[IEM] Price/Looks ignored, what is the best?
Apr 27, 2015 at 7:19 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Apr 15, 2015
First of all, thanks for taking a look at my question!
I know that most IEM questions require knowledge about the user's preferences, thats why I have a section for exactly that! That said, feel free to jump straight to the "[Questions]" section if you don't quite have the time to read about my preferences. Please do reply with any feedback you have; regardless of how much you have read this post!
[My Preferences]
My IEM History (from oldest -> latest):
  • AudeoWorld PFE: Loved the clarity and shimmering highs.
  • SoundMagic E10: Bass was nice; disliked the tinniness and small sound stage.
  • VSonic GR07: Overall my best earphones... But I still miss the glistening that PFEs provided.
Media Players:
  • Cowon i7: Was great, I've loved the BBE features.
  • Cowon Z2: Replaced dead i7, I mostly like it for the high quality sound that can play songs from apps like Spotify.
Overall, I would say I care about the following (in order of priority):
  • Analytics / Positioning: I want to hear every pitch and position!
  • Sound Stage: I want to feel enveloped with sound all around my head.
  • Isolation: I wear IEMs in many loud environments; I prefer to keep the isolation high and volume low.
  • Build Quality: I move my IEMs everywhere... I wear them 10+ hours a day and they need to last (if i pay lots for em).
  • Bass: If I pay lots for earphones, I want to really feel the punch...
Notable details: I have never used an amp and I usually listen to lossy files (but typically 320kbps). If more expensive earphones require lossless to hear the difference, I'd probably prefer cheaper earphones...
  • Are custom fit earphones worth it?
    1. Most earphones say 20dB and UE18 has 26dB... Are these numbers misleading or is this all you get extra?
    2. Both VSonic GR07 and Noble Kaiser 10 have 100% positive reviews... This seems scary considering Kaiser 10 costs 10x more.
  • Do the Kaiser 10s actually sound better than UE18?
    1. I know they have better art customizations... but do they actually sound better?
    2. Are there other notable custom earphones?
  • Are there high quality universals worth considering?
    1. What do earphones really lack from being non-custom? Anything other than comfort/isolation?
    2. Do customs last longer? Are they built any better?
  • What are your recommendations for IEMs?
    1. I'm happy to pay upwards of $2k on a pair of IEMs that will last years and have a full and accurate sound.
    2. That said, I'd rather pay $300 for IEMs if they are 95% as good as the $2k earphones.
  • Are amps important to get the most out of these high quality earphones?
    1. I certainly don't need the volume boost, I usually listen to pretty low volumes...
If you actually made it through all of that, my hats off to you! If you have any feedback/answers to provide about anything, please do!
Thanks again, hope my text wall was somewhat readable!
Apr 28, 2015 at 7:54 AM Post #2 of 2


Headphoneus Supremus
Apr 12, 2013
Based on what you've written, I would certainly go with customs. They're going to be more durable and isolate better.

Some reputable CIEM brands are JH audio and Unique Melody. I would go to their respective websites and read the descriptions on how the different models are tuned. Then you can find the ones that offered the sounds of mature you prefer the most.

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