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IEM suggestion (upgrade RHA T20i - higher end)

  1. Spie1904
    Hi everyone,

    I started out with a cheap Apple EarPods, then Senheisser momentum earplugs and now using RHA T20i. Over this time I loved re discovering My favorite music and experiencing more every time.

    I am Now considering getting in to the top end stuff Now. However i would deel myself unexperienced with these technicalities so I turn to you Audiophile Friends with more knowledge on this subject.

    Below I have tried to Create a list to base recommendations on? I am not against an AMP or special cord But Will often use it while programming so won’t Always have a sound installation with me. However future proof (What If i want to in the end is a plus).

    For Now it’s important that My iPhone SE can drive the best possible sound quality without the need for a special installation (yet) with me.

    - Budget - Relatively flexible (would rather not spend more than 750 euro as I doubt any experience will increase in sound quality without an amp at that point as I will listen mostly on my iPhone or laptop (macbook or windows laptop). If you have a valid reason Why, I would be willing to up My budget.

    - Source - iPhone SE, iPad, Macbook Pro, Windows HP Laptop (Mostly using Spotify Premium high quality streaming)

    - Requirements for Isolation - I will mainly be using these for long sessions while programming applications. As such I will mostly be using these while sitting down but if I could use the same pair while cycling / running, that would obviously be the dream. I realise those are two different markets and probably not best combined so I would only consider it an added benefit if it's possible to be honest.

    - Will you be using these Headphones in Public? Yes, in the office at work.

    - Preferred Type of Headphone - IEM

    - Preferred tonal balance - I think overall I prefer a balanced style as I listen to alot of different types of music. I mainly listen to rock heavy metal, and very relaxing / calming music with some occasional EDM thrown into the mix.

    - Past headphones - RHA T20i, I liked them for the most part because they were a huge upgrade in sound quality over my regular 20 dollar earbuds. I've also used Airpods and while they are practical to use for conference calls, I don't particularly enjoy listening to music on them. Would be looking for an upgrade in sound quality of my RHA and I'm ok with them being wired.

    - Preferred Music - Rock, Heavy Metal (Rise Against, Trivium, AC/DC), Relaxing music (Ed Sheeran, Five For fighting, Mumford & Sons, Pentatonix, etc...), EDM (Axwell, Ingrosso, Hardwell, Pendulum)

    - What would you like to improve on from your set-up - I would like to have atleast the same sound quality of my RHA T20. If possible I would like to experience even better sound quality although I'm not sure I will be able to experience the same excitement of re-discovering music when I jumped from my earpods (apple) to my RHA T20.

    - Location: Belgium
  2. serman005
    Two that come to mind immediately that would tick off most your boxes (in different ways) are the Dunu DK-3001 and the Campfire Polaris. Maybe read about them and see if you are interested. It is possible one could work for you.
  3. Spie1904
    Hmm Thank you. The DUNU seem interesting although comfort seems to be an issue often adressed and I really need them to be comfortable as I Will be wearing them for hours and hours. If I could Find great sound quality, superb comfort and decent isolation, durability (detachable cable, etc..)id even be willing to spend Some more money on a real quality piece.
  4. easily_amused
    Campfire Andromeda. I think they’re great for most types of music - I have similar listening prefs to you. Very resolving so you really can hear everything. I often drive them from my iPhone 6s with Tidal and they work great right out of the box there.

    The only IEMs I have heard which might be better cost 3 times the price.
  5. Spie1904

    This is rather on the expensive side it seems. Would you consider these to be worth every penny compared to say Polaris or Dunu’s flagship as recommended above? What would I get extra with these for the extra money spent?

    I found an offer for the Andromeda’s for 1068 euro. Would you consider that a good deal for these?

    Thanks for the suggestions
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  6. neuromancer
    What you get is a real TOTL iem that punches well above it's price point. Stellar imaging, resolution, soundstage with every part of the sound spectrum presented with terrific finesse. They are incredibly easy to drive as well but try to stick to low output impedance for best results as they can be picky at times with the wrong source. Really incredible iem that still wow me.
    easily_amused likes this.
  7. easily_amused
    Honestly I'm not sure about the value for money factor - that's such a personal question. $1000 isn't a lot of money to me, but it $4000 is. So to me buying a $300 pair vs. a $1000 pair isn't much difference.

    What I can say is that I feel like Andromeda is one of the few headphones out there which seems to have achieved a certain amount of universal love, which is a big enough call to make. And I think they are fantastic. I'm not by any means a veteran with massive of experience in hifi though, so maybe I know nothing. Except what I like :)

    My only complaint about the Andromeda is that it sometimes get's a little uncomfortable in winter because it's an IEM - the air is super dry here so sometimes I can get a bit of soreness from the tips. I suppose I could change them out to another tip but it's not been a big enough issue too worry about.

    All I can suggest is that you try them out in comparison to the others.
    Spie1904 likes this.
  8. Spie1904
    These Indeed look great and get great reviews all round the scene. I am strongly considering investing in them. Would you say price wise 1068 euro is a good deal?
  9. Spie1904
    I am amazed at how positive the reviews are. It seems like these are insanely good for almost any genre. Durability also seems great and If i can use them while running / cycling, these might actually be worth the money.

    Could you please clarify the impedance thing? Would My iPhone SE cause issues with these or lack power to drive them? (Spotify premium)

    Besides that, would you consider 1068 a solid offer for these? Found them discounted for that price somewhere.
  10. easily_amused
    I think I paid a little under 8000rmb for mine (I’m an Aussie guy in China) so something like $1100 USD. I didn’t try to get a deal though, was an impulse buy after listening. I know some people get crazy deals through b stock or sales or whatever, I just never bother heh.

    Edit: just double checked Taobao and they go for about 8370rmb here - consistent lowest price in China. They are imported here mind you.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  11. Spie1904
    Hmm thank you for your helping me out. I’ve been Reading up on the Andromeda and They seem to tick every box of mine But I often read it’s really picky about the source.

    As I Will mostly drive this off My laptop or iPhone SE, do you think I should investing in a portable AMP or DAC or should it be ok? I don’t want to end up with hiss because of an impotent source
  12. easily_amused
    Tidal plus iPhone 6s works for me. I also have a zx300 (I only got it recently) as I wanted more storage space.
  13. onevstheworld
    If you can, go to a shop to try them out. As good as they are, there issues you could run into:
    • Hiss. They are very sensitive IEMs. Slightly more sensitive than my Orions. I get tolerable hiss with iPhone 4, Sony Z3, Z4 and Samsung S8. Intolerable hiss with MacBook Pro 2011. Surface Pro 3 is silent. A decent amp or amp/dac eliminates the hiss.
    • Comfort. Unusual shape and relatively large nozzle may not be comfortable in your ears.
    • I wouldn't use them for exercise. The shape doesn't allow it to sit deep and secure in your ear when moving vigorously. And who knows what sweat does to BA drivers... there is no protective grill.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
    easily_amused likes this.
  14. Spie1904
    All great feedback.
    Thank you very much.
    If by decent AMP / DAC, What would you refer to? Is there a small cable or piece I can easily Carry around to eliminate any potential hiss?

    I Will definitely try before I buy.
    Exercise never seems a good idea with these more expensive IEM’s I read so I’ll shy away from that!
  15. onevstheworld
    I don't think you need anything expensive, as long as it has a low noise floor. Both my FiiO e10k and Magni 3 eliminate it from my MBP. I've not tried anything else. Been tempted to get a Dragonfly Red for portable use, but it's not loud enough to bother me when using it on my phones.

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