Being a bit of a custom in-ear monitor freak I annually wish there was a bigger display of these at the Munich show as they represent some of the highest levels of sound possible for something crammed into your ears. This year saw a sole crusader in the world of CIEMs but was a brand that I was both excited and surprised to see… qdc! qdc are a Chinese brand who are a big deal in their homeland, almost like the native Ultimate Ears or JH Audio but have never dealt outside the Chinese borders. I have tried to get in touch with them in the past but it just didn’t interest them but it seems like there has been a change of heart, coming to Germany to bring their products to the worldwide market and to search out EU distributors! It is great to see.

David You was running the display on our visit and they had neatly arranged each of their models in a row with each pair on a little stand that gave information about each particular universal sample. Then at the end, they had a display of the artwork they can offer. It was tastefully done. qdc have quite a range of products.

  • 1LE (375USD) single driver universal. Very sexy! Look like a gold Fischer Audio DBA-02.
  • HiFi 2 is the only one I can’t find a price for.
  • HiFi 3 (circa £320 in universal or £375 custom). 3 BA drivers.
  • Studio 4 (circa £490 custom). 4 BA drivers.
  • Then they have two variations of 5 drivers, both the Live 5 and HiFi 5. Both run for around £670.
  • There are three 8 drivers, HiFi 8, Live 8, Studio 8. These are all around £1120.
  • You then have the new Gemini which is also 8 drivers but has a tuning switch that gives a bass boost. This is the most expensive at £1290.

 

I like the idea of being able to get models of the same driver count suited for different applications but I do worry that four options for an 8 driver is a bit excessive, especially if demoing is not an option. Instead of trying every single pair we asked David which he things is most worth our time and he led us each to a pair of Gemini. It sounded punchy and dynamic and I actually liked the extra bit of weight that turning the bass switch on provided. It sounded pretty coherent for 8 balanced armatures arranged with a 4-way crossover and is certainly something I would like to get a custom unit of to give a full review so hopefully, we can arrange that for you!

Sonny Trigg