Earbuds Round-Up
Mar 29, 2022 at 8:23 AM Post #60,766 of 61,745

baskingshark

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Gotcha, I now have on my list the LBBs and the HE150 Pro.
Need to do my own research on reviews on those two, those are more like my budget for now. Thanks for the rec!

Actually to add a little bit more, the reason why I'm looking for a less vocal centric is because I'm a little sensitive to upper mids which most of the time come in the form female vocal, or sometimes saxophone. There were a time when I was talking to owner of audio stores online where I live and most are recommending me Moondrop SSRs and I had to re-sell them right away when I got my hands on it. The upper mids a lot of the times are too painful, even with different pair of eartips.
I wouldn't mind the mids if it's more forward on like let's say male vocals, long as the bass is not flooding the lower mids. But I also don't mind bright pair as long as the upper mids are not that forward.

The HE150 Pro has a bit of a forward upper mids. When underpowered the upper mids can be shouty, but with adequate amping the upper mids are slightly forward without being fatiguing. The HE150 Pro is quite tough to drive (150 ohm impedance), so it sounds bad on lower powered gear like non LG smartphones.
 
Mar 29, 2022 at 9:06 AM Post #60,767 of 61,745

WoodyLuvr

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Great advise!

Interestingly, one of the rarer V shaped earbuds I've tried is the HE150 Pro (not to be confused with the non Pro version). This set has quite recessed lower mids with big bass. Needs amping though, but it actually sounds like a budget IEM (where V shaped signatures are dime a dozen).
The HE150 Pro has a bit of a forward upper mids. When underpowered the upper mids can be shouty, but with adequate amping the upper mids are slightly forward without being fatiguing. The HE150 Pro is quite tough to drive (150 ohm impedance), so it sounds bad on lower powered gear like non LG smartphones.
Nice! I had totally forgotten about the HE150 and HE 150PRO! I personally had trouble liking the 2017 HE 150PRO (150Ω @ 103dB/M; aka Hi-Fi End) due to this harsh upper midrange that you speak of, as well as a hard to bright lower treble region... I simply was just too sensitive to it but it was a nice signature and sounding earbud nonetheless. I still found the HE 150PRO and it's older brother the 2016 HE 150 (150Ω; aka Hi-Fi End) to be both still rather mid-centric in regards to their primary sound signature though... though I must admit that the HE 150PRO sure does have a very dominating and rather strong secondary signature that reaches out hard to somewhere in between a "U" and "V" shape like you said as the upper mids are indeed prominently forward (more U-Shape like) while the mid & upper bass bled rather hard into the lower midrange recessing it dramatically (so more V-Shape like).
 
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Mar 29, 2022 at 9:14 AM Post #60,768 of 61,745

WoodyLuvr

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I love the visualization of the chart. Is it possible to include Fiio EM5 and Rw3000 as well?
Here is a chart for the FiiO EM5... for some reason I have yet to make a chart for the Yincrow RW-2000 or 3000 I will need to do that one day soon and post it.

1648559600146.png
 
Mar 29, 2022 at 9:16 AM Post #60,769 of 61,745

WoodyLuvr

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I found that most earbuds are vocal-forward, but is there any less vocal forward pair with good detail? Most of my library is jazz and its derivatives
Gotcha, after a little bit of reading, earbuds would almost always be mid-centric, and what could be moved around would be whether the mids is more toward the warm side or the opposite. It's now a matter of whether the units has better detail, sparkle, separation, or basically the technicalities then.
Actually to add a little bit more, the reason why I'm looking for a less vocal centric is because I'm a little sensitive to upper mids which most of the time come in the form female vocal, or sometimes saxophone. There were a time when I was talking to owner of audio stores online where I live and most are recommending me Moondrop SSRs and I had to re-sell them right away when I got my hands on it. The upper mids a lot of the times are too painful, even with different pair of eartips.
I wouldn't mind the mids if it's more forward on like let's say male vocals, long as the bass is not flooding the lower mids. But I also don't mind bright pair as long as the upper mids are not that forward.
Here is one more chart that may help you in your quest (hunt):

1648559772899.png
 
Mar 29, 2022 at 11:00 AM Post #60,770 of 61,745

vygas

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The Shozy BK will set you back roughly $170. It has the same more expensive cable as the Gold, so that would leave only the tuning and being a limited edition to more than double the price of SG which is about $140. There better be a bit more "magic sauce" to account for the Gold pricing.

