Audio Custom In-Ear Monitors IEMs Reviews

CustomArt Music Two

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My gear V2_mini

HiFiMan RE-400

The Music Two has a very nice bass punch and rumble that maintains a good balance of mid and deep bass; the overall quantity of both is greater than the the bass on the RE-400, coming across as more reverberant and richer-sounding. The Music Two’s note is weightier and denser than the thinner and lighter sounding RE-400. In comparison the RE-400 seems a little more balanced in its treble and bass presentation, and as a result sounds brighter and thinner, even though the upper midrange and overall treble seem to be presented similarly between the two phones. The Music Two is simply more charismatic down low. Whereas the RE-400 can sound mellow and relaxing, and is exceptional with acoustic material, the Music Two is bolder and more dynamic, with a bit of ‘shock and awe’ next to the milder RE-400.

TDK BA200 (CYMBACAVUM Review)

The Music Two has just slightly more bass quantity, mostly in deep bass, and much better bass texture. The Music Two’s mids are also a little more forward, with more upper mid presence than the BA200, which sound even more laid back through the midrange. Treble is pretty similar in timbre, sparkle and overall presence. The Music Two only comes across as a hair brighter, yet it seems much livelier, and much more open and spacious. It renders significantly deeper and more realistic images over the BA200, which sounds plenty wide but casts a flatter image in a direct A/B comparison. The Music Two is more sensitive and plays louder at the same spot on the volume knob. After this comparison, it’s pretty evident the Music Two is the spiritual successor of the BA200, and those looking for a similar signature in custom form need to look no further.

FitEar F111

The F111 has a brassier, more natural tone to its treble for better timbre, but isn’t quite as articulate as the Music Two in the treble. The treble articulation of the Music Two is simply fantastic during complex and busy cymbal crashes. It maintains each hit separately, in its own space, without ever blending together and becoming one vague noise. Overall, bass levels are very similar but the Music Two seems to have a hair more in deep bass and a little longer bass decay. The F111 also has a little more upper mid energy for a slightly better distortion guitar bite, sweeter female vocals, better piano timbre and more banjo twang — but the same added energy also makes it sound slightly brighter, even though treble presence is very similar — in turn making the F111 a little less forgiving and a little more fatiguing, comparatively speaking. Overall, the Music Two sounds a little wider and deeper but both are similar in height. Sensitivity seems very similar between the two and I didn’t find myself needing to compensate with volume when switching back and forth. The presentation of both are cut from the same mold and don’t really stray to far from each other. I’d give the nod to the F111 for overall tonality and timbre and the Music Two for treble articulation.

Etymotic ER-4S

The Ety is my benchmark for accuracy and neutrality; as such it comes across leaner and less impactful than the Music Two. At approximately 100 Ω impedance, it needs substantially more volume to match the Music Two in sensitivity. ER-4S’ vocals are more transparent and revealing of micro detail. The ER-4S also combines the attributes of the Music Two treble articulation with the tonality of F111 for some of the best treble I’ve ever heard. While the bass of the Ety obviously scales in at several decibels less, it still has some of the finest bass texture to be had. Where the Music Two excels is in greater impact and rumble, for a more exciting, head-bobbing experience. The Music Two also possesses a thicker, denser note. This bolder presentation can provide a larger head stage in direct comparison, but the Ety is no less spacious within its own, more compact head stage, while simultaneously providing better imaging. While the Ety maintains its crown for accuracy and neutrality, the Music Two manages to prove that you really don’t have to sacrifice much in the way of detail and tonality for a more fun, musical and laid-back presentation.

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16 comments

    1. I no longer have the M2 and currently I have both the universal and custom Supra 2. I find the universal Supra 2 a better performer than it’s custom counterpart (basically the custom version has a good bit more bass and less overall treble presence and air, so the universal is more balanced.). The M2 bass and uni Supra 2 have somewhat similar bass levels with the Supra 2 having a little more overall bass warmth. The uni Supra 2 has more overall treble energy than the custom M2 for an overall brighter and airier presentation. Both have excellent treble articulation. Think of the M2 as a very slightly downward sloping frequency response with the Supra 2 having a very shallow U. The custom Supra 2 would be a darker, warmer and bassier version of the M2 signature.

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  1. Hi! I have the AS Rockets and (even though you don’t have the M2) was wondering on your thoughts on how they compare.

    I’m looking to get my first CIEMs and I’m not sure if the M2’s will be am upgrade or sidegrade to the Rockets. How do you think they compare?

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    1. Hi, Mr. T here; I have both the M2 and the Rockets — the two differ in signature, as the M2 will be a little more U-shaped in signature, while maintaining a similar level of forward mids. The two will feel different from each other, as the Rockets are smooth and relatively gentle, while the M2 will bring a bit more excitement. The M1 is more similar to the Rockets than are the M2, but the M2 is still a great first CIEM.

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  2. I have rather recently acquired the M2 and I am now looking for a fiting DAP – may I ask what would you recommend in the sub $500 category? Thank you.

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    1. My favorite sub $500 dap is the AK JR. I believe they can be had new for $299 or less now. It’s thin, small, has pretty good UI (some lag) and very good SQ. Shanling is another brand to consider in that price range.

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      1. Thank you. It is indeed one of the contenders. What kind of hiss level should I expect compared to Shanling or say Opus#1?

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      2. I haven’t heard the Opus 1 and am not the best to answer the hiss question. Nathan at Headfonia/Ohm-Image is who I recommend running the hiss question by.

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