Pros: Great sound, Wonderful mic, Simple design
Cons: Bright with some tracks, Bass energy may be too much for some
Driver Type 10mm Dynamic
Plug Type 3.5mm
Cord Length 1.3m Y
Frequency Response 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Impedance 32 Ohms
Sensitivity 106dB / mW @ 1kHz
WHERE TO BUY / COST:
Edifier has been making audio products since the 90’s and their aim remains the same now as it was then: “Taking pride in exceptional design and quality yet remaining affordable for listeners from around the world.” With the introduction of the P293, a design-forward and exercise friendly IEM, they achieve these goals and bring to the market a uniquely sleek and stylish in-ear.
The accessories are complete with small/medium/large tips, cable cinch, shirt clip, carrying pouch, and an extra 3.5mm adapter. I gotta say that the accessories are very well thought out especially the adapter and the low profile pouch. A ton of the IEMs I review have a large carrying case that cannot fit easily into a pants pocket, but this case is sleek enough to tuck away. The only thing I would change is elongate the shirt clip so the alligator jaws extend to twice as long. This gives the clip an easier time attaching to clothes while retaining the cable.
Aesthetically the P293 is simple with a stylish silver backplate on each earcup. Edifier offers three color choices for the IEM including a cool-looking green. The cable is strain relieved at the jack plug and earpieces which is huge when you plow through IEMs like snowballs in a snowfight. The cable and mic feel cheap, but avoid tangling. The cable is long enough to tuck a portable player in a pocket and still run the cable under a shirt or behind your back. The addition of the adapter, which goes unexplained, prevents the cable from breaking as the adapter beefs up the connection between the IEM and a portable device. Hopefully this prevents a snag from ruining your IEM cable. It also gives you another mini cable for a line-out if you need it.
The driver nozzles are angled making it more comfortable than a direct nozzle approach. The tips can be easily swapped out with no trouble or worry.
One minor issue I had is the nozzle is so short that the very large driver housing pressed against the inside of the Tragus. This is one of the biggest problems with just about every IEM I have tested so it is not unusual, but wearing an IEM for hours should be comfortable. The pressure here is not so great that it is unbearable, but it does cause my ears to fatigue after an hour or so leading me to adjust the angle alleviating the pressure.
From the front of the package I was worried that the phrase “MEGABASS” would place the P293 into the unlistenable category. Luckily this IEM is not full of ridiculous bass and is quite pleasant. For a 10mm dynamic driver the P293 delivers very clear bass, an up-front midrange, and treble extension not found it IEMs in this price point.
Unamped: Having a sensitivity of 106dB/mW makes the P293 very easy to drive and due to the 32 Ohm impedance there are no worries about current limiting. I stayed below 50% volume on my iPod touch.
The sound unamped is full and even from bass to treble with a hint of bass emphasis. The bass quality and treble extension are what caught my focus because the bass, although slightly emphasized, is very tight and well defined. Most IEMs that achieve this drop the treble or the bass simply covers it up. Not in the case of the P293 which extends the treble enough to appear accurate in the upper registries although with some tracks it did sound a tinny.
I found that during unamped listening, especially at loud listening levels where I evaluate headphones, the P293 became fatiguing due to the bass energy. This is in part because the IEM seals so well which is a plus for exercise, but take heed if you listen at loud volumes for longer than an hour! The unamped experience was a huge surprise and these might end up as my top recommendation due to price, performance, and quality.
Amped: Not every IEM sounds good amped with some sounding lean and others sounding too bassy. In most cases a bassy IEM will tighten up the bass during desktop amp evaluation and the P293 is no exception. The bass fatigue heard unamped is completely gone and the clarity on a whole kicks it up a notch becoming even more fun and engaging. I found myself grooving along with my music.
When I participated in Big Sound 2015 I found Sade’s (pronounced Sha-day ) Smooth Operator track to be very useful in finding flaws in a headphone because is dynamic, has all the instruments that I use to test headphones in it, and should sound awesome with a hi-fi system. Many IEMs I test struggle to make this track engaging and do not replicate what the hi-end gear did to it during my session with Tyll. The P293 is the first IEM below $100 that I have heard that brings that experience back although the treble is bright on some tracks so if you are sensitive to bright headphones that be warned.
The P293 also comes with an in-line mic so it can be used for remote conversing. The mic, although feeling cheaply made, is actually very good. It is placed perfectly and picks up voice tremendously well delivering an up-front sound that allows the person on the other end to easily hear you speak. The mic is one of the best I have found in an IEM so if you want something for chatting on the phone or conference calls rest assured the P293 has you covered.
Not many affordable IEMs get my attention these days and the Edifier P293 brought some much needed energy back into my hi-fi tracks. It has a clean sound and remains well extended at both ends of the frequency response, but the brightness may be too much for some listeners. The accessories are complete and the cable should be durable enough to get a few years of use especially with the cable adapter in place. The only thing the Edifier needs to make it more listenable is to vent the sound through the tips avoiding the bass fatigue. If you are in the market for a wonderful IEM be it for general listening or exercise then the P293 is a great choice.
January 2016 Update
After auditioning these at a local head-fi meet there general feedback is that these sounds good, but can be bright with some music. That was my finding as well so if you are at all sensitive to bright headphones perhaps stay away from the P293, but I really do enjoy the overall sound.