Midrange IEM for commuting and work for metal & edm
Jan 25, 2020 at 3:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

yuletide

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Hey folks, just spent a week being overwhelmed by all the options that have appeared since my last purchase, when I ended up with the 1More Triple Driver. I love their sound but the left side treble just died so I am searching for a replacement.

Things I love about the 1More: Sub-bass extension and detail, treble clarity. I'm aware they are slightly V so maybe I don't know what I'm missing in the mids?

Budget is flexible, but was planning on <$150 since I have been known to lose things (also diminishing returns).
Ordered the Blon's off Ali on a whim but looks like they wont be here for ages and I'm dying with these iPhone earbuds in the meantime :)

Comfort: Will be listening for long stretches. I prefer something not too isolating (no Etymotic stye) since I like to have some surroundings awareness, especially in transit. Also loved the comfort and ease of insertion of the 1More (not over ear cables), but could be convinced...

A mic would also be great since I'll be using for occasional calls.

Music I listen to: Mostly melodic metal, some with downtuned/bass emphasis (Gatecreeper, Wolfheart, Moonsorrow, Insomnium, Epica, Amorphis), Bass Music (Twerk, Moombahton, Bass House, Dubstep), and then whatever else

Current List:
- Moondrop Starfield (great reviews, these seem ideal except no mic, and over-ear cable. Maybe pair with a bluetooth module or replace the cable for calls? Or just get some APP's too...)
- Tin T4 (cheap and lots of great reviews, like the form factor and includes mic)
- Shouer Singer
- Final e4k, IT01
- Blon with swapped tips (people say these punch above their weight so why not?)

So should I just get the Moondrops or T4 and see what happens?

Other headphones I own: HD25 II Aluminum for DJing, Sony XB950 for bass cannon, HD6XX (hate the lack of bass)
 
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Jan 25, 2020 at 3:27 PM Post #2 of 10

surfgeorge

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The Starfield should be a good choice for you.
I have had the 1More Triple and TBH I found them somewhat unbalanced and incoherent.
I had the Moondrop Kanas Pro and it was a revelation, my entry into serious IEM sound quality.
The Starfield is cheaper and supposed to be better. I am tempted despite having TOTL IEMs now.

Tin T4 might be a little lean and bright for you, but would be another solid choice.
The IT01 would maybe be similar to the Triple, but a step up in quality, I'd skip it.
Final E4000 is good, but based on Crinacle's take it seems Starfield and T4 might be better value
 
Jan 25, 2020 at 6:28 PM Post #3 of 10

yuletide

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The Starfield should be a good choice for you.
I have had the 1More Triple and TBH I found them somewhat unbalanced and incoherent.
I had the Moondrop Kanas Pro and it was a revelation, my entry into serious IEM sound quality.
The Starfield is cheaper and supposed to be better. I am tempted despite having TOTL IEMs now.

Tin T4 might be a little lean and bright for you, but would be another solid choice.
The IT01 would maybe be similar to the Triple, but a step up in quality, I'd skip it.
Final E4000 is good, but based on Crinacle's take it seems Starfield and T4 might be better value

That's a great summary, thanks for validating! Just ordered a pair, will have them to try out tomorrow. Any ideas on how to add a mic? Maybe one of those bluetooth cables or the BTR/ES100? Saw a few mic cables but mostly for 0.75mm

Edit: Finally found one on Ali!
 
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Jan 26, 2020 at 1:58 PM Post #4 of 10

surfgeorge

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That's a great summary, thanks for validating! Just ordered a pair, will have them to try out tomorrow. Any ideas on how to add a mic? Maybe one of those bluetooth cables or the BTR/ES100? Saw a few mic cables but mostly for 0.75mm

Edit: Finally found one on Ali!
Hope you'll like it! Make sure you give it a good listen with the original cable before changing to the one with built in mic.
Best to listen for a week to really get used to it, and then switch.
 
Jan 26, 2020 at 5:32 PM Post #5 of 10

yuletide

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Hope you'll like it! Make sure you give it a good listen with the original cable before changing to the one with built in mic.
Best to listen for a week to really get used to it, and then switch.

will do!

First impression: amazing treble and soundstage. Mids are crunchy. With metal guitars a bit harsh. Bass feels lacking but hoping things will open up with burn in and as my ears adjust to the more neutral sound.

edit: just realized I’m an idiot and forgot to turn off the spotify eq I had setup for my xb950 so turning that off helped a bit but still lacks bass impact :)
 
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Jan 26, 2020 at 5:47 PM Post #6 of 10

surfgeorge

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will do!

First impression: amazing treble and soundstage. Mids are crunchy. With metal guitars a bit harsh. Bass feels lacking but hoping things will open up with burn in and as my ears adjust to the more neutral sound.

Wow - that was fast!
According to the measurements on Crinacle's page, the Starfield has a somehwhat more neutral bass, upper midrange should actually be similar, but you are right if the bass is a little lighter the mids feel more forward.
It should be very clean, clear, detailed and open though.

