flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)
Apr 6, 2021 at 11:25 PM Post #29,851 of 32,995

Wildcatsare1

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Hey guys, I'm having a fire sale, 64 Trio (sold), VE Meister, EVE20, and, MEST (sold), please let me know if you are interested.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:19 AM Post #29,852 of 32,995

Damz87

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I once saw one of my wireless earbuds fall down a mountain face because it became lose in my ear (but I could not reach to it since I had to hold a rope) -
wired is definitely the way to go here :). I know the feeling of not wanting to lose something, but well, let's hope it does not happen ...
I would recommend something like BLON BL-05s instead of BL-03 or a TOTL set like Luna.

The BL-05s has a well balanced tuning (no boomy bass) and is ergonomically a lot better than BL-03. It only costs around $50 as well :)

I personally would be way too worried about damage and scratches if I took an expensive IEM out hiking.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:39 AM Post #29,853 of 32,995

KuroKitsu

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Hey guys, I'm having a fire sale, 64 Trio (sold), VE Meister, EVE20, and, MEST (sold), please let me know if you are interested.
The Meister is super tempting, but my Lolas arn't moving.

Hope someone gets to enjoy those.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:46 AM Post #29,854 of 32,995

Wildcatsare1

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The Meister is super tempting, but my Lolas arn't moving.

Hope someone gets to enjoy those.

I love them, but I want to pick up an Elysium in the worst way, hi my name is Wildcat and I am an addict...
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 1:21 AM Post #29,855 of 32,995

jwbrent

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I love them, but I want to pick up an Elysium in the worst way, hi my name is Wildcat and I am an addict...

Hi, my name is John and I’m an addict too. Good to meet ya!
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 1:27 AM Post #29,856 of 32,995

Rockwell75

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I also would love an Elysium with a DD bass?

While I would definitely love to see what VE could do with DD lows at a flagship level such an IEM will not be an Elysium. The lack of DD bass is part of the charm and identity of the Elysium-- the very name and experience of which calls to mind lofty etheric realms unfettered by the gross solidity of matter. While I am certainly open to be proven wrong on this I'm not presently convinced that one can add DD lows to a signature like Ely's without also significantly diminishing some of its characteristic qualities.
 
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Apr 7, 2021 at 1:49 AM Post #29,857 of 32,995

Deezel177

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Hey, everyone. 'Wanted to share a review I just posted on THL of Effect Audio's brand-new EVO 10 cable. It's a cable that, on the surface, may come across more interesting from an aesthetic or cosmetic point-of-view, rather than a sonic one. But, as you'll see when you read the review, it does have a fun, engrossing tonality to it as well, presented in ways that are fairly unique to it too. You can check the review out on Effect Audio's official thread, and, as always, I hope you guys enjoy. Cheers! :)

EA-EVO10-06-S.jpg
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 3:07 AM Post #29,858 of 32,995
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Unfortunately I can’t make the show. But hey I see @Oliver Marino here, any hints?
Hi,
I can't really tell much at this stage😜
What i can say is that as someone spotted , it cannot be a EVE or a Erlkönig or Elysium because the cable is the stock cable . We want to get some reactions about this earphone without telling the people what is inside - so obviously we believe that this earphone is much better as it´s specs would make you expect. Please understand that we cannot tell you more, otherwise the whole idea doesn´t make sense anymore. But I can tell you that the release of this model is approximately mid of May.:gs1000smile:

Oliver
 
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Apr 7, 2021 at 11:00 AM Post #29,860 of 32,995

SLC1966

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Time to give my take on the IEMs in my current lineup.

I am writing these impressions so that hopefully it helps others understand better some of the IEMs out there. I also hope it helps me to be able to move on let go of some of these. A huge problem I am having. I do not want to become an IEM hoarder.

