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Warm, Dark and Bass heavy IEMs for Metal and Rock? (budget: max 50-70€/$)

Batenxx

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Preface: I've checked the Zero:2, Zero Red and Moondrop Chu II and all three sound too bright out of the box to me making them fatiguing to me.

I'm searching for a more warm and dark sounding IEM with stronger bass preferably. I mostly listen to extreme metal (Black, Death, Thrash), some Rock and oddly/contradictory enough anime and Japanese video game OSTs with female vocals, meaning that it should not be too muddy either. I'm no gamer, however I do read Japanese VNs and eroge (lol), so less bass heavy music and female voices should not be muddied too much.

After some search I've found my first candidates, please tell me what you think:

1. BLON x HBB Z300

Got this recommended from a fellow metal head.

2. TANGZU FUDU

Another recommendation from a metal head. Both, the Z33 and this seem pretty similar from their sound profile. Is the Fudu worth 2-3 times the price? Some reviewer said it has a very "analogue" and old school feel, which seems right up my alley. Probably the one I'm most interested in. Moreover: can the bass here be even made more intense via impedance adapters? I've heard this to be possible with IEMs with multiple drivers.

3. QKZ x HBB

I've heard it's warm, but is the bass decent enough?

4. Truthear Hola

I know it's been discontinued, but I found one from a local ebay seller, new and unopened. However for more than the initial asking price, it's 30€ instead of under 20€. Is it still worth the price?

5. KBear Rosefinch

No idea what to expect, saw some Redditor recommend it for the bass without saying more.

If you have any comments on those options or better ideas/other IEMs, through it at me. My budget is 50-70€ max. But I'm a very stingy buyer. Cheaper is preferable if the additional costs wouldn't lead to a significant increase in performance.

If by any chance some other products are to be released in the upcoming weeks, I can also wait.
 
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Dunring

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I'd pass on the Hola, that won't do what your after. The Artti T10 has the great bass slam, but takes at least the Apple 3.5mm USB adapter, and the U.S. version, not the less powerful European one.
You can equalize the Zero Red for more bass or the Chu II can take a treble reduction to smooth it out. I've had the ones you mention, if they're too bright, everything else is going to sound that way unless you learn to equalize or get a better seal with the next size larger tips.
 
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Batenxx

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I've had the ones you mention, if they're too bright, everything else is going to sound that way unless you learn to equalize or get a better seal with the next size larger tips.
Seal cannot be the issue as I not only tried all sizes, but also larger L-sized ones from another pair of older IEMs. I've tried some equalization, but merely comparing them to other IEMs and auto equalizing them to the other curves.

I might try to get some impedance adapters for the Zero Reds to boost the bass, but my Amazon return window ends tomorrow and I don't want to risk it.

But too little bass is not really the biggest problem, moreso the treble. I use them at high volumes and the treble is ear piercing, even on the Zero Reds. It's especially terrible with bad demo recordings of Metal bands or concert videos. And since I have no knowledge of equalization it's akin to having a janitor do a heart surgery. lol
 

multiformous

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Preface: I've checked the Zero:2, Zero Red and Moondrop Chu II and all three sound too bright out of the box to me making them fatiguing to me.

I'm searching for a more warm and dark sounding IEM with stronger bass preferably. I mostly listen to extreme metal (Black, Death, Thrash), some Rock and oddly/contradictory enough anime and Japanese video game OSTs with female vocals, meaning that it should not be too muddy either. I'm no gamer, however I do read Japanese VNs and eroge (lol), so less bass heavy music and female voices should not be muddied too much.

After some search I've found my first candidates, please tell me what you think:

1. BLON x HBB Z300

Got this recommended from a fellow metal head.

2. TANGZU FUDU

Another recommendation from a metal head. Both, the Z33 and this seem pretty similar from their sound profile. Is the Fudu worth 2-3 times the price? Some reviewer said it has a very "analogue" and old school feel, which seems right up my alley. Probably the one I'm most interested in. Moreover: can the bass here be even made more intense via impedance adapters? I've heard this to be possible with IEMs with multiple drivers.

3. QKZ x HBB

I've heard it's warm, but is the bass decent enough?

