• Best Basshead IEMs

    Hawaiibadboy keeps the fire going. I’ve since stopped focusing much on in-ears in pursuit of full-size headphones. I personally use Future Sonics Spectrum G10s and have for many months now.


    The Old List

    • Future Sonics Spectrum G10 – Outstanding isolation. Best of the best for isolation of all the basshead IEMs. A notch above the Aurisonics Kickers in terms of comfort and isolation for me personally. A slightly dark sound signature but nice impact and very good depth. These are my current go-to IEMs for my purposes, as I need isolation for work, ease of removal/insertion, and don’t love highs. [This is what I use as my daily driver at work]
    • Future Sonics MG5HX – A better-at-everything version of the above. A bit more neutral, less encroaching on the mids. This is a custom only and is fairly costly, but it’s my favorite IEM of all time. [This is what I use as my primary headphone at home]
    • Sony MDR-XB90EX – 16mm dynamic drivers. That should tell you just about all you need to know right there. Outstanding bass depth. Very good impact (becomes great with an amp and EQ). This is near the top of the charts for sub-bass quantity of the IEMs I’ve heard. They’re also very comfortable.
    • Aurisonics Kicker – The new Bravo series from Aurisonics kicks arse. The Kicker is a great value and punches hard, though not quite as hard as the ASG-2.5 or Sony XB90EX when amped. If you prefer more overall clarity, the Forte is an excellent choice, and if you’re a treble fan, the Harmony extends that up another notch. Very nice isolation. Not the easiest to take in and out if you need to talk to people frequently during use.
    • JVC HA-FXZ200 – Great depth, decent impact, and the most pleasing sound signature to my ears of the current list. You need different tips than stock with these. I like the NarMoo S1 and Wooduo 2 single flange tips with the narrow opening for these (the narrower, the bassier on ear tips). I also enjoy the Monster Supertips. Of all the IEMs I’ve heard, these deliver the cleanest deep sub-bass of anything I’ve listened to. It’s particularly enjoyable with electronic music (especially liquid stuff, like ZES Do It Again).
    • JVC HA-FX1100 – Some of my favorite basshead IEMs, these are particularly great for classical music. Their isolation is rather minimal, but the sound signature is very pleasant. Very good depth, decent impact, and amazing for a couple of genres (classical and acoustic in particular). I want another pair of these after I sold mine, but I need isolation and they’re not cheap.
    • Noble 5 – Are you in love with the sound of Balanced Armature receivers but still want excellent bass depth and good impact? These deserve a special mention here, then. They can’t hit you as hard as a big dynamic driver (like the Sony or Aurisonics), but they hit hard for a BA IEM and have incredible clarity and liquid smoothness.
    • Pioneer SE-CX9 – Very good visceral bass impact. BA drivers sound good on the CX9, but you don’t feel the bass in your chest. However, if you want clear music with the most significant ear canal shaking you can obtain in an IEM, these are for you. Requires ample EQ–the Bass Exciter does nothing until you feed it enough bass and volume. You’ll know when you hit the right amount of bass EQ, because it’s like turning a switch on that says “I want my ear canals to be in an earthquake please.” These are pretty bulky and heavy, so if that’s a concern for you, you might want to skip them.
    • Pioneer SE-CX8 – Compared to its sibling, the SE-CX8 uses dynamic drivers (instead of balanced armature) and has a bit more depth, a bit less clarity, and identical ridiculous impact. I actually prefer these to the SE-CX9 for the added bass depth, but I’m willing to sacrifice a little clarity of treble for it.
    • Aurisonics ASG-B – Bring on the thunder. These have more sub-bass extension than anything else I’ve heard. The impact is also good. These IEMs were created for bass players, drummers, and DJs, so the bass is emphasized and other frequencies are subdued. This makes for a less musical listening experience than some might be used to, but EQ can take care most of the issue (though I still haven’t achieved great clarity with them). If you are in love with bass depth and are willing to sacrifice some clarity to get it, these are incredible.
    • Aurisonics ASG-2.5 – Love the bass depth of the ASG-B but felt they lacked clarity in the upper registers? Problem solved. The flagship from Aurisonics has 2 balanced armature tweeters in addition to the same 14.2mm dynamic driver of the ASG-B. The drawback? They cost more than twice the price. However, these are the best basshead all-rounders I’ve heard to date.
    • HiSoundAudio Wooduo 2 – Small, wooden, surprising. These have quite a bit of bass out of the box and respond well to EQ. The overall sound signature is not as clear as the Pioneer or Audio Technica, but they do a great job of taking your breath away when diving down into the deepest reaches of bass. Driver flex appears to be common with these–I returned my first pair because I had to keep pulling the left side out of my ear to fix it.
    • JVC HA-FX3X– Great impact, inexpensive. If all you want is the bass, these are cheaper and bassier than the NarMoo S1. That said, the overall sound is less pleasing than everything else on this list (but still better than anything you’ll get with your phone). They’re fun.
    • Audio Technica ATH-CKS1000 – Dual Chamber bass gimmick. But, it works. These can get down deep into the sub-bass region with ample EQ and provide a fair amount of hit as well. More overall clarity and versatility than the Wooduo 2 with a bit less feeling in the chest. They’re about at the halfway point between the Wooduo 2 and SE-CX8. Bulky, but lighter than the Pioneer.
    • NarMoo S1 – Perhaps the best budget basshead IEM @$32. These remained in my rotation until the Sony XB90EX came along.

