Upgrade from Noble X - Xelento alternatives?
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Tadeas

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I have Massdrop Noble X currently, and looking for an upgrade. Major points, in no particular order:

* Budget: 1000 EUR, including VAT.
* A bit better bass and particularly treble extension than the Noble X.
* Natural and engaging signature, not too dissimilar to the Noble X - I quite like their warm-ish tone.
* COMFORT, comfort, comfort!!! The main reason to upgrade is the Noble universal shell.
* Improved clarity compared to the Noble X. Sometimes it feels a bit veiled.
* I have a feeling that BA IEMs (at least Etys and Noble X) sound somewhat unnatural or artificial, though they might just be well resolving... Would prefer (not require) a single DD.
* Music genres: 80% classical (all of solo, chamber, and orchestral), 20% progressive rock (think Dream Theater).
* Being blessed with living in a city that hosts three world class orchestras, I'm a frequent visitor to concerts. When there are seven double basses playing Forte just a few meters in front of me, well, the IEM should at least try to reproduce it (so "flat” things ala Etys are utterly out of question).
* Cable with a mike, and the option to do frequent calls (up to 6 hours a day).

From my research, Beyerdynamic Xelento sounds like it would check all the boxes. With IE800s, there's the danger of poor fit and microphonic cable, and the sound is not quite there, either. Dita Audio The Answer - maybe that one? IMR R1? Any other ideas? Maybe some CIEM because comfort is huge for me?
 
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Tadeas

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Friendly bump? :) Any other options?
 
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Tragic

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Check the RHA CL2 thread here.
Ignore the hit job reviews and concentrate on actual owner impressions.
They're super comfortable and sound purely wonderful.
No miked cable though.
 
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money4me247

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I have the Xelento, it is quite nice and I would highly recommend it for someone who is looking for a detailed IEM with a warm sound signature and outstanding comfort. I also have the Noble X but it does not fit me well, so I don't think I get ideal sound from it, so difficult for me to do fair comparisons. If trying to save some money, the ak t8i3 MKII is often cheaper with the same comfortable form factor. Apparently, it has a different sound signature, but I have never heard them so I cannot say.

I had previously heard the Noble Savant at a show which I really liked, but was not looking for IEMs at the time. I was looking to recapture a similar sound signature, but the savant was discontinued, so I went with the Noble X. Unfortunately, the shells are quite large and does not fit my ears well. I jumped around with a bunch of other mid-tier supposedly great value IEMs, but none really felt like an ideal keeper for me. When I got the Xelento, it really checked all the boxes in what I am looking for in an IEM. The sound signature definitely has a warm-tilt. Did direct comparisons of the Xelento against the Noble K10 which is also a bit warm, and I personally liked the Xelento more. ymmv though.
 
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money4me247

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Other single dynamic driver that I can think of include campfire vega and atlas, rhapsodio galaxy, hifiman re2000. I've only tried the vega out of those, v-shaped sound sig but definitely has good warmth, comfort was fine during my short demo.

there has been some buzz about the JVC FD01 with some mods, I think james444 is the one who really recommends them.
 
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Tadeas

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Check the RHA CL2 thread here.
Great tip, thanks! In fact, I've been eyeing the RHA T20 a couple of years back, but then hopped on the Noble X hype train. Will definitely research the CL2.

I have the Xelento...
Thank you very much for your detailed experience. From your description it really looks like Xelento is exactly what I'm looking for. And I have the feeling that your experience reflects what I've read about it very well. Thanks a lot, will definitely take it into account!
 
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