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Best 'Bang for your buck' IEM - Poll

Best 'Bang for your buck' IEM under $100.

  • 7Hz Salnotes Zero

    Votes: 81 25.7%
  • BLON BL-03

    Votes: 11 3.5%
  • DUNU Titan S

    Votes: 5 1.6%
  • HZsound Heart Mirror

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • Moondrop CHU

    Votes: 18 5.7%
  • Tanchjim Tanya

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • Tripowin x HBB Olina

    Votes: 5 1.6%
  • TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero (Original = Blue)

    Votes: 49 15.6%
  • TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:RED

    Votes: 150 47.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 64 20.3%

  • Total voters
    315

IAtaman

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It is very interesting that some people report not experiencing that effect.
I do love spatial effects as well, and I enjoy them with over ears. I just don't get much of wide sound stage with in-ears.

  • Sound wise, they sound like as they graph for me; the way Zero:2's were supposed to sound, with less peaking and better high end roll off, which is to say, they are great. Only EQ I am considering is a bit less bass maybe?
To my disappointment, they started sounding a bit weird after a while. I am not sure what exactly is the issue, but unlike Sonus or Performer 5, I am afraid these might not really no EQ needed IEMs for me.
 

virtua

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Personally I really like the KZ Castor (Silver/Harman version), specifically UUDD setting. Close compliance with Harman and sounds great for very little money.
 

InfiniteJester

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I just received the Artti R1 and I must say that they are really, really impresive.

Massive bass and incredible soundstage.

They sound a bit "unrefined" (the treble is a little weird, a tiny bit thin and clearly too separated from the mids and the bass [the crossover between drivers doesn't seem perfect, although it is good enough]). But the soundstage is so incredible for the money, 59€, that I can only be awed.

It is really MP145 level. Maybe even better. And being three dynamic drivers, there is no planar timbre. The timbre in general is more o less flawless.

The image is maybe a little nebulous. But the sound is so big, that it is a reasonable trade-off.

I haven't received the Kefine Delci yet, although I bought them before the R1, but I have a very hard time believing that they can surpass this magnificent set.
 

InfiniteJester

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EQing them to the Oratory target completely fixes the weirdness with the treble, while maintaining the tactility and spaciousness of the sound.

EDIT:
Preamp: -2.0 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 37 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 0.500
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 50 Hz Gain 0.3 dB Q 1.600
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 220 Hz Gain -1.7 dB Q 0.900
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 770 Hz Gain 1.6 dB Q 1.200
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1300 Hz Gain -1.3 dB Q 2.000
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 1800 Hz Gain -3.3 dB Q 1.100
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 6200 Hz Gain 2.8 dB Q 2.000
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 11000 Hz Gain 5.3 dB Q 2.000
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 15000 Hz Gain -4.7 dB Q 0.500

I actually prefer to turn the first filter off. The bass is too delightful in its custom form.
 
Last edited:

InfiniteJester

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The Kefine Delci are very good. They do honor their name, "refine" with a K.

They sound mature and correct. They are like a much better tuned EW200. They are more resolving than the ARTTI R1, but they are not as impresive in their depth and peculiar choices regarding tuning.

Both of them are excellent sets of IEMs. They are very different. I'm happy with my purchases.
 

USER

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Has anyone heard the Artti R2? They may have the highest quality Harman tuning that I have seen. Most that come close to it tend to overshoot the highs, which I do not like, and these seem to align with my preferences above 2kHz. (I need more than what the Truthear Reds provide but not a lot more.)

graph (25).png

These are the results with my conversion EQ for mmagtech. The following shows how close the EQ gets me to ASR measurements.

graph (26).png


Here it is against the Truthear Nova, which follows Harman closely, and which I have been reluctant to purchase because that 3kHz peak worries me. As it may bother me I believe I would be forced to EQ it and this is something that I don't want to do for IEMs costing more than $100. (I am not saying I want perfection but I can't have something there that I am sensitive to.)

graph (29).png

graph (28).png


I do wish they were better looking, and I worry the nozzles may be wide like those of the Truthear Zeros, which doesn't work for my ears. But still, this seems like a great result overall. They are priced between $35-$50.

61q+fN+gKzL._AC_SL1500_.jpg



Added: This is pretty much how I would upgrade the Salnotes Zeros.
graph (31).png
 
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gat3keeper

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Kefine Delci got delivered today . Have been listening to them for a few hours now. First impressions:
  • Super comfortable for me as the shell is small, relatively speaking, and they fits inside my pinna perfectly with excellent seal with the tips they came with. Can barely feel they are there after a few hours. (see below photo for size comparison)
  • They come with 7 pairs of silicone tips : 2 pairs of S,M, L sizes with narrow and wide bore options and a pair of XL. XL pair fit me the best. My ears must be gigantic.
  • Sound wise, they sound like as they graph for me; the way Zero:2's were supposed to sound, with less peaking and better high end roll off, which is to say, they are great. Only EQ I am considering is a bit less bass maybe?
  • I'll need a few more days to be sure, but a very strong contender for best bang for buck IEMs for me. They sell for $59 as of now.

Shell size comparison : Sonus vs Performer 5 vs Delci.
View attachment 361998

FR vs Zero:2
View attachment 361997


How was it so far?
 

IAtaman

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How was it so far?
Quite intriguing and enlightening I'd say.

Amir measured Zero:2 and found it to be quite compliant to the IE Target minus some treble. And on squiq.link you can find graphs that says Delci measures quite similar to Zero:2.

1713621665364.png
1713621687903.png


So you'd presume Delci would have good compliance in bass and mids as well, and maybe a bit too much treble, but nothing unmanageable. At least I did. And that's why I bought them. And at first they were fine. But after a while I realized something is not right. They sounds weird, a bit bloated and playing with ear gain / treble is not fixing it. A few days later, I gave up, and pissed with IEMs again, went ack to my trustworthy headphones.

A few days ago, I found the below graph over at head-fi. And this is a much accurate representation of how it sounds to me. Bloated and weird.

1713622015365.png

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/kefine-delci.27111/reviews

I am not upset about the purchase, they are very comforable and with EQ, they sound good. But I no longer trust measurements on squiq.link now, even when they are referenced to a known IEM.
 

InfiniteJester

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I think that they sound marvelous. But tuned to USound and not Harman, and those 8KHz peaks are probably resonances.

I gave them 5 starts on my review on Headfi and I use them daily with my PC with no EQ.
 

CedarX

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Quite intriguing and enlightening I'd say.

Amir measured Zero:2 and found it to be quite compliant to the IE Target minus some treble. And on squiq.link you can find graphs that says Delci measures quite similar to Zero:2.

View attachment 364864 View attachment 364865

So you'd presume Delci would have good compliance in bass and mids as well, and maybe a bit too much treble, but nothing unmanageable. At least I did. And that's why I bought them. And at first they were fine. But after a while I realized something is not right. They sounds weird, a bit bloated and playing with ear gain / treble is not fixing it. A few days later, I gave up, and pissed with IEMs again, went ack to my trustworthy headphones.

A few days ago, I found the below graph over at head-fi. And this is a much accurate representation of how it sounds to me. Bloated and weird.

View attachment 364867
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/kefine-delci.27111/reviews

I am not upset about the purchase, they are very comforable and with EQ, they sound good. But I no longer trust measurements on squiq.link now, even when they are referenced to a known IEM.
Is it a case where two IEMs measuring very close on a given test fixture may, due to different acoustic impedance, sound slightly different on another test fixture, and different again on your own ears?
Not huge differences, but enough to be noticeable?
 

USER

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Quite intriguing and enlightening I'd say.

Amir measured Zero:2 and found it to be quite compliant to the IE Target minus some treble. And on squiq.link you can find graphs that says Delci measures quite similar to Zero:2.

View attachment 364864 View attachment 364865

So you'd presume Delci would have good compliance in bass and mids as well, and maybe a bit too much treble, but nothing unmanageable. At least I did. And that's why I bought them. And at first they were fine. But after a while I realized something is not right. They sounds weird, a bit bloated and playing with ear gain / treble is not fixing it. A few days later, I gave up, and pissed with IEMs again, went ack to my trustworthy headphones.

A few days ago, I found the below graph over at head-fi. And this is a much accurate representation of how it sounds to me. Bloated and weird.

View attachment 364867
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/kefine-delci.27111/reviews

I am not upset about the purchase, they are very comforable and with EQ, they sound good. But I no longer trust measurements on squiq.link now, even when they are referenced to a known IEM.

I think this is about two things: the small error in Amir's measurements and the frequency one chooses to normalize.

My measurements align quite nicely with Bad Guy's.
graph (66).png


Here normalization is set to the standard 500Hz.

Amir's measurement has an error that is caused by slight movement of the IEM while the measurement was taken. Just make that line straight in your mind for the actual result.

This graph does a decent job showing the difference between his GRAS 45CA-10 and the standard clone coupler.

graph (67).png

Here are the results after my conversion filter. As you can see, you just need to picture Amir's bass results as straight. I've produced this error many times and securing the IEM fixes it. Edit: the standard Salnotes tips are a real bitch to measure as they have little rigidity.

graph (68).png


It seems to me that all the graphs are telling the same story.
 
Last edited:

IAtaman

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I think this is about two things: the small error in Amir's measurements and the frequency one chooses to normalize.

My measurements align quite nicely with Bad Guy's.
View attachment 364889

Here normalization is set to the standard 500Hz.

Amir's measurement has an error that is caused by slight movement of the IEM while the measurement was taken. Just make that line straight in your mind for the actual result.

This graph does a decent job showing the difference between his GRAS 45CA-10 and the standard clone coupler.

View attachment 364890
Here are the results after my conversion filter. As you can see, you just need to picture Amir's bass results as straight. I've produced this error many times and securing the IEM fixes it. Edit: the standard Salnotes tips are a real bitch to measure as they have little rigidity.

