Acho Reviews (in English & Spanish)

Love the review and the way you wrote it. Sounds like a banger of a IEM but that’s alot of cookie dough!
Cheers Tone Deaf Monk.


TRN XuanWu

TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - TRN XuanWu

The TRN XuanWu were sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. They did not make any specific requests, therefore, I will be as sincere and unbiased as I can, following my usual approach.

You can find a (non-affiliate) link to the TRN XuanWu by visiting the version of this review published on my blog (link at the end of this post).


I have had the XuanWu since sometime around the early part of December. I have actually tested them on a few different occasions, which I will get to in a moment, but haven’t made it to the review part until now.

These are a set of hybrid IEMs, featuring a 10mm planar driver along with a custom BA driver, all for just over 30€ (at the time of this review). I am not sure if this makes them the cheapest set of IEMs with a planar driver but they are certainly well inside the extreme budget category.


Presented in a black box with gold highlights and images of the IEMs on the cover, it opens to reveal the IEMs sitting in the cutouts at the top of the box with a cardboard cover that is removed to reveal the accessories at the bottom.

Other than the IEMs we receive the cable (with recessed two pin style connectors) and 7 sets of silicone eartips, one of which is sort of a mix between regular silicone tips and the spring tips by Moondrop. Apart from that, we get the usual warranty card and paperwork. We really can’t expect much more at this price.

Build and aesthetics…

While the IEMs have some originality to their aesthetics, they are mentioned (in the publicity) as being aluminium face plates, yet these are the most plastic looking (and feeling) aluminium that I have seen. If it wasn’t for the advertising saying otherwise, I would have had no doubt that they are plastic.

That doesn’t mean they are not well built, I don’t see any specific build issues and I don’t have any complaints about them at this price range. I don’t find them to be the most comfortable of IEMs but they are not bad, they just don’t “disappear” like other models do.

Aesthetics are good in my opinion, looking like something that would retail for a higher price point than they do, even if they do look like they are 100% plastic.


I am going to be brief in this review as I really don’t get on well with the sound of the XuanWu. As I said in the intro, I have tried these IEMs on multiple occasions and kept leaving them to come back and try them later, this is mainly because I just do not enjoy them. However, I will share my opinions, even if they are in an abbreviated form.

Here is the graph of the TRN XuanWu in comparison to my usual preference target:

While the graph already points us towards me not enjoying these IEMs, there are actually other sets that have a similar (although not quite as exaggerated) tuning that I enjoy, that is mostly because of the way those (other) sets of IEMs perform.

I find that the XuanWu is not only exaggerated in the bass regions, it can also sound distorted and the IEMs (driver?) struggle to keep up with anything that is over a moderate pace, especially if the music in question is bass heavy. I just feel that low end lacks the speed that we should be able to expect from a planar and at the same time makes bass heavy tracks seem “dirty” in the low end.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is a very uneven high range that tries to counter the boosted low end but only manages to come across as harsh and irritating, to my ears at least. sibilance is very present, as is an upper sheen that is just uncomfortable.

I could continue but to be honest, those two factors just make the IEMs something that I can’t enjoy, I struggle to move my focus away from the bass and treble.


As I said, this is a very brief review as I haven’t really spent too much time with the XuanWu. I have tried on various occasions to use them over a longer period but I just don’t enjoy them and seeing that I have so many things backed up, I would rather move on that spend time going deeper into a set that I clearly do not like.

This does not mean that they won’t be for anyone, as I always say, audio is very subjective and these may be something that fit your tastes perfectly, I just can’t suggest them amongst so many other sets that I enjoy in this price range.

All my reviews are also available in Spanish both on my blog ( and YouTube (

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on


QKZ x HBB Khan

TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Ep.163 - QKZ x HBB Khan

The QKZ x HBB Khan were sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. They did not request anything specific and I will, as always, aim to be as unbiased and sincere as possible.

As usual, you can find a non-affiliate link to the Khan via Linsoul by visiting the version of this review published on my blog, link at the end of this post.


The Khan is another collaboration between HBB (of Bad Guy Good Audio Reviews) and QKZ, however, as we will see, this is a bit of a different approach than previous tunings by HBB. Coming in at around 40€ (at the time of this review), placing them inside the ultra budget category (sub 50€), the Khan feature a 10mm dynamic driver for the bass along with a 7.8mm dynamic driver for the mids and highs.

Aimed at being easily driven by cell phone devices (and other small dongles), the Khan has an impedance of only 10 ohms and a sensitivity of 117dB. This easiness to drive, along with the reduced price, makes them a set that can easily be thrown in a pocket or bag for day to day use.


The QKZ x HBB Khan arrives in a box that is nothing really special, although they have restrained from showing quite as much info and publicity than they did on the previous collaboration, the QKZ x HBB.

Upon opening the box, we find something that is quite unexpected (at least for me), in the form of a large gold coin. One side of the coin shows the HBB logo, while the reverse side shows the QKZ logo. I have no idea what the reason is for including the coin but it certainly makes it a little different as far as unboxing and contents go.

