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

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  1. TLDRonin
    That entirely depends on what you're looking for
  2. HungryPanda
    T2 if you want a balanced sound if you desire a bass tilted iem ZhiYin Z5000
  3. AliveNoMore
    Any reason you guys ignored my previous post?
  4. HungryPanda
    Well we are not your slaves :) but of the ones you mentioned ZhiYin Z5000 is what I would recommend
  5. B9Scrambler
    Maybe no one has a rec based on the very specific criteria mentioned (not a bad thing, most leave that out, lol)? I haven't heard any of your reference gear 'cept the ZS3 so I'm of no help, sorry.
    Bartig likes this.
  6. AliveNoMore
    Damn, I thought the review/comparison of the Aurora with the XB90EX was yours. I have failed to succeed.
  7. kw8910
    TRN V60 - Had a chance to burn in for 10+ hours.


    First thing I noticed was the bass, there’s lots of it and it’s gotten tighter since first listen but it still a little slow. Can be full and overpowering on some genres but good for pop and electronic. Not sure if it’s enough for bassheads.

    Mids and vocals were horribly muffled and distant with stock cable. Even with the burn in there was minimal difference so I tried stock kz 2-pin and that was a big improvement! Even better using kz’s silver plated cable. Vocals are no longer veiled or muffled. Not sure if I got a defective cable or what.

    There’s no sibilance with the treble but I believe they’re being too conservative here; there’s no sparkle and lacks extension. Some instruments sound off.

    Overall the sound is slightly warm and bassy. I’d like to hear better separation and bigger soundstage but not complaining too much considering price. Will give it more time but nothing stands out for me yet
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  8. oneula
    so after reading this thread and buying and trying a bunch of recommended relatively inexpensive IEM/Earbid headsets that included;

    KZ ATE
    KZ ATR
    KZ ZS3
    KZ ED9
    KS ZSR
    KZ ZST
    KZ ZS10
    Shozy Hibiki
    DZAT DF10
    Zero Carbo-Tenore
    TIN Audio T2
    LKER 8
    Superlux HD 381F
    Yersen FEN-2000
    TY HI Z 150Pro
    Rose North Forest
    Faaeal 64ohm
    WIllSound MK2
    Soundmagic E80S
    Nuforce EDC/EDC3
    Campfire Comets

    Other than the Campfire Comets which cost more than allot of these guys added together, none of them really stood out heads and shoulders above their peers although there were some that I just could not get to work as far as staying in my ear, which would seem to be the first thing an earbud/IEM should be able to do which is to fit. I'm pretty much over taking all these to work with me so I can listen to and compare them. Seems like there should be an easier way to do A/B/C/D/E comparisons..

    If anyone has tip recommendations for these with the exceptions of the WIllsound/Faaeal/TY HI Z 150Pro/KZ ED9 which don't need tips I'd like to hear about it.
    I haven't had allot of success both in sound and fit wise with any of the included or after market memory foam tips I've tried
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  9. HungryPanda
    On my iems I use KZ Starlines sometimes needing large when I usually am medium size and also use MandarineEs hybrids a size smaller than usual for wide bore ones. Some I have to use double or triple flanged tips. SpinFits on others
  10. JaimeCarlos
    Hello people! Very nice to meet you all. I'm new to this, so bear with me please :wink: I got a high end laptop with an SS Sabre HiFi Hi-Res Audio DAC in it, which supposedly easily drives headphones up to 600 Ohm and gets the FLAC lossless audio files to output 24bit/192kHz, so I'm looking for suggestions in the 20-40$ range for now (I'll increase budget once I train my ear).

    I'll wait for Tin Audio T2 and/or ZhiYin Z5000 to be in sale as right now they are $50+ but I'm considering FAAEAL Narcissus 2.0 300ohm (28$) as it is sometimes suggested, especially since I'm a bass lover guy. I kindda get surprised IEM like the KZ ZS10 (44$) are being so praised but I guess the number of Balanced Armatures are very important.

    I have read a dozen pages of this and other thread but anyway I apologize if I am still unknowledgeable. Thanks a lot for your input!
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
    paulindss, Bartig and HungryPanda like this.
  11. AliveNoMore
    I'm a bit confused. In one of your earlier posts you mentioned that the North Forest have the better bass compared to the Z5000. Are you recommending the Z5000 as being overall the better package sound-wise (close enough low end with superior everything else), or...? Please elaborate, kind sir. :)
  12. HungryPanda
    I just prefer Z5000 sound over North Forest, The highs are just more natural sounding on the Z5000
  13. Slater
    Wow, I was totally unimpressed by mine OOTB. They got much better after I removed the tyvek filter under the nozzle mesh.
    HungryPanda likes this.
  14. Saoshyant
    @JaimeCarlos Greetings and welcome to head-fi! Don’t worry about not knowing much as we were all new at some point, something some people tend to forget. As long as you’re willing to read up to learn, you’ll be just fine.
  15. HungryPanda
    djmakemynight and groucho69 like this.
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