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Objectivist friendly and wallet friendly IEM?

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#21
I think JohnYang especially means their crazy prices. They are cable builders gone kilobuck IEMs. Overhyped all over head-fi et al.

Andro is not bad but its very high price is far from warranted (what's new in this scene right?). I also heard Solaris and didn't even like its sound... I honestly think they got lucky they even got andromeda right, have they made any decent IEM besides it?
There overhyped on Reddit as well, the sub would downvote any negative opinions about them and blindly assume because there £1100 they have to be good there. Andro is very picky on DAC/DAP, the ER4XR and other IEM's beat it and more.

Allot of them sound like they not tried allot of stuff or hide behind subjectivity when killobuck stuff is called out.
 

Tks

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#22
Not really. You should read the raw frequency response instead of the one with target applied.
This is what it actually sounds like.
https://m.blog.naver.com/PostView.nhn?blogId=gre_nada&logNo=221407076973&categoryNo=100&proxyReferer=&proxyReferer=https://www.google.com/
The distortion is really good tho. It should take eq reasonably well too.
The distorion metrics are the attraction point, which is why I mentioned EQ'ing them to preference.

And for $100, doubt you could do much worse all things considered.
 

LeftCoastTim

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#23
NAD HP20 are supposedly designed to Harman target curves, although I haven't seen measurements. So do Samsung Galaxy Buds (which there are measurements), if you want wireless.
 

vert

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#24
Depending on your phone you may not need a separate DAC. I use a Sony Xperia Xz premium and find that the DAC is transparent and the headphone output also pretty much transparent. The only criticism is that the output is a bit anaemic thanks to hearing protection regs. On more modern models without a headphone jack some of the USB dongles are fine.
An alternative is to go wireless. For wired IEMs I use Etymotic ER4 SR. They are a bit above your budget but not so much.
Contemplating my next Xperia. Do you get more output on the new models thru USB?
 

JJB70

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#25
Good question, I really don't know. One reason I have not upgraded the XZ Premium is I don't think the successor has a headphone jack, but unfortunately battery life is in freefall now. I think the volume issue is a regulatory one rather than a lack of power or Sony policy so I'm guessing they would have to write some similar limiter into dongles shipped with the phone?
 

JJB70

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#26
At one time it was pretty straightforward to find software downloads to "unlock" the volume limit of devices and phones sold for the European market freely available on-line but they seem to have clamped down on that (or they have applied the same standard globally so there isn't the same software versions for different markets).
 
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#27
Both the ER4SR/SE are very easy to drive i had no issue with my motherboard audio, Yet the ER4S i had needed a DAC in high gain to sound great.
 

JJB70

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#28
I don't know what it's like now but there was a period where there were so many counterfeit Sennheiser IEMs entering the market that their more popular models became a bit of a minefield. Especially as the counterfeits seemed to enter regular authorised retailer channels and were not just limited to dodgy eBay etc sellers.
 
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#29
I really like my Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic. Note that these are NOT the cheap "Earpod" earbuds that come with the iPhone; they're a completely different model, a dual-armature IEM. The model number is ME186LL/A. There was also an earlier model, the MA850G/B which I believe sounded the same. (Sometimes known online as the ADDIEM, short for "Apple Dual-Driver IEM".) They sold for $80 new (see below).

They sound excellent to me. I'm not an IEM collector so the only other I've compared them to is the Etymotic er6i, and the Apple sounded clearly better. It had better bass, was more transparent and neutral. The Ety in comparison sounded shouty with a bit of an upper-mid emphasis like a PA speaker. The Apples seem to have a lot of bad buyer reviews, though. I'm not sure why unless people are having trouble getting a proper seal with the included eartips.

The measurements look good and not far off from some high-end IEMS that cost more:
http://rinchoi.blogspot.com/2013/08/apple-me186lla-budget-wonder-updated.html

https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AppleInEar2013.pdf
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/ShureSE530.pdf (For comparison)

Unfortunately they've been discontinued, a shame as they were a good value and far superior to the Earpods and Airpods. There are supposedly some new ones on eBay and Amazon but I don't know if they're legit or counterfeits. I'd feel better buying from an individual seller that had one pair lying in the closet, rather than a store that claims to have a bunch of them somehow.
 

maxxevv

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#30
TL'DR: Don't know anything about IEMs. Please suggest a neutral/accurate one that's around US$150-200.

