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

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  1. NymPHONOmaniac
    yes I receive the Blon...but NOT the one I order!!!

    I receive the B7 wich are open back....not bad sounding from the 5 minutes I use it but it was a closed headphone I need so I feel really betray by the seller. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Will share more toughs once I get back some money from this absurd error.

    Receive the Bossfi B3 iem too. Not try yet.
    KarmaPhala likes this.
  2. Niyologist
    Thank you for your feedback. I agree with all of this. I'll make my own chin slider to fix the springy cable and seal.
  3. Skullophile
    I would have to agree with @vladstef on this one. I find the ZS5 anything but balanced, quite V-shaped and very coloured.
    stryed likes this.
  4. Arkady Duntov
    That's what I found. It's not a bad deal for the US$18.99 which I paid, but they don't get any ear time with me. Obviously, others disagree.
  5. NymPHONOmaniac
    Did you try V1 and V2 version?
    Whats the one you have?
    Vocal of version 2 are more fowards, as well a brightness (but perhaps this is due to silver cable).

    Anyway, people stick about the term ''balanced'' and interpret is as ''neutral'' I think, they do not sound neutral but I agree that they are far from being a V shape beast, look like all freq are pumped up somewhere, wich make them so much fun to listen. I consider them being power hungry too, and benifit from amping for sure (it happen lot of time with multi driver IEM even when impendance isnt that high).
  6. Strat Rider
    I also have the QCY and for the money, and portability i like them alot.

    Recently, i have changed to a BT dongle by avantree, (not ch-ifi), the clipper pro.
    I don't mind the wires tucked into my collar as long as i can listen to my iem-of the day.

    I have also been known to slip a pair of rock zircons or memt x5's inside my helmet from time to time.
  7. Slater
    So my ASK Hybrids arrived today (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New...s-HIFI-Hybrid-technology-DIY/32828678398.html).

    These are the "twin brother" to the ASY Hybrid that @Vidal posted about here:
    Like Vidal, the ASK shell comes apart easily (mine didn't "fall apart" like his, but it does easily snap apart if you wish). There is no glue - the shell simply pops apart using a spudger tool, guitar pick, butter knife, etc.

    The box has a nice presentation - nice silicone tips (like Sony hybrid style), and the cable is decent (although a bit stiff and springy).

    And like the few others that have tried them, my ASK had a few problems right out of the box:
    • The removable cable cuts in and out of the earpieces when moving around. This appears to be due to the pins in the female socket (on the shell) not making good contact with the pins on the male plug (on the cable). The solution is to gently bend the pins in the female socket (on the shell) either slightly apart or slightly together, so that the plug fits tighter. They only need to be bent very slightly (a fraction of a millimeter). I used tweezers, but you could use a small flathead screwdriver such as the type to repair glasses.
    • The shell comes apart easily. This is by design (for manufacturing), as the halves of the shell are only held together by a number of clips. The solution is to just put a few strategic micro drops of glue along the seam of the 2 halves (you don't even have to tale apart the shell for this - just put the drops on the seam on the outside of the shell) . I used Lazer Bond UV glue, but fast drying epoxy would work fine as well. Be aware that there's are a number of vents along the seam (like on the KZ ZS5), so make sure you don't put the glue in the vents.
    • Something was rattling around on the inside of 1 of the IEMs. Upon opening it up, I found that the 8mm DD was just floating around in the shell - in other words, it had no glue holding it in. The 8mm DD in the other IEM had a tiny bit of glue holding the DD in, but certainly not enough to SEAL the DD driver. I reglued both drivers, totally sealing them around the edges like they should be.
    The sound is quite neutral OOTB. Sub-bass is almost non-existent. The sound reminds me of an open headphone.

    It appears that the sound is due to the numerous vents along the seam (like the KZ ZS5), and the drivers not really being sealed with glue. Once the DD is sealed with glue, some sub-bass appears. It's still quite neutral overall, but it was nice to have the bottom end filled in with a bit of sub-bass when called upon. Midrange and treble is clean. They have decent clarity, and nice sparkle. Vocals sound good. Good soundstage. No sibilance. No driver flex. The stock cable has some microphonics, even though these are behind-the-ear.

    I have not done anything with the seam vents - I will likely experiment with sealing some/all of the vents to see if I can coax some additional sub-bass (which is my sound preference).

    These would make excellent donors for DIY IEMs. They are very comfy, come apart easily and everything is easy to see and work on, they use 1x8mm DD drivers (in addition to 1xBA in the nozzle), and all of the driver and external plug connections are on a separate circuit board that also has crossover components. It would be easy to change out the resistors, solder in different drivers, disconnect the BA if desired, and very possibly change the plug to a MMCX or KZ style 2-pin plug.

    Regardless, if you can deal with the few minor niggles with this hybrid - gluing the DD so it's sealed, tweaking the pins so the plug is tight, and adding a few drops of glue to the seam so the shells stay secure - this is a good IEM for the $18 price. Especially if you're tired of the same old v-shaped sound.

    BTW, Vidal got no after sales support from the vendor for his problematic pair, but for such a low price I didn't care. Since almost everyone that has tried the ASK or ASY so far has reported similar issues, I would just expect the issues I listed above and expect to fix them yourself. It is not hard and takes 10 minutes. Should you have to do this? No, but this isn't totally surprising when dealing with low-end/mass-produced ChiFi. If you expect perfection OOTB, steer clear.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Here's some photos, showing the halves of the shells (with the clips and ZS5-ish seam vents), the circuit board/crossover, and the "loose" 8mm DD driver that was just flopping around. Click if you want to see the photos larger.

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  8. NymPHONOmaniac
    No go for me with such bad QC....its very disastrous in fact, the list is LONG! Nice to have feedback about them telling the downside!

    At the very moment, I live the opposite experience with newly arrived in ears the nice Bossfi B3.Very promising sounding, but everybody just share go words about them so its no surprise, quite warm but still have texture and its on the right bassy side. My attempt was high but iM not disapointed at all and can imagine listening to them alot in a futur. Vocals look nice too....need more than 5 minutes to comment further. But, its a winner from first listen!
  9. Sulbh
    So Fiio F5 are best in ears under $100?
  10. NymPHONOmaniac
    There certainly not bad and I was impressed by them and it include a balanced cable wich is nice, so I think its a good buy. Must admit they hide a phenomenal dynamic driver in these, but it neither super detailed or bassy, U shapd with quite clear vocal, but not a super textured sound, a little dark and airy but not 3D presentation like we can find with hybrid IEM. It think there better value in sound, but not in accessories (a balanced cable cost about 10-20$). Personally I prefer ZS5 exciting sound over this flatter F5. I don't like to advice IEM I did not try, but Simgot Bass or Pro, TFZ King or lower in price TinAudio and Svara Red look more promising. I prefer my PMV A01 MK2 too (easier to drive, better instrument separation and way more detailed).
  11. vector84
    There's like 100 pages about this in the KZ thread - fyi it's actually that their (ZS5v1) impedance is too low (4.8ohms) = crazy current hungry. :wink:
    NymPHONOmaniac likes this.
  12. Holypal
    does anyone own MONK IE Biggie and Smalls? Are they good for 60 $?
  14. Sulbh
    So which one?
  15. Holypal
    Everyone has their own preferences. But definitely not F5.
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