flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)
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ezekiel77

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Great thread. I don't have time to read through all of it. Just wondering what would be the top ten now?
Look up Crinacle's threads. He ranks IEMs by tiers and is very current.
 
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pithyginger63

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Look up Crinacle's threads. He ranks IEMs by tiers and is very current.
Honest tho, I still feel like his preferences come through a lot. it's an excellent resource but it's not a be-all-and-end-all that some people seem to consider it to be
 
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post-15100892
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davidcotton

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davidcotton

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That is one I was thinking of. That or Andromeda?
Can't help there, but has been mentioned that the bass from the fibae2 is similar to that of the shure 846 (saw your comment on the other thread). Perhaps someone else can confirm/deny that. The advantage of going with fibae 2 is that you get to customize it to some extent even with it being universal (assuming you don't want custom).
 
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ezekiel77

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Honest tho, I still feel like his preferences come through a lot. it's an excellent resource but it's not a be-all-and-end-all that some people seem to consider it to be
He defo has his own preferences and bias, but is probably the only guy who keeps a current list so he's an easy resource. A lot of us don't do lists bcos of lack of access, and bcos it's tiring lol.

Speaking of which it's kinda telling that from the original 17 in Nic's list, only 2 are still current flagships, while the rest have moved on to newer and blingier TOTLs. It's freaking hard to stay current unless you have a ton of money or stay in HK/Singapore/Japan with easy access.
 
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Well I'm after something a little warm with good bass. Nothing too fatiguing
VE8 definitely is a good choice regarding to your preferences.
Otherwise maybe...
- Phantom
- Canary
- Legend X ? :)
 
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pithyginger63

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OC AuX
DSC00322.JPG
ergonomics: excellent, not soft as EA but plenty supple exhibiting a little memory
sound: attack that isn't harsh, clean sounding with good tone. Smooth yet detailed up top. Sounds relatively warm. Good positioning, though positions aren't as sharp as can be, they are distinct. decent width. Extended subbass with thunderous rumble. A little veiled sounding compared to the more transparent cables.

OC Orpheus Mk5.5 (4.4 converted)
DSC00320.JPG
ergonomics: a but stiff, reminds me of the PW no.5 in stiffness and texture. Shows memory
sound: not quite percussive sounding like the AuX but has exceptionally black background imo. Stage positions clearer than the AuX due to this background. Note thicknesses are distinct, likely due to midbass lower mid increase compared to the AuX. Not as clear sounding as AuX. Not as much subbass rumble.
Quick comparison with PW No. 5: they sound really really similar, though I think the No. 5 has a thick upper mids and treble sound. I would pair the Orpheus with a warmer iem while I would pair the No. 5 with a brighter one. Background is blacker on the Orpheus, stage is also better too. The No. 5 is honestly not very transparent

OC Montana
DSC00329.JPG
ergonomics: quite thick and heavy, but doesn't feel like the hansound Y-split, that is not pendulum feeling, just a general heaviness. A little stiff too, but little memory.
sound: powerful subbass, similar to the AuX. sounds quite natural to me. not transparent and clear like the silver cables I tried but much clearer than the AuX pretty sharp positioning of instruments in the stage, more natural stage expansion than the Agni. great piano timbre following Agni.

HS Agni Mk.ii
DSC00327.JPG
ergonomics: similar to the Zentoo but quite a lot thicker
sound: nothing jumps out in a good way. Exceptional timbre presentation. transparent and true to the recording Good positioning. A little unnatural in the center image, but nothing really is for me imo. Note thicknesses are pretty spot on I think.
Quick comparison with EA Cleo: Cleo is more percussive sounding, piano sounds thicker as well, position is more clear. timbre is close, mostly better on the Cleo, but I prefer timbre on the Agni. Cleo comes off as more V-shaped vs the Agni. neither of these have the subbass of the AuX but the Agni is closer.

HS Zentoo
DSC00324.JPG
ergonomics: thin and supple, a little bit of memory. cable has a sticky feeling. Heavy Y-split, like all other HS cables.
sound: this does not sound like a typical copper cable at all. It has a thinness I wasn't expecting, it isn't a bad thinness, more like a lack of bloat, everything sounds crisp, though possibly bordering on thin. Reminds me of a smooth sounding UeX which is a silver cable. positioning isn't as good as the AuX or the Orpheus, stage sounds almost artificially widened. Not as clear sounding. Good subbass rumble, not as much as the AuX but a little bit more than the Orpheus.

