Can you recommend me my first budget IEM?

Hey everyone! :slightly_smiling_face:

I am very curious to add an IEM to my headphone collection.

I am looking for something up to 150 Euros.

1.Main thing I want is a warm sound. In other words no brightness. Alternatively I can go for dark treble as well.

2.At this price point I know I can’t ask for much but I will just say I would love a decent sound-stage and openness.

3.Perfect solution would have good bass extension and dynamics as well.

I know I can’t have all 3 so main focus is number 1.

My ears are smaller then the average so how do I make sure I get a nice fit? Are there decent kits with lots of tips to try?

Other notes: I also like harman-curve tuned sound and I also love my Sundara although I am looking for less treble.


Well, combining all together in a small shell is hard. And you saw this too and reduced your expectations.

But assuming that you have enough power at hand, Final Audio e3k would be my first rec. Final A4k is second. And Kotori Audio Dauntless is third.

Have fun :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your recommendations! Power-wise I think I am solid with the liquid Spark DAC/AMP.

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So I looked into the Final Audio IEMs and the sound signature of the E series seems similar to what I am looking for. I am wondering how come you did not recommend the E4000 over the E3000? Is it just not worth the price?

I dont find the E4000 to be anything special to me, that + the price increase from the E3k makes it unworth it imo.

Harman + warm sounds like Moondrop Starfield/Aria, Tanchjim Hana21.

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E4k and E5k are different from e line. And real value is high below e3.

I have E2000: it’s warm and dark. Not bad but not great either. Ok set, can use it to narrow down your preference since it’s not super expensive.

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All great recs up above. If you need to index on small shells I would rec Penon Vortex although it is over your budget. It hits pretty much all of your other points except it’s mid bass over sub bass

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Alright so thank you everyone for sharing your recs. I have decided to get the Final E3000. Main reasons are the reasonable price and an interesting sound signature I would like to try. Let’s see how the IEM experience compares to headphones… :thinking:

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Tanzu Wu Zetian might be what you are looking for!


Wow these do look good! I will have to keep them in mind.

They don´t just look good, they sound good aswell :stuck_out_tongue:
Fits your budget perfectly and I am optimistic that you would like them.
Check out some Youtube vids and maybe cancel E3000 order as long as you can :stuck_out_tongue:


I heard a lot of great things on Youtube about them. I will try the E3000 first since I ordered them and if I like the IEM feel overall I might order the TANGZU in November. Man the chifi game in IEMs is crazy


If you have any experience with them I would love to hear your thoughts on their treble.

I am somewhat treble sensitive and the WU Zetian is definitely not a bright set and a safe recommendation in that regard.
For me the treble is even borderlining on being a little too safe on certain tracks but I would not say it is lacking.
Sometimes I add a higshelf of 1.5db @6000Hz to give it a tad more sparkle :sparkles:

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Sounds perfect!!!

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I just recently acquired the Fearless Audio Provence from @rattlingblanketwoman and, while I haven’t had a ton of time to spend with it yet, it’s tuning definitely seems to fit your Harman-dark preferences. Maybe he can say a bit more about it.

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Thanks! I just saw some graphs of this and it does indeed have a tuning I would be very interested in. IEMs have a lot more variety than I expected :open_mouth:.

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From the 5 or so hours I have spent with the Provence so far, it’s not a bass heavy IEM like the graphs might suggest. It has a well controlled bass that reaches nice and deep and gives a good rumble while being tight, articulate, and well balanced without becoming overbearing at all. The mids are quite even and the treble is reasonably detailed, but pretty toned down. I have found it to be a very enjoyable IEM so far.

The darkish, conservative treble doesn’t mean it lacks detail either. It’s not the most detailed IEM out there, but it does give you a good amount and doesn’t leave you wondering where the detail has gone in your favorite tracks like darker tuned IEMs can sometimes do. The soundstage is pretty average in physical size, but has above average layering for the price range and gives good spatial/3D cues IME thus far.

Not to mention the fact that the Provence is absolutely gorgeous, built very well, and it comes with an equally gorgeous cable. I would go so far as to say that it is one of the best built and most visually stunning IEMs anywhere near its price. It’s also worth mentioning that it is very reactive to tip changes and I have a lot more tip rolling to do. Overall, I think it fits what you were asking for pretty closely. Normally I would break things down more for you, but I just haven’t had enough time to go any further with it. I hope what I have said is helpful though.

Edit: Also, the passive noise isolation is very good.