Yamaha EPH-100 Review

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Yamaha EPH-100
Reviewed June 2012

Details: Yamaha’s flagship in-ear, built around a dynamic microdriver
MSRP: $199.95 / manufacturer’s page
Current Price: $130 from amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 104 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (4/5) – Bi-flange silicone tips (5 sizes), ¼” adapter, 6.5’ (2m) extension cable, and soft zippered carrying case
Build Quality (4/5) – The EPH-100 boasts a nozzle-mounted microdriver and sturdy machined-aluminum housings. The cable is average in thickness but well-relieved on housing entry and at the L-plug. Driver flex is nonexistent
Isolation (4/5) – Some of the best among all dynamic-driver earphones with the stock bi-flange tips
Microphonics (4/5) – Reasonable when worn cord-down; nonexistent otherwise
Comfort (4.5/5) – Those with narrow ear canals may want to give these a pass due to the nozzle diameter but for everyone else the small, lightweight shells should be ergonomic and extremely unobtrusive. Stock eartips are surprisingly comfortable

Sound (8.9/10) – Taking Yamaha’s flagship spot away from the EPH-50, the EPH-100 utilizes a dynamic microdriver in a form factor much like that of Monster’s Miles Davis Trumpets. Like the Trumpets, the EPH-100 is an excellent all-rounder, but it is tuned differently from the mildly v-shaped Monsters. The bass is strong – deep and punchy, with a mild mid-bass lift giving it significantly more impact compared to most BA-based earphones and leaner dynamics such as the VSonic GR07 and Sony EX600. At the same time, the EPH-100 is far from overly bassy in the conventional sense – while not the most detailed or textured, its bass always remains clean and controlled. Like the Miles Davis Trumpet, which is a touch heavier on mid- and sub-bass in comparison, the EPH-100 is noticeably less boomy than Sennheiser’s IE7 and the older Miles Davis Tribute.

The mids of the EPH-100 are balanced very well with the low end – not recessed, but not quite forward. They are smooth, veil-free, dynamic, and more prominent compared to those of the slightly v-shaped Monster Trumpet. Clarity and detail are good and the note presentation is excellent – the EPH-100 is not overly thick or full-bodied but definitely cannot be called lean, either. The sound is very liquid but lacks a touch of crispness compared to the GR07 and many armature-based sets. The EPH-100 is what many would consider ‘musical’ – it sounds warmer, fuller, and more dynamic compared to sets such as the GR07 but is occasionally less adept at portraying fine details and texturing.

At the top the EPH-100 sounds somewhat smoothed-over compared to the more energetic Monster Miles Davis Trumpet, VSonic GR07, and JVC HA-FXT90, but also has the least potential for treble fatigue. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine the treble of the Yamahas being overbearing for any listener. The downside is that it is not the most resolving – the highs are more refined than those of the Sennheiser IE7 but not as crisp and clean as those of the GR07. Top end extension is good, however, and the EPH-100 doesn’t lack air.

The presentation of the EPH-100 is befittingly well-rounded – soundstage size is above average, though it doesn’t quite keep up with the GR07 or Ultimate Ears TF10 in absolute width and out-of-the-head feel. Depth is good, as are the instrument separation and dynamics, which allow for better layering compared, for example, to the more flat- and distant-sounding GR07. At the same time, the EPH-100 is not as forward and intimate as the FXT90 and yet sounds open and uncongested, avoiding the more closed-in feel of many lower-end monitors.

THL Recommended Badge 2014Value (9.5/10) – Yamaha’s latest flagship makes a clean break from the company’s unremarkable lower-end models, offering up a comfortable, well-built, highly-isolating earphone in a compact, microdriver-based package. The sound quality is far above average as well, with strong bass, lush mids, and smooth – albeit slightly docile – treble. The Yamaha EPH-100 is easily one of the best-sounding earphones – and one of the best overall packages – in its price class.

Pros: Great isolation; small and comfortable; smooth and dynamic sound
Cons: Nozzle-mounted driver not great for those with narrow ear canals

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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

225 Comments

  1. Hey Joker,

    Really like your reviews man so I’ve come for some advice. You seem to have your stuff figured out and your descriptions and comparisons are extremely clear and paint a good picture in my head. You’re EPH-100 review was bang on the money for me.

    I’m currently using a set of Yamaha EPH-100’s that I quite like for the most part, paired with a Cowon Plenue P1. I was originally looking at getting a set of CIEM’s to replace them but after hearing a set of universal Noble Kaiser’s (…and I’ll probably be shot for saying this) I just could not understand where on earth $2500-odd dollars of price difference was coming from. They’re touted as pretty much the best in-ear available and I thought they were, if anything, only a mild improvement over my EPH-100’s.

    I’m curious if you’ve had any experience with the DUNU Titan 5? I have read some really positive things about them. Regarding the EPH-100’s, I like the sound of them however have some mild gripes. There seems to often be a gaping hole of mids which don’t hold the highs and lows together coherently enough. This doesn’t seem to be because they are recessed or anything, more that the lows drown them out. Some music sounds exceptional and some sounds a little out of balance and sloppy.

    I love how fun and musical they sound but I’m looking for a little different sound signature. I really love that amazing organic/analogue sound which is why I purchased the Plenue P1 (think vinyl) and I’m trying to find something of a similar ilk to match in an earphone/headphone. As much as I like the EPH-100’s I’ve always felt like they sound just a little messy and heavy down low while sounding too artificial up top. There is a clear V-shape but they also have quite a strange treble signature which just doesn’t sound rich, authentic and real enough.

    I’m really after an earphone/headphone with a really rich, smooth, syrupy sound (again, think vinyl) that also has great detail and sound separation without being painful or overly analytical. Soundstage is important but not something as airy as perhaps a set of Sony MDR-7550’s which have just about no isolation at all. I really want something with great range, low and high reaching, but again without being bloated and fat at the bottom and without being super metallic and ear-piercingly shiny up top.

    In a nut shell. Organic not artificial. Musical but with detail. High reaching Extension without Sparkle. Low Reaching Extension and presence without bloating. Rich and smooth but heavily textured. Soundstage without loss of isolation. Separation without being overly analytical.

    Is there anything you’d suggest in this sort of category either as an in-ear or an over-ear. I’m happy to consider price points so maybe something in a lower price point as well as something at a more premium price point. I don’t mind spending good money on a good product.

    Cheers man. Looking forward to your response.

    • Yes, I do have a Titan 5. It’s a pretty v-shaped earphone, and compared to the EPH-100 will sound very bright and thin. I would never describe it as rich, smooth, or syrupy on any level.

      The EPH-100 is one of those earphones that I don’t really have a perfect upgrade for. Among “reasonably priced” upgrades I typically recommend the Sony XBA-H3, but always struggle to say that it’s worth over 2x what the EPH-100 costs. The bass on that is still a little loose and midrange clarity isn’t that great, so you’re still getting the same caveats despite the price gap. The soundstage is better compared to the Yamaha and the top end is more level overall, but as with the MDR-7550 the isolation is not very good. Supposedly the newer XBA-A3 improves on the bass quality and overall sound slightly, but I haven’t tried those. I was very unimpressed with the higher-end XBA-Z5, which has far too much bass bleed for a flagship/top-tier earphone.

      The final step up I recommend in what I loosely define as the “warm and smooth” category of sound is the EarSonics Velvet. Previously it was the FitEar TG334 but I think the tradeoff is worth it for the clearer but slightly less smooth Velvet, not to mention that the EarSonics are 40% less expensive. The Velvet has midrange clarity unlike any other earphone I’ve tried with such powerful bass, without resorting to piercingly bright treble. It’s also not as recessed in the midrange as other bassy earphones, and is very impressive in many other ways.

      That said, the Velvet is BA-based and while it doesn’t have the flaws of the EPH-100, I also can’t say that it’s more rich and thick-sounding. Objectively speaking it has a slightly v-shaped sound signature, though much less so than earphones that I actually classify as “v-shaped” (e.g. the Titan 5), and the note presentation, as with most other BA earphones, still makes me think “analytical” rather than “organic”.For it to sound more organic the treble would need to be somewhat rolled off, but then the clarity would suffer. It’s a catch 22, and I don’t know of an earphone that resolves it while maintaining an equally high level of performance. My gut feel is that to get the level of richness you want a dynamic-driver earphone would be best – I just don’t have one that I can consider to be an EPH-100 upgrade.

