T-PEOS Altone 200 First Impression
First of all I'd like to thank T-PEOS for sending this review unit. These did not come in retail packaging so I won't be able to show you photos of the box and accessories. I did however receive a small pouch with a few tips and a shirt clip.
I really like the material used for the casing (aluminium and steel) unfortunately the photos don't show how nice they really are. Simple, clean lines, but definitely feels premium. I am however concerned about possible scratches/dints if these are handled roughly or even when simply tucked away then the earpieces bump against each other. I guess only time will tell how these will fare after constant usage.
The size is perfect... these IEMs are smaller than your average monitors. Even smaller than the Zero Audio Carbo Basso; to think that was very comfortable for my tiny ears. The Altone 200 is more comfortable and I simply don't feel like I have them on after long periods of listening because of the lightness and the smoothness of the surfaces.
Now the sound... oh boy! T-PEOS has impressed me once again. At the price that these are being introduced, I expected a small back step in sound quality. To my delight, it is the exact opposite! They kept the best qualities from their previous offerings and fined tuned the rest of the frequency that needed refinement. The BASS is better, more visceral, and textured compared to the H200 from memory. Reminds me so much of the H300 bass: tightness, detail, texture, sub-bass extension, and layering. MIDS is quite nice because it maintains clarity and detail you'd expect from BA drivers. Despite the boosted bass and treble, the vocals sit firmly in the background. I didn't notice any veiling whatsoever and never felt missing on detail/clarity. This is one of those rare moments that an IEM with this sound signature did not neglect the vocals/mid-range. HIGHS still has the signature T-PEOS emphasis in the lower treble and I'm happy to report that it's now more refined and more controlled. Not perfect but close... still very highly dependent on the quality of the recording + volume level. To my ears the balance between the BASS vs TREBLE is nicely done. Imaging and resolution is still as good as the T-PEOS flagships. The emphasis in the lower treble may still bother those who are really sensitive in this area but I can confidently say that those who can handle it will appreciate the added sparkle/brightness/resolution.
Please take note that I'm using Sony noise isolating hybrid tips with shallow insertion. I haven't started tip-rolling just yet so there may be slight changes in my impressions if I end up using different tips for my final review.
To those who have owned or heard the H200; it is time to move on and enjoy a MUCH better IEM. The Altone 200 has a much improved bass response, no dips in the upper midrange, and a more refined/controlled treble performance. It still has the T-PEOS house sound but in a much improved fashion.
Stay tuned for my full review...
Edited by d marc0 - 7/2/14 at 11:51pm