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Music Valley: Silver Prologue 1 In-Ear ‘phones – A Review.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Music Valley is a new company from Hong Kong just starting out in the earphone world… Their first product is the “Silver Prologue 1”, at a price point of US$80 including worldwide shipping – The units, including the 11mm dynamic drivers, are custom made in-house and the drivers are rated at a very portable friendly 39ohms (with a frequency response of 10hz-20khz), and follow the traditional IEM stance, offer good isolation, and a great snug fit (better than that of the Sennheiser IE8 in my opinion) – You definitely won’t worry about these falling out of your ears – this is added to with what I can best envisage as a bass tuner that comes out from the main driver housing at a 90 degree angle, and slot into the ear perfectly (although this will prohibit being able to wear these upside down so that you could drape the cable over your ears).

First of all. delivery - I recieved the review sample I have here within three days from Hong Kong to the UK - Very speedy all things considered - I was actually very surpried to see the package so soon after these were sent out... A definite early thumbs up for that!!

In terms of the tips that come supplied, these are very much like the fit kit supplied with the current crop of Sony IEMs (S, M & L) and are interchangeable with the Sony tips should you feel that way inclined (although, it must be noted, having a narrow nozzle, the tips supplied with Ultimate Ear products that are well favoured will not fit) – Also included are a shirt clip, and – I have been informed, a carry pouch will also be supplied (although it was not in the review sample I have here)

I am perfectly happy with the tips that are on the IEMs on arrival (medium), as mentioned – they provide a good level of fit and isolation… In terms of how you wear the SP1s, these are a traditional fit (with the cable dropping down from the ear, rather than an over the ear design, which leads down to a Y type cable – Microphonics are low, and can be totally eliminated by using the supplied shirt clip.

In terms of sound quality, the most apparent trait is a deep, prominent bass that can get your toes tapping easily, whether it be with dance / trance, rock, or even more simplistic material, there is nothing that phases the drivers in the SP1 – quite an achievement at this price point, where they clearly show the likes of the Sony EX90 a clean pair of heels, this even despite the very modest 10mw recommended power input. Mids are rich, a slightly darker tone than that of the Shure E5x0, so if you like your vocals rich, and powerful – these are going to need to be on your shortlist for a sub US$100 ‘phone! – What should be noted however, without EQ, these IEMs are very dark, with little treble extension – Great if you’re after an IEM that is a cheaper version of the Shure E5x0, but if you like your treble to be zingy – read below…

Where the SP1 really excel, is with EQ – Even those of us with lowly EQ in the iPod, just add ‘Treble Booster’, and these earphones then change into a completely different offering, sounding crisp, concise, and surprisingly accurate for the price – I am used to the Apple EQ to sound false, even plasticky, but the SP1 do not exhibit this, instead just sounding natural… A real surprise!

Soundstage is there, but it must be pointed out, with these being sealed units, that there is the obvious compromise between form and function… Most people will not notice this at all, and again, it must be said that at this price point there really is nothing to fault.

At this price point, there are inevitable compromises, the cable isn’t as thick as I would like, and – if you wrap your cable around your player when you’re finished, you will tend to find that the cable remembers this, which can lead to tangles, also the little instruction pamphlet supplied isn’t the most easy to understand (then again, these are earphones – it should be quite self explanatory what you need to do!!) – But, these are very small issues overall, when you consider what you are getting for your money – A medium-high end IEM that offers good isolation, good sound (when EQ’d), and – most importantly (to my mind) a great fit…

This is only the first of many products that Music Valley are going to be creating, and – with this being ultimately the bottom of the range, I have no reservations in looking forward to the companies more expensive offerings in the future, especially when you consider that the drivers for these IEMs have been developed / designed in house, this gives a fledgling company like Music Valley extra special kudos in my mind.

Would I put these IEMs on a short-list for someone looking to spend no more than US$100? – Yes! – It is genuinely staggering just how much ‘sound for the pound’ value you get these days with IEMs, and the SP1 are no exception to this – especially if you like a dark sound, even if you don’t – as mentioned previously, the SP1 EQ very comfortably, and – when adding some treble, these open up very nicely, sounding far more competent than the likes of the Etymotic ER6i or Sony EX90 that are at a similar price point.

