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Budget IEM's for a newcomer in the space

pixxel-latte
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I recently stumbled across the IEM community on youtube and have been watching a lot of IEM related content over the past week or two. I have gotten interested in getting a solid pair of IEM's for myself because I realized I have never really experienced high quality audio. I also just want to try something new :3

 

I have seen time and time again that both the Moondrop Aria and Moondrop Starfield are among the best in the sub-$100 price point which is exactly where I'm looking. I just want some advice on what to look for in a good IEM, any IEM's that I should take a look into, and just general audio focused tips.

 

I'm completely new to the audio space and it has really interested me, so I'd love to have any resources where I could learn more and dive a bit deeper. Thanks in advance for any help or recommendations, stay safe! ❤️ 

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Reddit ,crinacle, YouTube,  and weirdly enough Facebook pages are pretty good resources as a lot of the Asian item market seems to be on Facebook. But I can definitely help you out some. What's your full budget, and what kind of music do you listen to?

Feel free to send me a DM for further or general questions.

Lyrics I vibe with or just funny right now:

"Aw, you look malnourished (Malnourished)
Let’s get some bread, fry the egg yolk and drown it in syrup (Drown it in syrup)"

-Tyler the creator
 

"This is food for thought, better take the whole plate

Don't lie, some of y'all thought food for thought meant taking these hoes on a date"-Injury Reserve

 

"Some of em just need to eat a whole thing of Crest"-MF DOOM


 

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1 hour ago, rice guru said:

Reddit ,crinacle, YouTube,  and weirdly enough Facebook pages are pretty good resources as a lot of the Asian item market seems to be on Facebook. But I can definitely help you out some. What's your full budget, and what kind of music do you listen to?

My full budget is $100 give or take, and I listen to a lot of alternative, rock, indie, and lofi music. I tend to not like things to bass heavy just as a general guideline.

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15 hours ago, pixxel-latte said:

I have seen time and time again that both the Moondrop Aria and Moondrop Starfield are among the best in the sub-$100 price point which is exactly where I'm looking.

You said it yourself for the most part 🤷 Moondrop owns the sub-$100 to $200 market right now.

 

Aria

Starfield

KXXS (no longer viable with the existence of the Kato, $190)

etc.

 

Next step up from these would be the Kato, followed by the 7Hz Timeless.

 

Another couple IEMs that go overlooked in that pricepoint though are the Etymotic ER2SE/ER2XR, which are both worth consideration.

15 hours ago, pixxel-latte said:

I'm completely new to the audio space and it has really interested me, so I'd love to have any resources where I could learn more and dive a bit deeper. 

Welcome to the community! Try checking out Crinacle from 'In-Ear Fidelity', DMS or Zeos Pantera from 'HiFiGuides', Joshua Valour, Bad Guy Good Audio Reviews, or GoldenSound.

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17 hours ago, pixxel-latte said:

I recently stumbled across the IEM community on youtube and have been watching a lot of IEM related content over the past week or two. I have gotten interested in getting a solid pair of IEM's for myself because I realized I have never really experienced high quality audio. I also just want to try something new :3

 

I have seen time and time again that both the Moondrop Aria and Moondrop Starfield are among the best in the sub-$100 price point which is exactly where I'm looking. I just want some advice on what to look for in a good IEM, any IEM's that I should take a look into, and just general audio focused tips.

 

I'm completely new to the audio space and it has really interested me, so I'd love to have any resources where I could learn more and dive a bit deeper. Thanks in advance for any help or recommendations, stay safe! ❤️ 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q2PC166/

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3 hours ago, grimreaper_slm-thg said:

If I was a moderator I'd lock your replies to the audio threads. Just- no...

 

We can handle this, don't worry.

 

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Just now, OfficialTechSpace said:

If I was a moderator I'd lock your replies to the audio threads. Just- no...

 

We can handle this, don't worry.

