YinYoo Topaz Review

Price: 100€

Where to buy them: [link]

Specifications:

  • Frequency response: 20-40k Hz

  • Impedance: 12 Ohm

  • Sensitivity: 106±3dB

  • Connectors: 2pin 0.78mm

  • Driver configuration: 1DD+4BA

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Many thanks to AK Audio for providing this review sample and an upgrade cable. You can always get a little discount by buying earphones by them, if you write “techinblack” as a message for the seller before paying anything. This is not an affiliation: techinblack doesn’t get anything if you do like that, but you can pay a little less. It’s all for the music. Peace.

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Unboxing and first impressions

Similarly to other YinYoo earphones, the Topaz come in a shiny blue cardboard box, which contains a classic hard case, which in turn contains the buds, the cable, a clip and the eartips (S-M-L wide bore and S-M-L small bore: 6 pairs in total). AK Audio sent me an upgrade cable, which you can buy together with the Topaz. As always, there’s a complete set of accessories; the only thing I would have added is – at least – a pair of foam ear tips: this is a 100$+ contender and the others usually have a pair of them (BGVP/NiceHCK/BRAINWAVZ…). The stock cable is the same cable as the YinYoo D2B4 (here is not MMCX but 2pin), surely a tool but honestly bad looking and too rubberish. The upgrade cable you can choose is very similar to the BGVP DMG silver cable, a very good one overall, especially for the price. The buds themselves are amazing: great looking, with a nice choice of materials. They are made of metal and they may be an answer to IKKO’s OH1/OH10 in terms of design, even though the Topaz are more regular in their shape. You can see the vents for the dynamic driver precisely cut on the shell. I don’t know why YinYoo tends to produce different models with different connectors, but as long as there are compatible upgrade cables, it doesn’t bother me at all. In the end, I’ve paired them with a TRIPOWIN C8 cable, which is fantastic. For the eartips, I enjoy the foams which come with the AudioSense T800, they improve the fit and the isolation, which are not the stronger points of the Topaz.

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Sound

My sources: FiiO M7, Mi MIX 2 with DAC Zorloo ZuperDAC-S and MacBook Pro 2012 with USB audio interface Focusrite 2i2 first gen, iFi xDSD and XDUOO XP-2

My files: DSD, FLAC, ALAC, MP3, M4A

My music: “Colour the Small One” by Sia, “Djesse Vol.1” by Jacob Collier, “Where are You?” by Frank Sinatra, “Ghost Stories” by Coldplay, “O” by Damien Rice, and many other tracks by Queen, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Radiohead, Billie Eilish, The Bloody Beetroots, …

I didn’t have the highest expectations for these Topaz, because the last YinYoo I’ve tried (D2B4) really left me a sour taste. Instead, I actually found one of the better sounding earphones of my entire collection. I didn’t expect a sound that balanced and close to neutral for an earphone that’s still mass-oriented. If you’re familiar with the Tin HiFi T2, you’ll understand this sound. It’s extremely clear and transparent, airy and spacious. The Topaz are a little more bassy than the T2, and they are superior detail-wise. That being said, the bass is extremely controlled, the mid-bass is not emphasized at all, and you can hear a good sub-bass rumble. The speed of it is pretty standard, for a dynamic driver you may expect a little more body, but again: this is a close-to-neutral IEM, and it can be recommended for music production thanks to its flatness. Mids are great: comfortable, a little notched, but pleasantly airy for vocals, and well layered for instruments. I like how everything sounds very balanced, without any emphasis on certain frequencies or instruments. Earphones like the AudioSense T800 – which I borrowed the foam tips to – are much more vocal-oriented, even though the instruments don’t feel undertone. This is a really different tuning, and in my opinion for a hybrid it’s a very well-done one. Treble is clear and airy. No noticeable sibilance there, no harshness, but a touch of brightness which is good as long as you need to hear the details and perceive the stage. Vocals are pleasant and feel natural even on the high range. The soundstage is wider than average, while just average in its depth. Imaging is very good: even though there’s not a crazy wideness, the precision of the position of the parts is impressive. Speaking of isolation, the shape is not particularly ergonomic like it may seem, so it’s not that easy to get a good seal with the stock tips. Yet, if you use a good pair of foams, that helps a lot on improving the fit and the seal and you get less leak on the bass side.