If you are, for example - an iPod user looking for your first non Apple earphones that will show you what you have been missing, then these are a definite contender for your money. One final note from me is that for the past four years or so, I have been using IEMs that have cost three if not four times the price, and whilst the SP1 does not ultimately scare any of those into submission, I would be more than happy to use these particular IEMs out on the road…
Congratulations Music Valley, you have entered into the budget IEM arena with a highly recommended product.

Sound Quality (EQ’d): 4*/5
Soundstage: 3/5
Product Design: 4/5
Build Quality: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
*Relative to cost
Overall Rating: 4/5

If you wish to purchase a pair, please contact head-fi member godluvsxs at steve.musicvalley@gmail.com

Below, are some images of the product...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...vsxs/SP101.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...vsxs/SP102.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...vsxs/SP103.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...vsxs/SP104.jpg

...and some limited edition introductory bonus goodies...

Cable Wrap:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...sxs/Clip01.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...sxs/Clip02.jpg

Portable Multimedia Player stand
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...xs/Stand01.jpg

If you have any specific questions re sound quality or otherwise, please post below, and I, or one of the other testers will try to answer
post #2 of 13
Nice review Duncan! As usual, btw.

I have gotten away from need treble EQ phones lately. Have to say that these days more than a few dynamics giving good bass and treble extension in the $50-100 range. Sounds like a CX95, good/fun bass that develops but could still use a splash of treble.
post #3 of 13
Thanks for the review, Duncan. I have heard SP1 before and I must said it is a very good sounding 'phone indeed. As a brand new IEM company, Music Valley is having a great start with SP1.
post #4 of 13
Must compare with NE-7M and ADDIEM!
post #5 of 13
Good stuff, Duncan...
post #6 of 13
Hi Duncan,
I have SE530, I want buy one earphone (under USD100) for daily use, I saw your review said SP1 sound is similar SE530, I want try this earphone, is it good for me?
post #7 of 13
How long is the cable? What's the weight?
When are they planned to be released on market?
Here's another review:
Music Valley-SP1 (Silver Prologue One) SP1 VS IE8.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by awwan View Post
Hi Duncan,
I have SE530, I want buy one earphone (under USD100) for daily use, I saw your review said SP1 sound is similar SE530, I want try this earphone, is it good for me?
Hey Awwan, don't you live in HK? You can audition it at 亦軒 (mingo-hmw.com) if you want to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by active View Post
How long is the cable?
It is about 1.25m end-to-end.

[EDIT] No sure about the weight, but it is not heavy. SP1 has already released in the market, but they didn't have a website yet. If you are interested, contact the email in the first post.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Awwan,

ClieOS mentioned the location that you could audition directly, but if that isn't possible, do you have either a particular genre, or tonal quality that you favour, so that I may be as specific as possible?

Thanks
post #10 of 13
Review seems good, luckily tomorrow got the chance fly to Hong Kong for businness trip, will test it and if it's good, will buy it
post #11 of 13
I've had one of these for 2 days now, having ordered them from godluvsxs. As it goes, I like 'em, and as of now, compared to my CrossRoads Quattros (recently replaced due to driver problems), they are far more competent across the frequency spectrum. The bass is far tighter too, even at this early stage of toasting / burn in.

Like Duncan noted, these 'phones EQ very well indeed, and are driven very well by the modest output of my Nokia 5800. Indeed, I'm akin to thinking that the SP1 needs a whole lot more love!

Shame about not being able to wear them over the ears, like I've gotten used to.

Anybody with any idea which comply tips would fit the SP1 tho?
post #12 of 13
what is the isolation like on these? I'm looking for another IEM for commuting purposes because the FX500's and the Goldring's just don't cut it
post #13 of 13
I'm a foam guy because silicone tips just seem to hate me (can't get a good fit), but I'd wager that isolation is good. For one thing, it seals as well worn shallowly as my bi-flanged Quattros do jammed deeply into my ears (maybe even better).

But subway commute friendly isolation... Not sure... :s

Again, anybody with any idea which Comply tips best fit the SP1? TX100 or TX400?

P.S. Just tested it again, nope. The Quads win in terms of isolation.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Music Valley: Silver Prologue 1 In-Ear ‘phones – A Review.