The bass is everything I want the bass to be thumping, fast, energetic, and grand with great texture in the mid-bass.
The Prestige extends super low, about as low as I would be willing to go on an earphone Im using for multi-purpose work. (I have separate earphones like the Polaris, Vega, and TFZ No3 that I use exclusively for bass-heavy music)
With an all-rounder V-shape focus, I want extension when requested, I don’t want bloat, and I do want composure in fast-moving aggressive tracks. I get all of that and more, it doesn’t overstep the mark when listening to rock, but it will pound my eardrums in a heartbeat if I switch to EDM. This is good bass.
Comparisons and Recommendations
I don’t have anything bad to say about the Prestige; it’s end-game stuff. Fake reviewers will try to poke holes in it just as they do with everything. Say what you will. It is our job to find fault, but a fault is a fault, and if you are going to whine about V-Shaped tuning, it’s meant to have you complaining about intentional design not meeting YOUR specific requirements.
For me, do I take them over the IER? No, but I can afford IERs. If you can’t get these and laugh at people like me for spending the extra, I can tell you I won’t noticeably be enjoying them any more than you.
The Prestige offer 96.342% (arbitrary reviewer quantification) of what the IER does; it’s easier to wear and costs 1/3 less.
As for the old head-to-heads Mest , Monarch MK2, Tia, IE900 etc, it’s horses for courses. Some are better in some areas, and a lot comes down to you and not the earphones. Take your pick. They are all endgame headphones, and they are all as good as each other but whether or not they are the right ones for you is your preference. People say there is some considerable difference, in tuning maybe but in definitive of what makes one better than another is all BS.
It’s 2023, and people should realize there is only so much that can be done when companies operate at such a high level. Also, anyone thinking Thieaudio isn’t at that level because their origin is Chifi is out there mind; from endgame to entry, they probably offer more value than any other brand. In some people’s minds, ChiFi still equals less good when they are actual companies leading the innovation, not the established brands at all.
A question I’m asking is that where do they go from here if they have a couple of end gamers? The Prestige and Monarch MKII are in that bracket in my head, so what are they meant to do now? Probably keep releasing flagships with prices to the moon and have people eat them up when there’s no distinctive advantage in the multiples spent…that’s what they’re meant to do, right?
That’s what all the other companies that push the prices through the roof do, isn’t it? and people will continue to pay or fawn over them on forums stroking each other’s thirst for more.
Or the community can wake up and realize that price now is irrelevant to performance. That is the best earphone I have ever heard, and my favorite to listen to cost $500. Let that sink in when a guy who runs this site, with access to almost any IEM, says it’s time to rethink the top end. I can name about ten other sub $1000 IEMs that are end-game competitive; people are just unwilling to let go of a price or a nametag.