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!
Penon Volt – Electric dreams
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.
StealthSonics C9 Pro – Silky dream!
If you're looking for an IEM that is highly engaging and smooth with a strong bassline, full mids with superb vocals and very refined and elegant treble then the C9 Pro is definitely among the top options especially at its price point!
Earsonics EM10 – The hidden gem
If you’re looking for a highly engaging all rounder CIEM with what I consider to be the best BA mid bass around and TOTL performance all accross the board doubled with a unique sense of rythm, you can’t go wrong with Earsonics audiophile range flagship! The EM10 manages to equal the most engaging IEM I own in Custom Art FIBAE7 and this is no small feat if you consider it also is totally up to par performance wise with one of the market’s benchmark in Vision Ears VE8. Quite a combination in my book!
ItsFit Lab Fusion – Serious fun!
If you're looking for a punchy and clear sounding IEM with great soundstage and fantastic imaging, then you'd be hard pressed to find a better candidate than the Fusion especially at its price point. The Fusion delivers great value for money, flawless technical foundations, a highly coherent tuning and a superb build. Competitors take note, a strong challenger hits the market and it hits hard!
Custom Art FIBAE7 – Magnificent seven!
The FIBAE7 is a very rich sounding IEM, a soulful and romantic presentation that combines power and energy with finesse and nuance. If you like a full, rich, natural and smooth signature with amazing musicality and great sense of pace rhythm and timing with no compromises on technical foundations then you’re in for a treat with the FIBAE7!
Earsonics EM64 – Fast forward!
If you’re looking for great value for money all rounder TOTL custom in this day and age, there aren’t that many options in the 1K range but the EM64 certainly falls into that (too narrow) category : not only does it sport rock solid technical foundations, but it stands apart with a non fatiguing forward signature that packs a lot of detail and punch which is in my book quite a unique combination! I f you’re not into customs then the Purple shares a lot of DNA with the EM64 (including the TrueWave) with a 3 position switch on top for even more versatility.
Custom Art FIBAE 4 – Smooth operator
If you’re looking for a fun IEM with sound technical foundations that you can listen to for hours at times without any fatigue, then the FIBAE4 is definitely a must own in a collection especially in its price bracket! If you’re looking for fun tuning with more bite and a snappier attack then there are a few mid range IEM that could suit you more like say Earsonics Velvet v2 or - more pricey - the Earsonics Purple or Campfire’s Atlas.
Custom Art FIBAE Black – The Black Siren
The Black is appart in the FIBAE lineup, in that it’s based on a radically different design pattern - from the ground up. There is a lot of work into the technical design, especially in acoustics and it shows. It might be priced as an entry level custom IEM (and a mid priced universal) but it sure doesn’t sound like one! The Black mids are probably my favorite mids regardless of price or driver tech.