T-PEOS H-100II Review
Thanks to T-PEOS for the sample.
First Impressions: Okay, it came with a coffee and moisturiser sample which is slightly unusual to say the least. Weird. Okay so starting with box, nothing fancy here and I note that tips selection seems a bit odd. They come with a thicker silicon “hybrid” with a red core but none of the other tips are like that. The rest are thin silicones and one set of bright blue foamie tips. Actually I’m rather liking the super bright blue things and I’m betting now they will be what I use. The rest of the bundle seems nothing to fancy, a shirt chip and a soft case thing. Oh and of course they came with a mic built in to them.
Slapping them into my ears and I’m pleasantly surprised. The last T-PEOS I heard was wildly bassy and to be fair T-PEOS then asked for it not to be reviewed as they wanted to retune it. That was the 100J or an early version at least. This is waaaaaaaaaaaaay better. So lively, such air and instrument separation, ooooh it’s a bouncy little bugger. Though I think I’m detecting a bit of an integration issue I’m thinking these are going to be little fun cannons.
Source: FiiO E7/E9 combo, Hisoundaudio Studio 3rd anv., Nexus 4,Nexus 5,1G Ipod Shuffle and HM-601.
Lows: I expected bucket loads of bass from this, being a hybrid, surely big bass is why you bother to shove in a dynamic low end driver? The bass here is fairly full bodied and has a more grippy extension than you would get from a BA. It’s solid and well-rounded but has a cool dryness to it. It’s almost polite in its typical presentation. It really doesn’t seem to want to come out of its shell until you slap on some bass heavy stuff. Once you do it comes back into play and displays that it really is of a rather good quality. Tonally the bass seems a bit on the dry side, it’s got a dry, cool air to it that comes across as a little distant and detached. Now it’s not something I often do but I really wanted to hit that bass boost button. So I did.
When you boost up the bass it really begins to open up and become much more playful. When boosted its cold and hard nature really start to show what it can do and while it’s a bit humpy, it doesn’t wont to go super deep, but its fun. Very clean, solid bass.
Mids: The clarity and detail is great stuff. Tonally once more these seem to veer towards the cool and dry. This enhances the sense of openness and detail the 100II offer. It’s all very explicit and upfront. This works really well with poppy vocals, it opens them up and gives them great articulation for this sort of money. Tonally again the dryness doesn’t suit everything and the more sumptuous and oozy vocal ranges come across as tonally faded. It is all a bit dry and grey like a slightly overexposed black and white photo. Everything is there, lightened, cooled, and a sense of hyper exposed detail. For vocals suiting the very cool and open dryness, such as particularly breathy vocals, the explicitness works wonderfully well. Also in poppy tracks where the vocals can melt into the music, here they stand forth and project very well.
In terms of quantity, the mids are rather focused and particularly in the upper mids like to be very, very noticeable. As the volume cranks up these love to very much leap out and make sure you are paying attention to them. This can get exceedingly noticeable on some female vocals, when the artist starts to belt something out. On the whole with poppy stuff this works well.
Highs: Detail levels are stunningly good. Tonally it’s all a bit on the dry side and the highs take on a dry, chilly, clean sound. While on tracks with hard aggressive treble this can be a bit too noticeable on more delicate tracks the driver really does a great job of detail retrieval. The trail off is particularly nice even if the extension isn’t tremendous. Pretty much every little detail is in there with every nuance, coolness tonal wise really pays off in the level of explicit detail these offer. For the money its superb just how much detail is on offer. Clean and crisp are most certainly the order of the day.
In terms of abundance it varies. While a very W shaped sound the highs are not particularly even. They have a the odd spike or two so certain notes leap out more than others so while the total quantity isn’t vast what is here very forthright and prominent. In short, it comes across as though there is rather a lot.
Soundstage: Fairly broad in its presentation but its more its instrument separation where its shows off. It’s really rather good at projecting vocals right up front while having backing instruments much further back and very clearly distinct. The highs particularly can dance delicately away while the bass does its own dance and the vocals scream in your face.
