Portable Audio situation


psyph3r

Well-Known Member
Veteran
I'm not buying into the hype of any of these chi-fi iem's anymore or any set of cans/iem's for that matter, the audiophile community has a tendency to overhype and exaggerate stuff a lot, more so in the past few years.
Every new thing that comes out is heralded as the next big thing, people jump on the bandwagon and start posting on head-fi and r/headphones and it turns into an "Emperor's new clothes" sort of thing where no one wants to criticize its shortcomings and only sing its praises, lest they be perceived as fools.
I mean I get that there are some iem's that punch over their weight but making bold statements like "these 10$ iem's destroy my $2000 cans" can only led to disappointments.
That being said I'd be willing to buy the TiN T2/BL-03 only after an audition instead of plonking 2.5k and discovering that the audiophile community has been drinking the kool-aid once again.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
You are right, audio gears often get overhyped.But not always from the audiophile community ( specially at this price point)
The most hyped headphones like M50X and 1000XM3 are disliked by most audiophiles and those were never really hyped by audiophiles ( 50X was by MKBHD, 1000XM3s by a lot of YouTubers)
Audiophiles usually hype products like Chord Mojo ( very expensive, but very powerful and really good sounding but not worth the price)
KZ is being around for many years now and they never got significant importance in audiophile world ( yes, much better than consumer grade products from brands like JBL etc.) Some Mi earphones with berrylium drivers made a lot of noise @ head fi and they were indeed extremely good for the price.
But T2 and bl03 are completely different. I haven't heard T2s yet, but bl03s are DEFINITELY better than most iems I have ( some of them cost 20 times more)
I'm not a follower of the hype train after decades in this hobby( more of a headphone person but won't compare them with headphones as the experience is completely different) and hate M50X/ 1000XM3 for their sound quality.
I understand 2.5k is not very cheap for a pair of earphones everywhere. But try them with a proper seal, I'm sure you will love them. Yes, these are magical ( but to understand it, you need to have years of disappointment with expensive items, you have to know your sound preference)
 
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psyph3r

Well-Known Member
Veteran
There is a very thin line between audiophiles and audiofools and the manufacturers know this and exploit it quite well.
I've been around head-fi for a long time too before its prime and I've seen my fair share of snake oil products and biased/paid reviews.
You can't really blame MKBHD for the popularity of the M50x, there were a lot of others who hyped the original M50s and the M50x just piggy-backed on its success and fanbase, heck I had 2 pairs of the original, they were anything but neutral but they sounded pretty decent with the Xonar STX and AQ Dragonfly 1.5B.
2.5k isn't much but I'm done experimenting based on hypetrains only to be left disappointed.

P.S. I find KZ to be trash, the only thing they've got going for them is the low price and build quality, some of their iem's I tried downright hurt my ears because of their shape.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
I do understand your point. I'm not really an audiophile but wasted a lot of money in audio gear ( both production and consumption), so you can call me an audio fool for sure.
50X are certainly not bad for tracking and some mixing but they are far worse sonically compared to semi cheap cans like DT770 and absolutely trash compared to expensive cans like NDH20.
You can mix pretty well with Sony 7506 often priced way below 100USD.
Even M40X crushes them sonically ( build quality of M50X is awesome, 70X is another pair of bad offering from AT, where 60X sounds great, but uncomfortable)
Yes, most KZ sucks but those are sub 50USD ( often sub 30) iems. Now take Shure 535 for example, it sounds no better than 50 USD chi fi with a thick mid, but it sells for 300usd even today!!
Shure 215 is another rubbish pair along with momentum iems ( both around 100usd)
Remember those large blue UE triple fi? I still have a pair, bought in India ( from Amarbir) I'm pretty sure they sound worse than KZ ZS10 pros ( but my unit may be damaged after so many years, but there is no channel imbalance yet)
Sorry for this clusterfuck post. My only point was, I left iems after being thoroughly disappointed by ie800 ( only using a cheaper custom monitor on stage). KZs disappointed me too, but for the price, had nothing to complain ( most of them sound better than the crappy Sennheiser CX series, JBLs my wife kept on buying from airports before I convinced her to use a cheap pair of ANC cans for flights)
Now this bl03 with a good seal brought my interest back in IEMs ( bought 6 pairs in total...audio fool for sure) my sincere suggestion to you, try them once with good eartips and seal and let us know if you have heard anything like this before below 400USD in iem universe.
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Thinking of buying the BTR5 for the balanced outputs. Already have a pair of balanced cables for bl03 but other than desktop setup don't have anything portable with balanced out. Want to drive these crazy iems with best possible signal ( they sound absolutely fantastic with PSA Sprout)
 