About 2 ½ years ago I started an unplanned mission to understand IEMs. This mission started once I heard my first IEM (CA Polaris and then CA Andromeda). I was a Headphone person and thought these little things would never sound as good as headphones. I quickly fell in love with the intimacy, convenience, and emotional sound that IEMs can have!

I have owned over 40 IEMs in the last couple years. Recently I knew I needed to slow down and also, I knew what I liked and did not like. One bias I do have is that I am unable to enjoy V shaped IEMs. For some reason they do not provide the emotional piece I need. My next step was to own an IEM with each different driver setup that I could find and with a variety of sound signatures. Hybrid, Tribrid, DD only, BA only, Estat, Piezo, DD mids, warm, detailed, musical, small space sounding, arena sounding etc. In order for me to keep an IEM two things have to happen and these two are hard for me to find. The IEM has to not annoy me and each time I put the IEM in I need to have a light bulb go on with “wow this is good.” These 8 IEMs do it for me each in a different way. I know there are a lot of IEMs out there probably just as good or better but these are the ones I found met my criteria.

I will give short impressions of each IEM and I hope they help you understand them more.


Duna Luna (DD)

I wanted a single DD IEM that could give me that amazing ZMF headphone sound. It needs mids and emotion. The Luna does that for me. They are tiny and the song “Tiny Dancer’ comes to mind when I put these in. It is super balanced but also engaging. Tip rolling is a huge piece of getting the right fit for this IEM. The Luna thread should be called “The Luna Tip Rolling” thread. Once the fit it there, I could wear these all day and never get physical nor sound fatigue. These are a touch forward nevertheless. The sound is not thick. The timbre to me is spot on. The Rhapsodio Eden provides perfect timbre but the Luna provides more emotions to the music than Eden. I can listen to all genres with this IEM. Mellow or instrumental music shine. EDM probably not.


VE Elysium (BA, DD, Estat)

Oh the mids. They are in my ears right now. I find these to be almost having a reverse V signature. The mids provide the most pleasure. The mid is a DD. That is cool in and of itself. The mids are super emotional. They are not complete reverse V because the treble (estat) is probably the best implementation of treble that I have heard along with the NCM Bella V2. This is not a basshead IEM. The bass is perfect to me for what the IEM represents. It is a smooth warm detailed IEM. The fit is the complete opposite to the Luna. The vacuum seal is intense. I had to play around a lot to reduce the vacuum seal. Once I got the fit right they are a joy to listen to. Probably my perfect preference for sound.


Noble Sultan (DD, BA, Estat)

We are talking W shape. We are talking over the top psychedelic 3D sound. No need to consume anything illicit while listening to these. Some of the scenes from Dumbo come to mind when listening to these. They are super fun but can also play mellow instrumental music super well due to how balanced it is and the timbre is spot on and that to me is rare with a fun IEM. This IEM could be a one and done IEM for a lot of people. Each note does have a halo around it. The opposite of the Katana.


Noble Katana (BA)

A sword comes to mind when these start playing music in my ears. Appropriate choice of name. Each time I put these in a feeling of “wow these do what they do so well” Comes to me. They cut through the music. Each note is so exact and precise. From mids to treble to the excellent sub bass. These are reference sound to me but the sound is brought a little bit forward due to how precise the IEM is.


NCM Bella V2 (DD, BA)

Thomas at NCM is really good at getting an IEM to sound exactly how he wanted it to sound. He wanted this IEM to be very precise and very coherent. It is a W shaped IEM just like the Sultan. It is not out of your head sound like the Sultan. It is a smaller venue sounding IEM. I need sometimes when I do not want to feel like I am in a large arena. The DD for the bass is masterfully done. Coherent and hybrid do not go together usually. In this case it does. Thomas nailed the tuning on this one. It is precise, forward, coherent and with a touch of fun when Bella takes her glasses off.


