Chinese / Asian Brand IEM Info Thread
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unifutomaki

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The nice thing about Chi-Fi is that if you're new to the scene, there's a lot of options you can try in order to figure out what you like for not very much money at all. So I would encourage exploring these different brands, be it KZ, Tin, BLON or even Moondrop, rather than just giving one blanket recommendation and calling it a day.

By the way, it looks like TRN has ended their V90S fire sale - it's now back at its usual price.
 
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baskingshark

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The problem with the blon 03 that prevents it from being the absolute best starter iem, is that the fit could be horrible for some people. And for the newbies, they definitely do not have a tip collection to tip roll with.
Agreed, fit is one big issue on the BLON BL-03, a lot of newbies or even lay consumers won't do tiprolling and just use it with stock accessories OOTB, and if they can't get good fit they will just walk away thinking it sucks. I did buy a BLON BL-03 as a gift earlier this year for a relative. I even provided some spinfits along with it to give some extension to the infamous short nozzle, but she still couldn't get a good fit on the BL-03 and returned it to me, sadly. She still swears by her Beats earphones and apple stock buds LOL!

BL-03 is a very good bang for buck IEM though, don't get me wrong, I think the BL-03 has excellent timbre and tonality and can compete with some $100 region IEMs in the sole areas of timbre and tonality. But the below average technical performance and slow bloaty bass of the BL-03 are other areas that holds it back from being a true giant killer, other than the aforementioned fit problems.
 
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RikudouGoku

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Agreed, fit is one big issue on the BLON BL-03, a lot of newbies or even lay consumers won't do tiprolling and just use it with stock accessories OOTB, and if they can't get good fit they will just walk away thinking it sucks. I did buy a BLON BL-03 as a gift earlier this year for a relative. I even provided some spinfits along with it to give some extension to the infamous short nozzle, but she still couldn't get a good fit on the BL-03 and returned it to me, sadly. She still swears by her Beats earphones and apple stock buds LOL!

BL-03 is a very good bang for buck IEM though, don't get me wrong, I think the BL-03 has excellent timbre and tonality and can compete with some $100 region IEMs in the sole areas of timbre and tonality. But the below average technical performance and slow bloaty bass of the BL-03 are other areas that holds it back from being a true giant killer, other than the aforementioned fit problems.
Mesh mod reduces the bloat and helps the technicalities. That makes it sound better to me.
 
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dharmasteve

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Of course things change, but both the Tin T2 and the Blon 03 were game changers and brought great sound quality to Mr Ordinary. Both pushed up the sound quality of IEMs and gave a kick up the backside to ChiFi. Now the quality of emerging ChiFi IEMs is generally fantastic.
 
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baskingshark

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Mesh mod reduces the bloat and helps the technicalities. That makes it sound better to me.
If lay consumers and those new to the hobby don't even know about tiprolling to address fit issues on the BL03, i highly doubt they will know what is a mesh mod TBH.
 
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chinmie

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Tin T2, KZs aren't bad entry points but I find it hard to recommend since quality products like Oppoty blon exists. With a cable upgrade, maybe oppoty is the only thing that stands their ground in the face of higher priced opponents, say versus 1 DD iems. Iems like JVC HA-FDX1. Or I dare say even A8000. I'm considering buying 10 of these and handing them out like candy in Halloween.

There was this time where a brand would get hyped by the community. BGVP DMG, Tin T2, CCA C16, KZ 10pro, Fearless audio... etc. And only Blon03 (now blon01 I guess), withstood the test of time. All the other iems are in a box collecting dust. Then there is TWS like Sony xm1000 for portability, skipping the daps and wires. Ability to take phone calls. Noise cancelling.

The sound quality of XM1000 straight out of a phone isn't anything that cheap hifi can shake a stick at either. It's that good.
you're talking about the older WF-1000X or the the newer XM3? un-EQed, i prefer the older one in signature. the XM3 beats it in every other categories though.. and if EQed, the XM3 has a better driver capabilities.

true, there's something to their sound (with the wonders of their good digital tuning i suppose) that even some chifis can't get past. i too lately prefer to use my TWSs than wired for general daily uses.

then again, i also put my T2+ (and five other IEMs) and a BT20S Pro together, so i get the best of both worlds of sound and practicality
 
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RikudouGoku

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If lay consumers and those new to the hobby don't even know about tiprolling to address fit issues on the BL03, i highly doubt they will know what is a mesh mod TBH.
yeah, true but I meant more for you guys to try it. :joy:
 
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unifutomaki

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you're talking about the older WF-1000X or the the newer XM3? un-EQed, i prefer the older one in signature. the XM3 beats it in every other categories though.. and if EQed, the XM3 has a better driver capabilities.

true, there's something to their sound (with the wonders of their good digital tuning i suppose) that even some chifis can't get past. i too lately prefer to use my TWSs than wired for general daily uses.

then again, i also put my T2+ (and five other IEMs) and a BT20S Pro together, so i get the best of both worlds of sound and practicality
As far as I'm concerned, they'll have to pry my wired IEMs out of my cold dead hands :)

Investing in Bluetooth gear after going to all the trouble to find a nice DAP makes no sense to me because the source no longer makes any difference whatsoever and every Bluetooth thingamabob has its own DAC and amp built in. Not to mention the fact that the sealed-in batteries will inevitably die, and then they'll have to go back for a service.

Edit:
Perhaps it's fine if you have the Sonys or Airpods and don't mind paying either company for the privilege of continuing to use your existing gear, but I imagine that all the ChiFi TWS, Anker, Taotronics or whatever are going to become landfill plastic when their tiny batteries inevitably become exhausted.

