crinacle's IEM Ranking List
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crinacle

Member of the Trade: In-Ear Fidelity
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Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Location
Singapore
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crinacle.com
After much support and slightly more than a year, I think it's time to migrate to something that's easier to maintain. BBcode is a huge pain, along with the fact that it breaks on mobile devices and missing crucial functions such as sorting.

The ranking list shall continue, just not on this platform anymore.



The last update will be preserved below for history's sake.





Article list


Tier S
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
64 Audio A/U12t12BAAmazing bass (for a BA), top-tier resolution and detail-oriented signature.Mild U-shapeMusic Sanctuary demo unit$2,000
Audeze LCD-i4 (Cipher)PlanarLow distortion, high resolution, excellent dynamics and expectedly open soundstage.Harman-neutralStereo SG demo unit$2,500
Jomo Flamenco Pre-201811BAOne of, if not the most detailed IEMs available though imaging can be quite narrow.VariableReview unit$2,200
qdc 8SL/Gemini/Anole VX8/10BAReference tuning with good tonality and top-level resolution. Similar tunings across top tier models.Neutral with bass boostMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,410 ~ $2,030
Shure KSE1200ElectrostaticEasily at the top in terms of resolution and definition. Necessitates foam tips for proper tonal balance.Bright DF-neutralA2A Melbourne demo unit$2,000
Vision Ears VE88BAExtremely coherent signature with a pleasing tuning and high technicalities.Warm neutralE1 demo unit$2,700
Tier S-
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
64 Audio Tia Trio2BA 1DDA more correct sounding version of the Fourte with slight cutbacks in staging and sheer resolution.WarmE1 demo unit$2,300
64 Audio A/U18 Tzar18BAA rather simple and "mainstream" tuning refined to an extremely high level.Warm V-shapeMusic Sanctuary demo unit$3,000
Campfire Andromeda (S)5BAHighly coherent, easy-to-love tuning and spacious headstageWarm with upper treble sparkleZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,100
InEar Prophile-88BAVery "studio" like sound, heavy priority on technicalitiesNeutralMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,600
Jomo Flamenco 201811BATuned to be more pleasing and tonally accurate compared to the old Flamenco at the cost of sheer detail.Warm neutralShowfloor demo unit$2,200
Jomo Samba8BALively and engaging with big clarity and detail, perhaps too much for someV-shapedMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,900
Jomo Trinity SS2EST 4BA 1DDHighly detailed, well separated imaging though severely lacking in treble extension.Upper mid focusedShowfloor demo unit$2,800
Sony MDR-EX1000DDOutstanding imaging and detail retrieval though can be intense to listen to.Bright DF-neutralThird party unitDiscontinued
Ultimate Ears UE18+ Pro Gen 26BASomewhat reference tuning with emphasis on tonal accuracy and naturalnessWarm neutralPersonal unitReplaced by Gen 3
Unique Melody Legacy12BABeautifully tuned yet highly technically proficientNeutral with bass boostStereo SG demo unit$1,650
Vision Ears Erlkonig13BAGood tonality, high resolution and an overall decent all-rounder.VariableThird party unit$4,800