Obviously we also get the IEMs, along with the cable, three sets of silicone tips and a rigid storage/carrying case. The case doesn’t exactly feel like a high quality case, made of fairly indelible plastic, but it is more protection than a simple bag, which is about all we can really expect for the price.

Build and Aesthetics…

The shells are 3D printed and very reminiscent of the QKZ x HBB, featuring the HBB logo in gold on the right IEM and the QKZ on the left, both behind a transparent covering but opting for a grid type design rather than the lightning found on the previous model.

The build doesn’t scream high end but there are no obvious flaws on my set and I have no complaints about the build at this price point.

Comfort is decent although I did find myself opting for larger tips which seat the IEMs slightly further out of my ear canal as I couldn’t get a correct seal sith deeper insertion (at least with the included tips). I did wear them for long periods though and felt no discomfort.

The cable is rather generic and cheap feeling, although the 3.5mm and the splitter are both metal, with a swirl (or spiral) pattern on them. Again, no complaints at this price point.


All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Spotify, etc.)

Here is my usual comparison of the Khan against my personal preference target:

Now that is certainly a break from all the similarly tuned sets we have seen recently!

I expected the bass on these to give me fatigue in a very short time, yet, to my surprise, that wasn’t the case. In fact, I found that these IEMs inspired me to listen to more EDM and Hip-Hop than I have listened to in a long time. I have never really been a huge EDM fan (although at the right time and place, I have enjoyed a lot of EDM) but I was heavily involved in the Hip-Hop scene for many years (a story for another day) and while I still listen to HH, it had been quite a while since I spent a long session (actually multiple sessions) listening exclusively to HH. The tuning of these IEMs actually remind me of the tunings I used to go for in car audio many years ago, where people could hear me before seeing me.

Anyway, let’s get on with the review and take a look at them with my usual test tracks and following the usual steps.

Rather than focusing on the subbass, I am going to mention the low end as a whole, due to the way the upper midbass dip interacts with the lower bass regions. This makes for a very present but also very clean low end. “No Sanctuary Here” provides a very impressive low end rumble, making the bass seem as though it is felt although it stays clear.

That dip around 200Hz does disconnect the bass regions from the mids but it doesn’t do so in a way that seems strange. I sometimes get the feeling that on some sets that have a dip in the midbass can make it seem like someone has set the crossovers wrong on a subwoofer+mains set up, yet the Khan doesn’t give me that impression. It does have a negative effect on some tracks that utilize the roll of the midbass into the lower mids, yet works in favour of other tracks that have a larger presence in those deeper bass regions. The same dip also serves to avoid the boominess found in the low end of things like “Crazy”, where the guitar can become overly reverberant in its lower notes.

The midrange does certainly take a step back in comparison to the lows (and highs). I wouldn’t choose these IEMs for a lot of my vocal and instrument based music as I feel that the vocals don’t have as much presence as I would like, yet female vocals do seem to cut through slightly better than male vocals in this regard. With simpler tracks, this doesn’t really come across as an issue but more complex arrangements, such as “Whole Lotta Love”, does seem to overshadow the lyrics to some extent.

The higher midrange is not very present, with the usual climb actually peaking around 3.5kHz to 4kHz, this will accentuate that slight step back in vocals but also keeps things rather smooth.

The higher ranges are actually a lot smoother that I would have expected by looking at the graph. There is a good amount of presence in the high end but is not very “airy”. The sound doesn’t become overly harsh but can seem a little fragile on occasions. Sibilance is in check (as tested with the usual “Code Cool”) but is not subdued, so it will depend on the track.

I can’t say that I find sound stage to be anything above average, as with the vast majority of IEMs to my ears, yet the Khan does a decent job of utilizing that space and keeping things well place, allowing me to identify different layers without too much issue.

Details are not the strongest point of these IEMs, especially those found in the midrange, yet the lower ranges do work well to preserve those that are found in this range. It is not an overly blunted soung in general, in other words, they don’t make you feel like you are missing out on a lot of detail, but they do not stand out either.

Isolation is not actually great in the low end, yet the presence in the same region will mean that you will not notice external noise when listening to music (especially the genres that seem to work best with the Khan). The rest of the frequencies are around average.


The QKZ x HBB Khan are sort of a double edged sword. On one side, it is refreshing to listen to something that is a break away from so many similarly tuned IEMs in this price range, yet on the other side, I find that it restricts the genres that I would actually use these for.

I can’t say I enjoy them with the majority of my acoustic music (which is a lot), yet I do find that I enjoy them for Hip-Hop and EDM. I am not someone who listens to much EDM or Hip-Hop (at least not recently), so that means that, while they did inspire me to spend more time than usual with these genres, I wouldn’t choose to use them on a daily basis.

A large positive is the price, which means that they are not an expensive set to have around for an alternative tuning for those times you do feel like a bit of bass centric music. I also find that they do not fatigue me, due to that dip in the midbass, so I can enjoy them for more than a few tracks (something that was not possible for me with the QKZ x HBB).

If you are someone who listens to a lot of Hip-Hop or EDM, I think that they are well worth trying out for their price tag. Yet if you are looking for a budget set of all-rounders, then I don’t think these fit that bill.

