IEM for gaming (competetive/esport)


I would like to buy headphones for gaming (competetive/esport) and as I was looking into it, i found out, that the best choice would be IEM headphones (right?).

So my question is: What would be the best choice?

Budget: up to $150 (or around $200 if something would be worth the price)

“Main” game: PUBG, Valorant, Rust (but I also really like to listen to music (rock mainly), so it would be an important aspect as well).

Previously i had bose qc 20.

I am looking for IEMs that will make it easy to hear footsteps and game audio clearly and precisely.

I have seen some recommendations:
Dunu Kima
Truthear HEXA
Truthear x Crinacle Zero

But to be honest, I am totally lost… I have no idea what makes them “good for gaming”…

I heard, that the thing I should be choosing IEMs based on the graph, but I have no idea what I am looking for in the graph.

And what is the difference between single vs dual driver IEMs?

I am really new to this whole audio “scene” and I will learn how to read the graph (but it will take some time), so I would really appreciate some tips for that also.

Thank you a lot!

Your best bet is to have a look at Fresh Reviews. He plays both Valorant and Apex, as well as being a former pro CS player.

Truthear Zero is probably the cheapest and best bet. It’s a fantastic overall set, especially for the price. I still use this set even though I have the Xenns Top (his number 1 spot IEM). It’s Harman tuned so it will suit a lot of people’s preferred sound signature. Some do find the nozzle on them however to be too thick, and it took me some time to get used to it too.

Kiwi Ears Quartet is a newer set that he also claims is great for gaming, and the best allrounder (also looks fantastic). With the Quartet you also get tuning switches, which lets you change the sound a bit. For 109 USD, I’d say this lands best in the category you are looking for, as they compete with more expensive IEMs. The 150-200 dollar range doesn’t have that many current competitors that really shine for the price, unless I am forgetting something.

You would have to go up to 249 USD to get to the Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite, which is his number 2 pick for overall best IEMs (only being beaten by a 530$ pair), but with the caveat that you don’t get a dynamic driver for the bass, which many find don’t sound as natural for bass frequencies (especially if you like bass).

Driver config always depends on tuning. Again, I think Fresh does a good job at explaining the strength and weaknesses of the IEM in terms of depth perception, hearing footsteps and overall layering and imaging (where things are positioned) when a lot of things are happening at once.

Welcome to HFGF :smiley: I’ll tag @Falenkor he’s probably the best guy to answer that but tbh HP’s especially open back would be a better option when it comes to soundstage and imaging :+1:

PS I’ve moved your post to the gaming section as you’ll get better feed back there :+1:

Thank you!

Fresh Reviews and his Top 5 Gaming IEMs 2022 was actually the first video I have seen about IEMs and that got me into this.

I also seen his (and others, for example crinacle’s) review on Truthear HEXA and they both said that it is a great IEM.

Does it beat the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle ZERO (btw. what is better for gaming, the original or RED?) or as you mentioned the Kiwi Ears Quartet?

Once again, thank you!

1 Like


thank you a lot for helping and moving my thread!

1 Like

Out of those, I have only tried the OG Zero. Again, many competitive players swear to them being great, so I think those are the safest and relatively cheap option. The Hexa from what I heard, can be more “correct” sounding / anemic, but then be less fun. The Zero is more in your face and loud. Different strokes for different folks. I like my sound to be engaging, and the Zero is just that. I highly doubt the Hexa is an upgrade to the OG Zero. Fresh said in his review that the RED and OG are about equal, but only using the adapter the RED comes with (which also means they need more power), so I would go for the OG.

In that top 5 video, he also mentions the Raptgo Hook x HBB, which is my personal go to for gaming, even against his number 1 pick. The sound immersion on them is simply the best I have heard for any headphone or IEM. If you can find these used for about 150 USD, I would say get these.

Having said that, if I were to buy new, I would probably try the Quartet over the Zero, if your budget allows. It’s got a nicer build and the tuning switches allow for more versatility in sound.

Thank you again!

I heard this term a few times, but what does it actually mean, that the sound is “fun” (how? :smiley:)?

So for better sound overall: Raptgo Hook x HBB (is it worth the price?) > Quartet > OG Zero > Zero RED > Hexa

But for the precision sound alone is the Hexa the best? Does it even beat the Raptgo Hook x HBB for that purpose?

Fun means the sound is engaging. Usually just refers to music. For me it’s about bass texture and physicality. If I play a song I like, it can be the difference between me tapping my foot to the music, or just listening to it and not noticing it.

I would say the Raptgo was worth the price as it’s the set I still use the most.

But if you are looking for value, get the Quartet or OG Zero, no doubt. Again, I haven’t listened to the Hexa, but I doubt it is better than any of the other options I mentioned

1 Like

Thanks, that is a BIIG help!

1 Like

I was thinking… I could probably buy the Raptgo.

Is there any better set than Raptgo Hook x HBB for that price? I could not find a proper comparison for example to the Quartet (twice as cheap).

What about DUNU VULKAN DK-X6? It is basically the same price range, right?

Do you need isolation? If not, get a flathead earbud instead. You need a big soundstage with gaming and buds decimate iems in that factor.

(could also consider open-back headphones or the koss ksc75.)

1 Like

as long as you are in a quiet environment +100 to buds for gaming. If you are at all in a noisy room or talking about competitive play IEMs/Over ears will be better


I would like to use them occasionally for listening to music on my phone when I am outside, so I definitely prefer IEM over headsets/open back headphones.