crinacle's IEM Ranking List
Apr 29, 2021 at 9:27 PM Post #3,151 of 3,276

seanwee

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Hello friend. In his list, I'd take the ThieAudio, Unique Melody and Final Audio offerings over the U18, which is in my opinion the best sounding 64 Audio product. I think if your goal is to get the best possible technical capabilities in your most favorite tuning, it is very likely that you are looking at a $1000 price tag. If you are willing to make sacrifices in tuning and/or technical capabilities, or understand you don't need perfection when you listen on the train most of the time, then we are talking sub $300 solutions.

That sounds about right. There are, however, gems that don't come by very often that becomes the gold reference of some high price points, such as the Sony M9 and the VE6. IMO they are worth it, because they are actually pushing the boundaries.

On EE: There are a few IEMs companies that have a track record so questionable that I just can't take them seriously. Like EE (back when they were EarWerkz) with the Legend R and Valkyrie and CA with the Vega. Like, if a company honest thinks a sound like that is worth an arm and a leg, I have to seriously question their taste in music and sound. I was laughing reading those reviews trying to make out what music would sound good on the CA Vega. Even when they finally did put out some good products like Odin and Andro, through apparently years of trial and error, they are still trying to charge people an arm and a leg for those.

This means when I have a choice, e.g. two similarly tuned products in the same price range, everything else equal, I would lean towards a company that has a good track record, e.g. Vision Ears, Unique Melody, Sony etc. I just know that these designers care about music. They don't have to know what is a good sound from studying consumer feedback. They knew it from day 1.
When I got the M9, I already had the FDX1 and honestly i'd say theres only a 5% difference between the two. Where the M9 has a slightly warmer sound with better bass, the FDX1 has a more neutral sound with better clarity.

The only reason I got it is because I managed to get it used at sub-500 dollars from a friend. Don't get me wrong, its an excellent sounding iem, but its not worth the kilobuck price tag imo.
I don't have a large enough sample size to identify the exact price to performance inflection point. However right now, having recently had the FDX1, the MD+, the Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk, the Dunu SA6, Sony M9s and the OG Solaris, I'd say the Blessing 2 Dusk hit the sweet spot for me.

My experience has been that there's a clear relationship between price and technicalities, but not nearly as close a correlation between price and tuning and so called intangibles like timbre or cohesion. These factors matter to me more than squeezing the last bit of detail or separation out of track and so I've found myself staying in the mid range more than TOTL range.
Can you provide some comparisons between the blessing 2 dusk and Sony M9/FDX1? I've been holding off on the B2d for a bit now cuz i'm not sure if it will be an upgrade or just a side grade.

Thanks
 
Apr 29, 2021 at 11:50 PM Post #3,152 of 3,276

Raketen

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When I got the M9, I already had the FDX1 and honestly i'd say theres only a 5% difference between the two. Where the M9 has a slightly warmer sound with better bass, the FDX1 has a more neutral sound with better clarity,

The only reason I got it is because I managed to get it used at sub-500 dollars from a friend. Don't get me wrong, its an excellent sounding iem, but its not worth the kilobuck price tag imo.

I basically agree with this, and IMO there aren't many reasons to spend more than $300ish on IEM (maybe even less considering Ety's price drop, all the paise for moondrops etc...) but I have to say- Since getting M9, my IEM trying/buying has decreased dramatically. As good as FDx1 (FD01mod in my case) is, and even though it's closer to my tonal preference, owning the M9 has probably saved me more money than any other headphone, at least since I fell into the gear nerd rabbit hole centuries ago. Might be in mainly in the treble& small details which are a bit granular at least on my mod, M9 just ticks those extra one or two boxes.
 
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Apr 30, 2021 at 12:36 AM Post #3,153 of 3,276

Stuff Jones

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When I got the M9, I already had the FDX1 and honestly i'd say theres only a 5% difference between the two. Where the M9 has a slightly warmer sound with better bass, the FDX1 has a more neutral sound with better clarity.

The only reason I got it is because I managed to get it used at sub-500 dollars from a friend. Don't get me wrong, its an excellent sounding iem, but its not worth the kilobuck price tag imo.

Can you provide some comparisons between the blessing 2 dusk and Sony M9/FDX1? I've been holding off on the B2d for a bit now cuz i'm not sure if it will be an upgrade or just a side grade.

Thanks

The B2D has flatter mids. The M9 have too much warmth in the lower mids IMO. The B2D also has better texture in the mids because of the DD. The Sony has better imaging and better treble extension.
 
Apr 30, 2021 at 12:55 AM Post #3,154 of 3,276

seanwee

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The B2D has flatter mids. The M9 have too much warmth in the lower mids IMO. The B2D also has better texture in the mids because of the DD. The Sony has better imaging and better treble extension.
Sounds similar to what i think of the FDX1, but the FDX1 has better treble vs the M9 as well. Soundstage wise its a tossup with size going to the M9 and imaging to the FDX1.
 
Apr 30, 2021 at 5:36 AM Post #3,156 of 3,276

Tristy

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As specific as it can get.

Saw this and thought of you 🥰 ... from one of your darling brands no less.