As always, this review is also available in Spanish both on my blog ( and on YouTube (

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on



TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - KZ DQS

The DQS have been sent to me directly by KZ. You could say that they were in exchange for this review but in this case, they just said that if I had time and wanted to, that they would appreciate it if I reviewed them.

I have not had any further communication with KZ about these IEMs, so there have been no requests or comments made. I will, as always, do my best to be unbiased and share my honest opinion on these IEMs.

I was going to link to the official page for these IEMs (on my blog), as I usually do in these cases, but I am not quite sure what that link is. The person who reached out to me is from, which is a website that seems to be an official KZ brand web. At the same time, I have previously dealt with, which also seems to be an official KZ brand web. Both webs share the same street address (at least that is what I understand from their contact pages) but have different phone numbers, so I am confused :grin:

However, seeing that the DQS don’t seem to appear on the kzhifi page but do appear on the kz-audio page, I am going to link the latter of the two. I apologize to the person who sent these to me if I am linking the wrong page, please let me know if I am.

You can find the KZ DQS link by visiting this review on my blog (link at the end of this post)

All of the links I share are always non-affiliate but in this case, I am not even sure who I am linking to, so no need to mention that I receive nothing from clicks or purchases made via the above link.


I haven’t really been following KZ lately and although I reviewed the PR1 a few months ago, I really am not up to date on their latest releases. I am sure there have been a few as KZ are usually pretty consistent with new releases and seeing that they reached out to me in late November or early December about the DQS, I am not sure if this is still one of their most recent models or not.

The previous DQ models (DQ6 & DQ6S) that I have tried have been marketed as triple DD’s (emphasis on marketed) yet the DQS is a single dynamic driver. It also uses a semi open shell design and is available, with or without mic, for just over 15€ (at least that is the price on the KZ Official store on Aliexpress which kz-audio sends me to when clicking “buy now”, so I am still just as confused :wink: ).


The DQS arrive in the typical KZ style, a small white box from which a cardboard tray slides out revealing the IEMs beneath a clear plastic cover.

Underneath the top layer, we get the cable, 3 sizes of the “star” style KZ tips and the warranty card.

Nothing different from so many other KZ models we have seen in the past.

Build and aesthetics…

The build also follows the usual KZ style, with shells that resemble the other previous DQ models such as the DQ6 and DQ6s, along with some other models. I have to say that as far as the exterior build is concerned, I have never experienced any issues with KZ IEMs and I have no reason to think these will be any different.

The faceplate is different in aesthetics to previous models, this time with a brass coloured mesh type grill behind the openings in the plastic face plate. This does give them a very open back look. I can’t say if they are actually as open back as they look from the outside, it is difficult to tell from their publicity images and I am not going to take them apart to find out.

In general I don’t have any real issues with the build and aesthetics, they are not something I think looks amazing but they are not boring either. As far as comfort, as with other KZ models that use the same shell shape, I find them to work well for me, even for longer periods.


All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Spotify, etc.)

As usual, let’s take a look at the graph of the DQS in comparison to my personal preference target.

Starting off at the bottom, we can clearly see that there is a very large boost in the whole bass range, which continues to climb the lower we get. The lower ranges actually remind me a lot of the PR1 that I reviewed not too long ago. In fact, the measurements of both sets is very similar all the way up to around 1kHz.

While this is obviously way above my preferences in the lower ranges, it is actually not as bad as it looks on paper. The subbass, while excessive on tracks like “Chameleon”, is fairly well controlled and it does not take over the whole sound. “Royals” does come across a bit more boomy and “loose”, seeming to place more emphasis on that slight “dirty” rumble that the track has.

The midbass is also fairly well controlled, especially when looking at how much there is. It is not overly bloated and while it does affect the lower mids a little, it doesn’t become an uncontrolled muddy mess. In fact, even “Crazy”, which is a track that soon shows an overly present and boomy midbass (in the form of reverb in the lower guitar notes), is quite listenable on the DQS. I honestly expected the lower end to be far worse than it is and was pleasantly surprised.

Would I pick this tuning in the lower end? Well, no, but I didn’t find myself wanting to get them out as soon as possible either.

The dip in the center of the mids is noticeable when focusing on it but in general it doesn’t stand out as being overly recessed in this area. Some tracks will show this more than others, with specific voices or instruments that have their fundamentals in the 600 to 800Hz range taking a little bit of a step back but it is certainly not something that stands out on all tracks.

The rise into the higher mids is very smooth and is almost perfect, as far as tuning, for my tastes. It works well to bring vocals forwards but is not overly harsh and doesn’t really affect the vocal range dynamics either.

Sibilance is well controlled, with Paul Simon in “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”, who can be both harsh and sibilant, being fairly well controlled. The typical “Code Cool” shows just a hint of sibilance on some words but not all “S” and “T” like on many other more sibilant models.

The upper treble is where things are not quite up to par in my opinion. There is a noticeable roll off in these upper ranges with a peak to give the IEMs a bit of air and a sensation of more detail. Unfortunately that peak can come across as quite harsh on occasions and make the treble range a little brittle and unforgiving.