      As for headphones, I unfortunately don’t have the same experience (in terms of quantity, not quality) as I do with IEMs. Among the few high-end cans I’ve heard I would recommend the Audeze LCD-3, but that’s a super high-end set that may or may not have less pricy alternatives that I haven’t tried. It’s fantastic, but I can’t afford one.

      My personal favorite for value is the Sennheiser HD600 – I think it’s one of the most natural-sounding headphones on the market despite its age and recommend that every audio fan ownit at least once. I think you would like it a lot, but coming from the EPH-100 with its addictive deep bass and forward sound I’m not sure you would *love* it – it might be just a hair too dull in comparison.

      • Thanks for the extensive response Joker, much appreciated. Particularly regarding the Titan 5’s because I had no idea how bright and thin they were in comparison to the EPH-100’s after the reviews I read.

        It’s just as I’ve figured/feared up until this point. It really does seem like a somewhat unresolvable conundrum as yet when it comes to finding a set of inner ears (or over-ears for that matter) that do clarity and detail as well as they do richness and smoothness. It seems that something’s got to give in most regards and I suspect my tastes may be somewhat picky haha.

        I’ve grown hesitant with Sony audio products over the years as they really seem to be hit and miss. Sony has made some fantastic products but seem to have this tendency of getting their balance completely wrong with some of their units and headphones on occasion leaving them sounding either bloated and messy or thin and overly-metallic. The entire XBA series seems to be a complete lottery in general in terms of how satisfied people seem to be with the various releases.

        I read a review on the EarSonics Velvet after your recommendation and they sound what may be potentially the closest thing to what I’m after but I’m always hesitant to drop big bucks on in-ear monitors without hearing them. As an example, I purchased a set of VSonic GR07’s on the basis of many super positive reviews and while not super expensive, I really didn’t like those and ended up giving them to a mate.

        I’ve read really positive things about the Sennheiser HD600 and also the Sennheiser Momentum, but by gosh the former is a hideously ugly set of cans! I will have to give them a listen somewhere though, because they appear to be top notch. I don’t think I would dislike them for sounding more dull than the EPH-100. The best way to describe the EPH-100 for me is that despite sounding fun, I sometimes find it trying almost TOO hard to sound fun and would like something less artificial and more natural sounding.

        And as for the Audeze LCD’s, we can all dream haha. What a beautifully looking and apparently beautifully sounding set of cans. Definitely somewhat beyond my reach though.

        Thanks again for the recommendations dude and if anything else comes to mind, feel free to chime in again.

        • Totally hear you on the Velvets – I’m usually hesitant to recommend $700 IEMs for the same reason, it’s just that this particular equation doesn’t have enough solutions.

          Likewise, if you come across something that you can call an EPH-100 upgrade, I’d love to hear about it!

      • Pedro Oliveira on

        Hey there ljokerl…. 2 questions….

        Do The rha ma750 and eph100 share tge same soubd signature?

        Right now The ma750 can be had for 86 euros (96 for the i version) And the eph 100 for 66…. Based on sound quality only wich do you think is the best bang for buck? Do you think they are good deals at the current prices?

        Do you think it is stupid to buy both? By this i mean, are they close sounding to each other or is it worth having both for different material?

        Cheers

        • They do have different sound signatures, yet are similar enough to still be competitors, if that makes sense. There aren’t really any IEMs I recommend over these two for colored, fun, moderately enhanced-bass sound in this price range.

          To me those prices both seem like a good deal (especially now that the Euro is a little weaker against USD). They are different enough in sound signature and especially form factor that you will for sure prefer one to the other, so I do think it makes sense to buy/try both from that perspective.

          • Pedro Oliveira on

            Thank you very much for your reply ljokerl…. 🙂

            I like a little warmish or v shaped sound but i dont like when the sound is too colored to the point of sounding unnatural or muffled. I am used to iems like the philips she3590 and cx300 wich too my ears sound clear enough and do not have very noticeable coloration or warmness to the sound…. Just right now i got 2 iems, the sony mh1c and the v sonic vsd3s. To my ears the mh1c sounds better because it sounds more dynamic and although warm it does not have any noticeable coloration. On the other hand the vsd3s sounds maybe fuller but clearly more colored and with less engaging bass puch and dynamics.

            In terms of headphones i think over ear headphones like the ath m50x, hd25-1 ii and momentum sound a bit warmish but vlear, dynamic and engaging for my taste…. On the other hand headphones like the sony mdr 1r sound muffled and too colored to my ears….

            With this said wich do you think i will like more? The rha ma750 or the yamaha eph 100? Wich do you think will sound clearer, more fun, dynamic and engaging to my ears? Any other suggestions? 🙂

            Just to finish…. As a reference point…. How do you classify the sennheiser hd25 in terms of sound signature?

            Sorry for bothering once again…. 🙂

            Keep up your amazing work…

            Cheers

            • I think you would like both but while the EPH-100 is probably more similar to the MH1C, the MA750 actually fits your description better. It is a little v-shaped but overall surprisingly natural for an enhanced-bass IEM – the clarity from its treble balances out the bass pretty well and it’s never boring. The EPH-100 may have more deep bass and sound more dynamic, but it also never surprised me by having relatively low coloration as the MA750 has. In this regard I think the MA750 is actually better than the T20 and other higher-end sets.

              HD25 is a little v-shaped and dry to me, but not too bad. I like mine, have had it for 6-7 years now.

              • Pedro Oliveira on

                Thank you very much once again ljokerl…. 🙂

                Just to finish….do you agree with the whathifi? review of the ma750? they claim that they need a really long períod of burn in to sound really good and that the diference is very noticeable….

                Would you advise me to buy the the ma750i or ma750? The mic is always usefull of course but i AM concerned that it may cause problems later…. I dont have a very good impression of volume controllers, specially the ones with sliders…. From my experience they usually mean problems like inbalance, worst audio quality, etc…. Though i have to admit that the one on the rhas seems like a very pretty and well built controller…. Almost as good as the onde on the first sennheiser momentum…

                Thank you very much for your help once again ljokerl… 🙂

                I wont bother anytime soon i promise…. 😀

                Cheers

                • I don’t really do burn-in tests on my earphones and have no way of A:Bing a new pair with a run-in one. I review stuff at least 50 hours in and the MA750 sounded fine at that point.

                  The MA750i uses a digital volume control, not a slider, so there aren’t going to be any imbalance issues. I’d go for the headset version.

  2. Hi Joker,

    I actually bought the EPH100s on your advice over 1 year ago. I loved them except for the fact that the cable seemed to pick up more noise than expected. Would the RHA 750s be an in improvement in that respect or the same?

    (My EPH100s went missing along with my Sansa Clip after a recent move). Is there a store that is known to have legit EPH100s? I am hearing that some of them are fakes. The store I bought them from in Australia no longer carries them and they seem to be cheaper to order from overseas now.

    Would you have any suggestions for replacements for the Sansa Clip? Apparently the new versions use different hardware and are a downgrade. I want something small but it can be a little bigger than the clip. From what I can tell there is still nothing that beats it.

    Thanks for all the work you put into this site.

    • The MA750 forces you to wear it over the ear and as a result is a bit of an improvement when it comes to cable noise. It should also be easier to find from an authorized reseller since it’s a current model (as opposed to the EPH-100). Not sure what the situation with EPH-100 resellers is like out there right now. I would assume local stores with their own warehouses, etc. are more likely to have genuine inventory while places like eBay are more likely to have fakes.

      Haven’t found a Clip replacement – sorry. I have a clip zip for in-car music player duties and it works fine – might be from right before they changed the hardware design, though. I’ve always wanted to try a Cowon E3 but haven’t ever seen one in the wild. And it seems a little gimmicky, too.

  3. Hey joker, have you finally had a chance to try the m200? Im stuck between the m200 and the eph-100. If you had tried the m200 can you please tell me which i should buy, Thank you!

      • Thanks for the quick reply :). So which earphones do you recommend me? I prefer earphones that have good to above average isolation, i listen to mainly pop and would prefer headphones with decent bass in around the $100 range. Thank you!

        • EPH-100 and RHA MA750 are my two most recommended enhanced-bass earphones in this price range, and the EPH-100 has better noise isolation between those two. I wouldn’t recommend anything else.

  4. ljokerl, I absolutely love my yamaha eph 100, but this is the second pair I have bought, and the right ear is beginning to crackle. I have been looking for a replacement/upgrade, and need some recommendations. I mostly listen to edm, alt/rap rock, and indie dance music. I am open to any suggestions, even if it means going back for another eph 100 pair.

    • For sound alone, the EPH-100 is still one of my favorite earphones in its class, and one that’s very very hard to upgrade from. In the same price range the one set I often recommend as an EPH-100 alternative (i.e. sidegrade, not upgrade) is the RHA MA750. It’s a little different in terms of sound tuning – a bit more “v-shaped” on the whole – but it has a dynamic, enhanced-bass sound tuning with a warm tone that hits many of the same requirements as the Yamaha.

      As for an upgrade, the least expensive set that I can consider a step up to the EPH-100 without deviating very far from its sound tuning is the Sony XBA-H3. But in this case you’re paying nearly 3x the price for something that’s bulkier in the ear, less isolating, and definitely nowhere near 3x better sounding. It’s the more advanced earphone, but it’s up to you whether you want to pay more for something that’s arguably harder to live with day to day.

      • Thank you for responding so quickly, I appreciate your advice and recommendations regarding my questions.

        Do you believe the “v-shaped” sound signature would benefit the genres I listen to? After reading many reviews, I have considered the Dunu DN-1000, but was unsure if the bass had as much of an impact as the EPH-100. I have also considered the Dunu Titan 5 and the T-Peos Altone-200, but again, I am unsure if they would benefit the music I listen to. Do you have any thoughts on these IEM’s?

        • A v-shape as mild as the RHA MA750’s is pretty benign, it’ll sound fine with your genres.

          Moving to the DN-1000 or Altone 200 is more of a gamble – these will sound significantly more v-shaped and will appear brighter than the EPH-100, especially if you find yourself boosting the volume to bring up the midrange (for hip-hop for instance). You might end up liking them better after and adjustment period, but there’s no way to know without trying something that’s tuned this way.

          If I were to pick one to try it’d be the DUNU DN-1000, but it’s got to be a conscious decision on your part to try something new.

          • Hey ljokerl, Thank you so much for helping me with this. I learned I am able to return my EPH-100 and receive a new pair, and I will be buying the DUNU DN-1000 per your recommendation, thank you!

      • Differences in sound signature aside, would the RHA MA750 be considered an upgrade to the older Shure e4c in terms of clarity and sound quality?

        • Can’t really throw out sound signature like that because it has a direct effect on clarity, etc. The MA750 and EPH-100 will not have better clarity than the E4c.

  5. Hey, do you know any over hear headphones with similar sound signature as EPH-100? I managed to get one of EPH-100s and the soundsig is just perfect. Now I need equivalent headphone for home use.

    • I’m not very up-to-date on my full-size headphones. From the higher-end sets I’ve tried briefly, models like the Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear and the B&W P7 would be good options. Unfortunately I’ve never owned either of these to review in full, they just seem to have the right sound tuning to be an EPH-100 compliment.

      Out of what I’ve actually reviewed in full, the ADL H118 is the best match but the original Creative Aurvana LIve! is by far the best value. Seriously amazing for under $70.

  6. Hey ljokerl, so I never buy an IEM without consulting your list first. After gaining experience with different headphones, I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer a warmer, laid back signature. I sold off my Se215ltd (I felt that there was a bizarre treble spike that constantly irritated me at higher volumes, but other than that I loved the comfort and warmth) in order to upgrade to either the hafxt90, fidelio s2, or eph-100.

    The JVCs were not as cheap or easy to source, so I chose the Fidelios as the eph had a weird tip design. I know they needed burn in, but I really did not like the sound signature. It felt v-shaped to me.

    I have the eph-100 on the way now and was wondering what your are thoughts on the hafxt90, se215, fidelio s2, and eph-100, especially since they are all the same price.

    • I personally wouldn’t have recommended the FXT90 or Fidelio S2 for warm/laid-back sound. The FXT90 is quite v-shaped and the S2 has forward upper mids kind of like a GR07. It’s great for guitar “bite”, not so good for smoothness.

      The EPH-100 is much better in this regard – it’s sort of similar to the SE215 but with the reverse balance of upper mids and treble – instead of prominent upper mids and gentle treble roll-off like the Shures, it has less upper midrange and quite a bit more upper treble. The bass is more dominant compared to the SE215, but still within the range of “acceptable” for me.

      To go smoother than that but with less bass, all while maintaining a warm tone would take something significantly pricier, like maybe a Westone UM PRO 30 or some EarSonics.

      • Yeah. I agree with you about the S2; that’s why it is back at amazon. I got a screaming deal on the eph-100 that I couldn’t turn down (combined offers, not an ebay fake).

        While the eph-100 is still burning in, I can instantly tell that it is more detailed than the se215. The upper mids are what I disliked about the se215, so I am glad to be rid of those. The treble on the eph is also much more tame than the S2s.

        I’ll work my way up to the UM Pro 30. Babysteps….

        Thanks for the comparison and more importantly, thank you for doing these reviews. 🙂

  7. Hey Joker, I really want to thank you for all your effort you are putting here. After reading your blog I’ve discovered that I like the sound signature of the Yamahas eph-100 and ended up upgrading (from sennheiser cx 300 ii precision). I’m enjoying so much my new yamahas and all your infos were perfect. The problem is that I’m thinking to buy another just to have as a backup hehe.I’m very sensitive to sibilance and I don’t have any problems with these, on the other side with the cx 300 ii precision I had a really hard time hearing at higher volumes. Great, thank you!

    • Another thing I forgot to mention is that I have a Koss Porta Pro and was looking to get a similar comfortable sound with an iem. I think the Yamahas eph-100 do a perfect job on that.

      • That’s awesome, I’m glad to hear it and appreciate the feedback!

        Definitely recommend getting a backup EPH-100 if you want one – I don’t think Yamaha makes them anymore so if they run out that could be it.

  8. Hi Joker,

    After reading your reviews the Yamaha EPH100 looks like the perfect fit for me — but it’s just slightly out of my budget.

    Are there any cheaper alternatives that offer the bass and isolation of the EPH100s, if a bit lower quality? Or could you convince me that the $100 price tag is worth it, because I just can’t justify spending so much on something that could be lost or broken so easily.

    • I’m not big on convincing people to spend more than they’re comfortable with, but I can tell you that “step-down” alternative to the EPH-100 I always recommend is the Sony MH1C: https://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/sony-mh1c/. It shares many of the same strengths when it comes to the audio performance and can be found down in the $30-40 range on ebay. There’s also a Bluetooth wireless version, the SBH80, that is often still cheaper than the EPH-100.

  9. Hi Joker,

    I’m looking for advice on the EPH-100’s in regards to how they fit and isolate. I currently own the Shure SE-215’s, which fit and isolate well, but am wanting a little brighter sound – and I detest their over-the ear fit since I wear them under a helmet and they are a pain when taking the helmet on or off. I also own the Etymotic HF5, which fit and isolate well and work very well under the helmet, but am wanting more bass and/or a warmer overall sound. With both the Shure and the Etymotic, I can use both the silicone tips or the triple-flange tips (with the smallest flange cut off), but I use the triple-flanges because they hold the seal better for me, especially under the helmet.

    I just bought a pair of HiSoundAudio Crystals, which have the sound I am looking for (using MeElectronics double flange tips – with the stock silicone tips they’re borderline bass-heavy for my taste). The problem with these earphones is getting a good fit and isolation, as they’re extremely finicky with my ear canals. Once I get them fit and sealed it takes very little to either lose seal, or more often for the sound to become “blocked” off in my ear canal (they become blocked when I attempt to push them deeper for a better seal). It seems the Crystals do not naturally go as deep into the ear canal as do the Shures or Etymotics. Also, the tips of the barrels on the Crystals (and many others on the market today) come much closer to the end of the silicone ear tips than what I’ve experienced. These are my first earphones with barrels/tips larger than the 2.5mm on the Shures/Etymotics and with the barrel tips so much closer to the end of the silicone tips, so I’m wondering if this might be a common fit issue with these larger barrels across different brands?
    It appears as though the EPH-100’s should have the sound I’m looking for, or very close to it, and with their included 5 sets of different-sized double flanged tips, I’m hoping I can create a good fit and seal. It also appears they will insert deeper into the ear canal, similar to the Etymotics.

