At a glance – IEM shoot out


Read this before you proceed.

     First off, I don’t really like portraying IEM performances by ranking them in charts, as any impressions or reviews wrote by anyone are always influenced by their personal taste – means that it could never, ever be 100% accurate. Despite of that, the ranking charts I’ve seen before still felt to be quite subjective and wanted to present a ranking chart that I’d be happy with. Again, nobody could create a truly objective chart, including mine as well.

     This chart would be more about reflecting my satisfaction level after considering the price, performance, and worthiness for the cost – means that just because a cheaper model is placed higher than a pricey one doesn’t necessarily mean it’s technically superior. I’ve also tried to rule out my personal preferences as much as possible. Everyone has different thoughts on any products and same applies to the below charts, so take it with a grain of salt. 

p.s. I’m looking to adjust scores for some items as this is the earliest version. Will possibly add short impressions or comments for each items later on.

 

Again, this is my satisfaction chart. NOT just sonic performance.

DO NOT MAKE A COPY OF THIS POST


Total 306 items

  • Update 08/16/19
  • Added 15 items: AYA Audio SA-01, QOA Pink Lady, Rhapsodio Extreme, Tin HiFi P1, BGVP DMS, Dunu DK-3001 Pro, Astrotec Delphinus 5 Re:Tuned, Campfire Audio Andromeda Gold LE, Cayin YB04, Light Harmonic Oscar XXI, Acoustune HS1695-Ti, Acoustune HS1655-Cu, Shozy Pola 39, Light Harmonic Mera, UFOEAR UFO-112
  • Bumped Fidue Artemis from 9.2 to 9.5

 

HYLA Nerva-X [9.6]

Oriolus Mellianus [9.6]

Aroma Audio Ace [9.6]

Rhapsodio Infinity [9.6]

Dita Audio Dream XLS [9.6]

Unique Melody Maven [9.6]

Light Harmonic Oscar XXI [9.6]

JVC Victor FW-10000 [9.5] 

Oriolus Percivali [9.5]

Fidue Artemis [9.5]

Campfire Audio Solaris [9.5]

Camprie Audio Andromeda Gold LE [9.5]

Audeze LCDi4 [9.5]

Rhapsodio Eden [9.5]

Dita Audio The Dream [9.5]

64 Audio Tia Fourté [9.5]

Faudio Project Y [9.5]

Aroma Audio Yao [9.5]

Jomo Audio Trinity [9.5]

Noble Audio Khan [9.5]

Noble Audio Katana [9.5]

————————–

AAW Nightingale [9.4]

Aroma Audio Twins [9.4]

Aroma Audio Shock [9.4]

Faudio Major [9.4]

Shozy Pola 39 [9.4]

Dita Audio Twins (Fidelity / Fealty) [9.4]

Sony IER-Z1R [9.4]

Rhapsodio Zombie [9.4]

Dunu DK-4001 [9.4]

Unique Melody Mason V3 [9.4]

Light Harmonic Stella [9.4]

Lime Ears Aether [9.4]

Campfire Audio Atlas [9.4]

Meze Rai Penta [9.4]

Oriolus Reborn Limited [9.4]

Sony XJE-MH1/MH2 [9.4]

AAW W900 [9.4]

Rhapsodio Solar [9.4]

Empire Ears Legend X [9.3]

AKG N5005 [9.3]

Campfire Audio Andromeda [9.3]

Campfire Audio Andromeda S [9.3]

Earsonics S-EM9 [9.3]

Beyerdynamic Xelento [9.3]

Hifiman RE2000 / RE2000 Silver [9.3]

Acoustune HS1695-Ti [9.3]

Noble Audio Kaiser 10 (K10U) [9.3]

Final Audio Design Piano Fourte VIII [9.3]

Oriolus Reborn / Oriolus 2 [9.3]

Light Harmonic Mera [9.3]

Fearless Audio ACME-8 [9.3]

EM Audio EM8 [9.3]

Lark Studio LSX [9.3]

CTM Da Vinci X [9.3]

————————–

CTM Da Vinci IX [9.2]

Audeze iSine 20 [9.2]

Acoustune HS1655-CU [9.2]

Sennheiser IE800s [9.2]

Shure SE846 [9.2]

Campfire Audio Vega [9.2]

Rhapsodio Extreme [9.2]

Cayin YB04 [9.2]

Shozy Pola [9.2]

Sony IER-M9 [9.2]

Fearless Audio S8F [9.2]

Moondrop A8 [9.2]

Kinera Odin [9.2]

Westone W80 [9.2]

Stealth Sonics U9 [9.2]