Edit: What I mean by the "magic sauce" is a better description on the Penon webpage for the Gold's. If you want to attract attention, you have to make a compelling description so people know why or where their spend is going toward.
All I hope is that if they are using the SG's driver, they better include some foams that don't make it sound peaky and completely ruin its dynamics.
 
Mar 29, 2022 at 1:11 PM Post #60,772 of 61,745

nomadik

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PK 150 is a great sound, and a good tonality, with modest detail but good laterality and depth, not particularly outstanding but IMO they do nothing wrong. I'm not much good of a sound describer, sorry.

I still use them today and a few weeks ago I used the driver to do this UPGRADE :smile:

IMG_20220329_092652.jpg
What a nice looking bud! It's the 14.8mm shell, right? I can't find anything like that on AE. Could you post a link for that shell and the "drivers cover"?
 
Mar 29, 2022 at 6:35 PM Post #60,773 of 61,745

samandhi

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Thanks for taking one for the team man!

I already found the RW2000's pinna gain to be on the fence between shoutiness and forwardness, on some tracks (via neutral source). So will probably skip this RW3000 if the bass is less (this may make the pinna gain more prominent based on a see-saw effect with lesser bass).
I AM a team player after all... :stuck_out_tongue::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Yeah, I think that if the RW-2000 are ALMOST harsh in the presence region to you, these might seem that way also; though the more I listen to them, I am almost thinking they reduced it a tad bit, since they increased the treble (no need for the "illusion" of clarity any more).

A disappointing part of these is that the sub-bass is almost a cliff, the way it takes a nose-dive. If I set up a low shelf at 63Hz of +4dB, it makes things a ton better. It isn't like anything is missing without it, but the songs that call for that really low bass just don't sound right without it. I does have plenty of mid-bass, then dips down again in the upper bass, and stays pretty linear until the upper mid and treble. All this is just listening, I have not seen any attempt at a graph for these, so I could be totally off, and it may change tomorrow as I get more ear time.

These are super at detail retrieval though. This is a good thing AND a bad thing. If you have any poor-quality music, your ears will be punished for it. Also, I would say that the treble could be more harsh for some than the upper mids. Though, I hear no sibilance (the true defition thereof), or harsh esses except on low quality music. But, I can also hear vinyl pops and crackles almost louder than the rest of the music sometimes (in quiet passages).
Wow, thanks for the mini review. The anticipation level just went up a couple notches. I hope mine arrive soon.
Let us know your thoughts when you get them. I am interested to hear how your opinion varies or agrees with mine?!
How comfortable it is on your ears? I found chaconne way to heavy for long listening session.
These fit exactly the same as the RW-2000 if you have ever had those in your ear. If not, they are heavier than all the plastic ones, because the shell is metallic, but they aren't super heavy (I believe it is something like aircraft aluminum). I think the comfort issues with the Chaconne derive from not only being made of steel, but the stems that are so long make them top heavy. Their natural position is: trying to fall out of your ear at all times... :) Overall, I can listen to the RW-3000 all day; I have done just that the last 2 days at work. The Chaconne, I can listen to them for a few hours, and then have to rest a bit (but they aren't really uncomfortable for me even then).
 
Mar 30, 2022 at 12:46 AM Post #60,775 of 61,745

WoodyLuvr

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new budget earbuds from nicehck in the form of lucky bag again. haven't seen any photos other than these teasers though.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004083704394.html

Good pickup!

The NiceHCK Traceless also uses a 15.4 mm driver, but IIRC it was red and blue and not these psychedelic colours. Very tempted to click buy, but have too many budget earbuds at home and sneaking another budget earbud past the wife/hawk may be tough. Must keep the powder dry for a earbud that is a clear upgrade, rather than sidegrade pokemons!
I've bought the purple and green one
Interesting. Unknown what it truly is until after the Lucky Bag Sale is over as it is at an intro reduced price with mystery specs... but I think many of us do suspect that it may simply be a clear shelled version of the 2020 - NiceHCK Traceless (32Ω; Vido Variant) which also uses a 15.4mm driver. Time will tell. Not long.
 
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Mar 30, 2022 at 2:49 AM Post #60,776 of 61,745

captione

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Interesting. Unknown what it truly is until after the Lucky Bag Sale is over as it is at an intro reduced price with mystery specs... but I think many of us do suspect that it may simply be a clear shelled version of the 2020 - NiceHCK Traceless (32Ω; Vido Variant) which also uses a 15.4mm driver. Time will tell. Not long.
Hard skip for me if it's the same Vido driver.
 