Make sure you have good seal, the standard tips might not be the best fit for your ears.
Spinfit are very good, but a little expensive.

If you really want to increase bass you can buy a roll of 3M micropore tape (about €3) and stick a little bit over the front vent hole.
That boosts sub bass a little.

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Jan 26, 2020 at 8:16 PM Post #7 of 10

baskingshark

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Hey folks, just spent a week being overwhelmed by all the options that have appeared since my last purchase, when I ended up with the 1More Triple Driver. I love their sound but the left side treble just died so I am searching for a replacement.

Things I love about the 1More: Sub-bass extension and detail, treble clarity. I'm aware they are slightly V so maybe I don't know what I'm missing in the mids?

Budget is flexible, but was planning on <$150 since I have been known to lose things (also diminishing returns).
Ordered the Blon's off Ali on a whim but looks like they wont be here for ages and I'm dying with these iPhone earbuds in the meantime :)

Comfort: Will be listening for long stretches. I prefer something not too isolating (no Etymotic stye) since I like to have some surroundings awareness, especially in transit. Also loved the comfort and ease of insertion of the 1More (not over ear cables), but could be convinced...

A mic would also be great since I'll be using for occasional calls.

Music I listen to: Mostly melodic metal, some with downtuned/bass emphasis (Gatecreeper, Wolfheart, Moonsorrow, Insomnium, Epica, Amorphis), Bass Music (Twerk, Moombahton, Bass House, Dubstep), and then whatever else

Current List:
- Moondrop Starfield (great reviews, these seem ideal except no mic, and over-ear cable. Maybe pair with a bluetooth module or replace the cable for calls? Or just get some APP's too...)
- Tin T4 (cheap and lots of great reviews, like the form factor and includes mic)
- Shouer Singer
- Final e4k, IT01
- Blon with swapped tips (people say these punch above their weight so why not?)

So should I just get the Moondrops or T4 and see what happens?

Other headphones I own: HD25 II Aluminum for DJing, Sony XB950 for bass cannon, HD6XX (hate the lack of bass)

Hi friend, I don't have the IEMs in your list except the BLON, but I travel around 5 hours a day on subways and buses and isolation and comfort is one of one my top priorities in an IEM other than sound. Speaking about isolation when using IEMs as a transit IEM, usually bass frequencies are the first to be lost in poor isolation/noisy environments, and one will tend to jack up the volume to override the outside noise, which may not be safe for our hearing in the longterm. Hence I value isolation in transit IEMs to protect hearing, and it also allows more details/bass to be heard at the lowest possible output volume. I know awareness of surroundings is another consideration, but most IEMs have passive isolation and not active noise cancellation, so u will still hear a bit of outside noises and I find it generally still safe to use these for commuting.

Firstly, the BLON BL-03 is not a good transit IEM. Isolation is subpar, and it has poor technicalities, so not the best option for metal and bass music with complex movements or competing instrumentation. It has great timbre/tonality and is best suited for predominantly acoustic instruments and slower genres, YMMV. The fit with stock tips is iffy too due to the shorter nozzle, so most westerners need a longer nozzle eartip (eg spinfits) or do a spacer mod.

The Tin T4 looked a bit bass light from reviews and FR hence I gave it a miss, so I think you should check with others who own it since u like bass. Seems to have some QC issues too, so better check this out.

Moondrop Starfield has excellent reviews so far, it's on my radar, but not sure about the isolation properties and bass amounts.

My current go to sub $100 USD transit IEM is the DUNU DM-480. About $70 USD, it is a dual DD set that has isolation about 25 dB (excellent). It is U shaped/mild V shaped with excellent subbass extension and technicalities (imaging, instrument separation, clarity, details). Wide sounstage. Great all rounder for most genres, maybe only fault I find is an average timbre. The bass is of high quality and accurate and textured well. Some of the reviews on headfi praised it for metal music, though metal is not one of the genres I listen to, so can't verify this. Maybe u can check out more about it.

Good luck in your search!
 
Jan 27, 2020 at 6:31 PM Post #8 of 10

harry501501

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The BLON is brighter than the 1More TD which makes it slightly airier and less veiled ("treble clarity" isn't something I'd associate the TD as a major strength, but that's just me). The BLON is definitely brighter in the upper mids, lower treble so for you may be quite bright. The 1More TD has a sub-bass that although potent can overshadow the treble IMO. It's thinner sound makes the BLON's a bit more detailed, but the TD is no slouch... it's just smoother and thicker in comparison. The TD ha a more mature sound and IMO sounds more refined than the BLON which is an excellent earphone... for it's low price. It's not a world-beater though.

it01 is on par sound-wise for me with the TD, share some similarities.
 
Jan 29, 2020 at 4:32 PM Post #9 of 10

yuletide

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Wow - that was fast!
According to the measurements on Crinacle's page, the Starfield has a somehwhat more neutral bass, upper midrange should actually be similar, but you are right if the bass is a little lighter the mids feel more forward.
It should be very clean, clear, detailed and open though.

Make sure you have good seal, the standard tips might not be the best fit for your ears.
Spinfit are very good, but a little expensive.

