FD5? Oracle? Kato? Which IEM to get for 11.11?

I already have my eyes set on the Fiio FD5, but the Thieaudio Oracle has crept back into my considerations, Moondrop Kato is also making itself known more recently.

Main reason why I want to upgrade is the TRI Starsea just isn’t doing it for me anymore the sub bass and the bass in general sounds slow and smears the entire track when it gets complicated on post hardcore music, that and the treble just can’t cut through all that, cymbals sound really tinny even with the treble switch on. I’m frequently left wanting for more mid bass and less sub bass. The warmer timbre also makes it sound nasal on some tracks with male vocals on.

I wanted the Fiio FD5 primarily coz @Rikudou_Goku highly recommends it for the Imaging, Soundstage and Detail retrieval. But I’m worried that the bass might also be too excessive for me.

The Moondrop Kato is the no brainer choice, the price is right, graphs excellently, bright sound sig(which I want to try). However @hawaiibadboy said in his review that the note weight might be too light for some? Over the years I’ve bought 4 iems that he recommended, they’re all excellent when it comes to bass but always lacking in the treble department for my tastes. So I should be fine with the Kato right???

Thieaudio Oracle is just here because I’m interested in trying something higher up the price range <$300 IEMS always leave me wanting for something more after a while. It graphs similarly to the B2 Dusk but with better treble extension which I want. How is the Soundstage and Imaging on these? would they be good for competitive gaming where positional cues are important?

Tonal preference: Impactful bass, but is fast and controlled, Quality > Quantity! Accurate mid timbre with slight forwardness. Well emphasized but not fatiguing treble. (think HE4xx but with a toned down peak and slightly warmer). Imaging should be spot on, and doesn’t fail in reproducing sound cues in the center image. Soundstage isn’t too important for me but if I can’t have excellent imaging I would at least want the trade off to be excellent soundstage. Dynamics isn’t important for me also.

Music preferences: Post hardcore, Hip Hop, Indie

Current source: Phone + BTR5 (Itching for an upgrade but will upgrade IEMs first)

You have described NA2+ . Success with Oracle :wink:

You mean the NA2+ sounds like my Tonal preference? I’m looking into the reviews now and I see the graph that 4k spike is a little scary ngl. But I’ll read into it more before adding it into the list of IEMs to consider

It’s being a bit hyped…
KATO I mean.
Why not consider Hana 2021 as it has better impact, good treb, not thin mids. Oracle is great but does not hit hard.
If Hip Hop is a good part of your library cross Kato and Oracle right off the list.
You will have a high probability of being bummed. (Kato bass and thin) (Oracle Bass)
Hana 2021, or FD5 …bass is not excessive on that. Treble can be intense.
Kato lacks slam. You can quote me on that :ok_hand:


Not to throw a wrench in the mix, but the brands you listed often don’t do sale prices or major discounts.

For what you described for your sound sig, Mangird Teas would be perfect. They’re not a stunner of an IEM at first listen, but just do everything super well without “hot spots” in their sig. Got the sub-bass for hip-hop, got the mids for guitar and vocals. They’re a touch too light in the highs for me who prefers more V-shape tuning, but for many that would mean non-fatiguing treble. Only reason why I didn’t keep them was I can’t wear “custom” styled IEMs. They’ve been dipping to $269~ on sales, expect the same on 11.11.

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Or mele instead of kato/hana and go dinner out with your gf.

ok yeah I was definitely worried about this part! I do want something that’s got a physical slam, even if the quantity of bass is low, as long as the slam is there I’m good. Kato is out then.

I thought you liked the Oracle’s bass. I don’t mind less bass for hiphop just as long as the thump feels and sounds right. What I’ve struggled with IEMS is how well they can play post hardcore, metal and complex songs because to my ears slow, and emphasized bass would smear the entire track. This part confuses me because I start to doubt myself if its the transducers, my ears or just the way the track was mastered that it starts to sound off. but on some gear it sounds fine.

Yea been keeping an eye on these since the price is right for me and the bass is great but I stopped considering the Mangird Tea, since it the treble also seems a bit light for my taste. How is the sound stage and imaging on these compared to the Kato/FD5/Oracle?

Haven’t heard the other three sets, but the Tea’s treble is well-tuned. Not lacking in any degree in a general sense, but don’t have that shimmer I prefer–the same shimmer I like, most people run away from.

I think, generally, trying to find one IEM in this price bracket will have to have some downsides. Teas are easy to recommend because they do no great sins. I think it’ll be wise to walk into this with a mindset of finding one IEM that does most things, and then consider a second. You’ll never find “THE ONE” but can find a few sets that work well with one another.

Second option, maybe Hana as BGGA suggested–he’s got similar tastes as you, but likes softer treble generally. Tanchjim seems to be the only one doing slightly bright, but still harman-tuned with bass presence IEMs. Moondrop lacks bass impact, and I’ve never been a fan of TheiAudio’s tuning (softer tuning which can feel veiled, FQ graph sometimes doesn’t match actual listening).