Unique Melody Mirage [9.2]

HYLA CE-5 [9.2]

HYLA TE-5T [9.2]

HYLA TE-5B [9.2]

Custom Arts Harmony 8.2 [9.2]

HUM Pristine [9.2]

IMR Acoustics R1 Zenith [9.2]

Acoustune HS1670-SS [9.2]

Acoustune HS1650-CU [9.2]

Unique Melody ME.1 [9.2]

Sony IER-M7 [9.2]

Rhapsodio Galaxy V2 [9.2]

Dita Audio Project 71 [9.2]

EM Audio EM6W [9.2]

————————–

Campfire Audio Equinox [9.1]

Fidue A91 Sirius [9.1]

Dunu DK-3001 Pro [9.1]

Astrotec Delphinus 5 Re:Tuned [9.1]

UFOEAR UFO-112 [9.1]

LZ Hifi Audio LZ-A6 [9.1]

Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS [9.1]

EM Audio EM5 [9.1]

Dita Audio Dita Truth [9.1]

AAW W500 [9.1]

Faudio Passion [9.1]

Advanced GT2 [9.1]

Advanced GT4 [9]

Aroma Audio Early [9]

Simgot Roselle EM5 [9]

IMR Acoustics R1 [9]

Acoustune HS1551-CU [9]

Acoustune HS1501-AL [9]

Acoustune HS1503-AL [9]

Moondrop Blessing [9]

Dita Audio Answer [9]

FLC Technology FLC8C [9]

RHA Audio CL1 [9]

Ocharaku Flat 4 [9]

AYA Audio SA-01 [9] 

Final Audio Design Heaven VIII [9]

————————–

iBasso Audio IT04W [8.9]

Dunu DK-3001 [8.9]

Moondrop KXXS [8.9]

Advanced M5-5D [8.9]

Lear Bamdas 5 [8.9]

Final Audio Design Heaven VII [8.8]

Audiofly AF1120 [8.8]

Sennheiser IE800 [8.8]

Hifiman RE800 [8.8]

QOA Pink Lady [8.8]

JH Audio Tri-Fi [8.8]

Astell & Kern Diana [8.8]

Shure SE535 [8.8]

Campfire Audio Jupiter [8.8]

Campfire Audio Polaris V2 [8.8]

Campfire Audio Io [8.8]

Tin HiFi P1 [8.8]

BGVP DMS [8.8]

Audeze iSine 10 [8.8]

Monoprice M300 [8.8]

Astrotec Delphinus 5 [8.8]

Rhapsodio RDB 2nd [8.8]

Tanchjim Oxygen [8.8]

Advanced Furai [8.8]

TFZ No.3 Ti [8.8]

FLC Technology FLC8S [8.8]

Radius Wn4 [8.8]

Radius Wn3 [8.8]

————————–

Rhapsodio Orla [8.7]

Dunu Titan 6 [8.7]

EM Audio EM2 [8.7]

Oriolus Finschi [8.7]

Advanced M5-1D [8.7]

Fidue A85 Virgo [8.7]

Cardas Audio A8 [8.7]

Aroma Audio Star [8.7]

Stealth Sonics U2 [8.7]

Stealth Sonics U4 [8.7]

AZLA 01R [8.7]

AZLA 01R MKII [8.7]

Rose BR5 MKII [8.7]

Magaosi K6 [8.7]

Radius Wn0 [8.7]

Dunu DN-2002 [8.7]

Oriveti Primacy / New Primacy [8.7]

Astell & Kern Michelle [8.7]

Plenue X40 [8.7]

RHA T20i [8.7]

Final Audio Design Heaven VI [8.7]

————————–

Final Audio Design Heaven V [8.6]

Final Audio Design Heaven V Aging [8.6]

Whizzer A-HE03 Kylin [8.6]

Aya Audio Nightingale YK-1 [8.6]

Simgot EK3 [8.6]

Dunu DM480 [8.6]

TFZ Secret Garden 1 [8.6]

Trinity Audio Icarus III [8.6]

Trinity Audio Master [8.6]

Sennheiser IE80S [8.6]

Acoustune HS1004 [8.6]

Periodic Audio Be [8.6]

iBasso IT01S [8.6]

Anew U1 [8.6]

Ikko OH1 [8.6]

Kinera Idun Deluxe Limited [8.6]

Moondrop Kanas Pro [8.6]

TFZ King III [8.6]

Campfire Audio Nova [8.6]

Plenue X30 [8.6]

LZ Audio LZ-A5 [8.6]

Rock it Sounds R-50 [8.6]

Magaosi K5 Bass [8.6]

