Though its unique combination of qualities and thoughtful execution, the Phoenix is able to carve out a reasonably uncontested niche in the audio market for bass lovers who still value clear vocals and a spacious soundstage.
The D70s’ strength lies in its ability to effortlessly resolve the minutiae and do so without any fatigue, all the while upholding an almost perfectly even-handed presentation.
The O800 provides one of the most refined takes on a smooth and coherent sound signature I’ve experienced at far from prohibitive pricing.
The LCD-X is an invaluable tool for those prioritising balance and authenticity – a headphone that doesn’t draw attention but rather places a spotlight on the style and colouration of elements surrounding it.
If you can stomach Final’s sound colouration alongside the substantial price tag, the A8000 provides extraordinary range and an effortless portrayal of music with agility that belies belief.
The TWS800 is Hifiman’s flagship true-wireless in-ear based on the Topology Diaphragm driver design. It features a high-impedance driver and custom discrete amplifier.
Shozy’s open-back flagship IEM is essentially uncontested for vocal lovers wanting a huge, expansive soundstage.
The A50s remains an easy recommendation for its well-rounded design, ultra clean and linear sound and very reasonable price.
The Gae Bolg is a master craft for those wanting a highly coherent and immersive presentation, bulletproof build quality and visually striking design.
Ares Audio’s latest flagship cable offers a faithful augmentation of the attached IEM, retaining natural timbre and coherence whilst serving to clean up tone and enhance technical performance.
The 1More TWS ANC may not best market leaders, but gets very close for considerably less with a more technical sound on top.
Few competitors create as well-rounded a package as the Blessing 2, this is a balanced and refined earphone that punches well above its asking price.
Audiofly’s new TWS model balances sound quality and daily usability better than most and at a cheaper price point, albeit with a rather safe tuning.
The EM5 is an especially resolving earbud with a comfortable, well-built shell and great, albeit fixed, modular cable that permits enjoyment from any source.
The TC35i is one of the most compact and economical options that nails the fundamentals of a good portable source.
So long as you take into account the narrower soundstage and notable sub-bass bias, the FH3 is an excellent in-ear that represents very strong value.