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Best TOTL Universal Dynamic Driver IEM (No Hybrid DD+BA)

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  1. mashuto
    That is certainly up there for a single DD, but not unheard of (I mean I do own the atlas, which is up there too). Will definitely be interesting to see what they come up with, and how it compares with other high end single dynamic IEMs.

    Oh and I forgot to add that periodic audio also makes some great single DD iems. They feel cheaper and have attached cables, but sound quality is good for the price. I have heard the carbon and its another bassy signature, but for the price, its quite good (again not counting the cheap-ish feeling plastic shell and non removable cable).
     
  2. Darksoul
    No mention of Campfire Vega?
     
  3. iems0nly
    I can think of maybe around 10 single DD universals that can contend for the top spot.
    Heard none of them personally (except donguri), but i've read some opinions:

    Faudio Major
    Sony EX1000
    DITA Truth/Dream - which one ?
    Senn IE800/s
    JVC FW10000
    Beyerdynamic Xelento
    Campfire Atlas (or Vega maybe?)
    JVC FD1/X
    Hifiman RE2000
    Donguri Keyaki Ti Plus

    Which ones can we add ?
    Which one of these IEMs can we give the boot ?

    We can maybe go about a process of elimination until we arrive at the winner, if there could ever be one :)
    This might turn out a fun exercise!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  4. surfgeorge

    I have:
    Sony EX800ST
    JVC FD02 modded (FDX1 ordered)
    A&K T8iE MKII
    and tested the JVC FW10000 a bit, but not too much because they are simply outside my budget.
    Listening mostly to FLAC files with the CHORD Mojo

    Out of those 3 I like the A&K T8iE MKII best, soundstage precision and resolution are amazing, extension is very good, but their signature doesn't emphasize mids and vocals as much as the FD02.
    The FD02 is really good value at $220 in JP, very smooth, great sub bass, silky smooth treble and I love the vocals. Most emotional I have heard.
    EX800ST is the "honest", slightly drier and more neutral than both others. I wish I'd listened to the EX1000 when I had a chance though....)
    The FW10000 impressed me a lot with the classical music I tested it with, it sounded incredibly close to a live concert. Very transparent and open from what I remember.

    Honestly all good IMO, each different in character, but all very good. But once you consider costs, the JVC FDX1 with 3 different nozzles with different tuning looks like the best value.
    I paid $550 for the used T8iE MKII in mint condition, which again is excellent value IMO. But I'd not pay the $1200 list price or $1500 for an FW10000.

    And another thing is fit and comfort.
    The T8iE MKII with Spinfit tips are fitting me very well, with good seal, secure fit and high comfort.
    The FD02 with Spiral Dot tips on the other hand sound very good but they just don't seem to fit my ears that well, and the left ear piece never sits securely.
    This really has a big influence on their sound, and on how much I listen to them.
    (I have Spinfit CP500 on order for the JVC and hope they will fic that)

    Bottomline: All of the above are very good IEMs, but sound signature, fit and even value are a very personal thing.

    PS: Never heard them, but during my searches I read several times that the Sennheiser IE800 are kind of outdated or surpassed.
     
    baskingshark likes this.
  5. iems0nly
    great post @surfgeorge
    I own the EX800ST and love them to bits. Only let down by isolation. Mostly people rave about EX1000, so i assume they are a bit better than EX800s.
    The EX800s are more balanced, and don't have that fatiguing treble that describes the EX1000s. So, let's add them in here.

    I was (am still) really tempted to buy the FD02.
    I ended up scoring the IT01-S as my last buy. They are good too. I'm still getting used to them.

    Based on your input, i guess we can update the list and give the boot to Senns, unless someone recommends them back in.

    Faudio Major
    Sony EX1000
    Sony EX800ST
    DITA Truth/Dream - which one ?
    JVC FW10000
    Beyerdynamic Xelento / A&K T8iE MKII
    Campfire Atlas (or Vega maybe?)
    JVC FD1/2/X
    Hifiman RE2000
    Donguri Keyaki Ti Plus
     
    surfgeorge likes this.
  6. iems0nly
    I'm also really really interested in this comparison. Can the FD02s beat or equal FDX ? Please drop some impressions comparing the two.
     
  7. baskingshark
    DUNU just released a flagship dynamic driver (beryllium) called LUNA - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/int...flagship-dynamic-in-ear.919227/#post-15308645

    Looks like it will be at next can jam and looks interesting from an acoustics standpoint. Though probably out of my budget for next few lifetimes LOL.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  8. iems0nly
    Woah! 1600 dollas for DUNU LUNA!
    I will never spend so much on an IEM. For the same money, i will buy 4, maybe 5, IEMs :)
    It is sad though, that we have this subconscious feeling that anything below 500 is never going to compete with an IEM priced over 1K :frowning2:
    I just wish everyone agrees that my EX800s and ER2SEs have a TOTL sound.
     
