IEM discussion thread (Part 2)

Any honest comparisons between Doscinco VS Hype2/4, Tea 2 or Mp145?

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When it rains it pours - did not have any new IEM to listen to for half a year, now I got 3 very interesting sets within 4 days. It does not help I have 30mins per day.
This time Aur Audio loaners from one and only @heartless <3
Sound aside the cable with Auroras (which is not stock, but something from Ikko) is absolute trash from UX perspective. But rec for penon liquid tips


I have Doscinco and Tea 2. In A/B testing, while similar, the Doscinco has clearer treble details ( which is in the graph from 3-7k ), and the bass is a little more, but you don’t notice the quantity, almost more that it has a bit more impact. My take the Tea 2 is a great IEM, but I think the Doscinco is a bit better overall. The one place I think Tea 2 wins hands down is at very high volume. The missing treble helps when you crank it up.

I skipped the Hype sets, mostly due to price, and have never owned any Hidizs stuff.

I do like the timber of the isobaric bass, and it is tech I will have on my preferred list. Beryllium is another I tend to like for bass timber.


TLDR - The right ear tips make such a difference for all IEMs.

As I slowly adjust to using IEMs again, and since I missed the heck out of listening to music through them, I brought out my very first set (Letshuoer Galileo’s) but I did something a little different this time. I loved my Dunu S&S tips on the S12’s I used to have but sold, mated well with them and to my ear canal. I tried these same ear tips on the Galileo…wow. I was using the stock tips and thought they sounded great, but the S&S win hands down. It honestly, to my ears, changed everything in a more positive manner. I now hear more treble extension and a smidge more air while at the same time a slightly reinforced (and quality) bass presence.

I am holding onto these…was listing them for sale until today. :notes:


Follow up on Aur Audio:
I actually really dislike Aurora. It sounds very dark in a bad way and therefore low-res/like behind the veil in the top end. It may be due to the fact that I come after listening to EA1k and Twilight for quite a while, but I cannot get used to that sound even in longer listening sessions.
I can see that it may be a set where you may want to turn up the volume though, but I don’t want to do it to myself (boomer alert).
Second part that I don’t like is the feeling in ear - lack of vents is a no go for me, it pressurizes my ear too much causing discomfort that I don’t have with neither Twilight, EA1000 and even Ascension.

On the other hand Ascension is a definite endgame material in my opinion.
I don’t have graphs, but it sounds like a more smooth/delicate MEST with actually better extension in the top end and sub/mid bass balance shifted towards warmth and lack of any kind of sharpness. The sub-bass is not as tactile, but it does have more meat a bit higher in frequency. The vocals are similarly just a bit recessed.
Overall Ascension sounds very clean and correct.
In some tracks like Concorde by Black Country, New Road it is still not the sub/mid bass balance that I would like to hear in ideal world, but it is a step up from MEST anyway.

To sum up: I think it may be better than Unique Melody overall for most of my (rock/indie and generally vocal heavy) library for quite a good price if you ask me :+1: :+1: :+1:
Just a slight question mark is for angelic female vocals (Lana del Rey) - those are a bit better in Mest as they sound very clean.

P.S. What is interesting in this whole review process is that actually after switching from mid-bass focused set (Twilight) to sub-bass focused (MEST/Ascension) and then back it is perceived by my brain that it is the latter that lacks the natural feeling and not the other way around that Twilight fakes something.


Sorry for the detour, I’ve been away from this hobby and have lots to catchup on.

Any help with this is appreciated. Thanks.

Black Country, New Road

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How is going with the Crimson? Impressions after days?

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Good stuff as always🤙

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I’m a bit confused by the test. It seems like he tested two different amps using two different adapters cables, one for SE and one for BAL. Was there any confirmation done to ensure it wasn’t a badly constructed adapter cable?


Thanks for asking brother. I can summarize the Crimson this way; They’re not for me, however, I can recognize their strengths. Detail retrieval, head stage perception, imaging and sub bass tactility is all top notch. Even though they are an all BA IEM, timbre is excellent and natural, however, note weight is a little too thin for my liking.

