Top 5 IEMs, ~$500-$1000?

Most my IEMs fall sub 500. Of the two I own in this range it would be the Xenns Up and EJ07M Kinda Lava. Previously owned a Monarch MKII and found it great but, was to thin in the midbass to mids for my liking at its price. Didn’t think the extra strengths it brought were worth the extra cost over the Xenns Tea MKII.


What is your opinion on the UP and EJ07M? How does it compare to some of your cheaper stuff?

I am considering one of them, or the new IE600 as an upgrade for my oracles. Mainly I want some more authorative bass than the oracles, and maybe a more relaxed upper midrange. Anyone have any suggestions?


Sounds like EJ07M or Kinda Lava to me. @nymz @hawaiibadboy ?

1 Like

Sorry, I missed this. I’d take lava over ej07m and both over Xenns.

I need to know more for a better rec. Cant understand if he wants elevation or impact.


I’m gonna say 64 Duo :slight_smile:

Thats almost double the price :stuck_out_tongue:

Then get Trio and have it all :joy:

Thanks for the response! It can be somewhat hard to define but I would say somewhat more elevated than the oracle with more slam if that makes sense.
@CT007 How does the 64 Duo compare? I could buy them used for about 750 EUR so they might also be interesting. Also, do they leak a lot of sound due to their open nature? I need to be able to use them in a shared office.

I’m dying to hear it myself, and get more feedback from the others here about it…! (crickets) It seems to have nice, big bass, and a smooth, non-fatiguing treble, with acceptable detail in between. It seems better than MEXT, as well. I’m sure there’s some sound leakage, just like with any semi-open. The issue is, if you spend on a Duo, you could just about get a MEST… but actually the Duo seems smoother and easier on the ears, so it still seems very viable! Also with a far better fit, likely, and 3 tuning filters. If I didn’t pick MEST myself to try out(got here yesterday), it was going to be Duo. So I could very likely grab it in the future, if MEST and these other IEMs in my upgrade shootout are too bright/etc for me. I don’t see any compelling reason NOT to try a Duo! Especially if you can quickly return it, if it’s not what you were after. :slight_smile: I can tell you in a few weeks what I think of MEST MKII, EJ07, and EJ07M KL(as well as FH9, FD7, ISN H50), if you’re in no hurry on deciding further lol.


I actually bought the Duo since I could have them for about the same as EJ07M/KL or Xenns up. Should get them early next week.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot to compare them to. I have Oracles, Tin P1, IE800 and had IE900 which I just returned since they were (really) good but not special enough to be worth 1500 EUR to me.
Will post my impressions when I have had some time with them :slight_smile:

1 Like

Nice!! Yeah, Oracle did basically nothing for me lol. Xenns should have killer bass, at least. I still have quite a skeptical feeling about what 07 and KL will sound like… :\ You can’t always take people’s word on things; you just gotta jump in there and hear the damn thing yourself! I’m betting that Duo is gonna ROCK :metal:

1 Like

I’m with you in the Oracle. I can get behind why people love them but, they were so boring for me. Absolutely got no fun out them. Sold real quick why they were still hot on the used market. The Up is still my favorite IEM. I wouldn’t call it killer bass though, at least in the basshead sense. But, killer in its energy and authority and tuning to bring the bass sections more forward. And the beryllium just has such an awesome presentation to it.


Can you compare Up bass to FD5 and/or FD7 bass? I bought FHE, and it’s got less bass than I was expecting, somehow.

Never heard them

I have now had the Duos for a day and I am very happy with them.
Right after listening to my Hifiman edition XS a few hours when I received them, they sounded a bit too dark but that quickly changed as my ears adapted. Nowhere near as warm/dull as the Sennheiser IE 300 for example.
The bass is definitely what stands out most in the sound with these, but it is more controlled than a frequency graph would suggest. Mids are good and very pleasing but can in some rare instances be occluded by the upper bass. In Misty Mountains by Peter Hollens and Tim Foust, Tims voice toes the line between powerful and just ever so slightly boomy.
Movie scores and powerful orchestral tracks come through with great dynamics and gusto, while maintaining good layering and details.
The treble is excellent, specially upper treble with chimes etc. For example in Scarborough fair by Simon & Garfunkel the clairity on the xylophone is staggering. Even the position of the individual keys are easy to distinguish. Lower treble can be a bit recessed on some songs. The cymbals in the beginning of Mr. Blue Sky for example are detailed but take a step further back in the mix than with the Oracles. The chorus and harmonics in that song also sound absolutely amazing with good contrast between the voices and a solid foundation with the baritones.

Separation and soundstage is also excellent. The semi-open design somehow makes it feel a bit like not wearing anything and there is no clear boundary to where the sounds can come from. It is not that it goes super far outside of the head (although more so than most IEMs), but it is almost like the sound comes out of nothing. It is holographic in a way that I have not heard from IEMs before. Hard to describe. At the same time the open design does not cause any sound to leak out at all. Even when listening to what I consider too loud it can not be heard a meter away.

Overall these are very pleasing and easy to listen to, and can really impress on some tracks. I can see them being too bassy for some, but does not sound severely unbalanced. These are just easy to enjoy.
Not sure if I prefer them to the IE 900. Since I don’t have them anymore I cant directly compare but the IE 900 has cleaner and more controlled bass that never bleeds at all. Probably the best bass on the market. Soundstage and upper mids are better on Duo and comfort and build is about on par. Given that I payed half the price of IE 900 for the Duos, I will keep them and not buy anything new for a long time :slight_smile: Hope this is of use to you and feel free to ask more about them


Congrats. The Duos are very interesting and should be more talked about here.

Had a chance a while back to get some solid time with them and have nothing but good things to say.

1 Like


I think I have to add that I have found that the sound depends a lot on the tips (as is the case with many IEMs). Azla Sedna Earfits are usually the best for me, and I thought that applied to the Duos as well since they sealed well and I got good sub bass. When I switched to some other with a narrower bore (don’t know what they came with) it was surprising that the sound opened up even more. Most of the negatives that I listed before are greatly reduced now and I can’t really fault anything with these. Still will not be for everyone, but I think most people could get tremendous enjoyment out of these :slight_smile:

1 Like

Tremendous enjoyment is a great way to describe them if that happens to be your sound signature preference.