What do you think of my IEM selection? +FAN 2

I picked up a Penon FAN 2 recently, after seeing Sajid gush about it(“I thought it was a $700 IEM”), and I didn’t like it much. I felt the treble was a little fatiguing, the fit was a little strange, detail is definitely lacking, and there is a high amount of sound pressure fatigue. So throwing some crap at the wall, I ordered these:

  • HYPE 2 (seems to be the top pick at $300-500. Can it touch U12t or Odin? We’ll see how good it really is… I am hoping this will be another great ThieAudio experience, like Legacy 3 was for me)
  • Truthear Hexa
  • Truthear x Crin Zero: RED
  • KZ HBB x PR2
  • Kiwi Ears Cadenza
  • KZ ZS10 Pro X (I like ZSN Pro a lot. I would love to try the newest ~20 KZ models still, since ZAS, my favorite KZ sound so far)
  • 7Hz Salnotes
  • Added AFUL Magic One
  • Added Juzear 41T (cancelled…?)
  • Added Phoenixcall

I would like to find something warm and “analog” sounding, and also something with excellent spaciousness(like ZSN Pro), of course with no common issues such as lack of detail, pressure fatigue, treble fatigue, lack of bass, odd fit.

EA500 was too metallic+bright, IIRC. Legato was way too dark and stuffy and bloated sounding… I like my Performer 5 a lot, but it lacks technical chops and detail. Hook-X HBB is my current top IEM for an overall most balanced sound.

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It is absolutely insane how different our ears can be… I know I always say that but I’m always reminded.

For example, the HBB x HOOK comes off as thin and overly bright most of the time to me personally. Anyways… you’ll definitely enjoy the Hype 2, I think it’s an overall fantastic IEM with plenty of detail. The Hexa might be up your alley as well, but the fit may be uncomfortable for you considering the Fan 2 wasn’t a big hit for comfort. The Hexa is a deep fitting IEM, albeit not as deep as the Fan 2.

God speed, sir :handshake:


Interesting… Yeah, the Hook HBB is brighter and thinner than OG Hook, but I don’t feel it’s sharply or significantly bright. I think the OG has ALL of the charm, and lushness, and the HBB has all the technicalities and balance. I own Timeless, but have not yet tried Timeless AE, so that could be something. Timeless has a huge treble peak, though :s


I think it just comes down to our own individual HRTF for sure, the Hook X HBB may not be harsh but it’s definitely on the thinner side. The OG Timeless at one point really was my favorite IEM I had ever listened to. It never came off as sharp or sibilant. Over the last 2 years or so, it’s been pretty much in the drawer because I’ve had an insane amount of access to a whole bunch of IEMs.

Well, last night, I popped the ol’ boys in for some nostalgia and uh, yeah, that treble is pretty harsh. It broke my heart tbh :sweat_smile: Oh well, times change and our ears do too.


Definitely share your sentiments. There are a few past favorites that I find practically unlistenable today, and imo the flagship(s) of yesteryear may even struggle against a few budget offerings currently in the market (especially considering the countless IEMs in the market conforming to some sort of a preferred frequency response curve (FRC), to which I am not at all opposed because 1) even when two IEMs graph similarly, seldom do they sound the same due to all factors other than the FRC, and 2) I can now look for consistency among my favorite IEMs, new and old, and what their graphs reveal to me about my own preferences.

I feel like a broken record saying this, but it remains to be the case: it’s a damn good time to be in this hobby. The performance gap between budget and summit-fi continues to diminish. And as for those of us with unrestrained wants? It’s also never been harder on our wallets lol.


Sure. I could probably do a video where I rank all of these against each other, categorically, and also with an overall score. They won’t be in til Sunday. These IEM sounds will probably be all over the place lol


Looks like you’re exploring a bunch of new ones, hoping to find that warm, spacious sound without the fatigue and fit issues. The Performer 5 is cool but lacks that techy detail, right? Here’s to hoping one of these new ones hits the sweet spot for you!


Have you tried the Fudu? Haven’t heard it myself, but it’s supposed to be warm and non fatiguing.

Not recommended.

Never heard of Fudu. I just found out about AFUL Magic One 2 days ago, and was recommended it. Performer 8 had great treble, but no bass.

Yeah, I love the rich/warm tone and overall tuning, but it’s a bit fuzzy on detail and imaging. Still great for movies without any fatigue.

I just got Celest Phoenixcall. Rich tone and detailed. I like them a lot, really fun set. Fudu is on the way, so I don’t know how they sound yet. Dan gave a glowing review of Fudu and Akros of Phoenixcall.

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Ooo, a Kinera. I listened to every model they had at CanJam Chicago this year except Nanna, and didn’t like any of them much :frowning:

For warm I would recommend Juzear 41T.
Otherwise if you don’t mind buying used, pick up a Sony A3. It’s super wide open sound, a bit of warmth and a lot of slam.


Cool. I’ll try the 41T. How does A3 differ from N3? I don’t think I have heard any Sony IEM yet.

Ah, maybe not… 41T seems to have even less detail than P5.

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Really curious about the 41T. Please give some impressions when you got it. :slight_smile: Since you didn’t like the Kinera URD just a heads up, it graphs very similar:

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Me Gusta the 41T - albeit I’ve never listened to the P5. I think with the right source (the 41T is quite source picky) it can really shine.


Didn’t realize you wanted more details than P5.

Sonys from that era are not detail monster either. So maybe not for you. Never tried N3 but simply the A3 is more V shape.

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A3 is a mix of the N3 and the EX800st.

N3 has a slower/looser bass than the A3 but an airier treble so it is more v-shaped in comparison.

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Oh, that’s cool… I really need to start trying Sony’s already lol. Well, the stuff that’s still on the market, anyway :s

Yeah, P5 is a touch detail light/muted/fuzzy for me(on my warmer-than-analytical RU6 dongle). But MOST headphones and IEMs are actually too bright or peaky for me, including ZSN Pro that I otherwise really like and tolerate(by keeping volume lower in bright content). FD5 is awesome, except for its peakiness. Isabellae has a tiny bit of peak/edge, too, IIRC. EJ07 had enough detail, in general, but the treble was just too rolled off, IIRC. Some detail VS fatigue sweetspot IEMs for me would be ZAS, Hook-X OG/HBB, U12t, Odin, maybe KZ AST. BLON 03 is fine, as far as just detail goes, but I never use them. Tea was not fatiguing, but lacked resolution.