Welcome to the headphone list, where we have listened to and evaluated hundreds of in-ear headphones to help you find the best fit for your needs and preferences. This is ljokerl's table in interactive format that provides an easy way to narrow your selection down to fit your needs. To view all reviews (sorted by most recent), see here: All IEM Reviews. We are constantly adding new reviews, so be sure to check back or follow us on facebook, twitter, or google+.

Don't see your model listed? Try checking the "Show Discontinued Products" box.

For a more concise listing of our favorite sets for various tastes and budgets, check out our continuously updated Earphone Buyer’s Guide by Sound Signature.



Price (USD)
Average Rating
Sound Rating
Build Quality
Isolation Rating
Comfort Rating
Microphonics
Accessories


Headphones with mic/remote

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Show Discontinued Products


 

ModelMake & model of headphone.
Blue = custom-IEM
Red = discontinued
iHeadsets with mic/remote:
blank = no headset functionality
1 = mic + 1-button remote (universal)
3 = mic + 3-button remote for Apple iOS devices
a = mic + 3-button remote for Android devices
v = mic + 1-button remote + analog volume control (universal)
AccessoriesHow useful and complete the bundled set of tips & accessories is. Depends on the quantity and quality of the accessories, as well as on how well-suited they are for the earphone they come with. BuildDepends choice of materials, assembly quality, structural design, and overall feel. Also includes any observations on the durability of the earphones while in my care. IsolationAmount of passive reduction in ambient noise provided by the IEM. All IEMs isolate external noise by virtue of sealed ear coupling, but some are better than others. The better-isolating IEMs are capable of providing is upwards of 30db of attenuation, an 8-fold reduction in ambient noise volume. MicrophonicsSusceptibility to cable noise, a common malady affecting in-ear earphones. Mitigating factors such as the inclusion of a shirt clip or cable cinch and the ease of wearing the IEMs over-the-ear are taken into account. ComfortHow easy the earphone is to wear for long stretches of time. Typically tip- and ear-dependent, although general trends still apply. The ease of insertion/removal of the IEM is also taken into account. SoundPossibly the most subjective of the categories, the sound rating is an evaluation of the relative merits of the sound signature, scaled to the best earphone I have heard. AverageCalculated average of all scores, with the most weight on the sound score. PricePrice in USD at time of review. N/A indicates the product is discontinued.
JH Audio JH13 Pro Freqphase 1 5 5 4.5 5 5 10 9.85 $1175
Hidition NT 6 4 5 4.5 4.5 5 9.9 9.65 $1100
Sensaphonics 3MAX 5 5 5 5 5 9.4 9.65 $1050
Spiral Ear SE 3-Way Reference 4 5 5 5 5 9.5 9.60 $650
Unique Melody Miracle 3 5 4.5 5 5 9.8 9.60 $1049
Custom Art Music One 5 5 5 5 5 9.2 9.55 $170
Clear Tune Monitors WLS-5 4 5 4.5 5 5 9.5 9.50 $800
Lime Ears LE3 and LE3B 4 5 4 5 5 9.5 9.45 $590
Gorilla Ears GX-4b 4 5 4.5 5 5 9.4 9.45 $799
FitEar To Go! 334 5 5 4 4.5 4.5 9.5 9.35 $1399
Alclair Reference 4 5 4 5 5 9.4 9.35 $399
Clear Tune Monitors CTM-200 3.5 5 4 5 5 9.3 9.25 $400
LEAR LUF-4F / LUF-4B / LUF-4C 5 5 4 5 4 9.3 9.20 $565
EarSonics Velvet 4.5 4.5 4 5 4 9.4 9.15 $950
EarSonics SM64 4 4.5 4 5 4.5 9.3 9.10 $299
j-phonic K2 SP 4.5 4.5 4 5 4.5 9.2 9.10 $400
AKG K3003 / K3003i 3 5 5 3 5 4 9.4 9.10 $680
InEar StageDiver 2 (SD-2) 4.5 5 4 5 3.5 9.3 9.10 $450
InEar StageDiver 3 (SD-3) 4.5 5 4 5 3.5 9.3 9.10 $479
Earsonics ES3 4.5 4.5 4 5 4 9.3 9.10 $399
Westone 4 5 4.5 3.5 5 4 9.3 9.05 $499
Ultrasone IQ 1 4.5 5 3.5 5 3.5 9.3 9.00 $899
Westone UM3X 3.5 4.5 4 5 4.5 9.1 8.95 $399
Ultimate Ears UE 900 3 5 4.5 3.5 5 4 9.2 8.95 $400
Etymotic Research ER4S 5 4.5 4.5 3.5 4 9.2 8.90 $299
Westone 2 5 4.5 3.5 5 4.5 8.9 8.90 $299
FLC Technology FLC8 5 4 3.5 4.5 4 9.4 8.90 $318
Shure SE535 3 5 4.5 4 4.5 4 9 8.85 $435
TDK BA200 3.5 4 4 4.5 5 9.1 8.85 $190
DUNU DN-2000 5 4.5 3.5 4.5 3.5 9.3 8.85 $259
ACS T15 3.5 4.5 4 4 5 9 8.80 $229
Westone 3 5 4.5 3.5 5 3.5 9.1 8.80 $399
RHA MA750 / MA750i 3 5 5 3.5 4.5 4.5 8.9 8.80 $120
Fidue A83 5 4.5 3 4.5 4 9.2 8.80 $280
RHA T20 / T20i 3 5 5 3.5 4.5 3.5 9.1 8.80 $240
VSonic VC1000 3.5 4 4 4 4.5 9.2 8.75 $125
Fischer Audio DBA-02 mkII 4.5 4 4 3.5 4.5 9.2 8.75 $198
Sony MDR-EX1000 4 4.5 2.5 5 4 9.3 8.75 $450
VSonic GR01 3.5 4 4 4 4.5 9.2 8.75 $208
Kozee Infinity X1 Executive 4.5 4.5 4 5 5 8.4 8.75 $189
Rock-It Sounds R-50 / R-50M 1 3.5 4 3.5 5 4.5 9.1 8.75 $120
Olasonic Flat-4 Nami 3.5 4.5 3 5 4 9.2 8.75 $499
Sennheiser IE 800 4 5 3 4 4 9.3 8.75 $800
VSonic GR07 Bass Edition 4 4 3.5 4.5 4.5 9.1 8.70 $129
Sennheiser IE8 / IE8i 3 5 5 2.5 5 4 8.9 8.70 $375
VSonic GR07 4 4 3.5 4.5 4.5 9.1 8.70 $158
Dunu DN-1000 5 4.5 3.5 4 3.5 9.2 8.70 $160
Phonak Audeo PFE 112 1 5 4 3 4.5 5 8.8 8.65 $140
Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS 3.5 4 3 4.5 4.5 9.2 8.65 $1000
HiFiMan RE-400 Waterline 3 3.5 4 4 4 4.5 9 8.60 $79
Yamaha EPH-100 4 4 4 4 4.5 8.9 8.60 $130
Etymotic Research HF5 / HF2 / HF3 3 4 4 4.5 4 4 8.9 8.60 $120
LIFE Headphones 3.5 3.5 4 5 4 9.0 8.60 $250
Sony MDR-EX600 4 4.5 2.5 5 4 9 8.55 $200
JVC HA-FX700 4 4.5 2 5 4 9.1 8.55 $260
T-Peos H-100 5 4.5 3.5 4 4 8.7 8.50 $150
Sony XBA-4SL / XBA-4iP 3 4 4.5 3 4.5 4 8.9 8.50 $350
JVC HA-FXT90 4 4.5 3 4.5 4 8.9 8.50 $78
Brainwavz B2 4 3.5 3.5 4 4 9.2 8.50 $160
