In-Ear Fidelity

The Procrastination Update (Ranking List)

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So, I know things have been a little slow recently with regards to article postings and such.

But I thought you were doing reviewing full-time? Why has the posting frequency dropped like a rock?

Yeah… not quite yet. Those of you who are more active in my Discord would know that I have certain… commitments… that I have to fulfill before I well and truly dive into reviewing in a full-time, professional capacity. But for now I’m basically out-of-commission from 6am to 7pm every weekday, and after dinner and a shower I’m basically too tired to keep up with my review backlog. 

But mark your calendars for the 8th of September, because that’s when the shackles finally come loose and I can post in my preferred schedule, which is an article every other day.

Today, here’s the long-delayed update of the 470-entry long IEM Ranking List. For both the old reviewed entries, as well as some extra entries that I see no point in hoarding anymore.

Formatting changes

First, just a brief clarification on a new (though not obvious) way that the ranking list will be presented from here on out.

Following the update that split the ranking system into tonality and technicalities, a new (albeit minor) problem arises. While two different IEMs may have the same overall rank, there are arguments to be made that certain grade splits would be “valued” higher than others. For instance, one could argue an A/B split would be worth higher than a B+/B+ split despite both being calculated at the same overall rank, or perhaps an A+/B split being  valued higher than a A/B split (again, despite the same calculated overall rank).

A hidden score value has been implemented for all entries that takes all this into account, so entries in each tier are no longer sorted alphabetically. Sorting by overall rank (the current default) will now sort by “calculated performance” based on the two tonal/technical grades first, and then alphabetically. This ensures that the “highest possible score” within the tier itself will be pushed up to the top (e.g. A/S- being the best possible split for an A-tier).

TL;DR: the ranking list now sorts by “performance” more accurately.

Old Entry Updates

The stuff I’m supposed to update on-the-fly but didn’t

ModelTone GradeTechnical GradeOverall Rank
Audiosense AQ3BCC+
Campfire Andromeda (2020)A+S-A+
Campfire AraC+SB
Campfire Solaris (2020)B-AB
Faudio MajorCB+C+
Faudio MinorABB+
Gaudio ClaridenBB-B-
Gaudio NairA+BB+
Moondrop Blessing 2SAA+
Moondrop SSRC-BC
NiceHCK NX7 ProC+B-C+
Tansio Mirai TSMR-12 “Zodiac”A+AA
ThieAudio L9B+BB
ThieAudio Legacy 3BC+C+
ThieAudio V14AAA
ThieAudio V3C+B-C+
Tin HiFi T2000CCC

New Entry Additions

Ranks I’ve hoarded too long on Patreon

ModelTone GradeTechnical GradeOverall Rank
AAW HalyconCC+C
Audiosense DT200A+CB-
Campfire SolsticeC-CC-
Fearless S8ZA+AA
Final Audio A8000B-AB
Gold Planar GL20D-A+C-
Hidizs Mermaids MS4D+CD+
iBasso IT00CCC
ikko OH7C+C+C+
Jade Audio EA3DC+D+
JQ Hua JiangA-B+B+
JVC FW10000B+S-A-
Kinera NannaA-BB
Mangird TeaCB-C
MMR HomunculusCBC+
MMR ThummimCBC+
Origami Audio SilverD+DD
qdc DmagicA-A-A-
QoA MojitoCCC
Tansio Mirai TSMR-5BC+C+
Vision EVE 20B-A-B
Yinyoo AshD+C+C-


ModelChangesOld RankNew Rank
Campfire Andromeda (Pre-2020)Tone grade: A+ to AA+A
Empire Ears ZeusTone grade: C+ to DBC
Unique Melody LegacyDeletedS-
Vision Ears ElysiumTone grade: A+ to A-
Technical grade: A+ to S-

Crowdfunding campaign update: Thank you to all who have contributed to the headphones measurement rig campaign last month.

After further testing, it seems that my current IEC coupler (when attached to the KB5000/1 pinna) does not generate the “correct” results. As such, I’d have to get the full GRAS 43AG-7 setup anyways for the RA0402 coupler (in order to keep my measurements comparable to other existing GRAS databases). The setup has already been purchased and so the project will still be continuing as scheduled regardless of funding status, but if you’d like to contribute further the campaign will be up till the database is finalised.

The donation goal has been shifted from $5,000 to $9,000 to reflect this added cost.

(The whole set will arrive later this month, so no headphone measurements till September.)

Support me on Patreon to get access to tentative ranks, the exclusive “Clubhouse” Discord server and/or access to the Premium Graph Comparison Tool! My usual thanks to all my current supporters and shoutouts to my big money boys:

Man Ho

2 thoughts on “The Procrastination Update (Ranking List)”

  1. Has crinacle a EZAudio D4 review or rating hidden somewhere in his Patreon exclusive content?
    And why does the tone rating have such a weight? It generally isn’t hard to change the tonal characteristics with an equalizer, but almost impossible to do anything with the technicalities. For example, Audiosense AQ3 has C technical grade and a B tone grade, resulting in a C+ average, while Moondrop SSR has a C- tone and a B technical, resulting in C average, which doesn’t make much sense if EQ is factored in. Or am I missing some downside to equalizing?

  2. Hi crinacle, will you test InEar ProMission X (PMX)? Being curious about its performance under your grading system, thx!

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