Seeking custom IEMs ~$1200
Feb 5, 2020 at 2:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


100+ Head-Fier
May 6, 2014
TL;DR: Recommend me custom IEMs in range of 1200$/€/£ :)

Long-form post:
Hey all, returning to Head-Fi after a long break blowing all my student loan on Magic cards :p

I had some Earsonics SM64s a couple of years ago, but sadly after ~4 years of love and daily use, the shells crumbled beyond repair. At the same time, my FiiO X5 broke, and wasn't covered by warranty coz I was silly enough to buy it on eBay :/

Since then, I've been using a pair of FiiO F9 Pro IEMs, which are built like absolute tanks and do sound lovely, but not nearly as lovely as the old SM64s. I've also just been using my phone as a source, and having recently downgraded on my phone too that's been suffering. A student budget and the aforementioned cardboard habit have kept me from returning to the nicer sound kit I'd like. Recently, however, my grandfather passed and left me a generous inheritance. I'd like to put this towards custom IEMs and a DAC/amp for my phone, and I'm looking for input on what to get.

DAC/Amp: I'm already pretty much set on the Chord Mojo. I always wanted a Hugo back in the day, but they were prohibitively expensive and are now discontinued. The Hugo 2 is now outside what I'd like to spend in total tbh... This leaves the Mojo, which is very well-reviewed. That said, if you can think of any reason why I shouldn't get one, or should get something else, I'd love to hear!

IEMs: I'd like something with a signature comparable to the SM64, and a huge soundstage that makes it worth having all my music in FLAC :wink: I also listen to a huge variety - particular favourite genres are progressive house, indie rock, pop and trance, though I also enjoy jazz, metal, classical, techno and pretty much everything else. This means the ideal monitor for me isn't skewed towards any particular style of music, but lets all genres shine :) I have a particular love for mids, and the slightly mid-forward signature of the SM64 was my favourite aspect of them.

My total budget is about £1500, leaving £1200 for IEMs after the Mojo. I'm in the UK so will have to pay import duties on pretty much anything nowadays (ree Brexit, etc), hence I am not wanting to go over ~$1200 for the IEMS as HMRC will round it all up for me :wink: I have a lot more than £1500 available, but audiophile gear seems to have exploded in price while I've been away from the hobby, and I'm not really convinced these new $3000+ models from every manufacturer will be worth it. However, the budget is a little flexible, so recommendations in the +20% price range are still appreciated.

Many thanks to anyone who read this far! Fire away!
Last edited:
Feb 5, 2020 at 5:35 PM Post #2 of 2

NA Blur

Headphoneus Supremus
Feb 8, 2011
JH Audio 10x3 Pro

Easy to drive with portables
Awesome clean sound signature with plenty of treble for your "out of my head" experiences.
Bass it not lacking either so you get that slam if your track has it in it!

3 drivers ( 1 for each section of the frequency spectrum )

I tested a bunch of customs in the JH line all the way up to their flagship and the 10x3 Pro sounded the cleanest, most even, and ended up being less expensive.

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