Tier A+
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
64 Audio Tia Fourte3BA 1DDUnique sound; high clarity and bass response with immensely wide staging, held back by a wonky tonality.W-shapedE1 demo unit$3,600
AAW W9008BA 1DDNatural bass, outstanding imaging with slightly nasally timbre.Warm neutralPersonal unit$1,500
A&K T8iEDDHard-to-dislike tuning with excellent clarity and resolutionNeutral with bass boostZeppelin & Co demo unitReplaced by Xelento
Beyerdynamic XelentoDDLike the T8iE, with a little more trebleV-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,000
Campfire Solaris3BA 1DDCoherent and well balanced hybrid though with slight midrange hollowness."Balanced"E1 demo unit$1,500
Empire Ears Legend X5BA 2DDHigh resolution hybrid flawed only by lack of control in the bass regions.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$2,300
Empire Ears Zeus-XR ADEL14BATop tier detail and resolution with poor tone and timbre reproduction.Bright neutralMusic Sanctuary demo unit$2,730
FitEar MH334SR4BAA MH334 with more treble extension and more opened imaging.Warm neutralThird party unit$2,000
Hyla CE-51Piezo 2BA 1DDProbably the best bass response I've ever heard. Thin-ish midrange that sounds unnatural on certain instruments.U/W-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$915
Hyla TE-5B1Piezo 2BA 1DDSimilar to the CE-5 though ever-so-slightly thinner in the midrange.U/W-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,300
Jomo Trinity Brass2EST 4BA 1DDThe warmer of the Trinity models, sacrificing technical ability for a more pleasing and smoother tone.WarmShowfloor demo unit$2,800
Kumitate KL-Sirius4BAExcellent technical ability, well tuned with a dash of Japanese flavour.NeutralThird party custom$815
Noble Khan1Piezo 4BA 1DDClean yet lean, solid low-end rumble but treble get splashy. Technical but lacking naturalness for top performance.U-shapedThird party unit$2,300
PEARS SH33BAGreat detail pickup and solid all-rounder, perhaps a little strident.NeutralThird party unit$1,100
Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor (UERM)3BAThe benchmark of an era, dead-flat with an upper treble boostNeutralPersonal customReplaced by UERR
Sony IER-M95BANeutral tonality, highly coherent and decent detail pickup.Warm neutralShowfloor demo unit$1,500
Spiral Ears SE5U5BAOutstanding imaging and separation, though high specific with instrument timbre."Balanced"Third party custom$2,000
StereoPravda SB77BATechnically proficient but marred by a sharp timbre. Interesting concept.Bright DF-neutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$2,500
Tier A
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
64 Audio N88BA 1DDSub-bass focus, rich and smooth yet relatively neutral in tone.BassyPersonal custom$1,700
Audeze iSine 20 (Cipher)PlanarDSP corrects the glaring tonality issues and brings out the iSine driver's full potential.Harman-neutralStereo SG demo unit$600
Audeze LCDi4PlanarLow distortion, high resolution and excellent clarity marred by poor tuning which destroys timbre."Balanced"Stereo SG demo unit$2,500
Dita DreamDDExcellent resolution and detail let down by its metallic tonality and thin midrangeV-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,800
Elysian Terminator8BAWell rounded smooth signature that doesn't offend.Warm V-shapeShowfloor demo unit$2,500
Empire Ears Phantom5BAHeavy, rich and decadent, great for male vocals and bassy instruments.WarmZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,800
FitEar MH3344BAPerfect for female vocals, but otherwise quite colouredWarmThird party custom$1,900
FitEar TG3344BALike the MH334 with quite a bit less trebleDarkPersonal unit$1,400
Hidition NT66BAIf Etymotic made a multi-BA IEM, this would be the closest to that dreamDF-neutralNull Audio demo unit$1,050
Hidition NT88BAColoured neutral kind of sound that works better with Asian genres.NeutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,850
InEar SD55BAExcels in timbre reproduction and has an overall pleasant signature.Warm V-shapeMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,100
JH Roxanne12BARich and smooth, perfect for male vocalsWarmA2A Melbourne demo unit$1,745
Jomo Quatre3BA 1DDNicely tuned hybrid that serves as a good all-rounder.V-shapedEuphoria Audio demo unit$1,500
Lime Ears Aether5BAExcellent clarity and tone but marred slightly by slightly lackluster resolutionNeutral with bass boostMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,350
NCM Bella8BA 1DDPowerful bass combined with clean sounding mids, though perhaps a tad aggressive at times.U-shapedReview unit$1,050
Noble K1010BAVery safe tuning, almost to the point of boredom. Does nothing wrong but nothing right eitherNeutral with bass boostStereo SG demo unitReplaced by K10 Encore
Noble K10 Encore10BAReference oriented sound focused on technicalitiesNeutralStereo SG demo unit$1,850
Noble Katana9BALike the K10, except with less bassNeutral with laid back trebleStereo SG demo unit$1,850
Oriolus MK23BA 1DDLively yet non-fatiguing hybrid experienceWarmZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,100
qdc 4SS4BAHigh clarity, high resolution reference-type monitor with spot-on tone.NeutralMusic Sanctuary demo unit$700
qdc 5SH5BAFun, lively signature that retains high levels of performance.V-shapedMusic Sanctuary demo unit$900
Sony MDR-EX800ST/MDR7550DDA more forgiving, warmer version of the EX1000.Bright DF-neutralThird party unit$350
Sony Justear XJE-MH2 "Club Sound"1BA 1DDNice, pleasant signature that is reminiscent of a more textured HS1551.Warm DF-neutralThird party custom$2,150
Soranik Ion5BAClearly inspired by the 334, follows the same strengths in female vocalsWarmMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,100
Stealthsonics U9 JDM8BA 1DDDoes away with the timbre issues of the standard U9.Neutral with bass boostShowfloor demo unit$1,100
Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (UERR)3BAWarm with good tonality. Good all-rounder albeit definitely not a reference signature.Neutral with laid-back trebleMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,000
Ultimate Ears UE18+ Pro Gen 36BAPerceived more neutrally compared to the Gen 2; less emotional, more boring."Balanced"Music Sanctuary demo unit$1,500
Unique Melody Maestro V212BAIt's... there. Hard to find words for this one"Balanced"Stereo SG demo unit$2,000
Westone ES606BAGreat timbre and well-tuned, held back by its resolutionNeutral with laid-back trebleA2A Melbourne demo unit$1,300
Westone W808BANicely balanced, intimate and slightly dry. Perhaps the least Westone-sounding Westone.Warm neutralA2A Melbourne demo unit$1,500
Tier A-
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
64 Audio A88BABass monster. Bass, bass and more bassBassyMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,400
AAW W5004BA 1DDEnergetic mids and highly natural bassWarm with upper midrange boostJaben SG demo unit$1,100
Acoustune HS1650DDWell textured and energetic with a sub-bass focus.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$650
Campfire AtlasDDGobs of bass with added treble sparkle that prevents complete congestion and muddiness.BassyZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,300
Custom Art Harmony 8.28BASmooth and easy signature. No fatigue whatsoever. The definition of a lounging IEM.WarmPersonal unit$1,300
Empire Ears Spartan-IV ADEL4BAGood clarity, good staging, good resolution"Balanced"Music Sanctuary demo unit$930
Empire Ears EVR3BAA nicely tuned flat-ish signature with good technical ability all around.NeutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$800
Empire Ears Vantage1BA 2DDA Legend-X-mini, essentially. Nice alternative on a budget.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,400
Etymotic ER4XRBAA more mainstream tuning of the ER4S/SR with slightly boosted bass.DF-neutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$350
FitEar Parterre2BA?Intimate, smooth and laidback soundWarmJaben SG demo unit$1,200
Hidition NT6 Pro6BAA V-shaped version of the NT6. The change in tuning kills the technical ability slightlyNeutral with bass boostNull Audio demo unit$1,100
Hidition Waltz3BANeutral-fun signature that works both as a reference monitor and a rock-out IEM.Harman-neutralZeppelin & Co demo unit?
Hyla TE-5T1Piezo 2BA 1DDVery Japanese-sounding with a massive upper harmonic focus, too much for many genres.Upper mid focusedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,300
Lime Ears Model X4BATechnically capable IEM that goes from decently neutral to warm and smooth in a pinch.Neutral/WarmMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,000
Massdrop Plus3BAReference-targeted sound with excellent clarity and detail, with a slightly more fun tuning.DF-neutral with bass boostReview unit$300
Moondrop Blessing4BA 1DDAll rounder that comes the closest to the Harman Target.Harman-neutralReview unit$400
NocturnaL Atlantis4BAReference signature with immense clarity and energy.NeutralTreoo demo unit$600
Sony IER-M74BABalanced across the board, though doesn't seem to excel in any particular area.Warm neutralShowfloor demo unit$800





