crinacle's IEM Ranking List (170 Entries) [11/05 UPDATE]

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  1. crinacle
    It's hard to say since I never had the opportunity to compare the two. But via graphs it seems like the main distinction would be the 6k peak of the Acoustunes.

    The GR09 also sounds warmer to me from memory. Could be wrong.
    Stuff Jones likes this.
  2. Ahmad313
    Periodic BE is really that good ,?
    is the BE carries a bright nature like Vega or less ,?
  3. Raketen
    Finally, somoene that agrees about the ie80...
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  4. castleofargh Contributor
    it's not like you'd find many people who think of them as neutral and balanced. as those criteria are a massive part of thinking we're getting good sound... QED.
    but admittedly I'm one of those weirdos who still have and enjoys the IE80 from time to time(with tape mod and EQ, ok I'm a cheater). I've said many times I would never consider it as a my main IEM. it's for funny moments of bass blast where the amount can be so overwhelming I start thinking it's shaking my lungs(true story). if I wished for all my IEMs to sound the same, I'd have one pair. the IE80 even for me is at the extreme end of the spectrum and has objectively nothing I would even consider usable. but I can't fight objectively against fun ^_^.(please don't let anybody know that I sometimes do things for non objective reasons, my reputation of objective jerk would be ruined).
    Raketen likes this.
  5. crinacle
    Decided to rank the Audeze in-ear planars with Cipher cable (i.e. EQ'd) since there is an active hardware component being offered to fix the tuning. Note that these are the exceptions and not the norm; I will not be factoring EQ scalability into the rankings unless there are active/passive accessories bundled with the product.

    Audeze LCDi4 (Cipher)
    Low distortion, high resolution, excellent dynamics and expectedly open soundstage. Properly EQ'd, the i4's main weakness is eliminated. Contrary to popular opinion, additional power or amplification does NOTHING to address the glaring issues of a raw i4.

    Grade: S

    Audeze iSine 20 (Cipher)
    As with the i4, the iSine 20 shines with proper DSP. EQ/Cipher is essentially mandatory for discerning ears.

    Grade: A

    I have not tried the iSine 10 with Cipher so I won't add it into the list until I can proper ear time with it.
    Aleatorius likes this.
  6. headwhacker
    Yup EQ is mandatory on these earphones. LPG has the best EQ among DAPs that can bring the best out of them. The stock FR really is off no matter how I listen to it. No amount of tip rolling or source can fix it without EQ.

    It’s not totally unlistenable, but it feels like half of the music just sound bad and only half sound good. But then with EQ, it’s a whole different game. So I can’t really understand what people hear that they like on stock cable without EQ. The FR is simply not right. It obviously sound different. But still not right.

    Also, while LCDi4 is better than iSine20, but the difference is so small with EQ that I can’t justify the price difference.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  7. SilverEars
    Crin, does this mean you measured with the cipher cable? From what I understand, i4 will get it's own specific cipher cable.

    headwacker, i4 and KSE1500 are at the same price level. So, this imply that KSE1500 and i4 arn't really comparable in quality? One is noise isolated compared to the other, and must use the provided amp since a stat. I'd agree that the cipher cable limits DAP/sources to idevices, and PEQ is a must so therefore, doesn't help across spectrum of sources.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
    headwhacker likes this.
  8. headwhacker
    To a point I agree they are not comparable in quality as they are somewhat an outlier compared to the more common in-ears. But KSE is alone in it's own niche while for LCDi4 you have the iSines. To me, value-wise the LCDi4 is not so attractive. Hence, I have the KSE1500 and iSine20 instead of having LCDi4. They both give me different flavors in enjoying music.
  9. crinacle
    I think people are too deep into the 10/10 mentality properly take my rankings for what they mean. You've seen the reaction in the LCDi4 thread; how dare he rate the world's best IEM as A-??? Does he think it's unlistenable??? Well no, tier F (and E to a certain extent) is unlistenable. Any degree of "A" is highly respectable and I can respect the i4 for what it does... unfortunately the FR issues prevent it from reaching the highest echelon.

    I listened to whatever Cipher cable the store provided me with, not sure what which one it was exactly. Measuring with a Cipher cable is a little iffy as I will need a second iOS device which I do not have at this time.
  10. headwhacker
    I don't doubt the technical capabilities of LCDi4 is superior than most iems (e.g., low distortion, quick transient response etc). I also understand that not everyone hears the same thing and that everyone has their own personal preference or taste in Music. But with FR tuning like that it's hard to imagine that many people will like it as it is without sort of touching the curve. It may sound perfect for one particular song. But you can quickly realize it's faults as soon as you go through the list of your music.

    Then their are those people who insist that it sound the best with a particular source. With a curve like that there is no amount of source flavor, cable or tip rolling will suffice without any form of EQ or DSP.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
    malvinviriya and crinacle like this.
  11. Raketen
    Never underestimate the power of self-indoctrination! I spent so many years listening almost exclusively to the HD25, it still haunts everything else I hear :ghost:
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  12. snip3r77
    Regardless of price , an A iem will beat a B iem ?
  13. crinacle
    From a technical perspective, yes. But preferences are of higher priority. For instance, while the Acoustune HS1551 is "only" B+ at $600ish, I'll still recommend it to many people since it's well-tuned and has excellent timbre.
  14. dSmurf
    Hi! Anyone can recommend a smooth sounding IEM with semi dry or flat mids but forward or semi forward that doesnt have a harsh treble?

    The oriveti new primacy is harsh for me, it made my ears ringing in a quiet room or when I wear any iem, i have my own hiss, thanks to the new primacy, I hope this will subside , I went to an E.N.T and said my ears are ok and healthy but I am hearing a high pitched tone in a quiet area or roo .

    Looking at the range of $1000-1600 RANGE.

  15. terminexia
    I had a chance to audition the AAW AXH and boy, am I torn between it and the W500.
    I really like how clear the AXH sounds but the W500 has that sweet sweet bass.
    I'm leaning slightly towards the AXH now as I feel like it will complement my A3H better.
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