    Bassy – Not Basshead

    Below this line, I don’t think these are basshead IEMs. They’re various levels of warm or v-shaped, but I don’t feel my ear canals shaking with them.

    • Sennheiser IE80 – Possibly the best sound stage for a bassy IEM, but more expensive and less bassy than everything above it on the list.
    • Yamaha EPH-100 – Bass emphasis definitely present, but not basshead and can’t be pushed hard enough to reach basshead levels.
    • RHA MA750 – Nice clean sound, good punch. Not quite to basshead levels.
    • RHA T10 – Honestly, I like their cheaper earphones better despite loving the idea and design of these.
    • Dunu DN-1000 – I enjoyed these at first, but they become fatiguing quickly with their treble. Also don’t reach basshead levels.
    • Logitech Ultimate Ears 500 – I still use these now and then. They sound great for the price and are versatile. More bass than the 600 model.
    • Xiaomi Piston 2.1/3.0 – Both give up when you EQ too heavily (before getting into real canal-rattling basshead territory). That said, I use the 3.0 as my standard phone headset/workout earphone because they sound good for the price and have decent bass.
    • MEElectronics M-Duo – Sound a bit like the M6/M6 Pro but with a second driver for extra bass. Not as good a deal as the M6 Pro (but bassier). If you are looking for a basshead IEM, these aren’t them. If you’re looking for something halfway between the M6 and a basshead IEM, these are what you are looking for.

    Other IEMs I’ve owned or tried extensively aren’t worth mentioning for their bass quantity. Feel free to ask if they’ve been tested in the comments, though.

    Ear Tips

    Good, versatile ear tips that also work well for bass (note that in many cases, the smaller the opening, the bassier the tip–the first two on the list are the narrowest):

    • Westone True-Fit Foam & Star Silicone Tips – These are what I use on my Spectrum G10s. I love ’em. I use the spacers from the Monsters below to keep them snug.
    • Monster Gel/Foam Supertips – Get the assorted sizes and gel/foam mix–they have spacers too, and will fit just about anything.
    • Sony Hybrids – One of the most recommended and versatile tips. I love them for earphones that isolate well with them.
    • JVC Victor Spiral Dot – One of the most recommended versatile tips.
    • NarMoo S1/Wooduo 2 – Their single flange tips are good for bass. You can get the NarMoo tips from their website.
    • Comply Isolation or Comfort Tips – Ensure a good seal, which helps deliver solid bass. I stopped using these because they need to be replaced frequently.
    • MEElectronics M11+ (extra long single flange and standard bi-flange).
    • Earphones Plus assortment – I like these triple flanges more than most.
    • Auvio Silicone replacement tips – None of them fit me terribly well, but many people like them.

