AudioSense T800 Review

Price: 300$ / 270€

Where to buy: [link]

Specifications:

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I want to thank AudioSense for providing a beneficial discount to us for this review. This is their TOTL product, developed in close cooperation with Knowles (in fact, there are 8 Knowles balanced armatures inside this IEM, without any crossover: there’s a deep research behind this particular model). You can find other really interesting models which contain Knowles drivers, too, for a more affordable price. I’ve immediately appreciated this brand because they asked for some critics, “knowing they are not perfect”. Good philosophy in my honest opinion.

 

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Unboxing and first impressions

This is a fabulous experience: this IEM is on a premium Chi-fi side, even if this driver configuration (and other things) is usually prerogative of much pricier Hi-fi products. The elegant black box is very minimal: there’s a proud Knowles branding on the front, as well as the model name and a picture with the shape of the T800. Not much more, honestly, even on the other sides. The specifications are written inside on the papers. When you open the cardboard, there’s a massive box which is a pelican-like case (you can buy it on the same store of the earphones for about 10€), water-proof, shock-proof and dust-proof: it’s very hard to open and close, and it’s perfect if you need to protect your purchase. Honestly, I think its only problem is that it’s massive. You can’t carry it around everywhere. But I also understand it’s a product for professional users – and it really is, believe me – so this is not something I can complain about. Inside the box, there are the buds, three pairs of silicon ear tips and three pairs of foam tips (a pair is black, another is blue, another red), the cable and a cleaning tool. The silicon tips are comfortable and high quality. I really like the foams too, they are different from Comply (denser and faster to return to their original shape after being squeezed) but I would have put three different measures as they did with silicon tips. A great set of accessories, for sure. The shape of the T800 is custom-like. To make a comparison, it’s similar to the BGVP DM6, but slightly larger. I find them comfortable with the silicon tips, but too tight with the foams (and I don’t really need them for the seal, because it’s already great with the silicon tips). The cable is good, it seems very professional; it may look like a FiiO silver cable because of the hooks, but it’s a proprietary unit. I like it, even though the MMCX connectors are a bit loose. However, AudioSense suggested to use at least an 8 core upgrade cable, so I chose a 16 core single crystal copper-plated cable by HiFiHear, which is a good match.

 

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Sound

My sources: FiiO M7 (standalone; to XDUOO XP-2/iFi xDSD via Bluetooth; to XP-2 via line-out; to xDSD via USB), Dodocool DA106 (mainly to XDUOO XP-2 via line-out); Mi MIX 2 to XP-2 and xDSD (via Bluetooth and USB), to Zorloo ZuperDAC-S, to Audirect Whistle; MacBook Pro 2012 to Focusrite 2i2.

My music: Jon Hopkins, “Singularity”; Billie Eilish, “When do we fall asleep, where do we go?”; Coldplay, “Ghost stories”; Bon Iver (Discography); Jack Garratt, “Phase”; Jamie Cullum, “Taller”; Sia, “Colour the small one”; The Bloody Beetroots & Jet, “The great electronic swindle”; Jacob Collier, “In my room” and “Djesse (Vol.1)”; John Coltrane, “Giant steps”; Lauv, “I met you when I was 18”, Oh Wonder (Discography), Radiohead (Discography), ecc..

My files: MP3, M4A, FLAC, ALAC, few DSDs (Pink Floyd).

I have no doubts this is an IEM meant to be used by professional users to produce music. It’s not a pleasant-sounding earphone. It’s not gentle at all, it’s not bass-heavy, it’s not colored, it’s not fun. It’s a perfect tool to analyze micro-details, though. Let’s explain.

