Precog's IEM Reviews & Impressions

Empire Ears Legend X SE Review


Empire Ears has shown time and time again that they’re not bound by traditional notions of audiophilia. Indeed, while they approached their latest flagship IEM, the Odin, with a more calculated approach to tuning, their roots have always lain with the more flavorful tunings that characterized hits such as the Legend X. Speaking of the Legend X, today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the Legend X Special Edition (LX SE). The LX SE was originally a Hong Kong exclusive, but by popular demand it was re-released as a final run of fifty units. They sold out in just a day though, so I believe this number was doubled to make everyone happy! Regardless, in this review I’ll be answering the question of whether the Legend X SE lives up to its bold name - read on to find out.

Source and Driveability

All critical listening was done off of an iBasso DX300 and my iPhone X with lossless files. The stock cable, a Dunu DUW02, and the stock Final E ear tips were used. The LX SE takes a little more power to drive, but I had no issue getting it to adequate listening volume off of portable sources.

The Tangibles

My comments on the LX SE’s presentation and accessories could honestly be a copy-and-paste of my other Empire Ears IEM reviews. But that’s not a bad thing at all, because Empire Ears knows how to do their presentation. The LX SE arrives neatly encased in a white, hard-cardboard box. A magnetic latch unfolds to reveal, in the center, some documentation and your IEMs underneath. A cache to the side of the packaging slides out to reveal the included accessories. In all, you have what follows below:

  • 0.78mm cable w/ 2.5mm termination (depends on the option you choose)
  • Pandora Case
  • Empire Cleaning Cloth
  • Empire Cleaning Tool
  • Final Audio Type E Tips (ss/s/m/l/ll)

Something that I really like is the Pandora case. It’s a hockey puck style case, and man, this thing is built like a tank; you could probably run it over with a car and it’d be fine. A nice touch is definitely the rubber lining which facilitates easy-of-cleaning. A lot of these hockey puck style cases feature a felt or fabric lining inside which, realistically, is going to get gunked up unless you clean your IEMs every time you put them away. Obviously you’re not going to be pocketing the Pandora case very easily, but if you demand the best protection for your (probably very expensive) IEMs, I’d look no further.

The LX SE eschews the more subtle aesthetic of its brother, the standard LX. In its place you have a faceplate that is much more reminiscent of Empire Ear’s ESR MKII; I love the way the gold logos hover over the silver foil underneath and cast a shadow when viewed from a side angle. Speaking of the logos, the LX SE sports a new one that is quite reminiscent of the Louis Vuitton logo; now you can rock (closely) matching IEMs with your bling outfit. For fit and comfort, the LX SE skews toward the larger side, so watch out if you have smaller ears. I was able to wear them without any issues although they did protrude some more than I’d have liked. You’ll hear some driver flex - a crinkling of the driver - when you insert the IEMs; this is harmless if not slightly disconcerting to hear.

Sound Analysis

The measurement below was taken off of an IEC-711 coupler. There is a resonance peak at ~8kHz; as such, data after that point should not be considered entirely accurate.

Anyone who’s heard Empire Ear’s IEMs before knows exactly what the bass response of their IEMs are all about. With no less than fifteen decibels of skull-rattling subbass, something virtually unheard of at the flagship level, there is what I think is best described as a swollen, flexing characteristic to the LX SE’s bass. The bassline of Illenium & Excision’s “Gold” exudes authority with each successive bass hit drumming home the notion that the LX SE takes no prisoners. Decay is wonderfully drawn out, notes blooming with intoxicating levels of size on the stage.

But you can only pack so much bass - particularly mid-bass - into an IEM without consequence. If I had a critique, it would be the LX SE’s bass texture. While the LX SE’s bass transient attack is not particularly blunted, it sounds like it’s been somewhat “stretched” for lack of a better word. Slam consequently sounds slightly splayed and this, in tandem with healthy amounts of mid-bass, lends to a lack of control that’s especially apparent against other heavy-hitters in the bass department like the Sony IER-Z1R and the 64 Audio Tia Trio. But oh my: it’s just so fun.

The woe of any V-shaped tuning is, of course, the midrange. The LX SE’s lower-midrange is characterized by large amounts of warmth; however, it sounds recessed against the bass, upper-midrange, and treble. Within the context of the midrange, then, thicker male vocals contrast to considerably more forward, sharp female vocals (even more so than the standard Legend X according to graphs). Personally, I am not really invested in the whole “this IEM works better with these genres” ethos that so many seem to be, but I will say that I do find myself gravitating toward EDM and Pop genres consistently with the LX SE. Timbre is mostly BA, but with the reasonably clean decay that characterizes upper-echelon performers in the IEM world.

The treble of the LX SE is probably the most unremarkable part of its sound. It’s decidedly lower-treble oriented; I’d ignore that dip at 5kHz on the frequency response graph. When a dip occurs that quickly, it’s likely the result of a crossover or phase cancellation - this one’s also too abrupt to present itself in actual listening. In isolation, extension is decent, but it can be difficult to tell given how much bass is present on the LX SE. This is because our perception of treble quantities is reduced with more bass quantity, and vice versa. Unfortunately, I do find the treble response of the LX SE to sound somewhat compressed with percussive hits sounding more rigid and lacking appropriate distinction. Make no mistake that the treble on the LX SE is present, very much so, but it’s the quality that’s questionable.

Technical Performance

I’m just going to plug a quote from my Valkyrie MKII review: “There’s always been something of a dichotomy - the good kind, I might add - between the tuning and technicalities of Empire Ear’s IEMs”. But while I felt the Valkyrie MKII had solid resolution, it also had a more intimate presentation that I felt toed the line of congestion.

In that vein, perhaps the most impressive trait about the LX SE’s technicalities would be its imaging performance. When one has an IEM this bassy, there is the very real concern of the stage being completely inundated in bass, thus lending said IEM’s presentation to a closed-in, garbled mess. But not the LX SE. The LX SE sports unapologetically wide lateral definition, and while its center image is certainly pushed forward more, it maintains superb distinction of that elusive “third” speaker in the center (for an IEM at least). Note definition is also particularly strong in the upper-midrange where the LX SE’s frequency response rises. I don’t think you’re looking at world-class technicalities with the LX SE - go for the Odin if that’s more your thing - but it’s a proficient IEM when it comes to a general sense of detail.