Details are not really excellent. They are not terrible but I wouldn’t class them as being a strong point of the DQS. They are acceptable and you don’t feel like half the music is missing but they are not doing to be something to sit down and analyze music with.

Soundstage is rather narrow overall and while the image placement is ok, the narrow soundstage and lack of detail make things like “Bubbles” difficult to appreciate, everything seeming to blend into one rather than specific layers being separated.

Isolation is surprisingly good for a set of semi open IEMs, showing to be above average in the whole frequency range. This is one of the things that leads me to think that they are not as open as the vents would have us think.


I can’t say that the DQS aren’t a good set of IEMs when I consider the fact that they are 15€. They are not my personal taste in tuning and I find that there are other IEMs around a similar price that I would pick over them but that doesn’t detract from what they do offer at this price point.

A set of IEMs that I have recommended a lot in this ultra cheap bracket (15€ or less) are the CCA CRA, also made by KZ. I actually prefer the upper mids tuning on the DQS over the CRA but, as I have mentioned before, I am not a fan of overly boosted low end and the DQS add another few dB to the CRA which are already way above my preferences. However, various people have mentioned that the CRA have received a “silent” revision, so I can’t vouch for how they sound now.

Details and soundstage are not the best, along with that sizzle in the treble range, but seriously, these are standing out due to the amount of good options in the budget range that we have received lately. I am sure that there will be many people out there that love a lot of bass and find the DQS to meet their tastes, offering them a lot of enjoyment for very little money.


As with all my reviews, this review is also available in Spanish on my blog ( and on YouTube (

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on


QoA Gimlet

TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - QoA Gimlet

The QoA Gimlet have been sent to me by Linsoul for me to publish this review. They have not made any requests or comments and I will do my usual best to be as sincere and unbiased as possible.

I will leave a link to the Gimlet via Linsoul on my blog, which you can access by following the link at the end of this post. As always, it is a non affiliate link.


I had never heard of QoA until I received the Gimlet. According to the packaging, QoA stands for Queen of Audio. Doing a quick search on the web with this info led me to the QoA official page which is quite a nice and modern website but is lacking any information about the brand, so I really have no idea how long they have been around. Maybe they have been around for a while and I have just not come across them.

Looking at their page, they have 8 models, with the $59 Gimlet being the most budget orientated (although there are a couple more models at a price that is not much more) and their TOTL IEMs coming in at almost ten times the price.

However, checking out the Linsoul page for these (which is linked on my blog, as mentioned above), they are listed as Kinera QoA Gimlet, so I am guessing that they are a sub brand of Kinera. I am just guessing here as I didn’t do any further investigation, I just got on with the important part (listening to them and putting together this review) but there is no mentione of Kinera anywhere on the packaging or on the QoA website.


I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation of the Gimlet. They are not exactly high end IEMs but the packaging is very clean and professional looking. Inside we get the IEMs, the cable, a very nice storage/transport case and 6 sets of tips in two styles.

Nothing really out of the ordinary but everything is nicely packaged, with branding on the small bags that contain the tips and they actually gave me a first impression of being quality IEMs without even making it as far as build and aesthetics, much less listening to them. I still maintain that packaging and presentation is the least important part but it is still nice to get a good first impression.

Build and aesthetics…

The Gimlet are completely made of metal and use a simple rounded shape, with no sharp edges, that I actually find quite comfortable. They are a little on the heavier side, if you are used to plastic or resin IEMs that is, but I have not found them to be fatiguing at all even after long periods of time.

The set I received are white with a gold round plate that sports the QoA logo. I am not one for gold but I have to say that they look very elegant and with the matching white and gold cable, I would say that they look a lot more expensive than they actually are.

Everything seems to be well built, both on the IEMs and on the cable (which uses gold coloured metal hardware), so I can’t find anything to comlain about at all in this regard.


All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

Let me start off by saying that I really enjoy these IEMs. These are another set that prove that my preference target is really only a reference target, as when things are done properly, I enjoy them even when moving away from my usual preferences. It is also worth noting that I chose the tips with the blueish tint to them.

Here is the graph of the Gimlet in comparison to said target:

I have found that these IEMs work very well for my usual music taste but I will focus, as always, on the test tracks that I use for my reviews and comparisons.

Starting off with the subbass and, of course, “Chameleon” by Trentemoller, there is plenty of that low rumble to do the track justice, without the Gimlet seeming to lose control at all. The same can be said with the subbass in “Royals”, where they stay calm and collected but show that “dirt” that is present in the recording. These may not be for the most hardcore bassheads out there but I really don’t think that the majority of bass lovers would have any issue with the quantity. The quality is also decent. It may not be the most amazing subbass out there but is certainly above the majority of similarly tuned sets in a similar price bracket.

Moving into the midbass and turning to something more EDM, in this case “Sun Is Shining”, I find the bass to be clean and articulate. There is a nice punch to the bass without it becoming muddy or taking over the low end. Focusing on “Crazy”, which I usually use to find out fairly quickly if the low end is too much for me, I found that while it is boosted, it is not annoying. There is a slight hint of the reverb becoming a little too much but the Gimlet don’t seem to lose control of it and they certainly didn’t fatigue me like so many other sets do.

