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[REVIEW³] CrossRoads MylarOne Quattro, Woody One, and Woody Two (Completed!!!)

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Here are a triple reviews of all three recently released new CrossRoads IEM, including the MylarOne Quattro, Woody One and Woody Two.

Quattro - The Latest Generation of MylarOne



Spec
Driver: Single 7mm Dynamic
Sensitivity: 95dB + 4 SPL @ 1 kHz
Impedance: 16Ohm @ 1 kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 22 kHz
Cord: 1.25m
Rated Power: 2mW
Max Input Power: 10mW
Plug: Gold-Plated Stereo 3.5mm Mini-Plug



Packaging, Accessories, and Build Quality
Quattro's packaging is plain and simple, which is quite typical of CrossRoads' products. Inside, you'll find the IEM itself, a manual, 4 set of different sized single flange eartips (L, M, S, XS), 1 set of bi-flanges, an airplane adapter, a shirt clip which is already on the cable, and an useful pouch that you can put in all the accessories. There are also three pair of 'bass select ports' numbering 1, 2 and 3. The bass ports can be screwed into the back of the earpieces to control the bass response (more on these later).

There are always talks about CrossRoads' build quality issue. To be honest, I don't think CrossRoads has the best build quality in the market but neither do I find it to be the worst. My first generation MylarOne, which has seen some heavy use for the first year of purchase (*2 years ago), still working fine as it is. If you have to wrap the cable around your DAP or stuff it in your pocket or bag without a case or pouch, then perhaps you really need something with much stronger build. However, IEM in general need a bit more care and attention to last and as far as I can tell, MylarOne build quality has constantly been improved upon since the first gen. As for Quattro itself, I think it is safe for me to say that it is the best built MylarOne to date.

The cable used is really soft and can be a bit microphonics, but it is about average of all the IEM I have experienced before. The earpieces are cylinder shaped with a rather small diameter of 8mm. The anodized aluminum housing is rather good looking, to say the least. If you pick eartips that are a size smaller than your regular size, you can easily insert the earpieces deeper. For example, my usual eartips size is mid and so about half of the earpiece will stick out. If I change them to small, only 1/3 will stick out. Of course, whether you feel comfortable inserting the earpieces so deep is really up to you. I actually choose to use the bi-flange (which protrudes the most) because it gives a more neutral, spacious sound.



Sound Quality
As usual, I gave the Quattro a standard 50hrs minimum burn-in before the review (like I did with all IEM I reviewed). The sound pretty much settled down after 10 hours or so. As I said before, I end up using the bi-flange since it sounds best to me pairing with number 2 ports. However, I do find different ports sound best pairing with certain set of eartips. For port number 1 and 2, bi-flanges is usually my option. For port number 3, I prefer the deeper inserted mid and small sized eartips since both give a more solid mid~bass response. You'll have to find the best combo to fit your taste.

Number 1 ports are the bassiest by far. It basically turns the IEM into a semi-open design (number 1 ports have open vent ). There is more low end rumbling and more bass quantity. However, the trade off are 1) the mid bass can be slightly boomy at time. 2) they are slightly less isolating than the other two set of ports. The mid on number 1 ports is also the most forward, thus making its overall sound signature being the warmest of all three set of ports. Treble seems to be more immure to port selection, but in the case of number 1 ports, the finer detail tend to get flooded over by the stronger mid and bass. It also sounds more recessed in comparison to other ports/

Number 2 ports are the most balanced sounding of all. This is my personal favorite of all three set of ports as it has about the right amount of bass, mid, treble, airiness, and soundstage between the three.

Number 3 ports are the most bass light, analytical sound of all. Detail and upper vocal tend to get presented more forwarded and better but soundstage is the narrowest of all three set of ports even though it has the airiest presentation.

You can also use Quattro port-less if you don't mind the risk of exposing more of the inner wiring / transducer. It will gives you a sound between port #1 and 2. It is like port #2 with more mid, bass, and soundstage, but not to the warmness of port #1.

There is also a tiny bit of sibilance but not to a point of annoyance. It is actually totally acceptable if you are not listening on high volume. That is probably a side effect of how far the frequency response extended and presented. Quattro is the second pair of IEM that I ever heard that can tackle the 16~17kHz region without a quick roll off (the other one will be Head-Direct RE0), even though it does come short in comparison since RE0's treble is smoother and sibilance-free. Still, the performance is quite commendable by its own.

So how does Quattro compare to older generation of MylarOne than? I think it is pretty safe for me to say that I prefer the port #1 Quattro with bi-flanges over Bijou3. Port #3 Quattro (on mid single flanges) compares pretty well with X3 too. Though I still prefer X3 more upfront, Ety like presentation, Quattro has an edge on treble extension and warmer, fuller mid~bass.