I’ve used the T800 to test the iFi iPurifier SPDIF version. So, I had to use a precise In Ear Monitor to compare various audio systems and stacks and catch even the small differences. The 8 balanced armatures of the T800 are really capable: they produce a fairly neutral sound, with a controlled bass, great mids and a slightly emphasized treble. I’m very treble sensitive, so I usually prefer a smooth and relaxed one. This is, on the contrary, is solid and it doesn’t mitigate any sibilance. If I had to choose an earphone to listen to music with, this certainly wouldn’t be the one for me; but I’m a musician and wanna-be producer too, and this is the perfect IEM for that. I quote myself because I’ve already posted a preview on these earphones on a Facebook group: “So, here are my first impressions of the AudioSense T800. I had to try them for a while to calm the hype and un-bias myself. At first, I thought they were simply amazing, best IEMs I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried the 3k$ UM Mason V3 in the past). Now, after some time, I still believe they are amazing, but I have some critics to do. Having the BGVP DM6 as the only similar priced all-BA earphones, I’ll try to make some comparisons with those. First: the T800 are incredibly detailed. It’s something you’d expect by a BA earphone, sure, but the step forward from the DM6 is clear. The instrument separation is stellar, and they luckily are airy, so you don’t have the congestion of the DM6. The stage feels wider too, and this is also due to the emphasis on the treble area (I believe 2 to 6k and even above). So, if you are sensitive to high frequencies like me, you could be a little fatigued by the sharpness of the T800. They are not gentle at all with sibilance. If you are familiar with the Tin T3, you’ll know the feeling; here the sound is even sharper. Vocals are stunning: at first, I wouldn’t have considered them as “vocal oriented” because I had something like the Simgot MT3 as a reference for that; this is a completely different tuning, because vocals are perfectly clear and airy here, but the instruments aren’t “notched” to give them space. Does it sound comprehensible? I feel like they are perfect for mixing and mastering because they aren’t smooth or “buttery” like the Ufo112 by UfoEar, for example, and they have no particular emphasis on certain frequencies. Even the bass is very controlled and it extends deeply on the sub when needed. If you try to pump it (eq or a booster like the one on the iFi xDSD) it can be very satisfying, with a noticeable speed and a substantial body. The DM6 are bassier, but I’d rather the quality of the T800 even on the low range. The clarity of the AS T800, for me, wins over the less-fatiguing listening experience of the BGVP DM6; and even though the T800 are bigger, so less comfortable to wear, I’d choose them. I found a terrible synergy with my phone (Xiaomi Mi MIX 2) paired with a Zorloo ZuperDAC-S (ES9018) and low-quality files (low bitrate MP3s). The same files don’t feel that bad on Bluetooth with something like the FiiO M7 as a receiver, with the same DAC. In the end, I’d say they are not the most musical earphones out there, if you consider “musical” as fun and colored. But they are perfect tools for professional users, even on live stages. Audiophiles would be amazed. With a little less sharpness, they would easily be mid-fi endgame earphones. If you want to talk about money, if you believe DM6 are worth their 200$, T800 are well worth their 100$ more; I would even pay twice their price for a sound like that. Peace”

 

Do I agree with the past myself now? Yes, but I’ve now tried the Ufo112 for a longer period. Those are perfectly tuned, more comfortable, more versatile because they can be used for music listening with satisfaction too. The Ufo112 are 370$, while the T800 are 300$. Is a Tin T3 (70$) of difference justified? It’s difficult to say. This Chi-Fi game is improving day by day, and while it’s true that 300$ for the sound of the T800 is a crazy low price, I honestly think the Ufo112 sound better and they may be worth the extra money. But you have to understand the will of both: the T800 for monitoring during music production may be better, due to the micro-details they can catch; however, the Ufo112 are way more versatile. My choice would be – sound-wise – on the Ufo112, but I aesthetically prefer the T800. Also, even though the accessories are great on both contenders, the T800 are more pragmatic, they look and feel more professional-oriented. And their case is stellar. Notice these are my personal impressions and tastes, while one of my team mates absolutely chooses the T800 over the Ufo112, because of their amazing detail and instrument separation, as well as vocals shining over the instruments.

 

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Conclusions

AudioSense is a well-known brand in the East, it works really close to Knowles itself and it’s had various recognitions on their official pages. It seems that they decided to embrace the western countries by selling directly on Amazon and by striking deals with some stores (Linsoul, for example). I’ve only tried their TOTL IEM, and I’ve really appreciated it, as you’ve read. I believe they can do great things on lower models too. Do I recommend the T800? Sure, but not to everyone. If you can deal with sibilance to get some crazy details, this would certainly amaze you. The covered spectrum is crazy, and the stage feels wide. Not the most natural IEMs, but I’d define them “precision monsters”.

 

AudioSense stock cable on FiiO FA1

AudioSense stock cable on FiiO FA1

Pros

  • Accessories

  • Isolation

  • Fit

  • Design

  • Sound signature

  • Details

 

Cons

  • Average cable for the price

  • Sibilance

  • Bass may be lacking for some

BQEYZ BQ3 Review

Price: 60€

Where to buy: [link]

Specifications (from Head-Fi):

  • Impedance: 22Ω

  • Sensitivity: 95db

  • Frequency range: 7-40kHz

  • Driver unit: 3BA+2DD In Ear Earphone

  • Weight: About 25g±5g

  • Cable Type: 0.78mm Pin

 

Thanks to Elle from BQEYZ for providing this review sample.

