Seekers vs. Tinkerers

You can judge IEMs/headphones on whether they sound good to you out of the box or also on their potential.

People from the former camp (seekers) might go down the path of finding the ones that perfectly match their preferences. IMO, the probability of this is so low that it seems futile to chase the perfect match. At best they might find something that is close to some of their preferences, but not others.

People from the latter camp (tinkeres) recognize they might not find the perfect match and are willing to put in the work to take advantage of potential. They do this either via EQ or modding. A prerequisite for this is potential. You might be able to fix tonality to some extent but you can’t fix things like technicalities, coherence, etc. if there isn’t a potential for it. Even tonality might not be fixable in some cases.

Some good example of tinkeres are james444 and the folks over at and a great example of an IEM being recognized for it’s potential is the JVC HA-FD01 which was modded by james444 and eventually resulted in the now legendary Drop+JVC HA-FDX1.

Of course there are many other dimensions along which to categories ourselves in the hobby but I think this is an interesting dichotomy to highlight.

So which are you, a seeker or a tinkerer? Are there better terms for these?

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