Wired Earbuds, Best of the Best Recs?

Think this is correct, for me it’s a 4.5star on my Head-Fi review, would translate into that tier.


Just need @Kenyon to get his own one of these so we can decide on the ranking :stuck_out_tongue:


You’re almost there. Stretch it a bit more and tilt the foam so that it can cover the hole. That way both sides will be covered.

I’ve tried that, couldn’t detect any changes to the subbass :person_shrugging:t2: either your unit is tuned with more subbass or YMMV. Since he tunes by ear only, I suspect there is tuning variance between units.


It shouldnt do anything theorhetically since the foam isnt sealed over that vent.


What are these QC issues with LRay my 2 sets are holding up extremely well is there a need to baby these to ensure longevity? Or is it apparent immediately that somethings amiss?


Should have been pretty apparent. I personally didn’t hear anything wrong with your Aurora, and my W03 Pro to my ears sound fine.

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Version 08062024. Updates:

  • Added guide to shell shapes and fit (from Woodyluvr, BaskingShark, Furyosa)
  • Added TGXEAR video on how to wear earbuds
  • Added a README
  • Added mt877’s shell dimensions
  • Formatted

We’ve prepared this post to collate all the wonderful knowledge and information on earbuds that exist on various forums and websites. The recommendation list is, like all audiophile ranking list, subjective, albeit we have tried to make it less so by only including earbuds that are reputable, as in, reviewed by multiple trusted earbud lovers.

We will try to keep this list as updated as possible. Our aim is not to reproduce an earbud release timeline like Woodyluvr’s famous document - rather, we want to make a one-stop shop for newcomers and veterans alike who are considering a new purchase.

Hope you find the info below useful! Note: within each category, the earbuds are listed in alphabetical order and do not reflect any prioritisation.

Rankings from veterans
Shell types, fit, how to wear
  • One and only Woodyluvr’s timeline: Link
  • Woodyluvr et al guide to shell types and fit: Link
  • Woodyluvr’s explanation of earbud sound signatures: Link
  • TGXEAR video on how to wear earbuds: Link
  • mt877’s shell measurements: Link
  • DIY earbud build guide: Link

Cypherus Audio Black Dragon Susvara (and its variants) ($1000?) [FIXED CABLE?] 32ohm,15.4mm
TGXear DS Black Sand ($599) [FIXED CABLE] 130ohm, N55 magnet, with sand as dampener
TGXear Desolation Sound ($599) [FIXED CABLE] 180ohm, N55 magnet
Venture Electronics (VE) APWS ($900? Contact VE) [FIXED CABLE] 150ohm
VE Sun Copper ($598) [FIXED CABLE] 180ohm, 15.4mm, lifetime warranty
VE Zen Su ($2980) [FIXED CABLE] 320ohm


TGXear Revelstroke ($450) [FIXED CABLE] 130ohm custom 1+ Tesla Neodymium magnet
TGXear Serratus Black Sand ($250) [FIXED CABLE] 180ohm, N55 magnet, with sand as dampener
TGXear Totem ($299) [FIXED CABLE] 700ohm, 15.4mm beryllium PVD N55 magnet
VE SMG (VE sVIP only) [FIXED] 32 Ohm titanium driver
VE Zen SL ($298) [FIXED CABLE] 300ohm, 14.8mm LCP
Yincrow RW-4000 ($432) [MMCX CABLE + MODULAR] 16ohm, 15mm dynamic


Ksearphone Temperament DBX
Rikubuds Grand Alter Saber 3 ($175) [MMCX OPTIONAL] 180ohm, 15.4mm PET, N55 magnet
Symphonio Dragon 3+(could not find 3) ($529) [FIXED CABLE] 120ohm, 14.8mm dynamic N52 magnet
TGXear OG/Red Serratus ($199) [FIXED CABLE] 300ohm, 15.4mm PET diaphragm
TGXear Ripples ($) [FIXED CABLE] 100ohm biofiber diaphragm
VE Sun Dice ($298) [FIXED CABLE] 180ohm, 15.4mm driver
Yincrow RW-3000 ($196) [MMCX CABLE] 16ohm, 15mm dynamic