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Comparisons

YinYoo D2B4: they are much more bassy and V-shaped. The sound of D2B4 is congested, too much for my taste, it resembles a bad version of the BGVP DM6 tuning. Luckily, the Topaz are a giant step up from the D2B4 in terms of tuning, clarity, stage perception. These two share the same difficulties in ergonomics, for my particular ears, but it’s a side issue because you can improve that with some foams. I wouldn’t recommend the D2B4 to many, because I feel like there are better choices on the same price range, with the same (good) build quality, like the NiceHCK M6 or TinAudio T3. Instead, I would recommend the Topaz to the ones who need a good tool for production or need to listen to music with a high fidelity. Absolutely not for bassheads.

Tin HiFi T3: their tuning is different from the T2’s one, which is closer to the Topaz’s one. But the T3 are more comparable due to their improved detail and bass. I personally don’t think there’s one absolutely better than the other, but they are different products. T3 are more sibilant, or let’s say less gentle in the high range. And they are more bassy. If you like a balanced, yet fun listening, they would be a better choice over the Topaz, which are much more on a neutral side. My personal choice, because of my needs, would be the Topaz (but make sure you get a nicer cable; the stock one does these IEMs no credit).

BGVP DMG/NiceHCK M6: these two siblings are just fun. Very bassy, heavily U-shaped, I love them but they are not meant to be used as tools for production. They are good live stage monitors, though. But if you need something for mixing, the Topaz are more useful. The fit is worse on the Yinyoo, but this could be a personal factor. Build-wise, we are at the same level. I also think the upgrade cable which you can order with the Topaz is the same as the other two, just with different colors and details. Still, if I had to recommend something, if you need a flat sound, go for the Topaz; if you want a versatile IEM for various genres and situations, and especially a fun one, go for the M6: they are very cheap for their offering.

BGVP DM6: strange comparison? 200$ is twice the price of the Topaz. But I’m here to say I’d get two Topaz instead of a single DM6. Or even a single Topaz because their value for money is way higher than the DM6’s one. DM6 are too congested and their stage is too close. Clarity and tuning of the Topaz win over the superb detail of the DM6’s Balanced Armatures. And this is a personal opinion, obviously. I wouldn’t choose the D2B4 over the DM6 as other reviewers said, but I’d go for the Topaz because of their balance. Build quality, tuning, accessories, design: the Topaz are phenomenal monitors for their price.

Simgot EM1: maybe my favourite earphones. Single dynamic driver, an incredibly versatile IEM with a fun yet balanced tuning. They are much more musical than the Topaz, but less precise. And they are a little bit sibilant. Don’t ask me to choose between the two, please. They are so different, but I love them both. No, I choose the EM1.

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Conclusions

I don’t have much to say: these are convincing In Ear Monitors. Actually one of my favourite ever. They look amazing, they are crazy well built, their sound is the one I usually search for, and if you find the right eartips, you’ll also find them comfortable and sealed. The price tag of 100$, considered the actual market, is pretty fair. With a better stock cable and some foam tips in the box, I would have paid much more, considering how solid the Topaz are. With the Simgot EM1, they actually are the overall most convincing earphones I’ve tried on a budget. If I had to pick a fun one and a flat one under 100$, these two would be my choices.

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Pros

  • Accessories

  • Tuning

  • Clarity

  • Natural timbre

  • Flat sound signature 

Cons

  • Stock cable

  • No foam tips

  • Bass may be lacking for some

YinYoo D2B4 Review

Price: 80€ now (it was about 130€)

Where to buy: [link]

Specifications:

  • Driver configuration: 2 dynamic drivers (I guess it’s a double diaphragm single dynamic) and 4 balanced armatures

  • Impedance: 19 Ohm @1 kHz

  • Sensitivity: 102 dB/1 mW

  • Frequency range: 20 – 40k Hz

Thanks to AK Audio for this review unit.

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Unboxing and first impressions

Classic YinYoo box here: a cardboard with a carrying case and various accessories inside (buds, cable, 6 pairs of silicon eartips: 3 wide bore, 3 small bore). No foam tips, no cleaning tools. A close experience to the V2 model by the same brand. Differently from the V2, the cable here is worse (strange, because the price is higher) and the standard is MMCX and not 2pin. I know for sure that now, if you buy the D2B4, they ship them with a better cable, which is closer to the BGVP DMG or NiceHCK M6 cable. I don’t mention those two models randomly: they share the same driver configuration and a similar build quality with these YinYoo. I don’t like my cable (remember: I have the older version), so I switched to a NiceHCK cable which is identical to the M6 one (it’s actually the P3’s cable); I’ve also tried the upgrade 8 core copper plated by the same company, but I’d rather use it with my NiceHCK M6 (because – spoiler – I prefer them). What’s not so convincing about these earphones? Despite their amazing look and build quality, the isolation is not that good – while that is a main feature on the counterparts I’ve mentioned.

