Ear Buds Discussion


I have to disagree with some of the reviews of the Monk’s. I posted a few comments is other forums as well. These have become my EDC’s.

I have the Massdrop version and I think they have a lot of air and a lot of depth in the sound. Separation is good and I believe they sound much better than they should at this price point. Maybe it’s a quality control issue. Mine sound great from my MBP or my iPhone.

I guess I will have to get a point of comparison. Suggestions?



Other than the Monks, where do the Apple earbuds fall in this category? Not the original. The ones that come with an iPhone 7, 8, or 10. They angle as @Brause suggests is a better direction. Are they IEMs or earbuds?



It’s not a quality issue, I’ve owned three of them and they all sound mediocre to me. I highly recommend trying out the Yincrow X6 or RW9 as a start. I also prefer the Monk Lite 120 ohm over monk plus but it also is pretty veiled sounding.

I also got a new set of Faael Iris 32 ohm and they sound good and are $8 on Amazon with prime delivery.



@antdroid, have you spent much time with the Iris yet? How does it compare with the Yincrow?



Since we have a snow day here in Seattle, I have some time to listen to them and give impressions:

Tegan & Sara - Goodbye Goodbye
The Civil Wars - Poison & Wine
Chris Stapleton - Broken Halos

  1. Faael Iris 2.0
    Good bass response. Wide soundstage. Female Vocals sound veiled. There’s something funny sounding about the upper mids. Male vocals sound good. Females not. Vocals are more forward than Yincrows

  2. Yincrow RW-9
    Better bass response and punchier than Iris. Some veiled female vocals, not as bad as Iris. Medium soundstage. Most balanced of the three.

  3. Yincrow X6
    Punchier bass. Vocals sound more natural but more recessed. Wider soundstage than RW-9. Most V-shaped.

Of the three - I still like the Yincrow X6 or RW-9.

The PMV B01 AOEDE, I just got, $30, is the best of the four, by far. It’s got a lot of what I liked about the Rose Masya, but without as good bass response. It’s $70 cheaper though.

1 Like


Below are sound impressions of the Nicehck EB2 and comparisons to the Monk Espresso and QianYun Qian 69 from a review I did for Head-Fi a few months ago:

The Nicehck EB2 has a restrained and clear audiophile-friendly tuning. Sub-bass extension is poor. Mid-bass is lean but well-articulated. Bass transients are quick but bass texture is one-note. Mid-bass bleeds slightly into the lower mids. The lower mids are gently recessed. Male vocals are clear but could use more warmth. Upper-mids are emphasized, conveying excellent presence but a little too much bite. The emphasis on the upper mids combined with the lean bass can make the EB2 sound thin. Treble is mildly veiled, extended while not prominent. Detail resolution is excellent but I had to strain my ears to pick it out. Instrument separation is not great, especially at higher volumes.

Nicehck EB2 vs QianYun Qian69
The Qian69 is more V-shaped. The Qian69 has better sub-bass extension. Bass dynamics are similar, though the Qian69 has more textured bass. The EB2 has less recessed mids. The Qian69 has more prominent treble and sounds airier. The treble on the Qian69 is more fatiguing. The Qian69 has a larger soundstage and slightly better instrument separation. The Qian69 is easier to drive from a smartphone but does not noticeably scale with better amplification.

The Nicehck EB2 benefits from dedicated amplification, which improves instrument separation and makes the treble less veiled. The difference is distinct but not night and day.

Nicehck EB2 vs Monk Espresso
The Monk Espresso is warmer, with slightly better sub-bass extension and more mid-bass. The EB2 has better bass articulation, with faster attack and decay. Mids on the Espresso are more recessed than on the EB2. Lower treble stands out more on the Espresso. The EB2 has a slightly bigger soundstage. Instrument separation is slightly better on the Monk Espresso. Both scale with dedicated amplification.

I like the Qian69 the most out of the three. It has the most engaging sound by far.

I also find it interesting that generally I hear a much bigger difference with dedicated amplification using earbuds than with IEMs, which I assume has something to do with the high impedance ratings of the EB2 and Monk Espresso.

1 Like




Thanks for the comparison! More stuff to lighten my wallet… :confused:



A cheap mod that isn’t talked about enough is to take ear bud foams and put it on the Apple EarPods. It helps boost the anemic bass on the IEMs and cleans up the treble, and actually makes them quite pleasant for a cheap modification.

1 Like


Recently bought Anker soundbuds slim and for 30 bucks they are pretty good

1 Like