You are currently viewing Comprehensive Comparison of IEMs for “What Could Have Been” by Sting
Capture of the IKKO OH5 with stock cables

Comprehensive Comparison of IEMs for “What Could Have Been” by Sting

Outdoors capture of the IKKO Asgard OH5
Capture of the IKKO OH5 with stock cables


As a music lover, I have a great appreciation for high-quality sound. I recently had the opportunity to compare several of my In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) with the beautiful song “What Could Have Been” by Sting. The song showcases the singer’s impeccable voice and the powerful strings that define his genre. In this post, I’ll be sharing my findings on which IEMs performed best and why.


 “What Could Have Been” by Sting is a beautifully crafted piece that showcases the singer’s impeccable voice and powerful strings. The genre of “What Could Have Been” by Sting is Pop/Rock with a touch of classical and folk elements.

The Challenges in This Song:

The song is characterized by its haunting vocals, powerful piano and strings, and subtle glockenspiel. It presents a challenge for IEMs to accurately reproduce the intricate layers and dynamics of the song.

Source Chain:

The source chain used for this comparison was a MacBook Air M1 with Apple Music lossless, along with a DAC & Amp combo SMSL M300 MKIII.


1st Place: IKKO Asgard OH5

The piano and vocals in the song were immediately very present, offering an impressive low-frequency range. The strings in the song filled the room from bottom to top, and the voice was close to the ears, making it sound like you are part of the song. The layering of instruments was lovely, and if all instruments were playing, the voice was part of everything, yet still very prominent. The strings reached absolute highs, allowing you to feel the full orchestra, and the sad ending was simply amazing. The strings whispered in the song, with many layers of string instruments. Tip start the track on a lower volume level because it will build up a lot.

2nd Place: 7Hz Timeless

The piano in the song built a huge room, and the vocals were very close to your head. The lows from the piano and vocals were amazing, though the volume drops were less impressive compared to the OH5. The strings in the song moved from right to left and from back to front, with clean layers of sound. The low frequencies were very clear and pushed the song further, with the vocals clear in front when all instruments were playing at full loudness. The stunning sad end was very well played.

3rd Place: IKKO Obsidian OH10

The vocals were very close, with the piano and glockenspiel in the background. The spatial vocals were great, and the room was very large. The strings in the song moved from far away to the front layers and were like whispers. The vocal was more pronounced when all instruments were fully playing, and the instruments were like waves, making your head move in the rhythm. The end had a very deep drop and was very close to 7Hz. On some days, it could be on position 2.

4th Place: AudioSense DT600

The AudioSense DT600 sounded great, with the vocals very close to your head. The strings in the distance were screaming and moved impressively to the front, filling the whole room and creating an amazing room impression. The vocals moved a little bit in the background, and the end was okay.


In conclusion, the IKKO Asgard OH5 offers the best sound experience for “What Could Have Been” by Sting, due to its impressive low-frequency range, close vocals, and stunning layering of instruments. The other IEMs also offer unique sound signatures that may provide an enjoyable experience for different genres or tracks. It is recommended to check out other track and genre comparisons to find the best fit for personal taste.

More of my Heavy Test Songs for Headphones and IEMs you can find here on Apple Music.

Join me on Instagram and let’s share our journey towards discovering the ultimate Hi-Res IEMs. Let’s compare notes and find our endgame together! You can also check out My Ultimate Guide to Affordable In-Ear Monitors in 2023 (Including IKKO Asgard OH5).

If you’d like to check more songs where I did A-B tests with my IEMs, you can find the post here.

Frederic Konkel

My name is Frederic B. Konkel and to capture landscapes and cityscapes is a big passion of mine. I'm currently back in Berlin, Germany. I love to explore new places and I'm using my cameras to document these moments. On F.B.K. Photography I showcase a few impressions of my captured moments from around the world.