The following Top Reader Voted IEM & Earphone scores are assigned by the readers, (Score) and apply only to all reviews were a slider voting system exists. This list includes both the top 30 custom and universal type monitors.
Please note the list will change dynamically as readers continue to vote. Higher scoring IEMs will automatically replace lower-scoring IEMs. They will also continue to change as we progressively work our way through historical reviews and add a voting system.
These lists are not to be confused with our forthcoming Editorial scoring lists which are the top gear as reviewed and scored by our review team. Those lists will form the basis of our Awards at the end of the year. Once the year is completed the Editorial scores will be deleted and the ‘annual top lists’ will start over again.
Top 30 earphones as voted on by our readers
The Odin is a technical beast bar none with masterful levels of control from the dual subwoofer configuration right up to that nuanced treble tuning. Nothing is overdone, even those forward upper mids are beautifully tempered by a coherent treble tuning.
Overall, I think Unique Melody proves they are prepared to take a risk with new ideas, and with the MEST it really works incredibly well. If you want the flavor of that bone conduction on a budget then the MEST Mini is very sensibly priced also.
King Arthur is not an Asian sound that is stereotypically mids to treble and very clean. This is much more relaxed and smoother. The timbre is also richer with a low-end to lower-mids weighting wand excellent width.
The Mason V3+ is a very natural sounding and expansive sounding flagship monitor. Especially so with the silver side of the dual-tone cable which still manages to retain that weighted full-bodied sound of the copper but with superior separation and treble articulation.
The Vision Ears VE5 is totally unique and for now one of a kind. It is not for everyone though and if you have to have one CIEM only and you are not bothered with vocal performance then this is not the CIEM for you.
The Empire Ears Hero is a bit of a welcome tonic to the miserable year that is 2020. This is an honest to goodness V-shaped tub-thumping presentation, heavy on the sub-bass rumble and matching treble energy.
The Zephyr sounds incredibly balanced and engaging, with just the right amount of low-end weight and a good vocal presence to give itself plenty of flexibility for a wide range of genres.
The 64 Audio Nio a very enjoyable listening experience with some excellent technical capability and a high degree of flexibility when it comes to synergy with the inclusion of the apex modules.
The sound is smoother, more coherent with a better mids presence. The timbre is more natural to my ear and sweeter sounding for vocals and instrumental notes. This is a clever tuning with less of an apparent traditional hybrid driver separation from the lows to the highs.