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Article: IEM Review - $50 to $100


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14 hours ago, bobfa said:

@JoshM, Your reporting is just incredible.  Thanks for all the hard work and careful reporting.  I purchased the Candenza IEMs, and they perform very well.  I am still fussing over the comfort of the add-on tips.   

 

 

I am wondering where I will go next!

 

Thanks again!

 

 


Thanks so much, Bob. If you tell me a little more about any comfort or sound critiques you have of the Cadenza, I’m sure I can give you some upgrade suggestions based on your budget. I have a large number of IEMs that I still haven’t written up, but I can definitely give you a preview of what I think!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/15/2023 at 1:14 PM, JoshM said:


Thanks so much, Bob. If you tell me a little more about any comfort or sound critiques you have of the Cadenza, I’m sure I can give you some upgrade suggestions based on your budget. I have a large number of IEMs that I still haven’t written up, but I can definitely give you a preview of what I think!

@JoshM  I am just getting back from vacation. I use my IEMs in different roles.  One primary role is for listening to Amateur Radio transmissions.  Listening to CW or SSB signals can be very tiring with the background noise and other interference.  If an IEM is at all tiring for music it will not be a good fit for Ham Radio.  Comfort in the ear is also important extended operation happens a lot.  Comfort in the ear is really important.  I often only have one ear in at a time.

 

 

https://www.hamradiosecrets.com/listen-to-ham-radio-online.html#OWSDR

 

Pick one of the SDR radios like this one:

 

https://www.hamradiosecrets.com/listen-to-ham-radio-online.html#OWSDR

 

set it to one of the ham bands and use SSB or CW

 

 

I also use them for some video and audio streaming but the AirPods Pro 2 fill that gap rather nicely so not as often. 

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On 9/1/2023 at 9:54 PM, bobfa said:

@JoshM  I am just getting back from vacation. I use my IEMs in different roles.  One primary role is for listening to Amateur Radio transmissions.  Listening to CW or SSB signals can be very tiring with the background noise and other interference.  If an IEM is at all tiring for music it will not be a good fit for Ham Radio.  Comfort in the ear is also important extended operation happens a lot.  Comfort in the ear is really important.  I often only have one ear in at a time.

 

 

https://www.hamradiosecrets.com/listen-to-ham-radio-online.html#OWSDR

 

Pick one of the SDR radios like this one:

 

https://www.hamradiosecrets.com/listen-to-ham-radio-online.html#OWSDR

 

set it to one of the ham bands and use SSB or CW

 

 

I also use them for some video and audio streaming but the AirPods Pro 2 fill that gap rather nicely so not as often. 


Hi Bob, Wow, I used to listen to Ham with my grandfather, who was in communications in WWII. It’s cool to know there are web apps for it, but I guess I should’ve just assumed that’s the case by now! 
 

Yes, I can definitely see how that could get tiring on some IEMs, especially ones with an upper-mids focus. What’s your budget for a new pair?

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  • 3 months later...

I picked up the Cadenza after the under $50 review and was pretty surprised/impressed with their performance vs cost.  Based on the under $100 review a couple of weeks ago I finally picked up the Quartet...these are head and shoulders better than the Cadenza. The difference is immediately evident and have not listened to my Cadenzas since. The Quartet actually rivals my (a long time ago) memory of the Westone 4R...by far my favorite of all time.  I have owned a couple of Westones in the $400 range, Shures in slightly less cost range, etymotic 2 & 4R, B&W C1 & C2 and one or two more I am forgetting.  The Quarttet rivals any of them.  Thank you for work!

 

Of course...if I add up the cost of all of them...I could have had a high $$$ custom pair or two.  But what is the fun in that?

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear RAX43 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->SABAJ A10d->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

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  • 2 months later...

This is a fantastic review! You did a masterful job of wording your findings in a way that is easy to relate and quantify. The measurements and comparisons are qualified and easy to understand. I was able to find everything I needed to make an informed purchase and that’s coming from someone with more than thirty years as a career audio engineer/producer. I really appreciate all of the work that went into this and I am personally looking forward to future reviews. Well done and thank you! 🙏🏻 

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Thank you, Will. What did you end up ordering?

In terms of measurements, I have a new IEC-711 clone coupler. I’m remeasuring all of the IEMs I still have on hand and setting up a SquigLink site. This will make it easy to compare IEMs across my reviews as well as against IEMs measured by other 711-equipped SquigLink users. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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