 

why not

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7 minutes ago, grimreaper_slm-thg said:

why not

Here's some homework for you. It's like Where's Waldo but with IEMs, find the KZ products:

https://crinacle.com/rankings/iems/

 

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IEMS: 7Hz Timeless, Tin Audio T2, Blon BL-03, Samsung/AKG Galaxy Buds Pro  STUDIO MONITORS: Mackie MR524, Mackie MRS10  MIC: NEAT Worker Bee  

INTERFACE: Focusrite Scarlett Solo  AMPLIFIER: SMSL SP200 THX AAA-888, XDUOO XD-05 Basic  DAC: SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKII (upgraded AK4493 Version)

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MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL: TechSpace

MY TWITTER: @TechSpaceHQ

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48 minutes ago, OfficialTechSpace said:

Here's some homework for you. It's like Where's Waldo but with IEMs, find the KZ products:

https://crinacle.com/rankings/iems/

 

 

41 minutes ago, grimreaper_slm-thg said:

i see your point with the kz

Crinacle though is a subjective reviewer. Their ratings of IEMs are not going to be infallible, and some may disagree with them. While the tier list is a good resource It really shouldn't be a one-stop-shop for IEMs... well, unless you're really lazy. Imo, use it for context and a perhaps general consensus on the performance of the iem. 

I am NOT a professional and a lot of the time what I'm saying is based on limited knowledge and experience. I'm going to be incorrect at times. 

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1 hour ago, Brok3n But who cares? said:

Crinacle though is a subjective reviewer. Their ratings of IEMs are not going to be infallible, and some may disagree with them. While the tier list is a good resource It really shouldn't be a one-stop-shop for IEMs... well, unless you're really lazy. Imo, use it for context and a perhaps general consensus on the performance of the iem. 

It was an easy point of reference. I'm aware of the subjectivity of the tier list, but also equally aware of the objectivity of measurements and technical performance. It's hard to get a point across without listing credible sources, because then you just come across as a know-it-all (as I've already experienced with the user that was in response to). I won't pick apart your ethics if you don't to mine, everyone's fair game. I don't back down to a good battle of wits when I see one💡

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IEMS: 7Hz Timeless, Tin Audio T2, Blon BL-03, Samsung/AKG Galaxy Buds Pro  STUDIO MONITORS: Mackie MR524, Mackie MRS10  MIC: NEAT Worker Bee  

INTERFACE: Focusrite Scarlett Solo  AMPLIFIER: SMSL SP200 THX AAA-888, XDUOO XD-05 Basic  DAC: SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKII (upgraded AK4493 Version)

WHEEL: Logitech G29 + Logitech G Shifter

 

[Stream Encoder]

CPU: AMD FX-9590  GPU: Sapphire R9 390X (Tri-X OC)  MOBO: ASUS Sabertooth R2.0 (AM3+)  RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X DDR3-1866 (2x8GB)

COOLER: EVGA CLC 280 PSU: MSI A750GF 80+ Gold CASE: Phanteks P400A Digital

 

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MY SETUP: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/kWYqDc

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17 hours ago, pixxel-latte said:

My full budget is $100 give or take, and I listen to a lot of alternative, rock, indie, and lofi music. I tend to not like things to bass heavy just as a general guideline.

I think the Tin  t4 is a good option then relatively flat response but good detail retention and has enough color so it's not totally boring. Otherwise the moondrop aria us a good pick.

Feel free to send me a DM for further or general questions.

Lyrics I vibe with or just funny right now:

"Aw, you look malnourished (Malnourished)
Let’s get some bread, fry the egg yolk and drown it in syrup (Drown it in syrup)"

-Tyler the creator
 

"This is food for thought, better take the whole plate

Don't lie, some of y'all thought food for thought meant taking these hoes on a date"-Injury Reserve

 

"Some of em just need to eat a whole thing of Crest"-MF DOOM


 

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On 11/28/2021 at 2:50 PM, OfficialTechSpace said:

You said it yourself for the most part 🤷 Moondrop owns the sub-$100 to $200 market right now.

 

Like you and a lot of other people here mentioned, Moondrop has some of the best offerings in my budget. I bought the Aria and I'm listening to them right now... and compared to everything else I have they are amazing!

 

Comfortable, solid detail, good bass that isn't overpowering, and smooth vocals. I love them so far!

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23 minutes ago, pixxel-latte said:

Like you and a lot of other people here mentioned, Moondrop has some of the best offerings in my budget. I bought the Aria and I'm listening to them right now... and compared to everything else I have they are amazing!

