"Bad sound kills good music"

This is meant as a lighthearted yet helping hand ear and general knowledge base for portable audio products, including earphones, amps and media players.

All earphone/headphone reviews have been done by using a Rockboxed iBasso DX50 and a Teac UD-H01 headphone DAC/Amp (previously a Cowon D2 and a Sansa Clip), without any EQ or DSP tweaking.

Best sound all categories:

Sennheiser HE 1

Earphone (IEM/in ears) top ten:

  1. MEE Audio Pinnacle P1 with the MEE Audio Balanced MMCX Cable
  2. RHA CL1
  3. MEE Audio Pinnacle P2 with the MEE Audio Balanced MMCX Cable
  4. Westone UM Pro 50
  5. Accutone Pisces BA
  6. Phonak Audeo PFE 232
  7. Fidue A83
  8. Westone 4R
  9. Sensaphonics J-Phonic K2 SP
  10. MEE Audio M7 PRO

This top list is my personal preference, and may not be true to someone else. Also note that all IEMs on this list are exceptionally good.

Favourite IEMs for different sound signatures:

For bassy/warm sound:
Zagg ZR-SIX, Sennheiser IE8, Hippo VB, SonoCore Chrome and COA-805, Denon C710, Brainwavz M5 R1 S1 S5, Rock Jaw Alfa Genus (silver sound filter).

For natural/neutral sound:
Phonak PFE232, Meelectronics M6 Pro, Fidue A83, Minerva Mi-3, Sensaphonics J-Phonic K2 SP, Shure SE535, Westone UM-3X, Head Direct RE262, Sennheiser IE7, Dunu DN-11, Westone 4R, Brainwavz B2 M1 R3 S0 S3, Fiio F5.

For detailed/cold sound:
Phiaton PS200, Audio Technica CK10, Etymotic hf3.

Headphone (on/over ears) top five:

  1. Sennheiser HE 1
  2. OPPO PM-3 coupled with Oidio Balanced Cable for even better sound.
  3. Sony MDR-Z1000
  4. Ferrari by Logic3 T350
  5. Even H1

Wireless headphones/headsets top three:

  1. Meelectronics Air-Fi AF62 Matrix2 & Meelectronics Air-Fi AF72 Metro2
  2. Lindy BNX-60
  3. Meelectronics Air-Fi AF52 Venture

The Matrix2 and Metro2 are equally good, just different in presentation and shape/form.

Digital Audio Players (DAP) top three:

  1. Pioneer XDP-100R
  2. Astell&Kern AK100
  3. Cowon X7

Earphone reviews:
Audio Technica, Brainwavz part 1 part 2, Crossroads.
Denon, Dunu, Etymotic, Fidue, Fiio, Fischer Audio, HifiMan, Hippo.
HiSound, I-Mego, Jays, Klipsch, Lindy.
Meelectronics, Minerva, Nocs, Nuforce.
Phiaton, Phonak, RHA, Rock Jaw, Sennheiser, Sensaphonics.
Shure, SonoCore, SoundMagic, Thinksound, Vivanco.
Westone, Zagg.

Headphone reviews
Headphone reviews (part 2)

Portable amp reviews

Portable media player reviews (with screen for video etc)

Portable music player reviews (without screen, or monochrome screen)

Tablet / media player reviews

Accessory reviews

Car audio related reviews

The discussion thread, AKA as the original review thread

New portable audio/video stuff

Latest review(s) added:

Oidio Balanced Cable

Coming review(s):