Pros: Well controlled impressive bass. Excellent treble, resolution, and transparency. Wide soundstage. Comfortable to wear.
Cons: The midrange may not be to everyones liking. Cable is a bit noisy.
(This review is dedicated to Music_4321 for his outstanding contributions on Head-Fi)
Before I begin I would like to mention that I have no ties to HiSoundAudio or the headphone industry in any way. I’m just a hobbyist who loves music and IEMs.
No doubt about it; this is a great sounding in-ear monitor. Definitely hi fidelity! Not just relative to its price but also in comparison to my most expensive IEMs costing more than US $1000 each. However, this is not a neutral reference IEM but instead tuned for a very enjoyable, pleasant and non fatiguing sound and it manages to be so without ever becoming boring or dull. Plus, this is the only IEM in my collection that is able to do some serious justice to my most sub-bass demanding tracks, like for example “Tubular World” from the album “The Songs of Distant Earth” by Mike Oldfield. As a matter of fact, this track can sound a bit boring with my reference phones. However, the Wooduo 2 is not a bass monster. The bass is well controlled, never muddy or bloated.The treble sparkle is just right without any harshness. Overall, this is a clear but not overly bright sounding IEM, and it has a touch of airiness to it as well. The resolution and transparency is excellent. If you prefer a wide soundstage the Wooduo 2 will not disappoint and instrument separation is superb. The Wooduo 2 is vented and probably helps the sound to flow effortlessly. It should be noticed that the impact of the bass is somewhat volume dependent. At low volumes the bass may pass as close to "normal", at normal volumes it is very deep and present (as described above) whereas at really high volumes the bass does sound a bit overwhelming, however still very impressive.
Sonically, the Sennheiser CX-300 IEM (approx. US $30) - which is also considered a very bass capable IEM and one that I’ve used and enjoyed for many years - is utterly outclassed by the Wooduo 2.
In comparison to the included olive shaped tips – which are quite excellent - I recommend the T-400 Comply foam tips. All other included tips were too small for my ears. As expected, the Comply foam tips improve the isolation, but more importantly facilitate a deep fit which improves transparency, resolution, imaging, and instrument separation. Not all IEMs benefit from a deeper fit but the Wooduo 2 does. Also, the Comply foam tips add a tad more treble sparkle. I’d expected the opposite, but evidently not so. A word of caution tough; a too deep fit will make the bass and midrange somewhat anemic. You may need to do a little bit of experimenting to find the perfect insertion depth.
Midrange instruments and vocals projected in the center of the soundstage tend to sound a bit recessed but crisp. This gives the strings of string instruments a clear (but not unpleasant) bite. However vocals can sound a bit lacking in body, perhaps even a bit unnatural, but not at all to the extent that it’s a problem. However, in my experience this characteristic diminishes with burn in.
Midrange coherency is not perfect and can be noticed with center stage solo instruments, for example an acoustic guitar. It can on occasion give an impression that upper midrange and lower midrange notes come from two different guitars with slightly different resonant bottoms. This may sound as a serious problem, but it really isn’t. It’s really just noticed if you have trained your hearing, focus on coherency, and have a more coherently sounding IEM to compare with, such as for example the FitEar ToGo 334, which costs approximately US $1.350. Again, this characteristic seems to diminish with burn in
Instrumental music (Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, Yello, Mike Oldfield, etc.) and the Wooduo 2 is a marvelous match. Opera, chamber music and symphonic music and the Wooduo 2 goes very well together too. Most, but not all concertos sound perfectly fine as well. In my opinion, music having a fast, throbbing and dominating bass quickly becomes annoying with this IEM.
The Wooduo 2 is small, light-weight and very comfortable to wear and the build quality is more than adequate. Unfortunately the cable is somewhat noisy (microphonic) when worn in front. However, it can also be comfortably worn behind the ears despite its cable being flat. This practically eliminates all cable noise. To make the cable stay in place behind the ears I’ve placed a rubber band just above the Y-split. The rubber band can then be adjusted by rolling it up and down on the cable. It may not look so great but it actually works pretty well and better than I thought it would.
Now - a week later - I’ve found an even better working and better looking solution by using a piece of plastic-wire, the kind that is commonly used to wind up cables in packaging for electronics.
I’m afraid the build quality isn’t quite what I felt it was initially. While changing tips I held on to the rosewood part and it separated from the nozzle part. However, I could easily clue it back with a small brush using some “Loctite Super Glue”. Fortunately it had no negative impact on the sound. Anyway, when changing tips I recommend holding it in the nozzle part.
I believe the 250 (approx.) hours of burning in has had positive effects overall. The midrange feels more natural now, the slight coherency issue seems to be gone, and the bass is even more controlled.
For the price this IEM is a no brainer that I highly recommend, especially for those tracks that crave a deep, impactful, yet well controlled bass.
Thank you for reading this review. If in any way it was useful to you, please give it a “thumbs up” or otherwise let me know. Thank you!