Bass focused IEM recommendation (100 - 350 usd)

It is my first post here and I would like to start by thanking everyone who contributes in this forum. I am really glad I discovered a place where people share their genuine love about the hobby and aren’t just trying to shill for a product. It is so hard to decide on an iem when you can’t try it and you read so many contradicting opinions, especially when most of the reviews are paid.

In my case now, I am using an ipod classic with the shure se215. The ipod’s hard drive is almost dead, so I will also need a new dap. My budget is roughly 300 euros (350 usd) for both. I can go higher for something exceptionally better. I was thinking about buying a budget dap for 100 euros (the fiio m3 pro) and keep the rest for an iem. Will the iem be “wasted” on a cheap dap? Will, for example something like a Hiby R3 Pro Saber with a cheaper iem give me better sound quality than the fiio m3 pro with a better iem?

As far as the iem is concerned, I am looking for a bass focused iem. I am listening to electronic music, mainly drum and bass and a bit of dubstep, hardcore and acid. I also enjoy some drill type beats. I would like clean bass that I can feel, so I guess sub bass is what I am looking for. However, I do enjoy detailed sound, being able to discern all the different music elements and where they are coming from, and clean vocals. I wouldn’t want lot of a bass in the expense of the other frequencies, if that is possible in a “cheap” iem. I will mostly be using the iem for one hour walks so a good fit and isolation are welcome. The shure se215 has excellent sound isolation (to the point of not hearing the traffic at all), good fit and decent bass. However, it is ear fatiguing, a bit harsh and for some reason the drum snare seems ear piercing to me, especially in high volumes. From my limited research and knowledge I have decided on the following candidates:

  • Fiio FH3
  • Fiio FD3
  • BGVP NS9
  • KZ AST 24
  • IKKO OBSIDIAN OH10 (maybe not suited for walks, heavy)
  • TRI I3 Pro
  • UM 3DT (only if exceptionally better and with cheap dap)
  • Mangird Tea (only if exceptionally better, with cheap dap and found in a store which ships to Eu without having to pay taxes)

I will post some music I enjoy for reference:

I would prefer not to spend much because as I said I will mostly be using them for one hour walks and maybe late at night at my desktop pc. However, I really do enjoy this limited time and I would spend more for something exceptionally better. I would also like to point out that the dongle with a smartphone option is out of the question. I just want a small device in my pocket and I do not even carry my smartphone when I walk. Thank you in advance for your time and help and I am sorry for the long post.


You can’t go wrong with FH3 imo


To avoid taxes on EU, I can hook you up with my FH3 in mint condition if you decide to go that route :slight_smile:

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That’s where I am leaning as well. It seems that fh3 is the best solution for the less money. I just want to be sure as I am not able to try it.

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If I decide to go for the FH3 I will gladly get it off your hands for the right price. Thanks for letting me know.

I’ll bro deal you, np. I have it up for sale since I don’t use it. Used it for some comparitions.

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Maybe the Tripowin x HBB Mele? Or is the FH3 a legit upgrade? @nymz have you compared the two sets?

They are different. And yes I have compared them.

FH3 is a better set due to technicalities. I prefer Mele as it’s a single DD and plays better with my lib. Also they are in different price brackets.

You know eletronic music is my jam, but everyone listens to difference sub-genres and likes different things on the replay.

Thanks for your insightful reply! I think someone else compared FH3 or FD3 with Mele on the official thread, so I’ll dig it up and take another read. For fun :slight_smile: lots to learn!

I ordered a KZ DQ6 to see how the 3DD config works for Techno. For $25+cable that would give more money to spend on a DAP.

I’ll give this dnb a listen, it’s been too long…

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Yap, mine is arriving on 6th. Wanna see how (very) bass boosted sets sound on techno and other eletronic genres. I’m just worried about that treble. Stuff like UP will prolly do it better (more bass less treble). And fuck customs that kept mine for god knows how long.

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(diy foam mod to the rescue)


I might get DQ6 sooner than you I think. About a week.

Which foam do you recommend getting?

earbud foams, just get any earbud and then use its stock foams.

(if you are an iem user, the Yincrow X6 is highly recommended.)

Will this do?

Thank God for IEMs because earbuds never stayed in my ears :rage:

Should be fine. But this seems like a better deal.

Most earbud foams are pretty much near identical. Unless you are buying some specific ones.


Thank you for the responses so far. Any more recommendations? I would love to have @hawaiibadboy 's, @Rikudou_Goku 's, @nymz 's, @Resolution 's advice and opinion as well. Also is there an eta for @hawaiibadboy 's basshead iem tier list?

I’ll take a pass on you songs since I’m the most eletronic guy you tagged, but I need to know some info first… You say “bass focused” but then you also say you want it balanced.

To better understand, how do you enjoy the replay of these songs, if you can describe it?

My example: My sets need to be balanced, with flat mids generally or downwards slow curve. Top peak of bass should be around the top peak of pinna gain. Good extention and air, but not bright. Set Examples: Clair, EJ07, EJ07m, Mele, Teas, etc

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It is a bit hard to describe it and use the right terms with my limited experience but I will do my best. The only iem I have owned so far is the shure se215, for which I described what I liked and disliked above. The number one priority for me is the bass. I want clean bass that I can feel, not boomy or bloaty. However, as I said I do appreciate a good soundstage, good vocals (not shouty) and detailed sound. So, quantity and quality on the bass and the rest balanced I suppose. If these things are contradictory I would still choose the iem with better bass extension but with the least sacrifice on the other elements. I do not know if this can be achieved in this price range so the iem with the less compromises on what I described will be my choice.

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