Believe me, I'm not an old person, but I think we'd be better off if companies had stuck with powering things off AA batteries and gumstick rechargeables. That is the sole reason why my vintage Sony ANC IEMs work as well today as they did in 2009. Pop in a fresh AA into the ANC module and you're literally good to go. Yes, the use of an AA cell means that the module is a thicc boi, but this thing will keep on working indefinitely or at least until the fixed cables give out. At that point I'll probably find someone to recable them, and keep going.

Screenshot_20201124-001919.png

rechargeable AAs: a sustainable future

-ends old man rant for the day-
 
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chinmie

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As far as I'm concerned, they'll have to pry my wired IEMs out of my cold dead hands :)

Investing in Bluetooth gear after going to all the trouble to find a nice DAP makes no sense to me because the source no longer makes any difference whatsoever and every Bluetooth thingamabob has its own DAC and amp built in. Not to mention the fact that the sealed-in batteries will inevitably die, and then they'll have to go back for a service.
true, that's why i try to keep my TWS spending to mid or lower, as i treat them as more of a convenience items. the higher priced ones TWS i have, i only buy them if there's a customer service centers around in case the battery died (or any other problems occur).

however, truth be told, even some bluetooth neckbands i have from 3 years ago still maintain their battery life to this day

for wired, i prefer using my BT dacs anyway, as i usually use my phone/tablet as source.

also even dedicated DAPs have sealed in batteries nowadays, so similar problem there too:sweat_smile:
 
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As far as I'm concerned, they'll have to pry my wired IEMs out of my cold dead hands :)

Investing in Bluetooth gear after going to all the trouble to find a nice DAP makes no sense to me because the source no longer makes any difference whatsoever and every Bluetooth thingamabob has its own DAC and amp built in. Not to mention the fact that the sealed-in batteries will inevitably die, and then they'll have to go back for a service.
I haven’t been able to convince myself to buy anything wireless other than cheap Bluetooth IEMs. I ultimately view them as disposable, so far. The AKG N400 has had my attention though.
 
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trellus

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The problem with TWS generally is that I already have wired IEMs whose sound I like and the TWS gear doesn’t sound like them 😅

That’s one reason why things like the TRN BT20S Pro pique my interest but it’s hard to figure out which 2-pin I need for a plain old KZ ZSN, the “S Type” or the 0.75mm or the 0.78mm? 🤔
 
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chinmie

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The problem with TWS generally is that I already have wired IEMs whose sound I like and the TWS gear doesn’t sound like them 😅

That’s one reason why things like the TRN BT20S Pro pique my interest but it’s hard to figure out which 2-pin I need for a plain old KZ ZSN, the “S Type” or the 0.75mm or the 0.78mm? 🤔
Screenshot_20201123-232655_Chrome.jpg
your ZSN has protruding 2pin just like the ZSX, right? i have the regular 0.78mm 2pin that i use for my Kanas.. it can fit too with the ZSX, but i recently bought this version for my ZSX and it fit much more secure, so I'd recommend this one

20201123_233043.jpg
 
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your ZSN has protruding 2pin just like the ZSX, right? i have the regular 0.78mm 2pin that i use for my Kanas.. it can fit too with the ZSX, but i recently bought this version for my ZSX and it fit much more secure, so I'd recommend this one

20201123_233043.jpg
Oooo, thanks! Yes, just pulled them out, if the 0.75mm-S 2-pin works best, I'll definitely give that one a try -- looking for a TWS solution for my brother, who was used to cheap ear buds and thinks the ZSN is the best thing since sliced bread (gifted it to him 2 years ago for Christmas and he still swears by it), but has been unimpressed by volume on popular TWS -- the man is deaf, I swear, lol, but the ZSN plugged into the Apple dongle is loud enough for him so I just need something TWS that gets that loud and he'll be happy.

IMG_3748.jpeg
 
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i still have a soft spot for the original T2, because there's quite nothing sounded like that in the price range, or any, for that matter.

i personally don't find the bass anemic at all, and also think the treble is a bit brittle.

but i agree with the other's : the fit seems stubbornly trying to get out of the ears. only limited selections of silicone eartips work, and i much prefer using them cable down.

the T2 Plus however, for me it's tuned like a dream and fits like a glove. it shouldn't be grouped in the T2 family at all in my opinion, but i guess they ran out of numbers :sweat_smile:
I know that people won't talk about this company but let's be real. What about D.T.6 (not pro). Price on sale $18, tribrid (DD+BA+Piezo), fun and not offensive sound.
It resembles in shape a little on Philips Fidelio S2. Even it combines ceramic and metal material for the shell (heavy shell) the weight is well distributed in the front and
not have a "fit" problem as T2. Don't get me wrong I love my T2 but I have to admit, I prefer D.T.6 more. Also price vs performance, just amazing
 
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Dani157

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I know that people won't talk about this company but let's be real. What about D.T.6 (not pro). Price on sale $18, tribrid (DD+BA+Piezo), fun and not offensive sound.
It resembles in shape a little on Philips Fidelio S2. Even it combines ceramic and metal material for the shell (heavy shell) the weight is well distributed in the front and
not have a "fit" problem as T2. Don't get me wrong I love my T2 but I have to admit, I prefer D.T.6 more. Also price vs performance, just amazing
It is another excellent recommendation in that price point. So is CCA C10 (non pro). C10 actually has better SQ than D..T..6 and doesn't require a dedicated amp to drive them. Piezos are power hungry and only reason why newbies wouldn't like them as they won't be loud enough via a smartphone. Although they can driven easily via a laptop with a decent soundcard but most of the times IEMs are used for music on the go.
 

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