There is a dip in the center of the mids but it is not something that I found to really stand out. It may be more noticeable on instruments that have root notes residing in that area but I certainly didn’t find it affected vocals or acoustic guitars in a negative way. In fact, I found the overall timbre of guitars to be slightly on the war side but very realistic.

As we head to the upper mids, there is a nice presence that brings vocals forward, giving them a bit of a focus but without them becoming overpowering. Using Beth in “Don’t You Worry Child” as a test for harshness, I didn’t find her to become unbearable. She is still quite harsh as her voice is that way in the recording, but I didn’t find it to be overly exaggerated.

In the higher ranges, there is a nice sensation of extension and air, with details seeming realistic and not artificially exaggerated by certain peaks. Sibilance is not overly present either. Using “Code Cool” as my usual test, with my usual unscientific scale of -12 to +12 on Patricia Barbers voice, I would actually place her between a -1 and -2. Paul Simon, in “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” can also exhibit sibilance and harshness on many sets of IEMs, yet the Gimlet do keep him in check fairly well.

Details are good and so is soundstage. They are not going to give you the impression of a wide open and huge soundstage, I don’t find that IEMs do that very often, but they are definitely above average in this regard. Image placement is good and so is the spacing between the layers of vocals on “Strange Fruit” by Dominique Fils-Aime. Everything is easily tracked and while I have heard better, I would still say that the Gimlet perform very well in this regard.

Isolation is not the greatest on the Gimlet, being below average across the whole scale. I wouldn’t recommend these IEMs for use in loud environments but they still work very well in offices and places that aren’t too loud.


I have been very impressed with the QoA Gimlet and while they are just over the 50€ I set for the “Ultra Budget” category, I have to say that I think that these are a set that is well worth taking into consideration for those on a tight budget.

They are well built, they look good (to my eyes of course) and above all, they sound good. During the week I have been listening to them, I found that I enjoyed everything that I listened to and actually found myself adding a bunch of music to my “New Discovery” list to revisit at a later date. What more can we ask than to enjoy the music?

As with all of my reviews, this is also available in Spanish both on my blog ( and on YouTube (Acho Reviews - YouTube)

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on


QoA is the sister company of Kinera. iirc, its the wife or sister of the Kinera boss that started it.

1 Like

Yeah, they are posted on Linsoul as Kinera but no mention of Kinera on any packaging or their website etc.

Ok, so the following are not IEMs but I can’t find a thread for them and I can’t open a new thread under headphones, so if a thread is started, I would be more than happy to move this post across.

Thieaudio Ghost

TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Thieaudio Ghost

The Thieaudio Ghost have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. They have not made any specific requests or comments and, as always, I will do my best to be as unbiased and sincere as humanly possible.

You can find the Thieaudio Ghost via Linsoul by visiting my blog (link at the end of this post) where I will leave a direct link, or just do a quick google search :wink:

As with all links that I share, it is a non-affiliate link, meaning that I do not benefit from any clicks or purchases made via the link.


The Thiaudio Ghost is a new release from the brand which is more known for their IEMs than over ear headphones, although these are not the first set of headphones that they release. At the time of writing his review, I actually have no idea what the price of these headphones is, as they are not yet officially available. Although I am putting this review together now, I will not be publishing it until they are officially released, so I will check the price and add it below.

That means that I am certainly not judging these headphones as “for the money”, as I don’t know how much “the money” will be. It’s always fun to have a guess and then see how wrong I am.

Anyway, the Ghost is an openback set of headphones that uses a 40mm Sapphire dynamic driver (I don’t know what a Sapphire dynamic driver is, sorry) and at a glance, remind me of the Shure SRH1840.

I haven’t had a chance to try out much from Thieaudio, except for the Legacy 2, and I was actually quite interested in getting to try out these new headphones from the brand.

Edit: At the time of publishing this review, the Thieaudio Ghost are available on Linsoul for $129, which is actually less than I would have guessed. Please remember that the following review and opinions were written before I had any idea of the price.


A cardboard sleeve with an image of the headphones and other information slides away to reveal a simple black box, with no logo or other markings.

Opening the box, we find a nice storage case that the headphones are packed inside, along with the usual paperwork and warranty stuff etc.

The storage case is semi-rigid and shaped to be thinner at the top than the bottom, where the cups sit. Although the case is sort of moulded to the shape of the headphones, there is a surprising amount of space inside, giving me plenty of room to carry the Gryphon inside the case with the headphones.

Other than the above, we also get the cable (I will mention more about it in a moment) and a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adaptor. For those that are used to opening IEMs and receiving all kinds of things, this may seem pretty basic but is actually quite good for a set of headphones, especially because we get the case.

Build and aesthetics…

I already mentioned in the intro that they remind me of the Shure SRH1840 as far as aesthetics, maybe with a blend of Sennheiser thrown in. In fact, when wearing them, they are very reminiscent of the HD6X0 line, but I find the Ghost to be more comfortable, mostly due to the extra padding of the headband.

