Choosing between Iems in 70-230 dollar range

Since i gifted My Kz Zex to my close friend that moved to greece because of work for couple of months. I also gave him my Fiio Q3 which i used when i needed something portable to test headphones or just in general when i am not on desktop with my Zen Dac V2. I enjoyed zex for couple of months and i like almost everything about its sound, from a bit forward detailed mids to good sub bass and controlled but extended treble… .

And imaging/soundstage and especially details are not bad for iem of this size either compared to Sony Ex110ap which i have for like 6+ 7 years and CCA Csn for like year which i also love but in direct comparison they are more metalic sounding in mids but not much of a problem cuz everything else on them is spot on, they are as far as that budget goes really detail whoring model.

I ordered moondrop Chu to fill that spot for budget model… But until it arrives curiousity got better of me so i am thinking about buying also some upper mid tier priced Iem too.

I will also buy some portable dac like Hilidac Audirect Beam 3 PRO, Xduoo XD-05 Basic, Xduoo Link2 bal, or even shanling up5 to replace my previous Fiio Q3(i had Fiio Q1 mk1 from like 2018 to 2021 loved that little guy still have it but i have big problem because i really have loose contacts in micro usb from inside so i need to fix that sometime when i get time to bring it to someone.

No more wasting time … budget from 70 dollars to 230 dollars buying from shenzenaudio and linsoul/ hifigo and i am located in serbia so Amazon is out of question for example.

I am desiding between, 1. See audio Yume Midnight 198 dollars
2. Moondrop Kato 190 dollars
3. 7Hz Timeless 220 dollars
4. Dunu Falcon Pro 220 dollars
5. Tanjim New Hana 2021 180 dollars
6.Dunu Titan S 70-80 dolars
7.Tin Hifi T4 about 70 dollars or so
8.Shuoer S12 from 150 to 170 dollars
9.Tripowin Olina like 99

I am leaning towards Yume Midnight and Dunu Titan S and Olina seems like i would enjoy them the most because i heard (dont know if it is true audio is always subjective) that they share boost in sub bass fokus and depth and a bit less midbass emphasis then reference and a bit forward mids or at least really natural center midrange that has direct presentation and sparkly treble which i actually prefer since i Eq when i am on phones to target that Resembles Fostex Tr 80 Headphones with a bit of Beyerdynamic Dt 880 Mixed in.

From full size headphones I have Beyerdynamic Dt 880 Edition,
Audio Technica Msr7B,
Fostex Tr80, Isk Hf2010,
Audio Technica M30x and Sony Wh1000 Xm3 for bluetooth. When you look at first 3 models which are my favs in no particular order, you can see that i like Neutral a bit balanced to slighly V shaped with a bit of midrage forwardness and especially upper midrange and female vocals i have that factor the most.

I also care aloot about clean factor in bass meaning, i dislike when bass gets the better of other parts of frequency responce (which is why for example i always turn xm3-s into ambient sound control off mode, which has much better balanced sound then default. I like fast detailed bass that can be powerfull when needed. I like extended treble with as much details and accoustics/extension as possible but without sounding too metalic or downright awful on poor mastered recordings (thankfully i almost have none of those. I then value good imaging/ instrument sepparation then soundstage. Other factors are not as important to me.

Genres i would listen the most include Alternative Rock/hard rock examples. Skillet/Fireflight, Halestorm, Adelitas Way, Tree Days Grace, Disturbed,SeetherThousand Foot Krutch, Papa Roach, Like A storm, Memory of A melody, Finger Eleven and so on. Then quite a bit of House Edm like Hardwell, Afrojack, Blasterjacks, W&W , Danic,r3hab, Bassjackers, Sick Individuals. Some american rappers like Svifty mcvay, d12, 2pac, T.I, Eminem

And serbian rap like Beogradski Sindikat, Ajs Nigrutin, Prti Bee Gee, Sha, Thc and so on.

Sources that will be used Xiaomi Mi 9 lite, Realme Gt 5g , Xiaomi mi A1 all of these have very good audio outputs for a phone imo.
Zen Dac V2 in desktop usage, and some portable Dac/amp that i will buy too sooner then later like mentioned above Hilidac Audirect Beam 3 PRO, Xduoo XD-05 Basic, Xduoo Link2 or shanling up5

Sorry for long post (1st on this forum) but i think i actually make things easier for people to give me reccomendations, based on factors i listed which of these iems would be your favourite if you had to pick for genres and artist similar to which I listed. Feel free to include some option not on a list .

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I have or have had half that list and should be getting my Midnights Monday if you want some comparisons
Have Timeless, Hana 2021, Olina and had the Kato
also have DT 880’s
Hardwell and Afrojack brings me back :joy:

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I have not head either Yume or any of the Dunu IEMs.

I hear good things about the Kato, but I have not had good luck with Moondrop, and own the Olina, which is a great IEM. For single DD, I have Olina, Mele, and CRA. I can’t say enough good things about Olina, I run mine with the double mesh mod, and it is nearly the perfect IEM for me. Based on what you are saying, you might like stock Olina. I find the Beyerdynamic tuning just a bit too bright.

Between the S12 and Timeless, I like the Timeless a bit more, but not enough to justify the extra $70. I have always liked planar timber, and the S12 is one of the best made IEMs on the market. The S12 is probably a little bit brighter to my ear.

I listen to classic rock and progressive rock most of the time, with some soundtracks thrown in. I do occasionally listen to some early metal. My sources are usually a BTR5, an Apple USB-C dongle, and I have a DIY amp that I use occasionally that is neutral-warm.

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@ CTOxmas Thank you for responding unlike most of folks, on head Fi for example which seem like they respond to only most generic questions… Folks on reedit were actually much more helpful and cuz of them i expanded this list.

You have half of that list that is neat…
Could you tell me which of items you mentioned has most resolving or most neutral midrange/vocals ( like really important imo) no 1 thing that i dislike is when vocals seem like they are covered by few layers of cardboard covered in spider silk… I had that experience with dt770 which i found as like few tiers bellow dt 880 In that regard.

Also sub bass fokus more, and depth/control as opposed to boominess bass that completes whole picture… And bold extended but controled acoustic treble response.

Basically which iem you can say reminds you the most of what Dt 880 does, just In iem form. And which would you say brings the most balance between price/performance, technicality and overall tonal balance.

I audiotioned cans that ,are like 2 to 2.5x times the price of dt 880 32 ohm editon, and i still find them superior to aloot of them even after 400 dollar range. Didn’t test sundara though can’t in my country. When I started my audio journey with isk hf2010 (takstar hi 2050) back then in 2017 to 2018 or so. I dreamed 1 day to get dt 880 since they were inspiration for Isk, and since last half of 2021 i had chance to demo 880s with my songs and sources and i knew i had to buy them it was last pair in best audio store in Serbia at the time. I found that 880s shine the most wit alt Rock, Vocal heavy stuff In general and brighter recorded House songs no wonder I dig them lol.

Hope you are enjoying them and nice to find someone that likes Hardwell and Afrojack lol :slightly_smiling_face:

Most folks on forums either, like some kind of extreme metal or old as fuck rock groups or on opposite extremes Some pop shit fused with bad future bass and trap bowl of nothingness .

@John W Clark. Thank you for honest and detailed answer appreciated.

As for Beyer’s yeah they can be ,a bit intense for some people but 880 at least does that In most gentle way in comparison with dt770 which is wild beast that can fall apart, with separation in treble on songs like Sick individuals Drive.or dt990 which fucks your brain with even most gentle songs lol
I dislike most of popular, sennheisers like 58xx or hd 650 i found them darker and not as resolving/engaging than i would like.But i think i would like 660s for some reason even though crinacle says they are bloated but he said that msr7b are both bloated and thin at same time which is far from truth. I would probably adore hd800s if i was insane enough to buy it…

This forum kicks ass so friendly glad i desided to stop just lurking and actually post something for once.

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welcome to HFG!

also, etymotic ER2 or ER3.

SE are neutral while XR have more pronounced bass.

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Thank you for welcoming me i just learned how to quote in this site. :slight_smile: )

I knew off etymotic since ages ago, that they are known for their neutrality in presentation and overall quality but 2 things scare me a bit
. That type of inserting seems too unusual and i fear that i would have problems actually ignoring them in my ears i usually don’t jam too far other iems in my ear, and that crinnacle video of them basically said that you have to basically ear rape yourself to enjoy them. I can’t try them in stores in my country, but i can order them for 150 euros in my country alternative to amazon called kupujem prodajem or kp for short.

Also non detachable cable it seems ! For iem of this price that is not ideal still if it is sturdy enough i could swallow it.

Moondrop chu that i also ordered has non detachable cable too but since it is 20 dollars i don’t even care …

I would see if you can find anything used to try out. also, they do have detachable mmx cables, they’re just not the standard style.

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They do have detachable that is great then !

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Olina is my goto recommendation at $100 and under $200. If I were to rank the 3 you mentioned it’d be: Olina–>Midnight–>Dunu. Depending on what you’re looking for Olina has better staging, imaging, and overall detail than Midnight, whereas Midnight has more sub-bass and intimate vocals. Midnight is also less spicy in the upper ranges, although this can be easily fixed on the Olina by applying another filter on the nozzle (takes 5 minutes). If you apply the additional filter on Olina than Olina becomes a more technical version of Midnight with similar vocals and less sub-bass (which was why I sold my Midnight).

This might help:

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I like a good combination. If you are already getting the Chu, you might want your other signature away from that. I would hold off on the Kato (perhaps too polite) and Dunu Titan S until you are sure that you like Chu (tuning looks really close to an OG Yume). Stock Olina is bright (too bright for lengthy listening at moderate volumes IMO), but modifying the Olina is super easy and the driver is fantastic. Hana 2021 and Timeless are safe bets. I don’t know if the technicalities on the Midnight are going to be enough. TinHifi T4 is good for 2019.

I have the Chus of course (hate the cable). I own the S12 and Olina so I have Choice-supportive bias towards those two: and two is better than one. I also have the Starfield, and I would–hands down–choose the Olina over it, if that helps.

The Dunu Falcon Pro looks like the biggest risk. You are either going to love it or not like it. Timbre may be a problem. But it might be great for your musical preferences.

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Timeless is very close to 880 with a bit more bass
Hana has a lot of sub bass but loses some mids
Olina and Kato have less bass but similar mids and highs (Kato does have the swappable nozzle to boost bass a bit and people have been modding Olina to boost the bass a bit)
out of the box enjoyment I think goes to Timeless but as always YMMV

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You guys are awesome seriously.
From these posts it seems like Olina is most likeable by most followed by Timeless. I have questions

About Olina are mods done, by using that filters that come in the box? How is olina in comparison with all others mentioned in this thread (timeless, S12, Kato/Hana, when it comes to technicalities ie imaging ,placing of instruments,sepparation and soundstage (not that important imo for iems but nice to have)

Is olina easy driveable, with phones to closely resemble it’s true tonality (which for me along with real full power swing in dynamics means fully driven)

Is timeless easy driveable, also S12 and etys? I will get another portable dac/amp regardl3ss.

And other factors like tonality do 3 of them are comparable to Olina or are they in different class altogether in technicalities. Or they push above its price range.

Would you say that Olina can be described as technically capable, midrange forward with good bite and definition of details in vocals and boldness and extended Treble with nice control and acccoustics but not really too metalic or wild sounding ? If they meet that profile I think they would do me good esp since they are more wallet friendly then timeless.

How is Qc for timeless and S12 ? And others. It would suck to wait weeks to receive DOA sample.

Thanks.

Yes. Although you’ll need to do the double filter mod if you listen at louder volumes.

Take a look at my ranking list. I’m not sure about the S12 since I haven’t tried it yet, but according to others it’s very similar to the Timeless but with brighter treble.

Olina has the best tonality/timbre since it’s a DD vs planar.

QC wise Olina and Timeless are about the same with S12 having the best QC.

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Timeless is great for rock

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