Easily their best IEM yet. And that includes the $1,300 IE900.
So what would you use to drive them?
The God has spoken
I just love how strongly the community here agrees that wired headphones aren’t dying
@Florian have u even tried budget/mid tier iems? ive got the sony wf1000xm3s and recently got the moondrop arias. the sonys dont sound bad, but the arias just are plainly better.
@Florian I'll keep my high fidelity sound thank you very much.
Some people have different preferences, I don't know why any of you guys are taking any of this so personally. The wireless people have their reasons, the wired people have their reasons, the importance you're going to put on those reasons is entirely on you. No one cares about how inconvenient you might find wires, the same way no one cares about how you MUST have the absolute pinnacle of sound quality while you sit on the bus and contemplate other ways you can feel special and superior through non essential things. Shut the hell up, enjoy what you want and move on with your lives. Headphones isn't the hill you want to die on, whichever end of the spectrum you inhabit.
@Florian Might I introduce you to our lord and savior replaceable cables?
@Slapbass good luck repairing broken earbuds cables. They are so thin and flimsy. Meanwhile I am still waiting for my batteries to have any noticable degredation well after 5+ years. My last wired Sennheiser earbuds were ewaste after 2.5 years.
I gotta say. I usually skip through the sponsor messages and stuff. But when Durand does some stupid stuff like this I watch the whole thing. Love it.
@Hosty it's actually about people stopping the video. The video has better statistics and is therefore favored by the algorithm when people watch it fully, preferably without skipping anything. But since dbrands 15%off offer only lasts for 15 minutes many people will close the video to go on the link and buy something. That means many people stop/close the video, leading to worse statistics and the video being less favoured by the algorithm.
Yes Durand is great! I like him too.
Durand is a great guy
Loving how Linus is basically just building a QA testing company for the people
@Micheal Persicko what?
seize the means of testing
That's kinda what PC part review sites did back in the day... but then YT happened and all the ad money went from forums and review sites to YT... and nobody in YT land has been comprehensive enough. LTT labs cannot come soon enough.
@Cypeq No it's not if it was he would have told you straight out of the gate like he always does. plus it's an FTC violation to mention or show a product that you were paid to feature in a YT video.
I'm actually very excited to start seeing headphone reviews with the freakish ears on a stand. Frank would be pleased.
Will there be a dingus though?
Fellow Dankpods watcher I see
Dbrand just gets me every time, legendary marketing team.
@icecube You say they need to, because you *think* they need to. They don't - they can do whatever they want. They're robots after all.
It's becoming off-putting to me. Sometimes they need to turn off the act and just give normal, professional responses.
@Wiyandri Luwisto 100% And not the first time they've done it haha
i checked the promo, it actually already expired now did they really just run a 15 minutes promo? lol
Seriously. They’re as good as the Wendy’s twitter account was like ~10 years ago
Can't tell if Linus is dumbfounded by the sound quality or that Encanto track hit deep. Dude went straight monotone. Rare and impressive, gg Sennheiser.
Glad someone else noticed it! Getting Linus to chill for a few minutes speaks way more about this product than most others. Like he was in awe
"I forgot how this felt..." And "It was over 2 years ago" are right on the money for me Linus.
well, if it's been that long I can give you a hand....(lol)
And the part about having a 3.5mm Jack :(
IEMS are far from being a “dying breed” - in fact, they’re arguably more popular than ever right now.
@gambit201 I basically "cleanse" myself every Sunday with an hour's worth of listening on my HD650s after a week's worth of wireless earbuds listening. I have a few pairs of high end IEMs that I haven't touched in nearly 2 years since I moved on from the LG V series phones. No other smartphone has what the V series had in terms of DAC+amp.
After using wireless earbuds for quite a long time, I recently bought the moondrop blessing 2 wired iem. The upgrade in sound quality is just too great for me to go back to wireless bluetooth devices.
Agreed, I just bought myself a pair of KZs and I cried at how much I was missing out
@Ananya Bajpai yes but even the Apple dongle cable has a decent DAC in it, that can drive almost any iem, so....
@Ananya Bajpai ignorance. people who arent getting iems now were never going to get iems in the first place, and vice versa. with the increasing number of brands and products with greater value, theres been an increasing audiophile community, more than ever before, even if they are beginners/entry level.
Two things: (1) there are other, admittedly smaller, companies still making wired portable headphones. Audiophile companies still exist and haven't moved to Bluetooth for obvious reasons. You can get some good ones still around $100-$200 too. (2) As an audiophile, there is one very legitimate reason to get a third-party cable when your first-party cable is not broken: Ergonomics. Third-party cables can be longer, more flexible and less prone to making noise when they bounce against stuff. But yeah, the "my cables are made of gooooold!" stuff is utter nonsense. I've spent more than enough money to know for certain.
@EpicBunty Cable isn't detatchable as far as I know. Letting you know how they sound will take a little while since Shenzhenaudio currently has 1-3 week delay in shipping them out. Unexpectedly high number of orders and so on. Add 2-4 weeks of shipping to my part of the world and it might be a bit until I can update.
