I just came back to the hobby after a year or so of inactivity. I wanted to get some IEMs, mostly for home, thinking the choice would be easy but there are so many new IEMs that I am overwhelm now.
For budget I was thinking 200 euros. Could be stretched if the improvements are clear (as always).
I wouldn’t focus so much on the sound signature or sound preference right now as I am planning on getting 2 or 3 IEMs to have a complete variety of sounds to chose from depending on what I feel like listening on that specific moment.
I see that right now there are a couple of names that are floating everywhere like the 7hz timeless, mangrid TEA, Tripowin Olina, Moondrop Kato, Shuoer S12 or Z12, Yume midnight… I was wondering how do these new boys (at least to me) compare to the recommendations that I remember were instatly recommended for this budget. I’m talking about sets like: Ikko OH10, Tape pro, Legacy 3, Fiio FH5, Tin P1, Starfields… For sure there are some more than I am missing. I would like to know if the starfields and the OH10 have been dethrone or became irrelevant due to some new players that do the same but better.
As I said in terms of sound signature I’m not looking for anything specific right now, I would like to have 2 or 3 sets that complement each other, right now I’m looking for the best quality for the money. There is actually one kind of profile I would like to have and that is something very intimate, that brings out the voices to the front and has a clear imaging and separation (not sure if there is something like this).
If you guys can suggest a good 3 piece combo of IEMs would be great, something like a natural sounding detail iem, a warm relaxed sound signature and a intimate vocal focused piece. Something along those lines.
I would run them of an IFI Zen Dac V2, probably would get the FIO btr7 in the future for convenience.
Thank you in advance for your suggestions and help!
I love the original Mangird Tea, but they are over the 200 price point. You can find them on sale around $240 at points.
My favorite under 200, or 100, is the Olina, which I run with double stock filters. If you want great stage and imaging, I find the Olina to be fantastic at both. I am curious to see if the new Special Edition version is on par with it for imaging.
My pick after those is the S12. I own the Timeless, and listen to the S12 more.
I typically use the BTR5 as my DAC/Amp with all of those.
The OH10 is still a good IEM, but I don’t like the weight, and they are a bit too V-shaped for my tastes. The Starfields are still good, but I would take the Olina over them today.
Starsea is a 1DD + 2BA hybrid set, with tuning switches that actually affect the frequency response.
It’s standard setting is the most balanced setting, with the best soundstage and musicality to my ear
It has a bass setting, that only slightly elevates the bass and makes it a little more V-shaped.
It’s balanced setting is the most neutral setting. It lowers the bass and levels the treble, while making the mids more present. It has the most intimate soundstage of the four. This would be your “details” setting.
The vocal setting raises the upper-mids to emphasize vocals more. It’s the brightest setting.
I think standard, balanced, vocal would check all your boxes
If you can stretch your budget then grab the Mangird Tea ($260 USD) and Salnotes Zero ($15 USD); wait for sale. Both gives you different sound signatures (don’t be fooled by Zero’s pricing).
If you can’t stretch the budget then grab the Olina SE ($100) and Truthears x Crin Zero ($20?); Olina is neutral-bright where the Truthears is sub-bass focused. I’m personally not a fan of planar IEMs like the S12 and Timeless; note-weight is too light, thin sounding, soundstage is off/lacks width, and treble has bad dynamics and is too bright and uneven.
On the same page… Is there right now something similar to the Blon bl 03 sound signature (decent technicalities, soundstage and instrument separation, with nice bass boost for electronic músic, smooth treble for long listening time and natural timbre on voices and instruments) on the 200$ range?
Oh10. Sub bass, good bass, clean mids, good highs. Imaging best i have heard and very good soundstage.
I change the stock cable and looks good.
For me more enjoyable than Timeless. A little better than S12 (its similar in tech but better for soundtracks due to having more soundtage “holographic”. Similar clarity, imaging better in Oh10, resolution a little better in s12), better than Spring 2, better than Olina, better than Tea in multiple genres.
Is the weight of the OH10 something to be worried about? Is it annoying or hard to keep in them in place? I can get them in amazon local for 160€ with prime delivery. In Aliexpress for whatever reason is more expensive, 225.€