UM Mason V3 (BA)

16 BA in this one. When I put this one in I am not overwhelmed with “wow is this amazing.” It is like “wow this is good.” Then as I listen more it does become “wow this is amazing.” This IEM brings more layers to the music than I will ever understand. Everything fits together well as reference and mildly warm. This IEM could be in all day and at the end of the day I would have a bigger smile than at the start of the day.


EE Legend X (DD, BA)

In my pile of IEMs I was missing that fun bass heavy sound. I had it when I had the Rhapsodio Zombie. But after each Zombie session I found myself driving toward the State Hospital. It was that overwhelming. At the end of a session I could only get a crooked Joker smile going.


I thought the CA Atlas would do it for me but I had fit issues (frequent problem I have with IEMs) and the mids were not doing it for me. I kept hearing about the Legend X and decided to try it again (I had it before when I was just figuring out IEMs). Of course, the bass was everything I was looking for. Truly amazing Bambi’s Thumper sound! But what really got me going was how technical and layered the LX is as well as some of the best mids I have ever heard. Male voices and acoustic guitar were giving me goosebumps in a good way!


Noble Khan (DD, BA, Piezo)

Last but not least is the Khan. This is my “take me for a loop” IEM. I could see this being an IEM that some would not like especially after an initial listen. The bass is the star at first, the mids are a little thin at first and the treble is overwhelming at first. But with more listening the true Khan comes to the table They are amazingly layered but in a reverse peeling way. You put them in and the core sound is there. As you listen to them longer they bloom and then it is like “wow, are other people hearing what I hear with these.” They are unbelievably detailed. This Khan reminds me of the movie Trilogy: Bleu, Blanc, Rouge. I am still trying to figure those movies out and I am not sure why but I keep going back to them! The Khan is like that.
An IEM Synopsis:

In August of last year, I posted a rudimentary synopsis of the IEMs I had at that time. This post is a response to that post. I have always wanted to respond to my own post so this is my chance. Also, I wanted to reply to my own post so that the reader can see the original post as reference. I have not read the original post again so not sure how similar my thoughts are on the few IEMs I still have from August.

I posted in August with the intent of using that post to help others understand those IEMs and as a catalyst to help motivate me to sell some of the IEMs I had at that time. My goal was to get down to about 4 IEMs. I have failed at that. I tend to get stuck at 8 no matter how I try to reduce the ridiculous unjustifiable number of monitors I have.

Here is a rudimentary summary of my current lineup. I hope it helps others understand these IEMs better. My personal goal this time is to stick with these 8 for a while (at least a few weeks).


Oriolus Traillii

The hype was huge in this thread until it got its own thread. This IEM is about an expansive stage. So far left to right that it curls up on each side like a “Handlebar Mustache.” I can hear both sides of the stage outside my head and lifted up a bit. Sometimes I inadvertently reach to the left and right of me to reel in the notes. The mids are not recessed but they are stretched out which reduces any forwardness of them. The second most notable strength of this monitor is the timbre. Very realistic. It is like the perfect opened backed dynamic driver headphone from ultra-lows to ultra-highs even though it does not have a dynamic driver in it and it is closed.


VE Erlkonig LE

Musicality in every beautiful sense possible. Goosebump inducing musicality. The timbre is correct until you hear the Traillii. Then you realize they splashed more fun into the mix for the Erlkonig. You have 4 signatures to play with on this one. I prefer number 2 which has a mid bass bump but keeps everything else the same. The forward mids are what grab me the most on the Erlk. Any type of music is a joy with this IEM. It has a great stage. Just not as wide as the Traillii. But depth and height are as good as it gets.


VE Elysium

My preferred IEM. I have owned the Traillii and Erlk twice already. Well, Elys I have owned three times now. As my therapist says “you cannot reason with the unreasonable.” So, I have stopped trying to find reason in my personal audio. I just ride the wave. I rode the LX wave 5 times.