@castform5 Yes, check out Schiit Audio. They are very clear about what their stuff is and is not. It's hilarious how they address it, actually. :D
@EpicBunty yeah the moondrop chu's cable isn't detachable, meaning if the cable breaks ur gonna have to buy a completely new one. but honestly with its price ($20), the iems are cheaper than a lot of upgrade cables so personally i don't mind
That reminds me of the "coat hanger test", where audiophiles were not able to tell the difference between super expensive cables and coat hangers in a blind test. Though, long cables can act like antennas.¹ Therefore, appropriate shielding can help to keep the signal clean. When running very long analog connections (for instance in music studios, on film sets or with PA systems), balanced cables are often a good choice, as long as the hardware supports them.²³ But all this shielding and error correction stuff has nothing to do with the material of the actual cable. Using oxygen free wires, braded sleeves, pretty branding and gold plating won't provide any better audio quality than standard cables with properly soldered connectors. 1) This does not apply to optical cables. More about shielded cables: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shielded_cable 2) More about balanced audio: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_audio 3) I am skipping over digital connections, where error correction is often part of the protocols used.
@Asgdhgs Fhrfgfd let us know how the moon drop chu's are when you get them! their wire isn't detachable though right? (asking cos i have a bluetooth adapter which converts my iems to a tws)
IEM's are faaaaar away from dying, Linus. It's the wireless stuff that's dying. Not because they're not popular, but because they need to rely on a battery, which will inevitably die. Cabled Headphones and IEM's just work whenever you want, most likely for your entire life.
@Илья Витцев I'd argue the opposite (for phones vs headphones). If you have the dexterity, replacing the batteries in wireless headphones is easier than a glued together all glass phone.
@Right Wing Safety Squad Laptop and phone batteries are way easier to swap, even if you have a newer laptop with a non-replaceable battery.
Ok, but batteries not lasting forever applies to almost all tech. It's not new for headphones.
@TechfulThinking It's a struggle, thank you
@Илья Витцев People are rude like that sometimes, aren’t they? I hope you get to touch grass in peace someday 🍀
I was thinking about wired buds yesterday, now that the hype around wireless buds is long gone, I started seeing more and more disavantages with it. The audio quality over BT, the degradable batteries that eventually goes to a landfill, the fact that you have to charge these things all the time, it's kinda more inconvenient than using wired ones, and oveall a worst experience. These things might seem obvious to some people, but till some time ago I still thought the pros of wireless far outweighted the cons
@KnifelyBos Try harder because you have no idea what you're talking about.
@Weaver Games the wire getting stuck was never a big deal, it in fact saved my phone from falling once, lmao
This has been my reaction to wireless headphones since day 1. I've used wired headphones since the Walkman days and I've never had a problem with them. Pro-tip if you're always getting the wire stuck on things just run it under your shirt.
And audio quality over bluetooth isn't as bad as it used to be. You get some neobuds pro for 100$ and you get dual driver wireless buds with the best ANC/transparency mode and audio quality in its price range with support for LDAC, and LHDC. Both support up to 900kbps bitrate, which is more than plenty for any music streaming service.
I really hope LTT gets back to reviewing headphones and IEMs.
@Tony Tran I mean, his rants can be entertaining and it's nice to hear different perspectives. But I wouldn't take anything he says as objective, I mean the guy praised R2R-11 and M1060 to heaven and they've both been my worst audio related purchases ever, never again will I let his word sway my purchasing decisions.
@ayporos you mean the dingus man Dankpods?
@The European Legacy Huh? what you said doesn't even make any sense. Did you maybe go senile old man?
@ayporos lesbian boomer xdd
@The European Legacy Holy shit proper boomer take there. Hey grandpa, what's your age? 'Kiddo' and 'your generations'.. You talk as if LTT is a boomer company, they're not. So unless you're older than Linus himself yet somehow feel connected to his generation, the way you are talking makes no sense. Also, as the icing on top, I am about as old as Linus so your entire statement makes zero sense to begin with regardless of what your own age is.
“The last of a dying breed” Audiophiles know around dozen IEMs are still launched like every month
when he said that it hurt. linus should try the u12ts
Yeah it's a massive growth area.
Wired iems are in the best place they've been ever lol. They're getting more development wireless headphones these days lol.
@NeroXyn Sennheiser are still around. It's true that their consumer products weren't doing too well, but they were still selling. They just decided they didn't want to invest the money there. They still exist selling to (the much more profitable) business sector. The company that bought the Sennheiser Consumer Division and the right to use the Sennheiser name for consumer products, Sonova, are am audio health company. But they specialise in, well, hearing. And they've had a good shot at the audiophile world before when they were called Phonak. The Phonak Audéo PFEs were considered one of the best budget audiophile headphones.
@NeroXyn yeah as if parent companies branching out is always bad oh wait..