I'm torn between the AuX and the Agni mkii. One is warm neutral with earth shattering subbass while the other is transparent with excellent timbre. I can see myself wanting to use either depending on my mood, AuX for pop/electronic and Agni for jazz. considering the A12t, the AuX would play with its strengths while the Agni would fill in its weaknesses.
 
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OC AuX
ergonomics: excellent, not soft as EA but plenty supple exhibiting a little memory
sound: attack that isn't harsh, clean sounding with good tone. Smooth yet detailed up top. Sounds relatively warm. Good positioning, though positions aren't as sharp as can be, they are distinct. decent width. Extended subbass with thunderous rumble. A little veiled sounding compared to the more transparent cables.

OC Orpheus Mk5.5 (4.4 converted)
ergonomics: a but stiff, reminds me of the PW no.5 in stiffness and texture. Shows memory
sound: not quite percussive sounding like the AuX but has exceptionally black background imo. Stage positions clearer than the AuX due to this background. Note thicknesses are distinct, likely due to midbass lower mid increase compared to the AuX. Not as clear sounding as AuX. Not as much subbass rumble.
Quick comparison with PW No. 5: they sound really really similar, though I think the No. 5 has a thick upper mids and treble sound. I would pair the Orpheus with a warmer iem while I would pair the No. 5 with a brighter one. Background is blacker on the Orpheus, stage is also better too. The No. 5 is honestly not very transparent

OC Montana
ergonomics: quite thick and heavy, but doesn't feel like the hansound Y-split, that is not pendulum feeling, just a general heaviness. A little stiff too, but little memory.
sound: powerful subbass, similar to the AuX. sounds quite natural to me. not transparent and clear like the silver cables I tried but much clearer than the AuX pretty sharp positioning of instruments in the stage, more natural stage expansion than the Agni. great piano timbre following Agni.

HS Agni Mk.ii

ergonomics: similar to the Zentoo but quite a lot thicker
sound: nothing jumps out in a good way. Exceptional timbre presentation. transparent and true to the recording Good positioning. A little unnatural in the center image, but nothing really is for me imo. Note thicknesses are pretty spot on I think.
Quick comparison with EA Cleo: Cleo is more percussive sounding, piano sounds thicker as well, position is more clear. timbre is close, mostly better on the Cleo, but I prefer timbre on the Agni. Cleo comes off as more V-shaped vs the Agni. neither of these have the subbass of the AuX but the Agni is closer.

HS Zentoo
ergonomics: thin and supple, a little bit of memory. cable has a sticky feeling. Heavy Y-split, like all other HS cables.
sound: this does not sound like a typical copper cable at all. It has a thinness I wasn't expecting, it isn't a bad thinness, more like a lack of bloat, everything sounds crisp, though possibly bordering on thin. Reminds me of a smooth sounding UeX which is a silver cable. positioning isn't as good as the AuX or the Orpheus, stage sounds almost artificially widened. Not as clear sounding. Good subbass rumble, not as much as the AuX but a little bit more than the Orpheus.

I'm torn between the AuX and the Agni mkii. One is warm neutral with earth shattering subbass while the other is transparent with excellent timbre. I can see myself wanting to use either depending on my mood, AuX for pop/electronic and Agni for jazz. considering the A12t, the AuX would play with its strengths while the Agni would fill in its weaknesses.
yeah that splitter on han sound... like wearing a pendant... total turn off for me. that and their vice like mmcx, nearly destroyed my mmcx to sony ex adapter.
 
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pithyginger63

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yeah that splitter on han sound... like wearing a pendant... total turn off for me. that and their vice like mmcx, nearly destroyed my mmcx to sony ex adapter.
That splitter is annoying as fk. A customer in the shop also told me it's not made or designed by hansound either.

I'm currently still listening and I can't decide cause the Montana is an in between of the AuX and the Agni but goddamn is it both heavy and ugly as fk
 
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ayang02

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That splitter is annoying as fk. A customer in the shop also told me it's not made or designed by hansound either.

I'm currently still listening and I can't decide cause the Montana is an in between of the AuX and the Agni but goddamn is it both heavy and ugly as fk
Are you at MYIEM? I'm wondering if they still have Brise Audio STR7-std in stock, might be another good option within your budget.
 
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ezekiel77

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Are you at MYIEM? I'm wondering if they still have Brise Audio STR7-std in stock, might be another good option within your budget.
I love the STR7. Clean and organic sound.
 

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