Dynamic Motion DM200H [8.6]

————————–

AZLA Horizon [8.5]

Astell & Kern Billie Jean [8.5]

Final Audio Design Heaven IV [8.4]

Sennheiser IE80 [8.5]

Sennheiser IE8 [8.5]

1More E1010 Quad Driver [8.5]

Campfire Audio Orion [8.5]

Mee Audio Pinnacle P1 [8.5]

Echobox Nomad N1 [8.5]

Simgot EN700 Pro [8.5]

Simgot EM2 [8.5]

TFZ King Pro LTD [8.5]

iBasso IT03 [8.5]

TFZ No.3 [8.5]

————————–

Fidue A81 [8.4]

Advanced GT3 [8.4]

AZLA Orta [8.4]

Rhapsodio Iris [8.4]

Campfire Audio Comet [8.4]

TFZ King Pro [8.4]

TFZ Tequila A1 [8.4]

Simgot MT3 [8.4]

Dunu Falcon-C [8.4]

Ultimate Ears UE900s [8.4]

Ultimate Ears Triple-Fi [8.4]

Intime Kira [8.4]

Intime Go [8.4]

1More E1008 [8.4]

iBasso IT01 [8.4]

Brainwavz B400 [8.4]

LZ Audio LZ-A4 [8.4]

LZ Audio LZ-A3 [8.4]

Tennmak Orca [8.4]

Massdrop x Mee Audio Planamic IEM [8.4]

Moondrop Kanas [8.4]

Astrotec AM850 [8.4]

Meze 12 Classics [8.4]

Oriolus Fosteni [8.4]

————————–

Shozy V33 [8.3]

Simgot EM1 [8.3]

Hifi Boy OSV3 [8.3]

Tanchjim Kora [8.3]

Echobox Finder X1 [8.3]

Radius NX100 [8.3]

Rockjaw Resonate [8.3]

Magaosi X3 [8.3]

Kinera Idun [8.3]

Periodic Audio Ti [8.3]

Periodic Audio Mg [8.3]

————————–

Tenhz P4 Pro [8.2]

Fiio F9 Pro [8.2]

Moondrop Aria [8.2]

Ostry KC06A [8.2]

TFZ Series 7 [8.2] – Hard to recommend; muddy, unorganized, lacks upper frequencies, not worth the price.

TFZ Secret Garden 3 [8.2] – Hard to recommend; far off tonality, spiky upper frequencies, unorganized. 

Alpha & Delta AD01 [8.2]

Shozy Hibiki SE [8.2]

Rose Margaret [8.2]

LZ Audio LZ-A2 [8.2]

LZ Audio LZ-A2S [8.2]

Pai Audio MR3 [8.2]

Final Audio Design Heaven II [8.2]

Ostry KC09 [8.2]

Earnine EN2 [8.2]

Earnine EN210 [8.2]

Dolphinear JDR-100 [8.2]

Magaosi K3 HD [8.2]

Magaosi K3 Pro [8.1]

AAW Q [8.1]

Monoprice Triple XXX [8.1]

Fiio F5 [8.1]

Shure SE215 [8.1]

TFZ Queen [8.1]

TFZ T1s Galaxy [8.1] 

TFZ Exclusive 5 [8.1]

TFZ My Love III [8.1]

TFZ T2 [8.1]

Trinity Audio Vyrus V2 [8.1]

Trinity Audio Sabre [8.1]

Trinity Audio Phantom Master 4 [8.1]

Intime Sora [8.1]

Brainwavz Koel [8.1]

Ucotech IL500 [8.1]

Havi B3 Pro 1 [8.1]

Havi B3 Pro 2 [8.1]

Ocharaku Co-Donguri [8.1]

Rockjaw Alfa Genus V2 [8.1]

Rockjaw Clarito [8.1]

Earnine EN120 [8.1]

Tennmak Cello [8.1]

Shozy Zero [8.1]

Shozy Hibiki [8.1]

Meze 11 Neo [8.1]

Moondrop Cresent [8.1]

Sonicast DIRAC MK2 [8.1]

Sonicast DIRAC Plus MK2 [8.1]

Earnine EN120 [8.1]

Muix IX5000 [8.1]

Fiio F9 [8.1]

Fiio FH1 [8.1]

Mee Audio Pinnacle P2 [8.1]

Macaw GT100s [8.1]

————————–

Advanced Elise [8]

Advanced S2000 [8]

Trinity Audio Hyperion [8]

Mee Audio M6 Pro [8]

Advanced Model 3 [8]

Alpha & Delta D2 [8]

