crinacle's IEM Ranking List
Oct 29, 2017 at 5:49 PM Post #106 of 3,195

ChrisSC

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As I've said in the first post: expect changes. Here's the first, to be recorded in the first post for transparency.

Feels like the highest S-tier has been getting too crowded; I intended it to be a rather "exclusive" club in which only the best of the best of the best (repeat ad infinitum) will be showcased. So, here's a little trimming.

AAW W900 (S to S-):. While essentially the top-dog in bass and soundstage, it's still relatively off-timbre. Only detectable when in comparison with the rest of S-tier, not so much with anything lower.

InEar Prophile (S to S-): While its biggest strength lies in its neutrality, it falls short in staging and slightly lean timbre. Bonus points for technical ability but not as much as the Jomo Samba (for example) which has the same weakness in tonality.

Advanced Evo X (C+ to C): C+ seems a little too high. It's good but not quite there.

Periodic Mg (C to C+): Comparing the Mg with the F9, sounds to me like the Mg has the better timbre and bass layering capability.

FitEar F/A111 (A- to B+): Probably too coloured (read: "unnatural") to be playing with the likes of the ER4XR.

UERR (A- to A): I might've been too harsh on the UERR given my love for the UERM. A very capable warm signature just missing that last octave of air.

Hifiman RE2000 (B+ to B): Meh.

VSonic GR07X (B+ to B): The GR09 does sound to be slightly better, but I don't think the GR09 is exactly A- material. So down goes the 07X.

iBasso IT03 (B- to C+): Just remembered the wonky midrange. Docked points for tonal issues.

Rhapsodio Clipper (C- to D): Probably missed this out. Its only strength lies in its massive bass, but average-meh everything else.

Is your rank of the w900 as "S minus" with or without the awesome sauce eq applied?
 
Oct 29, 2017 at 7:16 PM Post #107 of 3,195

SilverEars

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It's quite difficult to rank things based on memory, and people's hearing is not robotic, changes depending on conditions and moods. You'd have to give a particular iem a fair extensive listen(audition maybe too short to comprehensively capture the characteristics, and when performance level is closer between headphones, it takes a bit of time for ears to start noticing the real differences).

More I assess headphones, I run into things part of psychachoustics, which people should be aware of as our senses are not clear cut. Our brains are more perceptive than reliably real like mechanical transducers.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoacoustics

Although, AB comparisons are much more reliable than memory, a downfall is that brain takes time to adjust to a significantly different sig. This makes direct comparisions unfair at times.

Much respect to Crinacle to revise his impressions. Double checking his comparisons. That tells me he is trying to give as much of a fair comparison as he can.
 
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Oct 29, 2017 at 7:23 PM Post #108 of 3,195

crinacle

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Is your rank of the w900 as "S minus" with or without the awesome sauce eq applied?

All IEMs on the list are without EQ. I think I'm a lot more unforgiving than other reviewers in this regard; if an IEM needs EQ to sound good (keyword here is need; obviously everything would benefit from properly tested EQ so I'm not expecting a perfect raw tuning) then they are objectively bad in my eyes.

That said, the W900 sounds very good without EQ. With EQ, it sounds amazing but that characteristic plays no part in the ranking list.
 
Oct 29, 2017 at 10:24 PM Post #109 of 3,195

ChrisSC

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All IEMs on the list are without EQ. I think I'm a lot more unforgiving than other reviewers in this regard; if an IEM needs EQ to sound good (keyword here is need; obviously everything would benefit from properly tested EQ so I'm not expecting a perfect raw tuning) then they are objectively bad in my eyes.

That said, the W900 sounds very good without EQ. With EQ, it sounds amazing but that characteristic plays no part in the ranking list.

Got it and and agree with your assessment. I really wish AAW would hook up those damn passive filters already. I'm beginning to worry that they lost interest, which sucks because they seem like they would improve its tuning.
 
Oct 30, 2017 at 3:34 AM Post #111 of 3,195

crinacle

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crinacle, which iem do you think has a similar signature to Andro but a step up? looking for an upgrade but tough choices, looks like it might have to be the fourte

Nothing really "a step up" from the Andromeda IMO. You can get improvements in certain aspects but you have to sacrifice in other areas. Andromeda is in a good place since it's kind of this well-tuned all-rounder whose only real weakness is an upper treble boost that some may be sensitive to (but others love it for).

I mean if you want to be technical yes, the Fourte is somewhat slightly better than the Andromeda. However, both are still within what I would call the same tier of performance (S-tier in general). If you really like the Fourte, why not. Not stopping you.
 
Oct 30, 2017 at 8:10 AM Post #112 of 3,195

Ahmad313

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Nothing really "a step upwow " from the Andromeda IMO. You can get improvements in certain aspects but you have to sacrifice in other areas. Andromeda is in a good place since it's kind of this well-tuned all-rounder whose only real weakness is an upper treble boost that some may be sensitive to (but others love it for).