If you really want to increase bass you can buy a roll of 3M micropore tape (about €3) and stick a little bit over the front vent hole.
That boosts sub bass a little.


3 days in with one full night listening, and one night of burn-in. Seems I have a solid seal since I can't hear ANYTHING with them on with the default tips. Swapped on some sony hybrid tips from my long lost XB90's and they incrased bass a touch.

“It should be very clean, clear, detailed and open though.”
- This I have noticed for sure, and they are unlike any headphone I've heard. Beautifully clear open and vast. I actually pulled back out my HD6XX, which I hated on initial listen, and they helped me appreciate that aspect of their sound. Both these headphones are magical with any kind of acoustic or classical music, with the timbres of the instruments shining through.
- Bass: Still feels lacking, even with EQ; when hooked up to my Digizoid Z's it rumbles and sounds amazing with EDM but I'd rather not carry that around. (Also sidenote: the digizoid turned my HD6XX into something amazing). Songs: RL Grime - Pockets, Kamaiyah - How Does it Feel (love feeling this bassline rumble). Amazing how close those EQ curves look given how different they sound (wish I could really A/B with the triples but one side is almost dead, I'll give another try tonight!)
- Metal: There's something about the sound signature that just makes the metal guitars feel grating, and the songs separated and sterile. Not sure if this is exposing poor recording quality, or just the sound/eq curve but some of my favorite songs really come out sound lifeless and harsh. Example: Moonsorrow - Huuto or most of their catalog reveals this painfully. Just doesn't feel as musical vs the triples or even my ipod buds

The harshness combined with the lack of bass has me reconsidering... maybe the cold analytical (Hifi?) sounds is just not the sound for me, or for this genre at least? Should I look into something warmer/bassier or give it more time?

A few other pricier but seemingly-bassier options I was considering include Sony N3AP and Periodic Beryllium (on sale for $180), or try the DUNU DM-480 as suggested.


Thank you all for your help on this journey! I'll continue to listen tonight since even the Triples felt a bit lacking in bass when I first got them :D (xb90 ruined me) but wanted to share some initial impressions. Off to listen more!
 
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Jan 30, 2020 at 2:59 AM Post #10 of 10

surfgeorge

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3 days in with one full night listening, and one night of burn-in. Seems I have a solid seal since I can't hear ANYTHING with them on with the default tips. Swapped on some sony hybrid tips from my long lost XB90's and they incrased bass a touch.

“It should be very clean, clear, detailed and open though.”
- This I have noticed for sure, and they are unlike any headphone I've heard. Beautifully clear open and vast. I actually pulled back out my HD6XX, which I hated on initial listen, and they helped me appreciate that aspect of their sound. Both these headphones are magical with any kind of acoustic or classical music, with the timbres of the instruments shining through.
- Bass: Still feels lacking, even with EQ; when hooked up to my Digizoid Z's it rumbles and sounds amazing with EDM but I'd rather not carry that around. (Also sidenote: the digizoid turned my HD6XX into something amazing). Songs: RL Grime - Pockets, Kamaiyah - How Does it Feel (love feeling this bassline rumble). Amazing how close those EQ curves look given how different they sound (wish I could really A/B with the triples but one side is almost dead, I'll give another try tonight!)
- Metal: There's something about the sound signature that just makes the metal guitars feel grating, and the songs separated and sterile. Not sure if this is exposing poor recording quality, or just the sound/eq curve but some of my favorite songs really come out sound lifeless and harsh. Example: Moonsorrow - Huuto or most of their catalog reveals this painfully. Just doesn't feel as musical vs the triples or even my ipod buds

The harshness combined with the lack of bass has me reconsidering... maybe the cold analytical (Hifi?) sounds is just not the sound for me, or for this genre at least? Should I look into something warmer/bassier or give it more time?

A few other pricier but seemingly-bassier options I was considering include Sony N3AP and Periodic Beryllium (on sale for $180), or try the DUNU DM-480 as suggested.


Thank you all for your help on this journey! I'll continue to listen tonight since even the Triples felt a bit lacking in bass when I first got them :D (xb90 ruined me) but wanted to share some initial impressions. Off to listen more!

Now that's what I call a comprehensive listening impression!

From what you are writing I am getting the impression that you lean towards bass-head preference.
Maybe you can share the EQ you are using?

When I had the Moondrop Kanas Pro I was really impressed by the sub bass rumble, but found it more on the slow and full side rather than fast and detailed.
Mid bass was on the leaner side, and I think that might be what you are missing with Moonsorrow.
I agree with you, if that's your style of music then the Starfield has maybe the wrong tuning.
You can try one thing though with EQ - pull down the 2-4kHze range by 3-5 dB and boost the 200-600 Hz range a little.

And make sure you really have the good seal, sub bass rumble should be very good.
Maybe try just pressing them ever so slightly into your ears during listening to see if it makes a difference.

But other than that, maybe look for a warm, bassy IEM might fit your needs better.
I hope others can chime in to recommend good options
 

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