Many Elysium owners must like me be wondering what the EXT would bring to the table compared to the original Elysium. For those who haven't got either, choosing could seem simple if you want a universal, just get the EXT it's the original Elysium with a DD and a quad EST. Well as we'll see, the Vision Ears team has luckily made this much more complicated and the OG Elysium still has its own strength and uniqueness. Keeping both IEMs in a collection makes total sense, as OG and EXT provides different portrayal of music and in no way their signature is marginally different. So which one should you pick? Read on!
f you're looking for the next step in your audiophile journey coming from ISN H40/H50, the EST50 certainly does feature one of the best bass around in the segment but also adds a very engaging and more technical midrange with a refinement that it's pretty impressive at this price point! If you don't know ISN or were looking for a more balanced and refined presentation than the H40 then I strongly suggest you give them an audition!
If you're looking for an IEM with remarkable transparency, impressive air and resolution combined with a relaxed presentation then the Spark certainly has a place in your collection! It does so with superb build quality at a fair price in a soaring prices segment.
If you're looking for an IEM with outstanding bass authority and power, a natural transparent midrange with excellent bite and a lively treble with excellent extension then Mundaka should be at the top of your list! The Mundaka has a strong personality with its incredibly powerful bass. Yet if it can be a basshead dream come true, it's not at the expense of the "audiophile" criterias thanks to its transparent midrange and excellent treble performance. Think of Mundaka as a good excuse to satisfy your inner basshead without compromising your audiophile backbone 😉
If you're looking for an IEM with an intoxicating midrange, powerful textured and fast bass and impressive air and resolution at a reasonable price then the Land is one of top alternatives in a crowded segment with tough competition! It does so with a really singular combination of transparency, engagement and refinement crediting a real tuning mastery from Tansio Mirai. This is a sweet time to be an audiophile and despite the insane price rise in the flagship segment thanks to EST becoming widespread there are some gems in the mid tier segment now and Land is a very strong contender there.
If you’re looking for an IEM with punchy and snappy bass, a transparent midrange with good body and bite and well extended and refined treble delivered smoothly, then I can only recommend the Globe! The Globe is a very strong proposition at its price and keeps up with the best of a strong competition in this segment.
If you're looking for a solid technical performer with a reference tuning at a reasonable price, boasting strong bass foundations, articulate and clear mids as well as energetic and well extended treble that provide both excellent resolution and imaging then the Spring 2 is a strong option in the lower price tier!
If you're looking for flagship performance at a reasonable price and you like full bodied, smooth signature with strong bass foundations, impressive resolution and treble refinement then you'd miss out not adding the Volt to your list. Make sure you have a proper source though to provide enough current to bring the best out of it. And if you have a bigger budget, Totem is a fantastic pairing that brings a more punchy, energetic, focused presentation as well as elite performance that matches much pricier flagships.
If you're looking for a decently priced well built IEM with great slam and physicality down low, a full and smooth midrange, refined and energetic treble then the OH10 is worthy to add to the list of IEMs to consider. If you can spare the 59€ extra their CTU-01 balanced cable is strong value and a good match to the OH10 to take it one step further.
If you're looking for a decently priced well built IEM with good slam and physicality down low, a clear articulate and accurate midrange and treble with smooth delivery then it's hard not to recommend to add the OH1 to the list of IEMs to seriously consider. If you can spare the 59€ extra their CTU-01 balanced cable is strong value and a superb match to the OH1 to take it one setp further and frankly with a SQ punching above its price point.
The Orb is up there with the best in the segment namely ISN H40 and Dunu DK-2001 which is no small feat. If you're looking for an IEM with of the very best bass, a full yet clear articulate midrange and refined treble then it's hard not to recommend the Orb as one of the very best value for money on the market. A no brainer in my opinion!
If you're looking for a highly coherent reference IEM with superb transparency, resolution and imaging all with a smooth delivery and a level of refinement rarely found at its price point then you will enjoy the LZ A7 with its default black filter but the silver filter in monitor mode will go even further reaching performance levels beyond what you'd expect at this price point. If you like a warmer tone and slightly more relaxed variant the Gold filter will definitely do, without compromising the baseline qualities. If you're into brighter signature, the blue filter will be an interesting option and conversely the red filter will provide a darker and warmer tuning.
If you're looking for a highly engaging IEM featuring a balanced and smooth signature with a great deal of fun in all the right places and a very rare level of refinement at this price point then look no further, the DK-2001 is in my opinion a gem and a steal at its price! It clearly shows the mastery of a manufacturer that has gained superb insight from developing a hybrid lineup for quite some time now.
If you're looking for a smooth and engaging hybrid that feature powerful bass, a full bodied midrange and well extended exciting yet smooth treble then Earsonics Blade is a strong option in a crowded market. If you're a Earsonics fan then this one should be a no brainer if you want the house sound with extra power in the bass and a clear step up in build quality. If you're looking for a snappier, punchier hybrid from Earsonics then check my Stark review.
If you're looking for an IEM that can satisfy the basshead in you with a physical, powerful well extended controlled and fast bass, smooth mids with clear vocals as well as exciting but never harsh treble then you're in for a treat with Earsonics Stark especially on Rock and Metal! If your music genre preferences lies elsewhere then why not look at its all rounder little brother Blade?