Tier B+
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
Acoustune HS1551DDWarm and smooth tonality with a pleasing tuning not many would hate.Warm V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$500
Etymotic ER4PTBASlightly rolled off treble with good detail and resolution, though imaging is too two-dimensional.Warm neutralPersonal unit$300
Campfire Jupiter4BAGreat clarity and staging though with odd upper midrange."Balanced"Connect IT demo unit$800
Custom Art FIBAE33BAA clarity-focused IEM. Weak in staging, perhaps too thin on the note weight but ultimately does its kind of sound without hiccups.Mid-centricReview unit$625
Dita FidelityDDThe more technical and less natural sounding of the Dita twins.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,300
Earsonics EM1010BAOddly low dynamics makes this sound rather dead and lifeless.Neutral with bass boostMusic Sanctuary demo unit$2,300
Empire Ears Nemesis3BA 2DDA lot more treble compared to the Vantage.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,600
FitEar F/A111BAA laid-back take on reference with Suyama's FitEar colouration mixed inWarm neutralJaben SG demo unit$780
FitEar Private 3333BAVery exciting and sharp signature. Almost seems like it's made for higher-pitched vocals.BrightJaben SG demo unit$1,500
HUM ReferenceBABasically sounds like a shallow-fit ER4S.DF-neutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,300
HUM Pristine Reference2BAGood detail pickup and generally inoffensive. Much better than the universal.WarmThird party custom$1,400
iBasso IT043BA 1DDA nice improvement over the IT03 though midrange hollowness still exists.U-shapedE1 demo unit$500
Rhapsodio GalaxyDDLively and engaging but avoiding fatigue still. Rare comboV-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,450
Rhapsodio Solar10BAGood bass, good treble, good midrange... an all-rounder, essentiallyMild V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,550
Sennheiser IE800DDGood bass with shimmery treble. Decent tonality.Mild V-shapeJaben SG demo unit$800
Sony XBA-N31BA 1DDExceptional tonal balance only limited by its slightly smoothed over definitionNeutral with bass boostConnectIT demo unit$300
Unique Melody Martian2BA 2DDWell-tuned hybrid with excellent bass response and smooth midrange.Neutral with bass boostStereo SG demo unit$700
VSonic GR09DDSmooth and laid-back while hitting the right timbreWarmLMUE demo unit?
Tier B
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
AAW W3503BAWarm, smooth and easy to listen to.WarmStereo SG demo unitDiscontinued
Acoustune HS1501DDA more textured, bassier and more energetic version of the HS1551.Warm V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$500
Acoustune HS1670DDMetallic and shrill timbre makes this hard to enjoy.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$800
ACS Encore3BAGood all-rounder. No slouch in the technicalities.NeutralJaben SG demo unit$1,130
AKG N50054BA 1DDAmazing bass control only let down by plastic timbre.Neutral with bass boostZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,000
ARC PolluxBAWell-tuned neutral single-BA IEM.NeutralMusic Sanctuary demo unit$300
Audio Technica ATH-E703BAClean and clear sound with a slight warm tilt without losing treble sparkle.Neutral with bass boostJaben Melbourne demo unit$400
Aurisonics ASG-2.02BA 1DDDecent hybrid with good balance throughout the spectrum. Potential for monstrous bass.Mild V-shape, bassyPersonal unitDiscontinued
Campfire VegaDDPowerful bass, sharp treble and muffled midrange.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,300
Campfire Dorado2BA 1DDExtremely coherent albeit slightly congested. Great for intimacy lovers.WarmZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,000
Campfire Polaris1BA 1DDPseudo-Japanese tuning focusing on female vocals and a very lively signature.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$600
Custom Art FIBAE Black1BASmooth, neutral-ish signature that serves as an all rounder.Warm neutralThird party custom$500
Dita BrassDDVery nice tonal characteristics with good bass, though nothing special technically.Warm V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$1000?
Dita FealtyDDThe more natural sounding and less technical of the Dita twins.Mild V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,300
Dunu DK-30013BA 1DDWell-tuned and coherent. Does little wrong and very easy to like.Mild V-shapeLMUE demo unit$500
Empire Ears ESR3BAHas the technical chops but is sharp and fatiguing.Bright V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,000
Empire Ears Bravado1BA 1DDA basic hybrid sound with big bass and energetic treble.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$700
Fidue A91 "Sirius"4BA 1DDUniquely tuned hybrid. Not very powerful DD bass with Diffuse-Field midrange.Mid-centricLMUE demo unit$900
FiiO FH53BA 1DDStellar bass response and decent technical ability, not much to fault.Neutral with bass boostE1 demo unit$260
FitEar EST1EST 1BASmooth and relaxing listen, though definition is not its strong suit.WarmJaben SG demo unit$1,300
FLC8S2BA 1DDVery good technicalities with a well-tuned signature. Filters change the sound a lot.VariablePersonal unit$350
Hifiman RE2000DDLively sound with great technicalities and substandard tonality.Mild V-shapeA2A Melbourne demo unit$2,000
Hyla Nerva X10BALow dynamics, rolled off and nothing that it really excels in.DarkZeppelin & Co demo unit$2,730
JH Audio JH13v2 Performance Series8BAGood all rounder, slightly warmer and more coherent than the custom versionV-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,000
Jomo Jomo4v24BASomewhat "reference-style" V-shaped with reduced upper treble. Very good clarity and detail.Mild V-shapeMusic Sanctuary demo unit$750
Kumitate KL-REF Type-S3BA 2DDWell tuned but unfortunately suffers from very odd timbre.Neutral (with bass boost)Third party unit$1,350
Periodic Audio BeDDMeaty with decent sparkle in the treble, whilst remaining clear and clean.Mild V-shapeReview unit$300
qdc Anole V33BAThe bassier of the Anole brothers. Better timbre but worse technicalities.VariableMusic Sanctuary demo unit$600
qdc Anole V66BAThe more mid-centric of the Anole brothers. Better technicalities but worse timbre.VariableMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,100
Shozy & Neo BG5BAWell balanced tuning with decent resolution and no egregious weaknesses.NeutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$280
Shure SE8464BADeep reaching bass but with an odd tonality in the rest of the spectrum.Neutral with bass boostZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,000
Sony XBA-A32BA 1DDCoherent hybrid with a warm-ish tilt to its tone.Neutral with bass boostThird party unit$480
Sony XBA-Z52BA 1DDAll-rounder. Somewhat neutral both in FR and tonality."Balanced"Showfloor demo unit$700
Stealthsonics U98BA 1DDAn otherwise capable hybrid caught out by nasally and odd midrange.NeutralShowfloor demo unit$1,100
Ultimate Ears UE7 Pro3BAGood clarity and detail with boosted, warm bass and controlled treble.Warm neutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$850
Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 "TF10"3BADecent tonality and timbre. Not as detailed as the new kids on the block but has the fundamentals down.WarmPersonal unitDiscontinued
Unique Melody MacBeth1BA 1DDExtremely clear but may be too thin for some.U-shapedThird party unit~$600
VSonic GR07XDDJack of all trades. Has all the fundamentals down to a T.NeutralPersonal unit$200
Warbler PreludeBARolled off on both ends with a very typical single-BA sound.DarkThird party custom$1,100
Tier B-
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
AAW A3H Pro V22BA 1DDDecent technicalities with well controlled bass and treble rolloff.WarmPersonal custom$370
Audeze iSine 10/20PlanarLow distortion, high resolution and excellent clarity marred by poor tuning which destroys timbre.UniqueStereo SG demo unit$400
Audio Technica ATH-IM022BAWell-balanced, excellent tuning and good technical ability.Warm neutralThird party unitReplaced by LS200
BGVP DM65BAWarm tilt in tone, decent detail retrieval though definition is a little too smoothed over.Warm V-shapeThird party unit$200
Elysian Artemis3BAThick, warm and smooth signature without complete sacrifice in technicalities.WarmReview unit$600
Final Audio E4000DDRather standard sounding, non-offensive and neutral in tone.V-shapedE1 demo unit$180
Final Audio E5000DDLess treble than the E4000 for a slightly different flavour.WarmE1 demo unit$280
ikko OH11BA 1DDWell controlled sub-bass focus, high clarity and has an inherent "Asian" signature.Upper mid focusedZeppelin & Co demo unit$140
InEar Stagediver SD22BAWell-balanced, excellent tuning and good technical ability. Similar to IM02.Warm neutralMusic Sanctuary demo unit$450
Oriolus Forsteni2BA 1DDGreat sparkle, deep-reaching DD bass and high clarity. Spacious staging.U-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$375
Oriveti New Primacy2BA 1DDRather balanced, almost neutral hybrid. All rounder.Warm neutralJaben Melbourne demo unit$300
Rhapsodio Zombie8BA 1DDNot the cleanest bass and with coherency issues that shouldn't exist for an IEM of its asking price.BassyReview unit$1,800
TFZ King ProDDPowerful yet controlled bass response, good snap in the treble, doesn't sacrifice too much in the midrange.V-shapedThird party unit$170
Ultimate Ears UE6 Pro1BA 2DDA capable hybrid with little weaknesses."Balanced"Music Sanctuary demo unit$700
Ultimate Ears UE11 Pro4BAQuite a bit of low-end emphasis. Overly-congested and smeared transients.BassyMusic Sanctuary demo unit$1,150
Ultimate Ears Live6BA 1DDSoft, muddy, low resolution and lacks any sort of definition.WarmMusic Sanctuary demo unit$2,200
VSonic GR07 Classic/BassDDWell-balanced, well-tuned, good technicalities. The $100 benchmark since ever.Mild V-shapeLMUE demo unit$100