Ortofon e-Q5 3.5 4 3.5 4 4 9.1 8.50 $215
Monster Miles Davis Trumpet 3 4.5 4 3.5 3.5 4.5 8.9 8.45 $350
Monster Turbine Pro Copper 3 5 4 3.5 4 4 8.8 8.45 $269
Klipsch Image X10 / X10i 3 4.5 3 4 4 5 8.6 8.40 $110
Future Sonics Atrio MG7 4.5 4 3.5 4 4 8.8 8.40 $175
Monster Turbine Pro Gold 3 5 4 3.5 4 4 8.7 8.40 $249
JVC HA-FXD80 / HA-FRD80 1 3 4.5 3.5 4.5 4 8.7 8.40 $64
Monster Miles Davis Tribute 5 4 3.5 3.5 4 8.9 8.40 $390
Philips Fidelio S2 1 4 4 3 4.5 3.5 9 8.40 $100
1MORE Triple Driver E1001 a 4 4 2.5 4 4.5 9.0 8.40 $100
Ultimate Ears UE 600 / 600vi 3 4 3.5 3.5 4.5 4.5 8.6 8.35 $60
Audio-Technica ATH-CK90Pro 3 4 4 4 4 8.7 8.30 $220
RBH EP1 / EP2 1 3 4.5 3 4.5 4.5 8.5 8.30 $149
Brainwavz R3 (ver. 2) 4.5 4.5 3 4 3 8.9 8.30 $110
DUNU Titan 1 4.5 4 2 4 4 9.1 8.30 $100
MEElectronics A161P 1 4.5 3.5 4 3.5 4 8.7 8.25 $95
Dunu DN-19 Tai Chi 5 4.5 3.5 4.5 4 8.1 8.25 $100
SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro 1 4.5 4 3 4 4.5 8.5 8.25 $100
Audio-Technica ATH-CKM99 3.5 4.5 3 4 4 8.6 8.20 $190
VSonic GR06 4 4 3.5 4.5 4.5 8.1 8.15 $63
Creative Aurvana In-Ear 3 4.5 3.5 3.5 4.5 3.5 8.5 8.15 $100
Westone 1 5 4.5 3.5 5 4.5 7.6 8.15 $120
Astrotec AX-35 3.5 4.5 3 4 4 8.5 8.15 $70
Etymotic Research MC5 / MC2 / MC3 3 4 4.5 4.5 4 4 7.8 8.10 $59
Shure SE215 3 4 4.5 4 4.5 3.5 8 8.10 $99
Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 4 4 8.6 8.10 $100
Alpha & Delta AD01 4 4 3 4 3.5 8.7 8.10 $91
Philips Fidelio S1 1 3.5 3 3 4.5 3.5 8.9 8.10 $90
Fischer Audio SBA-03 2.5 3.5 4 3.5 4 8.7 8.05 $120
Dunu I 3C-S 5 4 3 4.5 4 8.1 8.05 $99
HiSoundAudio Crystal 2.5 4.5 4 3.5 4.5 8 7.95 $69
Rock-It Sounds R-30 / R-30M 1 3.5 4 3.5 5 4.5 7.7 7.95 $70
Brainwavz S5 4.5 4 3.5 4 4 8 7.95 $100
VSonic R02 Silver 2.5 4.5 3.5 4 4 8 7.85 $49
VSonic VC02 3 3.5 3.5 4 4.5 8.1 7.85 $49
MEElectronics A151 / A151P 1 4 4 3.5 5 4.5 7.4 7.85 $45
Rock-It Sounds R-20 / R-20M 1 3.5 4 3.5 5 4.5 7.4 7.80 $40
Phonak Audeo Perfect Bass 022 1 1 4 3 4.5 5 8 7.80 $99
Etymotic Research ETY-Kids 5 / 3 3 3.5 4 4.5 4 4 7.6 7.80 $39
HiSoundAudio BA100 1 3.5 3.5 4 3.5 4.5 7.9 7.80 $63
Thinksound MS01 3.5 4 3 4 4 8 7.75 $90
Moe Audio MOE-SS01 2.5 4 3 4.5 4 8 7.75 $65
Brainwavz S1 4.5 4 3.5 3.5 4 7.8 7.75 $60
Audio-Technica ATH-CKM500 3 3 4 3 3.5 4.5 8.0 7.70 $54
Dunu DN-23 Landmine 5 4.5 3.5 4 3.5 7.5 7.70 $69
PureSound ClarityOne 1 3.5 3.5 3.5 4.5 3.5 7.9 7.70 $60
VSonic GR02 Bass Edition 4 4.5 3 4 4 7.6 7.70 $31
HiSoundAudio Wooduo 2 4 4 3 3.5 4 8 7.70 $80
Fischer Audio Tandem 3 3.5 3 3.5 3 8.6 7.70 $75
Astrotec AM-90 / AM-90-MIC 1 3 4.5 3.5 4 4.5 7.4 7.65 $44
Velodyne vPulse 3 4 4 3.5 4.5 4 7.4 7.65 $60
Fischer Audio Eterna 3 4 3.5 4 4 7.7 7.65 $70
Fidue A63 3 4 3 4 3 8.2 7.65 $60
Xiaomi Piston 3 a 3 3.5 2.5 3.5 4.5 8.2 7.65 $16
Astrotec AM-800 3 4.5 2.5 4 4 7.8 7.60 $40
Yuin OK1 3.5 3 1 5 2.5 8.9 7.60 $229
Beyerdynamic DTX 101 iE / MMX 101 iE 1 4 4.5 3.5 3.5 4 7.4 7.55 $84
Bowers & Wilkins C5 3 3.5 4 3.5 4 3.5 7.6 7.55 $180
Rock Jaw Alfa Genus 2.5 3.5 3 3.5 4 8.1 7.55 $72
NHT SuperBuds 1 4 3.5 4 4 3 7.7 7.55 $70
HiFiMan RE300h 2 3.5 3 4 4.5 7.9 7.55 $49
Monster Turbine 3 4 4 3.5 3.5 4 7.5 7.50 $100
ViSang VS-K1 4 4 2.5 4 4 7.6 7.50 $50
T-Peos D200R 1 2.5 4 3 3.5 4 7.9 7.50 $35
Pump Audio Earphones 1 3.5 3.5 3 4 4 7.7 7.50 $50
Brainwavz M3 / ViSang R04 4 4 2.5 4 3.5 7.7 7.45 $80
Sony MH1C 1 1.5 3.5 3.5 3 4 8.1 7.45 $31
NarMoo S1 4 4 3 3 3.5 7.7 7.45 $33
Brainwavz S0 4.5 4 3 3 4 7.5 7.45 $45
Fidue A31s 1 4 3.5 3.5 4 5 7 7.45 $16
Brainwavz M5 1 4.5 4 2.5 3.5 4 7.5 7.40 $35
Soundmagic PL50 4.5 4 2.5 4.5 5 6.9 7.40 $51
Dunu DN-16 Hephaes 5 4.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 7.1 7.40 $79
Spider Realvoice 3 4 3.5 2.5 4 3.5 7.8 7.40 $78
Xears XR120PRO II 2.5 3.5 3.5 4 3.5 7.7 7.40 $45
Nuforce NE-700X / NE-700M (2013 version) 1 3 4 3 4 3.5 7.6 7.40 $65
NarMoo R1M 1 4 4 3 3.5 3.5 7.6 7.40 $25
Popclik Evolo 1 3.5 4 3 4 4 7.4 7.40 $30
Dunu DN-17 Crater 5 4.5 3 3.5 3.5 7.2 7.35 $70
Brainwavz M2 / ViSang R03 4 4 3 4 4 7.2 7.35 $55
Fischer Audio Consonance 3.5 4 3 3 4 7.6 7.35 $51
Dunu DN-11 Ares 5 4.5 3.5 3.5 4 6.8 7.30 $67
Dunu DN-13 Crius 5 4.5 3.5 3.5 4 6.8 7.30 $54
Ultimate Ears 500 / 500vi / 500vm 3 3.5 3 3.5 4 4 7.4 7.30 $37
Xears XE200PRO 3 3.5 2.5 4 3.5 7.8 7.30 $148
Phiaton PS 210 / PS 210i 1 3.5 4 2 4 4 7.5 7.30 $80
Fischer Audio Silver Bullet 2 3 3 3.5 3.5 8.1 7.30 $65
Signature Acoustics Elements C-12 3.5 4 3 4.5 4 7.2 7.30 $50
T-Peos Tank 1 2.5 4 3 3 4 7.7 7.30 $39
Xiaomi Piston 2 a 3 3.5 2.5 3.5 3 8.1 7.30 $25
T-Peos Rich200 1 1.5 4 3 3 4 7.9 7.30 $33
Zipbuds PRO 1 2 4 3 2.5 4 7.9 7.30 $35
JVC XX Elation HA-FR100X 1 2.5 4 3 5 3.5 7.2 7.30 $59
Dunu DN-18 Hawkeye 5 4.5 3 3.5 3.5 7 7.25 $60
id America Spark 1 3.5 4 3 3.5 3.5 7.4 7.25 $40
Hippo VB 4 3.5 3 3 3.5 7.7 7.25 $79
Soundmagic E30 3.5 3.5 2 4.5 5 7.1 7.25 $39
Phiaton PS 20 2.5 4 2 4 4 7.6 7.25 $50
Xears Nature N3 / N3i 1 3 3.5 2.5 4 3 7.8 7.20 $95
VSonic GR99 3 4 3 3.5 4 7.3 7.20 $28
Thinksound TS02 1 3 4 3 4 4 7.1 7.20 $80
LG Quadbeat HSS-F420 1 1 3.5 3 3.5 3.5 7.9 7.20 $30
JVC Xtreme Xplosives HA-FR301 1 3 4 3 5 4 6.8 7.20 $40
1MORE Design Crystal Piston a 2.5 3.5 2.5 3.5 3 8.0 7.20 $30
Xiaomi Hybrid Earphones a 1.5 3.5 2.5 3 4 8 7.2 $18
Dunu DN-22M Detonator 1 5 4.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 6.7 7.15 $45
Brainwavz M1 4 3.5 3 4 4 7 7.15 $45
Beyerdynamic DTX 71 iE 3 4 3 3.5 4 7.2 7.15 $50
RHA MA350 2.5 4.5 3.5 3.5 4 6.8 7.10 $40
Xears Resonance 2.5 3.5 3 3.5 4.5 7.2 7.10 $34
UBSOUND Fighter 1 2 3.5 3 3 4 7.6 7.10 $49