In sum, Quattro's sound signatures are on the warm, laid back side, perhaps even a bit dark at times despite the fact that its treble extends very far. This is probably because it doesn't have a very upfront upper mid~lower treble that commonly found on other IEM. It actually resembles Bijou3 sound signature in many ways but better on all count. It is not quite detail sounding, but should be adequate for none analytical listener. Due to the slightly low sensitivity, the volume might need to be turn up a bit more, but I don't find amping necessary at all. One thing that I noticed is the importance of finding the right match between bass select ports and eartips. That is basically the essence of Quattro's customizable sound.

[Update] After the review, I decided to give Quattro a go on a more intensive burn-in. My normal burn-in method is just looping music of different genre on a volume slightly higher than my normal listening volume for 50 hrs. This time, I crack the volume all the way up to pretty much the level where if you listening to it for more than 10 minutes, you will probably get a headache. However, the volume was still kept in a level that is not enough to crackle or distort the sound. The whole burn-in takes about 7 hrs (basically my sleeping time), and when I gave it another listening, to my surprise, the vocal has already became a bit more upfront. To ensure I am not just listening to what I "hope" to listen, I give it another quick comparison with X3 (which had been used for comparison just yesterday) and confirm the result. The overall sound signature is still on the warm side but no longer dark or as laid back as before, which of course is a welcoming change. To those who haven't give it an intense burn-in, you might want to give it a go as well.



Conclusion
Though the idea of tunable IEM is by no mean originated from CrossRoads, I think they have successfully applied the principle and created a worthy IEM in its own right. Quattro might not be a giant killer or ground shaker per se, but it is still a solid entry level IEM and a good follow up of the MylarOne series IMO.

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Woody One & Two - The Musical Duo



Spec (of both)
Driver: Single 10mm Dynamic
Sensitivity: 105dB + 4 SPL @ 1 kHz
Impedance: 32Ohm @ 1 kHz
Frequency Response: 18Hz - 22 kHz
Cord: 1.30m
Rated Power: 2mW
Max Input Power: 10mW
Plug: Gold-Plated Stereo 3.5mm Mini-Plug




Packaging, Accessories, and Build Quality
Again, Woodies' packaging is as plain and simple as it can be, or perhaps even a bit dull - but don't let the look deceives you: Nothing inside is dull at all.

First thing you will notice about the package is its weight. Both Woody are a lot more heavier than you might expected. The weight comes almost entirely from the gorgeous wooden box included with each IEM. Inside the wooden box is the IEM itself and 4 set of different sized single flange eartips (L, M, S, XS) and a set of bi-flanges. Not as many accessories as Quattro perhaps, but I think Woodies are targeted at home listening as oppose to Quattro's need for versatility. The cables used are the slightly stiffer type, but the good news are microphonics is very low and they don't have much 'memory effect' so they won't get tangle up easily. The Y-splitter is actually quite nicely built, like those found on Westone ES cable. You will also find the marking of 'Woody X' here to indicate which version of Woody you have. Without the marking, you won't be able to tell them apart since they share identical outer appearance.



Each earpiece is made up of a wooden barrel (obviously!) with both end sealed with (what I believe to be) aluminum. One side of the aluminum plate has the nozzle with the 10mm transducer behind it. The housing itself is quite large and the nozzle isn't very long - so if you have a very small outer ear (*ear canal opening), you might not be able to get a good fit easily (the base of the nozzle measured 13mm in diameter). I switch to bi-flanges very early on for both the easier fit and the extra airiness / soundstage. Isolation is about average, not strong nor lacking. The overall build quality seems quite good, but obviously the wooded housing won't take up the same abuse that a full metal or plastic housing can endure. I think 'handle with care' is the key here. For home use, it shouldn't be any problem at all.



Sound Quality
Like Quattro, I gave both Woodies a 50 hrs burn-in before auditioning. To make sure they are not as difficult to burn-in as Quattro, I also gave both an extra 5 hours of intensive burn-in. Clarity seems to improve slightly during the first 10 hrs or so but their overall tone remain relatively stable throughout the whole burn-in process.

The first thing that needs to be clarified: despite the model name might suggest, there is no 'better' between the two Woodies. Each of them has its own sound signature and as far as I concern, it is more about which fits into your taste rather than any actual difference in sound quality that distinguishes one from being better from the other.

Woody One sounds very warm with a mid / bass focus. Bass is big, deep, and slightly wet with a moderate attacking speed. Compare to Atrio, it is also capable of tackling the very low end of 15Hz but still able to deliver more in quantity. It does come short overall in comparison as Atrio's bass response is more refined, but it does retain enough control to not sound boomy or muddy. Mid is full and upfront which tend to sound best with male vocal but not as well on female vocal. Its upper mid and especially the treble are flatter in comparison which means that it sounds smoother without a lot of upper end sparkle and detail. The good news is of course there isn't any sibilance to speak of. Soundstage is slightly better than average and not as good as Woody Two. Overall, Woody One sound signature is very warm with big deep bass, full, upfront mid and a smooth upper end. Those who prefer a warm sound with a big lower end and a smooth upper end will like it.