That’s enough gushing over the LX SE’s surprisingly good technicalities, though. My biggest criticism would be dynamics. The LX SE, while not quite “flat” for swings in loudness, does seem to exhibit compression. Everything about the LX SE sounds larger than life - perhaps exaggerated - and it doesn’t always seem like it’s able to scale down and appropriately capture more nuanced, quieter stuff. Take for example Yiruma’s “River Flows in You (Orchestra Version)” which, on the LX SE, lacks the steady rise from pianissimo at around 2:25 to the arrangement of violins that peak in volume at 3:34. Again, I’m not particularly invested in the synergy between IEM and genres. But I do think you’ll want to seek another IEM if you’re listening to classical, orchestral, or less dynamically compressed music.

The Verdict

With the LX SE sporting a hefty price tag of $2400, I can’t possibly say “Go buy this IEM”. I just can’t. The LX SE is also not balanced enough for me to consider it a straight recommendation for most listeners; from inception, it presents a niche sound that only the most ardent of party heads would seek to daily drive.

But therein lies the LX SE’s strength. Itching to bring the club with you on the go? This is your IEM. The LX SE has unmistakably fulfilled a segment of the HiFi market with which no other manufacturer has dare touched. The word ‘legend’ is a funny thing; it always seems to have an allure of positivity to it. But if you look up the definition, you’ll see the following: “an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field”. Indeed, whether you love it or hate it, this is one IEM that’ll firmly engrave itself upon your memory.

Reference Tracks

  • Aimer - Hakuchuumu
  • David Nail - Let It Rain
  • Everglow - DUN DUN
  • Girls’ Generation - Galaxy Supernova
  • Illenium - Broken Ones
  • Joe Nichols - Sunny and 75
  • Keith Urban - Defying Gravity (2009)
  • Keiichi Okabe - Weight of the World (NieR:Automata Original Soundtrack)
  • Sabai - Million Days
  • Sawano Hiroyuki - Best of Vocal Works Remastered (2020)
  • Taeyeon - My Voice (2017)
  • Tiffany - I Just Wanna Dance

I’ve realky enjoyed reading this review @Precogvision. As an owner of a few EE iem’s it was of great intrest to me. I get the sense that like it’s close relative the Legend X it’s a real fun iem.

Your review was so easy to follow and very informative. I love your review style. Thanks.


Just wanted to make a post commemorating the IE900 and some further thoughts I had on it. I really liked what I heard when I demoed it at the Sennheiser SF store, and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I ended up purchasing my own. Not really going to talk about the build/accessories; I’ll save that talk for the actual review. I’ll leave it at saying that while I appreciate having three separate cables (and they feel great), memory wire was not the way to go haha.

So about the actual sound…

Here is my personal unit graphed:

There’s not much that I haven’t already said about the bass response of the IE900, but just to ram the notion home, it is nothing short of excellent. I see a lot of talk about “dynamics” when it comes to bass, but the reality is that the vast majority of IEMs that I hear do not have good dynamics. That’s neither in the bass, nor much less as a whole. Dynamics are indicative of gradations in volume, and within the context of bass, a bass response should present itself with a sort of “bounciness” (at least to my ears) if a transducer is replicating them properly. Of course, this depends on the music you’re listening to too. But simply put, the IE900 has some of the best bass dynamics that I have heard. Other intangible metrics of bass, from texture to decay, are also right where they should be for a world-class bass response. The tonality of the bass shelf itself is largely sub-bass oriented with a hint of mid-bass to inject an extra kick of fun that’s right up my alley. It’s hard to believe that a 7mm dynamic driver is pulling off a bass response this good; regardless, it would not be an understatement to say that the IE900 might have one of the best bass responses in portable audio.

The midrange is where the IE900 stumbles: It has no pinna compensation. Well, that’s not quite accurate. It has inadequate pinna compensation and then opts to recess all of the upper-midrange. This results in a decidedly U-shaped presentation, wherein a lot of stringed instruments - for example, guitars - sound soft, slightly muted, and lack initial sharpness of pluck. Piano also gives me the impression that the keys are being pushed into a mushy pit of tar. If there’s a saving grace to this midrange, it’s that 1) I actually like a slightly recessed (read: but not this recessed) upper-midrange, and 2) it aptly kills any sibilance or harshness that might otherwise be present. Still, while I know it’s an intentional tuning decision (as all the other Sennheiser IEMs have it), frankly, this just needs work. The egregious recession from 2-5kHz also lends to a disconcerting center image with which it’s difficult to pinpoint, positionally, where vocalists that usually token the center come from.

Criticism of the midrange aside, I don’t think I gave the treble response of the IE900 enough credit in my original impressions. I personally found it somewhat “spicy” when I demoed it; perhaps that was due to listening at louder volumes than normal at the storefront. Anyways, the IE900’s treble response is characterized by a plateau from 7-9kHz in the mid-treble which lends to copious amounts of sparkle. It is remarkably controlled tonally, sloping into and off of this plateau without any egregious peaks or valleys. Thus, while you definitely have a brighter treble response, it is by no means harsh to my ears. Extension is superb, extending well into the 15kHz+ regions with sufficient presence. Attack is well-defined and sharp, and honestly, while some might still find it too bright, I find little fault with this treble response on second listen. Consider me a happy camper.

In general, the IE900 is also one of the most technically competent DDs I’ve heard, comfortably playing within the realm of even many full-BA and hybrid setups in its price range. Obviously it’s not playing with the top dogs of this price range for technicalities, but hey, that’s not too shabby! There is a good sense of vividness to transient attack and note definition is within flagship parameters. Dynamics on the IE900 are also solid; it certainly doesn’t sound compressed. But it’s clearly not world-class for this more latent intangible. The IE900 mostly captures crescendo/decrescendo swings (take for example a steady rise in volume as an ensemble picks up the pace and more instruments enter), but it can get “caught off guard,” so to speak, when it comes to more abrupt, explosive swings into loudness. This is mostly just me being a picky asshole; of course, I trust that’s why most are reading my reviews. A broader concern would probably be the IE900’s imaging chops. As I alluded to earlier, the center image is just…not really there, so there is a lack of perceived soundstage depth. Staging also doesn’t extend much further laterally or horizontally; the IE900 is a good way off holographic in my opinion.

