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BEST Sub-100$ BUDGET EARPHONES - Chi-fi, Obscure brands and impressions sharing-REFERENCE LIST

  1. DynamicEars
    As i love my kb100 so much, Yes I do prefer BL03 because of sub bass - mid bass configuration (on bl03 sub bass is bigger, on kb100 mid bass is bigger)
    ozziecook and LaughMoreDaily like this.
  2. Tonymac136
    Does better value make a better IEM though? In a straight comparitive A-B listening session I am sure that my Sennheiser IE60 is better than my BL01. But my BL01 is around 10% of the price and about 90% as good. I'll say to anyone that the BL01 is the best value of the two, I can't say that it's the better headphone. It's like the MH755 hype train. It's a great value IEM and I won't deny it that. It's not a better IEM than any good £30 IEM. Only better value.
    baskingshark and LaughMoreDaily like this.
  3. LaughMoreDaily
    I can't believe all the hype of those Sony's. People should be buying the Blon 01 easily, if they don't recable them.
    Dani157 likes this.
  4. Tonymac136
    I agree. Even with a recable I wouldn't rate the Sony over the BLON. The only two reasons to buy the Sony over the 01 are 1 - you're a bass head and 2 - you literally cannot afford the 01. If you can't afford the 01 probably you shouldn't spend the money on the Sony (especially as fakes are so common).
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  5. baskingshark
    Well my 2 cents input is that "Value" of an IEM is subjective. I agree with u that better IEM does not equate to having better "value" i.e. better price for performance ratio, i.e. better bang for buck (which is my definition of value in this case). I found that in this hobby, law of diminishing returns kicks in the higher u go up, and my opinion is that the best "value" nowadays is becoming more and more skewed towards the budget -> midfi segment.
    Like some of the folks in the Audiosense thread say the Audiosense T800 can hit 80 - 90% sound quality of the Campfire Andromeda at a fraction of the price, I haven't heard the latter to confirm, but yeah the CA Andromeda is probably "better" in this case, but at a more expensive price. For myself, I said this before, that my KZ ZS10 Pro can hit 80% sound quality (subjectively) of my Westone 3 which costs 10 times more, but definitely the Westone 3 is "better" in technicalities and is more refined.

    For me, if something costs 10% but gives me 90% sound quality, I'll gladly take it over something that gives me 100% sound quality but costs 90% more.
    Hence, I thank the CHIFI gods for giving us super good options these past 2 years that were unheard of just prior to that. We can now dabble in this hobby for less coin and get quite good "value" nowadays. DT6 (triple driver hybrid) for $16 USD? KZ ZS10 Pro @ $35 USD for 5 drivers? Nobody would have believed this pricing just 2 - 3 years ago.

    But some others' definition of "value" is getting the very best of the best and they don't mind paying a premium to chase that remaining 10% sound and find "value" in that. For example, I have a hardcore audiophile friend who only buys amps, DACs, IEMs/headphones that are minimum > $2K. His cables are minimum > $100 USD, and some of his cables are even $1000! I ever foolishly offered him a KZ ZS10 Pro to listen, and as expected, he refused to listen to my peasant CHIFI gear LOL.
    I won't judge him on that, it's his money, but not all of us can pump so much coin down this hobby, so we have to resort to getting the most out of our limited funds by going for price to performance ratio, in this case, my interpretation of "value", which was different from his interpretation of "value".
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  6. Tonymac136
    Don't get me wrong. I also go for bang for buck every time. But I'm not going to describe an IEM as "better" if it is only "better value". "Better" doesn't acknowledge cost. My wallet, sadly, does.
    Viajero, brideshead and baskingshark like this.
  7. dharmasteve
    But sometimes exceptional products come out that defy cost comparisons. So my Blon 03 isn't just better value than 99% of my IEMs, it is actually 'better'. 1+1=3 in the HiFi world can and does happen. Many years ago it happened in the little t-amp world. Tiny cheap little Chinese t-amps killing expensive big platform, big name amps. It's real in some cases, although the 'hype' train moves in quickly to blur the edges with other IEMs that don't stand up to mass scrutiny.
  8. yseviel
    I am getting a gift for primarily Death Metal, with a side of Synthwave. I don't know a lot about this topic but as I understand a fairly neutral like Tin2 would be great for Death Metal, however I need something with more bass or the Synthwave will sound thin.