Elysium is the single DD IEM I spent a long time looking for even though it is not a single DD IEM. The DD mids are the best mids I have ever heard. The timbre is correct and even more so the emotions that come from the notes produced by the DD of this IEM are beautiful. BA bass is exactly where I want it on the Elys. The Estat treble IMHO is as good as any I have heard. It took VE 2 ½ years to develop this IEM and that does make sense IMHO after hearing it.


EE Odin

Technical wonder! The notes provide the best clarity I have ever heard. The bass brings the most texture to the table I have ever heard. Super coherent for such a driver complex IEM. The music from this monitor comes at you. Relentlessly.


Noble Sultan

Hello, let’s have fun. The party IEM. I want to go out and have a blast IEM. Best fun set up of any IEM I have heard. LX for example is fun and complex but the L shape may not be for everyone. The Sultan is fun and coherent. The W shape has everything coming at you. Like the Odin this IEM has people that love it and sleep with it and others that spend a night with them and walk away. Each to his or her own.


Noble Zephyr

Best IEM for the price of $1400 or under that I have ever heard. Extremely well-tuned IEM. Reminds me of the Solaris 2020 but with better mids. Reminds me also of the Tia Trio but with better engagement. The Zephyr is smooth and coherent with a slight bump in the mids to increase the engagement of this IEM. The DD bass is smooth and textured.


UM Mason V3+ with Phanes cable

I owned a couple of its predecessors (Maestro V2 and Mason V3). V3+ is of the same family just a little more detailed than the others. Extremely smooth IEM. Thick notes. Fatigue is never an issue. All notes are thick from the bass through the treble. An IEM for long sessions. The EA Dual-Tone Phanes cable allows the opportunity to easily switch between the EA Leonidas 2 cable and a Silver, Gold and Palladium alloy cable.


Noble Katana

“Cuts Like a Knife” from Bryan Adams. Every note is exact and the stage is not wide but all instruments can be identified on the stage. Along with exact notes the sub bass stands out on the Katana. I use this IEM for when I go on a walk. Every note coming from it cuts through any ambient noise.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 11:25 AM Post #29,861 of 32,995

jwilliamhurst

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Hey Guys, I’m selling a brand new Unique Melody Mest MKII, an Effect Audio Leonidas 2 cable and an Eletech Socrates cable.
Pm if interested.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:21 PM Post #29,862 of 32,995

Rockwell75

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An IEM Synopsis:

In August of last year, I posted a rudimentary synopsis of the IEMs I had at that time. This post is a response to that post. I have always wanted to respond to my own post so this is my chance. Also, I wanted to reply to my own post so that the reader can see the original post as reference. I have not read the original post again so not sure how similar my thoughts are on the few IEMs I still have from August.

I posted in August with the intent of using that post to help others understand those IEMs and as a catalyst to help motivate me to sell some of the IEMs I had at that time. My goal was to get down to about 4 IEMs. I have failed at that. I tend to get stuck at 8 no matter how I try to reduce the ridiculous unjustifiable number of monitors I have.

Here is a rudimentary summary of my current lineup. I hope it helps others understand these IEMs better. My personal goal this time is to stick with these 8 for a while (at least a few weeks).


Oriolus Traillii

The hype was huge in this thread until it got its own thread. This IEM is about an expansive stage. So far left to right that it curls up on each side like a “Handlebar Mustache.” I can hear both sides of the stage outside my head and lifted up a bit. Sometimes I inadvertently reach to the left and right of me to reel in the notes. The mids are not recessed but they are stretched out which reduces any forwardness of them. The second most notable strength of this monitor is the timbre. Very realistic. It is like the perfect opened backed dynamic driver headphone from ultra-lows to ultra-highs even though it does not have a dynamic driver in it and it is closed.


VE Erlkonig LE

Musicality in every beautiful sense possible. Goosebump inducing musicality. The timbre is correct until you hear the Traillii. Then you realize they splashed more fun into the mix for the Erlkonig. You have 4 signatures to play with on this one. I prefer number 2 which has a mid bass bump but keeps everything else the same. The forward mids are what grab me the most on the Erlk. Any type of music is a joy with this IEM. It has a great stage. Just not as wide as the Traillii. But depth and height are as good as it gets.