 

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Sound

My sources: iFi xDSD via MacBook Pro 2012 or XIaomi Mi MIX 2 (wired and Bluetooth); FiiO M7; Focusrite 2i2 via MacBook Pro; Zorloo ZuperDAC-S via Mi MIX 2.

My files: DSD, FLAC, ALAC, MP3, M4A

My music: “Colour the Small One” by Sia, “Djesse Vol.1” by Jacob Collier, “Where are You?” by Frank Sinatra, “Ghost Stories” by Coldplay, “O” by Damien Rice, and many other tracks by Queen, Billie Eilish, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Radiohead, …

Given the same driver configuration as the BGVP DMG and the NiceHCK M6 (which are very similar one another), I thought the D2B4 were close to them too. It’s not really true. The sound signature is kind of comparable, with a full bass, nice mids and a decent treble. Other factors make them sound different: layering is a bit worse, soundstage is less wide – yet very deep – and detail is not the main focus here.

Bass: more than enough, for a balance lover. Sub-bass is decent, mid-bass is prominent. The problem is that it sounds a little bit muddy. The seller said the new cable can improve the sound, but I’m not really a believer of this (and, as I’ve said before, I’ve already replaced it). I’m not disappointed, I could even expect something like that. But I’ve heard the YinYoo V2 and their punchy yet controlled bass which I find amazing, so I may be right by expecting something more refined here. I really appreciate how this dark background matches with sharp recordings (like “A Fever Dream” by Everything Everything), though: the mid-bass invades the midrange, but many main parts are on the treble side, so you get as a result a comfortable, non-fatiguing experience.

Mids: they are recessed, I can’t deny they are under the pressure of that enhanced mid-bass. Male vocals feel undertone sometimes, but this is the only real disadvantage of this kind of tuning. I like the instrument separation and I hear a decent detail here. Female vocals (especially the higher ones) are airy and crisp. I would have expected a better layering, because sometimes I feel a lack of clarity whenever the mix is full of instruments. You can distinguish them (we are talking about decent specs), but they might be clearer in their reproduction.

Treble is good for my personal taste. I don’t like picks of any genre, so this relaxed high range is perfect for me. So, the overall frequency response that I hear is kind of L-shaped. Detail, vocals, instruments (especially drums) are really enjoyable on the high frequencies. I don’t have any sense of exaggerated effort, neither on the sub-bass or the top-high. If I had to correct something, I would take the mid-bass down a bit, because it’s very “covering”, too much sometimes.

The soundstage is average, the imaging is good. I hear no particular holographic atmosphere.

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Comparisons

BGVP DMG / NiceHCK M6: I prefer these two over the D2B4. The shape is better for isolation and stability, the provided cable is better (but the new D2B4’s one is kind of identical). Speaking of sound, I hear a clearer bass on DMG/M6 and a better detail and layering. But I have to consider the price that’s different. D2B4 costed 130€ (like DMG) but they are now 80€ (a little bit less than M6). The best deal here is NiceHCK M6: they have the same sound as DMG (for me, they may be even better because they might have less sibilance, if I hear correctly), but better accessories and the most appealing price for performance. Despite the similarities between the new cable of the D2B4 and the other two cables, the factory which produces these YinYoo models isn’t the same as the BGVP/NiceHCK.

 

Tin HiFi T3: I’d rather them too. Better cable but worse accessories, same level of build quality. For me, the two drivers of the T3 are better tuned than the 6 drivers of the D2B4. There’s not so much to say here, T3 are difficult to beat even for twice their price. I think D2B4 are nice for their price, but they are not the best product I heard by YinYoo for sure (V2 are absolutely amazing, and Y1 too, for my taste). The starting price of D2B4 was too high; now that they are cheaper, they have more sense. But I wouldn’t choose them, honestly. I have to say the D2B4 are more comfortable to wear, the T3 (like every other Tin HiFi product) are a little bit too large for ears on the smaller size.