    The things that seem important based on the glossary: sub bass response, fast/snap/transient response, articulation, flat frequency and also maintaining clarity at higher volumes will be important, while isolation is not a specific concern.

    Would BLON 03 be a good choice, or should I look at something else?
    Viajero likes this.
  9. Slater
    What if someone can only afford the $5 Sony MH755, and they can’t afford $30 Blons? That’s 6xs higher cost, and as good as the Blons are, they’re not 6xs better than the MH755.

    The MH755 hype is totally justified. Name one earphone that’s better for the same $5. There isn’t one.

    If the MH755 is the only option for a poor student or teenager, then I say it’s a damn good one. Especially if it introduces them to the audiophile world instead of the ocean of Skullcandies and dollar store garbage they’re probably used to.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    zachmal, Viajero, 1clearhead and 6 others like this.
  10. Riz99
    I am pretty sure that the Sony mh755 is better than the Blon 01 for most people. I like it more than my TinHifi iems and the Fidue a65 as I find it more tonally pleasing. It is tuned closely to the Harman curve with a bit of subbass boost and atleast has a decent frequency response. Unless the Blon 01 has an acceptable frequency response I refuse to believe that it is better than the mh755 for me especially if it is like the Nicehck ep10. Also antdroidx reported that the his Blon 03 had a 8 khz spike in the treble that he personally was not a fan of; I suspect that the Blon 03 has atleast some degree of unit to unit variance looking at various graphs. So yeah I believe that the Sony's are all deserving of the hype it has received if tonality and consistency are your main concerns.
    It has its flaws like the short J-cord but you can always buy an extender or recable it. Also I would personally like less energy in the 3-4 khz region so the Blon 03 might just be my thing. It also is not the most earphone but what more can you expect out of a $5 earphone?
  11. Tonymac136
    Exactly. That's why when I say the BL03 is the best I own I mean best. Not best for the money or best value.
    Viajero likes this.
  12. dharmasteve

    It's funny but the cheap little Blon 03 has turned ChiFi/HiFi on it's head. Other IEM manufacturers must be aware of what is going on and will have to really up their tunings/quality (I hope). We may have a period of time that some amazing tunings start to come to the fore. It's strange but IEM's that sounded great a short time ago are now put to the sword by a cheap piece of HiFi. Maybe it's happening in other areas of ChiFi as some are lauding and eulogising DAP's like the I-iBasso DX160. Something very positive is happening in ChiFi.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  13. oneula
    the BLON B20 planars and BLON B8 berylliums were also great performance to cost finds in their categories
    Personally I prefer using my BLON B8 headphones over my BLON B03 IEMs. Getting a good seal on the IEM has been a problem still search for a good bud tip that duplicates holding the IEMs in my ears with my fingers Same problem I have with the TIN P3 and Shouer Tape.

    One IEM not getting allot of attention is the GuideRay GR-i18
    I think it's just as good to my ear for certain sources I have than these fancier models.
    1clearhead likes this.
  14. durwood
    I think maybe people need to make sure they are talking about the same thing, there is a BLON BL01, but the hype is around the BL03.

    Second thing, there is a major value component here to the BL03, otherwise the Tanchjim Oxygen would be flying off the shelf. We can all try to deny that excluding cost...but truth is if you were given the option to pay $10 vs $100, there is a small percentage that would go for the $100 thinking it is was better due to price, and the larger group would vote with their wallet in mind.
  15. Slater
    Do you find the treble harsh on those at all? There seems to be mixed opinions on the GuideRay, and I’d like to separate the honeymoon bias from the truth.
    Toastybob, baskingshark and Viajero like this.

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