Rank the IEM's you've heard
Feb 17, 2020 at 1:44 PM Post #2,281 of 3,560

SBranson

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I think I was as much (or more so) the beneficiary in the meetup with @Rockwell75 for having the chance to listen to a very rare iem, the VE8 in universal form. At first it‘s less overtly detailed sound in comparison to the U12t took me aback with a sense of the VE8 being very smooth and intimate but slightly veiled in comparison.
But the more I listened, I got through that sense to hear into the differences and really started to enjoy the more intimate and arguably more cohesive presentation. I’d still say that the U12t is the master of detail and separation but just as the EE Phantom takes an adjustment period (though a longer one), the VE8 really became a joy to listen to. Another pleasant audition was the Cayin n6ii with the E01 module.. nice..

So my new rankings - the EE ones are too specific and in this list are based on when they “shine”

1. 64 Audio U12t - ranks above the VE8 mostly because the U12t is perfect for the music I listen to, namely small chamber group baroque or solo instrumentalists and modern classical/ambient

2. Vision Ears VE8. - Less sheer detail and imaging power but a smoother warmer sound that would be a great pairing with the U12t. I would probably favour getting these as a custom over an A12t.

3. Empire Ears Legend X - the bass is just so fun and when paired with the right music, these are fantastic. In solo music the mids and highs are very refined too. There just happens to be cases where the bass can dominate too much so more than most iems though I feel they push you towards certain music and away from others because of the bass. As I’m a one iem person (can’t afford more), it just doesn’t work as well as an all around choice

4. QDC Anole VX - only got a short audition in the fall but very detailed with the fun of the switches.

5. Empire Ears Phantom - Like the Legend X, these took some work and time for me to appreciate them but they can sound very nice. I think Empire Ears ultimately are very good at making iems that suit certain music. None of the 4 iems of theirs I’ve owned were good all around iems.

I’ll leave it at 5 as the list gets too long after that and too hard to rank. One mention that isn’t in the top 5 is the CA Solaris SE. It is a good sounding and very dynamic iem that doesn’t make my list only because it doesn’t suit my tastes and it’s strengths don’t do much for my music.

Others not in the top five are the many Noble iems I’ve owned and still use the orig. Savant as my daily work iem. I could put the Encore or Katana or K10 as no. 5 and all three would be in a top 10 list.. but the EE iems nose them out because they do something more special when they get it “right”. The Nobles would win as general iems over the Phantoms though...
 
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Feb 24, 2020 at 6:20 PM Post #2,283 of 3,560

Louis8ball

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I can’t believe no one has mentioned either the Zn or C5/S2
 
Mar 15, 2020 at 5:07 AM Post #2,284 of 3,560

alavenue

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Need some advice for pairing with the Anole VX.

I just ordered the anole vx and I cant wait to get it, upgrading from EE phantom with Dragonfly cobalt pairing. I would like to purchase a DAP and have been considering buying either the Hiby r6 pro or the Cayin n6ii E01 (I use tidal mostly). I know the N6ii would be the better pairing however is it justified spending the extra $700 for it over the R6 pro?

Any other dap recommendations?

Thanks
 
Mar 15, 2020 at 8:31 AM Post #2,285 of 3,560

Tristy

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1. Empire Ears Legend X (custom)
+ keywords: BASS, luscious, black background, effortless, deep.
- Unbelievably good bass, scratches every itch in that regard and surprisingly good technicalities. I would say technicality wise these are as good as the U12t but just presented differently / more relaxed / smoother. Really like treble and Vocals on the legend with vocals having a sweet quality to them with a copper cable and treble is smooth, well extended and never fatiguing.

1. 64 Audio U12t
+ keywords: precision, speed, musicality, clean, clear, detailed, effortless.
- Joint first, this is the surgical knife to the legends sledgehammer. Amazing BA bass, by far the best I’ve heard, sounds very close to a DD. Mids are highly detailed with pinpoint imaging and the highs are pristine and crystal clear. REQUIRES good recordings to show what these are really capable of. I can see why these are so popular among the 64 lineup, they do very little wrong and nearly everything right. The most technically upfront of the bunch but I find the Legends tuning more to my taste, they compliment each other perfectly. The only qualm I have with these is something is up with the midrange tonality, it’s a very very minor gripe and I can’t quite put my finger on it but it is there if you listen hard enough.