    Before I order a set of EPH-100’s to confirm for myself, can you comment on any of the issues above, or even suggest another IEM as a more viable option? Something that matches the sound I’m looking for, are worn straight down as opposed to over the ear, and ideally can use the Shure/Etymotic triple-flanged tip?

    Thanks!

    • The EPH-100 does not fit like a Shure or Etymotic. The driver is mounted right in the nozzle and it’s pretty big, and the overall shape (nozzle included) is not that different from a Crystal. There’s not much distance between the end of the earphone nozzle and the end of the eartip, either.

      It’s true that the EPH-100 is designed for a relatively deep seal, but if you had trouble with the fit of the Crystal it’s hard to assume that the EPH-100 will work better. Also, the Yamahas have quite a bit of bass – easily more than the Crystal in any configuration. I’m not really sure they’re the right choice here. Even something like a HiFiMan RE-400 would give you a “better” brighter sound than the SE215 and potentially less finicky fit.

      As for earphones with slim nozzles nozzles, those are used mostly on balanced armature earphones, which usually have over-the-ear fitment. There are a few exceptions to this but they’re hard to find – for example the Ultimate Ears 700, JAYS q-JAYS, Klipsch X5/X10/X11, and maybe a few lower-tier ones.

        • You mentioned these to me for my type of music when I got my dn 1000 so I am very curious to what these sound like. What are some Pros on the eph 100 over the dn 1000 and the gr07

          • I would choose these over the DN-1000 and GR07 if I was looking for more bass, smoother treble, warmer tone, and a less v-shaped overall signature.

            The two big strengths of the EPH-100 are
            1) Its bass is more powerful compared to the DUNU and VSonic, but because much of the emphasis is on deep bass it’s tighter than you would expect from a bass-heavy earphone. Not as tight as the GR07’s, but not too far behind.
            2) Its upper midrange and treble are more smooth and laid-back on the EPH-100 while higher treble still has pretty good presence and extension. This means that they are more forgiving (less prone to harshness and sibilance, especially at higher volumes) than the other two, and generally less bright overall.

  10. Hey joker, i’m here again, your site ande reviews are simply soo good.

    I’m looking for a new IEM in the 100-200$ range to replace my sony xba-h1 that just died.

    Now, i’m looking for a completely different sound signature, tought.
    I’ve found the xba-h1, and also all the cheaper earphones i’ve used before, like the mdr-ex50 and ex450, way too bright and harsh sounding in the higher mids and treble region.
    So i’m now looking for a warm, smooth sound, with punchy, powerfull (yet not on basshead levels) bass and non fatiguing, gentle highs. Yet, i’m looking for highs not extremely rolled off, and as clear and airy and possible provided the kind of sound.

    I’m now considering bothe the eph-100 and the shure se215. I’m really interested in the detachable cable of the shures, and their ergonomic form factor, but i’m also afraid that the highs might be too rolled off, detracting from the clarity and airyness i’m looking for.

    On the other side, the eph-100, reading around, seems a bit more spot on signature wise, but lacks that detachable cable, that i mjst admit is really tempting on the se215.

    So, how would you compare the signatures of the two IEMs? And, is there any other IEM in the price range i should be looking for?

    • Well, the EPH-100 will give you the sound signature you’re looking for. Maybe a bit more bass than you’re asking for, but it doesn’t detract from the overall signature in the case of the Yamahas. The SE215 may have a more spot-on bass quantity but you’re right to be concerned with the treble being a bit dull, especially if, as you say, you’re coming from brighter, harsher earphones. The EPH-100 may not be quite as smooth, but its treble presence/energy is pretty good.

      Detachable cables are definitely a plus but not a lot of other earphones in this price range have them, especially with the constraint of smooth sound. The Onkyo IE-HF300 is one I can think of but I wouldn’t buy it over the EPH-100 one the basis of the slightly more lackluster sound. You can also get a beefier construction than the EPH-100 with the RHA MA750, but the signature on that is slightly more “v-shaped” with a bit of upper midrange boost compared to the SE215 or EPH-100. It’s still not a bright or harsh-sounding earphone, and is more on the “warm and smooth” side compared to most, but it’s not as good a fit for what you’re after as the EPH-100.

      • Uhuh, exactly what i thought about the ma750. That’s why i was mostly looking at the se215 and eph-100. Think i’ll get the eph-100, and eventually i’ll end up getting also the se215, mostly for bike runs and other sport activities, as the form factor and the memory wire look like a better fit for sport uses, and because i’m really curious to try out these shure mids everyone talks about.

        Well, thanks alot again, exhaustive as always in your answers 🙂

      • Bugging you again about this, but i want to be sure i’m going to buy an IEM as inoffensive as possible, and now that i’ve done some more tests, it looks like i’m particularly sensible in harshness and brightness in the 4-8khz region. I say this as toning down by 3/4 dbs the 4 and 8khz sliders on my player, i get a much less fatiguing and enjoyable sound, much more suited for my liking.

        So, in that region, which one is the smoothest sounding between the eph-100 and se215, in your opinion?
        I might quite live with a nit less sparkle up top, in the case the se215 is the smoothest, as that little trade off would be still largely outweighted by the increased smoothness, if it’s the case, and ergonomics and replaceable cable.

        Sorry if i ask again, but as a student with limited founds, i don’t have the ability to pick both the sets right now, so finding out which one would be best suited to me would take time, and would also be a bit annoying, as sending back the IEMs in the case i don’t like them and waiting for the replacement would require some time.

        • Doing this with an EQ can be a bit misleading since your control over the frequencies you’re lowering isn’t very fine, but based on that they’re about equally well-suited. The SE215 is more midrange-heavy, which includes the upper midrange, so it’ll have more presence at the lower end of that 4-8 range and then start to roll off gently. The EPH-100 is generally very smooth and inoffensive through the upper midrange but it picks up a bit of steam higher up, so it’ll have more presence at the top of that 4-8 range.

          It sounds like you’d be more comfortable with the SE215 overall (sound+feature set), and seeing as how it’s still a very solid IEM for the price I really can’t advise against it.

          • Yeah, i know about the EQ thing, it was just to help me getting an idea of wich frequency range is the critical one for me.

            Well, thanks again then. Will buy the se215 so, as it turns out an audio shop near my place sells them, so it will be way fatser than waiting the eph-100 to ship from another country.

          • So, finally bought the se215, and my first impressions are extremely positive.
            Got about an hour with them and, after struggling the first five minutes to get that memory wire to shape (man, it really doesn’t like glasses arms), i’ve relaxed and enjoyed the sound.
            Well, the shure are pretty much what i was looking for. They are in no way dull sounding, at least for me. Must admit i thought these would have been a much darker darker IEM.
            I’ve thrown my brightest, harshest recordings at them, and everything sounded smooth. Tried some of the bassier tracks i have, and i can say i really like the bass these IEMs can deliver.
            And those mids. I now know i’ve always listened to V shaped earphones, or at least earphones with really recessed mids. Really, really like the presentation.
            Also, these are much more detailed than my old xba-h1, i’m hearing for the first time some particulars in tracks i tought i knew well, untill now.

            The se215 got me singing from the first minute, and that’s a really good sign (well, for me, my family might object).

          • Awesome, appreciate the impressions! Sounds like a win in my book, and I guess I’ll be more comfortable recommending the SE215 for those used to brighter earphones going forward. Wasn’t worried about you liking the bass and mids 🙂

  11. Hey Joker,

    I really, REALLY want to purchase the EPH-100s but I absolutely need an inline mic for calls. Is there anything you can recommend that is similar in sound signature and price? Thanks, and I love the reviews!

  12. Hi Joker,
    absolutely love the EPH-100. BUT, the right earphone becomes very quiet after an hour or so of continuous listening.
    This seems like a very common problem with these IEMs. I am listening to the RHA MA750s at the moment and they only make me long for the EPH.