    38 thoughts on “Best Basshead IEMs

    • Boris Vasilievich says:

      Just would like to say the Sony Z5 has more sub Bass and more bass impact than JH16, Future Sonics MG6 Pro, Shure 846. I will add that the Z5 has a lot I mean a lot more bass meaning bass impact Bass width Sub bass and a better mid than the Audio Technica.CKS1000.

    • Luckbad says:

      Z5 is officially on the try list. Unfortunately with the super expensive ones, I’ll have to wait for the price to come down or convince them to send me a pair to try for a review.

    • Boris Vasilievich says:

      Yes I agree they do cost more than many I saw on the list. I will add the Z5 cost less than many others. Guess in time its price should go down.

    • Thomas says:

      Awesome list. If you can, be sure to check out the Sony AS800AP, JVC FX3X, NarMoo B2M, and the SUR s530 (these babies surprised the crap out of me…). – Scrambler

      • Thomas says:

        I’m going to revise this suggestion, remove the SUR s530, and replace it with it’s little brother the s808. The s530 has massive bass, true, but the s808 just does it all that much better. Stock tuning focuses a bit too much on midbass which muffles the sound, but with a bit of eqing they open right up. They handily beat out the Sony XB50 with distortion free bass, smooth mids, with a nice spacious soundstage with good detailing. Pianos sound ridiculously good as well.

    • Ivabign says:

      The Aurisonic ASG-2 & 2.5 should qualify for inclusion. Certainly the 2 has more bass than the 2.5, but turn that port switch a couple of notches and WHAMMO – you are thumping. Also, you have got to hear the Earsonics Velvet…. Big bass with fantastic definition – I can usually tell what brand bass guitar is being used earlier with these than any of my other basshead cans…….

    • Luckbad says:

      Aurisonics ASG-B on the way. RE: JVC FX3X–I’ve heard them, and I felt the FR202 hit marginally harder (the new 11mm ones) for less money. Update: Mine started distorting after not a lot of use. The FR202 I had sucked in build quality, so I’m suggesting the FX3X over them even at the higher price point.

      • Thomas says:

        Glad to see you added the FX3X. I recently picked up the FR202 and yeah, they do hit harder and deeper. Build quality on the 202 is crap….what’s up with the razer sharp edges!!?? On the other hand, the FX3X are much more responsive to EQ and offer quicker and more controlled bass. They’re well worth the extra cash imo, even with a touch less bass un-EQ’d. Loving the site btw 🙂

    • hawaiibadboy says:

      Very cool! Loving the list!

    • 5fteleven says:

      Has Denon C300 been tested? These have also been said to have very powerful and punchy bass- like “in the club” feeling.

      • Luckbad says:

        Denon AH-C300 is on my list… but I didn’t update this one. Doh! Adding it. 2x11mm dynamic drivers per earpiece has some good basshead potential.

    • saminkhn3 says:

      Zero Audio carbo basso or Narmoo S1 which one has the bigger bass? And have you tried elecom 3580?

    • dash says:

      Can you do review for Zero Audio Carbo Basso ?

    • Diego says:

      Would the medium JVC Victor Spiral Dot fit the JVC ha fxz200? Would you recommend the fxz200 to a metalhead? How is the build quality? Thanks in advance.

      • Luckbad says:

        Great build quality. The tips should fit. They’re great for metal! FYI the carbon nanotubes take time to burn in so don’t judge it until they’ve been in use for a while.

    • tomas dagilis says:

      hi mate, what do you think about sony ex800 ? i have them and its my second day on them but bass is not strong and very light, i have ie80 as well but bass even lighter, i want something like my sony mdr ex700.

    • Alfred Yoon says:

      Hello, I’ve been using your top IEM basshead list as a foundation for looking at reviews. I wonder what your comparison of the Sony MDR-XB90EX, JVC HA-FXZ200, and ATH CKS1000 are. I have a Shure SE215 and I wanted an upgrade to something with a little more bass/sub-bass, a larger soundstage, and more clarity. I was hoping one of those 3 would fit that criteria. Thank you!