ViSang R02 / Brainwavz ProAlpha 4 4 3 4 4 6.7 7.05 $40
MEElectronics CW31 / CW31P 1 4 4 2.5 4 4.5 6.7 7.05 $29
Paradigm Shift E3m 1 3.5 4 3 4 3.5 6.9 7.05 $40
Dunu DN-12 Trident 3 4.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 6.8 7.05 $25
Pioneer SE-CLX60 2 4 3 4 3.5 7.2 7.05 $75
Tekfusion Twinwoofers 1 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 7.2 7.05 $40
Fischer Audio Ceramique 2 3 3.5 3.5 2 7.9 7.00 $53
Thinksound TS01 / Thunder 3 4 3 4 4.5 6.5 6.95 $45
Klipsch Image S4 / S4a / S4i 3 3.5 3.5 3 4 4 6.7 6.90 $60
Xears Communicate CP100iP 1 3 3 3 3.5 4 7.1 6.90 $54
Soundmagic E10 / E10M 3 3.5 3.5 2.5 4 3.5 7 6.90 $35
Woodees IESW100L Blues 3 3 4 3 4 3.5 6.9 6.90 $70
VSonic R02ProII Silver Cable 3 4.5 3 4 3.5 6.4 6.80 $35
JVC HA-FX40 2 3 2.5 4.5 3 7.2 6.80 $20
Fischer Audio Paradigm v.3 2 4 2.5 2.5 4 7.2 6.80 $55
Maximo iM-590 / iP-HS5 / iM-595 3 4.5 3.5 3 3 4 6.6 6.75 $35
JAYS t-JAYS Three 3 4.5 4 2.5 3.5 3.5 6.6 6.75 $106
JVC HA-FXC80 "Black Series" 4 4 3 4 3 6.5 6.75 $40
Munitio NINES Teknine SITi Nine Millimeter 3 2.5 4.5 3 4 4 6.2 6.75 $103
Earjax Lyrics 5 3.5 3 3.5 3.5 6.4 6.70 $66
Sony MDR-EX300 3.5 3 2 4.5 3.5 6.8 6.70 $60
MEElectronics M6 / M6P 1 4 4 3 5 4 5.7 6.70 $20
Hippo Pearl 3 4 3 3 4.5 6.4 6.70 $28
Woodees IESW101B / IESW100B 1 3 3 3 4 3.5 6.6 6.65 $31
Nuforce NE-600X 1 3 3 3.5 4 7.0 6.65 $15
Spider TinyEar 1 2.5 3 3 3 4.5 6.6 6.60 $40
Apple In-Ear Headphones (ADDIEM) 3 2.5 3.5 2.5 4 4 6.5 6.60 $50
JVC HA-FX101 1 1 3.5 3 5 4 6.2 6.60 $14
Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 4 / 4vi 1 4 3 3 4 3 6.5 6.55 $33
Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Tour 3 3.5 3.5 3 4 3.5 6.1 6.50 $150
RadioPaq Classical 1 1 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 6.5 6.50 $11
Klipsch Image S3 3.5 3.5 3.5 4 3.5 5.9 6.45 $39
Ultimate Ears 350 / 350vi / 350vm 3 3.5 3.5 3 4 4 5.9 6.45 $18
Philips O'Neill SHO2200 Tread 1 1 5 3 4 3 6 6.40 $26
Brainwavz Beta 1 1.5 2.5 2.5 3.5 4 6.7 6.35 $10
Monster Lil' Jamz 3 2.5 3 3.5 3.5 4.5 5.9 6.35 $55
RadioPaq Jazz 1 1 4 2.5 3.5 2.5 6.8 6.35 $44
Monster Jamz 1 3 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 6 6.30 $47
Fischer Audio FA-977 Jazz 2 3.5 3 3.5 3 6.4 6.30 $50
Klipsch Custom 2 4.5 2.5 3.5 2.5 4 6 6.25 $80
H2O Audio Surge 3.5 3.5 3 4 4 5.5 6.25 $37
Yamaha EPH-50 1.5 3.5 2.5 3.5 4.5 5.9 6.20 $55
Sennheiser CX280 2.5 4 3 3 4 5.8 6.20 $50
Monoprice 8320 / MEP-933 0 2.5 2 3 2.5 7.5 6.20 $11
MEElectronics M9 / M9P 1 4 4 3 4 3.5 5.3 6.15 $20
Blue Ever Blue 866B 2 3 2.5 3 4.5 6.1 6.15 $55
H2O Audio Flex 1 3.5 3 3 4.5 5.9 6.15 $20
Soundmagic PL30 5 3.5 1.5 4.5 4.5 5.2 6.10 $24
Sunrise Aodia i100 1 1.5 3 3 3 4.5 5.9 6.10 $24
MEElectronics M16 / M16P 1 3.5 4 3 4 4 5 6.05 $13
Rock-It Sounds R-10 3.5 3.5 2.5 4.5 4.5 4.7 5.90 $20
Soundmagic PL21 / MP21 1 4.5 3.5 2.5 4 4 4.8 5.85 $22
Rock-It Sounds R-11 3.5 3.5 3 5 4.5 4.2 5.80 $25
Astrotec DX-60 1 2.5 3.5 2 4.5 4 4.9 5.70 $20
Earjax Tonic 3.5 3.5 2.5 3.5 3.5 5.1 5.70 $28
Ultimate Ears 100 1 2.5 3 4 4 4.9 5.45 $10
Skullcandy Holua 1 3.5 2.5 3 3 4 4.5 5.30 $22
Maximo iMetal iM-390 / iP-HS3 1 4 3.5 2.5 3 2.5 4.6 5.20 $39
MEElectronics M2 / M2P 1 1.5 4 2.5 4.5 3.5 4 5.20 $15
elago E3 1 3 2.5 4 4 4.1 5.00 $11
Zune Premium Headphones v2 3 2.5 3 3.5 3 4.2 4.95 $37
Coby CVEM79 Jammerz 2 3 2 4.5 4.5 3.7 4.95 $10
Skullcandy Titan 1 3.5 3.5 2.5 3 2.5 4.1 4.85 $37
JVC HA-EBX85 1 2.5 2.5 4 4 3.6 4.65 $17
Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 1 2.5 3 3 4 3.5 3.1 4.60 $14
Section 8 Earbuds 1 3 3 3 3.5 3.7 4.60 $10
Yamaha EPH-20 1 2.5 2.5 3.5 4.5 3.5 4.55 $20
Kanen KM-948 1 2 3 2.5 3.5 3.7 4.30 $7
MEElectronics SX31 / SX31P 1 1 2 2 3 3 3.2 3.85 $13
DealExtreme Orange IEMs 1 2.5 2 4 2 1 2.65 $3
ModelMake & model of headphone.
Blue = custom-IEM
Red = discontinued
iHeadsets with mic/remote:
blank = no headset functionality
1 = mic + 1-button remote (universal)
3 = mic + 3-button remote for Apple iOS devices
a = mic + 3-button remote for Android devices
v = mic + 1-button remote + analog volume control (universal)
AccessoriesHow useful and complete the bundled set of tips & accessories is. Depends on the quantity and quality of the accessories, as well as on how well-suited they are for the earphone they come with. BuildDepends choice of materials, assembly quality, structural design, and overall feel. Also includes any observations on the durability of the earphones while in my care. IsolationAmount of passive reduction in ambient noise provided by the IEM. All IEMs isolate external noise by virtue of sealed ear coupling, but some are better than others. The better-isolating IEMs are capable of providing is upwards of 30db of attenuation, an 8-fold reduction in ambient noise volume. MicrophonicsSusceptibility to cable noise, a common malady affecting in-ear earphones. Mitigating factors such as the inclusion of a shirt clip or cable cinch and the ease of wearing the IEMs over-the-ear are taken into account. ComfortHow easy the earphone is to wear for long stretches of time. Typically tip- and ear-dependent, although general trends still apply. The ease of insertion/removal of the IEM is also taken into account. SoundPossibly the most subjective of the categories, the sound rating is an evaluation of the relative merits of the sound signature, scaled to the best earphone I have heard. AverageCalculated average of all scores, with the most weight on the sound score. PricePrice in USD at time of review. N/A indicates the product is discontinued.