@NeroXyn sennheiser have yes, there are many many more companies than sennheiser
More like ear assistant devices because they have been acquired by ear assistant company for not bankruptcy i heard.
These will be around for a long while yet. On stage musicians either use wedges (speakers) or IEMs like this. They'll be around for years and years, Bluetooth is the wrong tech for stage monitoring
@Delvin William 1. There's lots of trustworthy reviewers who review chifi. 2. I said Ciems not chifi. It means custom iem. Also made by American and European companies
@Anton Helsgaun chi-iems or chifi is an untouched subject. most reviews just came from untrusted c outlet. it's annoying that all the time they review it, it was always sponsored by those chifi iem company. so you didn't know if they sugarcoat something or nor
Or ciems, if they're willing to pay for that
I heckin love dbrand. They are without doubt your funniest sponsor, and I constantly recommend them to people when anything in their product stack comes up in conversation. Great stuff guys
It would be cool to have LTT labs go over the language used in audio reviews. That way we can be better informed in what you're hearing vs what comes out of youtube.
Muddy = Bassy and I don't like it Warm = Bassy and I like it Sibilant = Trebely but I don't like it Clear = Trebely but I like it V-Shape = recessed mids
@Mäýüŕá Vïřůš Maybe not in Asia,but in the rest of the West, growth of wireless earbuds are massively outpacing wired headphones/iems
@Jim Vasquez DMS worked at LTT?! I didn't know that.
@Mäýüŕá Vïřůš of course i'm talking about Moondrop. who else popularized chifi waifus so much that other brands are starting to follow their footstep 😂
@Ersyad Prathama What you're talking about is Moondrop their box are exceptionally well made for something that cost under a hunge
It's always a sign when Linus goes to experience a product and gets absorbed into it.
Wireless just cannot compete with wired, when you want quality. Also, if the cable is fine and the small contacts inside the 3.5 mm jack - it just works! I've had more trouble with some bluetooth headphones than the wired ones. Still, I am loving my Soundcore Q30 - a nice combo between bluetooth and 3.5 mm jack headphones for a good price.
@Asghaad That is certainly a fundamental flaw with Bluetooth. To improve on this, we'd need a completely new wireless spec to replace Bluetooth. Sadly, that isn't going to happen any time soon.
@GonePh1shing well at least on my Souncore Liberty 3 Pros LDAC does get signal loss every so often . Other than that its flawless experience and mindblowingly good sound out of those earbuds. I cant recommend them enough.
@Chocoretto Perception is everything, and the placebo affect is very much real. Services offer lossless because people will pay for it, not because it makes a difference. In double blind testing, the vast majority of people cannot tell the difference, including audiophiles and audio professionals. Most people simply do not have good enough or trained ears, especially those over the age of 25-30.
@Chocoretto There aren't any drawbacks to LDAC other than licensing costs from Sony. Aptx also isn't implemented at the hardware level, it just requires a Qualcomm chip as a DRM measure and to push manufacturers towards using their silicon.
@Crestfallen Plinth bro nothing he said was complicated is this a self own?
IE80 owner here. I'm keeping those for years to come. They're just too good, and the replaceable cable means they will last for a ridiculously long time without needing to replace them, barring the cable, of course.
I love how sassy dbrand is. Always makes me giggle
I’m excited to hear there is an audio person coming to LMG! As an audio engineer I love diversity of reviews of products and keeping up with them, just to know who I’m mixing songs for!
yeeah I can't wait
Honestly I would love for them to delve into general audio equipment like desktop speakers, subwoofers, DACs and AMPs. Hoping they take a wider audio direction with the lab
I'd love to see more IEM stuff from LTT. If they did more, I'd love to see them do a collab with Crinacle, it would be absolutley amazing!
Oh man, I'm excited for their audio labs. I've worked with the Binaural heads for many years and it's such a cool sensation to play back binaural recordings through headphones. Shoutout to HEAD Acoustics for their HMS series.
I really love my wired headphones, and am excited to see reviews that help me find the good quality ones. "Proper audiophile product" is what I'm hoping to start moving towards, so this was great 😊 Also lmao DBrand killing it as always
I'd love to switch back to wired headphones. But one of the secondary benefits of wireless is the battery allows for beam forming microphones and background noise removal (wind), something I've grown dependent on.
Love your work Linus. Your reviews are alway insightful and entertaining.
There's really nothing going away about quality wired IEMs and headphones. The vast majority of "normies" won't get them, but that's not the same thing as saying no one will get them. Getting good music hardware for good music listening isn't going to go away. Hell, it doesn't even need to be "getting GOOD music hardware." For instance, people like the vibe around vinyl just because of the way it is. They like the nostalgia and imperfections unique to it. If you meant it's going away to mean "it's plunging in popularity," then not even then. Only in NA and maybe Europe is that happening, rampant consumerist sheep in audio product development are pushing wireless earphones to be made and marketing HARD to sniff the snail trail of Apple as it butt scooches across audio device evolution.