38B5D668-BBBD-404E-9465-C30187E112FE.jpeg
 
May 28, 2021 at 1:02 AM Post #3,157 of 3,276

Redcarmoose

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Edit:
 
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Jun 22, 2021 at 11:51 AM Post #3,158 of 3,276

HiFiHawaii808

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Looks like Crinacle published an update to his Headphone rankings list. It includes a bunch of new headphones and a re-ranking of many headphones.

https://crinacle.com/rankings/headphones/

He now rates the HD600 higher than the HD800S. I own both and I don't agree with this overall ranking. With this list, you really need to view it in terms of tonality vs. technicals. If you sort the list by technical ranking, it probably is more in line with how people rank these headphones.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 12:19 PM Post #3,159 of 3,276

SilverEars

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When I got the M9, I already had the FDX1 and honestly i'd say theres only a 5% difference between the two. Where the M9 has a slightly warmer sound with better bass, the FDX1 has a more neutral sound with better clarity.

The only reason I got it is because I managed to get it used at sub-500 dollars from a friend. Don't get me wrong, its an excellent sounding iem, but its not worth the kilobuck price tag imo.

Can you provide some comparisons between the blessing 2 dusk and Sony M9/FDX1? I've been holding off on the B2d for a bit now cuz i'm not sure if it will be an upgrade or just a side grade.

Thanks
Yeah, I was a bit let-down by M9. I would reach for FDX1 for better technical performance. M9 is pricy for it's performance given that FDX1 exists. I wouldn't even say better bass as dynamic bass sounds better.
 
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Jun 22, 2021 at 12:45 PM Post #3,160 of 3,276

kdphan

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Looks like Crinacle published an update to his Headphone rankings list. It includes a bunch of new headphones and a re-ranking of many headphones.

https://crinacle.com/rankings/headphones/

He now rates the HD600 higher than the HD800S. I own both and I don't agree with this overall ranking. With this list, you really need to view it in terms of tonality vs. technicals. If you sort the list by technical ranking, it probably is more in line with how people rank these headphones.
One thing I noticed with the HD800s is that it sounds better out of a tube amp versus solid state amp.
When I had my XI Audio amp, the HD800S just didn't pair well with it. But it shines from my WA22.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 12:54 PM Post #3,161 of 3,276

HiFiHawaii808

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One thing I noticed with the HD800s is that it sounds better out of a tube amp versus solid state amp.
When I had my XI Audio amp, the HD800S just didn't pair well with it. But it shines from my WA22.
Definitely true. They also sound great if you EQ them. In both scenarios, they blow the HD600 out of the water. When people see the rankings, they need to make sure that they don't just take the highest rated headphone and buy it. Crinacle clearly explains how the does the rankings, so this should be clear. But, when you present rankings that are a blend of technical and tone rankings, it can be highly misleading.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 12:57 PM Post #3,162 of 3,276

kdphan

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Definitely true. They also sound great if you EQ them. In both scenarios, they blow the HD600 out of the water. When people see the rankings, they need to make sure that they don't just take the highest rated headphone and buy it. Crinacle clearly explains how the does the rankings, so this should be clear. But, when you present rankings that are a blend of technical and tone rankings, it can be highly misleading.
another thing to consider is the pads
Sheepskin pads make difference as well. The missing "bass" goes away with sheepskin pads, on both the HD800 and HD800S.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 1:03 PM Post #3,163 of 3,276

HiFiHawaii808

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another thing to consider is the pads
Sheepskin pads make difference as well. The missing "bass" goes away with sheepskin pads, on both the HD800 and HD800S.
The problem with the HD800S is that even when I EQ them, the bass isn't that rich, textured and nuanced. It is still sterile and somewhat boring. Great for reference listening and still enjoyable, but not really my favorite all arounder. I use them mostly for Classical music and Jazz which are the genre that really sound the best to my ear.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 7:56 PM Post #3,164 of 3,276

Edric Li

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Looks like Crinacle published an update to his Headphone rankings list. It includes a bunch of new headphones and a re-ranking of many headphones.

https://crinacle.com/rankings/headphones/

He now rates the HD600 higher than the HD800S. I own both and I don't agree with this overall ranking. With this list, you really need to view it in terms of tonality vs. technicals. If you sort the list by technical ranking, it probably is more in line with how people rank these headphones.
I for one like the new ranking. As much as I hate hifiman, Susvara is right where it should be. HD600 > HD800S is not a surprise for many; if have $1500 to spare right now to spend on Sennheisers I'd buy one of HD600/650/660 and save the rest of the money. Same goes for his DT880 > T1, K6xx/7xx > K8xx takes. Crinacle has a tendency to give high rankings only to HP/IEM that does not have a distinguishing characteristic, which I admire. It takes a trained ear to hear through the gimmicks.
 
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Jun 23, 2021 at 11:46 AM Post #3,165 of 3,276

SilverEars

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One thing I noticed with the HD800s is that it sounds better out of a tube amp versus solid state amp.
When I had my XI Audio amp, the HD800S just didn't pair well with it. But it shines from my WA22.
From what I recall, he's using that iFi amp right? If that's is the case, I can see why his rankings are the way they are. That's not something I'd drive an HE6 with, and HE6 is really amazing if setup right since it's so difficult to drive (there's a dedicated thread for discussing amps to drive it properly). Same goes for HD800(S), it sounds great out of OTL (not any OTL), EC ZDS, but most solid states I dislike it. I do like HD600/650 out of BH Crack. So, in order to bring the best out of them, they are amp/source dependent. Sennheisers for example does really well with OTL amps. Just because some solid-state amp has .00000000001 THD has nothing to do with good sound. I'd take tubes with distortion for the Sennheisers. Like for example, I really dislike the sound of THX amps.
 
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