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psyph3r

Well-Known Member
Veteran
50X are certainly not bad for tracking and some mixing but they are far worse sonically compared to semi cheap cans like DT770

Agreed, both the 770 and even the open backed 990's are superb cans and better than the M series, loved the 770 when I had swapped the M50s with a friend for a while, super accurate and tight bass.

Now take Shure 535 for example, it sounds no better than 50 USD chi fi with a thick mid, but it sells for 300usd even today!!
Shure 215 is another rubbish pair along with momentum iems ( both around 100usd)

The SE 215's and Triple Fi's were great for their time, there weren't that many alternatives or options back then. UE was bought out by Logi after the success of the tf10's but they did nothing with the IP.
I have a friend who bought his third pair of SE215's last year for 7k when his old ones broke, thing is some people are so used to the sound signature of certain iem's that they will replace it with the same no matter the cost or the number of better alternatives available at lower prices, the manufacturers know it and will not reduce the pricing for that exact reason.
The Shure ones at least have replaceable cables so that's seen as another plus by people who use their iem's extensively and are fed up with one or the other channel giving up due to faulty cables.
The DT770 itself has been around for 15 years now I think and it still costs the same as it did back in 2007.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
DT770 often goes cheaper than M50X in EU, pre covid it was available for 100 EUR
I'm not sure of Indian pricing, but everything seems expensive in Amazon India's website.
 

psyph3r

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Looks like prices have increased yet again, last time I checked it was 10k, now it's 13.5k for the 80 Ohm variant, that's almost $200.

 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Yes, I too have seen people using ( mostly musicians) using 215 for years. Our drummer is using the same for at least 5 years. But he's not bothered about sound quality, mixing, mastering at all.
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Looks like prices have increased yet again, last time I checked it was 10k, now it's 13.5k for the 80 Ohm variant, that's almost $200.

Wow!! That's more than 150 EUR!!! I would save up 70 bucks more and go for Focal Listen Pro anyday. Those are close to Numann NDH20 ( my ultimate tracking/ mixing/ studio cans)
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Have you tried the 215s? They are extremely comfortable, isolates almost like Etys, but sound horrible. The treble roll off and general detail retrieval is no better than KZs.
Blons are really so much better ( to my ears they are better than 535 also)
 
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psyph3r

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Have you tried the 215s? They are extremely comfortable, isolates almost like Etys, but sound horrible.

215s yes, 535s nope
I remember them being warm and having good mids and bass, that was a decade ago though, dunno how they hold up now.
 

dissel

Well-Known Member
Adept
Thinking of buying the BTR5 for the balanced outputs. Already have a pair of balanced cables for bl03 but other than desktop setup don't have anything portable with balanced out. Want to drive these crazy iems with best possible signal ( they sound absolutely fantastic with PSA Sprout)

I see where you going with this, Fiio M3 Pro USB out -> BTR5 USB IN -> Blon BL - 05 Balanced.....Great Setup, though you must know BTR3 K also support 2.5mm balance....though that is their lowest priced Balance Port offering product...mentioning this because if you didn’t satisfy the balance concept and BTR 5.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Yes, they are very warm with pleasant mids and no sparkle at all. That's the problem with single BA driver.
A single dynamic driver can produce all frequencies perfectly when tuned well.
Blon somehow accidentally managed to tune the drivers brilliantly.
At this point, I'm basically rambling on and on....but these are making me go through my music collection all over again. This doesn't happen much.
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I see where you going with this, Fiio M3 Pro USB out -> BTR5 USB IN -> Blon BL - 05 Balanced.....Great Setup, though you must know BTR3 K also support 2.5mm balance....though that is their lowest priced Balance Port offering product...mentioning this because if you didn’t satisfy the balance concept and BTR 5.
Yes man, that's the plan. If the price difference between the two is less than 50 EUR, will go with BTR5 if a lot more, BTR3K.
Availability has become a major problem here.
 