Color coding:
Blue = denotes custom-fit earphones (CIEMs)
Red = denotes discontinued models (select “Show discontinued products” checkbox on left to display)

i column denotes Headset functionality:
blank = no headset functionality
1 = mic + 1-button remote (universal)
3 = mic + 3-button remote for Apple iOS devices
a = mic + 3-button remote for Android devices
v = mic + 1-button remote + analog volume control (universal)

Rating Breakdown
All ratings are scaled to how the particular IEM peforms compared to the best set I’ve heard to date in a particular category.

Accessories: Depends on both quantity and quality of the accessories, as well as on how well-suited they are for the earphone.
Build Quality: Based on choice of materials, assembly quality, physical design, and overall feel. Also includes any observations on the durability of the earphones while in my care.
Isolation: Amount of reduction in ambient noise provided by the IEM. All IEMs isolate external noise by virtue of sealed ear coupling, some more than others. The most isolating IEMs are capable of providing is upwards of 30db of attenuation, an 8-fold reduction in ambient noise volume (enough to reduce the volume of a vacuum cleaner to a whisper).
Microphonics: Susceptibility to cable noise, a common malady affecting in-ear earphones. See here for more info. Mitigating factors such as the inclusion of a shirt clip or cable cinch and the ease of wearing the IEMs over-the-ear are taken into account.
Comfort: How comfortable the earphone is over long stretches of time. Typically tip- and ear-dependent, but general trends still apply.

