Another Tier List!
Updated: Sep 27
One of the most common requests that I receive is, "Where is your Tier List?" So after 3 years of reviews on YouTube, here is my Tier List.
You all know me and shouldn't be surprised at how simple but out of the ordinary this Tier List is.
There are 3 tabs at the bottom; Headphones, IEM and Ranking Grade. In the Headphone and IEM tabs there are 3 sortable columns; Manufacture, Model and Grade. In the 3rd tab, Ranking Grade, there is an explanation of the Grade.
Explanation of the Ranking Grade: A "minus" is the lowest and a "plus" is the highest within that letter; if no "plus" or "minus" then it is smack in the middle of said letter. "A" equals "awful" which is the worst I have experienced. "B" equals "bad" which is barely tolerable. "C" equals "contender" which is gear that has a few flaws but is recommendable. "D" equals "delicious" which means this gear is highly recommended. "E" equals "excellent" which is the cream of the crop.
The overall grade is based on my review and is a mixture of the entire experience; build, comfort, sonics and everything else in between. To best understand differences in grades it is recommended you watch or read my review. More then likely you will be directed back to the original review/s when asking for comparison/s so why not watch it first.
Just because various products have the same grade may or may not mean they perform at the same level BUT is the overall grade for how it performs on it's own merit in my personal opinion.
Please keep in mind that this Tier List is my personal opinion and it more then likely will differ with other reviewers and your experiences.
Also, this is a living document and will be updated with each new review. Some grades may fluctuate without reason based on me revisiting the gear and changing my mind.
Please enjoy the Tier List and have fun comparing.
YouTube reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgMj7xJ1SDxGqqxZ5l3g_jg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TalkDbs @TalkDbs
The Honest Audiophile research/review process: https://youtu.be/UkSnoZZNyYc
Audio Terms/Definitions: https://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html
Rosson Audio Design RAD-0: http://www.rossonaudiodesign.com/
Meze Empyrean: https://mezeaudio.com/products/meze-empyrean
Hifiman Ananda: https://hifiman.com/products/detail/290
Sennheiser HD660s: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/hd-660-s
MrSpeakers Ether C (non flow version) https://danclarkaudio.com/
Meze Rai Penta: https://mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/rai-penta
Meze Rai Solo: https://mezeaudio.com/products/rai-solo
Empire Ears ESR: https://empireears.com/products/esr-b-stock
Moondrop SSR: https://www.moondroplab.com/ssr
Monoprice Monolith THX AAA 788: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24459
Mytek Liberty: https://mytekdigital.com/hifi/products/liberty-dac/
HeadAmp GSX-Mini: https://www.headamp.com/products/gs-x-mini
Soekris DAC1421: https://soekris.modhouseaudio.com/soekris-audiophile-line/dac-1421
Tor Audio Roger: https://toraudio.com/main.html#
Schiit Auido BiFrost 2: https://schiit.com/products/bi-frost-1
Massdrop THX AAA 789:
Grace Design SDAC-B: https://drop.com/buy/drop-grace-design-standard-dac-balanced?utm_source=linkshare&referer=FTSS2S
Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/enog2-pro-dac-metal-case
Geshelli Labs J2: https://geshelli.com/jnog
Geshelli Labs Erish: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/erish-balanced
https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/5bbf80ce-33f3-4222-a1fc-6539a95415d6 (in order of playlist)
Tingvall Trio “Beat” - piano tonality
Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” - multiple layer soundstage
Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” - female vocal tone
Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” - male vocal tone
Eric Clapton “Change the World” - soundstage, layering and placement
Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” - acoustic instrument timbre
Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” - acoustic instrument timbre
Pain of Salvation “Stress” - percussion balance
Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” - orchestral dynamics
Patricia Barber “Code Cool” - sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” - shouty upper mids
Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” - imaging
Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” - sub bass extension
Marcus Miller “No Limit” - bass control
Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
Hans Zimmer: “2049” - sub bass extension
Cher: “Believe” - sibilance
Stanley Clarke - “Passenger 57 main title” - percussion, bass, separation and placement
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - “The Pine of the Appian Way” - soundstage, imaging and separation
Houston Person - “You are my Sunshine” - tone and timbre
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