The Ultra Cheap IEM Thread



Thanks Anthony.

I hate having to wait for Customs to sort through my deliveries. They can take so long. Here in the UK they aren’t the easiest people to talk to either. They’re independent of all courier and postal services. It can get very frustrating at times. Especially as I am quite impatient.


The C16s are like C10s with way more detail, faster drivers, relaxed airy sound. I loved the C10 then I found C16s, all the super fast and congested tunes you have become focused and dynamic in the now huge sound stage. Its like sitting dead center in a planetarium and all the music comes from different areas of the sky. Its hard to explain and 3:45 am…my back is being a pain and I’m pretty sure you guys think I’m nuts!lollol…


I can offer the opposite of a hype train: the HSE-A2000, a single DD shipped from Japan ($51 CAD paid). Out of the box is sounds like a chainsaw: overly bright with a strong pierce, but also with a natural timbre and a punchy bass. Apparently, a simple, reversible mod straightens things out.


Sounds like a chainsaw. I love the analogy.:grin:


Fast shipping from Japan to Canada. OOTB it has a good, dry, punchy bass and excellent clarity and sense of space, but it is overly bright, borderline sibilant, and the treble is outright piercing. I had to tape my eardrums off with micropore and also stuffed some swabs down my ear canals. The rubber (tips) come in sizes M, S, and XS…everything is smaller in Japan.

FR below is unmodded. Curve is raw.


I treated myself to another perennial favourite (after having murdered one during modding): the Tennmak Dulcimer in a sexy red.



For those interested, the Tin Audio 3 just popped on Massdrop.

I wasn’t expecting that to go live until 2/11, so I figured I’d mention - as I’m sure y’all knew they were coming.


Yeah they were going to delay it because me and a few us folks didn’t get our review units in on time but they decided to push it back to 7th since a few reviewers outside US did get it already. I hopefully will be getting a sample today pending any other delays. USPS received it from DHL let night but haven’t registered it in the system yet so I’m having doubts it’ll be here today.


Ordered a pair :grin: of the T3 that is.


Ohh T3 is out for delivery (along with the DM6 and some other new IEMs). I’m at home today, so I’ll post impressions today. Early reviews look pretty good though for under $100.


Goodies arrived


Ok, so I measured the T3 on EARS and Dayton and the compensated curve looks close enough so I’ll just post the EARS Diffuse Field target vs the T2 and T2 Pro shown below:

I think if you like the signature of the T2, you’ll like the T3. It drops the treble and the bass response seems more apparent and fuller given the lower treble response. In general, they sound similar enough except for the lower treble, which is now controlled by a BA and not the DD.

It’s still a brighter IEM, but not as bright as the T2 Pro.

Some sibilance in “Teardrop” and Liz Fraser vocals in the massive attack song. Bass sounds much better than T2/Pro.

“Unfinished Symphony” - the intro hits hard now with better rumble.

“You and Tequila” - Kenny Chesney’s voice sounds really nice. More fuller than previous iterations. Guitars sound slightly harsh but doesnt bother me too much. (see CL2 for what bothers me)

“Miles Away” - Krysta Nicks - strings sound nice and detailed. Voice is a little harsh and a tad sibilant.

“Pearl Lakes” - U137 - Sounds good to me. No vocals, so no sibilance/harsh vocal issues. Fuller sound than previous.

Ok that’s my real-time ramblings for now.


Thanks for sharing the impressions and measurements. This looks like almost the photo negative of the typical hybrid tuning I see with the likes of KZ. No bass elevation and a peak instead of a dip around 8 kHz.


From the upper midrange up, your curves look odd. Here crabdog’s graph…which shows a nasty, earpiercing double peak between 7 and 9 kHz for the T3, that does not exist for the T2. These peaks are an absolute dealbreaker for me as my eardrums are not made of metal.

I have the impression that this current T3 hype train is completely unwarranted and pushed by the marketing company towards a massdrop deadline…with the help of their army of bloggers they regularly supply with “samples”. This marketing rush generates redundancies such as “previews” - who needs those?

But it obviously works and makes the sheep buy essentially the same over and over again.


It’s a compensated curve which is why it looks different.


I feel like my “preview” has actually made people second guess buying it, which is good or bad. Getting people informed is not a bad thing instead of buying it blindly. I’ve heard from a few people who are getting it based on hype and my preview, and more people pass on it due to my preview.


Don’t take it personal, I am looking at the big picture…the broad body of previews and reviews as part of the big marketing machine. There is certainly a fast hype going on over at Head-Fi.

Here another small hype viewed critically: the HSE-A2000. It is easy to cut down on the bass by air-venting, but micropore tape does not remove this awkward 3 kHz peak.


My neighbour modded the Alpex HSE-A2000 and measured them. That 3 kHz peak is still painful when it comes to screaming guitars: Bach cantatas and Schumann piano sonatas sound great but AC/DC may be needling…

In my forthcoming blog I will compile the current status of reversible modding and this will be one of the examples.


Really nice review. Full of detail and easy to follow. I enjoyed reading it.


Why, do you think, that the IEM Manufacturer didn’t try to get it right in the first place? (This is an invitation for an amusing and pseudo-philosophical musing)

It can’t be manufacturing cost. Most of these mods are a couple of pennies aftermarket, and essentially $0 if done right in the first place.

I can see that it’s difficult to get everything right, but do they think they will get better reviews with bloated buffalo base and shrieking chemical-factory breach alarm peaks in the treble region?

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