONOmaniac

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Not exactly sub-100$, but not near either. And sure a good value if you into near analytical L shape sound signature. In fact, apart from bass, FH3 is near as good as FH7. Concept of musicality being subjective, some might even prefer the colder more detailed sound of FH3 IMO
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/fiio-fh3.24543/reviews#review-26022
 
Jun 7, 2021 at 9:29 AM Post #28,342 of 28,469

IEMbiker

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A very good point.
Surely, subjective preferences and habits and then also sources are an important factor.

Then, exactly, my main motivation (and exxuse) getting Aria and TRI I3 was to expand horizons and to compare.
With I3, I learned that I am not so much treble-centric, just the resolution is important. I3 became a great addition to my collection - the stage, bass extension and good glimse on planar capable smoothness are unique and enjoyable to me.

With Aria, I did spend few days and confirmed that Harman tuning is not for me at a reasonable cost :)
I think you will like the rewire 29689 ASX even more. If you have time to open up the shell and rewire it, is really worth a try.
 
Jun 7, 2021 at 6:24 PM Post #28,343 of 28,469

NymPHONOmaniac

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TANCHJIM TANYA in my ears since 2hours.
These arent bad AT ALL. But will please those that favorise smooth tonality over fowards technicalties IMO (oh, and all those Harman target fanboi perhaps)


tanya2.jpg

Indeed these are source dependant, so we will read some conflictual impression. But they sound only bad on Ibasso DX90 and Xduoo X20 for now (thin, brightish, restrain in dynamic weight). With SMSL SU9-SH9 they are a their top, but with something like Audirect BEAM2 and Tempotec HD PRO they are great. To stay budget i will only share impressions with HD PRO here.

So indeed, these are Harman tuned (warmed W shape with emphasis in sub-mid-mid treble and not sharp peak) and can be compared in tonal balance with Final E4000, Moondrop Stafield or Sony MH750.

PRESENCE: Sub bass and mids, especially vocal, are the most upfront, they have appealing hint of warmth in timbre. Female vocal sound great, full bodied and in front stage.

TREBLE is a bit roll off on top, but not dull at all, and still have hint of sparkle so its a versatile presentation that favorise body and weight. Percussions can seem a bit overly in the back ground sometime, so for those searching super sharp articulate snappy highs with lot of air in separation, the TANYA isnt that. Its more talented in cohesive well layered macro-resolution than well define and focused micro-resolution.

MIDS are very natural, full bodied, violin sound excellent without abrasive bite-lush, dense, bodied; even electric guitar is enjoyable, tough not ultra textured which is a plus for less fatigue.

BASS is were polemic will happen IMO, its very light in kick drum impact, but not in slam or boosted sub extension. Some track its very welcome (Jazz, slow soul r&b) other not so much (fast electronic, fast rock). Separation is just average here and the bleed on high bass lower mids warm this part of spectrum.

IMAGING is great in layers, as if specific section in low-mids-highs are better extracted than other, giving a rich hologaphic sound with impressive density in transparency.

SOUNDSTAGE (with right eartips) is good, not mind blowing due to lack of deeness and clear air in separation-spatialisation.

TANYA is a really well tuned IEM, no doubt, an i need to do direct comparison with Starfield....cause well, it might have a big drop in my favorising!!

tanya1.jpg


---------
First thing i do is testing some eartips, I conclude KZ Starlines is the one that open the sound properly and permit a very impressive layering-imaging. What for 20$ these seem great. They remind me a bit brighter version of starfield with better (yep) imaging). Will share some impressions after at least an hour of listen!!
As well ,these are quite SMALL, a plus IMO and the PACKAGING is freaking generous for the price...it even include 10 pairs of nice mesh (this make me irrationally happy to have new mesh to play with lol)
Seem like a Crazy BARGAIN if you ask me, all this for 20$. Respect TANCHJIM.

SIDENOTES:
These aren't easy to drive and tremendously benefit from both good amping and good DAC, which is a bit of oxymoron for an IEM in this price range. As noted above, Eartips will notably inflict on final sound rendering, especially imaging-soundstage. T'sound muddy with stock eartips. I try them with Ibasso DX90 and didnt like the result. With SMSL SU9DAC+SH-9 AMP they do blow my mind but still ahve slight drawback, like in bass kick definition cause of U shape approache to bass (more sub-mid presence), so acoustic bass in jazz sound great but slap bass will must likely lack bite.
 
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Jun 7, 2021 at 6:42 PM Post #28,344 of 28,469

Ye2002

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TANCHJIM TANYA in my ears since 2hours.
These arent bad AT ALL. But will please those that favorise smooth tonality over fowards technicalties IMO (oh, and all those Harman target fanboi perhaps)




Indeed these are source dependant, so we will read some conflictual impression. But they sound only bad on Ibasso DX90 and Xduoo X20 for now (thin, brightish, restrain in dynamic weight). With SMSL SU9-SH9 they are a their top, but with something like Audirect BEAM2 and Tempotec HD PRO they are great. To stay budget i will only share impressions with HD PRO here.

So indeed, these are Harman tuned (warmed W shape with emphasis in sub-mid-mid treble and not sharp peak) and can be compared in tonal balance with Final E4000, Moondrop Stafield or Sony MH750.

PRESENCE: Sub bass and mids, especially vocal, are the most upfront, they have appealing hint of warmth in timbre. Female vocal sound great, full bodied and in front stage.

TREBLE is a bit roll off on top, but not dull at all, and still have hint of sparkle so its a versatile presentation that favorise body and weight. Percussions can seem a bit overly in the back ground sometime, so for those searching super sharp articulate snappy highs with lot of air in separation, the TANYA isnt that. Its more talented in cohesive well layered macro-resolution than well define and focused micro-resolution.

MIDS are very natural, full bodied, violin sound excellent without abrasive bite-lush, dense, bodied; even electric guitar is enjoyable, tough not ultra textured which is a plus for less fatigue.

BASS is were polemic will happen IMO, its very light in kick drum impact, but not in slam or boosted sub extension. Some track its very welcome (Jazz, slow soul r&b) other not so much (fast electronic, fast rock). Separation is just average here and the bleed on high bass lower mids warm this part of spectrum.

IMAGING is great in layers, as if specific section in low-mids-highs are better extracted than other, giving a rich hologaphic sound with impressive density in transparency.

SOUNDSTAGE (with right eartips) is good, not mind blowing due to lack of deeness and clear air in separation-spatialisation.

TANYA is a really well tuned IEM, no doubt, an i need to do direct comparison with Starfield....cause well, it might have a big drop in my favorising!!



---------
First thing i do is testing some eartips, I conclude KZ Starlines is the one that open the sound properly and permit a very impressive layering-imaging. What for 20$ these seem great. They remind me a bit brighter version of starfield with better (yep) imaging). Will share some impressions after at least an hour of listen!!
As well ,these are quite SMALL, a plus IMO and the PACKAGING is freaking generous for the price...it even include 10 pairs of nice mesh (this make me irrationally happy to have new mesh to play with lol)
Seem like a Crazy BARGAIN if you ask me, all this for 20$. Respect TANCHJIM.

SIDENOTES:
These aren't easy to drive and tremendously benefit from both good amping and good DAC, which is a bit of oxymoron for an IEM in this price range. As noted above, Eartips will notably inflict on final sound rendering, especially imaging-soundstage. T'sound muddy with stock eartips. I try them with Ibasso DX90 and didnt like the result. With SMSL SU9DAC+SH-9 AMP they do blow my mind but still ahve slight drawback, like in bass kick definition cause of U shape approache to bass (more sub-mid presence), so acoustic bass in jazz sound great but slap bass will must likely lack bite.
Awesome can't wait for mine to arrive I had got them for about $5 USD because of an eBay targeted coupon! Honestly a robbery at the price with the praise it gets and the accessories are really generous!
 
Jun 7, 2021 at 7:01 PM Post #28,345 of 28,469

NymPHONOmaniac

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Awesome can't wait for mine to arrive I had got them for about $5 USD because of an eBay targeted coupon! Honestly a robbery at the price with the praise it gets and the accessories are really generous!
Lol what 5 boxes?.....your lucky man!
Indeed crazy packaging accessories, those 10Xfilters are nice too and i will use them on a lot of IEM.

Tonality wise i love them alot.
 
Jun 8, 2021 at 11:21 PM Post #28,346 of 28,469

Malfunkt

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SO, i dont know if you heard the ''urban legend'' that create some polemic in geek audio group, but a rumor stating both HZSOUND MIRROR AND BLON BL05S USE VERY SAME DYNAMIC DRIVERS spread...so i was obsessed to know if its true so i got my hand on BL05S after they try to hype them...

When i give them a listen I have similar yuck face to when I listen to the first BL05. Timbre was just wrong and harsh. Attack fowards-shouty. And then a let them burrn in...pretty certain they arent same drivers AT ALL.

Then I ask a pro-IEM-teardown (not Delta) to open this up, and voila!
(pic is from Jeffrey F)
Well. Doesn’t sound like you got on too well with the BL-05S. I’ve been scouring reviews and some have said it has traded blows with the Heart Mirror.
I absolutely love the tuning on the 05S, it straddles the line between vivid and lifelike.

but I think I’m going to pull the trigger on the Heart Mirror in part because of your comments on them but also if it is significantly better than the 05S then I feel I may have just finally unlocked my personal G-spot for target curve. Even if it is just more refined I’m good with that. I can see the 05s bass emphasis being too much for reference sound quality but it is enjoyable.
 
Jun 8, 2021 at 11:42 PM Post #28,347 of 28,469

Canabuc

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Love the Aria. Such well rounded tuning. Works well for all genres.

Kbear Ks1 are fun for bass heavy sound.

What would be a complement for not too much $ to get a different sound maybe something much more detailed?
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 9:54 AM Post #28,349 of 28,469

NymPHONOmaniac

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Well. Doesn’t sound like you got on too well with the BL-05S. I’ve been scouring reviews and some have said it has traded blows with the Heart Mirror.
I absolutely love the tuning on the 05S, it straddles the line between vivid and lifelike.

but I think I’m going to pull the trigger on the Heart Mirror in part because of your comments on them but also if it is significantly better than the 05S then I feel I may have just finally unlocked my personal G-spot for target curve. Even if it is just more refined I’m good with that. I can see the 05s bass emphasis being too much for reference sound quality but it is enjoyable.
It sure is my sub-100$ IEM G-spot too lol
I mean...it dont even belong in this price range, too technically mind-blowing for that!

It seem HZ just begin to be notice by other audio groups....so now the concern is: will it go up in price or be out of stock?

I will try to give more chance to BL05S...did burn in change anything???
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 9:55 AM Post #28,350 of 28,469

NymPHONOmaniac

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Aria 1 or Aria 2?
yeah...whats up with that i just notice....their really 2 version?? with very different tuning??

Not a fan of confusing models change like that tbh
 

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