Ksearphone 600 ($)
Ksearphone Bell-Ti ($363) [FIXED CABLE] 30ohm, 15mm dynamic N55 magnet
Ksearphone DB1 ($286) [2-PIN CABLE] 30ohm, 15.4mm dynamic, pure copper voice coil
Longyao Yinman 600 ($118) [FIXED CABLE] 600ohm
Lrey Aurora (LREY is on FB; or DM @ttorbic for email) [FIXED OR MMCX] 32 Ohm beryllium driver, N52 magnet
Lrey W03 Pro ($) [FIXED OR MMCX] 32 Ohm custom beryllium driver, N55 magnet
Rikubuds Grand Alter Saber 2/Grand Saber 2/Grand Rider 2 ($145) [FIXED CABLE]
Rikubuds Saber 3/Alter Rider 3 ($120) [MMCX OPTIONAL]
Symphonio Dragon 2+ ($308) [FIXED CABLE] 16ohm, 15.8mm neodymium
TGXear Sunniva ($299/350) [FIXED CABLE] 180ohm, beryllium N52 magnet. With bass mod, it is Excellent
TGXear Tantalus ($) [FIXED CABLE] 500ohm beryllium diaphragm
TGXear Alpha ($249) [FIXED CABLE] 600ohm, beryllium diaphragm
Ucotech ES-P1 ($321) [MMCX CABLE] Custom 14.8 mm CNT double dome; note: ES-P1 is sold out, and replaced by ES-P2, but there are few reviews online. ES-P1 was highly regarded
VE Zen 3.0 ($298) [FIXED CABLE] 300ohm, 15.4mm driver

Good or Successful at Niche

Blur (PK150 Wraith LE, PK32, MX64 OFC)
Dunu Alpha 3
Fiio (FF5, FF3)
Ks (DB1E, K300 Samsara)
Lrey variants:

  • W08 ($) [FIXED OR MMCX]
  • Rika ($) [FIXED OR MMCX] 32 Ohm Custom titanium driver
  • Proteus ($) [FIXED OR MMCX] 80 Ohm custom driver

Moondrop Chaconne
Newbsound (Limited Runs)
Puresounds (PS-100 600, PS-100 500)
Rikubuds (Grand Berserker 2, Grand Rider 1, Grand Archer 1)
Rose Technics Maria 2
Shozy BK
VE (Asura 3.0, Zen 2.0)
Yincrow RW-2000

Above Average or Niche with failings

Blur (MX150, MX400, MX300 Beautiful Witch, PK16)
DQSM (Turandot, PD21)
Fiio EM5
Ksearphone Temperament (X3, X6, LBBS)
Rikubuds (Berserker 2, Lancer 1)
Smabat M2S
Toneking (Dendroaspis Viridi, Black Manba)
VE Master
Yincrow RW-1000 Bass

Average or best under $75 USD

VE (Monk Pro Vita, Monk LL)
Rikubuds (Assassin 1, Berserker 1, Alter Rider 1, Saber 1, Alter Archer 1)
Yincrow (Rhino, Calf)
NiceHCK EB2S Pro
DQSM Panda PK2
Faael Rosemary
Nobunga Labs
Moondrop U-2

Waiting for moar impressions / reviews

BGVP DX7 ($100) [MMCX] 14.2mm diameter, PU/PET/carbon composite diaphragm, N52 magnet
Rikubuds Berserker 3 (€100 before shipping) [FIXED CABLE]
Rikubuds Caster 3 (€100 before shipping) [FIXED CABLE] 14.8mm driver


Updated 8/6/24

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This is f*** great @ttorbic !

Do you think a quick start guide would be helpful for newcomers?

A struggle that I had to go through was understanding my sound preference and shell fit. For example, any newcomer could get 3-4 budget earbuds to…

  1. test their fit (which I think is more important on earbuds than IEM)
  2. Test their preferred sound signature

Something along the lines of:

  • Faaeal Iris: MX500 shell | Warm & Dark
  • NiceHCK EB2S Pro: Bell shell | Neutral & Bright
  • [another earbud]: [shell type] | [sound signature]

As a newcomer, after honing in your fit and sound preference it’s now easier to provide an upgrade path … Just a thought.

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I’ve also found this post on A BRIEF STUDY OF FLATHEAD EARBUD SOUND SIGNATURES by @WoodyLuvr interesting.

Not sure if it belongs under Useful Links

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Added! Thanks!

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Thanks for your suggestion! Always welcome :slight_smile: I’ll think more about implementation tomorrow

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Qian39 (shell is also called Qian39 by the community), tonality is warm iirc.