New gear, what to choose? 1 open back 1 iem. 1 cheap 1 expensive

Hey everyone. I am planning to buy an iem and an open back over ears. I want one of them to be cheap for now and one of them more expensive to celebrate the summer holidays.
Should I get the Moondrop starfield, then a Hifiman Ananda/DCA Aeon 2 Open
or Sennheiser HD560s, then a Moondrop S8?

Not sure but cheap IEM’s sound better than cheap HP’s so :man_shrugging:


Thank you very much. Can you tell me the price range where iems sound better than headphones generally and from which price does it start to change?

Depends on what your priorities are tbh…I’d say IEM’s $ for $ up to say $300 technically out perform HP’s after that then the $ to $ advantage starts to diminish…but again it’s up to personal preferences and use case scenarios.

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A good starter pack that I can think of when it comes to cheap IEMs would be the BLON BL-03s, the sounds that you can get from those are at a spectacular scale but of course there are some drawbacks since it is very affordable, you need to replace the stock tips and cables and I would like to recommend Final Audio E Type eartips for the tips and the Yinyoo cable, and it will eventually be an IEM that you can be proud of collecting.

I am not sure about expensive headphones though, since my access to those at best are limited, but it wouldn’t hurt for you to get the Koss KPH30is as your go to open-back headphones along with the Koss KSC75s. When those have their pads swapped with Yaxi pads, and of course their cables modded to a detachable one, in my opinion, it’s an endgame open back to have for those who are in a tight budget, like me.

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I am listening to KOss porta pro as I type this haha. I love them

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Porta Pros are good but they are like, I don’t know too dark for me. So I have both the KPH30i and KSC75s, and man those two headphones for cheap gave me a mindfuck, and started questioning my other headphones that I own like wtf scale levels.

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Is there a point when headphones start to sound better than iems for the same price?

The Koss Porta Pro is indeed quite dark. But it is so relaxing and never fatiguing. They will have a place in my collection basically forever

As for you getting the Starfields? I think you should get the Moondrop Arias (2021) instead, for they are cheaper than the Starfields and have basically the same sound signature, though I think the treble from the Arias are a bit elevated compared to the Starfield’s safe-tuning on its treble. Still a good IEM to have though, and they are S tier in my own list, along with the BLON BL-03 and BLON BL-05S

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I looked at that as well. But the starfield only costs a tiny bit more and has a better cable so maybe it is worth it. How would the starfield/ aria compare with the koss?

I cannot explain it with much detail like the other people who are much more knowledgeable than me in terms sounds, but I will try my best.

Starfields for me are for chill hours, basically when I am in a mood for sounds that I don’t want too be aggressive or fun, but it still maintains its musicality.

Koss KSC75s are like, “Hey you want to end it all? I will give you those moments that will make you not use your other headphones for a while”. Yes that shit happened to me after the mods I did for my Koss KSC75s. It took me a while to finally discard the KSC75s for a bit, for it would ruin me and the efforts that I did to get my other headphones and IEMs.

Take it with a grain of salt though, because for me these are the results that I had, while for you it might be different.

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Thanks again. So would you say that the starfield is not an upgrade to the ksc75?

Better again is subjective…but source wise it’s gonna be a lot cheap driving an Oriolus Traillii than say an equivalent priced HP like the Susvara…each will give a different experience.

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In my opinion, it’s not and I think the KSC75s are better than the Starfields based on what I am hearing.

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Very good point

Wow! That’s amazing

For what it’s worth, I spent my money on a Focal Elex and Moondrop Starfield when I was in a similar purchasing situation, and I definitely don’t regret it. Good luck deciding what to buy!

(P.S. I highly recommend also buying some aftermarket eartips for your IEMs as well. I really like Final Audio Type E tips and I have also liked Spinfit tips, but no matter what tips you buy, there is a /very/ noticeable difference when you have good tips that give you a good seal.)

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