3 headphones to keep an eye on in 2023

3 headphones to keep an eye on in 2023

There are some headphones that still impress there are many who listen to them and that, when analyzing them closely, judiciously, you see that they are worth more than what is charged. Of course, it’s difficult to say which are the best in each price range, mainly due to the frenetic launch of in-ears by several Chinese manufacturers, in addition to having to deal with the subjectivism of our personal taste for a certain sound. Taking these points into account, I listed 3 headphones, among those evaluated in my house, that are worth keeping an eye on in 2023.

3 headphones worth trying in 2023

Three headphones worth trying in 2023. Source: Vitor Valeri

Here is the list of headphone recommendations that impressed me for their performance and price when listening to them. Remembering that this list was made in March 2023.

1 – 7Hz Salnotes Zero (US$ 20 ou R$ 108)

In-ear headphones 7Hz Salnotes Zero.  Source: Vitor Valeri
In-ear headphones 7Hz Salnotes Zero. Source: Vitor Valeri

The strong point of the 7Hz Salnotes Zero for me is its midrange sound. They have a very natural, beautiful timbre, as well as good definition. But to be good, that’s not enough, of course, because it’s important to have a tonal balance (bass, midrange and treble).

I didn’t feel the lack of presence in the bass. There’s a good “punch” and volume, although there’s not as much activity in the sub-bass, something that those who like genres with more activity in the low frequencies like. As for the highs, I didn’t feel strident in most of the songs I listened to, but at times I noticed greater activity in the 13Khz range, which can cause some discomfort.

Analyzing the structure of the Salnotes Zero, it is noted that there is good ergonomics, making it easier for the user to fit and seal correctly without much effort. With regard to its cable, it is interesting to mention that it is possible to remove it and replace it with another one, but fortunately, the one that comes with it is of an acceptable quality and does not cause any inconvenience during use.

2 – Moondrop Quark DSP (US$ 15 ou R$ 81)

Moondrop Quark DSP in-ear headphones.  Source: Vitor Valeri
Moondrop Quark DSP in-ear headphones. Source: Vitor Valeri

If the Moondrop Quarks, which costs around R$50, is already good, imagine the DSP version of this phone. In case you didn’t know, the acronym DSP here stands for “Digital Signal Processing”. This manipulation of the signal serves to automatically equalize the frequencies (bass, mids and treble) of the headphones, in order to “correct” their sound.

In the “DSP” version of Moondrop Quarks we have a cable with a USB connection, where the connector has an internal integrated circuit that changes the frequency response curve of the headphone. Thus, the sound that already delivered a good level of detail and separation, in addition to an honest tonal balance, gains an impressive performance.

It is important to mention that Moondrop’s Quarks are even easier to fit in the user’s ear due to their cylindrical shape and extremely compact size. It barely shows when you fit it in the ear canal and provides great comfort.

3 – Sennheiser IE 200 (US$ 150)

Sennheiser IE 200 in-ear headphones. Source: Vitor Valeri
Sennheiser IE 200 in-ear headphones. Source: Vitor Valeri

Recently released abroad, the Sennheiser IE 200 impresses at the price charged abroad and is expected to arrive at a good value in Brazil. If this materializes, I can say that it will be a killer value for money in its price range. At the moment I’ve been testing the headset for a few weeks and I can say that with each listen, this in-ear impresses me more and more.

Sennheiser’s IE 200 has a sound that leans towards neutral, but it’s still very pleasant, natural. It’s the first in-ear headphones from the brand that I can see midrange reminiscent of the HD600 line, which made me very excited. In addition, its greater activity in the treble (beyond normal) provides a great capacity for detailing, definition and, fortunately, I did not notice any aggressiveness during the reproduction of several songs.

After listening to IE 300, which has a large volume, I confess that I was afraid to find something similar in IE 200. However, to my surprise, I found controlled bass, without excess volume and good impact (Punch). According to friends, the IE 600, the last model released before the IE 200, follows the same line of sound, which shows Sennheiser’s effort to deliver a more correct sound.

Going to the structure of the IE 200, it is noticed that the headphone body format remained the same compared to the rest of the line (IE 300, IE 600 and IE 900). This is good, as the fit and comfort provided by this design is practically perfect and will likely please the vast majority of users. I have no complaints about it and, fortunately, I can say that the cable, this time, has gained a great improvement in terms of malleability and lightness compared to previous Sennheiser releases such as, for example, the IE 300, which I reviewed.

Bonus: Truthear Hola ($20)

The Truthear Hola is an in-ear that is being highly praised by several reviewers (experts) for its balanced sound and with a good level of detail, in addition to its price, which is in the same price range as the Salnotes Zero (US$ 20 or BRL 108).

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