Looking for an organic IEM

I need an expert advice there.
I’m looking for a pair of organic sounding IEM under (or around) 300$ that will be awesome for vocals (delivering good “chesty” male voices and airy + textured female vocals). I really insist on the organic/analog/emotional side of it and on a good vocal presence. So, I’m looking for a good performing model for both male and female vocals.

Other than midrange, I prefer tight and clean bass, airy but not fatiguing treble, wide soundstage, good separation and decent note definition + resolution. At that price point, I don’t expect flagship level, but decent technical capabilities. Comfort is also quite important since I have smaller ears than average… Will drive it with a LG G7 smartphone.

For information, here is some models that I already know about:

  • MEE P1 Pinnacle (sold): Used it with Comply foams, but still on the bright side depending on the source used. Miss some bass heft on too much tracks (good bass quality though). Pretty source dependent (needs some power to be driven properly). Airy, natural, textured and detailed mids. Impressive soundstage and separation. Comfort was medium. It was my first audiophile IEM, I enjoyed it a lot for a few years.

  • Westone W80 (sold): Awesome comfort, surprisingly good analog and organic sound (especially for an all-BA configuration), but a bit too upper-bass bloated (had to pair it with a high-end bright source to make it sound great). Good technicalities. Quite different from the MEE P1 but I enjoyed it a lot from some sources, but sold it (it’s way overpriced IMHO).

  • Oriveti New Primacy (sold): Medium comfort, lacking definition and resolution in the upper-mids, and I definitely didn’t like its BA timbre. Despite the great reviews, I didn’t enjoyed it that much.

  • Dunu 17th Anniversary (demoed): Safe and enjoyable tuning. Great technical capabilities. Great all-rounder. Good typical DD bass. Not that organic but kind of “sweet” mids. Missing some air/extension up top to my ears. Soundstage is slightly above average. Comfort is okay. Over my budget.

  • Drop + JVC FDX1 (bought recently): Impressive bass and technical capabilities for the price. Can sound a bit intense and thin/dry on most of my listening preferences. It definitely lacks that organic/emotional taste that I’m looking for in the mids (even with the most damped filter). Comfort is okay. I could probably keep it, but not as my only pair (not enough organic for me).

From my readings, there is actually a few models on my list, but there’s where I need your help…

  • Moondrop Starfield/Aria 2021: Seems to be a good cheap all-rounder, but I’m not sure about technical capabilities (note definition, thightness and control of the bass, mids texture). Maybe a bit too rounded? Also, I’m particularly sensitive to upper-mids / high pinna gain and “shoutyness” between 1k-2k, so when I look at graphs it doesn’t seems to be the safest bet for me (maybe I’m wrong)… Comfort seems to be good.

  • Final Audio E4000: This one seems to check many boxes, but I’m not sure about the vocals presence (some say they sound a bit distant). Despite its low sensitivity, it seems to be a quite interesting model though. Comfort could be good for my tiny ears.

  • iBasso IT00: Seems to be a lot like the Final E4000 in terms of sound and tuning, but with an over-ear design and a more aggressive/peaky treble and more prominent sub-bass (as seen on graphs). Comfort seems to be okay.

  • LZ A7: A lot of possibilities, but each of them seems to bring some tradeoffs… Comfort seems to be great though. Significant dip between 4k-5k so missing some overtones? Seems quite decent in terms of technical capabilities, but I’m not sure it’s the more organic sounding model on this list…

  • Tanchjim Oxygen: Supposed to have great DD timbre and interesting tuning in general (especially for female vocals), but might be a tad too lean in the low-mids to deliver that chesty and emotional male vocals that I’m looking for…

There are also some older models like Dunu DN-2000/2002, ATH-LS200is, Campfire Orion, Shure SE535 which can be found used, but I don’t know…

Any suggestions?

Will leave a couple sugestions here:

  • Mangird Tea
  • Oxygen
  • Aladdin

I use Final E tips on my daily driver (Fix VxV). I bought the Final E500 for $19 on Amazon just for the tips. When I received the unit, I thought, What the heck, I’ll give them a try. I’m pleasantly surprised at how good they sound and I now use them at work with my FiiO E17k dac/amp. They are easy to put in and take out (no wrapping around the ear). I think Final is a company, like Sennheiser, that truly has a “house sound” so I’d imagine that the E4000 would be pretty good too. Plus, you can buy them from Amazon and if you don’t like them, return them without a restocking charge. Not so much for some ChiFi.

That being said, I also own the Mangird Tea (which I’ll probably be selling soon) but they are a really, really nice IEM for the money.


Thanks for your reply! I just pulled the trigger for the E4000 (found a good “open-box” deal). I am very curious to give them a listen…

1 Like

Congratz on your buy, hope you enjoy it!


