IEM for sound engineer
Jul 27, 2020 at 12:35 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

IEM Seeker

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I'm looking for some backup IEM for my work as a sound engineer. My normal headphones are a pair of DT770 pro, but as I constantly use them for work it happens that they sometimes break. So far I have repaired them 4 times for various reasons. So I would like a decent pair of backups that I can use whenever they break again, and that is small enough to always bring with me. Normally I would have a good idea about which headphone I would like to get but it seems like there's been an explosion in the amount of cheap, but good, IEM that you can get nowadays. At first, I was just gonna get a pair of SE215 for backups, but maybe that would be the dumb choice now?

What I’m looking for is a pair of IEM that sounds good but don’t cost too much. Preferably a fairly neutral sound that doesn’t change the sound too much, basically no massive bass emphasis. But since this would mostly be backups to my normal headphones, I wouldn’t be too annoyed if it sounded at least a bit more fun.

I've seen some good reviews regarding several different models and would like to know what you guys think. So far I've been looking at the CCA C12, KZ ZSX, BLON BL-03, TRN V90, and Tin T4.

The hybrid design of the C12 and the ZSX intrigues me and it would be fun to see what that does to the sound. But I wonder if the sound would be good enough for a professional setting as well? Maybe the sound is too "casual" with a very sharp V-shaped curve and highly emphasized bass and highs?

Regarding the Blon, I mostly seen good things about them, but I do worry about its fit. I tend to have issues with every set of IEMs that I’ve ever had (mostly that the nozzles are too short for my weird ears), and if the Blons are known for being somewhat ill-fitting that wouldn’t really work for me.

I've heard that the TRN V90 might be more balanced and neutral, but I don't actually know that. Can anyone of you shed some light on it?

The Tin T4 is in a different price category, but would the difference in quality be worth the increased cost?

To round it all off: I am looking for something that is detailed without lots of bleed and doesn’t have a massive emphasis on either bass or highs. I've been specific about these headphones but maybe there is something else in the same price range that I should be looking at instead?
 
Jul 27, 2020 at 1:31 PM Post #2 of 8

genck

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I have the BL03 and TRN V90 from your list, they aren't anywhere near neutral. The original Tin T2 is neutral to me (not the T2 plus or T2 pro), perhaps check that out. I own those as well and would describe it as the most neutral IEM that I have (out of 20+ different ones).
 
Jul 27, 2020 at 7:58 PM Post #3 of 8

IEMusic

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I'm looking for some backup IEM for my work as a sound engineer. My normal headphones are a pair of DT770 pro, but as I constantly use them for work it happens that they sometimes break. So far I have repaired them 4 times for various reasons. So I would like a decent pair of backups that I can use whenever they break again, and that is small enough to always bring with me. Normally I would have a good idea about which headphone I would like to get but it seems like there's been an explosion in the amount of cheap, but good, IEM that you can get nowadays. At first, I was just gonna get a pair of SE215 for backups, but maybe that would be the dumb choice now?

What I’m looking for is a pair of IEM that sounds good but don’t cost too much. Preferably a fairly neutral sound that doesn’t change the sound too much, basically no massive bass emphasis. But since this would mostly be backups to my normal headphones, I wouldn’t be too annoyed if it sounded at least a bit more fun.

I've seen some good reviews regarding several different models and would like to know what you guys think. So far I've been looking at the CCA C12, KZ ZSX, BLON BL-03, TRN V90, and Tin T4.

The hybrid design of the C12 and the ZSX intrigues me and it would be fun to see what that does to the sound. But I wonder if the sound would be good enough for a professional setting as well? Maybe the sound is too "casual" with a very sharp V-shaped curve and highly emphasized bass and highs?

Regarding the Blon, I mostly seen good things about them, but I do worry about its fit. I tend to have issues with every set of IEMs that I’ve ever had (mostly that the nozzles are too short for my weird ears), and if the Blons are known for being somewhat ill-fitting that wouldn’t really work for me.

I've heard that the TRN V90 might be more balanced and neutral, but I don't actually know that. Can anyone of you shed some light on it?