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1,150 Comments

  1. Mathieu Barthelemy on

    Hi, I am new to higher quality IEM’s. I am about to buy Custom Art Music One’s. I dont have much experience with high quality earbuds and headphones(I have gone through a pair of ATH m-50’s and right now I am currently using Senheiser momentum’s). I wanted to know how these iem’s will stack up sound wise compared to the headphones that I have tried. If you could also let me know if the Custom Art music ones come with foam ear pieces or do iem’s not use those because it does not seem like the Custom Art music one’s come with them out of the box. I am buying from the website Wiplash Audio(is this a reliable website). If you could help me out that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Sincerely,
    Mathieu

  2. bLOT8 on

    Hi Joker

    This is such a brilliant guide. It’s helpful to folks to who want to pick what suits them as well folks like me who mostly end up advising friends and family what to buy. Well after a long time I find myself in the market for a pair of IEMs after my last pair Sennheiser CX 1.00 gave up the ghost. I enjoyed them quite a bit but the lack of a microphone bothered me. I’m looking for a budget pair and I’ve shortlisted a few. I’m not sure if I’m a bass-head or not but my music is mainly hard rock/rock n roll and EDM. I’ve tried the Brainwavz Omega (uncomfortable and muffled), the Brainwavz XFit (very nice), Sony XB-40 (too much bass). I’m looking for earphones with a headset with decent durability.

    Jays a Jays Five ($12) seems decent
    1More Piston Fit which is a rebadged Piston Classic ($15) 1 year warranty 😑
    Brainwavz Delta ($25) breakage issues?
    Brainwavz S0 ($30)

    Also available at $30 are the Jays t Jays Three but they are low on my list because of the lack of a microphone.
    Any other options I should consider?? I’m leaning towards the a Jays Five but it’s hard to decide since most reviews rate them low value because they were priced in a different bracket compared to the others. Hope you can help. Thank you so much.

  3. Ioannis on

    Joker hello.

    First of all, i would like to thank you for this extensive list and the massive information provided… You have really changed my view on earphones and the ‘fashion’ models (like beats and so on) i keep on seeing every day..

    To my questions:
    1. I need a durable set of earphones for the gym and other external – ‘sweaty’ situations. Not interested in accessories, mic/remote capabilities and comfort but on the other hand I do not want to sacrifice sound (really enjoy the deep bass) and isolation. Could you please propose, some alternatives not above 100 $?
    2. I also need a quality set of earphones for my iPhone, able to handle music very well and accept-make calls etc. Using your detailed table, I identified the RHA MA750 as a decent candidate. Price limit is till 200 $ and again I would really appreciate some alternatives.

    Thanking you in advance

  4. Rob M on

    Hi Joker

    This list is epic and super useful, I’m definitely no expert but i get a lot of question from mates looking to buy bc i do my research when buying headgear so the list has helped me as a guide with balancing quality and costs etc.

    I’m now looking for some assistance of my own with an upgrade from my DUNU DN-1000 which have served me extremely well but now looking for the next step up. From what I’ve read either upgrade to the DUNU DN2000 or 2000J would be good but I’m also open to change. I’ve notice you push that similar (slightly cheaper) price range towards the Custom Art Music One but just wanted to see what your thoughts were comparing differences between DUNU and Custom Art.

    • ljokerl on

      Custom Art Music One follows a very different sound signature from the DUNU hybrids. If you want a completely different experience from what you’ve had, it’ll provide a great contrast, but it’s difficult to view the Music One as a direct upgrade from the DN-1000 – it has much less bass and treble boost, and quite a bit more midrange emphasis.

      Besides the higher-end DUNUs the FLC Technology FLC8 is one that comes up when I think of ways to upgrade from mid-range hybrid earphones. I compared it to the DN-2000 here: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/flc-technology-flc8/ . In the configuration I use it tends to be overall more balanced overall while maintaining the general sound signature of the DUNU hybrids. Might be worth a read of the review.

  5. Tiago Pereira on

    Hello Mr. Joker,

    Might as well try my luck 🙂
    After going through 2 sets of Vsonic GR07’s I am also looking for a little upgrade on my listening experience.
    I can say I am a complete fan of these and can’t really point a problem at them.
    It’s also rather for me to say the kind of sound I really like since I lack XP in this “world”.
    I’ve been looking into the Custom Art Music One’s for instance without really understanding what I’ll get.

    So I guess I just want an opinion on where to go. Doesn’t have to be the CAMO’s of course.

    Thanks in advance. And thanks a lot for spending time on helping everyone around here.

    Tiago Pereira

    • ljokerl on

      The Custom Art is a great value in the world of customs but it provides a different sound tuning than you’re used to with your GR07s, which tend to be a little more aggressive with their bass and treble. There’s an A:B comparison with the GR07s in my review: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/custom-art-music-one-review/ . If you think that the smoothness of the Music One will be a good step forward for you and you won’t miss the bass punch or treble energy of the GR07, it’s a good buy, but it’s not really a direct upgrade/competitor of the VSonics.

      The GR07 is tough to upgrade from, but the earphone that I’ve had the most success recommending as the next step up for GR07 fans has been the FLC Technology FLC8. It’s more similar to the GR07 in sound tuning and gets ahead in a few areas by a sizable margin. I think there’s even some feedback from ex-GR07 owners in the comments here and in the comments of the FLC8 review as well: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/flc-technology-flc8/

  6. Willy Shum on

    Hi Joker,
    I am planning on getting a new pair of IEMS preferably around $50 CAD. I prefer to listen to rock, j rock, pop, hip hop. My past earphone include: Vsonic VSD3, Alpha+Delta D2, yuin pk3 (All which have did unfortunately). I am leaning towards the vsonics because they have lasted me the longest.

    • ljokerl on

      If this is your everyday IEM and you’re trying to make it last, maybe it’s worth to sacrifice a bit of audio performance for durability? For example the RHA S500 comes in right around 50 CAD: http://amzn.to/2nkJyLQ and is pretty well-made for something in that price range, better than the similarly-priced VSonics. Sound is a little brighter and not as accurate, but definitely not bad.

      • Willy Shum on

        Thanks for the reply. So RHA S500 offers great durability for the price I’m assuming.
        Unrelated, but do you know the sound signature of HD 598? I really enjoy listening to music with them and I’d suppose I’d want to get earphones and headphones with a similar sound signature in the future.

        • ljokerl on

          Not sure about long-term durability since they haven’t been on the market that long, but the initial quality is very impressive for $50 and RHA has a good reputation in general.

