*while you read this, imagine a small smirk on my face as I typed.
I really wanted the H-200 to fail, after my experience with its ancestor.
It was my firm belief that the H-100 was a PoS, and I wasn't very shy about letting others know. There were a few members with whom I was rather cool with before the H-100 came along. They ended up liking the H-100, and spread the gospel to a few other members. What ensued after was a hype storm that swallowed me up as well. I spent my hard earned money to buy a set of H-100s, only to find my ears assaulted by what had to be in the top 5 worst headphones I'd ever heard. I tried to be the voice of "reason" on the H-100 thread, but I was shut out for trolling. So, I did what any sensible head-fi'er would do....I bought a pair and sent it out on a loaner tour to members who had massive experience with several iems and headphones. One of the members on the tour owns several unobtainium-fi headphones, amps, and dacs. They all came to the same conclulsion...the H-100 sucked donkey<redacted>. You can read the impressions here:
So imagine my surprise when I heard that T-Peos DARED to make another iem after that Chernobyl type failure of the previous months. I fully expected it to also be a disaster. However, time passed and more positive impressions rolled in, I became more and more curious until I eventually became like this whenever the H-200 thread had a new update...
One day, I got a PM from a member who wanted me to try out the H-200, and I (not very) reluctantly obliged. So here is the chronicle of my 2 week adventure with the H-200.
People say first impressions are everything, and they are right. The H-200's presentation and packing is second to NOBODY. The packaging simply exudes class. I'd post pictures, but they wouldn't do it justice.
The catch is that they do exhibit driver flex due to their sealed enclosure, and some people will definitely have fit issues. The below paragraphs only apply if you can get a good fit, and you're ok with driver flex upon insertion.
For the sound, the H-200 is just short of a bargain. I'd place it slightly above my beloved GR07, the UM3X, IE8, IE80, and a few others in that range. It actually performs just how I'd expect a $300 iem to, given the influx of uber-valued sub-$200 iems like the GR07 and BA200.
The overall sound sig is what I'd describe as a slight U shape. The lower mids sit slightly behind the treble and bass, but the upper mids have a slight spike somewhere.
The bass packs a good bit of punch, but I was hard pressed to notice any bloom or bloat. What I heard was power and quickness from a very well tune dynamic driver. There is abundant texture, speed, and just overall great PRAT.
The treble is what I'd describe as fun, which I don't think I've ever said about any other iem. It sparkles and shimmers with the track, sometime teetering on the edge of going overboard, but it always seems to catch itself right in the nick of time. it's like playing with a cat or dog that play-bites you, but never enough to make it hurt. I found that it did a great job of keeping the sole positive aspect of the H-100, the clarity, granting contrast between the notes, and giving cymbals great energy and shimmer.
Mids are the most interesting part of the sound. I find them to be on the dry side, but not to the point where things get grainy. The lower mids also take somewhat of a back seat while remaining intelligible at all times. Now the upper mids are a mixed bag. The H-100 had a large spike in that region that made female vocals sound like the had been raised in pitch and sung through a tin can. The H-200 has a much smaller spike in this region, and doesn't throw off instrumental and vocal timbre like the H-100 did, thanks to the more fleshed out lower mids. What the H-200's spike does is that it adds this extra touch of sweetness to vocals as they hit those higher notes. Imagine when an opera singer starts climbing the ladder to the point where your toes curl...this is the same effect that this spike has. On the downside, it can become too much when listening to singers who naturally have an elevation in that range, or with records that have boosted that region during mastering.
Overall, I have to say that I'm quite impressed with the H-200. It hits all the marks where I wanted improvement in the H-100, while retaining its positive aspects.
i begrudgingly congratulate T-Peos on a job well done.
Edited by eke2k6 - 6/19/13 at 7:01pm