Never thought what BQEYZ stands for? They claimed “Best Quality Earphones (for) You”. And then Z, because why not. 

Unboxing and first impressions

I’ve never tried any BQEYZ products before. But I know it’s a famous brand in the Chi-Fi game. The BQ3 come in a black cardboard box, with some information around the box itself and a picture of the buds on the front. On the inside, there are the buds and the silicon tips (3 pairs) inside a foam, and a soft carrying pouch which contains the cable. The buds are completely made of metal, which is great, and they have an unusual design which is original but it doesn’t seem very comfortable. After trying them, I have to say they are not only extremely comfortable, but they also isolate incredibly well! The cable is a good unit, which reminds me of the TRN IM1/V30 cable, but it’s not the same one. There’s a mic on my version, which works very well. The only disadvantages of the cable are: the chin slider is there, but on a wrong position, because it’s below the mic and it cannot reach your chin; it tangles pretty easily. Overall, I’m not a fan of the design but I like everything about the build quality, the accessories and the comfort.

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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, XDUOO XP-2

My files: DSD, FLAC, ALAC, MP3, M4A, MQA on TIDAL Master Quality

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, … 

 

I don’t know why, before trying the BQ3, I was biased, thinking these IEMs were sibilant, sparkling, sharp. Luckily, I was completely wrong. The first thing I’ve noticed was the good sense of space: the treble is slightly elevated, so the perceived stage is wider than average. And there’s a good imaging too, very smooth around the soundstage. What doesn’t convince me is the instrument separation: when the mix is full, I hear some congestion, like the crossover had to be improved. So, I can say that I would work a little bit on the layering, but the tuning is absolutely mature. In fact, there’s a balanced graph here (from what I perceive) if you think about a frequency response reproduction. I would say this is a similar sound signature to the Tin HiFi T2, with a little bit more bass. I like the control of the mid-bass which doesn’t fall on the midrange, and I like the depth of the sub-bass which is very noticeable. Mids don’t feel recessed, even though there’s a smooth U which gives a pleasant dark background; vocals are forward enough to sound embracing and they can shine through the mix. I particularly appreciate the male vocals here, because of the timbre. That being said, the female ones are great too, because of the sparkling treble; this is usually a con for me, because it tends to cause some sibilance (I’m very sensitive to it), but surprisingly they kept the good and left the bad of this kind of tuning. It’s important underlining that these earphones don’t need amplification, even though the driver configuration may suggest you could (3BA+2DD!). I’ve easily used them with the stock dongle of my Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 with Tidal on MASTER quality, and when I switched to something like the Zorloo ZuperDAC-S or my audio interface on a desktop setup (Focusrite 2i2), I didn’t feel like there was a massive increase in the performances. I feel like there’s a slight upgrade on the layering definition, but very marginal. They are very pleasant with the iFi xDSD, which I have in test, because it’s a pretty warm DAC in my opinion. I like them slightly less with the XDUOO XP-2 because it’s on a brighter side, and it doesn’t mitigate the emphasis of the IEMs’ treble. Overall, there aren’t really a lot of negative things about the BQ3’s sound. In my opinion, they are one of the more complete choices for about 50€.

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Comparisons

Tin Audio T2 (2019 version): even though I prefer the look and the presentation of the T2, I find them a little bit too big for my ears, so… comfort-wise I’d go for the BQ3. As I’ve said before, I find the sound signature of the two being very similar, with less bass on the T2 but a better instrument separation. Consider that the T2 can be sometimes found for half the price of the BQ3, and they are very close. If you find the T2 for less than 30€, go for them. If you want something less mainstream but extremely valid, the BQ3 are absolutely great for being a sub-100 IEM.

KZ ZS7: I love their look (I know, Campfire, it’s your look), and I like their warm sound. I have to admit that sound-wise the BQ3 are a better choice: more clarity, better vocals, a more controlled bass. But I’m a design lover, and BQ3 don’t shine that way. The stock BQEYZ cable is better than the KZ counterpart. And the isolation provided by the BQ3 is superior to the ZS7 one. And KZ doesn’t give you a carrying pouch. Neither their stock ear tips are very good. BQ3 here are a rational choice. But I still love the ZS7 to be a “wannabe” Andromeda.

SIMGOT EM1: a little bit pricier, they are one of my all-time favorite IEMs. Not the widest stage, not the craziest detail, but a reliable sound signature for every situation. BQ3 have better materials, a wider stage, more detail and air in the vocals. Speaking about quality for the price, BQ3 are a bit superior. But Simgot provides a better cable and a magnificent set of silicon eartips to tune the earphones finely.