[td]AAW AXH[/td][td]4BA 1DD[/td][td]Bass-light hybrid with an extreme treble spike.[/td][td]Neutral-bright[/td][td]Jaben Melbourne demo unit[/td][td]$440[/td][/tr]






Tier C+
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
Audio Technica ATH-LS2002BASomewhat Diffuse-Field neutral with its own quirks. Good technical ability.Mid centricStereo SG demo unit$250
BGVP DMG4BA 1DDDecent tonal balance though bass response is not up to par.BassyReview unit$140
Campfire Lyra IIDDCampfire's take on a V-shaped dynamic sound. Wouldn't call it exceptional.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$700
Final Audio E2000DDNot too dissimiliar to a GR07, though lacking in that last octave of bass extension.V-shapedE1 demo unit$45
Final Audio E3000DDA warmer, bassier E2000.WarmE1 demo unit$55
Final Audio Heaven IIBASolid technical ability though might be a little too sterile at times.Neutral-brightA2A Melbourne demo unit$90
FiiO F92BA 1DDGood technicalities, average timbre, perhaps a little excessive on the highs.V-shapedReview unit$100
iBasso IT01SDDBalanced tuning, slight lean towards brightness. Should be pleasing for most ears.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$200
iBasso IT032BA 1DDExcellent bass and clarity. Hollow midrange and somewhat metallic treble.U-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$260
Kinera Odin8BASounds like a rather basic tuning and a resolution not fitting of its driver count.NeutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$800
Oriolus Finschi2BA 1DDEnergetic and bright, overall a well built hybrid that can be strident for some ears.BrightE1 demo unit$180
Periodic Audio MgDDNot the most clear or detailed but a very clean sound with good timbre.WarmReview unit$100
Rose BR5 Mk25BANot a bad IEM, though BA timbre comes in strong with this one. Not the most technical but it does the job when called for it.NeutralThird party unit$305
TFZ Secret Garden2DDDecent bass response and peaky treble, not much to say.V-shapedLMUE demo unit$200
Shozy & Neo CP3BAReference-style tuning, decent tonal balance, solid technical ability.WarmLMUE demo unit$165
Tier C
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
1Custom SA022BAOdd take on neutral with a coloured tonality."Balanced"Jaben SG demo unit?
AAW W100DDBassy and has that typical "chifi DD" sound.V-shapedJaben SG demo unitDiscontinued
Alpha&Delta D6DDWell balanced bright response. Good detail and doesn't sound odd in any place.BrightReview unit$95
Acoustune HS1503DDShrill, odd timbre and way too intense for normal listening.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$400
Advanced Evo XDDA well-balanced Bluetooth IEM. A very nice surprise.NeutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$60
AKG N401BA 1DDA rather typical hybrid all things considered. Nothing special especially for the asking price.Warm (varying)Zeppelin & Co demo unit$400
Campfire CometBARolled-off at the top end, warm and bassy single-BA sound reminiscent of Final's offerings.WarmZeppelin & Co demo unit$200
Campfire Nova2BASomewhat dead-sounding with no shimmer or sparkle in the upper registers.Neutral with laid-back trebleConnectIT demo unit$500
Creative Aurvana Trio3BASurprising lack of BA timbre, but still rather average in technicalities.WarmConnectIT demo unit$250
Earsonics SM33BANon-fatiguing, relaxing listen. "Normal".WarmAV One demo unitReplaced by SM64
Elysian Eros2BATypical "dual driver" sound. Not very impressive.WarmShowfloor demo unit$400
FiiO F5DDTypical chifi V-shaped sound, nothing much to report on.V-shapedE1 demo unit$65
Final Audio E1000DDBalanced tuning with good clarity and acceptable resolution. Surprising pick.Mild V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$30
FitEar Air 2/Titan1BA 1DDGeneric hybrid sound. Doesn't really perform up to par either.Warm V-shapeJaben SG demo unit$1,700/?
Focal SphearDDGood timbre, good bass and well-balanced tuning.Mild V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$150
Fostex TE1001BA 1DDA little boring and dead in dynamics. Not fun but not really reference either. Average.Warm neutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,800
iBasso IT01DDNothing really stands out as "excellent" to me, but it does a lot of things well and little wrong.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$110
Intime SoraDDWell controlled bass boost with slightly skewed tonality. Potential is there.U-shapedThird party unit$45
JH Billie Jean2BAFollows the JH house sound but otherwise nothing special.V-shapedAV One demo unit$350
JH Michelle3BAStill sounds typically "JH" with a slightly V tuning, with slower transients and a non-fatiguing signature.WarmZeppelin & Co demo unit$500
JVC HA-FW01DDVery heavy and very dark sounding IEM whose signature marrs technical ability slightly.DarkZeppelin & Co demo unit$380
Kinera Idun2BA 1DDNot a bad hybrid, considering Kinera's track record.V-shapedThird party unit$140
Lear LCM-BD4.24BA 2DDHarsh, overly-textured and extremely fatiguing. Excellent technical ability completely shut down by tuning and timbre mismatch.Bright, V-shapedTreoo demo unit$1,030
Massdrop x NuForce EDC33BAWell tuned, though not the most technical nor the most natural sounding.NeutralReview unit$100
MEE Pinnacle P1DDUpper midrange emphasis with soft, warm bass. Nice for mainstream listening.Warm V-shapeZeppelin & Co demo unit$200
NuForce HEM1BAReference tuning with tonal balance. Unfortunately limited by its technicalities.NeutralE1 demo unit$150
Shure SE5353BATonally dead. One-note bass. No treble worth mentioning.Mid-centricStereo SG demo unit$500
Simgot EN700DDGood clarity and energetic signature.Mid-centricZeppelin & Co demo unit$100
Stealthsonics U21BA 1DDSharp, emphasised treble and boosted bass, sounds more mainstream than audiophile.V-shapedShowfloor demo unit$250
Symphonium Audio Aurora2BASolid tuning, though average in technicalities.Warm neutralMusic Sanctuary demo unit$220
TFZ 5SDDWarm and somewhat slow in transients. Good timbre, average tuning.V-shapedLMUE demo unit$80
TFZ KingDDBetter tuned than the 5S with a little extra treble which improves clarity and overall staging.V-shapedLMUE demo unit$100
Zero Audio Carbo Tenore ZH-DX200-CTDDA well-tuned V-shaped signature that maintains solid midrange and excellent clarity.V-shapedPersonal unit$40
Tier C-
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
1More Quad Driver3BA 1DDOkay-ish technical ability in a mainstream tuning. Can get congested."Balanced"Jaben Melbourne demo unit$200
AAW Nebula Two1BA 1DDExcellent clarity and wide staging due to semi-open design. DD bass manages to shine through.U-shapedNull Audio demo unit$150
Advanced EliseDDBoomy and heavy sounding. Smoothed over details but not the worst out there.BassyZeppelin & Co demo unit$30
Advanced GT3 SuperbassDDAcceptable resolution though the tone is off in many ways. Filters don't seem to address that issue."Balanced"Personal unit$200
Elysian Minerva4BAWonky tone with blunted notes, not very revealing.Warm V-shapeShowfloor demo unit$900
FiiO F3DDWell-balanced U-shaped sound that's rather atypical of a chifi dynamic IEM.U-shapedE1 demo unit$25
Fostex TE-02WPDDBalanced and clear. Very good value.Neutral-brightA2A Melbourne demo unitDiscontinued
Heygears AnoraBAVery good tuning, well-balanced signature.Neutral with laid-back trebleLMUE demo unit$80
Oriveti BasicDDLots of sub-bass rumble with an energetic midrange. Roll-off for non-fatigue.BassyJaben Melbourne demo unit$100
Sennheiser Momentum In-EarDDFuzzy, typical V-shaped sound but nothing too egregious.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$100
Stealthsonics U44BAAn odd character, simultaneously bassy and thin at the same time.WarmShowfloor demo unit$500
Super Audio "Supermeme" 2BA+2DD2BA 2DDA decently tuned V-shaped hybrid with energetic upper midrange. May be intense for some.V-shapedPersonal unit$150
Symphonium Audio MirageBATypical single-BA sound that doesn't offer anything special.DarkMusic Sanctuary demo unit$150
Vive XE800DDA mini GR07. Need I say more?Mild V-shapeThird party unit$30
Westone 4R4BALow resolution, extremely blunted and narrow imaging.DarkThird party unitDiscontinued






