The Ultra Cheap IEM Thread

iems

#242

Yep, while I have found my peace in the headphone segment mainly with a few Sennheiser models, I also haven’t in the iem world…probably because I keep on buying “moreofthesame”. It appears that there is way more development progress in the iem world than in the headphone world, and that also includes a lot of window dressing such as fancy looks.

These questions keep me busy:

  1. Considering we use phones with cheap dacs (e.g. one built into Apple’s $10 lightning headphone adapter), how much should we max. spend on a pair of iems to make full use of its capabilities?
  2. What offers better value: a headphone or an iem? Is there a price formula (e.g. an iem of comparable sound quality costs XX as much as a headphone). Do we pay extra for miniature?
  3. Will the Campfire/64 Audio type quality of sound become (much) more affordable in the foreseeable future with the help of Chifi?

#243

Received my CCA C10 today. They are now burning in. First impressions are very positive, a well balanced sound, no mid-bass hump. Mids very clear and detailed, treble clean and extended with no peaks. Excellent soundstage and ambience. Very well made and comfortable. I am using Spiral Dots and obtain a perfect fit and seal. Totally different sound from the ZS10 which is V-shaped, recessed mids and severe peak in the treble. Amazing how different these two sound while using the same BAs.


#244
  1. Considering we use phones with cheap dacs (e.g. one built into Apple’s $10 lightning headphone adapter), how much should we max. spend on a pair of iems to make full use of its capabilities?

Considering that multiple tests have been done that show the cheapest realtek dac is capable of accurately reproducing even the most complex files it generally isn’t the DAC that is the limiting factor. I would contend that the op-amp in those are what limits the system.

  1. What offers better value: a headphone or an iem? Is there a price formula (e.g. an iem of comparable sound quality costs XX as much as a headphone). Do we pay extra for miniature?

Since the op-amp is the limit, it probably makes sense to spend on iems with high sensitivity and relatively low impedance to make the most of the limited output power available. The limit in power favors iems over headphones as larger drivers with higher impedance benefit from more power than these lightweight devices can provide.

  1. Will the Campfire/64 Audio type quality of sound become (much) more affordable in the foreseeable future with the help of Chifi?

Yes, the distance from Andromeda and things like the IT04 is already way smaller than many want to admit. As improvements in Chifi continue, I expect it to either force the big boys to get even better in order to distance themselves again or Chifi will close the gap to the point where it is near impossible to justify buying the big names on a cost / performance basic. Some will buy them for status as they do now, but those who buy for sound quality will find lower cost options. Who wouldn’t buy both an Atlas and a Legend X if they could buy each for $150-200?


#245

@torq - DMG is back in stock: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G9VMQVK/


#246

It would be wonderful if the if such Iem’s did come into such an affordable (all being relative of course) price bracket. But unfortunately I don’t see it happening anytime soon. The parts of the high end are always going to be higher, though this doesn’t account for the outrageous cost that some companies charge. Then there’s the R & D. I don’t know if the Chinese iem companies invest as much in it as some of the more established companies but I wouldn’t have thought so. I may be totally wrong though. After all some companies find it easier to copy rather than innovate.

I would love for the 64 Audio lineup to be a little more affordable, especially here in the UK as we pay much more than the US does.


#247

Sorry Jürgen for the late reply. Oh how I wish that some of the high end iem’s were a lot more affordable. As I stated in the post above the prices here in the UK are ridiculous for the 64 Audio lineup. I know I am only griping because I cannot afford them at current cost but still. I would pay £1200 - £1500 to get some but it costs over £2500 to get them new and to get a set second hand is like getting hens teeth. Most second had pairs come from the US when the do appear but then there’s import duty and taxes to pay too. Damn it’s frustrating. Enough of my woes though.

Onto your question about which offer better value Iem’s or Headphones. Well I guess the short easy answer is that it’s a subjective choice. But looking at it from a different point of view I suppose iem’s may be more expensive to make if you try to take like for like ends of the market. If that’s even possible. I don’t know really. It needs a cleverer man than me to answer such a question. Perhaps some others can give us some input. Because it is a good question.