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Conclusions

For being my first BQEYZ experience, it’s been a great start. This is a solid product with just a little refinement to do, to reach the top for the price range. I’m very impressed by the build quality, the isolation, the mature tuning and I’m surprised to appreciate a sound signature which is closer to the brightness than to the neutrality. I’d say it’s incredible to find something like this for under 100€, but these last two years have been so absurd for the Chi-Fi market that I’m not so surprised anymore: you will absolutely love the BQ3, but at the same price you find the Tin T3, too (which I didn’t compare before because for me they are not so worthy for the price, considering the crazy cheapness of the T2… but that T3’s cable!) and you can buy two sets of Tin T2 themselves. Think about it. I recommend the BQ3, but l suggest to find a great deal for a special occasion.

 

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Pros

  • Build quality

  • Cable

  • Microphone

  • Carrying pouch

  • Mature tuning

  • Soundstage and imaging

  • Almost no sibilance

  • Easy to drive despite the high amount of drivers

 

Cons

  • Mediocre instrument separation

  • Bad position of the chin cinch

KZ ZS7 Review

Price: 50$ (Amazon), 35$ (AliExpress special deals)

Where to buy: https://amzn.to/2UcVMta (US) or https://amzn.to/2UZ7O6v (Italy)

Specifications:

  • Impedance: 24Ω

  • Earphone sensitivity: 105dB/mW

  • Frequency range: 20-40000Hz

  • Driver configuration: 1 DD + 4 BA

 

Thanks to Easy Earphones (YinYoo) for providing this free unit to review.

So, here I am with my first KZ review in English. My previous experience with this brand wasn’t that happy (ZS3 and ES4, which I didn’t really appreciate). The first was too bassy, the second was too big and the sound – even if more balanced – wasn’t my cup of tea. Now I have the ZSN and the ZS7, and I can appreciate the progress of Knowledge Zenith. I wouldn’t expect this quality from a brand which didn’t surprise me in the past, at all.

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Unboxing and first impressions

Like most of the people who want to start their IEM journey, KZ was one of the first brands which came to my ears. I was interested in trying the ZS6, but I changed my mind for the RevoNext QT2, a similar pair that I believed was superior. Since then, I hadn’t the opportunity to try the ZS6 nor to compare them, obviously, to the QT2; but I’m here now with the new model, the ZS7. The ZS7 share the same design as the ZS6, but the internals are the one you can find in the ZS10. So, even if this can make you confused, we are talking about a hybrid earphone, with 1 dynamic driver and 4 balanced armatures per ear. This is a similar configuration as the BGVP DMG, NiceHCK M6 (which I both reviewed here, in Italian) and the YinYoo D2B4 (yes, the “D2” name is a little tricky, but it may be actually a double diaphragm single dynamic driver). The fact is: the price of these multi-balanced hybrid earphones is actually really low. For 50$ on Amazon and even less on AliExpress, you can have a really solid model. Starting from the box, which is an elegant black cardboard with a book-like opening. Inside you find the buds, in their amazing electric blue, and underneath the foam you find the manuals, the eartips (unfortunately, the classic KZ ones) and the cable – which is so bad that I didn’t even open it, because I know it and I hate it. Luckily, YinYoo sent over a cable by themselves, which is perfect for this situation (if you want, you can find my review of it in Italian here). I have a color disease, but for me this coppery/pinkish color of the cable is a great match with the blue buds. The metal shell is really solid and very well assembled – I saw some macro photos before having my pair, and they looked kind of summarily assembled, but mine are actually well done. The back of the buds is black, but still metal; even the nozzle is made of aluminum. Because I put a cable which isn’t the stock one, I’ve also used some different eartips: I took the ones of the BGVP DM3, which I don’t use because they fall off my ears too easily. They are white too, which I prefer to the classic gray tips. The fit is strangely good, and not fatiguing. I can’t stand the QT2 which are similar, but these are better shaped, maybe.

 

Right message, wrong language

Right message, wrong language

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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.