Tier D+
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
1More Triple Driver2BA 1DDGood clarity with unfortunately thin midrange. Flat bass, not in a good way.V-shapedStereo SG demo unit$100
Advanced M5-5D4BA 1DDAn otherwise capable hybrid unfortunately let down by its ridiculous treble spike.Bright neutralZeppelin & Co demo unit$650
Ambient Acoustics AM77BAUnreliable switches, mediocre technical ability and the tone is slightly off.VariableZeppelin & Co demo unit$1,750
Cozoy Trio3BAOdd tuning, doesn't sound too bad but it's overall not very impressive at all.UniqueE1 demo unit$450
Hifiman RE1000DDA strange take on a V response. Intense yet with no upper treble to speak of.V-shapedA2A Melbourne demo unit$1,000
Kinera SEED1BA 1DDLacking in bass extension and tonally skewed too much to the higher frequencies."Balanced"Third party unit$50
Ultimate Ears UE5 Pro2BADead dynamics, overly warm and congested.WarmJaben SG demo unit$600
Rose Mini22BAIt's somewhat natural in timbre but lacks a lot of technical proficiency.WarmThird party unit$110
Tier D
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
AAW A1DDDSounds like a V-shaped dynamic. As anticlimactic as it sounds.V-shapedJaben SG demo unit$180
AAW W3002BA 1DDThin and brittle midrange that easily gets harsh.Bright neutralJaben SG demo unit$660
Advanced GT3DDSharp, shrill and overall unpleasant.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$200
Advanced M5-1DDDTypical chifi DD sound. Nothing special.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$400
Ambient Acoustics AM1616BASounds weird and is completely average in pure technicalities. Disappointing."Balanced"Zeppelin & Co demo unit?
Ambient Acoustics AM2424BASee above. Perhaps even slightly worse."Balanced"Zeppelin & Co demo unit?
Astrotec Delphinus 55BASounds plain wrong. Instruments are nowhere close to how they should on proper gear."Balanced"Zeppelin & Co demo unit$500
Audiofly AF1603BANot just dead but almost completely devoid of treble. Double whammy.DarkJaben Melbourne demo unit$430
Earsonics SM64v23BAWeirdly incoherent and disjointed. Good warmth, though.WarmAV One demo unit$500
Eternal Melody EM-22BAIt just sounds "meh" to be. Nothing much to say.V-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$290
Fidue A712DDBoomy and bleeds into the mids. Not a lot of definition.BassyE1 demo unit$80
Jomo PLB3BABloated, congested and oh-so-slow.DarkMusic Sanctuary demo unit$510
Jomo HakaBAMushy, blobby and low resolution.DarkEuphoria Audio demo unit$365
NuForce Primo 84BATone is off, detailing is low, things sound wrong. Lies on a spectrum of "average" to "no".DarkE1 demo unit$500
Rhapsodio ClipperDDLots and lots of bass. Slams you in the face with bass.Extreme BassZeppelin & Co demo unit$55
Sennheiser IE80SDDWarm, bassy, congested and lacking in dynamics. Oddly sharp yet lacking in sparkleV-shapedZeppelin & Co demo unit$350
Shure SE215DDSounds like a typical dynamic IEM. Slightly bloated bass and narrow staging.V-shapedJaben Melbourne demo unit$100
Sound Linear Fitz 10 Flat10BAIt sounds dead and boring. Nothing about it stands out at all and it doesn't even achieve the passing mark for technicalities."Balanced"E1 demo unit$2,200
TFZ 3SDDIt's okay. It's a Chinese dynamic IEM, nothing special.V-shapedLMUE demo unit$65
Unique Melody ME1PlanarSoft transients, low definition and odd timbre makes this the worst planar I've listened to.WarmStereo SG demo unit$760
Tier D-
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
AAW A2H-Pro V21BA 1DDGood coherency but sub-par tuning and sluggishy slow.DarkJaben SG demo unit$220
AAW M404BAVery shrill and thin, completely destroying timbre. Just sounds awful."Balanced"Jaben SG demo unit$660
Geek Wold GK33DDIncoherent, imaging is all over the place and sounds like a mess.DarkThird party unit$20
KZ ZS3DDSomething you would expect from a free earphone. It's okay.DarkThird party unit$15
KZ ZST1BA 1DDDecent bass. Odd timbre. Odd tuning.V-shapedThird party unit$30
RHA CL750DDEar-piercing treble makes it hard to listen to.BrightAV One demo unit$100
TFZ 1SDDA little bloated at times and definitely congested.V-shapedLMUE demo unit$40






