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“The mids in the VE8 are quite different from the more recessed VE5’s mids. In the VE8 they have more body making the whole presentation more linear. The mids have lovely texture with good depth and layering. They sound musical and natural and the voice are perfectly incorporated in it.”


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” There is very little to criticise in Westone’s W80. Perhaps the only ‘downsides’ involve the fact that the earphone is (not surprisingly) extremely sensitive to the quality of associated amplifiers and source components and is noticeably harder to drive than Westone’s W60/ES60 models. The only other minor critique I would offer is that the ALO Reference 8 Westone Edition cables (which sound very good, by the way), use jackets that are relatively stiff and therefore transmit a fair amount of mechanical noise when they brush against garments or desktop objects. Apart from those minor points, though, the W80 is a world-class winner, pure and simple.”


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“First off, yes there was a reasonable improvement, indicating that the drivers on the 12 Classics were transparent enough to pick up on the upstream enhancements; quite impressive for a pair of $79 in-ear monitors. Most I’ve trialed sounded almost identical in this comparison. But secondly what really grabbed my attention was the thunderous, impactful bass and never slow, nor plodding. Rather well defined and quite life-like and quite comparable to full sized headphones. If you are a fan of the Audeze LCD sound or Sony Z1R and are looking for an outstanding pair of inexpensive IEMs, I strongly suggest you look into the 12 Classics”

Ultimate Ears Pro 18+ Custom IEMs $1500 Review

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” The UE 18+ Pro pairs fantastically with Fiio’s 3rd generation X5 DAP; the sound signature is smooth with great body and detailing. The Questyle QP1R, on the other hand, extracts even more detailing albeit with a slight compromise in soundstage proportions. The Fiio X7 presents a more analytical sound than Fiio’s 3rd generation X5 DAP with similar levels of separation and openness. At 37.5 Ohms, the UE 18+ Pro is ever so slightly harder to drive than the UERM and the UERR but is still relatively easy to drive in the grand scheme of desktop listening, DAPs and portable headphone amps.”


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“Bass and dark wood instruments sound amazing on both monitors. The overall bass quantity of the NF6i is more comparable to the PP8 with activated bass boost, but the InEar will show more slam and greater impact than the NF Audio. (This is likely due to comparing a CIEM with a universal.) Surprisingly, the NF6 have a wider and deeper soundstage while boasting equally impressive layering and separation.”

Aedle ods 1 Review

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“These are stunning, but sadly not in all departments quite yet. They no doubt look it, I don’t need to tell you that and minus a few little quirks like an annoying mic and short nozzles, build quality is great too. Ergonomics should be their main development next time around as even when I found tips that got a seal (bigger tips than I normally use and I went through much more) it was still a long winded process getting them to completely seal every time I stuck them in my ears.”

Noble Audio in-ear headphones Massdrop price drop for $250.

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“Max Richter’s “Recomposed: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons” that sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly revamps the original Vivaldi masterpiece was a joy over the X. Somehow the real chamber strings and synthesized sounds never clashed, and the ‘X just lets them be. Switching over to another of my favorite in-ears in the X’s price range, the 1More Quad Driver, that one made more, but less well-defined bass. In fact, the Quad Driver’s sound was less clear, less exciting, but that headphone was easier to listen to with harsh, over-compressed recording like Austin, Texas pop rockers Spoon’s latest album, “Hot Thoughts.” Their songs are just as good as ever, but like most recent Spoon albums, the sound grates on the ears with the X.”

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