Woody Two sounds warm yet still pretty well balanced at all frequency. Bass goes pretty deep as well but not as much as Woody One nor has the pronounced rumbling quantity. It does has a better sense of control in speed and attack. Mid is well balanced with a more upfront upper vocal (which is what makes female vocal sweet to listen). Treble is well extended with good highlight and sparkle which give great detail close to the point of being analytical. Soundstage is quite good and have a sense of airiness. Sibilance is minimum at worst and only very brief during the brightest passage. Overall, Woody Two sound signature is on the warm side yet still well balanced without any obvious flaw. Those who like a balanced sound will like it.



Conclusion
Both Woodies might not be as versatile as Quattro, but they do offer more in what they have. If SQ is the only concern, I certain prefer both over Quattro (and a whole lot of IEM in that matter). I am not sure whether it is because of the use of wooden/metal housing or any other reason, but both woodies seem to have a distinct lushness in their sound that set them apart from other IEM eventhough one might consider the sound to be colored. Regardless, I am a believer now: just give me more wood!
post #2 of 55
Nice review, looks good!

From the pictures I've seen, those look a lot like the Jays q-jays.
post #3 of 55
Nice review as usual bro. Very through.

I'm going back to try dual flange + port 2. My favorite is med single flange + port 3.

P.S: I cant hear any sibilance or in fact, didnt noticed bout it. Maybe i insert it too deep into my ears :P
post #4 of 55

Thank you for another great review!

How would you compare them, SQ-wise, to the similarly priced SHE9850, which you've already reviewed?
post #5 of 55
Thread Starter 
SQ wise, SHE9850 has the upper hand. If you can get SHE9850 at less than $90, then it is a good buy. However, the value diminishes once it is close (or over) to US$100. I think someone mentioned before that Taiwan actually has some pretty cheap SHE9850, but it is usually over $100 locally.
post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
SQ wise, SHE9850 has the upper hand. If you can get SHE9850 at less than $90, then it is a good buy. However, the value diminishes once it is close (or over) to US$100. I think someone mentioned before that Taiwan actually has some pretty cheap SHE9850, but it is usually over $100 locally.
Yes, here in Taiwan, it can be had for $64. Which is pretty weird when you consider that all other brands are way overpriced.

Once again, thank you for your advice!
post #7 of 55
Yet another positive impressions on the Quattro. Can't wait for mine to arrive now.

Thanks for the review ClieOS.
post #8 of 55
how does it compare with nuforce ne7m?
post #9 of 55
Thread Starter 
[Update] After the review, I decided to give Quattro a go on a more intensive burn-in. My normal burn-in method is just looping music of different genre on a volume slightly higher than my normal listening volume for 50 hrs. This time, I crack the volume all the way up to pretty much the level where if you listening to it for more than 10 minutes, you will probably get a headache. However, the volume was still kept in a level that is not enough to crackle or distort the sound. The whole burn-in takes about 7 hrs (basically my sleeping time), and when I gave it another listening, to my surprise, the vocal has already became a bit more upfront. To ensure I am not just listening to what I "hope" to listen, I give it another quick comparison with X3 (which had been used for comparison just yesterday) and confirm the result. The overall sound signature is still on the warm side but no longer dark or as laid back as before, which of course is a welcoming change. To those who haven't give it an intense burn-in, you might want to give it a go as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shinyu View Post
how does it compare with nuforce ne7m?
IMO NE-7M is better sounding overall, but not vastly.
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

IMO NE-7M is better sounding overall, but not vastly.
I appreciate your honesty in that statement.

By the way, any update on the status of your Phonak Audeo PFE?
post #11 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by InspireD View Post
By the way, any update on the status of your Phonak Audeo PFE?
Well it is still coming in, but I have no idea when it will arrive
post #12 of 55
Thanks for that review, ClieOS. Great job as always, might take a look at this new Crossroads IEM. The build quality of their previous IEMs have been pretty dismal.
post #13 of 55
Thread Starter 
Updated with review of Woody One and Two. Cheer.
post #14 of 55
nice review as always
post #15 of 55
I absolutely love the Woody 2, although the fit is an issue with me.

I can hear and FEEL the reverberations of bass from them that melted my heart.
My only real complaint is that QC is horrid.
My initial set was absolutely imbalanced, with the left side being much louder and it made me nauseous.

And then i went back and tried like 3 more pairs before i finally got one that is OK.

But after that, it was all sweetness with the bass bouncing off at my heart, and the overall balanced spectrum sealed the sweet deal for me.

I just hope its build holds up.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [REVIEW³] CrossRoads MylarOne Quattro, Woody One, and Woody Two (Completed!!!)