The Ultra Cheap IEM Thread

Well my watch box has now been converted to a Chi-fi box! Handy storage but have a blank spot crying out to be filled.

Any suggestions that aren’t from KZ?



Maybe another pair, just to fill the gap. :grin:

Unique Melody ME1 is my favorite IEM I own.

If you’re looking for budget options, I still like the Final Audio E2000 but it’s not Chinese. Japanese brand.

T2 is a good choice. V80, P4 Pro, Rose Masya (ear bud)

1 Like

I have a TRRS -> TRS adapter that does the job, but is another thing to forget and another potential point of failure.

I used this fancy pants $6.95 ‘silver braided’ KZ cable from Gearbest that was sitting around. It’s fine.

1 Like

This is a great cable…I have more of them than earphones I could connect them to.

1 Like

thanks for tips, will look into them!

I’m finally starting to write up my review of the ZSN and AS06.

Some quick things on the AS06.

It’s got a laid back sound compared to pretty much the rest of the lineup from KZ. I find the mids to be overly recessed and bass still a bit more raised than I like – which does cause a little bit of muddiness. I also find male vocals to sound really off – compressed and not in tune. Female vocals don’t suffer as bad, but in general, the mids don’t sound quite right. It does improve with a change of tips from foam/stock tips to generic “jaybird” silicone tips, as that seems to reduce the effects of the bass though. With that change, I seem to like it more, and feels more natural, though then you possibly run into sibilance issues.

Also don’t like the fit or formfactor or look of it. It was also something I didn’t particularly like in the AS10 either. I think looking back, I over-ranked the AS10 originally when I reviewed it, probably from the shock value of KZ making something that sounded less (and it’s a big relative less) V-shaped (as it is still V-shaped).

The ZSN, doesnt suffer from uneven mids, but does have that peak and trough in the upper mids to lower treble, that can be prone to harshness.


BQEYZ KB100 or BQ3 depending on your signature preference. KB100 is near neutral while BQ3 is a W shape with a fun signature for rock and pop.

Hmmmmm…another bathtub!

The AS06 received 5 out of 5 stars in yet another honest review elsewhere, while I am still waiting for a KZ model without recessed mids and solid, natural voices with no harshness anywhere.

So thanks for the warning, Anthony…you saved me $$ dollars.

Here my sloppy measurements of the ZSN: bass is not overemphasized which explains the not too recessed mids…but the emphasized upper midrange may cause harshness. This 2-4 kHz “mountain” appears to be a characteristic of low-budget Chifi – and the cause of many headaches. Taping the nozzle with micropore tape would not make any difference below 4 kHz.


And here the removal of a 6-7 kHz peak by taping 95% of the nozzle over with micropore tape - anything below ~ 4 kHz and over 14 kHz remained largely unaltered.

Model used: KZ ED3

Disclaimer: even after the mod that earphone still sounds horrible!


I am not saying the AS06 is horrible. It’s just not my preference, usually. The ZSN is closer to what I would like normally. Here’s a graph of a Diffuse Field compensation of:

KZ ZSN: Purple | KZ AS06: Green | KZ AS10: Black | Audio Technica LS200iS: Red

The ATH-LS200iS is also in my queue to listen and review and provided by this lovely forum’s Community Preview Loaner program. It’s $249, and to me, is a step up from these KZ models. As you see, it’s much closer to IDF Neutral than the rest, though the ZSN isn’t too bad.

The AS06 has a huge valley in the mids, which I don’t like, but using silicone tips helps a little bit. It can’t fix everything, but I do understand that using silicone tips, in my case, is actually causing a minor leak to occur, which isn’t the way the IEM was intended to be listened to, so I am compensating by wearing it incorrectly. I did the same thing with the AS10 back when I had it.

I don’t know which 5 star review you are talking about for the AS06, but I did watch a video of a “5 star” review for it today, and I can’t say I totally agree with that rating, but I also am not the same person, and his sound preferences probably differ than mine do.



I hang on head-fi a bunch and we found KZ has a sister company or whatever called CCA.
highly recommend you folks check out CCA C10 …4 BA’s, 1 DD, a side for like $30…amazing clarity and smoothness. It takes awhile to play in but it changes over time and are pretty special!
AliExpress has them, Amazon will soon, and another just released 16 BAs hybrid…8 BAs a side…the CCA C16…also on Aliexpress for just north of $100. These are new…the C16 releases on 1/15…amazing quality and sound. I’m drooling for the C16…8 balanced arm. a side…unheard of price… I’ll update once I have C16 in hands!


I just got a pair of the C10s in for review.
Measurements below:


Enjoy…mine changed pretty drastically the first week, after about 40-50 hours mine were sooner the bass becomes fuller…I guess I should ask how do you likw?
Same shell as kz zsn with outer plate change…I’m Ed… I’m retired so while pilotting my recliner I listen to iems, on ears, over ears but refuse bone conductivity…lol. Played drums since 10 yrs old so kick drums have to sound good …lol…or :-1:!
The constant cymbal hits and volume peaks shaved a we bit of top end off the left ears hearable frequencies so if its sibilant to me its lazer beams to other ears…C10 is smooth, nobody I read or spoke too had issues with sibilance.
Go Eagles


Looks rather V-shaped, but hopefully in a tasteful way like the DMG is. I’ll have to try it out! I’m a sucker for deals. Plus purple.


I bought a pair of violet ones… :wink: so now I have two sets of cheap IEMs coming my way…I’m honestly not the biggest fan of IEMs though, much rather have over ears. But these and the ZSN are cheap enough to not stress on and can make good gifts down the road.


Yea. I have no use for cheap IEMs either. I have my 1-2 IEMs I like, which dont get enough ear time as it is. Prefer over-ears. But curiosity always wins. :frowning:


Actually, the C10’s bass hump is not too bad, but the 2-4 kHz peak is once again typical.