My thoughts right now

Overall, the IE900 is clearly not perfect. But I could say the same for anything else in portable audio; you inevitably have to make trade-offs in this game. It’s also important to consider context - after all, this is a single-DD IEM. That in mind, as far as I’m concerned, this is the best single-DD IEM that I’ve had the pleasure of hearing so far. I can usually tell pretty quick if an IEM is going to make the cut in my collection (benefits of hearing so many IEMs and being an absolute nitpick), and I get the feeling that the IE900 should have my single-DD itch scratched for a good while. I’d say I’m content with this purchase.


If you want more mids, try extending the tip out to the first notch. Then shove in 2 foam filters on each tip which are already included with the stock tips. That helped with my preferences a lot more and tamed the sibilance that I keep hearing–of course you probably have a different preference but you might like it even more.


Auribus Acoustics Everest Impressions

Had a meet-up today at MRS’s house with some fellow hobbyists who are DIYers with an upcoming headphone. I’ll be sharing some thoughts, then, on the current prototype (to the left in the photo above). The headphone has gone through numerous revisions, so what’s written here (likely) will not reflect the final production model.

The tonal balance of the Everest is a warmer one that is clearly geared toward a “pleasantness above all else” ethos. It exhibits large amounts of presence below 1kHz and is surprisingly bassy; certainly more than my reference, the Sennheiser HD6XX. The bass of the Everest is unmistakably DD with texture, slam, and decay right about where they should be. A hell of a lot better than the HD6XX on this front. I do feel, however, that nuance is lacking, a trend that continues as we explore upwards. The midrange of the Everest has changed a lot from my memory of a previous iteration I heard. It is relatively thick and there appears to be a lack of adequate pinna compensation coupled with a noticeable recession at 4kHz running sine sweeps. Thus, not unlike the Sennheiser IE900, there is a relative lack of “bite” to a lot of stringed instruments and blobby-ness of center image at the expense of eschewing any shout or sibilance. The Everest is pushing it here, as it’s not quite up to par in the technical department - something I’ll discuss further below. Treble is lower-treble oriented and fairly smooth. There appears to be a quick recession at 8kHz running sine sweeps, but it is not wide enough to present itself in actual listening. I do find myself wanting more sheer extension and presence of air, but generally, I find little fault with the Everest’s treble. It is devoid of any nasty peaks that would turn off listeners.

Timbre on the Everest is unmistakably DD; heck, almost a little too DD. Attacks are more blunted than I’d like in conjunction with the upper-midrange recession; this is evident listening to the other prototype (on the right in the photo above) which has more upper-midrange presence. In turn, the Everest’s imaging is unremarkable. There is the distinct lack of soundstage depth that plagues every headphone I’ve heard, plus minor congestion issues. Dynamics on the Everest are alright. It is capable for scaling crescendo/decrescendo swings, but it can feel sluggish when it comes to more abrupt dynamic swings. The other prototype, to the right above, feels more lightweight and fluid for dynamics, if at the expense of thinner note weight and pleasantness of timbre. Of course, these perceptions are likely baked into tonality as I believe they are using the same driver.

To my ears, the Everest is in the tough position of “hard to love, hard to hate”. Tonally, it is competent and minus some minor tweaks outlined above that I’d like to see, it’s about where it should be. Technicalities, however, are in need of work. I do find the likes of the HiFiMAN Sundara to be a good step ahead in this department, and the same applies to the Focal Elex/Clear which was one of Aurubis’ point of comparisons.


Flagship IEM Shootout - 64A U12t, Sony IER-Z1R, qdc Anole VX, Vision Ears VE8​


The 64 Audio U12t ($2000). The Sony IER-Z1R ($1700). The qdc Anole VX ($2300). The Vision Ears VE8 ($2200). If you’ve ever checked out the world’s largest IEM ranking list, then you’ll know what these IEMs are: they’re IEM reviewer Crinacle’s S-ranked IEMs. Out of a mind-boggling 800+ IEMs that the man has heard, these are the four IEMs - the top 0.05%, the cream of the crop - that have been awarded the prestigious “S” grade. As a newcomer to the hobby, I still remember staring at these IEMs on his ranking list with stars in my eyes and, simultaneously, with a sense of detachment at knowing I’d probably never hear much less own one of them.

…well, stuff happened. A lot. And since then, I’ve heard all four IEMs (and all the “S-” IEMs on Crinacle’s ranking list for that matter). Some of them were heard at different points in time, all were heard for varying degrees of time, and none were heard all at the same time. But thanks to a very generous reader, I’ve had the unprecedented opportunity to evaluate all four of these IEMs against each other from the comfort of my home for the last couple months. Now, I’ll finally be sharing my thoughts on how they stack up against one another. Consider a tribute, if you will, to the world’s most comprehensive IEM ranking list and to some of the few IEMs to have blown me away.

These units were provided for review by a generous reader. At the end of the review period, they will be returned and, as always, what follows are my honest thoughts and opinions to the best of my ability.

The Tangibles​

No better way to kick this off than with the Sony IER-Z1R , which far-and-away sports the best unboxing experience of its flagship brethren. Two cables terminated in 3.5mm and 4.4mm (minus 2.5mm of course; all my homies hate 2.5mm and Sony knows what’s up) are included alongside an endless assortment of tips. The included case is still pretty meh, but it’ll get the job done. All of this is packaged in a box with various slide-out components that’s been mimicked to no end by competing Chi-Fi brands since.

The IER-Z1R also has the build that inspires the most confidence out of its peers. From it’s perlage finished faceplates to its robust zirconium build, it simply makes you think “Damn, I got my money’s worth” when you hold it.

Build Accessories Presentation Average
9 8 9 8.66

In second place, we have the Vision Ears VE8 . The VE8 arrives in simple packaging that pales relative to the IER-Z1R, but the unboxing experience is solid and commensurate with what one would expect of a flagship IEM. You have a hockey-puck style case (with a rubber inlining, nice!), an assortment of SpinFit tips, a cleaning tool and cloth, and a bottle of cleaning liquid. I’d say the included cable is one step ahead of the 64 Audio cable; that is to say, barely acceptable. The VE8’s build is also just your standard acrylic shell affair, nothing much else to say on that front. Did I mention that the packaging for this one smells really nice, though?

Build Accessories Presentation Average
7 7 7 7

On the other hand, the 64 Audio U12t continues to be a shoo-in for one of the weakest unboxing games that I’ve seen at the flagship level. The revised packaging includes their pleather hockey-puck case, an assortment of SpinFit tips, and the MX/M15/M20 Apex modules. The included cable with memory wire has not changed as far as I can tell, unfortunately. Credit where credit is due, these accessories are better than the affronts to usability from not too long ago, but that’s not a high bar.