The build quality is not the best but it is not terrible either. They have opted for metal yolks which seem to be very sturdy and well assembled, yet the plastic on the cups is a little cheap feeling, as are the plastic covers to the adjustment sliders. The pads are very similar to the Sennheiser pads but a little softer, just like the headband, which is nicely padded and very soft to the touch.

I sort of have mixed feelings in general about the build, some things I think are very well done while others seem to have not had as much effort put into them. The grilles are also plastic, with a zig zag pattern to them and a gold accent around them. These don’t look bad but are again a little cheap feeling.

The included cable is something that I am not used to seeing. It is a ribbon style cable which upon first inspection I thought I was going to hate. However, after using the headphones, I have found that I actually like the cable quite a lot and have no complaints about it at all.


All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

If you have watched my TLDR video on YouTube, I have said that the worst thing about these headphones (in my opinion of course) is that they lack excitement. As I spent time with these headphones, I would be listening to a certain genre of music and find that, while it did not sound bad, it just didn’t come across as great. It’s common for headphones to work well for certain genres better than others, so I would move on to a different style of music and come to the same conclusion, it doesn’t sound bad at all, just not exciting. This is something that I honestly found across all genres.

But let’s go step by step, as usual, and start off with a look at the graph:

I have included the HD6XX as a reference on the graph as I don’t have a database of headphone measurements like I do IEM measurements, so it’s not easy to compare between many other models (hopefully I can catch up on headphone measurements and get to presenting them in a soon). So, I thought the HD6XX is a well known reference and it is also a headphone that is useful as a comparison in this case, as we will see.

Starting off at the subbass, there is some roll off and I find that this is noticeable in things like “Chameleon” or other tracks/genres that have a large subbass presence. I spent time listening to HipHop (I really did go through a lot of genres with the Ghost) and I don’t think it would be something that I would suggest to the deep bass hip hop lovers out there (although, yet again, it doesn’t sound bad).

Moving into the midbass, while on paper it looks almost identical to the HD6XX, I actually find that it doesn’t have as much warmth in these specific ranges as the HD6XX does. It is not cold or lacking, and in fact, the upper mids/lower treble (which I will get to next) do maybe allow these regions to be more present, yet when isolating some of my bass guitar tracks, I didn’t find that it was really boosted much in these regions. It’s a bit of a strange sensation as the warmth is there but I feel it is more an illusion created by the upper ranges than an actual presence of warmth. I didn’t find older rock, such as “Whole Lotta Love” to really place more emphasis on the bass, yet, at the same time, it does sound rather smoothed over.

The upper mids, and lower treble, is where things are… let’s say… different. While everything up to the higher end of the mid range is very reminiscent of that Sennheiser HD6XX sound, the upper mid range (and the lower treble) is not boosted at all. Where the HD6XX brings vocals forward and makes them more intimate, the Ghost doesn’t do this, it keeps vocals mixed in with everything around them, never seeming to take presence up front.

I listen to a lot of vocal centric music and I kept expecting the vocals to be clearer and more distinct, yet when the voice kicked in, it always left me wanting something more. Again, at the risk of being repetitive, they don’t sound bad, they just don’t make their presence felt.

More of the same happens in the higher ranges, where there is no real sensation of air or openness. And while everything is there, nothing really stands out, leaving things to just be a little “blunt” for the lack of a better word. People speak about the “Sennheiser Veil” and I think that the Ghost could be described in a similar way, although different (if that makes any sense at all).

Details are there but once more, they are not something that stands out. It is as though there is some life missing from them, even if they are present. Soundstage is also quite close, not claustrophobically close but they don’t portray a sensation of openness in this regard either.


The Thieaudio Ghost are a set of headphones that just don’t really stand out at anything. At the same time, nothing really sounds terrible on them either, they are just not exciting in any way shape or form.

They are not a bass heavy set of headphones, they are not a mid centric set of headphones, they aren’t a set of extremely detailed and clear headphones, they are just constant, as the graph shows.

That doesn’t mean that they can’t become a very interesting set of headphones with the use of EQ, as they really are like a blank canvas, but I don’t usually go into depth on the use of EQ as there are so many options.

They are comfortable, they are light weight and by no means are they offensive in their tuning, so there is really nothing negative to say about them. It’s just that if I was asked to describe them in a few words, I really don’t think I could, except for saying that they are just not exciting.

This review is also available in Spanish both on my blog ( and on YouTube (Acho Reviews - YouTube)


TKZK Ouranos

TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - TKZK Ouranos

To avoid being repetetive in my reviews, you can find all the info about how I create the reviews, equipment used, how I receive the products and how to interpret my reviews by visiting: About my reviews

The TKZK Ouranos have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for this review. As usual, they have not made any specific requests and I will do my best to be as unbiased and sincere as possible.

I have left a non-affiliate link (as always) to the Ouranos via Linsoul on my blog, link at the end of this post.


TRZK is another brand that I hadn’t heard of until I received these IEMs from Linsoul. A quick search of the web doesn’t bring back any results, except for Linsoul (at least on the first couple of pages of results). Linsoul has two models by TKZK, the Wave at $39 and the Ouranos at $55. This places the Ouranos just about on the 50€ limit that I like to mention as ultra budget here on Acho Reviews.