 

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Conclusions

I feel like YinYoo is trying to produce a lot of different products, following the best trends of Chi-fi: V2 are a great counterpart to the Tin T2, while D2B4 aren’t that solid against the BGVP DMG. Now they are out with their Topaz (which I feel it’s like an IKKO OH1 contender), and we will see if they are worth it.

I try a lot of earphones. Sometimes valid products don’t really appeal to me like they could. In the end, this product is solid: really good accessories, capable sound, nice build quality and now even a good cable. I’m more into balance than fun, and the D2B4 are far from being balanced. I would recommend them to casual listeners, occasional bassheads, but if you need that sub-bass punch, I think you have to search more. These, to me, feel like the On Ears I’ve reviewed by 1MORE (here, in Italian). They don’t fail anywhere, but neither they shine. If you find a really good deal, you can get them and be satisfied, with a flavor of BGVP DMG and nice performances. Just be aware that the soundstage is limited and the instrument separation could be better due the enhanced mid-bass.

Simgot EM1 Review

Price: 80$

Where to buy them: https://amzn.to/2DWO4ch

Specifications:

  • Transducer unit: 10mm high magnetic composite dynamic driver

  • Diaphragm: Polymer composite titanium-plated diaphragm

  • Frequency response: 15Hz-40kHz

  • Sensitivity: ≥101dB (at 1000Hz)

  • Impedance: 16Ω

  • Distortion: <1%  101dB(20μpa)

  • Channel imbalance: <1.5dB(at 1000Hz)

  • Rated power: 10mW

 

Thanks to Simgot for the review sample.

It’s been awhile since I’ve tried my first Simgot set of earphones, the Meeture MT3 (here my Head-fi review). I kind of liked that monitors, with a particular vocal-centered tuning which makes them perfect for singers’ live stages. They were comfortable too, so with the right eartips they were a really capable IEM. However, the tuning was a little bit unorthodox, that’s not a bad thing, but it’s something you need to get used to. These EM1, instead, are very well-tuned and easier to appreciate. Let’s see why.

Unboxing and first impressions

As you can see, the difference between the boxes is noticeable: I liked the rational small white box of the MT3, but this bigger black one of EM1 is classy and more elegant. There’s a High-Res certification and some black-on-black pictures and specifications on the various faces of the box: I like this style, but I have to say it’s a bit difficult to read what’s written.

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As always, we find a soft carrying pouch with a good number of silicon eartips: 3 wide bore ones, 3 small bore ones. They really change the sound a lot, so be careful to try them all before judging the set. Like on the MT3, I prefer using the wide bore tips, because the sound is more balanced and less “boomy” than the sound provided with the others. It’s nice to see a description of how the sound changes depending on the eartips used, not just because they help with your choice, but because it’s very accurate. Unfortunately, there aren’t any foam tips, but the nozzle is pretty standard: I’ve tried both the Tin HiFi foams and the NiceHCK foams and they all fit very stably. The cable is really good: the same as MT3, a really well-made braided one. It’s oxygen free, 4 core, 6N of purity; a standard single-ended 3.5mm gold-plated jack and 2-pin 0.78mm connectors for the buds. There are pre-curved hooks and they are very comfortable, and there’s a chin slider too. The IEMs themselves come in a beautiful choice of colors: even though you can buy an all-black model, mine has the right earbud in red and the left one in blue. This makes it way easier to recognize which way to wear them. And the eartips are red/blue too, so it’s a beautiful touch. The buds are made of metal and plastic and they are actually the best plastic earphones I’ve ever tried regarding the build quality. It’s a translucent colored plastic, so you can still see the internals: you can notice the dynamic driver, which is the only one used in this set. The nozzle and parts of the faceplate are made of metal. There are some elegant writings. Overall, design wise this set is one of my favorites.

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Sound

My sources: FiiO M7, Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 with Zorloo ZuperDAC-S as DAC/Amp, MacBook Pro 2012 with Focusrite 2i2

My files: DSD, FLAC, ALAC, MP3, M4A

My music: “Colour the Small One” by Sia, “Djesse Vol.1” by Jacob Collier, “Where are You?” by Frank Sinatra, “Ghost Stories” by Coldplay, “O” by Damien Rice, and many other tracks by Queen, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Radiohead, Jack Garratt…

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When you try a lot of earphones, it’s difficult to get surprised: some sets have a good tuning, but they lack of detail, or vice versa. Some others have a really good bass, but they fall on mids and highs; it’s difficult to find a 360° convincing IEM, because brands obviously have to aim at a particular feature, especially on the budget area. Well, for my taste, this is one of the most convincing earphones under 100$. I may say this now is my favorite IEM.