  9. surfgeorge
    I'll definitely do that and post impressions and comparions on the FDX1 thread.
    TBH I expect them to sound very similar. The frequency response of the FDX1 and FD02 are very, very close in stock form, the driver is the same.
    Differences are only the cable and the driver holder, which is titanium on the FDX1 and stainless steel on the FD02.

    I'll get my FDX1 a little later, expect comparisons by mid January.
     
  10. surfgeorge
    After spending 6-7 hours at e-earphones in Tokio in April this year listening to $1000 - $4000 IEMs I know that it's not just a subconscious feeling that these TOTL IEMs indeed sound significantly better than the sub 500 class.
    At the same time I'm totally ok with not being able or willing to spend $2000 on a Sony IER Z1R or $1400 on a Campfire Solaris.

    On one hand, you can get really amazing sound for $500, especially if you also consider used options (like my T8iE), and on the other hand, there is no single perfect solution no matter how much you pay.
    You still get tons of different sound characteristics and signatures, and there'll always be the other next best IEM.
    So you are still in the same rabbit hole in the >$1000 class, its just a lot bigger! LOL :ksc75smile:
     
  11. baskingshark
    There's definitely diminishing returns for marginal gains the higher we go up in this hobby. We are paying $$$ for the last 5 - 10% sound quality and refinement for some TOTL stuff.

    Though I have to say, i have bought expensive gear that I didn't like as much as a cheaper set. And these new shiny gear are generally more expensive at launch and will depreciate in price in a few months time.
    I guess how much we wanna spend is subjective, but we all just need to spend within our means, set a budget for ourselves and keep to it. There's always gonna be a next shiny gear/hypetrain coming down the line in a few months time.
     
    surfgeorge likes this.
  12. YCHANGE
    Just ordered the CA Atlas from ALO deals for 750. Slightly worried about the fit. I'm interested to compare to my Vega and Lyra II respectively. Bought a few Custom Art BA which i enjoy also but nothing like that DD sound.
     
  13. kdphan
    Of all the TOTL DD IEMs I’ve owned and heard, Rhapsodio Eden SP is the best I’ve heard followed by Dita Dream.


    Dita Fidelity
    Rhapsodio Galaxy V2
    CA Vega
    CA Atlas
    AKG k3003
    IE800
     
  14. Cuebbing
    It's easy to drain ones wallet around here. I should have followed the ignorance is bliss approach. I had been living in the sub $500 iem space and own/owned every noteworthy iem (at least it feels like it). I thought it was ridiculous to spend a lot, still do even though I don't follow my own common sense, LOL. Not knowing what I was missing I previously swore I had some great iems. Then I made the mistake of getting a couple "higher end" iems and I agree with the comment above about the TOTL iems sound better than the sub $500/"cheaper" ones (in general). There are exceptions to that but that's not the norm (to my ears). For example, after listening with my Legend X, Atlas, IER-M9, ASG2.5, Xelento (demo'd but don't own the Xel) I have put away most of the sub 500 (just can't enjoy them). I don't know the psychology or how the brain adjusts stuff but I can clearly hear the difference in performance.
    A couple exceptions that I still like are the Sony XBA N3, FIIO FH7 (borderline price might not count), BLON 03, Sony ie800 w/tape (hate the goofy fit).
    I am thinking in terms of new prices and assuming the source (music, DAC/AMP, cables) is optimal.
    I am also with the above about needing to have a budget and follow it (do as I say not as I do), there will always be a better choice being released, be wary of hype trains. I have been living it and in a lot of cases an example of what not to do. As my father used to say 'money doesn't grow on trees', LOL.
    But hey it's all subjective isn't it.
     
    iems0nly, surfgeorge and baskingshark like this.
  15. surfgeorge
    Back to the original question about the best DD IEM I realized that I have several of the top ranked DD IEMs in Crinacle's list either in house or on the way.
    I have the AK T8iE MKII, the EX800ST and JVC FD02 modded, with the EX1000 and JVC FDX1 coming in January.
    Out of those I already have the T8iE is clearly the best, but I am looking forward to the EX1000 to compare.

    In terms of frequency response the T8iE MKII is quite balanced with some warmth, and good sparkle, I'd just like to have a touch more sub bass.
    What's outstandaing is the clarity, resolution and detail. And all that with the coherence and timbre of a DD. Really good.
    For a price of $550 used I consider it a steal.

    Keep in mind that the MKII has a different tuning than the MKI which had quite a lot more bass.
    I'm attaching a graph I found here on head-fi, averaged from a number of MKI and MKII
    T8iE MK1 vs MKII_2.png
     
    Cuebbing likes this.
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