So I am in the market for a budget IEM to leave in my work drawer. I am thinking of spending around $50-60 at most.
Some of my options I considered are:
BLON BL-03 $26.99
Sony MH755 (MMCX Mod) $38
Tin T2 Plus $49.99
What is the best sounding IEMs in this price bracket? Part of me wanted to dish out the little bit extra for Moondrop Stafields, but since it is for rough/beater use, I feel IEMs past $100 is a bit too expensive for beaters since they aren’t super easily replaced. But if the Starfields or the ~$100ish IEM bracket is much better than the 50-60 then I can be tempted to dish out the extra bucks.
As always, thanks in advance for the help/advice!
EDIT: I have a pair of Dekoni Bulletz that I will be using as tips. I also am not including any tip or cable upgrades in the purchase so more focused on sound quality within the bracket.
Keep an eye on the newest Blon BL-01, better fit than the 03, cheaper and possibly better sound.
Agreed 01 may be the way to go since the money you save can go to a better cable and tips. Its is just 1 purchase then I’d lean T2plus but I have not heard them so ymmv.
I have a pair of Dekoni Bulletz I can use. As for cable, while I love the feel of a nice cable, it can be purchased later so not too worried. It will be used at my desk at work (stationary) so the cable doesn’t have to be too amazing. I am leaning more on sound quality over value/complete package.
The cable is literal trash though so that is where I was coming from. for SQ though the 03/01 is the way to go for sure. I’ve had tons of normies use my 03 and they love it. If you think you will be sensitive to bass bloat then get the 01 instead for the better shape and more controlled bass.
My two recommendations for something that just works right out of the box would be Tin T2 standard and Guiderays.
A lot of forum members love their Guiderays for the beat up pair.
I agree with the guideray recc too but the sound is not on the same level as the blons. That said though the fit and complete package is nice and they do not sound bad, just not as good so they are a safe bet especially for small ears/canals.
I can definitely swing in a cable with the IEMs. My only thing is the Sony MH755 is throwing me off. A lot of people are saying they sound amazing compared to the $30-$40 Chi-Fi IEMs.
Do you think SQ wise the Sony MH755 still wins over the Chi-Fi IEMs? Or ones like the T2 Plus or Blon 03/01s outperform it (albeit at a worse value).
I strongly warn against getting Sonys…once you go Sony you become a fan boy and your wallet and loved ones will never forgive you… jking, but seriously it can happen. With the 755 my thought is that based on graphs(no no word) it should be pretty similar to OH1/10 and blon03. The ones I’ve owned in that vein are 03s, OH10, and FH3. The FH3 are my personal pick for that sound signature, but the 03s are close, they just lack some of the treble magic of the FH3 imo and the FH3 have better controlled bass. So after that super long explanation I think the 755 and the 03 would be a toss up potentially, and if want to collect from a company then maybe start with the 755 and work your way up the Sony line. I’m about to expand my portfolio myself and Rikudou is a few steps farther on that path than me LOL.
I have been using the Jade Audio EA3 as a daily driver for the past year
I say that the MH750/755 is one of the best options you can get at that price it is at. But stuff like the blon 03 is better soundwise AFTER mesh-mod. I find the 03 in stock to be way too bloaty for me with the bass and under average technicalities, both of those aspects gets improved with the mesh mod.
The difficult part with the Sony, is finding legit units and not fake ones…
So do you think the 01 is equal to the 03 post mesh-mod?
I have ordered it (not shipped yet) but I will find out when I do get it.
QKZ VK4 + new cable + new tips (~$40)
BLON 01 + new cable (~$31)
Urbanfun YBF ($59)
FiiO FH3 + deal with stock cable ($129)
I could not stand the BL-03, sold that thing faster than anything I own. Yikes.
Interestingly enough, the IEM that most people disliked has been my daily driver for over a year - the Jade Audio EA3. I own more expensive IEMs but I’ve used the EA3 for so long that I just find it very convenient and comfy too.
Fiio seems to be having serious QC issues tho, like the new FD1, I had two pairs sent to me, both had rattle - the second pair was a replacement unit that was “carefully” checked by their team to make sure there is no rattle… and it still had rattle. My EA3 had no QC issues of that sort
ouch! Their QC on the newer stuff (FH3, FD1) does seem bad.
Someone from this forum was gonna buy my Fh3 but backed out last second, honestly i’m not hurting for money so if you like i don’t mind letting them go to u for 60 shipped. Pretty decent iem imo
Blon BL03 user checking in. Upgraded the cable to a weaved 2.5 balanced. Also foam tips. Paired with a BTR5 for on the go, couldn’t be happier. Tried the Tin T2 normies and returned them after a few days. There is something so relaxing about the BL03s sound that I really enjoy. I never touched them stock so cant compare. I have ordered the BL01s, very exciting to see how different they are from the BL03s.
Thanks for all the great info guys! I apologize for not responding for a bit due to the holiday. I was still considering between the FH3 and the BLON-01 when I came across the ER3XRs for $69.97 and I had to get them. People seem to consider them superior to the Starfields and the BLONs.
I posted the deal on the DEALS thread for anyone interested.
I ordered a pair of Blon BL03 from Linsoul during their 11/11 sale, still waiting for them to arrive. It’s my first pair of IEMs. I was planning on using them just with my phone and the stock cable, but I really want the IFI Zen and I’m now tempted to buy that Tripowin C8 balanced cable to take advantage of the output…