I mean if you want to be technical yes, the Fourte is somewhat slightly better than the Andromeda. However, both are still within what I would call the same tier of performance (S-tier in general). If you really like the Fourte, why not. Not stopping you.
wow , Andromeda is that good and unique sounding iem , now i am really serious to have them , maybe i will be able to buy them on Black Friday sale,
 
Oct 30, 2017 at 8:44 AM Post #113 of 3,195

Kuwan

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Omg! The gemini finally made it on the list ! S tier seems about right. I wonder if you think the 8 series is any different from the gemini sound quality wise.
 
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Oct 30, 2017 at 9:46 AM Post #114 of 3,195

ranfan

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Thank you Crinacle, for your great, meticulous list! The Samba sounds like a really good monitor, perching at S-tier. :D May I ask, what do you think of its sound in rough comparison with the Dream? They both seem to share a similar tuning, and price. (By the way, the Samba now is not sold at $1500, but ~ $1900 / 2600 SGD). I really like the Dream, especially for its quick, strong bass. However, I've found that the midrange is a bit shy in positioning relative to the bass, and treble. I agree with your opinion about its detail too, it's quite impressive. It's a great IEM for electronic music IMO. So I was wandering how the Samba fares with acoustic music, with lots of vocal, and midrange instruments?
 
Oct 30, 2017 at 1:13 PM Post #115 of 3,195

ksumii

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Hi Crinacle,
Thanks for such an awesome job on the list. looking to upgrade from my Futuresonics G10 and was looking at the ath-e70 and the massdrop plus, as you can see I like my IEM's to be like mullets, Business in the front party in the back, my preferred signature is detailed and leans towards analytical in the mids and highs but bass response is what I'm after. Quick, impactful and extended bass because I listen to a vast range of electronic music and love percussion and bass with fast transients. I don't mind sacrificing some sound stage and separation if I have too.

Which of the two would you say would suit my preference?, if any.

Thanks for helping out a very long time lurker, first time poster slowly climbing up the hi-fi spectrum
 
Oct 30, 2017 at 1:31 PM Post #116 of 3,195

Roscoeiii

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Hi Crinacle,
Thanks for such an awesome job on the list. looking to upgrade from my Futuresonics G10 and was looking at the ath-e70 and the massdrop plus, as you can see I like my IEM's to be like mullets, Business in the front party in the back, my preferred signature is detailed and leans towards analytical in the mids and highs but bass response is what I'm after. Quick, impactful and extended bass because I listen to a vast range of electronic music and love percussion and bass with fast transients. I don't mind sacrificing some sound stage and separation if I have too.

Which of the two would you say would suit my preference?, if any.

Thanks for helping out a very long time lurker, first time poster slowly climbing up the hi-fi spectrum
I don't have experience with many of the headphones listed, but if you are a big bass fan, look into dynamic driver (DD) headphones. Either pure DD or BB/BA hybrids.

May be out of your price range or not the signature you are looking for in other areas, but I've never heard better or more impactful bass than what the Campfire Vega offers. Though other DDs may have a better signature for your tastes overall.

And do try to audition before you buy if at all possible, or get them from a seller with a good return policy.

FWIW, I am very interested in the Massdrop Plus myself, but I'm not sure it will best meet your bass preferences. At around the price of it, you might also want to think about the Periodic Be.
 
Oct 30, 2017 at 6:01 PM Post #118 of 3,195

koven

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Nothing really "a step up" from the Andromeda IMO. You can get improvements in certain aspects but you have to sacrifice in other areas. Andromeda is in a good place since it's kind of this well-tuned all-rounder whose only real weakness is an upper treble boost that some may be sensitive to (but others love it for).

I mean if you want to be technical yes, the Fourte is somewhat slightly better than the Andromeda. However, both are still within what I would call the same tier of performance (S-tier in general). If you really like the Fourte, why not. Not stopping you.

Hmm thanks for your thoughts. Seems like you feel the bang for buck on the Andros is really high, I'd agree. Perhaps my money is better spent elsewhere rather than the Fourte.
 
Oct 30, 2017 at 6:24 PM Post #119 of 3,195

SilverEars

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I agree with Crin. Andro's treble can be more leveled(the twin peaks), but not to the point to darken the sound. Some probably prefers the boost for increased articulation. It is quite techically solid, and relative to others in the nearby zones, it's at a more reachable pricepoint.

If anybody likes HD800, Andromeda would be closer iem version of it with more body, the low end. The treble boost share similarities, but iem treble doesn't seem to have as much of an intensity to the ears as fullback treble boost. So, tolerable in comparison. With the weighty or warmth, it sounds more balanced. Mids don't get lost or anything, which tells me the warmth is not too much.
 
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