New IEM search - Help? (Empire Ears - Sony - QDC?)

Hey Guys,

I’m selling my Hifiman RE2000 Silver, and am considering “upgrading” to something new. The models that have caught my eye lately are the Sony IER-Z1R, EE Legend X, and the QDC Anole VX.

There is nowhere locally to try these IEMs, so I’m just putting a feeler out there into the community to see if anyone has any experience with them, and how they compare to each other.

From what I have read, it appears the Legend X has a great bass response, the Anole VX is neutral but with tuning switches, and the Z1R is a well done V shape.

I’m really not too sure what the right idea is at this point, so any input would be appreciated, if you have heard these at some point.

Thanks guys!


Hi – I havent tried the Legend X but I did try out both @Legumez 's Z1R and @Malevolint 's VX before I decided to buy the VX. The fit on the VX was better for me, while both are great IEMs. VX is more resolving and slightly tamer treble, while the Z1R has better bass quality/quantity. @MCM has both the VX and Z1R and we all are patiently awaiting his comparison review between the two (along with Solaris and i4).

I think of those two, you can’t really go wrong. Popular IEM reviewer Crinacle is going to post a ranking of his personal favorite IEMs and Z1R is his top choice (he bought it), and VX is #5 or 6.

The only negative I’ve heard on the Legend X is that while bass is large, it’s a little uncontrolled. But again, can’t comment from experience.


Also, the FiR Audio M4/M5 look pretty nice too, from the measurements I’ve seen and the reports from the SEA folks. I haven’t tried these yet, but they are based nearby in Vancouver, WA. I tried to see if I could get a loaner demo unit to try out but no luck. :frowning:

Ugh. @antdroid, why do you have to force me to work? I’ll get the comparison out this week. I have it written already… it’s just in my head.

@ufospls2, what’s your favorite headphone? What do you want out of an IEM?


Here is crinacle’s up to date ranking list and a recent review of the Z1R. Another site that is worth browsing is CYMBACAVUM.

I don’t like universal fit IEMs so am listening to custom Perfect Seal Decas. Good luck with your search!

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Interesting stuff. Thanks man.

Favourite headphones are the Abyss AB-1266 and the Hifiman Susvara. Looking for great resolution, slightly more than average bass, and wide soundstage :slight_smile:


The FR of the Z1R and VX are more similar than different. But, these 2 IEMs are a perfect example of the measurements not telling the whole story. The VX is faster, being an all-BA IEM, and sounds really aggressive in detail and punch. Almost too much. Kinda like the Utopia, it’s a bit hyperreal, like the images you see on an 8K TV.

The Z1R sounds more natural and has better pinpoint imaging. Instruments on the VX can sound wide. Like they occupy more space that they should. This is a byproduct of its wide soundstage, at about 2 MCM. The Z1R clocks in at about 1.75 MCM in soundstage, so still very wide for an IEM.

The VX is way more comfortable, although my ears have grown accustomed to the very large Z1R.


Prices on IEMs have gone through the roof. I paid $900 for custom UE-10 Pros 13 years ago which finally wore out on me, even BAs don’t last forever. I should have bought a pair of UERM before Ultimate Ears retuned them to UERR but put off the purchase. @shotgunshane writes the Perfect Seal Decas are what the UERR should have been and fit my budget at $1500. If you like HD800S you would like the Decas. I mainly listen to the HD800S and use the Decas when traveling or need to block out noisy neighbours.


Have you heard the Solaris?