Ranking IEMs SQ in Non Audiophile Perspective

So, i have a friend that have almost no experience with IEMs. He currently use Vyatta TWS or something (it suck, too much bass and peaky treble in several frequency). So I brought him some “selections” to try and here’s the ranking list with his impression in a nutshell. (Thanks @Timmy-Gizaudio and Acho Reviews for the graph)

  1. Tanchjim Ola - Known for its niche target audience for vocals, good (just good, not amazing) soundstage and excellent imaging. No bass. 40$
  • He said its the best, sounding very close to the Tanchjim Zero. Tone sounded “right” to him, but very finnicky if I don’t teach him how to wear it. Wierdest IEM fit of them all.

  1. Tanchjim Zero - Known for its harman target and above average technicalities. No bass. 15$
  • He straightaway Liked it, everything sounds clear and “right” (as it should be) he said. This is his first IEM to try between all of them. Very easy too because no confusion to where to put the wires, which is left and right etc.

  1. KZ ZSN PRO X - Mediocre at best. Peaky, shouty, bloated uncontrolled bass (for me) 20$
  • “This one is okay, i can hear the missing things” he said. “Why the heck he liked that peaky ass IEM?”, I tought.
  1. Nakamichi MV500 - No graph for this one, sorry guys! It sounded bright, similiar bass to the previous KZ but more controlled, no peakiness, very airy. Good soundstage and other technicalities. 80$
  • He didn’t comment much about this IEM or he said something that I don’t remember / not worth remembering.

  1. Moondrop Aria - The legendary that disrupted market 2 years ago. Very well known, I don’t need to describe this. 80$
  • “idk, it seems it missing something, as if its sound are being held back” he said. This one really surprised me.

Just for fun i also made him to test my “helmet earplugs”, the Nakamichi HQ X10 (4$). It’s the one that dankpods blew up. And yeah he hated it.

What I learned? Sound is a very subjective thing to each ears. I tought by using bassy and treble-y TWS he would like brighter IEM. But no, he preffered harman target to a flatter target (almost no bass boost), which is interesting. Technicalities don’t matter much in this case because he being a novice, can’t differ different imaging, soundstage, timbre, yada yada yada. That is why he didn’t really rank the Moondrop and the Nakamichi high up there. What confuses me more is that the Moondrop Aria uses harman target, same as the Tanchjim Zero but brighter. Yet he liked the Tanchjim more??? But, it seems even a total noob like him can measure high distortions, which is very interesting to me (the shitty Nakamichi proved it to be true).

Sorry for the long write, I just want to share his experience. Take care everyone.


He would like the EPZ G10

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