Any good entry/budget IEM's you'd suggest?

I am a senior in high school, and my AP Calculus BC teacher is quite the audiophile, and he managed to get me really interested in audio after just one conversation. Since then, I have done more research on gear than I’d like to admit. I was looking for good budget IEM’s and I ran into the Tin T2/T3 and the KZ ZS10 Pro IEM’s and I was wondering if they are any good? Also, I couldn’t find any IEM’s with 2.5mm balanced cables from the get go, are there any?

My teacher also recently upgraded his DAC and AMP at school (along with headphones), and I guess since he saw I was so interested, let me take home his Schiit Fulla 2 to borrow for a while, since supposedly it will just collect dust. I am planning on getting some Sennheiser 58X Jubilee’s as a starter headphone for multiple reasons, and I’d use the Fulla 2 for that at home. However, I do a lot of my music listening on the go, and I would like to know some good IEM’s to get. I would most likely use IEM’s when out of the house, but I may use the 58X when I get those, depending on the situation. Either way, I will probably need a DAC or Amp (or both) that I can take with me (or maybe also use at home when I return the Fulla 2. If the portable ones are not good for at home use, I will just buy my own Fulla 2 at the end of the year), and I’d love to hear suggestions.

Any advice would be appreciated! I am excited to be a new part of this community, and audio in general!

I would say that the tin t2 or kz zs10 pro are great choices and would serve you pretty well. What type of music do you listen to? The final e3000 could also be a potential option

You can get balanced iem cables for like 30 usd (or less sometimes).

For a portable dac/amp, the fiio q1 mk2 is excellent for the price and is able to power the iems and the 58x great

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Thank you so much for the reply, I really appreciate it! The genre of music I listen to varies quite a bit depending on my mood, but slightly gravitates toward R&B, Hip-Hop/Rap, and alternative and heavier rock.

Would you suggest either IEM over the other for any reason. Also, do you maybe have a link to some good cables that you’d recommend?

I’m really glad to hear you suggest the Q1 Mk2, I have looked into that before actually, and was pretty interested, but was not sure if anyone else suggested that. Thanks! Do you know if they would be sufficient for at home use (Desktop setup, sort of how a Fulla 2 would be used)?

Again, thanks so much! I appreciate it!

So I actually think the zs10 pro would be the best choice for that type of music in that price range imo. You can get a cheap balanced cable like this one and it’s pretty great (although personally I don’t think it’s needed, but will give a nice improvement to the sound with the q1 imo)

If you wanted to get a cheaper cable they are out there for sure, but I have not personally tried them

The Q1 mk2 is honestly great for both desk and portable use. Plug and play on Android and apple, and then a driver installation on Windows, but something you could use on a desk or portable. Enough power for most headphones, and the multiple gain settings and bass boost are nice to have. It does have a line out, so in the future you could get a more powerful desktop amp and use the q1 mk2 as a source if you wanted to (or just get a different desktop amp dac lol)


Other options to look into are the BLON o3 or the kz zsx which is supposed to be better than the zs10 pro according to people that have both

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If your looking for something agressive and in your face like I was the t3 is great I listen to a lot of hip hop and songs like jouvert by brockhampton or black metal terrorist by Denzel curry is just super fun. But of you want a something detail oriented but not as aggressive the kz are the way to go.

I am not sure what I prefer just yet, and I have not tried many IEM’s or headphones just yet; the only thing I have really been able to listen to for a bit was the 58X Jubilee with a Fulla 2. I may just choose one and try and see if I like it. I’ll probably just go with the ZS10 (after a little research, it seems to be what I prefer as opposed to the ZSN) and see if it suits me.

If you’re going portable, the Radsone ES100 Bluetooth receiver would be more than capable of powering the HD58X and almost any IEM. It also can be used as a dedicated DAC/AMP for your computer. Or, you can set the 3.5mm out to line out and use it with any Amp.

Zeos said in his review don’t bother with the ZS10. But the ZS10 Pro version is what he said to get, and what you should get if you want a ZS10 model.

I just watched this a few days ago. Hopefully it helps!

Yeah, sorry, that’s what I meant. I am thinking of getting the ZS10 Pros as a starter IEM

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Thank you for that! That was really insightful! However, now I am even more conflicted haha! I am not sure what ones I would want to get.

Probably gonna end up with the ZS10 Pros and maybe buy extra balanced cables. I haven’t had a good set up to truly know, but I currently like a deep rich sound, more bass side. I liked the T2 in the sound comparison, but I was using my pretty crappy bass heavy headphones. Real hard choice though. Just choosing one and trying is probably the best course of action.

HAHA, you and me both. I was going to pull the trigger on some ZS10 Pro’s, but not quite sure after that sound test.

I would say that sound demos really don’t give you an accurate representation of what they would sound like, especially if you consider all the things that the sound demo has to go through that alters the sound. But that’s just me. I wouldn’t personally put too much value on a sound demo for a headphone/speaker/iem


Of course, that makes sense. I appreciate that. I will probably just grab those ZS10 Pros that I wanted (and like you suggested, based on what I like) when I can.

Well if you really think that something else would suit you better, go for that. Just don’t base a decision on a sound demo imo, you have to get info from lots of places and decide from those, instead of one single source swaying your decision

Yeah I agree. I have more time to research and decide, but originally I was thinking the T2 but the ZS10 Pro seems to fit my preferred signature better, and your suggestion back up this thread helped me get an idea too. The sound demo was interesting, and made me think slightly differently, but I didn’t want to let it sway my decision really abruptly as you said. I appreciate all of your input, thank you so much!

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Oh, and one last question before I forget, do you have any foam tips you may suggest that I could use for the ZS10 Pro? I have tried foam tips before, and I rather like their feel.

Comply foam works pretty great if you like slow rebound, dekoni foams if you like a quicker foam, and ikko planet I foams if you want a closer insertion to your ear

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