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fLUX

Well-Known Member
Adept
@psyph3r I dont think audition is really a possiblity here in India , in such scenarios i would be more willing to risk 2.5k against 10k iem blindly. That is where the chi-fi is really picking up and this has been validated by numerous reviewers/users as well. While some of the higher end chi-fi gear compete with IEMs almost twice/thrice the cost they have numerous QC issues, the Blons especially have really mixed reviews where a same person has returned a blon and bought another one and found them to be much better. Having said that some chi-fi brands have established quiet a good reputation like KZ/Moondrop/Fearless/Tin for making really good products at budget/middle prices.

Are they as good as top tier IEMs like Campfire Andromeda/Solaris etc. , certainly not but i totally love what the chi-fi do for their price and beyond
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Double post!!
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Bl03 was an accident, just received the bl05 package and after 10 minutes---they sound different and I don not really like it.
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T2 plus arrived very early ( it's 4:15 in the morning here, the package was thrown over the gate, FedEx guys!!)
Taking them for a run.
 
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dissel

Well-Known Member
Adept
Bl03 was an accident, just received the bl05 package and after 10 minutes---they sound different and I don not really like it.

Ohh....This is unfortunate again, You received Blon BL-05 instead of BL - 03 - what is the colour of the set ? Is it Light Green Set of BL - 05 ?
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LInus Media Group now reviewing DAP - quite surprise to see this, they are always hate these and preach these are useless product this day and age as per their CEO...but now they are looking into DAP.

 
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psyph3r

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Tbf DAP's were rendered useless for 95% of people when smartphones arrived, not really surprising they cover em though, it brings a ton of views with those click-baity titles.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
I meant the tuning of the bl03 happened by accident.
05s don't sound same.
T2s are very good iem. But I could only buy the T2 plus. They are kind of smooth in the treble. To my ears bl03s sound better with lot of energy, sparkle etc.
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headphones.jpg These are the least expensive headphones and earphones I have. HD 598 (open back) M40X (closed back) PXC 550 II (BTNC) and bl03 (iem) All can be very easily driven by the cheapest DAP (M3 Pro) or any mobile phone with very decent sound quality. After spending thousand after thousand over the years, realized one needs less than 500 EUR to have a very decent portable setup for audio. I wasted on headphones costing twice the combined price of all of those in the picture for very minimal improvement in sound quality ( specially while on road)
Anyone new to this game, please do not waste a lot of money on audio gear. Invest it on buying CD/ SACD and invest the time on organizing your music library with tags, lyrics etc. instead of wasting hours on head fi, reddit.
Just a suggestion from an audiofool.
 
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sammy0x

Member
Disciple
I was looking for Fiio DAC btr5 & using some good iem? Please suggest as this will be for mostly office calls, listening music sometimes and connecting to my Smart Tv at night while wife is sleeping?
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Your budget? I like both the bl03 and T2. The BLONS have slightly more bass and overall energy level.
Both are absolutely amazing for price. You will have to spend time for a fitting pair of tips for bl03s, they have very short nozzles.
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This is possibly the most unbiased and balanced opinion on common BTNC headphones in YouTube.
Unfortunately the uploader has lost his hearing or passed away by now.
A very honest channel which has lost thousands of subscribers due to his unbiased opinion on XM3.
 
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red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Yes, possibly ( he had leukemia, radiation induced hearing loss). He stopped responding to my emails few months back ( we became friends online, a very nice person, with 2 little kids)
Julian, bro, you have absolutely nothing to be worried about your temporary hearing difficulties.
You may loose some higher frequencies ( around 14 to 17khz) but that doesn't interfere much with enjoying music. I have a severe loss around 15k in right ear, 17k in left ( ageing plus years of playing onstage with crappy loud sound system in pubs)
 

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