Another month means another meetup. This time the Offline was basically setup by my friend "Nova", who is also one of the member of the legendary Voz forum in Vietnam which is now theNEXTvoz. They have a thread that is for Chifi IEM right here, joining this forum will take a while since they only open for registration for a limited time -_-.
Enough of the introduction, let's get to it. Oh wait, before someone asked about the COVID-19 situation like last time, look at how many motorcycles in front of the store, the perfect control track record of Vietnam isn't for show :'D.
Before going into the post, if you are new, please read this before having any comments regarding my writing or point of view. Usual disclaimer with measurements also applies, expect a resonance peak at around 8kHz unless stated otherwise.
And yes, my dummy head forgot to take pictures all the time, I will just include those if I happened to remember.
Etymotic Research ER2XR:
The name "Etymotic Research" isn't really that popular among the Vietnamese. Hence, trying to find even the ER4XR right now for me is a big challenge to the point I might need to book a plane ticket to the other end of the country to listen to it. That being said, there are still some products that "carry" the "Etymotic" name in the Vietnamese Market, namely the reshelled version of the ER4S which I saw lately.
That being said, I am currently owning an ER4S (not a reshell version) to which I have some lukewarm opinions with. Well... it is a really nice earphone for sure but the only problem here is that the presentation is somewhat too dry for my taste, BA timbre is also evident in this earphone so I somewhat understand why not a lot of Vietnamese talking about them. I still listen to the 4S over times though but mostly for the novelty.
Now, to the ER2XR, this has been on my radar for quite sometimes now so I was mostly waiting for this offline to come. And boy, it delivers - among the earphone that I managed to listen today, ER2XR probably takes the top spot. Different from the ER4S, the ER2XR have a really nice bass boost with decent rumble, timbre is also improved due to the use of Dynamic Driver in this earphone. Of course, comparing to the ER4S, while both have below average staging (with the ER2XR slightly win on this front), ER2XR is still lacking in details retrieval. Also, tuning wise if you already have a problem with the ER4 response, I don't think the situation improves with the ER2 here unless you are looking for a "less dry" presentation from Etymotic. That being said, the price of the ER2XR is about 110$ right now which is a bargain considering how the audio market is going recently.
If you don't mind the fit of Etymotic line up, I think the ER2XR worth a consideration in your shopping cart, what a steal.
Recommendation Rating: Recommended
There is actually a person who has been asking for my Moondrop S8 impression so I think I would settle it here. But long story short - I think the Blessing 2 and the S8 are more or less the same if we are talking about pure sound quality.
Of course, this doesn't mean they are identical. Speaking about the S8, then it is quite good for a BA set. The bass while still doesn't give me the quality of a DD bass, managed to dig well into the lower frequencies. Upper midrange is a little bit into my face and I honestly would go back to the Blessing 2 to listen to just because of this. Staging wise, the S8 also has that "over the ear" effect that the Blessing 2 has.
I think the more I write the more I will compare the S8 to the B2 and come with the conclusion they are more or less a trade blow in sound performance so I will end it here. The Blessing 2 is quite a strange occurrence for me now that I have listened to the S8 and I honestly don't know if I should recommend the S8 when the B2 is around. Maybe time will tell.
Recommendation Rating: Recommended/Niches
The DUNU LUNA - the newest loved child from DUNU. Even in the Vietnamese community, some of the members have liked them to death already.
Well, sadly, I am not really into that party. Don't get me wrong, I think for a 1DD, the LUNA is actually pretty nice. Tight bass that can dig quite well, decent tonality and good imaging. But the problem with the Luna for me is the treble region where I would wish to have more sparkle and honestly after hearing the Z1R, I kinda want to have that bass and soundstage performance :'D.
You saw that I gave my recommendation with the ER2XR and the S8 already, but I kinda want to listen to the LUNA for some more times and give my recommendation later.
VSonic Gr07 37th Anniversary Edition:
Honestly I don't pay attention much to VSonic, I listened to this one near the end of the day but still managed to get quite a good time with it. And my impression with the Gr07 was... not so good.
The owner of this IEM told me that it sounds different from the original GR07 and I honestly don't understand the idea behind the 37th anniversary edition here. To sum it all up the Gr07's sound literary dies on the upper midrange/treble. It sounds really dark to my ears and vocals also sound muddy, unatural.
Maybe my impression with the Gr07 non-anniversary will be different, at least I hope so. But for this version, I don't really recommend it.
Recommendation ratings: Not recommended
I won't go in depth about these earphone and mainly leave the measurements if people want to do some research. Will add some comments under if I feel it is necessary though.
Ignore this part if you want since it is mostly uninteresting anyway.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+:
I think my impression of the Bud+ will be left for another post, when I have time to listen to it since I don't dig into TWS that much unless there are review units.
This on paper reminds me of the Campfire Andromeda actually. But I only have 2 mins on this IEM so my memory is quite muddy.
Apart from the details the only thing I remember is that I found the DM6 quite "boxy". Not sure if that is the correct word.
Moondrop Blessing 2:
By the way, some people have mentioned this to me a few time, my Patreon is up. Feel free to shot me some bowls of Pho if you want.