Suggestions for V-Shaped IEMs with great sound-stage and detail (< C$500)
Jun 19, 2020 at 2:48 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

ThaRealDino

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Hey. I have been looking for quality IEMs for a while and am struggling to find a good pair of quality IEMs with the following traits:
- Good to Great soundstage
- Detailed imagery
- Solid build, any material is fine but I prefer alloy/metal, but if it's something that wont break after a month I won't complain either
- Good comfort, I wanna be able to wear it for hours on end without irritability
- Good isolation is nice, but not necessary since I'm not in usually in loud placed to begin with
- Sub 500 Canadian
- V-Shaped sound signature

Hope you guys can help me find something that matches these descriptions.

Love you <3
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 2:55 PM Post #2 of 16

Malevolent

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If you can get ahold of a used pair, the Beyerdynamic Xelento is probably the best choice.

Otherwise, in that price range, I really like the FiiO FH7.
 
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Jun 19, 2020 at 8:28 PM Post #4 of 16

IEMusic

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I agree, the Beyerdynamic Xelento is very well regarded, and is V-shaped. Another one to consider is the ThieAudio Legacy 9. It is $550 new, but you may be able to find a very slightly used one for less. The shells are beautiful, and most of them are made out of wood.

If you like V-shaped bassy IEMs, other ones to consider, that are much less expensive include:
- BLON BL03 ($27)
- UrbanFun YBF-ISS014 ($70)
- TFZ No.3 ($110, but frequently available on Drop for around $80)
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 8:41 PM Post #5 of 16

ThaRealDino

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I agree, the Beyerdynamic Xelento is very well regarded, and is V-shaped. Another one to consider is the ThieAudio Legacy 9. It is $550 new, but you may be able to find a very slightly used one for less. The shells are beautiful, and most of them are made out of wood.

If you like V-shaped bassy IEMs, other ones to consider, that are much less expensive include:
- BLON BL03 ($27)
- UrbanFun YBF-ISS014 ($70)
- TFZ No.3 ($110, but frequently available on Drop for around $80)

These are all great suggestions so thank you. How do you feel about the ThieAudio L3 as a consideration?
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 9:00 PM Post #6 of 16

IEMusic

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These are all great suggestions so thank you. How do you feel about the ThieAudio L3 as a consideration?
The L3 is currently my favorite sounding IEM, and it’s very well balanced, but not really V-shaped. The bass is a good amount, and is definitely not neutral, but also not anywhere near the level of those other IEMs mentioned.

Honestly, I recommend getting the BL03 since it’s so affordable, and see how you like it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it in the mean time if you decide to look for a more high-end IEM, especially if looking for a good deal on a used item.
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 9:07 PM Post #7 of 16

baskingshark

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Hey. I have been looking for quality IEMs for a while and am struggling to find a good pair of quality IEMs with the following traits:
- Good to Great soundstage
- Detailed imagery
- Solid build, any material is fine but I prefer alloy/metal, but if it's something that wont break after a month I won't complain either
- Good comfort, I wanna be able to wear it for hours on end without irritability
- Good isolation is nice, but not necessary since I'm not in usually in loud placed to begin with
- Sub 500 Canadian
- V-Shaped sound signature

Hope you guys can help me find something that matches these descriptions.

Love you <3

U can consider the Audiosense T800, 8 Knowles BA (balanced armature) set, $298 USD usually (there's an aliexpress sale now and I think I saw it at $260 +, but not sure if there'll be delays to your country due to coronavirus now).

It is a mild V shaped, excellent isolation> 30 dB, great resin build that looks like a custom. Excellent technicalities in imaging, instrument separation, clarity, details, wide soundstage. Comfort is so so due to the large shell to incorporate 8 drivers. Even though it is a balanced armature bass, it sounds like a dynamic driver bass due to the vented design. It is a bit bright, so not the best option for treble sensitive folks, but there are ways to tame down the treble (such as knowles filters, narrower bore eartips, warmer source etc). My current end game pure BA setup.
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 9:21 PM Post #8 of 16

ThaRealDino

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The L3 is currently my favorite sounding IEM, and it’s very well balanced, but not really V-shaped. The bass is a good amount, and is definitely not neutral, but also not anywhere near the level of those other IEMs mentioned.

Honestly, I recommend getting the BL03 since it’s so affordable, and see how you like it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it in the mean time if you decide to look for a more high-end IEM, especially if looking for a good deal on a used item.
Would you describe the L3s as fun-sounding? Cause looking back on this post I think that's what I should've said instead of V-shaped. Anything that will make listening to music that much more fun.

My only concern with le Blons is the comfort which I have seen numerous complaints about. How bad is it?
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 9:24 PM Post #9 of 16

ThaRealDino

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U can consider the Audiosense T800, 8 Knowles BA (balanced armature) set, $298 USD usually (there's an aliexpress sale now and I think I saw it at $260 +, but not sure if there'll be delays to your country due to coronavirus now).

It is a mild V shaped, excellent isolation> 30 dB, great resin build that looks like a custom. Excellent technicalities in imaging, instrument separation, clarity, details, wide soundstage. Comfort is so so due to the large shell to incorporate 8 drivers. Even though it is a balanced armature bass, it sounds like a dynamic driver bass due to the vented design. It is a bit bright, so not the best option for treble sensitive folks, but there are ways to tame down the treble (such as knowles filters, narrower bore eartips, warmer source etc). My current end game pure BA setup.
I've tried some bright sounding headphones, I have the T3s right beside me which are boxed rn and really were too much treble for my ears. But yeah, I'm sure I can find ways to cancel that out.

Aside from that It sounds pretty good. Would you call it "exciting" or "fun-sounding?"
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 9:27 PM Post #10 of 16

IEMusic

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Would you describe the L3s as fun-sounding? Cause looking back on this post I think that's what I should've said instead of V-shaped. Anything that will make listening to music that much more fun.