Tier E
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
AAW A2H Pro V11BA 1DDDead, bloated, congested. Feels like I have to strain to hear even surface-level detailing.DarkJaben SG demo unitReplaced by A2H Pro V2
Fender Thirteen 66BA 1DDInstruments sound wrong. Everything is underwater. Help.DarkE1 demo unit$1,800
Fischer Omega SparkDDSomeone should harvest their drivers for tweeters since I hear nothing below the upper mids.BrightE1 demo unit$60
Kinera H32BA 1DDCompletely off timbre, extremely recessed midrange and sharp, painful treble.Extreme V-shapePersonal unit$100
Nuforce HEM42BADead as a doornail. Missing bits and pieces in its tuning.WarmJaben SG demo unit$330
Nuforce HEM63BARefer to the above.WarmJaben SG demo unit$450
RHA CL1DDSo much treble to the point where nothing sounds correct. Like raining metal balls on a tin roof.BrightAV One demo unit$280
Sendiy M12211BA 1DDIt literally sounds out of phase. It's an accomplishment in itself.V-shapedE1 demo unit$200
Sensaphonics 2MAX2BAOdd timbre. Technical ability isn't even that great.Bright neutralJaben Melbourne demo unit$850
Sensaphonics 2X-S2BASharp and shrill yet surprisingly dead. Like shoving blunted icepicks into your ears.Bright neutralJaben Melbourne demo unit$750
Sensaphonics 3MAX3BAIt's a slight improvement over the 2MAX but not by much.WarmJaben Melbourne demo unit$1,050
Shozy x AAW HibikiDDSharp, shrill tonality. Average everything else.BrightPersonal unit$60
Shozy x AAW Pola2EST 1DDDark, muffled, veiled, muddy, congested etc. etc. basically every permutation of similar descriptors.DarkZeppelin & Co demo unit$800
Unique Melody 3DD-Ti3DDIt's not the quantity of the treble, but the quality. Reserved only for the most esoteric of tastes.BrightStereo SG demo unit$700
VE Monk IE SmallsDDSounds exactly like what would happen if you shoved an earbud driver into an IEM housing.DarkThird party unitDiscontinued






Tier F
ModelSetupCommentsSignatureBased onPrice
Delta Air complimentary earphonesDDIt's a telephone in IEM form. It is physically unable to play bass or treble.Complete failureThird party unitFree
Oppo MH130DDThe horribleness of this can only be experienced in real life.Complete failureThird party unit$14
SIA complimentary earphonesDDIts full potential can only be unleashed by an Airbus A380.DarkPersonal unitFree
VE Monk IE BiggieDDAbsolute mud and congestion. Could work as a subwoofer since it barely plays anything above 500Hz anyways.DarkThird party unitDiscontinued




Changelogs
27/10/17 (Officially out of Work-In-Progress status!)
29/10/17
04/11/17
08/11/17
11/05/18
25/05/18
17/08/18
31/08/18
10/10/18
21/10/18
06/01/19 (Final Head-Fi update)
01/02/19 (Migrating to crinacle.com)
 
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Sorry for a stupid question ,
What do you mean by + and - , for example S+,S- and A+, A-,
The - sign you use for negative or what ,???
 
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crinacle

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Slight reshuffle, still WIP. Currently playing with the idea of tables and have formatted the S tier accordingly; please take a look and provide feedback.

Could you elaborate on how you rank them?
It's based on (a) overall detail retrieval, (b) tone/"naturalness", (c) transients and (d) tuning. Tuning in a more objective sense like unwarranted peaks and dips that affect the overall flow of the sound.

Sorry for a stupid question ,
What do you mean by + and - , for example S+,S- and A+, A-,
The - sign you use for negative or what ,???
I've gotten concerns that certain IEMs seem to not belong in a certain tier, even though they may just simply be at the bottom rungs of the tier itself. So I decided to go with a positive-negative grading system to segment the tiers just a little more.
 
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Ahmad313

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I've gotten concerns that certain IEMs seem to not belong in a certain tier, even though they may just simply be at the bottom rungs of the tier itself. So I decided to go with a positive-negative grading system to segment the tiers just a little more.[/QUOTE]
Thanks friend , now i can understand your list correctly ,
 
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Arysyn

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Welp, decided to do this for... whatever reason. Just posting it for now to be worked on more later.

Grades
S:
IEMs that are “top of the line”, representing the best that the industry has to offer.
A: While not the best of the best, A-tier IEMs are still very respectable performers that would still be considered as some of the best by many.
B: These are the “very good” IEMs.
C: IEMs in this tier are either be above average overall or have one or two good (great, perhaps even outstanding) traits but are not exceptional in the big picture.
D: The Average Joes. Most IEMs in the world should fall in this category, but due to my selection bias I wouldn’t expect much to exist here.
E: Below average. Still listenable, mind you, but not pleasantly.
F: The failures. “Bad” would be the apt descriptor.


Notes and disclaimers

  • The IEMs in each tier are sorted alphabetically. They are not ordered by performance within the tiers themselves.
  • The "Strengths" metric is a selection of three (maximum) of the most apparent traits. They are not the only strengths but rather the main highlights.
  • Most of the IEMs in this list are determined based off auditions in shops.
  • Prices are in USD and based off the exchange rate during the time of writing.
  • Yes, this is the opinion of one person on the internet. Please do not get too offended if your favourite IEM isn't graded as highly as you'd like. (vice versa applies)

Metrics explanation

Tuning:
Tuned in a way that appeals to many. Non-polarising.
Staging: May refer to any combination of soundstage width, depth or positional qualities.
Tonal accuracy: How "right" the IEM may sound due to timbre and tone reproduction.
Coherency: The extent to which an IEM sounds "as a whole" as opposed to disjointed at particular frequencies.