    Can you recommend an IEM that has tight, punchy bass like the EPH-100 as well as clear highs and un-muddled mids. The RHA, to me, sounds smother but also lacks in all departments.

  13. Hi, Joker. Fabulous work here, thehadphonelist is probably in top 10 sites that i visit frequently.
    I post here asking for somewhat of a help. I bought a pair of Yamaha eph-100 (based almost solely on your recomandation) and i am very happy with it. I listened some of the dynamic driver semi-flagships and i find the yamahas quite there in terms of sq, so i am indeed content.
    But since i do experience sometimes comfort issues with the two-flanged eartip, i’m searching nowadays for a companion. I would very much want to try the balanced armature technology, since all my headphones are dynamic drivers (and since planar magnetic stuff is out of my budget yet). So, the big question: what might be best to suit me? Ca veut dire, a pair of good ba iem, that might both be a subtle upgrade from my yamahas and a reasonable-priced product (100-150 eur). I also have Sennheiser HD 598 and B&O H6 as headphones, so iwhat i seek is clear/detailed/resolution/soundstage sound. I am not so much into bass-mids-treble graphs, i don’t mind for instance if a sound signature lacks a little bit of oomph or a little bit of sparkle (but assuming that still offers a solid coherence and a good character).
    Very thank you. 🙂

    • Since you already have an EPH-100 and it sounds like you’ll keep it around, I’d suggest experiencing a BA at its most accurate – for instance with an Etymotic HF5. Should be in that price range and it’ll give you quite a contrast to the EPH-100, being rather flat and extremely detailed (some would say analytical). I don’t consider these to be lacking anything, but if you read around you’ll see that complaints run the gamut, based mostly on the filter of preferences each listener is applying to the earphones.

      If Etymotic is for whatever reason not available to you, there’s a few other options that you can look around for – the TDK BA200 would be amazing if you can find one available in that price range. The ACS T15 is a good Etymotic alternative that’s easier to find in some countries. The Final Audio Heaven II is a little less smooth and balanced, but excellent for the sub-$100 price.

      • Thank you so much. Indeed, TDK BA200 was on the list, but couldn’t quite find it. I will search for etymotic and see what i can get.
        Also i was looking at Fidue A73 (pretty much there as price), as i would benefit from dynamic dynamism and balanced armature detail. I saw A83 ranks higher than yamaha in your list (scoring more on sq), so i’m thinking A73 (somewhat flatter that A83, reviewers say) may be what i’m after.
        Anyhow, thank you again and keep up the excellent work. Cheers.

  14. hello |joker|, I need some help. I mostly listen to progressive house/trance, vocal uplifting trance, edm, dance, chillout genres of music. I recently purchased the vsd5 and honestly the bass response and sound signature was not to my liking. I am looking to purchase either new eph-100 or cheap used ultimate ears tf10. would they suit my sound requirements?

    besides I am coming from portapros and soundmagic es18, both of which I enjoyed a lot. do compare the tf10 and eph100. thanks

    • Depends – if you found the VSD5’s bass to be too light on impact and not deep enough, and the overall sound to be too thin, bright, and harsh, then these would be perfect. If your issues were elsewhere, maybe the EPH-100 is not the answer. The signature of the Yamahas is definitely more of a departure from the VSD5’s than the TF10 is. The TF10’s balance is not that different from the VSD5, it’s just a lot more smooth, nuanced, and refined. The Yamahas are warmer and smoother, with quite a bit of deep bass. More like the Portapros, I suppose.

  15. Hey Joker,

    Wow you have a lot of comments on this one… Anyways my EPH-100 has been better days. The right side is fading out and needs to be tapped now and then for sound to return. I am scouting for a replacement and my one pet peeve is replacement flanges on this model, none out there.

    So TL;DR please suggest something that I can go for with same or better sound characteristics as my eph-100. Also my limit is $200,
    Thanks in advance

    • Upgrading from the EPH-100 is tough with that sort of budget – it’s one of the beter in-ears for the type of warm, bass-heavy, broadband sound it delivers. I’ve seen the Sony XBA-H3 drop to about $210 or $220 – that’s probably as close as it gets to an EPH-100 upgrade in that price range.

      Sidegrading is easier. If you weigh both sound quality and sound signature, the best option is probably the RHA MA750, which uses more conventional eartips and has very good build quality. Its sound is a little more v-shaped, with a bit less lower midrange presence and more upper mids compared to the EPH-100. Not necessarily better or worse than the Yamahas, just different.

      • Finally bit the bullet and got meself an IE 80 for a killer deal at 200. Now I am loving it especially with the Bass tuning option. I’d like to ask you one last question, are the comply foam tips better than the OEM ones, I want to get the isolation ones with wax guard. Thoughts on this….

        • I tend to like stock Sennheiser tips best but it really comes down to preference. Some people just like Comply foam better no matter what, and there’s really no way to know until you try them. Or if you need to maximize isolation – that’s definitely a reason to try Comply.

          I do think the wax guard is generally unnecessary unless your ears produce an insane amount of wax. For everything else a once-over with a wax cleaning tool once in a while is a much more cost-effective solution than the wax guard Complys.

  16. Hey joker, recently bought an brand new pair of eph-100. I wondee if I should burn in them and If i should burn in how can I do it without damaging the headphone.

    Cheers !

    • I don’t recommend dedicated burn-in – the only thing I advise against is judging an earphone (reviewing it, deciding if you want to keep or return it, etc) until you’ve put a number of hours on it. Aside from that, I say just let it break in as you’re using it.

  17. good day ljokerl! how does dn1000 compare vs brainwavz b2? I see you compared it with the vc1000, so im not sure if my question is redundant.

    does the dn1000 have thinner mids and higher upper treble and treble quantity? how about soundstage?

    cheers!

      • Yeah, the VC1000 and B2 are very, very similar in my experience so that comparison will hold up quite well. The extra bass really helps the DN-1000 in terms of overall thickness – I guess if you EQ the bass out that might change, but I don’t know why you would do that. Soundstaging is maybe slightly better on the VC1000/B2 because of the lower quantity/tighter bass.

  18. Thanks for the review. It helped me make this purchase. I bought them to replace my UE700s, which sadly were not built to last. My impressions after a few months: A solid V shaped sound performer- especially at this price. However, depending on the content, sometimes I find I have to flatten things out a bit and bring up the mid and lower the low and high ends. I would disagree on the cord quality. I think they really cheaped out here. I’m not a fan of the rubbery construction which is not well insulated. In fact, the microphonics were so bad, I considered returning them. Pretty much a no go for any activity, but good for sitting on a plane, which I do a lot of. Also, I have medium/large ear canals, but couldn’t get a very comfortable fit with stock bi-flanges. I think I am between the large size (which are huge) and the medium (much smaller). I may look for foam or other replacement.

  19. Hi ljokerl, I recently bought the RBA 750 and while there’s a lot to like about them I’m finding them to be pretty unforgiving. I listen to a lot of jazz and classic rock neither of which are the greatest recordings. I was looking at the eph-100 in hopes of finding a more forgiving iem that’s sonically sound. I would love to know what ever others you would recommend. I’d like to stay under 200. Thanks!

      • The EPH-100 doesn’t have that slightly tizzy upper midrange boost of the RHA that limits its smoothness so it would be a better choice in this case, but keep in mind that it’s still not a totally smoothed-over earphone and doesn’t have rolled-off treble. The most forgiving earphone I’ve heard in this price range is probably the Beats by Dre Tour 2.0, but its clarity is pretty limited as a result – I think you’re always going to have that tradeoff.

        But yes, generally speaking the EPH-100 is recommended over the MA750 for what you want.

  20. Hello again 🙂 Is yamaha eph-100 has better sound quality than m200 and m100 ? Also whats the differences ?

    Cheers

  21. Only reason I haven’t gone for these is the supposedly very high rate of failure. Can anyone comment on that? I’m considering getting the Panasonic rp-hje900 instead due to the replaceable cables and better build quality. How do the two compare?