#248

Received too. But for the moment I found sub bass too important. Very omnipresent

Hi all @Brause I finally come!


#249

That’s interesting, I don’t find that at all, the bass seems very well balanced and with good detail and texture. I changed the tips to Spiral Dots, which may explain the difference.


#250

Great to see you here, @TechnoidFR. And good to know that the CCA C10 has much bass - so it is not for my taste (@Nimweth: any sort of wide-bore tips will remove a bit of bass and add treble, but they will not totally change an earphone’s tonal characteristic).

Was listening to the New Year’s concert of the Vienna Philharmonic last night, and any earphone with a bloated bass made the symphony sound unrealistic…which can become quite unpleasant after a while.

I am trying to measure and mod some treble-plagued and bass-heavy single DDs today to get them up to speed for orchestras/naturally amplified instruments. And @prfallon69, these retail for $13 or less…so it can’t cost that much to produce them.

Generally, pricing appears to be all over the place. Another good example are earbuds. Ask @audiofool about the vastly differently priced NiceHCK earbuds and the relatively small sonic quality difference between them.


#251

Thanks for the heads-up!

Now I have to settle on a color!


#252

Just need a lot of burning… It’s very better now !

I have ZS7 near of, the both are very awesome !


#253

Thanks! I’ll try and we see !

Finally after 10/15h of burning, the CCA10 is very better and balanced. Similar to zs7 but more balanced and aerial. Great first impression


#254

I don’t want to shill earphones, but the same under the NiceHCK brand (“M6”) is currently $88 (if you leave a message to the seller asking for a price adjustment and refer to Head-Fi or me; and no I don’t get a cut from this).

Here my opinion about the M6.

But, independent of your choice, I recommend getting a pair of these extra filters: https://goo.gl/ZMzBwa
…as they are said to tame the overwhelming bass. Mine haven’t arrived yet.


#255

@TechnoidFR . Elsewhere you mentioned some explanation of mine using the M6’s frequency response (that whole thread had disappeared).

I found the images again and append them here.


#256

Damn it… well I should get the blue DMG… monday…I need to stop checking this thread…well I’m not up to @torq level but I’m now a couple hundred bucks lighter lol…

That will be 3 new IEMs coming my way in the next couple days/weeks…I don’t even really like IEMs… :thinking::rofl::woozy_face:


#257

Thanks for the tip!

I suspect after I fiddle with the BGVP DMG I will be switching my focus more towards the flagship stuff. Not to say the odd budget IEM won’t creep in - especially if it’s available same-day-via-Amazon but this is more about overall context for me (nice to know where the line falls between “cheap and cheerful” and “how are they doing this for the price”).

Some of this is down to a growing review backlog (I’m only late - per my own schedule - on about, oh, a dozen reviews at this point) … so until I catch up a bit I’m just going to enjoy following the discussion!


#258

My filter is arrived to my country ! I’m impressed to try them !

Thanks for the explanation like always. Audiophile who need flat response no? I think a lot of audiophile appreciate bass , no ?


#259

Good that you bring this up. The term “audiophile” is generally pretentious imo and probably used mainly for marketing or recognition of preference. I would be embarrassed referring to myself as “audiophile”. “Audiophile” tuning refers to a flat or “neutral” signature close to the Harman Kardon “target response” curve. Etymotic earphones are said to be neutral. And the Tinaudio T2 is close to neutral. The NAD Viso HP50 headphone is near neutral. But some find “neutral” sterile and boring.

On the other hand, “fun” tuning refers to the classic V-shape with elevated bass and treble…which leaves the midrange in a trough. Many Sennheiser in-ears are tuned like this and the “audiophile” may decry that the vocals are buried somewhere. But sometimes, one needs some fun - even the “audiophile”. My “funniest” tuned earphones is the ibasso IT01 with its beefy low end.

I am not aware, though, that the opposite of “audiophile” is “funster”.


#260

The difference between the nicehck one and the bgvp one is the front vent port.

Also I have blue but I want red.

Anyone try the yinyoo NY06 before? (I’m so happy I can type that brand here)


#261

If Yinyoo make iem like they make cables then they should be good.