Advice on Final Decision for IEMs and BT cable

Thanks for stopping by.
Very interested in getting my first pair of IEMs. After research I have ordered the BLON 03s (cheap, fun, and everyone seems to love them) and I am heavily debating ordering the Moondrop Starfields as well - intending to keep the one I prefer. Currently rocking HD58X and I enjoy them but I really want to explore something sparkly (hence the Starfields). Advice or opinion on my choices is welcome.

My main quest however, is to find a wireless/BT solution for either (or both) of those IEMs. The idea is mobility (indoor and outdoor) and wishlist feature of a good mic for calls on my phone or a quick Discord chat. Also I’m super tired of headphone messing up my hair. I would hardly use these IEMs for exercise so I’m not overly concerned about them staying on if I move a lot. Price wise I would love to stay below $150~$180 and that’s really for like an “endgame” type of cable. (Which I would then pair with the Starfields or sth more suitable ofc). Truly something <$50 would be awesome.

Options I came across from memory:
JH Audio BT (elite expensive option?) //
TRN BT3 - should I be wary of the OKCSC version? //
KZ APTx plus cable //
KBear S1 APTx

Basically I want to get some IEMs, get the traditional replacement cable along with another bluetooth cable for situations where wireless is safer.
Thanks a ton in advance for reading through and any thoughts and advice. Respect to the ppl who made this forum.

Do you have your heart set on having the Bluetooth functionality built into the cable? If not, I like the FiiO BTR5 as a $100-ish Bluetooth solution (the Qudelix 5K is another popular, similar device).

1 Like

That’s a solid recommendation. I will seriously consider it. Barrier is price rn.
Main reason for having a BT cable is just the ease of use (and budget ofc). But, I do understand the quality and extended utility of the FiiOs. Actually forgot about those completely so maybe I’ll work up to that in a few months.

Thanks for your help.

Cool cool, makes sense. Here’s something cheaper that one of my girlfriends has used with her BL-03s; she doesn’t totally love it, but it might be closer to what you’re looking for:

1 Like

Hmm. Thanks for the rec. What issues does she have with them? And any word on audio quality?

Correction: I meant to say mic quality

If you want to make calls I would recommend staying away from ear hook TWS (true wireless) designs since it places the mic in a horrible place to pickup your voice and unless the company spent lots of good money making up for the issues of mic placement it is just not going to be good.
Single wire BT cables are okay(ish) for calls, though you might need to mess with the wire and mic placement for best results.

For either of these 2 options you should decide what IEM you want to use first since the 2 you mentioned use different connectors and unless you want to mess with adapters your cable connection will need to be the correct type.

For the Fiio BTR5 (or other nugget style Bluetooth receivers) you will generally get better battery life and unlimited (within reason) adaptability being able to go between IEMs and headphones as easily as any 3.5mm jack would let you. You can also clip the BTR5 in a really decent mic position for good call quality. The downside is going to be the sometimes silly cable lengths that IEMs (and especially headphones) sometimes come with. But as a nice feature you don’t have to change out your favorite cable, if you have one you love or keep disconnecting and reconnecting cables which can do some damage (mmcx connectors I am looking at you).

1 Like

A resounding yes on staying away from ear hooks. Forgot to disown those earlier.
Still new to this so forgive me when I ask about the differences in the connectors for the BLON 03s and the Starfields - I thought they were both 0.78mm 2 pin.

Another nod to the BTR5 (I assume the general best nugget in that price range) really makes me consider it more. This might another dumb question but how exactly do I use it for calls? Does the device itself work as mic - in that I need to put it near my face and speak pretty close to it? Again, sorry for how dumb that may sound. Just trying to get an idea if it’s really hands-free and not clunky either with me having to clip it to my shirt or something.

These will definitely be on my short list and if I find I can work it into my budget and be sure I can appreciate and fully utilize it within a couple months then I’d probably buy it rn. I really appreciate the helpful advice and thoughts; I might even end up regreting not getting it rn.

About switching out cables, I’m recently hearing about that more and that itself might be reason to keep both IEMs. One stays at the desk, the other for when I’m out the house. Bluetooth cable in tow. Any flaws in that setup you think?

+1 for btr5

There is a microphone on the side of the BTR5 and it comes with a clip holder so I have clipped mine on my shirt collar. There are also other options I just personally have the BTR5.

You are right they are both 2 pin 0.78 size. I forgot the Blon’s connector it has been a while since I swapped the cable and I don’t change cables on my IEMs often.

As far as cable changing it can cause damage over time like any cable repeatedly inserted and removed. Some cable connection types are a bit safer then other and some items are just made better. Think of it kind of like USB. USB A and C will eventually wear out either the port or the cable connector (especially if you are rough with them) but it will take a while, but everyday wear and tear will eventually take their toll. USB micro-b will wear out a lot quicker (both port and cable) due to it’s design. Basically ports can get loose or connectors can get damaged over time. This is generally not a major issue unless you are repeatedly swapping cables often ( like every day or multiple times a day).

Also ear hooks are not complete trash, but you need to want them for the right uses and relying on them for calls is not a great use, but if it is just for music/other BT sound and it is a good set that connects via BT well they are really convenient for that (more then any other type of BT solution).

Also you might want to look at Moondrop’s Aria. It will save you some money for a very close to Starfield sound.

I would also go for the BTR5. I own the BTR5 and one of those things were the mic is build into the cable, my reasons to prefer the [BTR5] (there are other options from FiiO, EarStudio and Shanling and these points are universal):

  • They work with all IEMs, regardless of connection type (MMCX, 2-pin)
  • Sensitive IEMs may have a hiss, with the BTR5 you can use an IEMatch or EarBuddy to prevent this
  • (MMCX mostly) If you also use you’re IEMs on other sources as well (amps or straight from phone or laptop) then you’d need to change the cable which can lead to failures (f*ck MMCX).
  • It can serve as a USB dac when the battery runs out, or you can easily switch to your phone since you still have your regular cable attached.