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, …

 

Considering my previous experience with KZ, I thought I would have found a disappointing sound. I didn’t. These are my favorite KZ among the ones I’ve tried, and also among all the earphones I have. I’m a design lover, a music lover, I pay attention to various things. You can propose me the best sounding earbuds in the world, but if they are made of plastic, the fit is bad and they look ugly, I can’t appreciate them. Earphones are tools, but they are also jewelry nowadays. I can talk about them through the eyes (and ears) of mine as a musician or as an entire person with a lot of interest. KZ ZS7 are good. Good-looking, at first. Good-sounding, at last. I don’t usually like this sound signature: everything is in its right place, until you hear an exaggerated enhancement in the mid-bass area. But this is actually good. Once you understand that you can’t monitor your recordings with them and you have to pair them with particular genres, the way is clear. They are fun, exactly the same way as they look. You can chill with them, you can relax with them. The sound doesn’t reflect the angular shape, though. It’s not sharp, not harsh, not sibilant. This may sound like heaven, for someone like me. It’s not heaven, but it’s absolutely an enjoyable place.

Bass: not the best here. Sub-bass is lacking, mid-bass is emphasized. If I had to find the issue with these IEMs (apart from the cable), it would be this one. Once you get used to this, though, you appreciate the bump. Bassheads will be fairly pleased with this pair. I would rather have more speed and less oomph, because the mids may suffer from that. But I’m okay with the extension and I can survive with the emphasis.

Mids are great. Even with the “invasion” that sometimes comes from the bass. I like voices, I like the space between the instruments, their layering. Maybe you can expect more detail by a set of four BA, but I don’t feel I miss any main focuses in my music. Vocals aren’t sibilant. This is something I’ve waited for since a long time, for a KZ earphone. I like everything of the sound, honestly, apart from that bass. Treble is smooth, not extreme but luckily not harsh. I enjoy it, and I’m not an easy person to satisfy when it comes to high frequencies. Even the highest voices are well controlled, and don’t miss any air or space. The soundstage is average. Not the widest, not the deepest. But the imaging is very precise, so you can enjoy your perceived little room and be happy. The intimacy is achieved. I wouldn’t call this stage “small” in a negative way. It actually opens up when the recordings are well done. But I’d call it intimate, because it’s very in-your-head sometimes, without being intrusive. And the mid-bass presence actually gives a very warm color to the signature which is really emotional. I have to say, I’ve wanted to like KZ since a long time, but it’s been hard, until now. ZS7 are a game changer for this brand.

 

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Comparisons

This is a very interesting moment: the price range is challenging and I have a lot of competitors. I’ll write some, but if you need others, write me on the comments or contact me anywhere.

YinYoo V2: they are among my favorites IEMs. I still prefer them over the ZS7, because they come with better accessories (carrying case, better cable, better tips). Even the sound signature is suitable for more genres, because its bass is more controlled. I’d rather the ZS7 design. I say it now: it’s neary a 1:1 clone of the Campfire Audio Andromeda (and Polaris). I don’t appreciate brands which clone stuff, of every genre. They are even more similar to them than the RevoNext QT2. That said, I love the Andromeda design, so I cannot dislike the ZS7 that way. It’s not ethical, though. If I had to choose, I’d take the V2.

ADVANCED Model 3: they are similarly tuned. But the mid-bass bump is more exaggerated on the Model 3 (strange to say!). I love the Model 3 because of their design, their accessories, their shape and their fit. That said, the ZS7 are better built and to my ears they are more finely equalized. OT, I’m curious to try the new models of ADVANCED, because they have the perfect shape for me, and a more similar driver configuration to these ZS7 (even though I continue to like the dynamic vibes). I’d choose the ZS7 between the twos (I’m talking about the wired version of the Model 3 in this comparison).

RevoNext QT2: I like them, I don’t like them as much as the ZS7. They are very differently tuned, QT2 are on a reference side and they are bright, while the ZS7 are dark and fun. Same accessories here, so I can give you my preference: ZS7, because QT2 are too sibilant and I can’t stand that. And ZS7 are more comfortable.

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Conclusions

This time they did it: Knowledge Zenith is improving. I (more than) like the ZS7, and they are on my top list now. If they put a better cable instead of that crappy memory wire one, the improvement will be complete. And they could compete with the bigs. They just need a little bit of refinement in the tuning. But the ZS7 are solid, and I’m happy to recommend them.

YinYoo Y1 Review

Price: 25€

Where to buy: [link]

Specifications:

  • Impedance: 16 Ohm

  • Sensitivity: 96±3db

  • Frequency response: 5-40k Hz

  • 1 Dynamic Driver

 

Thanks to AK Audio for the review sample. I have the black version with mic. You can choose it without the mic and there’s a rose gold option too.