    • Have been using these for two and a half years. The only significant problem I had so far was that one side gave up once and it came back on its own! I must mention that this occurred after one and a half years of use. I am not a person who treats his stuff real nice and also not some one who threats things badly. I accidentally had my phone hanging by these earphones at least 4 to 5 times and they got a little wet in rain a handful of times too. I don’t think people complaining about these earbuds are being reasonable. They are awesome! Just don’t worry and get them. You won’t regret it.

          • After using these for several weeks, I’m really glad I got them. Construction is rock solid, cord is a bit springy for my taste but good quality, fit and comfort is great, isolation is amazing, and sound quality is fantastic. I really love just how smooth the sound is, I don’t mind that the treble is smoothed over, in fact, I prefer it as I’m very sensitive to sibilance. I can and have listened to these for hours on end without fatigue, listening to Snow Patrol on these was fantastic. The sounds just so warm and sweet.

  22. Hi Joker,
    How does the Bass-Mid-Treble of these compare to the DTX101ie? I’d be very interested in these if they sounded similar but have more treble presence. Thanks!

    • Good question. I think these have more upper treble and top-end extension, which adds some of that air the DTX101 is missing compared to higher-end sets, but in terms of conventional treble sparkle and energy they are not very different. If you’re looking for a noticeably brighter audio experience compared to the DTX101 I’d probably look elsewhere.

      • Thanks for the fast reply. Sounds perfect, since I like the sound signature of my dtx101’s besides sounding a little bit muffled on some recordings only… Thanks!

  23. Hi ljokerl. I used to own the Yamaha EPH-50 and I’m trying to find a replacement for those. I’ve found the Sony MDR EX650 to be a pretty good deal. How do you think they compare with the Yamaha EPH-100 ? Are the EPH-100 worth the £20 upgrade from the Sony’s ?
    I listen mainly Indie rock, classical, jazz, with occasional rock and rap.

  24. Just looking for a replacement for my Beyerdynamic DTX 101’s, and after reading this these sound like they might be exactly what I am looking for.

    Music I listen to (in order):
    * folk-rock-pop (Avett brothers, Brett Dennon, Father John Misty, etc)
    * Country (Waylon, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Ian Tyson, etc)
    * Pop rock/alternative.
    * Older metal (Metallica, AC/DC, 7m3, etc)
    * Some of today’s pop rap.

    Attempt to describe my tastes
    I like highs, but to much makes buds fatiguing I find. I love great mids, clear enough to hear guitar strummed, then finger sliding to next chord. While I hate too much base, and detest anything muddy, but I do admit a bit of tight base is nice, especially when I go on a rock binge, or 70’s country rock binge.

    What I have tried in the past:
    $30 Ink’d: Like mono radio, with bass.
    Apple buds: Better than Ink’d, and most other
    Klipsch S4i: these were close, but a little bit base heavy, lacked in mids maybe.
    Ety HF5’s: The detail was great, but bass was a little bit light, and I found them fatiguing, they rattle my nerves after 45 minutes.
    Bose SoundTrue: bought these on a whim from a best-buy vending machine during a business trip. Horrible, no detail at all, terrible fit. ‘Nuff said. I would said Apple’s buds are better.
    Beyerdynamic 101 IE (the ones with mic and remote): I liked the sound. Enough bass, good mids, decent highs, not fatiguing, great average build quality. Treated them well, and they fell apart.

    In general I liked the signature of the DTX 101’s, I would sacrifice bass for a little more detail. Would there be a better suggestion than these?

    Thanks for a great site BTW.

    • These might actually be a little too bass-heavy. I’d put them on-par with the Klipsch in overall bass quantity, though the quality is better and the bass has great depth, too.

      In terms of balance, a Shure SE215 might be a better match for what you’re after, with tight bass that’s enhanced but lower in quantity than the Klipschs. They’re a bit dark overall, but so are the Beyerdynamics so that shouldn’t be a problem. Bass quality is great, detail is good for an enhanced-bass earphone, and the treble is non-fatiguing.

      • Thanks for the reply. The other side died on my 101’s last night, so in a panic I ordered the RHA MA 750’s off amazon which should get here tomorrow. I am in a pinch as I am riding the train a lot the next 10 days. So I’ll see how I like them before I tried out the 215’s. From your article, it seems the 750’s may not have the mids, but I will see tomorrow I guess.

        • The MA750 is a little less balanced than the SE215 and may not be a perfect match for what you’re describing, but it’s still a very good earphone. Some people have trouble getting a good fit with it but I found it pretty trouble-free in that regard, too.

          • So I have tried the 750’s for a bit now. Love the detail, bass feels just right. Treble is fine for most of my music. But I noticed on a hard rock song ‘we belong’ by Pretty Reckless that the treble is unbearable with a flat eq. It is fine.if I tone it down in the eq. I don’t have much music with me to test, so it could just be the mixing on that song. Sounds like share 215 have a more relaxed treble. My question are the details as good on the 215’s compared to the 750’s?

          • The treble on the SE215 is a little rolled off in my opinion but not so bad that it would kill the detail level. It also helps that the SE215 has a bit less of a mid-bass hump. Overall, the SE215 is a little worse but not far behind.

    • If I had a nickel for every time someone said something was better than the GR07 I’d be a much wealthier man!

      Anyway, I’d love to review the IM70 but I’ve never tried it and have dozens of other sets in the queue. I have tried the IM50 briefly and thought it was pretty good.

      • Haha I get it. I will probably wait for your review or grab Im70 or se215 till then as my eph 100 broke from the wires and left cnannel stopped working so I will lean towards detachable cables IEMs but ephs were amazing they had so distinct and soothing sound, I miss them!

  25. Hi do you know if these have better sound quality and mostly bass than the Velodyne vPulse. I don’t know which to buy?

  26. Hi Joker! How does the EPH-100 compare to Sennheiser ie80 in terms of:

    -Bass quantity and extension
    -Smoothness
    -Imaging
    -Performance on EDM tracks

    After spending a week now using my VSD1S, I felt like the sound signature didn’t suit to my taste. I realized I prefer a smooth sound with enhanced and extended bass (but not super basshead level, I won’t sacrifice that much overall clarity for bass quantity) Judging from your reviews, both the eph-100 and IE80 seem to fit my taste but I’m kinda torn between the two. I found an IE80 on ebay for around $90 which I assume would be super bang for the buck if it were real. I’m just not sure if it’s legit. Are there a lot of fake ones out there?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • IE8/IE80 is pretty commonly counterfeited. Chances are if the price is good to be true, its probably not a legit unit. Other than that it’s a good match for the EPH-100 in sound – I’d say the EPH-100 bass is on the higher end of the IE80s (IE80 bass is adjustable – so you could have less bass if you wanted). Both are pretty smooth, IE80 might have a slight advantage there. Imaging is good, too – the IE80 is just more spacious but that’s not always a plus. The EPH-100 has nice layering so even though it’s not as wide it ends up sounding very coherent and well-rounded. For EDM I’d probably pick that sort of sound over the IE80’s more conventional warm signature and out-of-the-head presentation.

      If (legit) IE80s were <$150 every day like the EPH-100, they'd be on my buyer's guide right there alongside the Yamahas as a less noise-isolating alternative with an over-the-ear fit.

  27. Hi ljokerl,
    Thank you so much for all your reviews! They are amazing and so helpful in the hard quest to find perfect iems 🙂
    I wonder if you had the opportunity to try the new EPH-M100 or EPH-M200 and would like to know what you think about them in contrast to the eph-100.

    Thanks again!

  28. Hey joker!

    I read this review many time ago. Now I’m reading about Fidue A71, a hot thread right now on Head Fi.

    Have you got the chance to listen to it? Can it be a direct signature upgrade for EPH-100?

    I’m looking for a somehow light basshead IEM for EDM and similar. If not these two, other recommendations?

    Thanks for sharing audio knowledge! 😉

    • An upgrade? No, I don’t think so. A sidegrade, maybe. I am not recommending it yet – it’s a solid earphone but there’s tons of solid earphones on the market. The EPH-100 is something I’m more confident in as having a proven track record with EDM and such.

  29. Hey just wanted to ask how does the eph 100 compare to the eph 50 as i own the eph 50 and i use them with my htc one m8 i love them but they tend to distort and muffle sounds at high volumes

    • Well, I’m not a huge fan of the EPH-50 but I really like the EPH-100, so I guess that says something :). I do think the 100 is significantly better earphone, especially at the $100 or so it sellls for now.