2. Campfire audio Solaris
+ Keywords: Holographic, balanced, out-of-head.
- Initially the bass was a little lacking for me and was a little low in quantity / PRAT. This was remedied with a cable upgrade. A very balanced listen that is perfect for certain genres such as acoustic and live recording. The only issues I had with the Solaris is the lack of resolution in the mids (possibly due to the mids driver covering the whole frequency range) and it could have used a little more bass quantity (quality is great after cable upgrade). Would be great to see a future iteration incorporate an addition mid driver with elevated bass while maintaining soundstage... id be throwing my money at campfire.

3. Noble Audio Katana
+ Keywords: neutral, reference, detailed
- The most reference iem I’ve heard, great detail retrieval but lacked the Andromeda’s ethereal highs which was sacrificed for a welcomed sub bass bump. This iem did nothing wrong so to speak but it didn’t really have a quality that jumped out at you. A little overpriced but could be called a more capable andromeda minus the sparkly highs, plus sub bass.

4. Campfire Audio Atlas
+ Keywords: Fun, in your face, coherence, v-shaped
- An extremely fun IEM with more of a mid bass bias over the legend and less resolution / technical capability. Kinda feel like you are In the middle of the mosh pit with these whereas the legend is at the back and everything is perfectly layered, wider soundstage and clear.

4. Campfire Audio Andromeda
+ Keywords: Sparkly, detailed, clean, ethereal, wide soundstage
- A classic that deserves its status in my eyes. Distinguished by its sparkly highs and fairly laid back presentation with surprisingly good detail retrieval and a very wide soundstage (wider than Solaris but less 3D / holographic). Let down by lack of resolution in the bass region and complete absence of sub bass.... I miss that treble sparkle dearly though and think about it often, yet to find another iem that is able to replicate it.

5. Campfire Audio Jupiter
- This one put me on the back foot, was surprised by how good it was and I felt they it had a better bass response than the Andros. The stage was more intimate but these did a cracking job with metal, kind of regret selling them tbh! The upper midrange was a little odd and was sucked out at times but this seemed to not be the case across all sources. If you can pick these up for sub £400 they are truly a bargain and blows away most other -1000 models.

5. Campfire Audio Vega
- An L shaped Atlas with seemingly better sub bass resolution and a peakier / sibilant treble at times. Most comfortable iems I’ve worn besides customs (along with the Lyra II).

6. Audeze Isine 20
- Awesome soundstage which is to be expected as these are open back. Great versatility thanks to the app and online DAC/AMP but lacked resolution and convenience for me.

7. Sennheiser IE800
8. Campfire Audio Lyra II
9. Shure SE846
10. RHA T10
11. RHA ma750
 
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Mar 15, 2020 at 10:26 AM Post #2,286 of 3,560

Rockwell75

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Great post...the Legend X is truly something special...it's not an all rounder (for me) but what it does well cannot be topped by anything else in my experience.

The only issues I had with the Solaris is the lack of resolution in the mids (possibly due to the mids driver covering the whole frequency range) and it could have used a little more bass quantity (quality is great after cable upgrade). Would be great to see a future iteration incorporate an addition mid driver or two with elevated bass while maintaining soundstage.

I hope you get to try the SE at some point...it's got a different mids driver than the SE and the mid-range is the most noticeable improvement (to my ears). I also find the bass to be a lot better (in quality not quantity). I'm in the midst of a 4 way shootout between the u12t, VE8, LX and Solaris SE and the SE is actually to my surprise coming out on top...I'll probably wind up sharing my thoughts in this thread at some point.
 
Mar 17, 2020 at 11:58 PM Post #2,287 of 3,560

ehjie

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Mar 19, 2020 at 1:36 AM Post #2,288 of 3,560

Dum101

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er3se ex800st ex1000 ierz1r, honestly im not sure where i'd place the etymotics they have very good detail and imaging but sometimes I felt it didnt sound very spacious, the treble on the ex1000 really never bothered me and I enjoyed them allot, The ex800st was pretty impressive especially in bass quantity with the tape mod but I found it was sometimes sounded "shouty", and Ierz1r has a very clean v shape sound.
 