My only concern with le Blons is the comfort which I have seen numerous complaints about. How bad is it?
I definitely think the L3s sound fun, but not in a bass head sort of way. The bass can hit really hard if called upon to do so though, and I find the treble to be very clear and airy. The isolation can be excellent. Durability seems good, though only time will tell. Soundstage is quite wide, but not exceptional. Imaging is great though. I find them very comfortable. They are very ear tip dependent, so you may need to experiment with ear tips to achieve your ideal sound.

Good point. The BL03 are very finicky about fit. They work well for me, but some others have really had problems with them.
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 9:44 PM Post #11 of 16

baskingshark

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My only concern with le Blons is the comfort which I have seen numerous complaints about. How bad is it?

The BLON BL-03 has a very short nozzle, so most westerners find the fit to be bad with it. It can be mitigated with a spacer mod (see below) or some longer nozzle aftermarket tips eg spinfit CP100/CP145.

Spacer mods here (pics included, credit to these folks), YMMV:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chinese-asian-brand-iem-info-thread.820747/page-1745#post-15176790
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chinese-asian-brand-iem-info-thread.820747/page-1841#post-15260691
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chinese-asian-brand-iem-info-thread.820747/page-1774#post-15201197

Alternatively u can use this flip method (credit to Slater) to gain extension and length on a standard cheap eartip.
Slater's reverse KZ starline mod: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/flip-tips-prepare-to-have-your-mind-blown.906357/ (credit to Slater).

The BL-03 takes some work to get a good fit, but if u can put in a bit of work, it can sound like a $100 set in terms of timbre and tonality, though technically it won't best some multi BA/hybrid equivalently priced sets. It is good for music incorporating lots of acoustic instruments eg classical, jazz, acoustic, indie.

I've tried some bright sounding headphones, I have the T3s right beside me which are boxed rn and really were too much treble for my ears. But yeah, I'm sure I can find ways to cancel that out.

Aside from that It sounds pretty good. Would you call it "exciting" or "fun-sounding?"

The T800 is pretty all rounded. Due to the good technicalities, it can be used for critical listening, but due to the bass boost it isn't a boring or overly analytical set. I would describe it as exciting with a kind of "in your face" hyperdetailed beast. I haven't tried the T3 but I did hear it is a treblehead's dream haha.

But T800 is considered midfi pricing, I would advise if u can audition a set at a shop or at least get it via some stores like amazon where u can return in case it doesn't suit u. $298 USD is nothing to be sniffed at if it turns out the tuning ain't for u. Some of us in the Audiosense thread use a knowles filter, it is a simple reversible filter insertion to tame the treble (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/audiosense-in-ear-monitors-impressions-thread.909718/), u can ask here for more details.
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 9:51 PM Post #12 of 16

ThaRealDino

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I definitely think the L3s sound fun, but not in a bass head sort of way. The bass can hit really hard if called upon to do so though, and I find the treble to be very clear and airy. The isolation can be excellent. Durability seems good, though only time will tell. Soundstage is quite wide, but not exceptional. Imaging is great though. I find them very comfortable. They are very ear tip dependent, so you may need to experiment with ear tips to achieve your ideal sound.

Good point. The BL03 are very finicky about fit. They work well for me, but some others have really had problems with them.
I'll order them and see how it goes. Thanks man!
The BLON BL-03 has a very short nozzle, so most westerners find the fit to be bad with it. It can be mitigated with a spacer mod (see below) or some longer nozzle aftermarket tips eg spinfit CP100/CP145.

Spacer mods here (pics included, credit to these folks), YMMV:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chinese-asian-brand-iem-info-thread.820747/page-1745#post-15176790
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chinese-asian-brand-iem-info-thread.820747/page-1841#post-15260691
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chinese-asian-brand-iem-info-thread.820747/page-1774#post-15201197

Alternatively u can use this flip method (credit to Slater) to gain extension and length on a standard cheap eartip.
Slater's reverse KZ starline mod: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/flip-tips-prepare-to-have-your-mind-blown.906357/ (credit to Slater).

The BL-03 takes some work to get a good fit, but if u can put in a bit of work, it can sound like a $100 set in terms of timbre and tonality, though technically it won't best some multi BA/hybrid equivalently priced sets. It is good for music incorporating lots of acoustic instruments eg classical, jazz, acoustic, indie.



The T800 is pretty all rounded. Due to the good technicalities, it can be used for critical listening, but due to the bass boost it isn't a boring or overly analytical set. I would describe it as exciting with a kind of "in your face" hyperdetailed beast. I haven't tried the T3 but I did hear it is a treblehead's dream haha.

But T800 is considered midfi pricing, I would advise if u can audition a set at a shop or at least get it via some stores like amazon where u can return in case it doesn't suit u. $298 USD is nothing to be sniffed at if it turns out the tuning ain't for u. Some of us in the Audiosense thread use a knowles filter, it is a simple reversible filter insertion to tame the treble (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/audiosense-in-ear-monitors-impressions-thread.909718/), u can ask here for more details.
This is MUCH more info than I expected (not a bad thing obviously). Thank you so much!
 
Jun 19, 2020 at 10:00 PM Post #13 of 16

IEMusic

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Jun 19, 2020 at 10:29 PM Post #14 of 16

ThaRealDino

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Dec 20, 2020 at 10:29 PM Post #15 of 16

Darkeye999H

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Revonext QT2s (40$) or KZ ATE (15$). Blon 03 is just for bass and vocals, but the treble and upper treble are very poor, almost transparent. So, it's not a classic V shape, but more like a L shape. The fit is also one of the worst ever made and isolation is below average, even with foam tips.
 
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