The U12t’s body is milled out of solid aluminum. The faceplate, however, can be susceptible to being dented from photos that I’ve seen of other U12ts. I would also like to have seen recessed 2-pin connectors being used, as it is a frequent stress point of the IEM.

Build Accessories Presentation Average
7 6 6 6.33

To my surprise, the qdc Anole VX’s unboxing doesn’t fare much better; if anything, it might even be worse than the U12t. The only difference, really, is that the included cable isn’t nearly as bad as the U12t’s or the VE8’s. I’m not really a fan of the VX’s case. It requires you to wrap the cable around a peg to fit the IEMs which, in reality, is just time consuming and doesn’t have much practical value.

The Anole VX definitely stands out for its build quality, though. It uses qdc 2-pin connectors, which is significantly more robust than standard flush. The switch system is also implemented cleanly, even if it really just means more moving parts for failure.

Build Accessories Presentation Average
8 6 6 6.66

Fit and Comfort​

It probably goes without saying, but fit and comfort are 100% subjective and unique to your ear anatomy. This is just a reflection of how these IEMs stack up for me in this category.

(1) There’s only a few IEMs that I’ll wear for 5+ hours, and the U12t is one of them. The simplicity of the teardrop housing works perfectly for my ears, and once you stack on 64A’s Apex pressure-relief technology, there’s just no contest.

(2) Both the Anole VX and VE8 sport standard builds that more readily conform to the ergonomics of the ear. I do find both to be a tad tight; however, my ears will get through a couple hours of listening without too much trouble.

(3) The IEM with no doubt the most contentious fit is the IER-Z1R. And it’s not hard to see why. The housing of the IER-Z1R is absolutely massive in order to accommodate its large bass driver; consequently, nothing about it remotely conforms to the ergonomics of the average human ear. I started out only being able to listen to the IER-Z1R for half an hour at a time and slowly have managed to get that number up to a little over an hour.

Tonal Analysis​

(1) 64 Audio U12t

The U12t sports a slick, U-shaped presentation with a touch of spice up-top in the treble. Something that surprises a lot of listeners is how bassy the U12t is, but it’s controlled bass and some of the best BA bass you’ll find. The midrange takes a backseat with female vocals, aptly killing any sibilance and striking a dead-balanced note weight. Some, however, might find the U12t to sound somewhat suppressed and to lack bite in those upper-registers. Treble is the most unique part of the U12t’s sound, and what you hear will depend on the limits of your hearing. For me, it’s about equal parts lower-treble and air with copious amounts of shimmer. For others who’s hearing doesn’t token the ~15kHz spike, the U12t will likely sound more dark due to its dip after 10kHz or so.

You’re probably wondering what those Apex modules do. As the number of the module goes up, so does the quantity of bass. In turn, this has psychoacoustic effects on perception of the treble and staging; the MX/M15 modules will give you a brighter treble response and more open staging at the expense of some “oomph” in your bass. The modules are mainly personal preference, and you’ll have to figure out which works best for you.

Bass Midrange Treble Tonal Average
8 9 8 8.33


  • Excellent BA bass, even better than most DDs I’ve heard.
  • Recessed, relaxed midrange presentation at the expense of being devoid of sibilance.
  • Not for everyone in the treble response.

(2) Sony IER-Z1R

It’s no secret that this is one of the more unbalanced flagship IEMs on the market. The bass shelf on the IER-Z1R is largely concentrated to the sub-bass regions, followed by a near ruler-flat lower-midrange. Then comes many listeners’ point of contention: the IER-Z1R’s upper-midrange. The upper-midrange is…forward, mostly, but it exhibits an egregious recession at around 2.5kHz, right in the middle of its pinna gain. Female vocals exist in a limbo of forward and slightly sucked out. Treble on the IER-Z1R might also prove polarizing for some listeners. It’s lower-treble oriented with a strong bump at 6kHz which lends to tremendous amounts of leading impact to percussive hits. The sheer robustness of the IER-Z1R’s treble cannot be understated; however, some listeners might find it fatiguing. Extension, at least, is superb, and with a beautiful sense of trailing reverb.


  • Not a very balanced sound signature.
  • Competition’s slowly caught up, but still some of the best bass in portable audio.
  • Polarizing midrange (correction: the midrange sucks in my opinion).
  • Polarizing treble pending the fit you achieve with the IER-Z1R, but I think it’s awesome.
Bass Midrange Treble Tonal Average
10 6 9 8.33

(3) qdc Anole VX

The “tuned by a committee and it shows” IEM of this shootout. But is that such a bad thing? I don’t necessarily think so. The VX has a balanced, but not necessarily neutral sound. It has a clean sub-bass shelf, followed by a slight upper-midrange boost that skews note-weight slightly thin. Something pretty distinctive about the qdc sound is a strong recession at 5kHz. At the expense of some snap to percussive impact, this effectively kills any sibilance and keeps the treble from being fatiguing. Well, that’s what I’d like to say. But in reality, the VX also exhibits generous amounts of mid-treble at 7kHz that lends to a brighter presentation in tandem with the upper-midrange boost.

You can play around with the switches to better suit the VX to your tastes, but I’d really just stick with the stock configuration. The bass switch bloats the VX’s bass quite a lot and just makes it sound overly plasticky. The midrange switch actually lowers the bass, instead, to lend to the perception of the midrange sounding more forward. Finally, the treble switch - yeah, you probably already know what I’m going to say because I already don’t like the VX’s stock treble: just leave that off.


  • Sounds like it was tuned by a committee, and that’s because it probably was.
  • Balanced, but not neutral sound signature.
  • Treble can be fatiguing despite qdc’s attempts to neuter potential sibilance.
Bass Midrange Treble Tonal Average
6 8 6 6.66

(4) Vision Ears VE8

The VE8 is tuned to what I would characterize as the epitome of Western tuning. It is a warm, counter-clockwise tilted sound, and those who have heard the VE8 will know that there’s one aspect which this IEM knows no peer in: male vocals. Indeed, anything that tokens the lower frequency bands seems to have just the right amount of texture and crunch to it, lending to what most would describe as a soulful, emotional presentation. It’s far from being a perfect midrange presentation, though, and I’m one of the rare listeners that hears sibilance with the VE8 due to its peak at 6kHz. The “s” consonance, in particular, has a grating characteristic that often pulls me out of my reverie whilst admiring this IEM’s midrange.