 

Comfortable, solid detail, good bass that isn't overpowering, and smooth vocals. I love them so far!

That's great! I'm glad they turned out well, now you're one of us 🙌 it's a fun hobby 

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COOLER: Arctic LiquidFreezer II 280 STORAGE: G.SKILL Phoenix FTL 240GB SSD, Crucial MX500 1TB SSD, Toshiba 2TB HDD, Seagate 4TB HDD

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MOUSE: Logitech G502 HERO (wired)  KEYBOARD: Rosewill K81 RGB (Kailh Brown)  HEADPHONES: HiFiMan Ananda, Drop x Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee

IEMS: 7Hz Timeless, Tin Audio T2, Blon BL-03, Samsung/AKG Galaxy Buds Pro  STUDIO MONITORS: Mackie MR524, Mackie MRS10  MIC: NEAT Worker Bee  

INTERFACE: Focusrite Scarlett Solo  AMPLIFIER: SMSL SP200 THX AAA-888, XDUOO XD-05 Basic  DAC: SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKII (upgraded AK4493 Version)

WHEEL: Logitech G29 + Logitech G Shifter

 

[Stream Encoder]

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COOLER: EVGA CLC 280 PSU: MSI A750GF 80+ Gold CASE: Phanteks P400A Digital

 

[Garage]

CAR: 2003 Honda Civic Coupe EX (EM2) ENGINE: K24 (swapped) 

 

MY SETUP: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/kWYqDc

MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL: TechSpace

MY TWITTER: @TechSpaceHQ

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On 11/28/2021 at 9:15 PM, OfficialTechSpace said:

I'm aware of the subjectivity of the tier list, but also equally aware of the objectivity of measurements and technical performance.

I like crinacle's disclaimers on their compare tool a lot.  728666829_Screenshot2021-12-1012_48_27PM.png.a865499dc147cf1e1d521c0f2444518a.png

 

Quote

as I've already experienced with the user that was in response to

As have I. They've done this repeatedly, and it's clear that they're not exactly experienced in the Hobby. My message was primarily directed at them, but I threw a reply to you as well. More or less trying to add additional information as a disclaimer. 

I am NOT a professional and a lot of the time what I'm saying is based on limited knowledge and experience. I'm going to be incorrect at times. 

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Be careful, it's an easy hobby to get lost in 😉 There's loads of interesting choices at various price points.

 

For the price, trying out a pair of BLON BL03s might be a good idea. I got mine on sale for $24, and I've been pleasantly surprised. Mind you I had to switch out the cable and tips; both of those are horrendous. Others have already mentioned the popular choices, but there are others that might be worth looking into. The reviewers OfficialTechSpace mentioned are pretty good, just take note of what they like sonically. Bad Guy Good Audio Reviews puts his tastes at the beginning of every video.

 

What will you be using as your source?

 

It's worth noting that things like cables (balanced vs unbalanced, tangle quality, some say they can get sound differences from different cables but I think that's probably slightly more on the placebo end...I recently started playing around with balanced cables, and I've gotta say, I don't think I'll be going back), and even ear tips can alter the sound. I've tried stock, RHA, SpinFit for tips and I recently got some Spiral Dots from Japan to try.

 

Something to keep in mind: it's a very subjective hobby. What sounds good to someone might not sound good to someone else. Lots of audiophiles will point to graphs, and a way that they "should" be, but this is simply incorrect. Find what you like, and buy with that in mind, not what you find in a forum. That should be used as more of a starting point to your journey. Audio has one of the most toxic, elitist communities I've come across.

 

My next IEM is going to be a 7Hz Timeless, Fiio x Crinacle Eclipse...possibly a Dunu DK2001.

 

On 11/28/2021 at 7:38 PM, Brok3n But who cares? said:

Crinacle though is a subjective reviewer. Their ratings of IEMs are not going to be infallible, and some may disagree with them. While the tier list is a good resource It really shouldn't be a one-stop-shop for IEMs... well, unless you're really lazy. Imo, use it for context and a perhaps general consensus on the performance of the iem. 

Or if you match Crinacle's tastes to a tee.

I'm tempted to try his Eclipse colab. Sounds like it'll be a treat. 

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