The foam tips are not included

The foam tips are not included

Unboxing and first impressions

If you are familiar with YinYoo and NiceHCK, you will know what to expect by their packaging. Here we find a cardboard box, which contains a carrying hard case, which in turn contains the earphones and the eartips. Very simple, but functional. The cable is not removable, and it has some controls on the wire (one button, which can play/pause and skip tracks with different actions). The button has a good click and it works perfectly. There’s a nice working microphone too. The problem is: I really don’t know which earphone is the right one, because they are both marked as left. With a simple test, I understood the right one is the one with the wire controls. Apart from that, I love the design, the materials and the build quality of these earphones. They are made of metal and ceramic, and the cable reminds me of the Meze 11/12 series. There’s a mesh filter, which I believe it’s made of tissue. On the connector and on the Y split there are some reinforcements, so I’m 100% satisfied with the build quality and I’m not worried about the resistance of these buds. The fit is average, for my ears which aren’t easy to match with classic in ears. With some foam tips they are more stable. It’s a bit better than the fit I had with the Meze 12 Classics, which I really cannot wear without them falling.

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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.

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, …

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I don’t think these earphones have been successful. I didn’t read any reviews (because I didn’t search, but even on social networks nobody seems to have shared his review). So, I guess it’s something that sounds unusual and doesn’t encounter people’s taste. After trying these earphones, I’m not sure if this is true. I liked them. They are cheap and they are meant to be considered a first buy, or just an upgrade from your phone’s stock earphones. But even by choosing these consciously, for me they would be very nice sounding. They are, actually.

They can be considered V-shaped. It’s nice to have this signature in a consumer-oriented pair of earphones. They can suit a lot of genres and answer to the needs of everyone. Sure, I’d prefer a flat signature if I could choose, but I’m perfectly fine with this one. Especially because the driver (a single dynamic) has a really good quality and the tuning is good. I tried the V2 by YinYoo before, and they still are one of my overall favorite earphones. It seems that these ones could be good too, in a different way. I don’t generally like non-detachable-cable earphones, neither classic in ears (I’d rather have an IEM style); but the general quality make me appreciate these Y1 as a whole.

The first thing I liked is the soundstage: I generally like a wide, extended perceived stage; the Y1 are not crazy wide, but they don’t feel congested and the imaging is pretty precise, so you have a sense of immersion which is enjoyable and far from the bad holographic try of the KZ ES4, for example. The sub-bass is smoothly reached and give a nice background to these earphones; the mid-bass is luckily controlled and it doesn’t fall on the midrange, which I’m surprised of, because cheap earphones tend to have issues on that area. Mids are a bit recessed, but lively enough. The instrument separation in that area is better than average, and there’s a good layering. The best thing of the whole play is the sense of space, which feels true. Vocals are relaxed, not sharp at all (which I like), even on tracks which are often critical with some sets. Treble is very nice, with nearly no sibilance nor harshness. There could have been the classic pick on the upper midrange to give a touch of color and clarity and widen the stage; there isn’t, but I don’t miss it, though. It could have ruined this relaxed tuning, which at the same time doesn’t miss any energy.

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Comparisons

I’d like to compare some models differently from the other times. Considering this is barely “moddable” (not having a removable cable), I will put them face to face with other similar earphones in their concept.

BGVP Sidy DM3: really capable, but immature. Y1 are better, even though DM3 (which are pretty old I think) were trying to surprise with vocals and space. The tuning was really bad, though, because they wanted to enlighten certain aspects, by sacrificing others – maybe more important. So, the tuning is very strange on DM3, but you can like them as you like, for example, the Simgot Meeture MT3: for vocals. Y1 are an overall better choice, because they are tuned in a more mainstream way.

Meze 12 Classics: they are better in an absolute way, but considering the price range I’d go 100% on the YinYoo. Same qualities on the outside, different ones on the inside. I don’t love the darkness of the 12 Classics, neither their congestion. Y1 are closer to my taste.

ADVANCED M4: considering these are among my all-time favorites, it would be hard to make them lose. They are pretty different in their sound signature, much flatter than the YinYoo. I won’t say the Y1 lose here, though: they are cheaper and they are absolutely worth the money. I prefer the M4 because they are more suitable for my needs (music production, ecc..).

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Conclusions

Even though they don’t make the best impression with that poor quality control (both buds are signed as left), the YinYoo Y1 look gorgeous and they are perfectly crafted with premium materials. I like the sound too, for me it is solid and mature enough to suit the needs of the majority of people. The stage is impressive, not for width but for precision and imaging and they really provide a pleasant overall sound that I couldn’t but recommend.

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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.