S Grade
ModelStrengthsSignaturePrice
64 Audio U18 TzarDetail, staging, speedBassy with subdued midtreble$3000
64 Audio Tia FourteClarity, bass decay, stagingU-shaped$3600
AAW W900Bass decay, coherency, stagingWarm with laid-back treble~$2050
Empire Ears Zeus-XRClarity, detail, stagingNeutral-bright$2730
Hidition Viento-ReferenceTonal accuracy, tuning, coherencyNeutral~$1300
InEar Prophile-8Detail, tuning, coherencyNeutral~$1350
Jomo SambaClarity, detail, speedV-shaped~$1500
Jomo FlamencoClarity, detail, speedV-shaped, neutral with bass boost~$2200
Shure KSE1500Clarity, detail, speedNeutral with bass boost$3000
Ultimate Ears UE18+ ProTonal accuracy, tuning, midrangeWarm neutral$1500
Unique Melody LegacyClarity, detail, tuningNeutral with bass boost~$1650
Vision Ears VE8Bass texture, coherency, tuningWarm neutral~$2700
S- Grade
ModelStrengthsSignaturePrice
Campfire AndromedaCoherency, tuning, stagingWarm with upper treble sparkle$1100
Hidition NT6Clarity, detailNeutral~$1050
Rhines Stage 7Tonal accuracy, tuning, colourationWarm with laid back treble~$1900
]


A+ Grade
ModelStrengthsSignaturePrice
64 Audio A12Bass, stagingWarm with laid back treble$2000
A&K T8iEBass decay, clarity, tuningNeutral with bass boostDiscontinued
Beyerdynamic XelentoBass decay, clarity, tuningV-shaped$1000
Noble K10 EncoreClarity, detailNeutral$1850
] ]
A Grade
ModelStrengthsSignaturePrice
64 Audio A8Bass, stagingBassy
64 Audio A10DetailNeutral
AAW W500Bass decayWarm with upper midrange boost
Campfire VegaBassV-shaped
FitEar MH334Colouration, coherencyWarm neutral
FitEar TG334Colouration, coherencyDark
Hidition NT6 ProClarity, detail, tuningNeutral with bass boost
JH RoxanneDetail, colourationWarm neutral
JH Audio JH13v2 Performance SeriesBass impactV-shaped
Jomo 6RClarity, detailNeutral
Kumitate KL-LakhMidrange, coherencyWarm
Lime Ears AetherClarity, tonal accuracy, coherencyNeutral with bass boost
Noble K10Detail, tuningNeutral with bass boostDiscontinued
Noble KatanaClarity, detailNeutral with laid back treble
Rhapsodio GalaxyBass, tuning, stagingV-shaped
Rhapsodio SolarClarity, midrangeMild V-shape
Sony MDR7550Clarity, detail, bass textureNeutral-bright
Soranik IonBass, colouration, coherencyWarm
Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor (UERM)Clarity, detailNeutralDiscontinued
Unique Melody Maestro V2Detail, staging"Balanced"
Westone ES60Detail, tuningNeutral with laid-back treble
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]


A- Grade

  • Dita Dream
    • Clarity
  • Dunu DK-3001
  • Empire Ears Spartan-IV
  • Etymotic ER4PT
  • Etymotic ER4XR
  • FitEar F111
  • FitEar Parterre
  • Ice Lab Zen12
  • Oriolus MK2
  • VSonic GR09

B+ Grade
  • Acoustune HS1501
  • Acoustune HS1551
  • Dita Brass
  • Custom Art Harmony 8.2
  • Aurisonics ASG-2.0
  • Campfire Jupiter
  • Kumitate KL-REF
  • Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (UERR)
  • NocturnaL Atlantis
  • Unique Melody Martian

B Grade
  • AAW W350
  • ACS Evolve
  • Audio Technica ATH-E70
  • Campfire Dorado
  • Campfire Orion
  • Fender FXA7
  • Fidue A91 “Sirius”
  • FitEar Private 333
  • FLC8S
  • InEar Stagediver 4
  • Jomo Jomo4v2
  • Oriolus Forsteni
  • Rhapsodio Earth
  • Sennheiser IE800
  • Shure SE846
  • Sony XBA-Z5
  • Ultimate Ears UE7 Pro
  • Unique Melody Macbeth
B- Grade
  • AAW A3H Pro V2
  • Audio Technica ATH-IM02
  • iBasso IT03
  • InEar Stagediver 2
  • Oriveti New Primacy
  • VSonic GR07 (variants)
  • Westone W80
C+ Grade
  • AAW Nebula Two
  • Advanced Evo X
  • Campfire Lyra II
  • JH x A&K Michelle
  • Lear LCM-BD4.2
  • StereoPravda SB7
  • Ultimate Ears UE4 Pro
C Grade
  • 1More Quad Driver
  • AAW W100
  • AKG N40
  • Audeze iSine 10
  • Audeze iSine 20
  • Audio Technica ATH-LS200
  • Eternal Melody EM-5
  • Focal Sphear
  • Fostex TE100
  • MEE Pinnacle P1
  • Shure SE535
  • Simgot EN700
  • TFZ 5S
  • TFZ King
C- Grade
  • 1More Triple Driver
  • Heygears Anora
  • Oriveti Basic
  • Rhapsodio Clipper
D+ Grade
  • AAW W300
  • Ultimate Ears UE5 Pro

D Grade
  • AAW A1D
  • Custom Art Music One
  • Custom Art Music Two
  • Earsonics SM3
  • Earsonics SM64v2
  • Eternal Melody EM-2
  • HUM Pristine Reference
  • JH Audio JH10X
  • TFZ 3S
  • Ultimate Ears UE11 Pro
D- Grade
  • KZ ZS3
  • KZ ZST
  • TFZ 1S
  • AAW A2H-Pro V2

E Grade
  • AAW A2H Pro V1
  • AAW M40
  • Audiofly AF160
  • Campfire Nova
  • Eternal Melody EM-5H
  • Hifiman RE1000
  • JH Audio JH3X
  • JH Audio JH11
  • Jomo PLB
  • Nuforce HEM4
  • Nuforce HEM6
  • Sensaphonics 2MAX
  • Sensaphonics 3MAX
F Grade
  • AAW Nebula One
  • AAW Q
  • Clear Tune Monitors CT6-E
  • Clear Tune Monitors CT-500E
  • Earsonics S-EM6
  • Sensaphonics 2X-S

As with my tastes and experiences with brand new IEMs, this list will be constantly changing and updating. This is not meant to be a definitive list but rather a way to structure my opinion on the IEM scene in as concise a way as possible. A significant list of the IEMs I've tried so far can be found on my measurement database.