  30. I’m debating between this and Heaven II. I’ve been listening to Meelectronics A151 and M-Duo, and I think A151 could use a tad bit more extended lows and better instrument separation, while M-Duo is too boomy for my taste and its sibilance is bothersome. Basically I’m looking for something between A151 and M-Duo, with a substantial upgrade in overall quality. Which one would you recommend?

    • I have a similar question. I currently own MH1Cs and am happy with them, but then I’m thinking an upgrade wouldn’t hurt, right? Just as tomatopunch, I’ve been looking at A151s, Heaven II and EPH-100s. Would any of these constitute a significant upgrade and which would be the best?

      • You have to really decide what type of sound you want to pursue first because these are three quite different-sounding earphones. The MH1C gives you a good starting point – it’s very warm and smooth. With the EPH-100 you get a bassier, more powerful sound without losing any clarity. With the A151P you lose some of the bass depth of the MH1C and have less bass overall, but it also has more prominent and forward mids and maintains the excellent treble smoothness of the MH1C. With the Heaven II the sound is brighter and clearer, but also potentially more harsh (depending on where your treble tolerance is at). The Heaven II has less bass than the MH1C and EPH-100, but a little more punch and depth than the A151.

        • Thanks for the reply. I like the sound signature of my MH1C, so what I’d like is something similar, yet more refined with a bigger scene. A set of IEMs that sound exactly like my KSC75s would be awesome. Unfortunately, the KSC75s don’t provide any isolation, so using them in noisy environments as I do is a no-go.

          The MH1C were my first IEMs. I recently got my hands on a pair of LG Quadbeats 2 — a lot of people compared them to the Sonys and they’re priced similarly — and I’m quite disappointed with the sound, not to mention build quality.

          • I haven’t tried the Quadbeat2 but the MH1C is a really good earphone and difficult to upgrade from. As I said above, the EPH-100, A151, and Heaven II all take you in different directions from it but none of them can really be called “similar” to the MH1C. EPH-100 is probably closest, but still somewhat different. You can also eliminate the A151 on the basis of not wanting a smaller soundstage but the other two you just have to pick between based on the sound signature you want to try – bassier and more powerful, or brighter and more neutral.

          • I wouldn’t mind bassier and more powerful, so I’ll probably get the EPH-100s in the near future. Thanks again. Really appreciate your input.

    • These and the Heaven II don’t really sound anything alike. The Heaven II is pretty flat with a slightly bright tone. These are warm and quite bassy. I haven’t tried the M-Duo but the EPH-100 has tons of bass so it doesn’t sound like a good fit for you. The Heaven II can be a little harsh in the treble and is brighter than the A151, but instrument separation is good and the bass is a little punchier than with the meelecs without sounding bloated.

      • Thanks for the advice. I actually purchased A151 based on your review and was hooked with BA since then (btw, your review was spot-on.). It sounds like Heaven II is the way to go. Only if there was a dual BA in the same price range…

  31. What’s a good headphone (< $300) to complement the EPH-100? I've tried the ATH-M50 and couldn't bring myself to like the sound signature.

    Thanks for your reviews, they've been an amazing resource for me (and many others, I'm sure).

  32. I purchased Yamaha EPH 100 but somehow I feel like the sound is not as good as it should be. I don’t feel the bass compared to my previous 10$ A4Tech IEM’s, unless I use equalizer or unless the track is all about bass. It’s just not punchy at all. The sound itself is very crisp and the clarity of every instrument compared to my previous earphones is definitely better, but it seems like everyone compliments bass of EPH 100. Did I buy fakes?

    I paid 89 euros which is a little bit above the standard price where I live, but it was the only shop that had one on place. Otherwise I would have to wait for at least a month for the order to arrive.

    They don’t look cheap or fake either. Grooved casing which is hard to see but easy to feel with fingernail, engraved Yamaha logo and R/L for right/left earphone. Earphones and package look exactly like on every picture on internet. Everything seems to be identical to what is supposed to be inside the package. I don’t know if these are supposed to have a unique serial number, but I didn’t find any inside/on the package.

    Am I too used to my old earphones or did I buy an expensive fake?

    • Can’t help you there – never tried a counterfeit one. If you look around the web there were some comparisons of fake vs real EPH-100s with pictures, though it’s still quite hard to tell one from the other. As for other things that could be wrong, it’s definitely possible for cheap earphones to have more bass than the EPH-100 – what the Yamaha does so well is balance quality and quantity, but if you give up one you can have more of the other. See my comment here, for example: https://theheadphonelist.com/earphone-buyers-guide/#comment-20634

      Another possibility is that you’re not getting a great seal in the ear with them yet and just need to play around with the tips and fit.

  33. Hi Joker, I really enjoy your reviews they’ve been quite helpful. A couple questions if you don’t mind?

    How will this headphone fair with aggressive genres such as hardcore, punk and thrash? I recently purchased the Thinksound TS02 based on reviews believing it be descent with a wide variety of genres. Unfortunately, I felt that they were just too bassy and overshadowing for the aforementioned types of music. EDM on the other hand sounds great. Do the Yamaha’s bass, however, do a nice job of staying out of the way while at the same time offering a good amount of thump and speed? Also, will the midrange and treble feel ample with these genres without sounding too grainy, sibilant or peaky? I’m also looking at the Beyerdynamic DTX 71 but I think I want something a little more high-end. Any other suggestions under $200 perhaps if not this one?

    On another note, I was wondering if the Hifiman RE-400 would be a good suite for whimsical, folksy, female vocals in my price range. Again, without wounding too sibilant, sharp or excessively bright. I would greatly appreciate your feedback, thank you.

    • For what you are after, I would not recommend the EPH-100. It has a lot of bass – more than the TS02 – and while the bass is better quality, it is still not what you seem to be after if you find the TS02 to be excessive when it comes to bass.

      The RE-400 will do what you want but has significantly less impact and presence at the bottom end. The TDK BA200 will do it even better – it has better bass depth than the RE-400 but is still extremely fast and tight. Keep in mind these are both very flat/balanced earphones compared to the TS02 and EPH-100.

      • In regards to the RE-400, I was considering it as a separate unit aside from the EPH-100 so I am aware of its lighter bass. Although I have looked into the TDK model, do you suppose it would fair well with both genres? Also, when comparing the EPH-100 to the TS02, would you say that the Yamaha is still more dominant than the Thinksound in terms of mid-bass? I quite enjoy sub-bass since it lays down a good foundation and stays more out of the way more so and I have read that the Yamaha produces more on the sub-bass end than mid-bass.

        • The TDK is very close to the RE-400 in sound signature and would suit the same purposes; it’s just a little better. Most EDM listeners want a lot more bass, though.

          The Yamaha has plenty of mid-bass as well – it is better quality bass than with the TS02, but there’s also more of it overall. I really don’t think it’s what you’re looking for. Even the JVC FXD80 would probably be a better option as it’s less mid-bassy than the EPH-100.

          • Very well, I really appreciate your input by the way. Just one last question, would you say that the TDK is more tolerant of bright strikes and sibilance on average than most models in its price range and overall especially when dealing with punk/thrash music?

          • If you want something to specifically kill sibilance the RE-400 is still better than the BA200 but the BA200 is better than average for sure. They are pretty stable and not difficult to drive.

  34. RHA M750 vs. Yamaha EPH-100 vs. Brainwavz B2?

    Thank you for all your reviews.

    I’m looking to buy some new IEMs that are under $200. I listen to many genres. Rock, trip-hop, psychedelic music, classical, jazz, metal, EDM, reggae, hip-hop, bluegrass…

    I have previously owned and enjoyed Klipsch Image S4, Klipsch X-10, and the RHA MA750. The RHAs were recently stolen and now I’m looking to replace them. I have narrowed down my choices to the three mentioned above. On amazon right now the Yamahas are ~$95, RHA @ $120, and Brainwavz @$125. What would you recommend for me? I love clarity but also need a substantial amount of bass for reggae, trip-hop type stuff. I understand the B2 is more analytic, but is the clarity worth sacrificing the bass? Would you consider the Yamaha to be better than RHA at a similar price? I remember reading in one comment that you prefer the Yamaha. Why?