Apr 9, 2020 at 3:58 PM Post #2,290 of 3,560

thymen002

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1. 64Audio u12t
That bass is perfect. Hits hard and deep.
2.Sony Ier z1r
Great soundstage but the fit never really worked for me.
3. Blon 03
Easily beats many $1000+ iem’s I’ve listened to.
4. Etymotic ER4XR
Clarity, clarity, clarity.
 
Apr 9, 2020 at 11:08 PM Post #2,291 of 3,560

MidFiMoney

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Updated after a few years...

T1. Sony IER-Z1R
T1. Final A8000
3. Audeze LCDi4
4. Campfire Solaris
5. Dita Dream
6. Campfire Vega
7. Dita Fealty
8. Astell&Kern AK T8iE MkII
T9. Sony MDR-EX1000
T9. Sony MDR-7550
T11. Noble Kaiser Encore
T11. Noble Katana
T13. Campfire Andromeda
T13. Fidue A91 Sirius
15. FLC 8S
T16. Noble Savanna
T16. Campfire Jupiter
18. VSonic GR07BE
19. Audio-Technica ATH-E70
20. RHA T20
21. UE 900s
22. Audio-Technica ATH-IM03
23. Audio-Technica ATH-IM02
24. Bose Soundtrue
25. Beats Tour
~. Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus
~. Sony WF-1000XM3
~. Master & Dynamic MW07
~. Sony WF-1000X
~. Bragi Dash
 
Apr 10, 2020 at 2:02 PM Post #2,292 of 3,560

Rockwell75

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Updated after a few years...

T1. Sony IER-Z1R
T1. Final A8000
3. Audeze LCDi4
4. Campfire Solaris
5. Dita Dream
6. Campfire Vega
7. Dita Fealty
8. Astell&Kern AK T8iE MkII
T9. Sony MDR-EX1000
T9. Sony MDR-7550
T11. Noble Kaiser Encore
T11. Noble Katana
T13. Campfire Andromeda
T13. Fidue A91 Sirius
15. FLC 8S
T16. Noble Savanna
T16. Campfire Jupiter
18. VSonic GR07BE
19. Audio-Technica ATH-E70
20. RHA T20
21. UE 900s
22. Audio-Technica ATH-IM03
23. Audio-Technica ATH-IM02
24. Bose Soundtrue
25. Beats Tour
~. Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus
~. Sony WF-1000XM3
~. Master & Dynamic MW07
~. Sony WF-1000X
~. Bragi Dash

Interesting list...a few things on there I still really want to demo.
 
Apr 10, 2020 at 2:19 PM Post #2,293 of 3,560

Rockwell75

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This list is an ever constant and changing thing:

Personal preferences: Neutral warm, musical over analytic, DD bass, lush mids with a preference for body in the lower mids over upper mids, smooth treble.

1) Solaris SE = VE8 (VE8 has better mids but Solaris' DD bass gives it a slight edge as an "all rounder" for me...ultimately we're splitting hairs here)
2) u12t = Solaris OG = Anole VX (Each of these 3 has strengths the others lack and I could be equally happy with any one of them as my one and only.)
3) Legend X
4) IER Z1R
5) Atlas

Other IEMs I've demoed but am reluctant to rank as I haven't spent many hours with them as I have with the ones in my list: Trio, Phantom, Khan, KSE 1500
 
Apr 10, 2020 at 5:32 PM Post #2,294 of 3,560

Damz87

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Here’s my list :)

Being a Sony fan boy, naturally there’s lots of Sony on my list. But gradually trying new things to broaden my horizons. Next will be either a Moondrop S8 or 64 Audio Tia Trio.

1. Sony IER-Z1R
2. Campfire Solaris SE
3. QDC Anole VX
4. Sony IER-M9
5. Sony EX1000
6. Sony XBA-Z5
7. Campfire Andromeda S
8. Sony XBA-N3
9. BLON BL-03
10. Sony EX800ST
 
Apr 10, 2020 at 7:24 PM Post #2,295 of 3,560

MidFiMoney

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