VE Elysium

My preferred IEM. I have owned the Traillii and Erlk twice already. Well, Elys I have owned three times now. As my therapist says “you cannot reason with the unreasonable.” So, I have stopped trying to find reason in my personal audio. I just ride the wave. I rode the LX wave 5 times.

Elysium is the single DD IEM I spent a long time looking for even though it is not a single DD IEM. The DD mids are the best mids I have ever heard. The timbre is correct and even more so the emotions that come from the notes produced by the DD of this IEM are beautiful. BA bass is exactly where I want it on the Elys. The Estat treble IMHO is as good as any I have heard. It took VE 2 ½ years to develop this IEM and that does make sense IMHO after hearing it.


EE Odin

Technical wonder! The notes provide the best clarity I have ever heard. The bass brings the most texture to the table I have ever heard. Super coherent for such a driver complex IEM. The music from this monitor comes at you. Relentlessly.


Noble Sultan

Hello, let’s have fun. The party IEM. I want to go out and have a blast IEM. Best fun set up of any IEM I have heard. LX for example is fun and complex but the L shape may not be for everyone. The Sultan is fun and coherent. The W shape has everything coming at you. Like the Odin this IEM has people that love it and sleep with it and others that spend a night with them and walk away. Each to his or her own.


Noble Zephyr

Best IEM for the price of $1400 or under that I have ever heard. Extremely well-tuned IEM. Reminds me of the Solaris 2020 but with better mids. Reminds me also of the Tia Trio but with better engagement. The Zephyr is smooth and coherent with a slight bump in the mids to increase the engagement of this IEM. The DD bass is smooth and textured.


UM Mason V3+ with Phanes cable

I owned a couple of its predecessors (Maestro V2 and Mason V3). V3+ is of the same family just a little more detailed than the others. Extremely smooth IEM. Thick notes. Fatigue is never an issue. All notes are thick from the bass through the treble. An IEM for long sessions. The EA Dual-Tone Phanes cable allows the opportunity to easily switch between the EA Leonidas 2 cable and a Silver, Gold and Palladium alloy cable.


Noble Katana

“Cuts Like a Knife” from Bryan Adams. Every note is exact and the stage is not wide but all instruments can be identified on the stage. Along with exact notes the sub bass stands out on the Katana. I use this IEM for when I go on a walk. Every note coming from it cuts through any ambient noise.

Fantastic overview! It warms my heart to see Ely spoken of so highly in such lofty company.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:58 PM Post #29,863 of 32,995

toaster

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great post, @SLC1966 .

entertaining as always!
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:59 PM Post #29,864 of 32,995

Junmoe62

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An IEM Synopsis:

In August of last year, I posted a rudimentary synopsis of the IEMs I had at that time. This post is a response to that post. I have always wanted to respond to my own post so this is my chance. Also, I wanted to reply to my own post so that the reader can see the original post as reference. I have not read the original post again so not sure how similar my thoughts are on the few IEMs I still have from August.

I posted in August with the intent of using that post to help others understand those IEMs and as a catalyst to help motivate me to sell some of the IEMs I had at that time. My goal was to get down to about 4 IEMs. I have failed at that. I tend to get stuck at 8 no matter how I try to reduce the ridiculous unjustifiable number of monitors I have.

Here is a rudimentary summary of my current lineup. I hope it helps others understand these IEMs better. My personal goal this time is to stick with these 8 for a while (at least a few weeks).


Oriolus Traillii

The hype was huge in this thread until it got its own thread. This IEM is about an expansive stage. So far left to right that it curls up on each side like a “Handlebar Mustache.” I can hear both sides of the stage outside my head and lifted up a bit. Sometimes I inadvertently reach to the left and right of me to reel in the notes. The mids are not recessed but they are stretched out which reduces any forwardness of them. The second most notable strength of this monitor is the timbre. Very realistic. It is like the perfect opened backed dynamic driver headphone from ultra-lows to ultra-highs even though it does not have a dynamic driver in it and it is closed.