I don’t mind a bass tuck, especially if the upper-mids are a reasonable level, but I’d prefer a later bass tuck around 300hz like the Cincotres from Ziigaat.

If you like an extremely clean tonality, with excellent techs to boot, these are a winner, no doubt about it. But if you’re someone like me who prefers more sub-bass and more lower mids to support the rest of the FR and add note weight, these might not be it.


he said his amp was spec’d at the same as the crosstalk he measured, seems reasonable enough to stop there, i guess?
but that sounds like a really bad spec for a single ended output though

I am thinking about buying a portable/dongle DAC of some sort. I have currently have the BTR5 which I really enjoy, but I have been debating if I want to go little or go big.

  • The Fiio KA11 - seems like a great little dongle but waiting on reviews
  • Fiio Q11 - a big powerful beast that people don’t talk about much, despite being about a year old
  • BTR7 - I have heard tons of good things, and like the BTR5 both for sound and features.
  • Hiby FC6 - I always hear good things about it
  • Topping G5 - This has always interested me, but I am never sure where I am on the Topping clinical sound. I really like the Topping DX1, but that uses an AKM DAC.

My into to the hobby was a BTR5 a KZ ZS10 Pro, and a pair of SHP9500 with a BoomPro. I use the headphone occasionally for gaming to this day.

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The only bit of info I can provide, John is that the BTR7 is an absolute beast in terms of build and sound quality with one major flaw; the battery. Depending on what you consider acceptable battery life, the BTR7 most likely won’t be impressive. After having the device for about a year and a half now, I can get about 3-4 hours of total playback on high gain at about 50% volume using the 4.4 BAL out. Otherwise, in terms of pure SQ, it’s incredible. I briefly listened to the new KA17 at CanJam and was super impressed by its sound output. But, it’s $150 and doesn’t have BT which for me is a deal breaker.

I’m sure the KA11 is also a fantastic dongle as well, but I have heard FiiO has been struggling with their software as of late. Not just a lack of functionality either, but genuine bugs that bog down the device.


Just got the ie200, haven’t listened to em yet but going by feel, yeah these are gonna be sleeping iems

Super small and comfy but man the word cheap is too nice a description for the build quality

Edit: Sounds great so far, weaker bass to my ears than I prefer but can’t complain. Haven’t done tape mod but rocking S&S nice on everything else.

For peeps who’ve listened to IE600 and own IE200, what can I expect to change if I save up for the 600 down the line later to grab it?

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If you plan on using it mostly wired i would give G5 a try as it sounds absolutely fantastic (I don´t perceive it as clinical)
Bluetooth is where it kinda fails for me as i get EMI noises when the phone is too close but that also depends on your phone and signal strength, some users don´t have that problem at all apparantly.

A nice feature for me is the line in so you can play arround and combine it with any other dongle/dac.
I am feeding it with Q5K and the combination of the PEQ and G5´s super clean amp is more than i could ever ask for from a portable device.
I prefer it over my FiiO K7 desktop amp (but thats mostly because of PEQ i guess) and I think I also prefer it over Hiby R6III but did not do any head to head comparisons

BTR7 is also a fantastic sounding device but yeah the battery is its week spot.
I did not use it too often yet but you notice the fast draining battery pretty quick.
For my usecase (ultraportable when out for a walk) it´s not such a big deal because I usually don´t go out with IEMs too often.


What about fiio ka17? It seems like the best price to performance (specs wise) dongle right now especially if you are source believer :slight_smile:


I am trying to narrow it down :wink:

I almost put it on the list, and it might be the right mix of size and power.

The BTR7 is the way I was leaning, the battery life probably wouldn’t be a huge deal, since I can’t use it at the office anyway.

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I love my G5 but never use the BT (always line-in or USB) and I wouldn’t really consider it “portable”, so much as “Desktop solution you can tecnically take with you and run off of USB if needed”. I have to agree with @Rinderkappajoe that I don’t think it’s really “clinical” so much as neutral and clean. It ain’t TOOBS but I have never been left wanting for warmth or impact when the transducer can provide.