Best sub 100 euro/ 130$ IEMs

Hey guys, first post in the forums (proud of myself lol). My old TWS earbuds just broke so I started contemplating replacements. First ones I stumbled upon were of course the LEGENDARY galaxy buds+. Meanwhile I was also looking for a pair of closed backs (under 100 euro) to go alongside my hifiman he400i 2020s for better portability and sound isolation. Through my research I started finding alot of people recommending cabled IEMs over closed backs in that price bracket, which is when I suddenly had a brilliant thought: why not just by a good pair of cabled IEMs instead of TWS+ Closed back and use the saved money to buy rare waifu desktop wallpapers! Which leads me to here, this very moment, my fingers trembling with trepidation, my mouth dried up from the anxiety of the possibility of a new mystical beginning. I need some advice. Generous people of the Hifiguides forums, lend me your energy! (no you’re cringe, nah kidding I am, but hey I was into that shit)

What are my best options in the 80euro /100 dollars-100 euro/122 dollars (i can go to about 120 euro/ 150 dollars if its worth it but i reeeeeeally want those waifus) price bracket, and how would they compare to the buds (specifically if the sound quality is worth the “lesser” convienience)?

Edit: Forgot to mention my sound tastes, I love neutralish headphones that give me nice detail, with bass quality (and extension) over quantity, and have a somewhat natural soundstage (as hard as that may be in this price range). I’m not particularly treble sensitive. Oh btw I listen to pretty much every genre from Classical to Jazz, to Rap, to punk rock, and might end up using these for movies as well so I’d like something versatile.

Moondrop Starfield is in that price range, and is pretty great. You will find tons of reviews and recommendations for them.

As for whether going cabled is worth it, only you can decide that. I suggest ordering from Amazon and trying them out for a few weeks. You can always send them back.

Thanks for the answer, I have seen those, but I was wondering if there were any good alternatives or if by adding a little money I could get something quantifiably better.

Moondrop Starfield for something lighter, airier.

Fiio FH3 for something heavier in bass.

Legacy 3s for something roughly in-between.

Also, I recommend having TWS anyways. Great for on the go, exercise, ect… Galaxy Buds are good, but also Soundpeats is a good budget brand. Probably one of the best would be Lypertek Tevi.

Iv’e got both the starfield and the Legacy 3, both great, i think i like the Legacy 3 slightly better because they suit my music more.

If you want to go wireless and don’t really need Active noise canceling I’d recommend getting the TRN BT20S or the new FIIO TWS3, if you want to wireless. I’ve got the TRN20S, and overall its pretty decent in terms of sound, and the usability is great.

But if you buy the TRN don’t buy the Moondrop, the Moondrop’s 2 pin slot is a little sunken in, and the TRN’s tips connect but don’t “click” all the way so they tend to not hold very well.

I have the Starfield and I bought the FH3 to replace them. For me, the Starfields were boring. They do nothing wrong but they failed to ever excite me. If you like bass, the FH3 is a much better option IMO. I also have the Tin T2’s and they are, again IMO, the perfect companion to the FH3. The T2 is great for everything acoustic and for classic rock, were the FH3 is awesome for anything that has bass. The FH3 can handle pretty much anything I use the T2 for fine, don’t get me wrong, but I guess that’s also an advantage of IEMs; you can have two pairs and carry them both with you with less weight and volume than a single headphone.

Tldr; FH3 is worth the extra € over the Starfields, imo.

I agree with this, I also have both. In addition I think the FH3’s also fit better for me and the paint hasnt chipped like the Starfields.

ya the paint chipping is a major downside

Would you say there’s a difference in resolution or extension between the FH3 and the starfield?

What music do you typically listen to?
The main convenience i find in TWS earbuds are the small magnetic charging case, the gestures, the various functions (transparency mode, etc.), the sensor that pauses music when you take a bud out, so I personally don’t really see much use in those IEM bluetooth adapters at least atm.

Did starfields do anything better that you remember (Like enough for Zeos to not even put the FH3s on the list)? I think in Zeos’ review he said the starfields had a bit better treble, and bass, praising the FIIOs for the imaging more than anything else.

I don’t know how notifications work on hifiguides so I’ll just explicitly ask if you can answer the same question I asked Martward lol.

I guess the Starfields do have a bit, ever so slightly, better treble. I will not give them bass though, I much prefer the FH3 for bass. If I recall correctly the soundstage of the Starfields was also a bit bigger, though the FH3 wins in imaging.
For games I’d say get FH3 for competitive and Starfield for RPG. For music the Starfield feels a bit more neutral, but for me also more boring. I guess for classical and acoustic I might pick the Starfields over the FH3, though I would pick the T2 over the Starfields for that type of music personally.

Im a very “Mood dependent” listener so I listen to a lot of stuff, right now mostly Jazz, rock, pop, metal EDM, rap.

Well as far as TWS, personally i just wanted true wireless with a quality IEM, that had a decent enough amp to make stuff sound good, a rechargeable case never cared about the other stuff, to me that kind of stuff always was an annoyance since when the didn’t work properly they were a pain in the arse.

Thanks for the help. Funny enough, it looks like the starfields might actually be a little more fun compared to my hifimans, so maybe I’m just into something more conservative, but I haven’t decided what to get yet, so we’ll see. Right now I’m also looking at the NF Audio NM2s (which i’ve read are one of the best IEMs of this price range, albeit i don’t love the poly shell), the OEAudio Tita, and Ala ( I’ve only found one promising review on youtube, but i love the design).

I totally get you on the mood dependency, there are times where I find myself listening to salsa playlists.

What Wifiman do you have? All I can say is that before the FH3 I thought I was mostly into flat and neutral. I don’t know of any of the the others you have mentioned though. Good luck making a decision, it’s part of the fun but also the hardest part.

The Wifiman he400i 2020s. It sucks because I really want to get ONLY one pair of IEMS (this minimalist OCD i’ve developed), but just when i’ve thought I’ve gotten out, the audiophile rabbit hole pulls me back in so I just end up in this long purchase research limbo lol. What i’ll eventually do is just get the pair I like the most aesthetically and go on from there through comparisons.

I also have the he400i 2020. The FH3s are more fun than the he400i and the Starfields IMO. Today I’ve listened to the he400i for the first time since I got my FH3’s last week and I had to get used to it again. I’ve settled on getting one pair of headphones and multiple sets of IEMs, mostly because IEMs are easy to take on the go.

ayyyy, Hifiman brother! Yeah, i see what you’re saying, also IEMs seem to be the best way to build a collection without going completely bankrupt, considering they’re better than most sub 200 closed backs for a fraction of the price, and open backs are so expensive.

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