Mar 30, 2022 at 3:43 AM Post #60,777 of 61,745

Penon

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Very nice, but wrong timing for me. What do the Gold have over the BK Stardust (sound quality)?

Edit: My thoughts are the Gold is SG on steroids? Upgraded cable and according to penon listing, bronze nickle plated shell. So I guess a better comparison would be Gold vs SG?
SHOZY Gold is a complete upgrade of the BK, it also has the sound of the speakers.
 
PENON Stay updated on PENON at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1221974387914138/ https://twitter.com/PenonAudio?s=09 https://www.instagram.com/penonaudio/ https://penonaudio.com/ penonaudio@hotmail.com
Mar 30, 2022 at 4:49 AM Post #60,778 of 61,745

WoodyLuvr

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these Look interesting as well @jeejack ! Elfinear has entered the arena of DIY-like buds. Great drivers and pretty shells for cheap. I wonder how much effort they put into tuning.
Awesome thanks for the head's up! Curious, as I completely had missed their earlier launch end of last year (2021). These new 2022 models look quite interesting and I too also wonder how good (or bad) the tuning is. What an incredible spread of different impedances offered... ten (10) different drivers available for each of the six (6) models! Sixty (60) different combinations! Duly added to the ƎAЯ8UDS TIME⅃IИƎ!

Elf In Ear aka ELFINEAR
Shenzhen Elfinear Co., Ltd.​
Shenzhen Elfinear Acoustics Co., Ltd.​
2021 - ELFINEAR 150 Graphene (150Ω)​
2021 - ELFINEAR MMCX Earbuds w/ Mic (32/40Ω)​
2021 - ELFINEAR S300 HiFi (300Ω)​
2021 - ELFINEAR S600 HiFi (600Ω)​
2021 - ELFINEAR S600 Hifi Kunlun (600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Blue Prints (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Carbon Fiber (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Color Prints (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Flowers (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Marble White/Black (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Wooden White/Black (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
 
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Mar 30, 2022 at 7:42 AM Post #60,779 of 61,745

captione

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Awesome thanks for the head's up! Curious, as I completely had missed their earlier launch end of last year (2021). These new 2022 models look quite interesting and I too also wonder how good (or bad) the tuning is. What an incredible spread of different impedances offered... ten (10) different drivers available for each of the six (6) models! Sixty (60) different combinations! Duly added to the ƎAЯ8UDS TIME⅃IИƎ!

Elf In Ear aka ELFINEAR
Shenzhen Elfinear Co., Ltd.​
Shenzhen Elfinear Acoustics Co., Ltd.​
2021 - ELFINEAR 150 Graphene (150Ω)​
2021 - ELFINEAR MMCX Earbuds w/ Mic (32/40Ω)​
2021 - ELFINEAR S300 HiFi (300Ω)​
2021 - ELFINEAR S600 HiFi (600Ω)​
2021 - ELFINEAR S600 Hifi Kunlun (600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Blue Prints (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Carbon Fiber (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Color Prints (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Flowers (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Marble White/Black (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
2022 - ELFINEAR Wooden White/Black (18/32/64/130/150/150 BASS/300/400/500/600Ω)​
They're also doing OEM driver manufacture work for some big earbud brands like VE, FAAEAL and Ksearphone (early versions of their earbuds).
If you opened up a Snow Lotus and a VE Monk Plus, you will see the same PCB from the 64ohm drivers that are sold thru Elfinear's AliEx website.
They used to have an Alibaba page, but has migrated from AliEx since it disappeared from it. They're also called Qigom, probably branding reasons..?
 
Mar 30, 2022 at 9:52 AM Post #60,780 of 61,745

WoodyLuvr

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They're also doing OEM driver manufacture work for some big earbud brands like VE, FAAEAL and Ksearphone (early versions of their earbuds).
If you opened up a Snow Lotus and a VE Monk Plus, you will see the same PCB from the 64ohm drivers that are sold thru Elfinear's AliEx website.
They used to have an Alibaba page, but has migrated from AliEx since it disappeared from it. They're also called Qigom, probably branding reasons..?
Thank you for that interesting aside. I know QIGOM but had no idea it was affiliated with ELFINEAR. Great info!
 

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