4. Truthear Hola

I know it's been discontinued, but I found one from a local ebay seller, new and unopened. However for more than the initial asking price, it's 30€ instead of under 20€. Is it still worth the price?

5. KBear Rosefinch

No idea what to expect, saw some Redditor recommend it for the bass without saying more.

If you have any comments on those options or better ideas/other IEMs, through it at me. My budget is 50-70€ max. But I'm a very stingy buyer. Cheaper is preferable if the additional costs wouldn't lead to a significant increase in performance.

If by any chance some other products are to be released in the upcoming weeks, I can also wait.
Bassy single DDs tend to be bloated. I'd suggest looking at the 6BA set Floaudio Bluelover. It's warm with a sub-bass boost without being bloated, and is relaxed in the treble. I don't know the best target to present it against, but here's my unit. No EQ necessary for me.
 

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MaxwellsEq

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It's especially terrible with bad demo recordings of Metal bands or concert videos.
I listen to lots of different music genres including heavy/metal bands. If I was to categorise most metal bands, I'd say they are frequently very compressed, are bright/harsh with no deep bass. In a sense, I think everyone copies everybody else when it comes to production values.

So, I think what you are accurately hearing is mostly baked into the music production! In a sense what you need is a tone control or a PEQ setting that slopes downhill without making the music lose its edge!
 
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Batenxx

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Bassy single DDs tend to be bloated. I'd suggest looking at the 6BA set Floaudio Bluelover. It's warm with a sub-bass boost without being bloated, and is relaxed in the treble. I don't know the best target to present it against, but here's my unit. No EQ necessary for me.
Weird, the link leads to a missing item on Aliexpress. Every other google search as well. Seems somehow Aliexpress region locked this. lol
 

MitchGtz

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Seal cannot be the issue as I not only tried all sizes, but also larger L-sized ones from another pair of older IEMs. I've tried some equalization, but merely comparing them to other IEMs and auto equalizing them to the other curves.

I might try to get some impedance adapters for the Zero Reds to boost the bass, but my Amazon return window ends tomorrow and I don't want to risk it.

But too little bass is not really the biggest problem, moreso the treble. I use them at high volumes and the treble is ear piercing, even on the Zero Reds. It's especially terrible with bad demo recordings of Metal bands or concert videos. And since I have no knowledge of equalization it's akin to having a janitor do a heart surgery. lol
I just got a Red and it came with the Impedance adapter, I find that it does enhance the bass response, but I think also reduces volume (which is easy to deal with) I “think” it is tuned for the Red though, it doesn’t work as well with other IEMS that I have.
 

SWL3600

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I'm right there with you on your description for metal/rock.

I recently bought some over the ear headphones and the sound quality sucked big time. Did a little Google-ing and changed the Bluetooth codec in my phone (very easy to do) and installed the Wavelet app (huge improvement).

The Wavelet app is free. Changing the Bluetooth codec on your phone is free as well. You'll definitely get the sound you're looking for.
 

Brian Hall

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The Zero 2 has plenty of bass with just a bit of EQ. The same will be true for almost any decent IEM.
 

markanini

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Truther Red is distintcly smooth up top IMO, I'd even consider in broadly recessed over the entire treble. Even more so with the bass plug attached.
 

multiformous

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I just got a Red and it came with the Impedance adapter, I find that it does enhance the bass response, but I think also reduces volume (which is easy to deal with) I “think” it is tuned for the Red though, it doesn’t work as well with other IEMS that I have.
It's more like the Zero:RED is tuned for the adapter. The effects of adding impedance with an adapter or just using higher output impedance sources will always depend on the impedance curve of the IEM/headphone. Take a look at the curves for Zero:RED compared to 7Hz Zero:2. The former has a non-flat impedance curve, while the latter is nearly flat. In this case, using an impedance adapter with Zero:2 will have virtually no effect (other than making it 'quieter' overall, or 'harder to drive'). But with Zero:RED, you get the 'bass boost' effect though in reality it's just decreasing the response above around 400Hz.