The Tin T4 is in a different price category, but would the difference in quality be worth the increased cost?

To round it all off: I am looking for something that is detailed without lots of bleed and doesn’t have a massive emphasis on either bass or highs. I've been specific about these headphones but maybe there is something else in the same price range that I should be looking at instead?
In order of increasing price:
- Final Audio E1000 - quite neutral. Great for the price.
- Jade Audio EA1 - not neutral, but stock tuning is quite well balanced overall. Not V-shaped, perhaps neutral with some elevated bass.
- Tin T2 - very similar FR as the E1000, but with more treble, thus less “neutral” strictly speaking.

- NF Audio NM2 - excellent sounding IEM, that reportedly is quite neutrally tuned. ($100)
- Etymotic ER2 (XR for more bass, SE for true neutral) - very good for use as a monitor. It is designed for deep insertion, but can be used with other ear tips and shallower insertion. (>$100). May be the best for the purposes you described.
 
Jul 27, 2020 at 9:54 PM Post #4 of 8

baskingshark

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I'm looking for some backup IEM for my work as a sound engineer. My normal headphones are a pair of DT770 pro, but as I constantly use them for work it happens that they sometimes break. So far I have repaired them 4 times for various reasons. So I would like a decent pair of backups that I can use whenever they break again, and that is small enough to always bring with me. Normally I would have a good idea about which headphone I would like to get but it seems like there's been an explosion in the amount of cheap, but good, IEM that you can get nowadays. At first, I was just gonna get a pair of SE215 for backups, but maybe that would be the dumb choice now?

What I’m looking for is a pair of IEM that sounds good but don’t cost too much. Preferably a fairly neutral sound that doesn’t change the sound too much, basically no massive bass emphasis. But since this would mostly be backups to my normal headphones, I wouldn’t be too annoyed if it sounded at least a bit more fun.

I've seen some good reviews regarding several different models and would like to know what you guys think. So far I've been looking at the CCA C12, KZ ZSX, BLON BL-03, TRN V90, and Tin T4.

The hybrid design of the C12 and the ZSX intrigues me and it would be fun to see what that does to the sound. But I wonder if the sound would be good enough for a professional setting as well? Maybe the sound is too "casual" with a very sharp V-shaped curve and highly emphasized bass and highs?

Regarding the Blon, I mostly seen good things about them, but I do worry about its fit. I tend to have issues with every set of IEMs that I’ve ever had (mostly that the nozzles are too short for my weird ears), and if the Blons are known for being somewhat ill-fitting that wouldn’t really work for me.

I've heard that the TRN V90 might be more balanced and neutral, but I don't actually know that. Can anyone of you shed some light on it?

The Tin T4 is in a different price category, but would the difference in quality be worth the increased cost?

To round it all off: I am looking for something that is detailed without lots of bleed and doesn’t have a massive emphasis on either bass or highs. I've been specific about these headphones but maybe there is something else in the same price range that I should be looking at instead?

TBH for audio work it is best to stick to headphones as they have better soundstages than IEMs.
Most budget IEMs are weak in soundstage and have an "in your head" sound signature. Most budget IEMs are also tuned V shaped or harmanish for consumer preferences.

I'm an IEM guy and when I do audio work, I still stick to headphones for these reasons. IEMs for sure have their advantages such as being portable and having better isolation in general.

Of the sets u mentioned -> KZ ZSX, CCA C12, TRN V90 and BL-03, they are all V shaped, so not the best for audio work unless u can implement EQ on the fly. Tin T4 I haven't tried, but I read it is neutralish bright.

Perhaps u can try reading about the BQEYZ KC2, Tin HIFI T2, those are quite neutral from reviews, though I haven't tried them TBH.

I use the Audiotechnica M40X for audiowork at home as a headphone, but YMMV.
 