There is not a huge amount of information about the model except for the fact that it uses a 10mm driver and has a sensitivity of 110dB with an impedance of 32 Ohms.


The Ouranus come in a square black box with a lift off lid, inside of which we find the IEMs, the cable, 6 sets of silicone tips (in two styles) and a small drawstring bag for storage.

There really isn’t anything special about the presentation although there is nothing to complain about either, so let’s move on.

Build and aesthetics…

The IEMs are off a very generic shape and size, 3D printed in resin, which should work as far as comfort for the majority of users. The nozzles are longer than usual which led me to opting for the small size of tips with the grey core in order to get a comfortable fit and good seal. Once I decided on these tips, I found them to be comfortable for longer sessions.

The build is decent, nothing extraordinary, just another 3D resin printed shell but with no issues that I have come across. As far as aesthetics, the shell is black with a faceplate that combines copper and black coloured flecks set into the resin, with the TKZK logo in a gold colour. Again, nothing spectacular but they look decent enough and have actually grown on me since I received them, especially in this budget range.

The cable is a simple double twist in a titanium colour that matches the IEMs well and uses metal hardware and connectors.

All in all, the build and aesthetics are more than adequate for the price range that these IEMs sit in.


All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

Here is the graph comparing the Ouranos to my usual preference target:

Starting off with the subbass and the usual “Chameleon” work out, there is enough in the lowest frequencies to appreciate the track, however, the control and clarity of the lower rumbles is not the best. The Ouranos do seem to lose a bit of control in these ranges and, while it doesn’t take over the whole tuning, it is a little too present and “boomy” for my personal tastes.

The mid bass suffers from a similar issue. While the midbass is not too excessive in its presence, there is a general lack of control and can once again come across as boomy on tracks like “No Sanctuary Here” by Marian Herzog feat. Chris Jones or “Sun Is Shining” by Bob Marley & Robin Schulz.

The mid range is well balanced and there is no real bleed from the lower ranges into the mids. I did find that the electric guitar on “Whole Lotta Love” overshadowed the vocals a little but the result was not terrible by any means in these ranges. The same could be said about “Don’t Start Now” where the instruments are a little too powerful for the vocals but this is really a minor gripe.

Moving through the upper mid range, the response is smooth and things don’t come across as harsh. Even Beth in “Don’t You Worry Child” is listenable on the Ouranos, maintaining a little of that harshness that is present in her voice but smoothing it slightly, making it more tolerable than on many other sets.

The upper ranges are also rather smooth and relaxed, while maintaining some sensation of air and clarity. Sibilance is kept in check fairly well with the usual “Code Cool” test and also Paul Simon on “Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes”. There is a slight hint but it is certainly reduced in comparison to what I feel is “normal”.

As far as details, the Ouranos is not really a set that stands out in this regard and while the soundstage is not bad (maybe slightly above average for an IEM), with layering that is also decent enough, there is a sensation of things not being quite as “lively” and detailed as they should be on tracks like “All Your Love (Turned Into Passion)” or even “Strange Fruit”, where the vocal layers are separate but seem to be a little short on the small details that make the distinguishable.

Isolation is around average for the Ouranos, meaning that they should work well enough for usual surroundings but will suffer in very noisy enviroments.


We have been spoiled by so many ultra budget sets lately that it makes it difficult for new arrivals in the category to stand out and make a name for themselves. The Ouranos are by no means a bad set of IEMs but they aren’t really anything that places them in a position to compete with some of the “better” models in their price range (I put better in quotes as this is a very subjective term).

The bass ranges are a little boomy and “loose” for my personal tastes but again, that is because they have some tough competition to be compared against. I think that they are good enough for theirr price range, in other words, I don’t feel that they are overpriced or are something that most people would regret buying, they are just not the top of their range (in my opinion of course).

As always, this review is also available in Spanish both on my blog ( and on YouTube (Acho Reviews - YouTube)

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on


Celest Pandamon (by Kinera)

TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Celest Pandamon (by Kinera)

The (Kinera) Celest Pandamon were sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. I have not received any specific requests or comments and will try to be as unbiased and sincere as humanly possible, as usual.

As always, I have left a (non-affiliate) link to the Pandamon via Linsoul on my blog, link at the end of this post.

To avoid being repetetive in my reviews, you can find all the info about how I create the reviews, equipment used, how I receive the products and how to interpret my reviews by visiting: About my reviews


I have to say that when I received the Pandamon, I was rather surprised and had absolutely no idea what to expect. In my normal procedure, I didn’t do any research into the model and had absolutely no idea what they were, except for something with an angry panda on the box (and IEMs).

After finally listening to them for a while (and being quite surprised at what I heard), I finally got around to doing some research. Selling for just under 50€ (at the time of this review) they feature a 10mm square planar driver with an impedance of 9 Ohms and are actually made by Kinera. Linsoul actually shows them as Kinera Pandamon on their site, whereas the box does mention Kinera in one of the contact options but the rest just refers to Celest.

So, now that we know what they are, let’s talk about how they perform.