    Thanks for your time

    • The B2 has very little bass compared to all of the sets you’ve owned so I don’t think it’s the right choice for you.

      Even though I consider their performance to be on par, I personally prefer the EPH-100 to the MA750 due to its more forward midrange. It just has less of a tendency to become veiled than the RHA, even when it’s pumping out gobs of bass. It’s a fantastic sound for EDM, and quite good for other genres as well if you like bass.

      • Thank you very much ljokerl. I ordered the EPH-100. At $95 it seems like a superb deal. One more question: with an iPOD classic driving these headphones would an amp increase the sound quality noticeably? I have done some research on amps. Some say that it is not necessary for an IEM, but others have differing opinions. Do the benefits of an amp for this setup outweigh the cost?

    • Hi, It’s funny cuz I completly recognised my self in you’re message !
      I’ve also owned Klipsch image S4 and I was wondering what would you recomended now that you’ve tryied both ?

      Thanks

  35. I’m looking for an IEM sound similar to either Sennheiser Momentum or Audio Technical m50x over-ears. Is this or the RHA-M750 in the right ballpark? I’d prefer straight-down to over-ear IEMs but can live with latter. Anything else I should be looking at (in the < $300 range)?

    thanks for all your reviews!

    • Both these and the MA750s have more dominant bass than the Momentum or M50 (haven’t tried the M50x). However, in IEMs that doesn’t really result in a whole lot more impact because the volume of air moved is rather small. If you’re sensitive to heavy bass you may reconsider but otherwise they should be fine. The mids are less recessed on the EPH-100 so it’s the one I would pick as the better Momentum match of the two.

  36. Might be a weird question but how does this compare to shure se530? My se530 is having the cable problem and I am thinking about getting something new. But I am a bit short on $$ to get a straight upgrade like se535, W4 or anything alone the line. I like the overall feel of se530(bass, emphasis of mid range, better than average soundstage, fun to listen to..etc) while at times it does seem very muddy/chaotic and the high isn’t the best. I used to own HF5, Shure 315, k701. While k701 is the most easy to listen to, I still like the more engaging se530. I always like Yamaha as a brand but am not sure if it will be a downgrade to the se530. And if there’s anything else you recommend please let me know. I listen to mostly edm and pop. I rarely use portable amp. Thanks for all the reviews! I dream of the interactive list when taking a nap lol…

    • Coming from the SE530 these might be too bassy – the Shures are a little warm, but overall pretty balanced. The mids on the EPH-100 is less prominent due to the more powerful bass, but not by as much as you may expect. The upper mids and treble are flatter/smoother on the SE530, but again not by much.

      That said, I happen to really like the EPH-100 for EDM, and with the prices dropping down into the $100 range on amazon I don’t think you can go wrong with it if you are willing to try a bassier earphone.

      But, if you did want something more similar to your Shures without paying $400+ for a 535, the TDK BA200 would be the one to get.

  37. Just wanted to thank you for this review. Finally got around to ordering these. Amazon has them listed at less than 100 bucks currently so it was time to pll the trigger. I now own these and the Shure SE215, which I also picked up based on your feedback. I really like them both for *slightly* different reasons. The Yamaha’s are superior in most respects sound-wise, and more comfortable to boot, but the Shures are a little more fun when I want something really punchy, or when I need a in-ear stage monitor (for bass guitar). If I’d bought these first, though, I am not sure I ever would have picked up the Shures, and with Amazon selling these for less than 100 bucks right now, they’re an absolute bargain.

    • Wow, that is a great price.

      Really glad you like them! I know they’re somewhat popular on Head-Fi and I’ve certainly recommended them plenty but for some reason they still seem like the underdog to me :).

      • Thanks for the reply! I appreciate your hard work on these reviews quite a lot. I don’t purchase anything related to headphones anymore without consulting your reviews first. This page is, quite possibly, the single best resource for the would-be IEM buyer out there. I never would have found this model in particular if it weren’t for your page – I didn’t even know Yamaha made IEMs, quite honestly, until I read about it here. Keep up the good work!

        • Thank you – that was the intent of this site (and originally my Head-Fi thread). Always glad to hear that it’s serving its purpose well 🙂

  38. This earphone or FAD adagio III ? I have owned the adagio but it has broken due to my carelessness. But over here in my country i couldnt find any store selling the yamaha , so i would like to know how yamaha eph-100 compared to FAD adagio III

    • I’ve only tried the Adagio III briefly and wasn’t a big fan… too mid-bass oriented and drops off too fast after that. The EPH-100 has a ton of bass but the subbass focus stops it from getting in the way of the mids and highs, and there’s still good presence in the upper treble.

      However, if the EPH-100 is not available in your country it might be dangerous to try and get one due to the counterfeits that are out there.

  39. Should i go for the eph-100 or the atrios mg7?im a bit sceptical cause i need to order eph 100 and i cant demo them.the atrios in the other hand i tried them and the bass was strong and tight which i like cause im listening only to edm.soo should i just buy the atrios or order the eph 100?

    • Like I said, I prefer the EPH-100 but if you’ve tried the MG7 and liked it by all means go for that. Demoing earphones is probably the best way to shop, when possible. The MG7 is a very nice earphone for bass.

      • I just did some research on type of bass and the one in looking for is mid bass not subbass.so i should find something with good midbass right?and i think most edm have a lot for mid bass not subbass.so which iem is good for midbass.btw sorry for asking alot of question excuse my noobness

        • The Atrio has lots of subbass and you liked that alright. I wouldn’t agree that only mid-bass is important for EDM – lots of tracks have deep bass drops. Ideally you want both.

  40. Hi,I’m looking for a pair or iem for edm music.should i go for this or the gr07 bass edition or other earphones with the same price range.really confused right now.hope u can help

    • I would go for these – I personally really enjoy them with EDM and I’ve heard nothing but positive things from more serious EDM listeners regarding these earphones.

      • in your opinion which one should i go with?the eph-100,velodyne vpulse,Thinksound MS01,rha ma750,shure se215 or the atrios mg7

          • how about in terms of bass(quantity,quality)i like something very bassy and the bass must be tight

          • It’s the best balance of quality/quantity for someone who likes lots of bass. You can find somewhat bassier earphones – for example the RHA MA600, which I didn’t bother reviewing – but you’ll be sacrificing either some bass control or midrange presence/clarity (or both) with them.

  41. How do these compare to the RHA MA750? I’m upgrading from the newest Apple buds, so pretty much anything is an improvement. My friend recommended the Shure SE215 to me as well. How do the three stack up against each other?

  42. ljokerl, how’s this compared to Westone ADV Alpha Adventure which some reviewers said resembles Shure SE215? Thanks in advance.

    • I am honestly not a fan of the ADV. It doesn’t sound as good as the SE215 or EPH-100 to me – too boomy in the bass region and too dark tonally. The EPH-100 has all the bass with pretty much none of the bloat, and its treble is fine – not great, maybe, but it doesn’t sound overly dark. Give the choice I would pick the Yamahas 10 out of 10 times.

      • The Yamaha EPH-100 and the SteelSeries Flux In-Ear belong to the same category ‘Warm and Smooth’. Does it follow that the EPH-100 is better since it is more expensive than the Flux (3x)? I am really tempted to buy the Flux ($49.99 at Amazon) since it has the mic/controls but the EPH can be had for $85 now in ebay. Which one is the better earphone and which one has the better value?

        • It’s not always the case that pricier earphones are better than less expensive ones but that’s true here. The EPH-100 has more bass and a more lush and full-bodied sound than the Flux, along with higher sensitivity and better dynamics.

          However, I would be very careful picking up an EPH-100 on eBay as there are counterfeit units out there.

          • Are these actually In-Ear Canal phones? I have never tried them before especially those with bi-flange tips so I don’t have any idea how it feels wearing them. All my earphones are just the ear bud type. Are these comfortable to wear?

          • Yes, they are in-ears. They might feel intrusive or itchy at first if you’ve only ever worn earbuds, but if you give it some time you can get used to them. I’ve only heard of a few cases where people just could not get accustomed to in-ears.

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