Pros: Very good clarity and bass impact
Cons: Soundstage and Dip and Peak
So, as I promised on H-200 tread, I'm writing a review on the H-200. H-200 has been controversial because some claim it to be the greatest thing ever created, while some say they don't measure well. These are my impressions on them. I'll start with a pic.
Priced at around 230,000won, or roughly $200USD, it is a very good iem. However, availability is limited. Also, pricing in US and countries besides Korea is rather high. They are still worthy of the cost imo.
H-200 is a 3 way hybrid design iem, with a dynamic driver for bass, and a TWFK for mid and treble. Considering that other hybrids costs $600+, this iem is very attractive.
I'll start my review form factors and comfort.
Design: Fairly stylish with a red cable and a black cable. Only available in black as of now.
Build Quality: A big plus for the replaceable cable. Upgrade cables should be available soon. Overall build is very solid but the filter/mesh seems kind of fragile.
Comfort: These iems are rather big. I used medium olives with SE535, but I have to use small tips for these. They do fit fine though.
In-the-box: Various tips. 1 pair of foam tips. 2 cables(black cable with remote and red cable). Leather case. Shirt clip. Warrenty/Manual
Now the sound. I'm breaking the sound section into multiple sections.
Gears used: AK100, Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII, GS3
Sub-bass: As expected of a dynamic driver, H-200 has very deep and powerful sub bass. Bass has power and punch.
Mid-bass: Mid bass is punchy and quick, but I feel like it's too powerful for my taste. These iems are not for those looking for neutral or light bass.
Lower mids: Very slightly recessed. Not recessed like Triple Fi, which is constantly compared against H-200.
Upper mids: This is the problematic part. Overall, they are good. Very clear upper mids, but there is a harsh metalic sound that is caused by a big peak. There also is a big dip, causing certain voices to sound recessed.
Lower treble: Bit harsh, but maintains clarity. Forward lower treble.
Upper mids: Decently extended, and clear, but lacks air.
Clarity: Main selling point of this iem. TWFK is known for their clarity, and H-200 is not a exception. Think of H-200 as B2 or any TWFK based iem with much better bass. Very impressed.
Detail: Fair. Not exceptional, but nothing under average. I change my mind. It has good detail. Good micro detail. I didn't realize this until I compared it to other $200 iems. Before, I compared H-200 with my UERM and SE535, which are well detailed.
Soundstage: Fairly limited. Lacks air in treble and decay in mids. However, it's average for an iem. I've heard iems with better soundstage(TF10 and MDR7550), but it can be a lot worse.
H-200 has a certain frequency region that is extremely recessed, or a dip in it's upper mids. It also has a region that is extremely forward, or a peak in it's upper mids as well. This causes some female vocals to sound recessed and others to sound metalic/harsh. This is just about the only flaw in this iem, but it's a major flaw.
Some head-fiers claimed that burning the H-200 in helps reducing the peak and dip noticeably. However, although I've burned in my H-200 for 50 hours, no audible changes happened. Now, you might claim I have a terrible hearing or something, but I doubt it. I'm a high school student and measurements shows that I have above average hearing in upper mids and treble range.
*Tip: Using black tips as opposed to translucent tips helps in reducing the peak.
Now the fun part. IEM vs IEM part.
H-200 vs Triple Fi.
These two were compared frequently for having similar signature. I feel like they are very different iems. H-200 has better bass impact and slightly more forward mids while Triple Fi has much better soundstage with more recessed mid. Both do have good bass and aggressive treble though. H-200 edges the Triple Fi in terms of clarity.
H-200 vs SE535
SE535 is much more expensive, but I felt like H-200 could compete against it. SE535 is much smoother and softer sounding with better imaging/soundstage and detail. However, H-200 has better bass extension as well as clarity. Much better clarity on H-200. Also, treble is more extended on H-200.
H-200 vs W4
Sorry. But no real comparison here. While W4 may not be as smooth as SE535, it has bass extension and clarity that SE535 lacked. Therefore, W4 beats the H-200 in almost all aspects.
H-200 vs MDR7550
Similarly priced, but different iems. H-200 is more V shaped while 7550 has it's focus on great mid and bass. Detail and clarity wise, H-200 is better. However, 7550 has much better soundstage as well as mids. Bass has much more punchy as feel on 7550. I consider 7550 to have the best bass amongst all iems I've heard. H-200 has good bass, but 7550 is better imo.
I think I was bit harsh in judging this iem. However, I can say for sure that if you are looking for a fun bassy sound with very good clarity, H-200 is one of the best choice. It has one of the best clarity I've heard from any universal iems along with a very solid bass.
Sorry if you wanted more info on H-200. If you do want more opinion, feel free to ask for it.
I tried to keep this brief, so it's not boring to read. This review will be updated whenever I feel like I should update it.
*I have no affiliation with T-PEOS. I don't have any reasons to hate or like a specific company. Just saying.
* 8/4/13 I've updated the review few times. Currently, I decided to burn them in for additional 20 hrs to see if the peak settles. This review will be updated soon.
A Major Update!
I filled the tips of my H-200 with a ball of tissue, and the sound sig drastically changed. Mids are much thicker and richer and the peak has disappeared. The bass also increases and treble becomes smoother. This also allowed a wider soundstage for what ever reason. With this mod, I would rate the H-200 4.75/5. The score of H-200 will be readjusted to 4.5 starts instead of 4.
Updated Again! 10/6/13. Updated info on vs MDR7550 part. Now that I own a MDR7550, I changed my mind about the comparison.