The other weak point of the VE8’s tuning is no doubt it’s treble response. It is largely mid-treble oriented - fine - but it really struggles with extension over 10kHz. It’s just not a particularly airy IEM, especially for one that many would deem worthy of “best in the world” status. Intentional by Vision Ears or not - it does lend their IEMs to a warmer listen, after all - I cannot back this tuning decision. The VE8’s treble is consequently quite dull, and it lends to an overly saturated presentation to my ears.


  • Typical BA bass.
  • Thick midrange that plays best with male vocals, but there’s traces of sibilance.
  • Rolled-off treble that is not nearly commensurate with “best in the world” status.
Bass Midrange Treble Tonal Average
5 7 5 5.66

Technical Performance​

(1) 64 Audio U12t

The U12t gets some flack for being clinical and overly bland, but I will tell you this right now: It is the most dynamic of these four IEMs. For a sense of scaling gradations in loudness and articulating them with a good sense of weight, there are few IEMs that can play ball with the U12t. The detail on the U12t also comfortably plays at the top, and it has world-class layering and imaging. Indeed, in terms of imaging, it is one of the few IEMs that I have heard with some semblance of soundstage depth, even if it decidedly falls short in the soundstage height department.

That said, note definition is not the U12t’s strongest suit. It skews only slightly quicker than the IER-Z1R in terms of transient speed. Hundreds of hours of listening also suggests there might be a minor sense of disjointedness between the bass and midrange frequencies versus the treble. The tia driver seems to attack slightly sharper in the treble than the ancillary, lower frequencies. This mostly ends up working, though, because the large amounts of reverb and shimmer to the treble matches the slightly slower decay of the lower-frequencies. This slower sense of decay likely contributes to the U12t’s unexpectedly pleasant timbre for a BA monitor.

Detail Imaging Timbre Coherency Dynamics Technicalities Average
9 9 8 8 9 8.6

(2) qdc Anole VX

I don’t need to listen long to know that this is a very technical IEM. Notes are sharp - almost unnaturally sharp - on the VX, and enough to give me a headache whenever I swap over from something more timbrally pleasing. I also find the detail on the VX to be somewhat artificial; to some extent, the product of its tonality. Nonetheless, there are few IEMs on the planet that compete with the VX in the macro-detail department. The imaging of the VX is slightly above average, but by no means holographic.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for dynamics, the VX doesn’t really have any. It’s a very flat sounding monitor, and while it has decent micro-detail , it’s micro-dynamics are as flat as its dynamic range as a whole. Music sounds overly loud on the VX and I find myself opting to listen at quieter volumes in tandem with its plasticky timbre. Another criticism I have about the VX is its imaging. The way it fleshes out the center image is unsatisfactory, and I frequently find myself crossing my eyes and looking inwards, somewhere inside my head, to discern the center image. It follows, of course, that the VX has no soundstage depth to my ears.

Detail Imaging Timbre Coherency Dynamics Technicalities Average
9 7 6 9 5 7.2

(3) Sony IER-Z1R

The IER-Z1R’s intangible calling card is unquestionably its imaging. It has the unprecedented ability to shape the walls of the stage, resulting in the closest I’ve heard to a speaker-like presentation among IEMs. There’s really nothing quite like it, and at the expense of sounding like a dirty shill, it simply makes you feel like a king. Note definition is also fairly sharp due to the tuning tricks that Sony has played with the IER-Z1R’s tuning.

Where the IER-Z1R mostly meets the short end of the stick is in coherency. This is the bane of every hybrid, and the IER-Z1R is no exception. The attack and decay of its frequency bands don’t match very closely, particularly in the midrange. The IER-Z1R’s midrange is more downwards-sloping to the way it attacks, and it decays with more grit than the dynamic drivers being used to token the bass and treble frequencies. There’s also the fact that the IER-Z1R’s really not all that detailed. It has good surface-level detail due to its tuning, but for a general sense of detail, I do feel that the qdc Anole VX and 64 Audio U12t edge it out.

Detail Imaging Timbre Coherency Dynamics Technicalities Average
7 9 7 6 7 7.2

(4) Vision Ears VE8

The VE8 is interesting, and admittedly, I’ve struggled a lot with assessing its technical competency. It noticeably has a decent amount of blunting to the way it attacks; therefore, it is not a strong performer for note definition. And really, that’s just what happens when you have a tuning this warm and rolled-off in the treble. Not helping matters even further is that the VE8’s staging distribution is nothing more than average to my ears; notes come from close to the head and don’t spread out much further.

All that said, I can’t knock the feeling that it does have decent detail and a good sense of capturing smaller nuances in music. It’s just been obscured - heavily - by the VE8’s tuning, so it more closely presents itself as a sense of micro-dynamics. As for whether the VE8’s worthy of “best in the world” level detail, though, I’m inclined to say no. Likewise, timbre on the VE8 is quite pleasant for a BA monitor, but it’s still a way off best-in-class due to a noticeable amount of “grit” to the way notes decay.

Detail Imaging Timbre Coherency Dynamics Technicalities Average
7 6 7 9 6 7

Which One is For You?​

Ultimately, while I can break down which IEM is “better” for each subset of sound quality all day, the one that suits you best will largely come down to subjective preference. That in mind, let me water it some more.

If you’re looking for the most “fun” of these IEMs, the one with the most special sauce, then you’ll want the IER-Z1R. But hold up. Demo it first. The fit is highly contentious, and it will make or break your enjoyment with these IEMs. If you can’t live without your midrange, then you’ll also want to give the IER-Z1R a pass.

The IEM that I would recommend to listeners who have no idea of what they want is the U12t. On paper, it is (in my humble opinion) the “best” IEM on the market today. On the other hand, it’s the definition of that kid in school who gets a 90% in every subject, but can’t seem to get 100% in anything. Once you’ve figured out your preferences, a lot of people are happy to move on. Ultimately, a lot of people will say they “respect” the U12t but that it doesn’t necessarily engage them as much as some other IEMs do.

The VX is probably the IEM that will impress most listeners right out the gate, but that quickly gets old. Fun fact: Pretty much everyone I know who has owned a VX has sold it. This is a pretty common criticism of the VX; it is overly clinical in its presentation and does not engage. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who buy it back (and sell it again ) because they suffer withdrawal from its amazing resolution. This IEM really is something of a drug.

