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December 2019
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Great Audiophile Holiday Gift 2019 By Enjoy the Music.com

Great Audiophile Gift Ideas For The 2019 Holiday Season
Enjoy the Music.com celebrates our 14th annual gift ideas to give your audiophile!


Beteran KZ-ATE In Ear Monitors (IEMs)


Beteran KZ-ATE In Ear Monitors (IEMs)


  Back by popular demand is something we've recommended before. The KZ-ATE are the best inexpensive in-ear monitor (IEM) I've ever heard, at a ridiculously low price my review of these inexpensive IEMs is here). There has been some headphone "experts" that have written that spending a little bit more will reward the listener with better sound. I'm either not hearing what they hear, or perhaps their source isn't as good as mine. As audiophiles we're very aware of the adage "garbage in, garbage out", and so it goes without saying (even though I'm saying it) that the better your mobile device, the better the IEMs will sound.

It is sure strange that I'm using two mobile devices that cost a minimum of 40 times the price of these IEMs, the FiiO X5 Mk III, and the even better sounding Questyle QP1(r). But even when I have these headphones connected to my iPhone they sound better than even the $200 Shure SE315 that I have. Yes, the Shure's treble is more extended, and the midrange more transparent, but they have no bass, but not much more of an extended treble, and not more of a transparent midrange to justify their price versus the KZ-ATEs. Because of The KZ-ATE's bass the tradeoff is worth it. Plus, the KZ-ATE is much more comfortable and stays in my ear canal, and so if one is going to forgo custom molded earphones, those last two qualities are very important. I buy the KZ-ATE a few pairs at a time because I always seem to be misplacing them. And one pair failed after a few months. At a price of around $12.50 multiple KZ-ATEs are an affordable purchase.


Beteran KZ-ATE In Ear Monitors (IEMs)


During the 2016 awards I said, "Not only incredible because I wasn't expecting them to sound nearly this good, but incredible because they sounded good enough use on a daily basis". One shouldn't expect them to sound as good as upper-high-end models such as those from manufacturers like Noble, Shure, Westone, Etymotic, etc. because they don't sound as good. But that's not the point. The point is that one shouldn't expect sound this good from a IEM that cost less than $20. Yet the Beteran KZ-ATE delivers.


Beteran KZ-ATE In Ear Monitors (IEMs)


When I wrote the review, they cost about $15 on Amazon.com, but currently they cost around $13.50(!). "An incredible bargain" doesn't come close to what one will discover when they try these monitors on for size. Buy them by the dozen and use them as stocking stuffers, or keep a bunch wrapped in your top desk drawer to hand out to co-workers as the season approaches."

Recommended by Enjoy the Music.com's Editor Tom Lyle.




BTW: If $14 seems too cheap, there's another great 'n cheap set called  The Absolute IEM that is an upgrade in our humble opinion for a mere $36.99 available on Amazon. Try 'em both and you still spent only $50.




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