Elysian Annihilator 2023 vs. Vision Ears EXT vs. U12t
Apr 11, 2023 at 8:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

zlayde

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I somehow got my hands on an Elysian Annihilator 2023 and I want share my impressions here.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm by no means a professional reviewer or deep hobbyist even. I've fallen into head-fi world over the past year or so and I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It's really re-introduced me to music in new and meaninful ways. I don't do measurements or charting or anything like that.

Note: everything was compared on an iBasso DX320.

I was able to compare all three of these IEMs and before I start I will just say they are all amazing. There's just no 2 ways about it. I've bought and sold/returned a few IEMs since I got into this and there's a reason I've landed on these three. They are all great and you don't need me to tell you that. They often sit near the top of the lists out there.

Vision Ears EXT & Audio64 u12t

Before I got the Annihilator, I'd really fallen in love with the EXT. It is a beautiful, addictive sound sig that is hard to pin down. It's just incredibly tasteful, relaxed, not irritating and just does a wonderful job of really giving you a top-tier experience across the spectrum. The u12t is phenomenal as well, but the best way I can put it is that the EXT really has an opinion and a particular signature that is take-it-or-leave-it and I love it. It's a real treat. On the pricey side but it's a lot of people's favorite for a reason. If I have to pick a flaw on the EXT, I would've loved some more bass.

The u12t often gets knocked as being a bit too reference sound and I frankly don't get it. It's an understated IEM that is just killer. Nobody talks about its bass and it's baffling. It is KILLER high to low. A beautiful IEM as well. Sometimes I'm in the mood for one or the other.

Elysian Acoustics Annihilator 2023

I gave the u12t and then the EXT a good listen for reference and then put on the Annihilator. What can I say. The hype is deserved. As I quickly switched over from the others, the difference was immediate. The best way I can describe it is that the sound on the others felt boxed in or slightly less detailed. Even the bass on the Annihilator felt brighter and really tight. It's less about massive bass and more about the richness of the lows on it. But it's the highs that make it absolutely shine. I listened across vocals, electronic, some jazz and finally some Latin music. Then I went back to the EXT (which felt like the more serious competitor to me) and that last inch of detail just wasn't there compared to the Annihilator. When I put the Annihilator back on It's like a thin muzzle was lifted off the sound and it just felt brighter (in a good way).

Nothing is perfect and I will share a couple of negatives and then maybe a potential negative that I'm not sure about yet. They're all VERY minor. First, the cable is Pentaconn Ear which I just learned about. It's quite niche and any cable replacement is pricey. Second, the Annihilator is a BIG IEM. It's so big that you need an airtight fit to get it to sit snug without it being dragged down by its size. Again, minor points.

The last point I'd make is that Annihilator has SO MUCH coming at you that it could get fatiguing after a while. I just don't know if that much firepower should be coming at your ears for prolonged periods of time. So your source might matter here. Something warmer probably will help here.

But again...I'm really reaching for the negatives. This thing is the real deal. If you've got the means, and you can get hold of a pair (it's not easy!), I can't recommend them enough. Pretty amazing.

This is my very first quote-unquote review. I hope others find it helpful. Cheers.
 
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Apr 11, 2023 at 9:56 PM Post #2 of 6
It's the best IEM for me. If you like treble and detail, it's by far the very best. The bass is still very good, it satisfies you, but doesn't wow you that much like a CFA Supermoon or maybe an IER-Z1R.
I also had to tip roll a bunch to reach a good comfort.
The Annihilator does things that nothing else does, like the 1266 with its bass, but here with the opposite end of the frequency. Maybe if you include stax headphones, but that's a big stretch and hardly a competition, you most likely need a highend stax + an adequate amp / energizer to get a good bass (if it even can get punchy, idk).
I got the 2021 version and this thing gives me a mindblowing experience. The cable is high quality, but thick and not that flexibel, maybe i'll get another one in the future.
It's an absolute endgame IEM that deserves all the hype.
 
Apr 11, 2023 at 10:32 PM Post #3 of 6
I need to experiment with tips. I don't think I have it right yet.
 
Jun 20, 2023 at 12:34 PM Post #5 of 6
I am generally very happy with the VE EXT. I haven’t been able to always get a consistent deal with the included tips. May I get recommendations for third party ear tips that work well for the EXT? Spinfit maybe?
Stock spinfits (cp500 i believe) do work great for me, I would have loved to try the azlas coming with them but have been unable to fit them in 😣
 
Jun 21, 2023 at 6:33 PM Post #6 of 6
I am generally very happy with the VE EXT. I haven’t been able to always get a consistent deal with the included tips. May I get recommendations for third party ear tips that work well for the EXT? Spinfit maybe?
Spiral Dot originals are phenomenal with EXT. my second favourite tips with EXT are the Azla Sedna vivids
 

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