          HD598 is more of a warm and smooth signature, a little rolled off at either end. Hard to find in an IEM under $50 as it’s not a very consumer-friendly sound tuning. HiFiMan RE-400 is probably the closest you can get to that tuning in a budget-ish earphone. Or maybe the Etymotic MC5.

          The S500 is definitely brighter, and doesn’t really compete with higher-end models in sound quality – it’s just well-made.

  7. cal on

    Hi,

    What IEM would you recommend as an upgrade from Creative Aurvana Live, but without being limited by a budget?

    Many thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      Probably the Earsonics Velvet… it’s my favorite “end game” universal IEM for the “warm” sound signature.

      • cal on

        Thanks, I’ve pulled the trigger and bought the Velvet in the meantime.
        Amazing bass and clarity, really great sound for electronic music but I need your help again.
        Is there a way to add more “bite” for electric guitars and a little bit more emotion for the vocals, by pairing with some specific source or providing more power from an amp or maybe changing the stock cable?
        That would be really close to an end-game for me.
        I’m using a Sony A25 for the moment because its size and battery life are really unbeatable.

        Once again, thank you!

  8. Steadead on

    Hi,
    How would you compare the Audio-Technica IM-02 with the Aurisonics Rockets?
    I currently have the IM-02, but I don’t really like the fit and isolation. However, I find the sound quality to be quite good to my taste.
    Thanks

    • ljokerl on

      They’re actually pretty evenly matched in performance, and the IM02 is one of the better Rockets substitutes now that they’re getting harder to find.

      Overall I find the Rockets to have a slightly more mid-centric sound with more delicate and refined treble that still doesn’t sound dull. Vocals are a bit cleaner thanks to a bit more upper midrange presence. One thing the IM02 has going for it is much higher sensitivity. It also has a little more bass impact and a slightly warmer/darker tone (thanks to less upper mids).

  9. Eduardo Flores on

    I’m wanting to buy some new iems since I only have one working ear on my current headphones. I was wanting a recommendation since I am stuck. I’m trying to find the best overall monitor that would best suit a live setting at a church playing gospel type of music. My overall budget would be ~$400.

    Thanks guys.

    • ljokerl on

      Really depends on what you’re after. For $400 you could go custom-fit if you wanted to, but among universals and if your goal is accuracy and a comfortable form factor, I’d go with the Audio-Technica ATH-IM02. I used to recommend the Westone W20 for this, which I consider to be the sweet spot of the Westone line for accurate sound and also one of the most comfortable IEMs on the market. However, the IM02 can be found for under $200, is comparable to the W20 in sound, and is no slouch in fit and comfort.

      If you want something more traditional, the Westone UM PRO 30 is still a solid buy. It has a warmer sound than the more neutral W20, but since you’re not mixing/mastering the extra bass and smoothness could actually be an asset.

      Here’s why I recommend those two and not the plethora of other “musician’s” IEMs on the market:

      Ultimate Ears – UE900 is a great value for sound but the form factor is not quite conventional. Since you need something for a live setting I wouldn’t buy them without trying the fit first.
      Shure – SE535 is a little out of budget and the lower-end models aren’t great value IMO
      Audiofly – AF180 is out of budget and I can’t vouch for the lower-end models
      Earsonics – ES3 sounds great but like UE900 it doesn’t quite have the traditional stage monitor form factor. Could definitely fit well, but is a little more risky than a Westone or Audio-Technica
      StageDiver – the SD-2 model would be a good fit but the ATH-IM02 actually keeps up with it pretty well in sound and is much less expensive and more comfortable

  10. Theo on

    Hello Joker, great website!

    I am currently using the Creative Aurvana Live! and I am looking for something that will be more comfortable and offer better sound. Can I get IEMs up to $100 that will be an upgrade in terms of sound quality compared to the CAL!, or will I be better off with a more expensive over ear headphone (I was considering the Sony MDR-1A for $105 or the ATH-M40X for $95)

    I will be driving them directly from my mobile, using Spotify Premium (or Apple Music etc). I am going to be using them at home, so great isolation is not needed. Also I do not like over-ear IEMs and prefer to wear them cable-down.

    I mostly listen to POP, Alternative, EDM, Rock but I also listen to other kinds of music. I like music to sound exciting, bass should be there but shouldn’t take over other parts of the music, and I like vocals and instruments to sound clear but not harsh and fatiguing.

    Here are some IEMs I’ve seen you suggest and the prices I can find them:

    Philips Fidelio S2 – $52
    FiiO EX1 – $62
    1MORE E1001 – $92

    If the prices were the same I would have gone with the 1More, but would it really be better for my needs than the other two, or can I get the same sound quality for less money by choosing one of the others?

    One more thing: The EX1 and the 1More seem to be more universally liked than the S2, while you rate them all about the same. Do you know why?

    And one last thing: There is now the FiiO EX1ii (about $77) are you planning to review it?

    Thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      It’s going to be hard to upgrade from the CAL! for $100, headphones or IEMs, unless there’s something specific you are looking for that is not the warm/bass/smooth sound signature the CAL! excels at. Also, while you will surely find some sets that do certain things better than the CAL!, they almost surely won’t be better at everything.

      Maybe this will illustrate what I mean:

      Fidelio S2 – very good value at $50 but more of a flat/neutral sound. It’s definitely less exciting than the others and coming from the warm CAL! may sound somewhat sterile.
      EX1 – has superb bass quality (exactly the way you describe what you want from bass) but tends to be strong in the upper midrange. I don’t personally classify it as harsh, but since you’re coming from the CAL! (which is somewhat subdued at the top end) it might seem a little bright, especially at first.
      1MORE Triple – always a solid buy but the v-shaped sound signature makes this the most “consumer”/least “Hi-Fi” sound of the three. It’s the “safe choice” here and performs great for the price, but won’t be as smooth or as rich in the mids as the CAL!.

      If I was looking for a compliment to the CAL! I think the EX1 would be quite a fun contrast to have. But if I was looking to *replace* the CAL!, the choice would be much more difficult.

      Can’t comment on others’ reviews of the S2 but to me they perform around the same level as the 1MORE and EX1/Dunu Titan. I personally actually like the S2 better because it’s more neutral- the 1MORE has more of a v-shaped sound signature and the Titan 1 has significant upper midrange boost.

      Also, keep in mind that 1MORE and DUNU/Fiio are very active in the audiophile community with tons of review samples being sent and lots of PR activity. Philips has none of that.

      Not familiar with the EX1ii.

      • Theo on

        Thanks for your reply!

        I will keep the CAL! (I am not into selling stuff) but how much I would listen to them would depend on how much more comfortable / better sounding the new IEM would be.

        The other thing with the CAL! is that my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4 mini) can barely drive them. I often have to max out the sound to get them as loud as I want them, and while I wouldn’t want it any louder I feel that my phone is not strong enough to drive them good and that an IEM would be easier to drive.