I can do nothing but give them full marks for originality. The box shows a very angry looking panda, with a transparent window above that lets us see the IEMs in the interior.

Inside the box we find, along with the IEMs, 6x sets of silicone tips (in two types), the cable, a storage pouch (of the type with a spring loaded closure), a cleaning brush/tool, a small booklet and some kind of pendant that also shows the angry panda with a small silver coloured chain that runs to a small plaque at the other end with Celest engraved on it.

The presentation keeps up with the Pandamon theme throughout, even telling the story on the outside of the box.

Again, all I can do is give them points for originality (whether the theme is something I like or not).

Build and aesthetics…

The first thing that obviously jumps out at us is the Pandamon face on the IEMs faceplate. The IEMs are round and the faceplates have a silver metal theme going on, although they are made from plastic. There are openings on the faceplate with mesh behind which make them look rather open, although, as in most cases, they are not as open as the meshing would lead us to believe.

The IEMs are incredibly lightweight and I find them to fit comfortably in my ears, feeling absolutely no fatigue from the fit even after hours and hours of use. The build also seems to be pretty good, with all the small details of the faceplate (which are quite complex) looking well done even upon closer examination.

To be honest, I am not a fan of the aesthetics of the Pandamon, I don’t think I would find myself wearing these out in public, just not my style. Yet, again, they are definitely original and may be much more appealing to a different (younger?) audience.

The included cable is also decent, although I am not really a fan of the plasticy finish of it. The connectors are metal and the cable is comfortable and non-tangly (which is a word that I am sure doesn’t exist), it is just that outside material that doesn’t appeal to me.


All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

As I said, when I started listening to the Pandamon, I didn’t know what to expect. I guess my mind automatically thought they would be some sort of V shaped tuning aimed at the masses, based on the aesthetics (preconceived opinions are always there, no matter how we try to avoid them), but they are certainly not that. In fact, they present a tuning that I am quite fond of.

Here is the usual graph comparison between them and my personal preference target:

We can see on paper that they are not that far away from my preferences, which doesn’t automatically mean that I will like them but I do find that I have enjoyed listening to them.

Starting with the subbass, these are definitely not IEMs that are aimed at giving you a lot in these lower ranges. They are rather calm in the subbass region, without any additional boost in comparison to the mid bass. “Chameleon” can come across as a little thin in the low end, even to my tastes (being someone who is by no means a bass head). This doesn’t mean the subbass is bad, just that it is not really that present.

Moving into the midbass, it is again not something that is going to appeal to those who like a boosted low end. The low end is quite calm in general. The performance of the planar driver is decent and all notes in the midbass are clearly defined but Ido thing that some people will find it lacking some warmth for their tastes. Listening to “Smooth Operator”, the bass guitar is very clear but does not really have a lot of “body” to it.

This does make vocals, like Sam Smith in “HIM”, take a step forwards and the piano take a little bit of a background role. This can be very enjoyable for those moments when you want the vocals to take the front stage but I wouldn’t recommend these to those who want to listen to things like EDM with a nice bass presence. Again, the bass is very clear and is not missing, it just doesn’t have the body and warmth that many other sets do.

Towards the top of the midrange, there is quite a smooth climb to the main presence point just over 2kHz and this forms part of that extra step forwards in vocals that I just mentioned. For example, “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” places Sara Bareilles very upfront. I do find this very enjoyable for a lot of my vocal centric music yet, for something more rock orientated, such as “Bombtrack”, it can place a lot of emphasis on the midrange of the guitar.

The treble range is quite smooth and while there isn’t a huge amount of air, the overall sound signature does make things seem a little more present in these ranges. Sibilance is pretty well controlled, without things coming across as harsh in these upper ranges.

Details are not great although the tuning does help with being able to appreciate those that are there. By this I mean that the Pandamon are not going to suddenly reveal things never heard before but at the same time, they never come across as overly blunt in this regard. Specifically focusing on certain background details that I know are there, they can be heard on the Pandamon but they don’t jump out at you.

Soundstage is another of those that I find to be around average with image placement being good but certainly not pin point. Separation of the layers in vocals in “Strange Fruit” is acceptable but I wouldn’t say it is amazing.

Isolation is quite a way below average but as I said earlier in the review, I can’t see me going out in public with these IEMs anyway, so noise shouldn’t be an issue :wink:


I have been pleasantly surprised by the Pandamon, they certainly aren’t what I thought they were going to be when I first opened them. The sound signature is something that gets close to my preferences and although I would like a little more in the low end (which is something I don’t say often), in general they are a nicely balanced set of IEMs for those who want a more “neutral” sound.

The details are not the best but they are not bad either and the overall presentation of the IEMs is something that I find non-offensive and fairly well done. Yes, there are points that can be improved but that is usually the case with most IEMs.

I am not a fan of the aesthetics but that is obviously something very personal. I am just not one for wearing cartoon characters, I guess I am more of the boring type for that kind of thing.

They are certainly something different and it is always refreshing to see things on my desk that break away from the routine, whether I like them or not. In this case, I have enjoyed listening to them.

As always, this review is also available in Spanish both on my blog ( and on YouTube (Acho Reviews - YouTube)

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on

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