Dynamic driver and hybrid IEMs w/ good to excellent isolation
Nov 27, 2017 at 4:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19


100+ Head-Fier
Jun 11, 2017
San Francisco, California
Hi all,

I was wondering if we could compile a list of dynamic driver or hybrid IEMs with great isolation. I find that this information is somewhat cumbersome to find, as generally they don't have great isolation (at least not comparable with sealed BA iems). Also, nozzle diameter is important for these IEMs since deeper insertion is difficult with larger diameters (unless you have large ear canals).

I'll start with a list of what I've read or heard to have good isolation, with nozzle diameter in parentheses next to each one. Maybe we can separate the list into excellent, great, and good categories. Also, I'm generally including IEMs which have had great reviews.

Excellent = on par or almost on par with the Shure SE series, with excellent isolation across the board including low frequencies (32+ overall db reduction with foam tips)

Great = 25+ overall db reduction with foam tips, also maybe not as great in low frequency isolation. For example, on InnerFidelity the Dunu DN-1000 measures as 31 overall db reduction, but looking at its low frequency isolation, I would not consider it excellent

Good = 20+ overall db reduction with foam tips, etc.

I actually not have tried most of these IEMs so please correct the list if you feel something is out of place!

Aurisonic Rockets (5mm)
Yamaha EPH-100 (6mm) - excellent if ear canals big enough to fit deeper
Etymotic MK5 (2.5mm)
Shure SE215 (2.5mm)
Audio-Technica E40 (4.5mm) (depending on fit)
iBasso IT03 (4.5 mm)
Mackie MP-120, MP-220, MP-240

LZ-A5 (~4 mm)
iBasso IT01 (~5mm)
Mee Pinnacle P1 (4mm)
Zero Audio Tenore (4mm)
HiFiMan RE-400 (5mm)
Oriveti New Primacy (4.5mm)
Future Sonics G10 (2.5mm)
TFZ King
Trinity Hyperion (5mm)
Sony XBA-N3 (4mm)
Dunu DN-1000 and DN-2000 (5mm)

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Mar 22, 2018 at 5:27 PM Post #2 of 19
From my own experience, I'd add:


Shure SE215 (2.5mm)
Audio-Technica ATH-E40 (???mm)

These are the two only dynamics I tried with isolation rivalling BA IEMs.

Would love this thread to grow! Isolation is a characteristic that many IEM reviewers still forget to include in their reviews.
Mar 23, 2018 at 3:32 AM Post #4 of 19
+1 on dn2000.

You can add the ibasso it-03 in the excellent tier. Isolates and immerses like no ones business. Not my favorite signature sadly.
May 3, 2018 at 7:35 AM Post #5 of 19
The iBasso IT01 also isolate very well, from personal experience. Not up to the level of a Shure SE215 (I think, haven't had those for years) but at least Great category level.
May 3, 2018 at 8:54 AM Post #6 of 19
I have the Audio Technica ATH-E40 and would say they are only average for isolation.

SE-215 are excellent

Mackie MP-120, MP-220, and MP-240 are all excellent as all 3 use the exact same shell with just different drivers (1D, dual D, hybrid respectively). I own the MP-220 so no how well they isolate first hand.
May 3, 2018 at 9:50 AM Post #7 of 19
ER4XR + Shure olive tips have crazy good isolation (Excellent). I wear them in a packed subway during rush hour at the busiest station in Toronto and I cannot hear a thing besides my music.
May 3, 2018 at 2:04 PM Post #8 of 19
I have the Audio Technica ATH-E40 and would say they are only average for isolation.

I read that many people have issues with the fit of the E40. I wonder if that could explain the difference in our experiences. I got a wonderfully secure fit with them and they did a great job isolating from the noisy old trams and subway I have to go through daily (my isolation litmus test), which most other dynamic iems I tried failed to do. They did better than the all BA ATH-IM02, whose fit I kept struggling with.
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May 3, 2018 at 2:10 PM Post #9 of 19
I do have fit and comfort issues with the E40 so you are likely correct.
May 3, 2018 at 4:25 PM Post #10 of 19
Mackie MP-120, MP-220, and MP-240 are all excellent as all 3 use the exact same shell with just different drivers (1D, dual D, hybrid respectively). I own the MP-220 so no how well they isolate first hand.

Wasn't aware of these Mackies... 40db of isolation is awesome, almost no reviews though, wonder how they sound...
May 3, 2018 at 4:40 PM Post #11 of 19
I am going to remedy the lack of reviews for the MP-220 anyway :). If you like dynamic based IEM's the 220 will be something you might really like. They have a nice big bass that goes deep without being so over cooked as to drown out or overly affect the midrange. The mids sounding very nice with a touch of warmth but not so much that it makes vocals or guitars sound tonally off. I really like how it gives guitars a bit of crunch without over doing it. The treble is a bit on the relaxed side which may be good if your sensitive to treble or bad if you love a lot of treble energy. For me they have detail that I don't feel like jazz is missing anything especially in regards to drum kits but I never feel fatigued after using them. The sound stage is wide and deep with a great sense of 3D placement. It is the best aspect of the IEM in my opinion and it rivals the best IEM's I have owned in this regard such as my now dead XBA-Z5.

The MP-240 is supposed to have sharper treble but I am unsure of anything else about that model.

If you want more impressions search for MP-220 in the DSnuts discovery thread as I have posted several comments there.
May 3, 2018 at 10:07 PM Post #14 of 19
I'm a total newb, but let me propose this. Let's say that an iem designer wants to vent a dynamic driver. The venting can be achieved by making a port from the back of the driver to open air (like a bass reflex speaker), or from the space between the front of the driver and the eardrum. Right? If the designer does the behind the driver option, the isolation will be better than the 'in front of the driver vent. Won't it? If the port is in the space between the driver and the eardrum, there would be a direct route for outside noise. (But, it could accomplish something similar to ADEL, and make the iems safer)
May 4, 2018 at 12:34 AM Post #15 of 19
Can we back up a little. Is this question being asked because dynamic and hybrid iems are vented? Is everything on the list so far, vented?

Yes, I wanted a thread where we could gather dynamic or hybrids with good isolation - because generally they are vented and have poor isolation (at least many of them), whereas this is generally not an issue with the BA based IEMs

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