Jul 28, 2020 at 2:36 AM Post #5 of 8

surfgeorge

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If you can stretch your budget I'd recommend the Sony EX800ST
These are the ST = studio version of the legendary EX1000 and are very detailed and quite neutral, with above averae soundstage (at least i width, not so much in depth or positioning accuracy)
Can be bought from Amazon JP for around $220-250 including transport and importation costs (need to register, but they ship internationally)

I had these and used them for movie editing since I felt they were the most neutral and faithful IEMs in my collection
 
Jul 28, 2020 at 6:29 PM Post #6 of 8

IEM Seeker

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In order of increasing price:
- Final Audio E1000 - quite neutral. Great for the price.
- Jade Audio EA1 - not neutral, but stock tuning is quite well balanced overall. Not V-shaped, perhaps neutral with some elevated bass.
- Tin T2 - very similar FR as the E1000, but with more treble, thus less “neutral” strictly speaking.

- NF Audio NM2 - excellent sounding IEM, that reportedly is quite neutrally tuned. ($100)
- Etymotic ER2 (XR for more bass, SE for true neutral) - very good for use as a monitor. It is designed for deep insertion, but can be used with other ear tips and shallower insertion. (>$100). May be the best for the purposes you described.

Nice list of IEMs that I didn't know about, thank you! Sadly it seems like I can't actually buy the last two on the list where I'm at (Sweden), but the others should be doable.
I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole looking at the EA1 and realized that there's other IEMs from basically the same company that also could work for me. Do you know how the EA1, EA3, FD1, and the FH1s compare to each other? (And they don't have to be completely neutral for me, that could be too much to ask from some fairly cheap IEMs. After all, they would most likely be backups for work but otherwise my regular headphones when doing anything else.)

TBH for audio work it is best to stick to headphones as they have better soundstages than IEMs.
Most budget IEMs are weak in soundstage and have an "in your head" sound signature. Most budget IEMs are also tuned V shaped or harmanish for consumer preferences.

...

Perhaps u can try reading about the BQEYZ KC2, Tin HIFI T2, those are quite neutral from reviews, though I haven't tried them TBH.
I still have my DT770 pro for when I'm working but it would be really nice to have som decent backup IEMs if they break (as has happened before). As long as they aren't heavily biased towards lows and highs they should be fine for what I want them to do.
I'll have a look at those suggestions, thank you!
 
Jul 28, 2020 at 7:10 PM Post #7 of 8

IEMusic

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Nice list of IEMs that I didn't know about, thank you! Sadly it seems like I can't actually buy the last two on the list where I'm at (Sweden), but the others should be doable.
I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole looking at the EA1 and realized that there's other IEMs from basically the same company that also could work for me. Do you know how the EA1, EA3, FD1, and the FH1s compare to each other? (And they don't have to be completely neutral for me, that could be too much to ask from some fairly cheap IEMs. After all, they would most likely be backups for work but otherwise my regular headphones when doing anything else.)
Maybe @RikudouGoku has some recommendations for getting those IEMs in Sweden. I know the NM2 can be ordered from online stores in China, such as Penon, which has a great reputation.

The EA1 and the FD1 are basically the same IEM, based on reports of those that purchased both. It’s not truly neutral, but is well balanced, and perhaps sort of fits a diffuse field neutral with boosted bass. Out of the Jade Audio/FiiO IEMs you listed, for the money, you can’t beat the EA1.
 
Jul 28, 2020 at 7:23 PM Post #8 of 8

IEM Seeker

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Maybe @RikudouGoku has some recommendations for getting those IEMs in Sweden. I know the NM2 can be ordered from online stores in China, such as Penon, which has a great reputation.

The EA1 and the FD1 are basically the same IEM, based on reports of those that purchased both. It’s not truly neutral, but is well balanced, and perhaps sort of fits a diffuse field neutral with boosted bass. Out of the Jade Audio/FiiO IEMs you listed, for the money, you can’t beat the EA1.
I could order them from China but then I would have to pay Swedish VAT (an extra 25% on top of the price of the headphones) when they arrive at customs, and shipping from the point of entry in Sweden to me. It would put it in a different price category, and at that price I might find something better but that still can be found within Europe.

The Jade Audio/FiiO really intrigues me though, I will definitely look into those! And I can find them here in Europe :)
 

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