The list is sorted based on price, starting from the lowest to the most expensive. This is an ever evolving list. There are so many good sounding CIEMs out there that we can’t list them all, but here are our favorites for now.
Cosmic Ears CE6
Cosmic Ears is to blame for my CIEM addiction. Cosmic is the Fiio of the CIEM world and I mean that in best possible way as the UK build/Swedish designed CIEM company, delivers THE best value for money on the market. The 6-driver CE6 (what’s in a name) is a very good all-rounder and it’s strength is in the fact that it does everything really good and with the same ease. It doesn’t really excel in voices or treble or bass, but the complete picture simply is one of the best. The way CE manages to make bass, mids and treble sound as one coherent “part” is one of the best in the market. If you’re in to bass there also is a B-version available that will rock your world.
The new Turkish brand and their first monitor which took almost six year to develop immediately makes its way to the Buyer’s Guide. The Prelude isn’t out just yet but it will be very soon. The Prelude is a one BA ciem but if you listen to it you wouldn’t believe it. The level of detail, clarity and precision from the Prelude is amazing and it’s delivery is airy and smooth. No it can’t fully compete with the 8-10-12 drivers in all categories but the Warbler does sound impressive. The review will be up over the next few weeks and this is surely a monitor and company to follow
$999 From Warbler audio (Expected price at launch, website will be up soon as well)
Ultimate Ears Pro Reference Remastered
Nathan insists that this CIEM is included in the CIEM buyer’s guide as it is number one monitor. If I were to rethink my custom lineup in terms of preference, I’d have a hard time not putting the UERR first. It’s its flat, unaccented voicing and wide image that really does it for the music I most often put through my DAPs. For the daily grind, and for longer, more varied listening, the UERR is intensely satisfying.
This 6-driver from Singapore is part of Jomo Audio’s Pro series. It has a very balanced and tight sound but it stays musical at all times. Precision and clarity are key words with the 6R but don’t expect big body or big bass. This is a reference tuned monitor and int wants to show the detail in your music. It might take alittle bit of getting used to in the beginning but once your mind has adapted you’ll love it’s precise sound signature.
CustomArt Harmony 8.2
The Harmony 8.2 is the successor of their excellent H8P. The new eight driver ciem – I fully recommend going for silicone – is wonderfully constructed and sounds detailed, clean and clear. It has a little more body compared tot he original with softer treble and overall this “update” scores better. The 8.2 is the perfect marriage between an analytic monitor and a musical sounding one. A TOTL monitor that can’t be missing from this list.
Lime Ears Aether
The Aether was the first CIEM in my collection that had a switch to turn on/off sub bass. It won our best CIEM award back in 2015 but it today still is a CIEM to take into account when shortlisting monitors. Aether is nice, Aether seduces, Aether rocks, Aether does it all. Aether is the kind of monitor that makes all types of music sound good, it’s engaging, has great imaging and sounds musical. The bass switch basically gives you two different sounding sets of monitors and that’s a great added feature. The overall sound signature is on the warmer side of neutral with a slight focus on bass and key characteristics are detail, depth and layering. For a 5 driver, it is sublime.
Jomo Audio Samba
Jomo Audio’s Samba was their TOTL monitor from a very long time until they released the Flamenco a while back. It hasn’t made it to our HQ yet so for now the 8-driver Samba to me still is the King in Jomo’s line-up. It’s an incredibly good, full bodied yet detailed monitor that I also keep going back to. It’s a bit like the UM Maestro but with more body and musicality. Samba was developed in cooperation with Effect Audio and only their ARES II cable is used on the inside. I have loved every single second listening to the Jomo Samba. It simply checks a whole lot of boxes and this without doubt is one of the best neutrally tuned monitors and even one of the best CIEMs in my collection. If you have the budget and you’re looking for a neutral, yet musical tuned monitor with a lot of detail, clarity, precision and a wide/deep sound stage, then you have to give the Samba a listen. Be warned though, you’ll love it.
Unique Melody Maestro
This Chinese made 12-driver is one of the CIEMs I always keep going back to when I want to take a great CIEM with me that does it all. With it’s 12 drivers it manages to deliver a lot of detail and precision. Speed, width and depth are excellent and the Maestro is easy to drive on top of that. The Unique Melody Maestro impressed me right from the start. Build quality and presentation are top notch and it simply sounds extremely good. Make sure though you have a good source, amplifier or cable because the Maestro doesn’t easily forgive. Feed it top quality however and you’ll be in heaven.
Noble Audio Kaiser Encore
I can honestly say, the Encore is a masterfully crafted in ear monitor with outstanding clarity and detail, superior control and coherence and the most natural iem I know. An earphone that undoubtedly deserves to be positioned at the top of the line. The Kaiser Encore is a clear step up from the original Kaiser 10 and deserves to be called its evolution, as it has gained many new abilities while still retaining what made the K10 so special. These little gems are comparable to some very expensive high end floor standing speakers and share similarities with even the finest and most prestigious PAs I know.
Vision Ears VE6 XC
The Cologne based German company knows how to build great monitors. Their build quality and eye for precision are exemplary, their sound to die for. Nathan is a big fan of their six driver with the X control: The separation of musical elements along an X, Y, and Z linear path, is wide. If the VE6 wasn’t plugged into your ears, you might imagine the sound coming from a large headphone. The biggest, and most lasting impression is one of dynamic contrast. Not dynamic as in constant change, but dynamic in terms of the lively rendering of both lows and highs, and the degree to which each offsets the other. The two dance back and forth on the edge of a knife. Attack and decay on both ends are fast and powerful. Balance between them is perfect, and so, too, is the distribution of weight.
Vision Ears VE8
The VE8 is Vision Ears latest development and it only just has been released. I without doubt can say this is one of the very best 8-driver monitors in my collection. The VE8 delivers a very balanced sound where bass, mids and treble have the same body and perfectly flows in to eachother. The VE8 strongest point are it’s clarity, precision and extension. Could this be the very best treble I’ve ever heard from a CIEM? While the VE8 is expensive it really is very good. If you don’t have the money budget for one I advise you not to listen to it, cause you’ll be hooked even after listening to half a song already.
Only the most popular products are listed here. If you feel it to be too limited, feel free to browse the reviews on the Headphones Category: