Earbuds Round-Up
Sep 4, 2021 at 3:38 PM Post #57,661 of 58,328

samandhi

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Nice review, I'm curious if you were using those earbuds with full foams? That usually helps tame the overshoot in higher frequencies, as well as lifting up the bass. I'm still kinda tempted to pick up the rw2000.
Thanks! Yes, I am using full foams on all of them. Keep in mind when I say boosted 3k, at lower volumes they sound mostly fine, but when you get some background noise, and you have to turn up the volume, that is where the ones with boosted 3k get too shouty to my ears. Also, keep in mind I am very sensitive to that FR. So where it might bother me, it might not effect you at all. The Chaconne, and the RW2000 are the only two of the ones I have (besides the cheapo Apple Earbud Classics) that do not have this boosted frequency to at least some point or another.
 
Sep 4, 2021 at 4:13 PM Post #57,662 of 58,328

forestitalia

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I have Smabat now too, they cost lot more. I feel are different than Nameless, not really 'better' (however much comfortable to my ears)

Now, I want to avoid end with lots of earbuds in the draw, better move directly to Chaconne?........
I have to correct myself: from the Dap was not impressed, but with a proper amplifier Smabat are a lot better :L3000:
The bass now is another league, those a very good. But damn, how use them in mobility? Need to buy an AK Kann.
 
Sep 4, 2021 at 4:18 PM Post #57,663 of 58,328

RikudouGoku

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I have to correct myself: from the Dap was not impressed, but with a proper amplifier Smabat are a lot better :L3000:
The bass now is another league, those a very good. But damn, how use them in mobility? Need to buy an AK Kann.
What dap do you have?
 
Sep 4, 2021 at 4:57 PM Post #57,664 of 58,328

samandhi

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I have to correct myself: from the Dap was not impressed, but with a proper amplifier Smabat are a lot better :L3000:
The bass now is another league, those a very good. But damn, how use them in mobility? Need to buy an AK Kann.
As @RikudouGoku said, which DAP are you using? Also which Smabat pair do you have? If you have the 150 ohm, they will be a bit harder to drive, but any decent DAP should be able to drive them with some volume. To drive them properly is a different thing altogether. I guess, I am not sure how they sound with a DAP that doesn't put out enough power for them (not for volume but to drive them to their fullest) as I use the iBasso DX160, and the iBasso DX3300 to drive them out of the balanced connectors (6.6Vrms & 7.7Vrms respectively).

Also, if your DAP supports it, you could try running them from balanced connector. That tends to supply more power, and have a much quieter background.
 
Sep 4, 2021 at 5:22 PM Post #57,665 of 58,328

forestitalia

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As @RikudouGoku said,......as I use the iBasso DX160, and the iBasso DX3300 to drive them out of the balanced connectors (6.6Vrms & 7.7Vrms respectively).

That is a very good output power.

The Smabat is the ST10S Black Gold, should be 150 ohm. As player I use LG G8x alone or bluetooth with ES100 balanced output, never had lack of power issue before.
 
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Sep 4, 2021 at 5:37 PM Post #57,666 of 58,328

RikudouGoku

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As @RikudouGoku said,......as I use the iBasso DX160, and the iBasso DX3300 to drive them out of the balanced connectors (6.6Vrms & 7.7Vrms respectively).

That is a very good output power.

The Smabat is the ST10S Black Gold, should be 150 ohm. As player I use LG G8x alone or bluetooth with ES100 balanced output, never had lack of power issue before.
If those 2 daps dont satisfy you, nothing in the portable world will.....unless you spend big bucks for something like the Ifi Diablo.

1630791436053.png


5Watts lol. More powerful than a lot of desktop amps (no idea how tbh).
 
Sep 4, 2021 at 6:11 PM Post #57,667 of 58,328

KutuzovGambit

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If those 2 daps dont satisfy you, nothing in the portable world will.....unless you spend big bucks for something like the Ifi Diablo.

1630791436053.png

5Watts lol. More powerful than a lot of desktop amps (no idea how tbh).
Probably via battery life of four minutes.
 
Sep 5, 2021 at 1:27 AM Post #57,668 of 58,328

Ronion

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As @RikudouGoku said,......as I use the iBasso DX160, and the iBasso DX3300 to drive them out of the balanced connectors (6.6Vrms & 7.7Vrms respectively).

That is a very good output power.

