CHIFI LOVE Thread-A never ending IEM-Heaphones-DAP-Dongles Sound Value Quest
May 31, 2021 at 1:51 PM Post #28,276 of 31,849
Just want to point out that the "hidden" Adorama deals for Etymotic have both ER3 versions at $69 and both ER4 at $129.

ER2SE (dynamic driver) is $49. Alas, ER2XR, with the bass boost, is still $99. You can try them (don't destroy the package) and return in 30 days for $11 shipping if the (in)famous Ety fit or analytical flatness or shallow soundstage don't suit your ears.

Here's one link, and you can insert the other model numbers in the same formula:
https://www.adorama.com/etyer3xr.html?emailPrice=t.

It looks like Adorama sells the returned ones for an additional knockoff, just $54 for ER3XR
https://www.adorama.com/us 1408353.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6Mfg76H08AIVxBrnCh2bdQDwEAQYASABEgJk6_D_BwE&utm_source=adl-gbase-p

So Neon still provides some savings if, indeed, it's tuned as well as the ER3 or ER4. But less than you might think. From the shape of the Neon in the photos -- a plastic version of the Ety cylinder -- it looks like it's going to require the same deep insertion as the Etys. I'm hoping the Neon has figured out a way to open up the soundstage a bit--looking forward to reviews.

I, too, love the endless Chi-Fi churn and one-upmanship. But classics have their place.
Those prices are only for the US though, in europe they are a lot more expensive.

1622483388856.png

1622483418641.png


So if the Neon is really tuned like that, it is quite the big deal.
 
May 31, 2021 at 5:37 PM Post #28,277 of 31,849
Those prices are only for the US though, in europe they are a lot more expensive.

1622483388856.png
1622483418641.png

So if the Neon is really tuned like that, it is quite the big deal.
Europe seems to pay a lot more for electronics in general. Condolences, but OTOH you do have national health care. The prices I showed are only from those (frequent, long-running) deals at that particular store. At Amazon or other stores (or Etymotic itself) they are closer to the European prices, though still a bit
lower. I'll be eager to see the reviews on the Neon -- it is, indeed, a very sweet price point if they sound close to the Ety 4.
 
May 31, 2021 at 5:38 PM Post #28,278 of 31,849
Europe seems to pay a lot more for electronics in general. Condolences, but OTOH you do have national health care. The prices I showed are only from those (frequent, long-running) deals at that particular store. At Amazon or other stores (or Etymotic itself) they are closer to the European prices, though still a bit
lower. I'll be eager to see the reviews on the Neon -- it is, indeed, a very sweet price point if they sound close to the Ety 4.
I have one on the way, so I will graph and review them. :thumbsup:
 
May 31, 2021 at 8:18 PM Post #28,279 of 31,849
My ER3SE is pretty easy to insert with the dual flange tips and I find them more comfortable than the triple flanges too. However I think they change the sound a bit (earlier bass roll-off and a bit more treble).

Looking forward to comparing the Neon with my ER3SE. I also have an impedance adapter to turn the ER3 to an ER4. If the graph accurately represents the Neon with their single flange tips I would be highly impressed!
I have the dual flange tips as well, though sadly those don't fit my ears as well and doesn't sound good as when I'm able to get a deeper fit with the triple flange tips. So I don't really like using them despite the easier fit. :joy:
Just want to point out that the "hidden" Adorama deals for Etymotic have both ER3 versions at $69 and both ER4 at $129.

ER2SE (dynamic driver) is $49. Alas, ER2XR, with the bass boost, is still $99. You can try them (don't destroy the package) and return in 30 days for $11 shipping if the (in)famous Ety fit or analytical flatness or shallow soundstage don't suit your ears.

Here's one link, and you can insert the other model numbers in the same formula:
https://www.adorama.com/etyer3xr.html?emailPrice=t.

It looks like Adorama sells the returned ones for an additional knockoff, just $54 for ER3XR
https://www.adorama.com/us 1408353.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6Mfg76H08AIVxBrnCh2bdQDwEAQYASABEgJk6_D_BwE&utm_source=adl-gbase-p

So Neon still provides some savings if, indeed, it's tuned as well as the ER3 or ER4. But less than you might think. From the shape of the Neon in the photos -- a plastic version of the Ety cylinder -- it looks like it's going to require the same deep insertion as the Etys. I'm hoping the Neon has figured out a way to open up the soundstage a bit--looking forward to reviews.

