500 - 1000 range IEM upgrade?

I currently have a STP (shuoer tape pro). I’m not a basshead but I do love having an IEM that can produce reasonably good bass. The tuned STP serves me well so far but I am curious on the 500 - 1000 range whether there are any mid-end IEMs that could perform much better (like in a different level of better)? Any recommendations? Would MEST a good fit? Or EJ07? Or some of the Thieaudio ones?

Don’t know from personal experience. But. I can bring these to your attention:
Kbear TRI Starlight (Kbear is an amazing company that has proved time over time that it meets up to the asking price, performs great)
Gaudio Labs (they have two models, this is their website… which isn’t the easiest to find: https://www.gaudiolabs.com/)

These are just two IEMs that are not as mainstream as some other ones. They are not the most well known. However, those who know them really praise them.

I am sure that some other guys will jump in and help you out with the rest of the options out there

Good luck :wink:

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Interesting. Yeah sorry I didn’t hear them before. But it’s good that I could read some reviews and see how they might be a good fit. (FYI, I do remember kbear believe being mentioned here and there, any experiences?)

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I (and many others) have had excellent experience with KBEAR. I own the TRi i3, and it is an outstanding IEM. Many people respect the company for focusing on performance and not sacrificing on quality. @Rikudou_Goku should be able to help you out, he owns a ton of IEMs and is heavily involved in the IEM market. I am more of a follower of the IEM space, I am currently focusing on the headphone space.

They respond fast and are IMO among the best companies in the IEM space.

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Got it. Thank you for the valuable input!

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Check out BGGAR & Resolves’ reviews.

You can find detailed reviews of all the IEMs you mentioned from these reviewers. BGGAR posts in these forums.

Well, I guess I should ask. What other iems do you have besides the Tape pro?

Because if you only have the tape pro, you will find stuff much better than it at even the sub 100 usd range…

But well here are my recs seeing budget isnt a concern.

Fiio FD5
Tanchjim Oxygen
Sony XBA-N3

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The JVC HA-FDX1 are $200 on Drop at the moment too :+1:


Havent heard them so cant comment. But if OP is in the US that should be another good option.

I only have STP and it actually performs well, in my personal very limited experience of course, that’s why I was curious whether I should look around. I assumed I have to look something far more expensive to be able to get some tangible sound quality change , but yeah I am surprised that something cheaper could even a possibility. I will check them around. Thanks for the recs!

Would TEA or L4 way better than STP? I mean I don’t have to spend that much as long as my second pair could give me quite different listen experience (tangible better). I saw BGGAR’s spreadsheet and they seem to be listed pretty high. Or you think I should “scratch them, the xxxx in 500-1000 range would be way better fit”? FYI, I listen to all kinds of music, but prefer non-vocal pure instrument musics such as electronic, epic, house etc.

If you want versatility, it is hard to beat the LZ A7.

But otherwise the Fiio FH3 and the Fiio FD5 are very good as well.

I suggest you to try another well regarded iem in the 100-200 usd range though. Because the Tape pro is not a good iem…

Mangird Tea, Legacy 4 , FH3 and FD5 are the current sweet spots IMO for $200-$300 IEMs.

FD5 & Mangird Tea are my pics out of all 4.

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Add the LZ A7 in that as well. :+1:

I have no experience with the LZ A7, and the LZ A7 I believe is over that $300 threshold I set? :wink:

I personally do not feel the average listener needs to spend over $200-$300 to have a fantastic IEM today.

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During aliexpress sales, it gets dropped to 280 usd. (some even got it lower than that)

But yeah, we are getting better and better iems at cheaper prices.

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Wow, surprisingly to see you considering STP “not good”, I guess my ears have a long way to go. :slight_smile: I am new to the chi/hi-fi listening world and had sometimes got confused reading reviews here and there which seems like could be quite different opinions.

Though, it’s quite nice to hear that I probably don’t have to look for something more expensive to experience better SQ, that’s definitely a plus. I will look around the 200-300 range and see if I can make a decision. Also btw, I just ordered kz zs10pro, it’s cheap but looks like got some positive feedbacks in general. Will see how it goes. :slight_smile: Thanks you all for helping!

The ZS10pro is an older KZ model though. I think their newest one that is an upgrade to the ZS10pro is the ZAX.

But yeah, look around the 100-300 usd range, you see a lot of great iems there. Although I would recommend that you try the budget sub 50 usd range and try out a few different iems so you get to know what type of sound signature/drivers you prefer. Then when you know what you like/dislike, you can move up to the TOTL iems and be done with this rabbit hole lol.

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Blon 03 & 01, Fiio FD1 are a few must haves in the budget range.

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01 sounds low rez to me lol. Cant scale with high quality/mastered tracks, which is 99% of my library.

But it does have a good tuning generally.