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David James

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I'm not a metal head but I have been listening to a few metal bands on Qobuz recently (Ragana - Desolation's flower. Interesting band) and was fairly satisfied. Using the zero:2 IEM and a Qudelix DAC/amp, I reduced output around 150hz and put a 4 db shelf around 80hz. Without the dip the bass sounded muddy but with it seems cleaner with a little more oompf in the bass. I could be imagining the improved clarity but I was pretty consistently not pleased with a bass shelf alone and now im happy. YMMV. I think you really need a good headphone amp to get those satisfying guitar distortion harmonics and crunch and the kick in bass regions. The qudelix delivers.
The zero:2 are just outrageous. So good for such a low price that in the hifi realm they might as well be free. You'd pay much more for shipping in the old "classic" hifi days.
 

InfiniteJester

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Kefine Delcis seem to be the new fad.

I haven't tried them personally yet, but I have read very good things. They are, apparently, warm and with a huge soundstage.
 

MitchGtz

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It's more like the Zero:RED is tuned for the adapter. The effects of adding impedance with an adapter or just using higher output impedance sources will always depend on the impedance curve of the IEM/headphone. Take a look at the curves for Zero:RED compared to 7Hz Zero:2. The former has a non-flat impedance curve, while the latter is nearly flat. In this case, using an impedance adapter with Zero:2 will have virtually no effect (other than making it 'quieter' overall, or 'harder to drive'). But with Zero:RED, you get the 'bass boost' effect though in reality it's just decreasing the response above around 400Hz.

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Thanks for the education, much appreciated! (No sarcasm)
 

Timcognito

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All of the 1More models are Bass-centric, so look for reviews on them. This only ASR review, not an IEM but my BT IEM from them sounds the same, lots of bass.
ON sale save $70
 
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JaguarIT

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I suggest staying in the dirt-cheap zone of $20 US, or less. Diminishing returns are very real in iems especially using EQ.

How do you listen to your music - what app do you use on your phone, or do you use a DAP? I ask because it's not very hard to learn to EQ on most devices when you have measurements to use (and your ears).

Anyway, KZ ZST is cheap, very sensitive and loud and I think basically fits your desired FR contour, though might still be a touch hot in treble (not in the truly high frequencies, which every headphone and iems set rolls off substantially, but what we hear as treble in music).

At $12.48 USD on aliexpress it's just the waiting slightly more than a week that will be slightly annoying.
$19 US on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/KZ-ZST-Dynamic-Headphones-Without/dp/B01MT5ANJC/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?crid=3HDUQ57ULZTQN&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.fdZ5Ignwvjmw5sF57J01ePxCTLVy1zyIrhCBoiBb7FcVwCwnFLK-jOK8BfOwMrOMXxbhKAUwitiBi20wbZz4DC1K8iUOn6eBKJtyNhJ65R1e2urVQPmNZy8hbfKzmr0IRntueZ_q8Gk4NPFscwgYDWfrDQ9CN3IoHP541PmLoQ1bgsYJLextmBR0hk4mMHWDWWnB3LT3abijVHjMIrtQ7Q.sQTDZ7S6drv4w_Hu4nT7FYWOxjdrudM-y4gIYdbryy4&dib_tag=se&keywords=kz+zst&qid=1716403310&sprefix=kz+zst,aps,226&sr=8-5
 
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ezdiy

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For me, it's PR2 and EQ everything >1khz to -7db. I've tried to do this with a lot of dynamic IEMs to no avail - once you go that far with EQ, the harmonic distortions/group delay becomes just too much, hence planar chifi. You'll need an amp too (j6 pro or kz am01 are both half-decent).
 

JaguarIT

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For me, it's PR2 and EQ everything >1khz to -7db. I've tried to do this with a lot of dynamic IEMs to no avail - once you go that far with EQ, the harmonic distortions/group delay becomes just too much, hence planar chifi. You'll need an amp too (j6 pro or kz am01 are both half-decent).
Hmm. You sure you're not just just experiencing intersample overshooting, resulting in distortion from clipping?

For low volume listening I reduce preamp gain by at least -12db while both adding +12db maximum at 20Hz with exponential curve starting at around 200Hz, and +12 at 20KHz starting at around 10Khz to 16KHz and I never get audible distortion even if I increase the volume, because the -12 db preamp ensures no intersample overshooting will occur, eliminating digital domain distortion from clipping. Have you tried a slight drop in preamp gain to make sure you aren't just getting distortion from clipping, or are you just absolutely blasting the volume?
 
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