Kinera BD005 [8]

Vsonic New VSD3S [8]

Vsonic New VSD3 [8]

NFJ N300 Pro [8]

BGVP YSP04 [8]

Advanced M4 [7.9]

Mee Audio M7 Pro [7.9]

Earnine EN1 [7.6]

Whizzer A15 / A15 Pro [7.6]

Kinera H3 [7]

Xiaomi Piston 2.0 [6.8]

Auglamour R8 [6.7]

Auglamour R1s [6.7]

Vsonic New VSD2S [6.5]

Xduoo EP1 [6]

Sendy Audio Aiya [6] – Hard to recommend; mids sound completely hollow in the middle with far off tonality 

Oriveti Basic [4.5] – Hard to recommend; muddy, lack details, not worth the price

Geekwold GK3 [3.5] – Hard to recommend; far off imaging, muddy, unorganized, lacks basics


Considering to purchase list (or re-purchase)

– An extra section just for fun. Listed from most to least attempting.

Campfire Audio Solaris – bought

JVC Victor HA-FW10000 – bought

Noble Audio Katana – bought

Unique Melody Maven – planning to buy

AAW Nightingale

64 Audio Tia Fourté

AAW Canary

Meze Audio Rai Penta

Moondrop Solis

Rhapsodio Infinity

Fidue Artemis – planning to buy

RHA Audio CL2

HUM Dolores

FLC Technology Celeste

20 Responses

    • aboutaudio

      Hi Eric, appreciate the feedback and also sorry for the late response! Will soon add the prices once I get some spare time.

      Reply
  1. Vladimir

    Hi! Amazing amount of work I could see here! Well done! I wonder have you tried Flare audio 2hd? There’re some glorious reviews on them on headfi. Interesting to see where you could put them in your brilliant rating.) Thanks)

    Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Hi Vladimir, thanks for the kind words! Also sorry for the late response.

      I actually just got the entire Flare Audio lineup in hands for testing, but sadly except Pro 2 HD (Pro 1/2, Jet 1/2/3).

      I’m planning to review all these and will soon add these into the chart. Yet to try Pro 2 HD, but hopefully I’ll get a chance to try it as well.

      My first impressions on Flare Audio products are pretty dang good!

      Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Hi, apologies for the late response. If you’re looking for a recommendation, I can pick Tanchjim Oxygen, TFZ No.3 Ti, or IMR R1.

      Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Hi, thanks for the kind words. It really depends on your taste, though I could pick Moondrop A8 to be a safe choice.

      Reply
      • Cugel

        Thank you! I mostly listen to bass heavy stuff, HipHop and Triphop. I do love the sound of the Sennheiser IE800

  2. Shaiju uppungal

    Hyla ce 5/fearless audio s8f/
    IMR accoustic R1/zenith/moondrop A8/western w80/
    Which of these is the best ?

    Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Hi, what kind of sound signature or characteristics are you looking for? (for example – wide staging, flat sound signature, gentle but dark bass, comfortable mids, recessed highs, etc.)

      Reply
    • aboutaudio

      I can’t really say one specific IEM is better than the others unless the performance is better in all spectrum. Your referred IEMs all sit in a similar place in performance, so it’s better to decide based on your preference. That should be more helpful for you to find the right one too.

      Reply
  3. Artiom

    Hello. What would you recommend as a step up from fearless audio s8f maybe with bit more bass wider soundstage and more details?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Hi Artiom, the perfect upgrade from that would probably be CA Andromeda Gold LE. For cheaper options, I’d pick Beyerdynamic Xelento / HYLA CE-5 and IMR R1 for an even cheaper option.

      Reply
  4. J

    I’ve been trying to decide between the Fearless S8F and Moondrop A8, but there are very few reviews out there.

    What’s the differences between the two and what sort of person would prefer the S8F over the A8, and vice versa.

    Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Hi J, the overall sound signature between those two is quite different. S8F goes for a brighter, airy, and more upper-frequency focused sound signature as well as an uplifted center of gravity (or focal point). A8 has more bass-oriented signature with warmer, relatively darker, weighty, and smoother signature. The center of gravity for A8 is lower and deeper, which is an ideal thing for its sound signature.

      S8F is going to be suitable if you’re more into an open-feeling sound with much crispiness, freshness, and micro details from the mid-highs while A8 would be a good choice if you need a bold, plentiful amount of bass with smooth yet prominent mid-highs.

      In short: Mid-high frequencies for S8F, Low-mid frequencies for A8.

      Reply
      • J

        Thanks so much for your comment, you’ve helped me finally decide.

        Great site and content, by the way!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Close