      • Luckbad says:

        I’d go for the JVC HA-FXZ200 of the three. The Sony is darker but can pound really hard with an amp. It has decent soundstage and okay clarity, but not the best. The Audio-Technica is pretty good, but very treble heavy and the soundstage isn’t super impressive.

        • Alfred Yoon says:

          Thank you! Does the JVC HA-FXZ200 still sound decent without an amp?

          • Luckbad says:

            Yep. Note that these IEMs convinced me that burn-in is real (nanotubes maybe?). Play full range music on them for an entire weekend before deciding how much you like them! A

    • SaMaN says:

      what do you think about ATH CKS1100 its better or JVC HA-FX850?
      thank you

    • Ash says:

      I consider to purchase the Audio Technica ATHCKS1100, but is that the Sony xb90ex is better in term of the bass? Thanks

    • Giri2809 says:

      I saw a pioneer SE-CL751 with subwoofer impact, may I ask your opinion of it ? And how about ATH-IM50 ? Are those good as basshead criteria ? Thanks

    • Andrew says:

      Have you find anything better then Future Sonics Spectrum G10? I like isolation and sub bass in G10. I have them. But we always try to find something better)

    • Jason Rk says:

      Bro..I’ve been confused on what to get for months now..In regards to genres, I listen to alot of hip hop as well as some classical & movie themes/soundtracks. After loads of research (before finding your website), I purchased the RHA 750is and have used them for about 30 hours. Whilst the majority of what I heard sounded clean and sometimes amazing, the lack of bass became really apparent..there wasn’t any oomph. Which was annoying because the instruments sounded so damn beautiful some times. There was just an obvious lack of bass when I listen to hip-hop. My budget is around £150/$200. I’m really considering the G10s now as it’s in my price range, however a big con for me is that there’s no inline remote to skip tracks.. Would be great if you think it’s the right one for me having read my essay or perhaps offer another suggestion? Thanks and apologies for the essay!.

      • Jason Rk says:

        I also read that the G10 doesn’t work with iPhones on an Amazon review..is this true? :/

        • Luckbad says:

          I use it with my Android phone pretty frequently. Works better with something more powerful, but still sounds better than most anything else to me straight from the phone.

      • Luckbad says:

        Sorry it took so long to reply. After owning many dozens of earphones, I settled on the Future Sonics Spectrum G10. They’re the perfect compromise of clarity, bass, isolation, and comfort. The closest I’ve had otherwise is the Aurisonics Kicker, which is now the Fender FX-A2.

    • omer says:

      Guys i tried Sony Xba z5 with custom copper upgrade cable and i compared with my it03(stock cable)
      I clearly concluded that it03 has more subbass, more balanced sound signature, fronter mids and vocals, fronter trebles, more volume(aprox 10 click on x3).

    • Matthew james says:

      So I purchased th me G10’s right off the back of reading these comments and I have to stay they are amazing. Truly outstanding bass depth. However, I’m after a wireless pair. As I work out it’s very hard to do so with wires, I’m therefore after a basshead Wireless IEM. At the moment I’m just JBL Under Armour Wireless ear buds and are actually quite surprisingly near the talent of the Spectrum g10 in terms of bass response but carry a little more treble, if that’s a good or bad thing depending on your taste.

      Have you reviewed any other basshead Wireless buds?

    • Intern says:

      KZ BA10 dropped from 99 to 36 on amazon and has great imaging and easy to drive with a basshead like balanced armature and the rest is mid and high freq armatures and I noticed changing eartips brought out the soundstage to be wider with more indepth bass notes and even sub like woofer without muddiness or blur. And the eartips I used that werent stock are some clear medium sized with a ting of narrowness to the opening and they were pulled from a dead set of ecko unlimited sports earbuds. And wow who knew slight narrow opening increase the lows while still allowing clarity and soundstage of the full spectrum to come through. I am impressed. These are like having beyerdynamic dt 770s in ie format or even beyerdynamic custom one pro plus on setting 3 to 4 in your ears. The sound extends outside the head like holographic almost. With stock tips the soundstage is in the head. But semi wide with stock tips. Def use non stock tips to experience true fidelity. Results may vary.

    Drop the Bass

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