View attachment 364891

It seems to me that all the graphs are telling the same story.
Thank's for the possible explanation. You might be right vis a vis the measurements. It still does not sound good or natural to me.

I think Amir's measurement of Zero:2 might be misleading indeed.It is not normalization however as he normalized at 425 as per preference research I believe, and that is not a big difference to 500Hz.

Your and bad guy's measurements do not align with head-fi measurement on the bass/lower mids either. Head-fi measurements have a good 5dB over Harman at 100Hz whereas your measurements show much closer alignment.

I am a bit surprised it sounds good to InfiniteJester as, other than Delci, we seemed to have similar taste in IEMs.
 

USER

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Head-fi measurements have a good 5dB over Harman at 100Hz

If you are talking about the measurement you posted I do not see anything resembling that. Perhaps it is +3.5 dB, but likely closer to +3 dB. More, that graph seems normalized at 1kHz. Result should be even lower if normalized at the 425Hz. I've even compared my results with the source last week and we were very close.

That all said, my ears are in agreement with yours. I do not like bass (or treble) that goes over Harman as it can sound bloated to me. (I prefer GRAS 45CA-10 measurements for treble.) But this is all dependent on your ears and, just as importantly, the music you hear. If it is classic rock with bass guitar hidden in the mix this type of FR probably sounds great. There are so many variables that one has to really scrutinize reviews and measurements and not take anything as universal.
 

InfiniteJester

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Thank's for the possible explanation. You might be right vis a vis the measurements. It still does not sound good or natural to me.

I think Amir's measurement of Zero:2 might be misleading indeed.It is not normalization however as he normalized at 425 as per preference research I believe, and that is not a big difference to 500Hz.

Your and bad guy's measurements do not align with head-fi measurement on the bass/lower mids either. Head-fi measurements have a good 5dB over Harman at 100Hz whereas your measurements show much closer alignment.

I am a bit surprised it sounds good to InfiniteJester as, other than Delci, we seemed to have similar taste in IEMs.

Yes. I'm also surprised. We usually agree on everything.

This shows how strange and unpredictable personal preferences are.
 

IAtaman

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If you are talking about the measurement you posted I do not see anything resembling that. Perhaps it is +3.5 dB, but likely closer to +3 dB. More, that graph seems normalized at 1kHz. Result should be even lower if normalized at the 425Hz. I've even compared my results with the source last week and we were very close.

That all said, my ears are in agreement with yours. I do not like bass (or treble) that goes over Harman as it can sound bloated to me. (I prefer GRAS 45CA-10 measurements for treble.) But this is all dependent on your ears and, just as importantly, the music you hear. If it is classic rock with bass guitar hidden in the mix this type of FR probably sounds great. There are so many variables that one has to really scrutinize reviews and measurements and not take anything as universal.
Yes, you are right. When I zoom in it seems to be more like 3.5dB not 5 as I initially thought.
 

InfiniteJester

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To be fair, I mainly use the ARTTI R1 these days. They sound much more incorrect than the Delci, but their soundstage is something to behold.

It is very hot here already, my many headphones get no use whatsoever.

I'm very happy with my IEMs and their different flavors.
 

Doltonius

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Quite intriguing and enlightening I'd say.

Amir measured Zero:2 and found it to be quite compliant to the IE Target minus some treble. And on squiq.link you can find graphs that says Delci measures quite similar to Zero:2.

View attachment 364864 View attachment 364865

So you'd presume Delci would have good compliance in bass and mids as well, and maybe a bit too much treble, but nothing unmanageable. At least I did. And that's why I bought them. And at first they were fine. But after a while I realized something is not right. They sounds weird, a bit bloated and playing with ear gain / treble is not fixing it. A few days later, I gave up, and pissed with IEMs again, went ack to my trustworthy headphones.

A few days ago, I found the below graph over at head-fi. And this is a much accurate representation of how it sounds to me. Bloated and weird.

View attachment 364867
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/kefine-delci.27111/reviews

I am not upset about the purchase, they are very comforable and with EQ, they sound good. But I no longer trust measurements on squiq.link now, even when they are referenced to a known IEM.
Don't know if you have heard the salnotes zero 2 themselves. Actually, it is highly likely that you will also find the zero 2 bloated. That is how much effect the extra midbass has on the sound. To get the clean harman sound, the first thing you need to eq away is that midbass.
 

IAtaman

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Don't know if you have heard the salnotes zero 2 themselves. Actually, it is highly likely that you will also find the zero 2 bloated. That is how much effect the extra midbass has on the sound. To get the clean harman sound, the first thing you need to eq away is that midbass.
Yes, I do have them. They don't work for me, they sound harsh and extremely fatiguing even with a good seal. Can not wear them for more than 2 minutes.
 

Doltonius

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Yes, I do have them. They don't work for me, they sound harsh and extremely fatiguing even with a good seal. Can not wear them for more than 2 minutes.
that is funny. cannot imagine these sounding harsh. but you don't find them bloated, but the delci sounds bloated?
 
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