I, too, love the endless Chi-Fi churn and one-upmanship. But classics have their place.
sadly even though they ship to where I live, the shipping cost is almost as much as the price of the ER2SE. So the KBEAR Neon still ends up being half the price. If we're talking about local prices, I paid 179 SGD for my ER2XR last year (~135 USD) from an official retailer, though if it's from amazon.sg now, it's more like 113 SGD. Even at 179 SGD I thought it was pretty great value for money already though. So for anyone who can get the ER2 series at 49 USD flat, and don't mind the deeper insertion, there probably isn't much reason to go for the Neon unless you are a BA fan? Anyway, I'm totally not expecting the Neon to be better than the ER2 series, but if they can provide a similar tuning with a less penetrating fit, it would be a pretty good alternative to me at least even if it's slightly less technically capable. :D
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 12:47 AM Post #28,280 of 31,849
Not sure whether i manage to ask this before since few days ago Head-fi simply barely accessible for me.

I found this cheap Knowles BA hybrid TWS at sub $50, Haylou GT3 Pro.
Haylou is pretty popular for its sub $30 tws (GT1 series) with decent or passable audio. I bought their GT1 XR and its sound ok... not great but ok sound which for a sub $30 tws? it have pretty decent value.

Problem being GT1 XR have AAC codec while somehow GT3 Pro which is pricier and have Knowles BA only have SBC.
Do the sound from AAC to SBC will differ much?
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 5:26 AM Post #28,281 of 31,849
Not sure whether i manage to ask this before since few days ago Head-fi simply barely accessible for me.

I found this cheap Knowles BA hybrid TWS at sub $50, Haylou GT3 Pro.
Haylou is pretty popular for its sub $30 tws (GT1 series) with decent or passable audio. I bought their GT1 XR and its sound ok... not great but ok sound which for a sub $30 tws? it have pretty decent value.

Problem being GT1 XR have AAC codec while somehow GT3 Pro which is pricier and have Knowles BA only have SBC.
Do the sound from AAC to SBC will differ much?

A well recorded and mastered track encoded in a high bitrate, sure, you'll notice.
Lo-fi played back from an MP3 encoded in 2002, not so much. There is more to SQ than bit rates and codecs. Often, the IEM itself is the limiting factor.
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 6:57 AM Post #28,282 of 31,849
SBC vs AAC.. I would say itvdepend on the implementation of the streamer too.. If you browse web, you'll find few detailed articles discussing the codecs differences including the implementation that might affect it. SBC being adjustable, on rooted Android theoretically could be maxed and should surpasss AAC or AptX.

My personal experience.. With Qudelix 5K I can choose which codec I want to use.. On my LG V20, standard and non-rooted, SBC sounds better than AAC.. (Then I read that LG implementation of AAC is not the good one.. So might be that's the reason)
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 4:26 PM Post #28,284 of 31,849
KBEAR NEON just appear!
Extremely promising!!!!!! Apart from IEM construction which is a bit cheapish.


UPDATE 2:
trying the DEEP INSERTION WAY (Final E small tips) and indeed, something magical happen! level of clarity go next level in ultra clean spacious way, bass is more textured leaner in extension, mids are textured, wide, transparent...What. OK, a hype will born. The NEON are crazy good! Now i will do long listen session and shut my mouth.


Some (too soon) firt impressions (not deep insertion):
These are utterly EAR TIPS DEPENDANT, i struggle to find the one that OPEN the sound and finally set up for stock KZ STARLINES tips. This do expend soundstage in all axis as well as improving imaging-layering and yep, bass weight slam! Very nice but not at all Deeeep insertion way, quite the contrary. So, i think their will be 2 camps about NEON sound signature.
What hit first is how sweet, rich, nuanced and smooth is the timbre, ah, this Knowles BA model is sure maestro in that regard.
After its mids-highs clarity, realism and fast yet effortless presentation, again, this is where imaging is very coherent.
Bass is tamed and shy in extension but with good mid bass punch (with right eartips), so not exactly neutral, perhaps slight boost in there.
It seem they need power to shine too, but thats to be tested furter.
Mid centric smoothed W shape to neutral with slight bass boost signature and some roll off in 20hz-20KHZ section. These seem to excell with vocal based and insturmental music, not suggest for rap, electronic big beat stuffs.


194215940_10157617869211581_9072071983438282800_n.jpg
194781355_10157617869401581_8555227142517570929_n.jpg
194786152_10157617869696581_7569873343421796503_n.jpg
194494276_10157617869501581_1727175377526681509_n.jpg
 
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Jun 1, 2021 at 4:58 PM Post #28,285 of 31,849
KBEAR NEON just appear!
Extremely promising!!!!!! Apart from IEM construction which is a bit cheapish.


