I’ve been on a quest for so many years that I’ve lost count for the best IEMs (in-ear-monitor) for the bucks. Maybe, just maybe, it’s been found.

I’ve personally had 40+ earbuds/IEMs in this search. Just a FYI, I refer to standard, unimpressive versions as “earbuds or buds”, because an IEM isn’t the same … it’s such a different level of performance. A la’ Prius vs. Porsche. And yes, I’m really picky after all the years I’ve spent in tech.

I’ve had some great headphones from Klipsch, and they are always a good buy, but for an affordable noise-blocking IEM, the Tin HiFi T2 is pretty much the standard. After you try them compared to wimpy Bluetooth (BT) models like Bose and Beats, you’ll be impressed. Being wired, they don’t suffer from the #1 reason that BT headphones, quite frankly … suck. Good IEMs require POWER … and the BT models would be dead in literally a few minutes to deliver this level of performance.

To get the absolute best from them, you’ll want foam ear tips and a good DAC external amp (I use a tiny UAMP) as they are a bit power hungry … even the Alienware laptop beast I use can’t give them what they truly need. But, OMG, they’re worth it. Bear in mind I’m not saying they’re better than a Planar or electrostatic IEM, but at five to twenty times cheaper, and with benefit of noise blocking, they’re hard to beat for the budding audiophile. Although TIN makes more expensive versions, for the under $100 crowd, this is almost impossible to beat. I’ve never heard an IEM for under $300 that is really much better. My stupidly expensive electrostatic IEMs are audibly untouchable by almost any standard other than a set of full-blown, even more stupidly expensive, full-sized electrically-powered electrostatic headphones, but, they’re effectively useless in any area with any noise whatsoever. In a bar, airport or any area with noise the TIN2 is unbeatable. It’s time to hear what you’ve been missing …

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