I’ve asked this before, but the range of IEMs on the market is changing so fast I struggle to keep up, especially with so many Chi-Fi brands coming out of nowhere and overturning conventional wisdom regarding value-for-money at given price points.
I’m primarily a classical music listener. After a fairly long circuitous route have settled on DT880/600 ohm cans as my go-to for that genre. I’ve chosen them over Sennheiser 600s and 650s. I even sold my 650. I love what I perceive to be the DT880’s clarity, imagery, and soundstage. They are fantastic for orchestras and large ensemble pieces as well as for smaller groups or soloists. I love the tonality. Voices, too, are great. They have enough bass for the genre. Quality over quantity. I thought there was a tad too much with the 650, though the 650 was definitely a better choice for pop/rock. The 600 is a better option for classical, IMO, but the 880 just offers a touch more…sparkle?
Re: IEMs, as I tend to listen to headphones at my desk via my Asgard 3, I would probably use the IEMs for portable listening. Currently I rely on a BTR5 either via BT or, if I’m using a laptop as a source, I might go USB. My current IEMs are an old pair of Fischer DBA-02 mk 2, which to be honest are terrific, and Tin T2, which I’ve turned into BT devices for exercise. The Tins are terrific, though not ideal for classical. The DBA-02 are clearly superior. I also own Shure SE425s but found they have far too little bass even for classical. They sit in a drawer.
I’m not dissatisfied with my DBA-02s, on the contrary, they’re so good as to have kept me from pulling the trigger on a new pair of IEMs…but, you all know how it is. We’re all after the new and the different.
Currently, the Moondrop Blessing 2 and S8 and the Thieaudio L5 catch my eye. So we’re talking $250 - $700. The Fiio FH7 falls in there. But at the high end, used Andromedas are within reach. Of these options, do any of these really shine? It’s not clear to me, because my own lack of experience, what a Legacy 5 gets me for $250 compared to my DBA-02, and then what spending $700 for an S8 or even an Andromeda gets me compared to the $250 L5.