Thanks! I’ll share my impressions when I’ll receive it.

1 Like

I also suggest not giving up on the FDX1. It is also a little thin for my taste, stock tonality. But with some EQ, the other frequencies match up so well and you can basically turn it into a IEM version of the 650. Try turning down 4-5 kHz by 5 or so dB, I find that really helps with vocal smoothness and warmth. I think you will really like the E4000 though, I tried the E5000 and it’s very close to the vocal warmth I like.

1 Like

OP wont like the E5K, since he wants a tight/clean bass and airy treble. The E5K is the opposite of that.

Seeaudio Yume is great for vocals but not so much for details .

Yeah good point. I remember it being very dark in the treble with a bass boost.

Great, since I don’t like to play with EQ that much, I will give it a try… I hope I will love the E4000!

That’s exactly what I’ve read, yeah… That’s why I choose the E4000 over the E5000…

So, will receive the E4000 in the next few days, I’ll then post my impressions. If I ever feel that the E4000 is too warm/laidback, my next try could be the Tanchjim Oxygen (I’ve read really good things about it). Is there someone who have/owned both the Oxygen and the MEE P1? It could help me to put it in perspective…

E4000 and Oxygen are kind of polar opposites though.

I say the Sony XBA-N3 is one you should try after the E4k if you think it is too warm but you still want it to be on the warmer side.

1 Like

Great, I’ll keep an eye on the N3 if I ever find the E4000 a bit too polite. But, I’m beginning to think that I might get a warmer set AND a brighter one :wink: That’s in this perspective I could be interested about the Oxygen… That’s why the comparison with the MEE P1 could be quite helpful for me. So, a brighter + airier pair (with decent body/texture in the mids) could also be on my radar to complement the E4000 (we’ll see in the next few days)… From my memory, the MEE P1 has that kind of sound signature (airy, spacious and revealing, with creamy vocals).

Problem with brighter tunings like the Oxygen, is that they tend to lack warmth for the male vocals. But otherwise have excellent female vocals.

1 Like

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ve read about the Oxygen.

Wait for 7hz Timeless impressions. They should be coming in soon. It might be what you’re looking for. Planar does ‘airy’ sound very well.

1 Like

Sounds interesting, yeah…

I received my E4000 yesterday, so there is some of my first impressions:

First, they sound quite organic (yeah!). They definitely deliver that analog and lush midrange that I’m looking for. They reminds me my previous Westone W80 a bit in terms of tuning (the W80 is more balanced and have better technical capabilities though)…

The bass sounds big, fat, deep, somewhat rounded and “analog” but I will not describe it as boomy or uncontrolled though. However, the bass quantity is way north of neutral. It sometimes crosses my own limit of being too much/thunderous on certain tracks calling for it. It’s definitely not a thight, detailed, punchy and “technical” bass (let’s say like the FDX1), but it’s quite engaging.

I noticed some upper-bass bleed in the low-mids (again, like the Westones), but I think it’s the tradeoff to get all the body that I’m looking for in the lower-mids (it brings a lot of texture, naturalness, body and presence to male vocals though). The female voices are quite smooth and silky, delivering a respectable amount of clarity and definition. The upper-mids are also full-bodied, but a tad bit cleaner than the low-mids (there is no shoutyness/harshness at all). While some vocals and instruments can sound a bit distant at times, the overall midrange timbre is spot-on.

As for the treble, it’s definitely laid-back, but it brings a respectable amount of shimmer/brightness when called for it. It’s not too rolled-off, not too wet, but not too sparkly and energetic either. Not much to say about the treble. It’s seems coherent with the rest of the tuning.

These cannot be considered as an airy IEM in my opinion. Resolution is okay, but nothing crazy (it’s definitely not a detail-monster IEM). Soundstage and separation are surprisingly good though (I didn’t expect that level of performance in this regard to be honest).

Comfort is good too (they are pretty light and they have a small nozzle). The included tips are very good quality, no complaints there, but the cable brings a fair amount of microphonics when worn cable down (it’s not the worst cable on the market though – it doesn’t tangle too easily and it’s very flexible). The small rubberish case is unique and very practical too.

For more rumbling music genres, I think they will benefit more of a bright source (paired with a warm source, it could be too much of a good thing, at least for my likings). Otherwise, they shine with more relax genres, even out of a smartphone. They’re not the easiest IEM to drive, they need a bit more juice than most of the IEMs I’ve tried, but I think most smartphones will drive them with no problem (no issues at all with my LG G7/Samsung Galaxy S10e).

All in all, my first impressions are quite positive. It’s a quite smooth, pleasant and kind of tubey-like sounding IEM. An easy recommendation for the price IMHO… I think these could do the trick for my “lusher listening” cravings :wink: