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Best IEM (For My Tastes) Around $100

  1. biggbenn74
    As the title states, looking for the best IEM for my tastes around the $100 USD price point.

    I know this is like the 10,000th thread on the same topic, but I have spent hours between the forums here with various topics (chi-fi, name branded, etc.) but I keep leaving with more questions than when I began. I've been fairly absent from the headphone game for some time, and my needs have changed with jobs and such.

    I need the help of my fellow Head-Fier's on this one. Here is my criteria, in order of preference:

    1: Must be as transparent as possible without being too fatiguing over long periods of time

    2: Wide soundstage, not looking for a miracle, but I'd like to get as close as possible to my Audeze LCD-2

    3: Bass presence; not boomy, but I want to feel my music when I'm listening to music genres like trap, glitch hop, dubstep, the usual EDM genres.

    4: Isolation / no sound leakage, I fly occasionally on cramped flights and my wife can also be picky if I'm listening to something too loud at night.

    5: Easy to drive, I know most of my options typically are, but just wanted to make sure it made the list, not wanting to carry a portable amp with me on a plane

    6: Comfort, I'm not too picky here, never had a problem with any IEM, but you never know

    Just some final info, brand does NOT matter, some of my favorite headphones and earbuds I've owned came from somewhere in east asia. Does not have to have detachable cables, but can have them, not favored towards one way or the other. Not looking to spend maybe more than $120-$125 for them, delivered to the door, $100+ will take some hard convincing.

    Looking at my options here, folks. Thank you for reading and taking your time to respond. It means a lot.

  2. Colors
    iBasso IT01.
    PaganDL, biggbenn74 and serman005 like this.
  3. serman005
    I second the IT01.
    biggbenn74 and Colors like this.
  4. episiarch Contributor
    I suggest the Periodic Audio Mg, which is $99 but if you buy a "blemished" unit on their site, it's just $69. (Mine's blemished and I needed strong light and magnification to find a tiny speck which I guess might have been the blemish.)

    See the Periodic Audio thread for many opinions besides mine.
  5. biggbenn74
    Looking into the ibasso's now, as well as the Mg's. leaning more towards the ibassos. I have heard more about them to start, and not a lot by periodic audio, so I may be slightly biased.

    Looking to see if anyone else has any recommendations.
    Colors likes this.
  6. JamesCanada
    biggbenn74 likes this.
  7. yong_shun
    I third IT01 LOL
    biggbenn74 likes this.
  8. biggbenn74
    Ok all, I'm leaning towards the ibasso IT01's, they look like a strong contender. Any other recommendations?
  9. SciOC
    If you're willing to wait a bit massdrop sells the tfz king pro for 125, and just sold the tfz queen for 100. Haven't heard anything about the queen yet, but the king pro is great.

    Outside of that, kz zs10 (if you can use EQ) or ibasso it01 are solid.
  10. greenkiwi
    Fiio FH1 and F9 might be good options too
  11. biggbenn74
    I have actually read some reviews regarding the Fiio's, and even some compared to the ibasso's, and from my findings, the Ibasso's tended to have the edge when it came to what I was looking for overall (at least from the reviewers standpoint)

    But I'm definitely not ruling them out just yet as I have owned quite a few Fiio products over the years, and they tend to make solid stuff.
  12. biggbenn74
    Seeing as you own both, might I ask, in terms of overall soundstage, which would you find to be more superior? I have read in almost every review of the IT01's so far that they have a more "accurate" soundstage and are more intimate than the King Pro's.

    Same question in regards to sub bass extension, I suppose. Very interested in the King pro's, but I started to like the IT01's for their offering of a black, plastic housing vs. a machined aluminum one on the Kings.

  13. SciOC
    For me the king pro wins all staging categories, width, depth, imaging and separation are all superior. This is truly their upper hand over the it01.

    In the bass department, the it01 are tuned more v-shaped and have very good bass and bass extension, you don't need to tweak it at all to get bass out of these. In typical tfz fashion, subbass extension on the king pro is excellent. But since they're tuned neutral, you need to EQ up the bass to get the desired level out off them. Fortunately they EQ very easily. Overall I prefer the king pro because of these two specific issues.... It has a clear edge in staging, and the bass is a bit smoother and goes deeper.

    That being said, I do like the build it the it01 better, and had to send my original king pro in for repairs due to what I think is somewhat poor design of the 2 pin ports... They're placed as such that you put unnecessary strain on them if you periodically adjust your fit by pushing the Iem into your ear canal.... Also, the stock cable of the it01 is excellent.
    biggbenn74 likes this.
  14. biggbenn74
    Thank you for the quick response. My biggest concern with the King's is that you are definitely not the only person claiming there are QC issues. If the company took care of you 100%, then that makes things better at least. It's not a true problem until the company decides to handle / not handle a concern / problem.
  15. SciOC
    I bought my pair through lend me ur ears ( it's very possible you're reading my posts if you're looking through the tfz thread here, or on massdrop).

    Lend me ur ears was very responsive and helpful. When I tried to contact tfz directly I got nothing at all back to this day....

    If you really want to go cheap, you could get a pair of kz es4 to start for 20 dollars to dip your feet into IEMs, I've been hearing great things about those. The kz zsr, zs6 or zs10 are all great for cheap too.
    biggbenn74 likes this.

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