I was thinking today about some sets that i remember got a ton of attention when they were released, and were a topic of conversation for a month or two until the next best thing came out and then you rarely heard about them here anymore. I feel like this is an easy thing to fall into. Fear of missing out on something potentially great is a real thing that i get and Ive fallen into it in the past myself. One that comes to mind is the Fiio FH3.
So i am curious to hear about some sets that you still have to this day that were never really a hyped set here, or that may have been at one time hyped, but for you personally have stood the test of time. You still grab them fairly often. I’d like to keep this to sets you’ve had for over one year.
To me, for my next purchase i would be much more interested in checking out something that someone had for an extended period of time and still loves, rather than something that came out a few weeks ago, and i would greatly appreciate a little blurb about why its been with you so long. What do you feel is special about it? Etc.
(Quick disclosure: i am primarily a headphone guy, and havent heard a huge amount of IEMs, if i think back very quickly, i can think of a total of maybe 15 or so sets, ranging from Blons to 64 audio Tia Trios)
Ill start with mine. The Final A3000. I received what I would consider passive aggression on this forum for liking this set (I wont name names). Doesn’t matter to me, i like what i like. I feel this set outperforms nearly everything that Ive personally heard at the price point that its at. I can see the tuning not being for everybody. I am a personally that can deal with a lot of different tunings. If i soley looked at a graph of this set i never in a million years would have bought it in March of 2021. Things that stand out to me are the stage, which i would say is above average for the price point. Width is the most standout but depth is solid too imo. Very coherent set, personally feel it is well balanced and only very rarely will seem a touch too hot in the treble. Again, very rarely. I just recently flew across the country, and i had these in my ears for a large majority of a 6 hour flight, both too and from. They are these single most comfortable set that i have personally owned. Literally the only one that i can put in my ears, and not have to adjust one single time until i take them out. I can go on and on about this set but ill keep it short for now.
So now is your turn. What IEM have you had for at least a year, that was never really talked about much, or, was and is no longer but you still love and actively listen to?
Mine has to be the Campfire Audio Nova. It has a weird, dark tuning for a simple 2BA and was overshadowed even on debut by the Andromeda. It’s not something that I go to very often, but it has a charm that keeps me from letting it go.
Honorable mention for the Prisma Audio Azul: well-received, but never tops anyone’s list for…anything. It’s a great palette cleanser after listening to very colored signatures. It also had a pretty short run, so there’s probably not a lot of them in the wild. I’m eagerly waiting to see what else Prisma can offer upon their return…
Ive not even heard of the Nova personally, very interesting. I know exactly what you mean when you talk about that certain charm.
The Azul is one that i really wanted to try for myself but was already gone by the time i heard about it.
AKG N5005. They’re overpriced for their MSRP, but you can routinely find these at good prices with pretty steep discounts. The N5005 is a solid Harman-esque tuned IEM with damn good detail retrieval that can be listened to for extended sessions that is great for music listening, but also excels as an actual monitor especially in the studio. I hardly ever hear these talked about.
The N5005 has wonderful separation and layering capabilites that make them perfect for picking out elements in a recording or mix and following them in all their detailed glory regardless of what else is going on in that mix or how busy it has gotten. I have and have had IEMs from all different price ranges and tunings and I don’t think I have encountered another IEM near the price range you kind acquire the N5005 for that posesses this ability to the same degree.
If you look hard enough, you’ll find that the N5005 does have a loyal following and if you check with the studio session musician crowd you’ll find that they’re a favorite for getting high end in ear studion performance for reasonable money. I have had two pairs. After I lost the first I figured I didn’t need to replace them as I had plenty of IEMs to use. That lasted three months and then I went deal shopping and found my latest pair brand new for $250 ($350 seems to be the current non-sale price from what I’ve seen).
Edit: MSRP is $999 or something silly like that. That’s the overpriced MSRP I referred to at the beginning.
I love the flat sound, so I keep my Senn 80S
I really enjoy my Audeze LCD i3, it’s like a portable LCDX and no one ever talks about them.
what pray tell does that mean?
Flavor Of The Month ie hot for a minute, then either forgotten to the annals of history or celebrated as an all-time banger.
I have little experience with IEM’s…but so far my Etymotics.
Really love hearing about all of these so far guys. Keep them coming. Pretty surprised there hasn’t been more.
Well you all know I’ll recommend the Serial, it’s the longest I’ve EDCed any IEM, while continuing to hear many of the best IEMs I’ve had the joy to have trialed as well. I can try to write more about it later as far as specifics if its sound.
I can recommend the Clairvoyance very highly, it’s been long enough since its time in the spotlight for it to not be FotM, and I prefer it to most other tribrids so far (Variations, EJ07M, Moonlight to name some famous ones… but worth noting the first two are taste based as I can’t live with a tucked midbass).
I’m revisiting the Final E4000 which was an early favorite of mine, and can still easily recommend it. It’s pretty old in terms of IEM releases.
I know it’s still a little soon, but I can’t get enough of both the Raptgo Hook-X and the Tangzu Zetian Wu. If I want to rock the fuck out, the Zetian Wus are in order, if I want to chill, the Hook-X are amazing (and also easily the best IEM for gaming I’ve come across by a longshot). I need to get a better cable for the Zetian Wus, the fit is kinda wonky but I love them so much.
EJ07M Kinda Lava rocks never keeps amazing me the special sauce of the Sonion EST drivers. Was a limited run so not sure if it qualifies.
They’ve been available for quite a while, and while beloved 'round these parts, they were really kind of a blip on the radar in general (same could be said for the EJ07M an EJ07 OG). I think it qualifies.
Another one for me was the only IEM I won’t consider selling.I bought used the IKKO Obsidian OH10 and can’t part with them. Just does everything well , not the best just never stopping to impress ever listen.
Probably the Xenns UP for me. Bought used off a member here, and they are staying. Ok they were talked about at the time but only because everyone expected an upgrade to the OG Tea - and they turned out to be nothing like the Teas . They don’t work for everything in my library, but for stuff like classic rock they really hit my sweet spot (I swear they were made specifically to listen to AC/DC). Doesn’t hurt that I think they look .
LZ A7 (w/ Red or Gold Filters + Pop). Squarely within the crowd favorite B2/B2:Dusk price-bracket and I chose them over those at the time. Still one of the only IEMs that scratches that itch for center-stage, bodied/girthy vocals even though I have vastly more technical IEMs in my collection. I just got my hands on the Softears Twilight and they get there with a sub-bass boost, but it’s not out of the box like the A7 is. It’s also the pair that’s most comfortable in my ears.
I’ve been rocking the Tin P1+ without EQ for a few months now. It has its flaws for sure but I still really like how it presents the sound to me, much more like speakers than headphones.
Came here to say UP myself. Longest runner in my collection and one I still frequently listen to.