Oh yeah definitely! I would do the opposite of what he does bump down the bass and bump up the treble. I did consider the hana and oxygen but the shallow fit puts me off as I wouldn’t want it falling off(or break the seal significantly) when I talk. Other than the fit though they seem like good purchases for me, just not the one I would go for now.

OK NOW IM A LITTLE WORRIED. I hate having that veiled feeling. Care to elaborate?

I prefer shallow fit myself. The biggest knock against Teas for me was they went DEEP and that calls for your ears to conform to them–my ears didn’t, so they were a NO.

With shallow fit, my go to tips are Spinfit because the extra length provides more seal and support. No issues for me at all. My main runners are Blon 03 with spinfits, never a broken seal nor falling out. Just proper tips and a little adjusting of the ear hooks.

If I wasn’t pushing my budget into DIY earbuds, I’d probably go for a Hana–sound just about perfect aside from the price for me. Shallow fit with small non-custom-style IEM bodies and that signature sounds like near-ideal for me.

From what I’ve tried of TheiAudio, namely the L2/L3 and other lower end models, the mids and highs just seemed a little veiled. Not veiled as soundstage-y veil, but just smoother. Note: This isn’t a bad thing. Audiophiles always jump on detail and whatnot and “veil” has become a bastardized word, but a smooth replay can be great for longer listening sessions. For me and Thei, I love me my strong vocals and cymbal strikes, so they were too smooth. I do not know about Oracle and other upper-end Thei stuff–I’ve given up trying pseudo-custom shells due to constant comfort issues with my weird ears.

I should also note: Don’t feel pressured to decide on an IEM for 11.11 deals. Most the time with the $300 bracket, you’ll find maybe-possibly $20-40 off. But to me, rushing to decide can lead to iffy choices and that sale price might not make up the difference in disappointment. If you decide by then, cool; if not, whatever.

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Oh yeah! I dodged this bullet glad I read other reviews that time and found that this just isn’t for me. Though I went with something arguably worse lmao

The Tin T2+ were shallow fits but was extremely comfortable. So I guess I really have to add the Hana to my consideration if comfort and fit wouldn’t be that big a deal haha

In a bid to control unnecessary spending I set 11.11 as the date I would scratch my upgrade itch, for all my hobbies. So I’ve been holding off for awhile now.

None of these IEMs is suitable for metal and dynamic music. Maybe just Tea, but not completely!

For metal which isn’t always mastered to the best standards, i want it to be more forgiving but retain the same agressiveness. And also need the bass to be fast so it doesn’t smear the whole track

You really think if lacks slam? For me it had a little too much, was a bit fatiguing until I switched to foams. Personally I didn’t like the kato cause they sounded a bit thinner than I liked, didn’t really like the boosted treble, and I prefer bass shelf that has a slight mid bass hump (like the starfields) but I don’t think slam was an issue for me, at least with the spring tips. I ended up going back to my starfields as my preferred set. Kato is a good set but it feels like they were trying too hard to please all the people that knock on the starfield for having too little treble, too much mid bass, etc. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s a good neutral set if that’s what you’re looking for, especially that crowd saying that moondrop “fixed” the issues that the starfields had. Personally I like starfields less fatiguing and more “thick” tuning so I’m back to hunting for new iems again lmao. Still haven’t found anything I like more than the starfields 10+ headphones later.

I am listening tonight for a video w them in it.
v.s. Hana 2021 it is pretty weak on Bonham’s produced kicks in “When the levee Breals”
Bassist on Sultans of Swing sounds back. Illumination does it right.
Same tuning. Very diff sound.
Why Hana 2021 didn’t get more praise/sales baffles me.

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Honestly I think it’s how it looks lmao. In pictures they look a bit cheap for some reason and I think the aesthetic probably doesn’t fit a lot of people’s taste. Going to sell my Kato soon. Now I just need to decide if I want to try Hana or tea next. Also really interested in the gs audio gt12, which basically graphs like the tea but is all BA (4 sonion drivers for low end, 8 bellsing twfk drivers for upper end).

Try the brass nozzles. They sounded way warmer to me, even though it doesn’t show on graphs. Helps with the thinness and lack of bass a tiny bit. Though I don’t think it was enough to make them to my taste.

Because it looks like cheap plastic garbage.


I guess it’s because of O2. People will jump from budget, lets say Mele/Blon, to oxygen, since its like 50 bucks difference.

Or mangird tea :grimacing:

Semkarch CNT 1

I am making a vid about the best DD in my collection and it’s a whopper of a Chi Fi type move …as they no longer make it. :man_facepalming:
Mele slam with fantastic treb tuning.

Look for a used one before I make the vid.

Hana 2021 is same as Mele to 7Khz with extra treb

The same company that made that mess in that box…made that gem hanging OVER that box.

Like BLON. Lightning in a bottle. BLON still makes and sells 03. No idea what LZ was thinking