Usually, when I start trying an earphone, I immediately understand a general tuning of it. Whether it’s a flat one or a “V” one, a balanced or a flat. In this case I needed more time to understand. First, I thought this was a warm set. Because bass sounded very punchy, quick, perfectly controlled with a dark background. Then I thought this was a bright set, because I started hearing some sparkles and a slight sibilance. So, I started thinking about a classic V-shaped signature, but I heard no evident fall on mids. Well, this became a really interesting set. I’d say, after listening to them for some time, that I’d remain with the initial impression of a dark background: the overall bass area is solid and gives warmness to the scene. That being said, the treble is surprisingly capable with a great detail and some sparkles, which however don’t bother me, as a really treble-sensitive person. I still hear some sibilance, which it’s not a characteristic of this set, but it’s an evidence of some not-so-well recorded songs: exactly like on Tin HiFi T3. Mids are great: I think they are slightly recessed, because the final impression I have is having a smooth U-shaped signature, which isn’t lacking of body nor lacking of air, though. I hear a very good separation between instruments and a pretty airy sound, with good detail and resolution. Soundstage is average: it doesn’t feel very wide, but neither inside your head. It’s something close to holographic which however doesn’t give the impression of a “virtualization”. And imaging, through this perceived small room, is actually pretty accurate.

To summarize: bass is very well-extended on the sub-bass area, present but controlled, punchy and pleasant. Mids are clear, with airy vocals and a good layering between instruments. Treble is solid and absolutely not rolled off, with a precise and analytical feel. Soundstage is average in width and depth, but imaging is really believable.

 

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Comparisons

Simgot Meeture MT3: while they share the same accessories, materials and build quality, sound wise they are pretty different. Depending on the tips, MT3 can sound really V-shaped (small bore) or mid-centric (wide bore). EM1 are more balanced and provide an overall signature that’s more classic and pleasant. I could recommend the MT3 to singers for their live stages; but I can really recommend the EM1 to anyone, whether for music listening or music production or exibitions. These are really solid universal IEMs with no compromises. You can find the MT3 here: https://amzn.to/2GTFyxN

 

Tin HiFi T3: when I said that most of the times brands need to make decisions, I meant that earphones like Tin T3 are amazing under certain ways, but average on some others. T3 are fantastic if you need detail, they have a really good bass yet remaining bright and they absolutely don’t fall on mids. And they have the best cable on a budget, too. But they are less comfortable to wear and more fatiguing to listen to. I feel that EM1 are more cohesive in their frequency distribution – but it’s easily because of their only dynamic driver, while T3 are a hybrid solution. I personally choose EM1: they may be meant for a more casual listening, because of their less-analytical signature, but they are more pleasant to my ears and they don’t really make compromises. T3 do maybe “too much”: they need to smooth their treble a little bit. Still a great set, though, with a stunning design. In absolute terms, they may be superior. For my personal taste, which requires a more controlled treble, EM1 are a better choice. You can find the T3 here: https://amzn.to/2XcI206

 

BGVP DMG: very different in terms of drivers (it’s a 5 or 6 drivers hybrid), and also in terms of sound. DMG are more sibilant, and provide a less smooth sound through the frequency range. They are warm too, but they aren’t as punchy neither as controlled as the EM1. I like EM1 treble more, too. Mids are similar and soundstage depth too. Fit wise, they are both great and not fatiguing. I like them both, honestly; DMG may be a little bit more detailed thanks to their multi-balanced configuration, but the overall experience of EM1 is closer to my taste. You can find the DMG here: https://amzn.to/2EltqUJ

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Conclusions

EM1 are an easy recommendation for me. I wasn’t so sure about MT3, but this set here is close to perfect for my taste. If you search for the most balanced choice in every way, consider this set. If you are more into crazy detail or very wide soundstage, there are better earphones, which aren’t that solid though, at least for what I think. This actually is one of my favorite IEM ever – and it proofs what you can do with a single dynamic driver, even on a budget. Highly recommended, in the end.