UPDATE 2:
trying the DEEP INSERTION WAY (Final E small tips) and indeed, something magical happen! level of clarity go next level in ultra clean spacious way, bass is more textured leaner in extension, mids are textured, wide, transparent...What. OK, a hype will born. The NEON are crazy good! Now i will do long listen session and shut my mouth.


Some (too soon) firt impressions (not deep insertion):
These are utterly EAR TIPS DEPENDANT, i struggle to find the one that OPEN the sound and finally set up for stock KZ STARLINES tips. This do expend soundstage in all axis as well as improving imaging-layering and yep, bass weight slam! Very nice but not at all Deeeep insertion way, quite the contrary. So, i think their will be 2 camps about NEON sound signature.
What hit first is how sweet, rich, nuanced and smooth is the timbre, ah, this Knowles BA model is sure maestro in that regard.
After its mids-highs clarity, realism and fast yet effortless presentation, again, this is where imaging is very coherent.
Bass is tamed and shy in extension but with good mid bass punch (with right eartips), so not exactly neutral, perhaps slight boost in there.
It seem they need power to shine too, but thats to be tested furter.
Mid centric smoothed W shape to neutral with slight bass boost signature and some roll off in 20hz-20KHZ section. These seem to excell with vocal based and insturmental music, not suggest for rap, electronic big beat stuffs.


194215940_10157617869211581_9072071983438282800_n.jpg194781355_10157617869401581_8555227142517570929_n.jpg194786152_10157617869696581_7569873343421796503_n.jpg194494276_10157617869501581_1727175377526681509_n.jpg
My Neon is on the way. This is very encouraging. I found the F1 also tip sensitive and was worth a bit of experimentation.
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 5:18 PM Post #28,286 of 31,849
Outstanding!!! Big sound from a very small compartment. natural sounding, too...

IMG_20210601_232326.jpg
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 6:15 PM Post #28,287 of 31,849
If you have a very limited budget and want a really good sounding IEM, the NA2 from NF Audio宁梵声学 and Shenzhen Aoshida are some of the best I've heard in the ~100 USD price rnage. Really good sonics.

Comfort is good, becuase they are light, and the shells held up really nicely to my daily usage, but the ear hooks can be a bit tight. Excellent for running, but not for larger ears.

More info, comparisons and interesting details in the full written review :)

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/2021/06/nf-audio-na2-transparent-shells-hide-music.html

NF-Audio-NA2-IEMs-Plastic-Entry-Level-Dynamic-Driver-IEM-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-Haru-10.jpg
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 6:36 PM Post #28,288 of 31,849
If you have a very limited budget and want a really good sounding IEM, the NA2 from NF Audio宁梵声学 and Shenzhen Aoshida are some of the best I've heard in the ~100 USD price rnage. Really good sonics.

Comfort is good, becuase they are light, and the shells held up really nicely to my daily usage, but the ear hooks can be a bit tight. Excellent for running, but not for larger ears.

More info, comparisons and interesting details in the full written review :)

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/2021/06/nf-audio-na2-transparent-shells-hide-music.html

NF-Audio-NA2-IEMs-Plastic-Entry-Level-Dynamic-Driver-IEM-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-Haru-10.jpg
NFaudio is indeed a promising company. NM2+ isnt bad even if it have transient speed flaws and unclean sound.
Have you try HZSOUND MIRROR by the way?
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 9:36 PM Post #28,289 of 31,849
NFaudio is indeed a promising company. NM2+ isnt bad even if it have transient speed flaws and unclean sound.
Have you try HZSOUND MIRROR by the way?

Yes, I did.

I liked the Mirror. Have a video I made, but my editor had some health issues a while ago, so my video schedule is waaay offset from my written pieces. The Mirror had a nice sound, but darn heavy, like Seeds 2 from Hiby.

I should keep an eye out for issues on the NM2+, only did Na2 so far. Complciated stuff when the names are so close to each other...

Did you like the Mirror or NF Audio stuff better?
 
Jun 1, 2021 at 11:38 PM Post #28,290 of 31,849
I will do a MAJOR UPDATE of the WHOLE Best SUB-100$ IEM LIST.

Any suggestion please shoot.
I see that the Moondrop Spaceship is missing from your list. I know you're not a fan of it but I think with deep insertion via final E-type small tips and a good source, it's one of the most neutral budget IEMs out there.

IMG_6999_cr.JPG

I have one on the way, so I will graph and review them. :thumbsup:
Waiting for your impressions on them. I have one and I am not a fan at all to say the least. The sound is very dry, emotionless, and the fit is painful for me (only foam tips are comfortable but then the treble gets even more subdued).
 

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