If you can tell, a lot of IEMs on the database (that I've tried) are not in this list. This is either due to extremely polarising opinions or lack of enough ear time to make a proper decision on tier placement. Will probably focus on them as I continue on this journey.

[WORK IN PROGRESS, WILL BE SUBJECT TO FURTHER CHANGES THE NEXT FEW DAYS][/tr][/tr]
Crinacle,

Your iem comparison posts are great and quite helpful. I'm very appreciative you've decided to do this, and hope your continued research keeps growing this list and your excellent audio frequency response graphs on the other thread you've created.

However, I didn't get a response to a question I asked over at the other thread with the graphs regarding the Grado GR10e, which I thought at one point there was a graph for both that and the GR8e. If you have both graphs, could you have both of them posted, as that would be helpful. Although there is a possibility I could be mistaken thinking they both were there at one point, as I'm thinking the one for the GR8e went missing.
 
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crinacle

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Crinacle,

Your iem comparison posts are great and quite helpful. I'm very appreciative you've decided to do this, and hope your continued research keeps growing this list and your excellent audio frequency response graphs on the other thread you've created.

However, I didn't get a response to a question I asked over at the other thread with the graphs regarding the Grado GR10e, which I thought at one point there was a graph for both that and the GR8e. If you have both graphs, could you have both of them posted, as that would be helpful. Although there is a possibility I could be mistaken thinking they both were there at one point, as I'm thinking the one for the GR8e went missing.
Hi, sorry for missing your question.

I just checked my files and no, I didn't make a graph of the GR08 before. I'll try to get it in on my next trip to the shop though.
 
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Arysyn

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Hi, sorry for missing your question.

I just checked my files and no, I didn't make a graph of the GR08 before. I'll try to get it in on my next trip to the shop though.
Thank you for informing me. I may have seen the two Grado graphs somewhere else, but I can't really remember right now. Although, your graphs were very helpful to me in showing that there is a general tendency for Dynamic Drivers I've seen from graphs here and on InnerFidelity, to be either too bass-heavy for me, and/or V-Shaped. Balanced Armatures, while having a closer sound signature to my preference, sounds too artificial to me, which is a shame they just do not have that emotional sound capability of Dynamics.

What I'm really looking for is a Dynamic Driver iem that is tuned more like a Balanced Armature , but still has an emotional warmth to to vocals, rather than the artificial sound Balanced Armatures sound like to me. On a few threads here on Head-Fi, I've posted a graph I had designed for me to show what my ideal sound signature frequency response is. I'll add it to my post here too.

Essentially, I want a below neutral sub-bass becoming neutral through the low bass, mid bass, and high bass points, then upwards 5db through the low mids to the mid-mids, which are neutral, until beginning another 5db climb through the upper mids to the treble. There in the treble, I want a flat treble that is 10db above the bass, and 5db above the mid-mids.

Sound wise, vocals more forward than bass, but more treble detail than vocals. I want the vocals to sound front and center, but just back enough for a wide stage presence to where the vocals aren't intimate, but present enough to get an equal sense between vocals and stage, or perhaps a slight bit more stage than vocals, depending on detail retrieval. Yet, the vocals have to be more present than the bass.

I'd say that another good way to describe what I want is like an opera house or orchestral staging, but not like a huge concert venue, as the vocals would have to be far enough back to get the entire width of the stage in terms of presence equivalence.I'd prefer a sound where on the stage, the instrumentalists positioned equal distance left to right on the stage closest to those in the front row, with the vocalist in the center, but a slight bit back from the instrumentalists, exception being the bassist near the back with the drummer, with me seated within the first ten rows. That probably would be far enough to get a wide soundstage, without the vocals being recessed, especially with the bass and drums in the back giving the presence to the instruments and vocals.

iemearphone-audio-frequency-response.png
 
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crinacle

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Just finished formatting the tiers into table formats. Cells will be filled in over the next few days, and then I can take off the [WIP] tag for real.

Thank you for informing me. I may have seen the two Grado graphs somewhere else, but I can't really remember right now. Although, your graphs were very helpful to me in showing that there is a general tendency for Dynamic Drivers I've seen from graphs here and on InnerFidelity, to be either too bass-heavy for me, and/or V-Shaped. Balanced Armatures, while having a closer sound signature to my preference, sounds too artificial to me, which is a shame they just do not have that emotional sound capability of Dynamics.

What I'm really looking for is a Dynamic Driver iem that is tuned more like a Balanced Armature , but still has an emotional warmth to to vocals, rather than the artificial sound Balanced Armatures sound like to me. On a few threads here on Head-Fi, I've posted a graph I had designed for me to show what my ideal sound signature frequency response is. I'll add it to my post here too.

Essentially, I want a below neutral sub-bass becoming neutral through the low bass, mid bass, and high bass points, then upwards 5db through the low mids to the mid-mids, which are neutral, until beginning another 5db climb through the upper mids to the treble. There in the treble, I want a flat treble that is 10db above the bass, and 5db above the mid-mids.

Sound wise, vocals more forward than bass, but more treble detail than vocals. I want the vocals to sound front and center, but just back enough for a wide stage presence to where the vocals aren't intimate, but present enough to get an equal sense between vocals and stage, or perhaps a slight bit more stage than vocals, depending on detail retrieval. Yet, the vocals have to be more present than the bass.

I'd say that another good way to describe what I want is like an opera house or orchestral staging, but not like a huge concert venue, as the vocals would have to be far enough back to get the entire width of the stage in terms of presence equivalence.I'd prefer a sound where on the stage, the instrumentalists positioned equal distance left to right on the stage closest to those in the front row, with the vocalist in the center, but a slight bit back from the instrumentalists, exception being the bassist near the back with the drummer, with me seated within the first ten rows. That probably would be far enough to get a wide soundstage, without the vocals being recessed, especially with the bass and drums in the back giving the presence to the instruments and vocals.

That is a very specific sound signature and I don't think a lot exists with that particular FR (there's the Canalworks CW-L05QD2 but it's full BA) especially with a dynamic driver. If the measurements are to be trusted, perhaps the Hifiman RE800 or the RHA CL1 can suit your needs. Never heard them before though.
 
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Arysyn

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The massdrop hifiman re-00 sounds a bit like that if you leave it stock. Nor that exaggerated but ascending from bass to treble.
Wow! You are right!

I just searched for it on Google and saw some graphs for it on a Head-Fi competitor site I won't name nor link to, because of possible conflict with Head-Fi policy. However, it is very close to my preference. Any idea how I might be able to get these though, since they are an older model?
 
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