July 30, 2020
A good IEM must be comfortable and it must align with your sonic preferences. We all have very different sonic styles and finding the sound that feels right for you is critical. You can be listening to a flagship product with all latest drivers but if the tone and attack doesn’t feel right to you, then it’s not a good IEM. This is why there are so many IEM manufacturers and so many choices — each manufacturer represents a certain style, a certain voicing, a certain flavor. Finding the best manufacturer is like finding the best restaurant — everyone has their own favorite and arguing about which one is best is half the fun!
A good IEM will enhance the frequencies that you gravitate towards and it will reveal nuances in the music that you love. It will pull you deeper into the songs and will help envelop you in emotion. It is like a scalpel. It will let you dissect the music in new ways - it will allow you to focus on any part of the recording or track that you want.
For an IEM to be GREAT, it must also be a work of art. Remember, these are handmade pieces and each one reflects the aesthetic of the manufacturer but also of the technician who is making the set. And while we listen with our ears, we also hear with our eyes. Our eyes set our perceptions and expectations.
A great IEM must be luminous. It must have balance and weight and curves — all which catch the light. It must have a color that represents how you feel about music. And more often than not, it must have an artistic theme that represents your personal style as well — even if your theme is minimalistic. It must be something that you want to show off and that you take tremendous pride in. Owning a great IEM is a tremendous luxury that brings untold joy. It becomes one of your most prized possessions.