By member Raphael K:
By member randomkid: here
By member Swimsonny: here
Disclaimer: this is my first IEM review. I have some experience with IEMs (I own and tried several different models over the last 2 years) and I got this unit to review from Shinwoo. They were used only at home, so some of my considerations may not apply when using them outside and/or in noisy environments. They were burned-in for 50 hours before I started using them, and at the time I'm writing this review, they have somewhere between 80 to 100 hours of use.
Set up, used gear, music genres
I've used them mostly from my Rockboxed Sansa Clip+, but also tried them from my Rockboxed iPod Classic+LOD+a variety of portable amps. I can't say they benefit a lot from amping, as they sound perfectly fine straight out of the Clip+, but the extra power doesn't hurt them either...
I mostly listen to Rock and Metal genres, but also to some ocasional EDM and acoustical/unplugged recordings. These where the genres I used during this review.
Considerations about the product
These are supposed to be the budget product from the T-PEOS lineup, with a selling price of $25 (available directly from the manufacturer, but remember to add the shipping cost to your country to that price). They feature a single 8mm dynamic driver, flat cable and a choice of different tips. They're available with two different housing shapes and different cable colours. Please check the first post for specs and available models/colours.
Build quality and accessories
The housing/shell is made of brass with a shiny nickel coating and they feel really sturdy and heavy (in a good way) considering their price. I've never seen an IEM in this price range that's made of brass but it's definitely a good thing. They feature a flat cable with built in mic (good for those who use their phones to listen to music) and I must say I've never been a fan of flat cables. In this case though, I can't say anything bad about the cable, as it not too heavy or too thick as other flat cables I've experienced before. Maybe it's a bit stiff, but I think this helps it to not tangle with ease.
They come in a card box with a magnetic flap open face, showing the product behind it. Nice touch, I think... Since they're a budget product, you can't expect much in terms of accessories. There's the usual set of rubber tips in sizes S, M (fitted) and L. Mine were also shipped with a pair of light grey foam tips outside the package, which is great for me as I only use foam tips with my IEMs. These tips are a new model from Shinwoo and they're supposed to start including them on their IEM packages from now on. I must say these foam tips are very good, and since I'm a hardcore foam tip user, I have a wide collection of foam tips which I can compare them to. These are second to none among my tip collection, and even comparing them with the Comply T400 (they're similar in size and shape), these feel as good for fit and comfort but seem to be a lot more durable! I really like these foam tips, and I'll try to get more info about them from Shinwoo (if there are more sizes available, if they can be bought alone as any other of their products, etc)...
I found these to have a warm and pleasing sound signature. They may not excel in any specific part of the sound (maybe the bass), but they sound very good and well balanced across the entire spectrum. For the budget product they are, this is an impressive achievement.
The highs sound airy, clear and smooth most of the times. Sure, they can sound a bit sibilant or slightly harsh with some of my old/bad mastered Rock and Heavy Metal albums, but hey, the recording does sound like that. Detail retrieval is there, even if sometimes they tend to roll-off a bit early. But overall, I consider the treble presentation to be good.
The mids sound detailed enough and are nicelly integrated. They're never overshadowed by the bass, and have their on space and presence next to the highs. Vocals sound clear and well defined, even if I have to admit that female vocals sound better in these than male vocals. Like I mentioned in the treble section, those old Metal recordings recordings can make the mids sound a bit thin and constricted. Again, I consider this to be a problem of the recording rather than the IEMs themselves, as other IEM models costing a lot more also sound like that. Even so, it's nothing to worry about and with well recorded music they sound perfectly fine.
Saving the best for last, I found the bass and sub-bass on these is very good and pretty impressive for such a budget product. The bass is punchy, well controlled and maybe a bit elevated in the overall presentation, which makes these sound nicelly warm(ish). It doesn't bleed into the mids and nevers fells overdone or too much, which is nice. The sub-bass is there too and shows itself when called uppon, with some noticeable rumble. They have no problem in handling bass heavy tracks, and even if sometimes they can feel a bit slow with faster Heavy Metal tracks , they never sound too slow or slugglish. If I was asked which part of the sound on these did impress me more, it'd be the bass for sure...
Soundstage, imaging and separation
These have a large soundstage presentation, even if the depth is just normal. The imaging and separation are just average, depending a lot on track complexity.
Comparisons with other IEMs in their price range
I have two other IEMs in my collection that have a similar price to these, the VSONIC VC02 and the SONY MH1c. I think these strike a balance between those two, not being so bass heavy as the MH1c, nor detail "freaks" as the more analytical VC02. They seem almost as a result of those two combined, as they have great bass and sub-bass performance (as in the a "bass restrained" MH1c) while retaining some of the VC02 qualities in the mids and highs.
These are lowest product in the T-PEOS product line, and I get the impression the manufacturer had the intention to show D-200's owners what they're capable of doing even with such an inexpensive product, giving you a sound quality in return that equals IEMs costing 2 or 3 times more. During the time I was writing this review, I was using the D-201, and many times I had to remind myself these are in fact a $25 product! The budget market recently saw some big contenders under it's spotlights, like the SONY MH1c or the VSONIC VC02 (and I own both of them too), both with their own different strengths and capabilities, and after spending some time with the T-PEOS D-201 I get the impression it strikes a perfect balance between those too and their own strengths. On top of this, the product itself feels sturdy and well manufactured. Indeed great qualities for such a budget IEM, and I can't imagine anyone not being satisfied with these considering their price...
Note: I'm sorry for the quality if the pictures I posted, but since my digital camera is out for repair, I only had my phone camera available. Once I get my digital camera back, I'll try to update this review with better quality pictures...
Edited by putente - 3/3/13 at 11:47am