The VE8 is a difficult one for me to recommend. If all you listened to was country music or literally just male vocals, fine, I can see it working. Maybe. But honestly? I’d recommend just going for Vision Ear’s new VE7. It rectifies the VE8’s tonality issues and I hear a lot more detail on the VE7 that I just can’t bring myself to say the VE8 has. It doesn’t hurt that the VE7’s cheaper to top it off.

How Have My Thoughts Changed?​

I have fond memories of hearing each one of these IEMs, and it’s pretty interesting to see how my preferences have changed and my opinions have shifted on some of them.

The 64 Audio U12t was the first flagship IEM I ever heard; due to the COVID pandemic, I was relegated to demoing it from the confines of my car with its owner parked next to me. Sure, maybe it was just a tad underwhelming - certainly not the night and day jump that many had purported flagship IEMs to be - but in mere minutes of listening, I firmly knew I had to own one for myself. My appreciation for the U12t has only grown stronger as I’ve heard dozens more flagship IEMs and realized that there’s nothing that quite tops it all-round.

Bias Score

Then there was the Sony IER-Z1R . I remember rocking out to its mouth-watering bass for as many hours as I could over a three day demo period. Yeah, my ears hurt like mad after that, but I couldn’t help myself from thinking, “Wow, I just might like this even more than the U12t”. In retrospect, I’m not as hot on the IER-Z1R. It does several things very well, but falls short in a couple other categories just as hard. I still like hearing this IEM every once in a while, though. It definitely affords a unique listening experience, worthy of its price and then some if your ears are deemed worthy of the fit.

Bias Score

I think the Anole VX was one of the few IEMs to truly blow me away. And who could blame me? I hadn’t heard headphones or speakers yet, and the VX’s sheer clarity was just on another level. But I’ve done a lot of see-sawing with this IEM because then I started hearing the flaws: the plasticky timbre, the fatiguing treble, and the imaging quirks. I really did not like the VX for a good period of time. Having revisited it, though, I think it’s pretty alright. It does one thing very well, macro-detail, and it maintains a balanced tonality that is worthy of best in the world status. Not bad if you can find one of these on the secondary market.

Bias Score

The VE8 is probably the one that I drank the kool-aid most on. I remember thinking it had detail retrieval comparable to the U12t when I first heard it. Now that I’ve heard it again, I’m not sure how I thought it was playing ball. Even the tonality of it is not a good as it should be, and each time I listened to it for this shootout, it felt more like a chore. Luckily, I think Vision Ears themselves is aware of the aging relevance of the VE8, as their new VE7 addresses almost all the issues I’ve pointed out with the VE8 in this shootout.

Bias Score


If we add up the presentation/accessories, tone and tech averages, the bias score, and then average them, we have the following:

64 Audio U12t - 8.06
Sony IER-Z1R - 8.04
qdc Anole VX - 6.88
Vision Ears VE8 - 6.41

But don’t get too wrapped up in the scores. I’m not perfectly consistent (heck, my scoring methodology here is different than my own ranking list which is based entirely on sonic performance). Hopefully, though, you guys enjoyed reading my thoughts on the top IEMs of Crin’s ranking list. It’s pretty cool that some of these IEMs still maintain their position as top dogs of the IEM world. Something you might also notice, and that was pointed out to me by the reader who sent these IEMs in, is that these are all flagship IEMs that were released in around 2018. The market is always changing, but these IEMs will remain a “culmination of a given brand’s skills up until that point and [they] reflect and take influence from other flagship IEMs on the market at the time”. That’s definitely an interesting perspective to take, and maybe later down the line, I’ll do another shootout like this for another year later. Or I’ll do a shootout of the IEMs that I think are currently the best in the world instead. Who knows? If if you guys have any suggestions, feel free to float them too. Thanks for reading!


Ah, some shady business going on I see. I’ll keep quiet. :zipper_mouth_face: lol

Thanks for the write-up! I’m sure it was helpful to those in the market for one of these.

Btw for suggestions, maybe do a shootout with IEMs that specialize in their own category. For example, what you think are the “best” IEMs for bass. Then another one for midrange, treble, stage, etc…

Just an idea thrown out there.


Thanks! I hadn’t thought of that. That might be a good idea :smiley:


Wow, what a great Shoot out writeup. As an Iem lover it was right up my street. A very engaging piece of writing. So enjoyable infact, I read it twice. Thank you @Precogvision.


JH Audio Layla Aion impressions

Jerry Harvey Audio is not a brand with much presence on most audio forums I frequent. But take a dip into the professional world, and JH Audio is suddenly one of the biggest names on the block with no shortage of well-known musicians using their IEMs. It should come as no surprise that JH Audio has bigger priorities than us casual hobbyists. However, this does beg the question: How good are their IEMs actually? Courtesy of, I currently have the Layla Aion on hand for review. The Layla Aion is a collaboration between JH Audio and Astell&Kern that sports 12BAs and that will set you back $3500. From what I can see, it’s pretty similar to the Layla, JH Audio’s halo model, so this should set a reasonable precedent for what we can expect from the brand.

The Layla Aion has a pair of bass dials integrated in its cable for each of the Left/Right channels. You turn these dials to increase/decrease bass presence; I’m guessing these dials work via adjusting impedance accordingly. Pretty cool. But the maximum bass setting is not good at all. On this setting, the Layla Aion sounds overly bloated with the farty quality that characterizes BA drivers having been pushed past their limits. As a whole, the sound signature brings to mind the dreaded descriptor of “mud-fi”. Best to lay off the bass; personally, I chose to set the dial to the 12 o’clock position. On this setting, the Layla Aion’s bass just sounds like normal BA bass; it has no slam, no dynamics. Pretty inoffensive for what it’s worth.

But the midrange of the Layla Aion is an affront to any self-respecting weeb listener. Actually, scratch that: any listener with normal hearing. The Layla Aion’s pinna compensation is non-existent, falling outside the scope of any academic target curve. You have a minor bump at 1.3kHz and then an abrupt dip after, where most IEMs would be rising. This is followed by a baby hump at 3kHz which has no place being there. The Layla Aion has no upper-midrange; female vocals sound incredibly suppressed and diffused. Male vocals sound slightly more correct, but that’s not a high bar. This IEM is effectively limited to a very specific subset of music - dark, slow, male vocal tracks - to sound passable.