The Smabat is the ST10S Black Gold, should be 150 ohm. As player I use LG G8x alone or bluetooth with ES100 balanced output, never had lack of power issue before.
That should be a sweet bud as that’s the enclosure that driver is made for. I don’t think the minor 3k issue is even present in that shell by looking at their graph. I could certainly be wrong as the conditions of the graph are not clearly stated. Nonetheless, so far that the best earbud driver I’ve heard. I know there are better available, but that’s a nice bang for the buck. My set do well off of my Qudelix when run balanced at 4v. I’m going to try and balance its frequency response tonight. It should be fun.
 
Sep 5, 2021 at 2:23 AM Post #57,669 of 58,328

jrazmar

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As @RikudouGoku said,......as I use the iBasso DX160, and the iBasso DX3300 to drive them out of the balanced connectors (6.6Vrms & 7.7Vrms respectively).

That is a very good output power.

The Smabat is the ST10S Black Gold, should be 150 ohm. As player I use LG G8x alone or bluetooth with ES100 balanced output, never had lack of power issue before.
For mobile use, I highly recommend the Ovidius B1. Pure raw power and nice sound for on-the-go setup. You can read from here to learn more: https://andyaudiovault.com/donglemadness/ovidius-b1-2/
 
Sep 5, 2021 at 4:02 AM Post #57,670 of 58,328

Ronion

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Currently my 4 best buds are the 150ohm SMABAT M2s(40Ohm driver is Floating belly up), the VE Zen Lite, the LBBs, and the EA Earbuds and I was interested in doing a rap shootout Which is not where buds excel, but it is a genre I listen to often and I wanted to see what I should be placing in my ear for the purpose When I need to be able to hear my environment. I listened at multiple volume levels through the Qudelix with the bass under 40Hz cut. I mostly listened to Detroit rappers over a period of 4 hours.

The clear winner is the SMABAT. It has the best bass by far, the clearest vocal, and the a more prominent/clearest treble, a great head stage, and just sounds bigger and more composed than the other 3. None of them audibly struggled at any volume I’d ever listen to.

The next 3 are a mixed bag. Well, they are all a mixed bag really, but SQ goes to the SMABAT.

The LBBs has the next clearest vocal, a bit less pronounced bass but good quality, and probably the best head stage overall (the SMABAT is similar in that regard).

The Earbuds Anonymous have more bass than the LBBs that’s similarly deep (though slightly deeper), but the mid bass more creeps into the vocal more. It has the second most elevated treble level, but tied for the smallest head stage.

THE EA and LBBs have similar clarity/quality in the bass, but the LBBs is closer to a “reference” tuning.

The VE Zen Lite have a warm, prominent, muddier bass that bleeds into the vocal more than the others while it simultaneously has the least extension. It also has a head stage similar in size to the EA Earbuds. The vocal isn’t always buried though (And buried is a harsh word for it), it depends on the rapper. The treble is also the most recessed. As far as rap goes, it handles the genre fairly well—as in it doesn’t distort at sane levels, but I prefer all the others. It’s treble resolution seems to be roughly the same as the LBBs and the EA Earbuds but definitely lower in overall level.

The sound breakdown would look like this to my ear: SMABAT 150 Ohm driver in the M2s Pro shell>LBBs=(Roughly but I’d probably give the nod to the LBBs)EA Earbuds>VE Zen Lite.

Now for comfort it would look like this: VE Zen Lite (easily)>LBBs(definitely)>M2s Pro>EA Earbuds (by a lesser margin but still without a doubt).

Stability: same as comfort.

Ease of driving: LLBs(easily)>EA Earbuds(definitely)>SMABAT>Zen Lite(by a smaller amount)

build quality: SMABAT (but conversely perhaps the easiest to break due to the fact that everything can be modified by my monkey fingers)>Zen Lite(most durable build for sure)>EA Earbuds>LBBs(the shells are great but the strain relief, or rather the lack of, makes me feel like I’m going to break it)

cost: VE Zen Lite($70)>SMABAT($64)>LBBs($35)>EA Earbuds ($25)

Best looking: SMABAT(easily)>LBBs(definitely)>EA Earbuds>Zen Lite

EDIT: THIS IS IMPORTANT

The Zen Lite listening session was done with some generic donut hole foams. That does not characterize the buds well at all. In fact these buds turn out to be every bit the sonic equals of the AE Earbuds and the LBBs. Perhaps their superiors in fact. I also wouldn’t use HeiGi foam on them. Right now I have some fluffy donut foams on them and I don’t know the make. There are rubber rings from VE that work really well with them as do shark fins, but these fluffy foam donuts have been the best overall for me so far. I’ll update this when I figure out what these foams are for future reference of folks who may come across this comparison.
 
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