Long version: I'm looking for an "everyday carry" IEM for when I'm traveling, commuting, etc. Not familiar with the IEM realm but I do know that headphones in general should not measure flat. But I need an accurate and neutral one with the least coloration. My benchmark for headphones is the HD6XX. If I can get an IEM that sounds like the HD6XX that would be good enough.

I plan to use it to listen to Spotify with my Samsung S8 (upgrading to S10 soon) and an AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt. I know that AQ isn't an objectivist darling but the Cobalt seems to be the best out there for my purpose: an uber portable DAC/amp to drive $200 IEMs for Spotify playback. I've used having a cigarette carton sized DAP in the past but it's just too bulky and cumbersome. Now I just want to listen with my phone.

The Etymotic ER3SE ($179) seems to fit my requirements, but I haven't tried one out. Darko raved about the Campfire Audio Comet ($200) but are they neutral?
If you like something that sounds like the HD6XX, you are not going to like a "flat sounding" IEM. I certainly don't as I have the HD6XX and have tried IEMs that are considered "flat".

The HD6XX is not "flat", its actually close to "warm" with a marginally elevated bass and a slightly subdued treble.

It doesn't sound like the Etymotic ES3's or ES4's either.

Of the budget earphones that I have tried ( which is where I reside for audio mostly), the CCA C10 is probably close enough for the HD6XX in sound and its super duper budget friendly at under US$30/- off Aliexpress.com . Signature wise maybe but it will not have the energy nor loudness scalability of the HD6XX which sounds very coherant even when turned really loud.

If you want something higher up in the price bracket, with very gently elevated bass and slight sparkle in the treble without being overly"bright" sounding. Try the CCA C16. In my opinion, really enjoyable for classical music and complex music tracks. 8 drivers on each side for a wallet friendly US$80~100/-. Depending on sales and source.
 

maxxevv

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#31
I think JohnYang especially means their crazy prices. They are cable builders gone kilobuck IEMs. Overhyped all over head-fi et al.

Andro is not bad but its very high price is far from warranted (what's new in this scene right?). I also heard Solaris and didn't even like its sound... I honestly think they got lucky they even got andromeda right, have they made any decent IEM besides it?
You need to explore the world of Chi-fi earphones ..... :D:p
 

JohnYang1997

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#32
BTW, for cheap and everyday use, if you don't need isolation I highly highly recommend moondrop vxc. It just sounds very good. It's not as flat as er4 but it just sounds like music. With the benefit of ease of insert(no insert) and comfort it's certainly a must have in my book along with er2/er4 series.
 

THW

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#33
There overhyped on Reddit as well, the sub would downvote any negative opinions about them and blindly assume because there £1100 they have to be good there. Andro is very picky on DAC/DAP, the ER4XR and other IEM's beat it and more.

Allot of them sound like they not tried allot of stuff or hide behind subjectivity when killobuck stuff is called out.
The subreddit is utterly hilarious, I got downvoted for daring to suggest that research suggests a general convergence of preferences
 
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#34
The subreddit is utterly hilarious, I got downvoted for daring to suggest that research suggests a general convergence of preferences
I got -8 combined for questioning that the ER4S is only flat because the BA can't handle bass?. Ignoring the ER4XR/PT and a S/SR with EQ by 4 to 6db. The sub is prime example of having no clue on what there talking about. They don't even read the harman research links they spam on that DF netural bass was favoured more when shown in a blind A/B test.

One reviewer there got very immature/nasty when a troll called out his rate by money bias his scores show, All his A+ to S++ are all $700 - 2000.
 
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stevenswall

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#36
Etymotic Mc5, or one of their cheap XR series for a little more bass.

Etymotic makes their earphones follow the frequency response of the human ear basically, to make it as flat/accurate as possible at your eardrum.

Not sure of any other companies doing that for $80 or less besides a few AKG models that try to follow the target curve.
 

majingotan

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#38
I feel like Andromeda has weird mids tho. According to measurements there is hardly any 3k hump. The balance of lows and highs is probably why there are still many people like it.
It might be just too warm sounding for you. Solaris OTOH to me has hollow upper mids with the 4KHz dip making high guitars and upper piano sound unnatural
 

JohnYang1997

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#39
It might be just too warm sounding for you. Solaris OTOH to me has hollow upper mids with the 4KHz dip making high guitars and upper piano sound unnatural
Na. The response is just too shit. I am not looking back or holding back my opinion to shit.
 

majingotan

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#40
Na. The response is just too shit. I am not looking back or holding back my opinion to shit.
Yep. That's why there are endless IEMs/headphones available to cater everyone's preferences
 
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