Happy New Year!

On behalf of the robot family, I wish you a Happy New Year! May 2023 be your best one yet, full of health and success. Maybe your wishes come through and your audio journey fulfilled.

2022’s Recap

2022 is now gone and to me and others, left a bittersweet taste in the mouth, just by taking a glance of what is happening across the globe. It’s either wars, a still active pandemic or the aggressive inflation that must anticipate some economic recession.

On the sweeter side, it was one of the most important years for me, both as a person and as a robot. The guy behind the mask is still rising on professional and financial level and, most importantly, found out that he’s gonna be a father of a (hopefully) sweet little girl. All of these took a toll on the helmet, but also made 2022 one of the most special years yet.

The robot part also peaked. During the course of 2022, nymz has been able to:

  • Demo close to 100 IEMs alone this year, across all budget brackets;
  • Move the Tea Cult from a small corner into a successful website that now reaches more people every month, sharing the love;
  • Start a squig graph database;
  • Find and share lots of new music;
  • Make new friends thanks to this hobby and its beautiful community; 
  • Give away lots of gear back to this community and friends;
  • Delve deeper into his preferences to better understand what he likes.

Public Thank You

So, given all the above, I would balance 2022 as pretty successful, but that would not be possible without every single one of you reading this. I would like to publicly thank every single person that I interacted with this year – without you all this wouldn’t be possible.

I would also like to thank every other reviewer that has interacted or helped me in some way this year. A truthful thank you for helping me, welcoming me into the reviewing circle and in some specific cases, for making some things possible. A more direct thank you goes for HawaiiBadBoy (BGGAR), Timmy (Gizaudio) and Mark (Super Review).

The same feeling extends to every brand and their representatives that reached out, trusted or supported me in some way across this year. Without them none of this would be possible, so thank you very much. A specific word goes to Linsoul, coming absolute clutch without ever asking for anything in return but my genuine opinions. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with this awesome team.

To close out this public acknowledgment, the last word goes into the people I consider friends. Some of them have been here since day one, some joined along the way, but they all contributed to making this possible in some way. This is a very special group of individuals that I usually joke with and say that any of them could be here, writing reviews instead of me, but it’s true. Blessed hearts and ears. I’m blessed to be able to be around you and in your life. A special thanks to:

  • Igor
  • Godria
  • Teddy
  • Tfaduh
  • Tgx
  • Drew
  • Huck

You guys didn’t just make my year better, but also my life. Wishing all the best for you and hope we keep being tight for many years to come.

Predictions for 2023

Now, to close on a golden note, my predictions for 2023 regarding IEMs revolve around their price. I do think this year will be a year without many major breakthroughs regarding the tech used, but rather a year of “getting better and more affordable than ever”.

I strongly suspect (or hope) that this year the $300 bracket might make a comeback, in the form of more expensive IEMs done cheaper, which is always a market win. The spotlights will, once again, point towards the under $100 segment, as the competition is only getting started over there and proving the old “tuning should be free” motto that most companies seem to forget. 

Given that, I expected 2023 to be similar to 2022 in the IEM world, minus the introduction of new driver types (Air Ribbons and MEMS come to mind) and the TWS segment to get better and closer to the wireless counterpart.

As for other types of transducers, I do think full sized headphones will keep the same pace, but I’m expecting some breakthroughs in the earbud catalogs, mainly due to the rise of new DIYers in the scene, proving that great audio can be more affordable.

As for sources, I’m not expecting much of a wave to be done but rather an improvement of the current state and usage of better components, especially on the portable segments, like DAPs.

New year resolutions

Regarding 2023’s resolutions, I wanted to focus on just a handful, but meaningful ones.

I am looking to focus more on quality over quantity, as it is very hard for anyone to keep up with the current market’s flow. There’s a new set every day and it is okay to miss out sometimes, so I want to lift that weight over my shoulders.

I want to get back to finding new music every week instead of sporadically. By taking so much time to try so many sets, music ends up being a tool and not a journey, so that needs some work. Also finding new test tracks so my reviews get some fresh air doesn’t seem a bad thing either.

Lastly, I want to be more critical of my work and the items I review. New year, new standards, new benchmarks, so the battle is on.

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