You’ll notice I said “dark” tracks, so let’s talk about the Layla Aion’s treble. Our perception of the treble frequencies is partially baked into the balance struck with the bass frequencies. But feel free to dial back the bass all you want - to the bare minimum - because it doesn’t change the Layla Aion fundamentally having almost zero treble extension. Subjectively, and on paper, the Layla Aion’s treble rolls off even earlier than 10kHz. Maybe JH Audio was going all-in on a more relaxed tuning, I don’t know. But it’s not an excuse. The Layla Aion still sounds fatiguing (even if it doesn’t hit me at first) because of how off the 7kHz peak is contrasted to the rest of the treble response. There’s also, like, $25 IEMs with better treble extension than this.

If you’re wondering about technicalities, they’re not good. As in “not good to the point of which I normally don’t take the time to talk about it” not good. But the Layla Aion isn’t some random, sub-$100 IEM. It’s a multi-kilobuck IEM with expectations. Notes are blunted from head-to-toe. Staging is slightly better than average, but individual instrument lines are smushed and nigh impossible to discern from one another. The Layla Aion sounds incredibly compressed and boring; perhaps this perception is partly baked into its lack of extension. No matter how you cut it, there’s no way you’d know that this IEM has 12BAs. There are 1BA IEMs, such as the Etymotic ER3XR, that handily out-resolve the Layla Aion.

The JH Audio Layla Aion. A pretty IEM that doesn’t sound so pretty in my opinion.


But what about the otaku’s?


Symphonium Helios Impressions

It’s becoming increasingly rare that I get excited about an IEM these days, but this is one I’ve been eager to hear - enough that I probably refreshed the DHL tracking about a hundred times throughout the day waiting for it to arrive yesterday! (And yes, DHL conveniently decided to deliver at nearly 8PM which is why these impressions are going up today). But I digress. I think it’s only proper that I lend some context about Symphonium, a brand that most readers have probably never heard of before. Symphonium is a small Singaporean brand, and the Helios is their 4BA flagship IEM. Yup, you heard me right. A humble four BA drivers, and it’s very reasonably priced at $1100 too.

In the interest of transparency, the Helios was also developed with consulting from Subtonic. Subtonic is an upcoming Singaporean audio brand; a partnership between several audio enthusiasts that includes @toranku of Head-Fi fame. I regularly converse with Toranku and would consider him a good friend and someone who inspired my style of reviewing.

I had already seen the graph of the Helios, and it wasn’t ever really a question of whether the Helios was going to be well-tuned given the individuals at the helm. Nonetheless, this can be considered neutral with bass boost; I’ll also give a quick run-through of the overall tonality as well as some possible weaknesses.

The first thing that strikes me about the Helios is its bass performance. I praised the 64A U6t for its BA bass not too long ago, but the Helios is just as much a winner in the BA bass department. This is partly due to its tuning which is concentrated almost solely in the sub-bass regions, therefore emphasizing a high degree of cleanliness. But the Helios is no less a slouch in the intangible department either. It actually slams, so much so that I wouldn’t mind putting it up there with my beloved 64A U12t. I still don’t find it quite as “organic” - the Helios’ bass texture leans more dry than the U6t and U12t, perhaps due to a lack of mid-bass - but the Helios sets the standard at a kilobuck for BA bass. Yes, I think prefer it to the Sony IER-M9’s bass (certainly at least tonally) from memory.

The midrange of the Helios continues to follow the Harman target closely throughout the lower-midrange. Despite the more gentle approach taken to the pinna compensation and the upper-midrange, then, the Helios’ note weight definitely skews slightly thin to my ears. Is this bad? Not at all, but this is where tonal preference will divide some listeners on the Helios’ tuning. Personally, I think it could use with some more warmth. I also want to say that the Helios is almost too clean for its own good here. While I don’t hear any exaggerated instances of sibilance on my usual test tracks like Girls Generation’s “Flyers” at 0:46, transients seem to have a slight edge to them that makes even very small instances of sibilance, such as on Loona’s “Voice” at 0:25 to 0:30, pop more than I’m used to. This is especially apparent when listening with the Azla Sedna tips.

My only real complaint with the tonality of the Helios would be its treble. It’s something of a double-edged sword. I cannot deny that it is wonderfully extended and mostly smooth without any egregious dips or valleys in sine sweeps. But here’s the not-so-favorable side of that sword: the treble of the Helios teeters on abrasive to my ears. I have to imagine that this abrasiveness is partly baked into excess air as, again, swapping off the Azla Sednas for the Symphonium tips mostly fixes this issue. But either way, the timbre of the Helios’s treble seems somewhat distinct from the bass response which is surprising given that this is an all-BA IEM. This applies to the midrange to a lesser extent. At times, I could even mistake the Helios for sounding more like a hybrid than it does a BA IEM.

You might see where I’m going; the Helios doesn’t sound as coherent as I’d like. As with IEMs like the Thieaudio Monarch and the Moondrop Variations, this feeling is ostensibly attributable, at least partly, to the tuning. From the Helios’ razor sharp bass shelf, slight dip to the lower-midrange, and to its excellent treble extension, it all culminates in a more segmented if not clean presentation. I have to admit that my critiques of the Helios are, to some extent, because it’s actually too damn good in one department or another. The midrange is too resolving, bringing out micro-detail I don’t want, the treble has too much air resulting in slight harshness, and the timbral inconsistency is partially because the bass is so good for a BA. I’d say these are some of the better problems to have. Your average listener probably wouldn’t pick up on the coherency issues, and the excess treble air would likely be a boon for most listeners.

It doesn’t hurt that the Helios has a strong technical foundation with little to no weaknesses in the departments I usually index for. Detail is good. I hear that faint ring to the backdrop of Taeyeon’s “I Found You” which usually only presents itself to me on my speakers. Imaging is slightly out-of-head and the Helios’s layering chops are excellent. While not as holographic as the Andro 2020, the Helios edges out the Andro 2020 in terms of positional incisiveness in A/B. And as much has I like to complain about dynamics, the Helios is certainly not compressed for macro-dynamic contrast. Transients also lean fast, and I find myself glued to BoA’s Deluxe album. Honestly? I’m hard-pressed to ask for more on the front of technicalities. You (or at least certainly I ) wouldn’t know this IEM toted a mere 4BAs if it wasn’t in the product literature.