        Looking at the impedance / sensitivity of the 3 IEMs above I guess the S2 should be the easier to drive? How about the other two. 1More has 32 Impedance but 99 Sensitivity, while Titan 1 has 16 Impedance but 90 Sensitivity, which of them two would perform better when using a phone?

        • ljokerl on

          S2 is not hard to drive but it also doesn’t get super loud. Titan 1 is actually the loudest of the bunch. Comparing specs, even “objective” ones like impedance and sensitivity, from different manufacturers is tricky because there’s no set measurement standard (and noone double-checking/enforcing the advertised specs). In my experience specs across one manufacturer’s product line can be compared to each other somewhat reliably, but that’s about it.

          • Theo on

            Thanks. I ordered the Fiio EX1 which supposedly is the same as the Titan 1, although Fiio gives its sensitivity as 102db instead of 90db. This difference in specs had me worrying that maybe they are not the same, but maybe it is what you said – different manufacturers giving very different specs for the same thing.

            • ljokerl on

              Someone compared the two (I think it was in the comments of my Titan1 review) and found them to be extremely similar. I’d trust listening impressions over specs, so you should be safe with the EX1.

              • Theo on

                I got the EX1 and also the Sony MDR-1A (over ear HP). I actually really like the EX1 and prefer them to both the CAL and the MDR-1A.

                The EX1 have clear open sound and punchy tight bass, and can be driven fine by my mid-range phone. (I feel that the CAL and the MDR-1A could use a bit more power). Initially I felt that the highs are slightly harsh, but I got used to this now.

                I’ve already spend more than I wanted for headphones, but I wonder: What higher end IEMs/HPs have this kind of sound signature?

                • ljokerl on

                  Haven’t had a chance to try any of the newest-gen Sony headphones myself, but I’m glad you’re enjoying the EX1! Your impressions are exactly as I would expect.

                  The EX1’s is not a very common sound tuning with higher-end headphones because a lot of higher-end sets tend to de-emphasize the upper midrange in order to reduce listening fatigue (especially earphones that are deemed stage/musician monitors).

                  There are still some exceptions among upper-tier earphones – the Aurisonics Rockets, for example, have what is basically a smoother/more balanced/more subdued version of the Titans’ sound signature. Great handling of the midrange with an overall sound signature that’s a tiny bit dull in comparison to the Titan/EX1, but super smooth.

                  Etymotic ER4 has similar midrange quality and presence but the bass is not nearly as emphasized or impactful as the Titan/EX1. The new extra-bass ER4XR model might be the answer to that but I haven’t tried it.

                  Final Audio earphones tend to not be shy in the upper midrange and can be considered upgrades to the Titan1/EX1 (in fact, a lot of earphones from Japan tend to have brighter sound signatures that what you see with US/European brands). Unfortunately all the FA models I’ve reviewed have been phased out. The Audio-Technica CK100 has this signature too but those are also discontinued.

                  You can also approximate this sound using the tuning system on the FLC Technology FLC8, but it will usually have the reverse upper midrange vs treble balance compared to the EX1 – i.e. it will have a little more treble than upper midrange.

  11. Vince Agcanas on

    Hi THL!
    First time commenter here on THL, and I just want to thank you guys for the great in-depth reviews and insights.

    I currently have an Alpha & Delta AD01 that I got after you guys gave it a rabing review. No regrets! Loved the sound signature and the build quality. However I am looking to upgrade. Currently lookinh at the IM02, UE900, Westone 2 or maybe just getting my first CIEM, maybe the AAW A3H pro since I am here in Singapore.

    I would love a recommendation from you guys cause I am perplexed on what would be a good upgrade!

    • ljokerl on

      Glad you’ve found our reviews helpful!

      Is there anything particular you’re looking for compared to your AD01? Because the IM02, UE900, and Westone 2 are all much flatter/more accurate earphones. If what you’re looking for is a more uncolored and true-to-recording listening experience, then those are all solid options (I happen to think the IM02 is the best value of the three).

      However, if you’re looking for is more of a direct AD01 upgrade – something that resembles the more fun, bass-heavy, and warm/v-shaped sound of the AD01 – then those three are not great options because they’re so different. A better bet for that would be something like a Sony XBA-H3 or an EarSonics ES3 or Velvet.

      • Vinson Agcanas on

        Thanks for the reply!

        I would indeed love to keep to a fun sounding iem. Would probably head down to an audio store to audition the Sony’s based on your recommendation. Are there any other iem around the sony’s price? (I am a working student, so I don’t really have too much to splurge on D: )

        • ljokerl on

          If you have the chance to audition I’d see if you can find a Yamaha EPH-100, RHA MA750, JVC FX700 (or 750 or 850), Sennheiser IE80 – these are all fun-sounding IEMs in the same ballpark as the Sonys. I personally think the Sonys are a bit better, but in some cases you could be paying 3x more for them than these others. I’d maybe even try an RHA T20 and DUNU DN-2000 if you can audition them first.

  12. DVe weinmann on

    Hi Joker. I’m super perplexed. I have the sennheiser ie800, Sony xba z5, and Dunu 200j, all Pretty high quality universal iems. However, when I use my bloodroots earphones rbh epsb and jaybird freedom f5, I am more impressed with the sound. Now I bought my wired phones based on reviews of soundstage and 3D sound, but these two Bluetooth headphones really separate everything and attack from all over in a total 360 headspace. Ive never heard anything like it and they both cost $150. Any idea why these have this level of separation and 3D sound when totl iems don’t? And can you recommend any iems that would give me the sound I’m looking for? I ordered rocket r50 and Yamaha who 100 based on your reviews. They are on the way. But I am hesitant to get the flc8s as I’m not sure they will be very different from the dunu 200j. Is there something about the Bluetooth technology that adds to separation and soundstage? Maybe the additional amping? For sure other bt iems I’ve tried sound like crap so….

    • ljokerl on

      No idea, I have an RBH EPSB and I don’t really find it very impressive. In fact, it sounds (and looks) pretty much identical to an older Bluetooth IEM I’ve had for several years, which was like $50 new. It probably isn’t a good idea for me to recommend more wired IEMs for you if we can’t even agree on whether the EPSB sounds good – maybe it is something about the way you’re driving your higher-end IEMs, maybe it’s some kind of DSP or crossfeed effect that Bluetooth is introducing in your application – not really sure. But if you’ve found two IEMs you really like I don’t see anything wrong with that, most people here would love to be satisfied with a pair of $150 Bluetooth IEMs.

  13. Ridhwan on

    Hi joker. Love your work

    For the time being, im still using xba 100. Im fairly new to iem, so i just dont know how to describe the sound. Any earphone that have same sound signature as xba 100?

  14. Hechun Ouyang on

    Hello! So I recently got the JVC FXT90’s as my daily drivers and they sound great, but now i’m really interested in trying out analytical earphones. Everyone recommends the Etymotic’s, but I really need my comfort. Don’t feel like you can enjoy the music when you don’t want to use the earphones. Anyways, what is the cheapest option for me?

    Thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      Etymotics can be comfortable with the right tips, but you can also get a good contrast to the FXT90 with a different entry-level BA earphone, like a Phiaton MS100BA. These have a pretty conventional fit and while they’re not Etymotic-level analytical, they’re pretty flat compared to an FXT90. Final Audio Heaven II would be an even better option, but more expensive and harder to find.

  15. Chad on

    This is a really great list. Is there any chance you could offer a sort for j-cord models. I’m a big fan of j-cord headphones and I’m just looking for anything that has a j-cord and a three button remote. That appears to be pretty hard to find now, but if you know of any please let me know!

    Thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      I actually haven’t come across any j-corded earphones as of late. Last one was the Sony MH1C, I believe, and that was 3 years ago or so. I also have a Sony XBA-3 which is j-corded, but I believe the headset version (XBA-3ip) has a y-cord.

  16. Will on

    I would love to see the Philips SHE3582/28 added to this list

    • ljokerl on

      I recommend these all the time, just haven’t had the patience to review them in full.

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  18. Philip on

    Hi Joker!

    Im looking to buy headphones in the $80-150 range, i have a rooted android phone so use viper4android (boosts performance a ton!) so im looking for headphones which can take the jacked up settings!
    Currently got the senheisser cx1.0 but i often hear some hissing in the background (they were pretty cheap maybe like 50 bucks).
    I’ve been looking at the 1more triple driver ones but would you have any other suggestions as to which to go for?

    • ljokerl on

      1MORE triples are great if you’re spending around $100, but keep in mind that hiss is usually not something you can solve with software. If your phone hisses with sensitive IEMs at your regular listening volume, chances are the hardware is not ideal for these types of headphones. Getting a higher-end, more sensitive IEM could make this problem worse, not better. If you’re going for it but trying to keep hiss down, I’d recommend sticking with a higher-impedance/lower sensitivity IEM. Maybe a Philips Fidelio S2.

  19. Tristan McRoberts on

    Hey Joker!

    Have you thought about trying/reviewing those cheap Chinese earphones that everybody on head-fi raves about? There are some really interesting ones, like the Vivo xe800 which seems to use the same driver as the GR07, except it costs 20$, and others. For those budgeteers, and curious people like myself, i’m sure that your great reviews could really help us out a little bit in choosing a nice cheap earbud, and ‘verifying’ the hype around them.

    Thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      This comes up pretty much weekly but it’s always a different brand or model that’s recommended for me to try, and unfortunately I lack the time to either a) try them all or b) do the amount of research required to narrow it down

      It used to be that the ones worth trying are the ones that aren’t forgotten after 3-6 months, but these days I think even that’s a poor way of picking them – there’s too many for each decent one to maintain a fanbase when next hot model comes along.

  20. Bryant Reyes on

    Hello Joker

    I currently use the Shure Se215s and i would like to upgrade. I’m betweeen the Audio‑Technica ATH‑IM02 and the Sennheiser IE 80. I’m looking for an iem with good isolation and no sound leakage. Which ones would you recommend?

    • ljokerl on

      I would get the IM02 if isolation is one of your criteria, but keep in mind that the sound of these two is quite different – the IM02 much flatter and more accurate (more akin to higher-end monitors) while the IE80 actually has an even more consumer-friendly and bass-heavy sound than the SE215.

      • Bryant Reyes on

        Thanks for the reply. The Se215s do not leak any sound at decently high volume, do you know if the IE80s leak sound? I mainly listen to hip hop/rap so an iem with more bass would be nice. I usually use my headphones in complete silence and I wouldn’t want to bother the person next to me.

        • ljokerl on

          No, even open IEMs don’t really leak much and the IE80 is (I believe) only ported, not open. It’s fine to use in a quiet place and the bass is plentiful.

  21. Conor Brennan on

    Hi Joker,

    I own a pair of HF5’s and absolutely LOVE them. I want to try some other types of headphones, namely going for V-Shaped.

    I mostly listen to Nirvana, Floyd, Rush, Dengue Fever, Zeppelin. I’m looking for the best representation of true v-shaped sound sig, if that makes any sense. I want to get a good feel for what v-shaped is all about.

    My budget is under $50, and i would like to have the capacity to exercise with them. I am used to the isolation of the HF5’s but obviously that’s not really possible, but something around half would be nice. I want to be able to hear and talk but still listen to music.

    • ljokerl on

      You have a few different ways to go about it. If you’re looking specifically for exercise buds, go with a basic sports one like a MEE M6 or an Audio-Technica CKX5. These are both v-shaped and quite good for the price, but far from hi-fi.

      If you’re more after a good-sounding v-shaped earphone and exercise comes second, I’d probably get the Xiaomi Hybrid or VSonic VSD3/VSD3S. These have better sound quality than the sports set above and give you two different takes on v-shaped sound – the Xiaomi is more conventional while the VSonic is more of a clarity-oriented “mild” v-shape. The downside, of course, is that these aren’t purpose-made workout buds so heavy sweat has a good chance of killing them over time, and the fit is not as secure as with the M6 and CKX5. Also the isolation is even more mediocre on the Xiaomi than it is on the M6/CKX5/VSD3.

      • conor brennan on

        What would you say is the difference between the VSD3 and the VSD3S

        • ljokerl on

          Minor balance difference, I think VSD3S is a bit smoother, but it’s pretty much negligible. I’d go with whichever has the better price/availability.

  22. Badabid on

    Hi joker love your work

    Thanks for the info.

    Last question so I am on the fence for new IEMS ia have 3 choices . All arw used except for the fiio ex 1 which I will buy brand new

    Choice 1
    Sennheiser ie 80
    -complete package
    -Athena cables
    -cable with mic
    -$220

    Choice 2
    RHA MA750
    – modded replaceable cables (MMXC)
    – missing foam tips
    – $64

    Choice 3
    Titan 5
    -everything missing (tips case box) except for stock cable and the earpiece
    -$60

    Fiio ex1
    -brand new
    -will. Purchase to compensate for missing accessories for the Titan 5
    -planning to recable for $36
    -$117

    = all in all for. Choice 3 is $177

    Are all of them good deals?
    If money is no option is choice 1 good?
    And choice 2 a steal?
    For choice 3 i can do them. Part by part.

    • ljokerl on

      This is quite a complicated equation. I am not familiar with what aftermarket cables do for the IE80 so that just seems like a normal-ish price to me. I’ve seen them for under $200 new.

      MA750 for $64 is pretty killer, especially if the detachable cable mod works properly. This is the one I’d buy for myself.

      I don’t really like the Titan 5 so I don’t recommend it – the sound is not amazing and the cable connectors failed after a while. I do like the EX1/Titan 1 but like the IE80 that just looks more or less like a regular price to me.

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