VE Erlkonig LE

Musicality in every beautiful sense possible. Goosebump inducing musicality. The timbre is correct until you hear the Traillii. Then you realize they splashed more fun into the mix for the Erlkonig. You have 4 signatures to play with on this one. I prefer number 2 which has a mid bass bump but keeps everything else the same. The forward mids are what grab me the most on the Erlk. Any type of music is a joy with this IEM. It has a great stage. Just not as wide as the Traillii. But depth and height are as good as it gets.


VE Elysium

My preferred IEM. I have owned the Traillii and Erlk twice already. Well, Elys I have owned three times now. As my therapist says “you cannot reason with the unreasonable.” So, I have stopped trying to find reason in my personal audio. I just ride the wave. I rode the LX wave 5 times.

Elysium is the single DD IEM I spent a long time looking for even though it is not a single DD IEM. The DD mids are the best mids I have ever heard. The timbre is correct and even more so the emotions that come from the notes produced by the DD of this IEM are beautiful. BA bass is exactly where I want it on the Elys. The Estat treble IMHO is as good as any I have heard. It took VE 2 ½ years to develop this IEM and that does make sense IMHO after hearing it.


EE Odin

Technical wonder! The notes provide the best clarity I have ever heard. The bass brings the most texture to the table I have ever heard. Super coherent for such a driver complex IEM. The music from this monitor comes at you. Relentlessly.


Noble Sultan

Hello, let’s have fun. The party IEM. I want to go out and have a blast IEM. Best fun set up of any IEM I have heard. LX for example is fun and complex but the L shape may not be for everyone. The Sultan is fun and coherent. The W shape has everything coming at you. Like the Odin this IEM has people that love it and sleep with it and others that spend a night with them and walk away. Each to his or her own.


Noble Zephyr

Best IEM for the price of $1400 or under that I have ever heard. Extremely well-tuned IEM. Reminds me of the Solaris 2020 but with better mids. Reminds me also of the Tia Trio but with better engagement. The Zephyr is smooth and coherent with a slight bump in the mids to increase the engagement of this IEM. The DD bass is smooth and textured.


UM Mason V3+ with Phanes cable

I owned a couple of its predecessors (Maestro V2 and Mason V3). V3+ is of the same family just a little more detailed than the others. Extremely smooth IEM. Thick notes. Fatigue is never an issue. All notes are thick from the bass through the treble. An IEM for long sessions. The EA Dual-Tone Phanes cable allows the opportunity to easily switch between the EA Leonidas 2 cable and a Silver, Gold and Palladium alloy cable.


Noble Katana

“Cuts Like a Knife” from Bryan Adams. Every note is exact and the stage is not wide but all instruments can be identified on the stage. Along with exact notes the sub bass stands out on the Katana. I use this IEM for when I go on a walk. Every note coming from it cuts through any ambient noise.

Very nice write up and sweet collection of IEMs! I envy you to be able to play with all those cool toys!!! :)

Fantastic overview! It warms my heart to see Ely spoken of so highly in such lofty company.
Elysium are so awesome that I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see them so highly regarded! :)
As a matter of fact, all the IEMs in his list are so good that it would actually be hard to pick one over the others. Depending on the mood of the day and the track, you might prefer one and next time might be another pick, which probably explains why @SLC1966 has so much trouble getting below 8 sets of IEMs! :ksc75smile:
After listening more and more high end IEMs, I’m realizing that it’s getting harder to try ranking them, to the point where I feel it’s somewhat irrelevant. We’re so spoiled with great choices, that’s a fantastic time to be (an extremely poor) audiophile! :sunglasses:
 
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