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 of 327 items

  • Updated on Nov. 10th, 2019
  • Added 21 itemsAstrotec Phoenix, Technics EAH-TZ700, BGVP DM7, Campfire Audio Andromeda MW / C/2019 Q4, TFZ Queen LTD / King Edition, IKKO OH-10 / Musikv OH7, Moondrop Blessing 2 / S8 / Solis, Tanchjim Blues, SoftEars Cerberus, AZLA Zwei, Kinera Nanna, BQEYZ Spring 1, Fearless Audio Lancelot / Roland / La Hire, Noble Audio Kaiser Encore

 

Dita Audio Dream XLS [9.6]

HYLA Nerva-X [9.6]

Oriolus Mellianus [9.6]

Aroma Audio Ace [9.6]

Rhapsodio Infinity [9.6]

Light Harmonic Oscar XXI [9.6]

JVC Victor FW-10000 [9.5]

SoftEars Cerberus [9.5]

Technics EAH-TZ700 [9.5]

Unique Melody Maven [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]

Fearless Audio Lancelot [9.5]

————————–

Fearless Audio Roland [9.4]

Noble Audio Kaiser Encore [9.4]

AAW Nightingale [9.4]

Aroma Audio Twins [9.4]

Campfire Audio Andromeda MW [9.4]

Aroma Audio Shock [9.4]

Faudio Major [9.4]

Shozy Pola 39 [9.4]

Astrotec Phoenix [9.4]

Ikko Musikv OH-7 [9.4]

Dita Audio Twins (Fidelity / Fealty) [9.4]

Dita Audio Project 71 [9.4]

Sony IER-Z1R [9.4]

Rhapsodio Zombie [9.4]

Dunu DK-4001 [9.4]

Moondrop Solis [9.4]

Unique Melody Mason V3 [9.4]

Light Harmonic Stella [9.4]

Lime Ears Aether [9.4]

Campfire Audio Atlas [9.4]

Moondrop S8 [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]

Rhapsodio Extreme [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]

EM Audio EM8 [9.3]

Lark Studio LSX [9.3]

CTM Da Vinci X [9.3]

Kinera Nanna [9.3]

————————–

Kinera Odin [9.2]

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]

Campfire Audio Equinox [9.2]

Cayin YB04 [9.2]

Shozy Pola [9.2]

Sony IER-M9 [9.2]

Fearless Audio S8F [9.2]

Fearless Audio ACME-8 [9.2]

Moondrop A8 [9.2]

Moondrop Blessing 2 [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]

Fearless Audio La Hire [9.2]

Rhapsodio Galaxy V2 [9.2]

EM Audio EM6W [9.2] 

————————–

Campfire Audio Jupiter [9.1]

Campfire Audio Polaris V2 [9.1]

Campfire Audio C/2019 Q4 [9.1]

Fidue A91 Sirius [9.1]

Light Harmonic Mera [9.3]

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]

BGVP DM7 [9]

Ikko OH-10 [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]

TFZ Queen LTD [8.8]

TFZ King Edition [8.8]

Final Audio Design Heaven VII [8.8]

Audiofly AF1120 [8.8]

Sennheiser IE800 [8.8]

BQEYZ Spring 1 [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 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 Zwei [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]

Tanchjim Blues [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]

————————–

AZLA Orta [8.2]

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

31 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!

      • Shubham

        Relatively new to audiophile community, ive listened to 1more triples (slightly more bass for my taste and sparkly highs, so not for me) , rha ma750 (liked it a lot) , own ath e40 ( absolute favorites- bass is sharp enough and spot on , a little less but fixed easily by eq, warmer sound , highs need a little bit of recessing – now they sound just perfect!!) Looking for an upgrade under 200 dollars – bass rich in quality not a lot of quantity , less warmer, controlled mids and highs.. I’m treble sensitive..; balance between critical listen and casual.. Prefer flat sound , detailed.. Suggestions? I was thinking moon drop kxxs or tin p1 or rha t20?

  5. Shubham

    I use lg v30 for listening.. But unlike many with the phone, i can get the DAC and amp working completely with any earphones..

    Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Hi Shubham,

      LG V30 sure has a quality sound for a phone. For the recommendation, you’ve referred KXXS / P1 / T20 for consideration. I suspect T20 isn’t going to be suitable for you as the trebles may be a tad bright for you.

      P1 is closer to your preferred “gently flat” sound signature, but the upper mids could also be very slightly bright for you as well (I mean in a very treble sensitive perspective.) It also requires quite a lot of power to run properly, so V30 may not be sufficient enough to run the IEM.

      Moondrop KXXS appears to be a solid choice. I would’ve normally recommended Oxygen as well due to it being flatter/cleaner, though it’s very slightly brighter/closer so I’m sticking with KXXS for the recommendation, just to make sure.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  6. Jonathan

    This is super best list i’ve ever seen bro! So btw thanks you for your last advice, i picked Atlas for my collection and it sounds amazing for edm and hiphop. Next time i wanna add one more like Andromeda, but i’m really so confusing… idk how to pick the original or stainless steel version (specially soundstage). Need your help please?!

    Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Thanks man! Sorry for the delayed response and I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the Atlas.

      It gets pretty tricky when it comes to Andro vs Andro S. Andro S presents a tad stronger reverbs/bass strikes, deeper/harder bass, and an extra emphasis on the 3D soundstage. Mids are also a little thicker and slightly darker compared to the Andro.

      In short, Andro S does a better job on the lower ends and the 3D-effect aspects while Andro is better on revealing the texture and crispiness from the upper frequencies.

      Note that the size of the soundstage is pretty much the same, it’s just that Andro S emphasizes more on the spatial (3D) characteristics.

      Reply
      • aboutaudio

        p.s. Since you’re into EDM and hip hop (like me) I suspect you’d prefer Andro S over Andro. A well established, solid bass makes those genres a lot better. : )

  7. Jonathan

    Thanks you so much my man, I’m very apreciate for your help! You’re really enthusiam sir, that’s reason why i love ur website so much. Hope your website is well known and well developed in future.

    Reply
  8. Oun

    I am shocked as why i haven’t seen this site before… great reviews
    Just wanted to know if you could give a comparison between Ikko Oh7 and Ikko Oh10
    specially staging..
    And was wondering if you could recommend few pairs of iems with exceptionally spacious tall soundstage under 350Usd
    thanksalot

    Reply
    • aboutaudio

      Hello Oun! Thank you and glad to hear you enjoy the website. The Musick OH7 is IKKO’s upcoming flagship model which will be retailed for around $1K, so both the price and the performance gap are quite huge. Musick OH7 aims for a gigantic, deep yet clear sound signature that follows a similar path as Beyerdynamic’s Xelento – but with superior bandwidth, depth, tallness, and clarity. I very much enjoyed it and tempted to grab one.

      For the recommendation, the first thing that comes up to my mind is IMR Acoustics R1 Zenith and TFZ No.3 Ti. Both present a wide, large, and spatial sound stage with much richness.

      Reply
      • Oun

        Well thanks for the rec..
        I thought oh7 would be around 300usd
        Still buddy keep up your work you are doing great.. bookmarked your website.
        Just a advice if you could explain your scoring system and if you could make a youtube channel that will be great …
        Another thing haha could do me a brief comparision between oh10 and tfz no3 ti

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