The million dollar question is whether the Helios is top-tier material. To be blunt…nah. Not quite. It lacks that last leg of refinement, perhaps special sauce, that would place it at the top amongst greats like the 64A U12t, Empire Ears Odin, and Elysian Annihilator. But for the price of a little more than a grand, I have zero qualms giving this my stamp of approval. At least on the basis of sound quality, as the shells of the Helios are comfortable but quite large and stick out more than I’d like. But I digress. Symphonium has released a highly competitive IEM for its respective price bracket, one that is definitely worthy of kilobuck gatekeeper status in my eyes. And as far as the bias scale goes, I think the score will speak for itself.

Score: 8/10

All critical listening was done off of the 2.5mm jack of my iBasso DX300 with the stock cable and the stock tips. I found the included Azla Sednas to be a tad strident for my preferences, so I swapped to the other included Symphonium tips.


Can confirm the Helios are quite good. Using them off the Burson Audio Conductor 3X Reference in low gain. The bass quality is very good. I’ve actually been swapping between the MEST MK II & 64 Audio U6t for my commutes in the last two weeks and the Helios might be the front runner between the three. I’ve only had them for two hours of listening now though so take early impressions with a grain of salt but early on these feel like a real serious contender in the $1099 price bracket.

Shell size as well as nozzle are quite big though so for those with with smaller ears / ear holes, you may have some fit issues. The 2-pin connector portion also sits quite high which isn’t an issue with the stock 2.5mm cable but when using 3rd-party cables with memory wire hooks, it can sit rather high. This leads to the cable fit being loose instead of snug around the ears.

Despite those nitpicks though, the Helios is very impressive and I’m looking to spending more time with them this week!

Some of the tracks used for testing


I also got a loaner unit of the Helios and it’s very good. Will post more comments and perhaps a special YouTube Livestream of it soon…

It’s nicely tuned, good bass quality and quantity and smooth and refined sound with gobs of clarity and details. May be a slightly forward treble presentation but nothing that is bothersome. The fit is the biggest concern for perspective buyers as it has a long, wide and angled nozzle that doesn’t quite fit well in my right ear but I’m able to get a tight seal regardless.


As we will be getting more reviews and details on the Symphonium Helios (I am lucky enough to be expecting to demo them also in the near future), I have created a thread for these IEMs here:


A post was merged into an existing topic: General purchase advice: Ask your questions/for advice here!

Vision Ears VE7 Impressions

I’ve been hankering to write impressions on the VE7 for some time now, but as some might already know, I’ve had a bad stroke of luck with the units I’ve received for review. It seems the third time’s the charm, though, and I finally have a unit that sounds like it should.

The first word that comes to mind when I hear the VE7 is “hazy”. But it’s not the bad kind of haziness, no, no. It’s the type of haziness that, in tandem with the VE7’s solid treble extension, largely comes across as a pleasant sense of musicality that harkens to the CFA Andromeda 2020. The VE7’s treble definitely deserves more attention, and I think it helps to lend context with the VE7’s older brother, the VE8. In my eyes, the VE8’s biggest weakness is its treble extension. It rolls off of 10kHz strongly and sports some unwanted peakiness to what treble it does have. This culminates in a gritty, compressed treble response that (in my opinion) is quite “lo-res”. By contrast, the VE7 has noticeably better extension and smooths over the VE8’s peakiness, or at least brings it much closer to an ideal mid-treble oriented response. It’s a thumbs-up from me.

The VE7’s other standout is its midrange. Like it’s brethren the VE8, it’s a thicker, saturated interpretation that favors the lower-harmonics. Piano simply drips with richness, and as much as I enjoy shouting out trashy K-Pop tracks in my reviews, I actually grew up listening to country music. Singers like George Strait and Easton Corbin come across as somewhere between sweet and buttery on the VE7 to my ears. The VE7’s might even be a little too smooth on something like Uncle Kracker’s “Smile” where I’m accustomed to more texture, but I almost find myself not minding. The VE7 also fixes the VE8’s sibilance issue, with vocals tokening the upper-midrange hitting south of neutral and being mostly devoid of intangible grit. Man, I just really like this midrange; as far as I’m concerned, this is Western tuning done justice.

That said, I wouldn’t expect much by way of the VE7’s bass. It sounds pretty much the same as the VE8’s bass which I didn’t think was noteworthy. It’s not as one-note or as dry as the Andro 2020, sure, but that’s not a high bar. The VE7 is also not really mind-blowing for technicalities. It has noticeable blunting to note definition due to its warmer tuning; furthermore, staging is firmly confined to the head-stage as is characteristic of IEMs with these standard shells. It’s a “cozy” presentation if I’m being nice and, that said, I do find the VE7 to have a good sense of detail and pleasant timbre. The VE7 also leans slightly quicker in terms of speed with a decent sense of dynamics. Not the best dynamics I’ve heard, mind you, but serviceable enough that I don’t find myself getting bored. Overall, reasonably good technicalities for such a toasty IEM in my book. Stack on excellent coherency and a great tuning, and you have a formidable package for the warm IEM connoisseur.

Unfortunately, what really capsizes the VE7’s competitiveness is its high cost of entry. It was already fighting an uphill battle against other established players at its pre-order price of $1300; now it’s sitting at a staggering $1860 which is more than a 40% price increase! That’s not a good look in my opinion. The Andromeda 2020, for instance, is considerably less costly, sports similar tonality, and is arguably more technical (at least in the imaging department). This makes me hard-pressed to recommend the VE7. With all that being said: It’s no secret that I’m not really into any of Vision Ear’s other IEMs I’ve heard; be it from the VE8, the Erlkonig, the Elysium, or to the EVE20. Let it be known that the VE7 would be my choice if you’re keen on a Vision Ears IEM and price was no object.

Score: 7/10


That’s a pretty cool looking shell. Would love to see some macro shots of it.

Your best bet would be to ask this on the ‘General Purchase Advice thread.’ I’ll link your post to it so you can get some suggestions.

A few weeks ago, published an interview with Antdroid and today I am very happy to publish a new interview with the host of this thread and resident IEM reviewer, @Precogvision.

I am not going to cross post the inteview here, so again, my apologies for making you click on the link and visit my blog, but I think it is certainly worth a read!

(Also available in Spanish for those interested, just follow the link and click on Español to change the language)


Checked into the hotel for CanJam today and finally got to meet the crew in the flesh! It’s going to be a busy next couple days, but I’ll be doing my best to run around, hear all the new IEMs, and write-up impressions. Also got to steal a certain IEM after the team meeting:

I’ll say it’s purrty sweet on initial listen, but I’m also exhausted from driving most of the day so more thoughts will have to wait.