Fit: I had a little air pressure issue and bit of driver flex. So I pretty quickly moved to the foam tips. Getting them in was no bother; however those blue foam tips liked to stay in. The stalk of the 100II’s was maybe a little narrow to give as good a grip on them as I would have liked. Do not try to quickly pull them out of your ears or the tips will be left behind.
Comfort: Very good. Never had any bother.
Cable: Visually I’m unsure about the black and red cable but otherwise it was pretty good. It was very much more usable than most flat cables I’ve dealt with. The Y-splitter was good though I note no chin slider. The mic too felt decent.
Build: Very good and solid. The buds are all metal affairs and short of you stamping on them I would expect them to be study enough to survive anything they encounter.
Microphonics: Down there really wasn’t that much. Which is handy given no chin slider. Worn up there was essentially none.
Phone Use: Gave a try with the Nexus 5 and it all worked perfectly. The person on the other end was perfectly clear and apparently I was too.
Amped/Unamped: Normally this is where I say yeah amping was better but not a lot etc etc but this time no. Amping for me was not an improvement, if anything it served to change the sound signature by shoving the upper mids even more in your face. With a more powerful source behind them they just got ever more shouty and honestly I felt these have been made with being very, very easy to drive in mind. If you buy a pair of these be confident that buying an amp to power them is a waste. Even trying the rather warm HM-601 that I thought and hoped would mellow things, add some wamth and calm proceedings, but no. That’s not what’s supposed to happen but they just stayed cool, dry and got more shouty. Go figure.
Isolation: Pretty damn good for having a dynamic in them. They are of course quite sealed, so a bit of venting and driver flex kinda comes with that. Flex was minor and using foamie tips goes a long way to cure it. These you could easily use for day to day stuff and the odd flight or two. It’s not quite up to all BA levels of isolation but it’s not far, obviously enough to get you run over if you don’t look where you’re going.
Accessories: 5 pairs of tips, a shirt clip and a little baggy/soft case thing. Not the huge tip selection that’s so common nowadays but really, how many do you need.
Value: As this hasn’t been out for any length of time, practically no one has it yet but with ebay to the rescue I found it. US$84.50 or £49.42 which is significantly less than I was expecting. Particularly the detail levels for that sort of price is outstanding. That’s at launch too! Prices of things normally start wherever and then over time fall but for less than £50 you’re getting bucket loads of detail for your money (even more than the RE-400) and it has to be the cheapest dual driver hybrid available at the moment. I know of no other way to get this much detail for this little money.
Conclusion: I hugely admire the detail levels offered by the 100II. They are phenomenal for the money, particularly the highs. They are so articulate and nuanced that you’re really getting an absolute bargain. For a BA driver at this price the highs are just excellent. Even looking to the mids, the level of articulation is superb. The bass is less accomplished and I suspect most of the money went into the BA driver rather than the dynamic. Still with only the lows to do it’s pretty credible if a bit humpy and tiny bit monotone. It’s not that it’s not good, it’s very much more that the BA in here outclasses it.
So the BA in here is fantastic, no question of that as far as I am concerned. The thing is I have to add in a but……. The mids just get too randomly shouty. The sound signature is rather WWWW and certain vocals, mostly girlies, especially with a big amp would shout and scream in your face. It’s all so party, all so dynamic, all so adventurous, all so wildly enthusiastic. Some tracks would come on and be so flat vocally (Fiona Apple, Regret) that the fantastic detail levels shine, they are so nuanced all the back ground instrumentation sounds so wondrous and detailed. The bass too is given room to gently get on, deeply rumble with a depth and authority I didn’t think it had in it. This all happens because the vocals stay sedate and muted. It all integrates so well I wonder at its magnificence. Then say “I Did It For Everyone” by The Feeling comes on and you’re assaulted a wall of wildly dynamic sound. Everything is so vigorous with every note clamouring for your attention like a room full of screaming children and has me reaching for the skip track or reduce volume button.
I said at the very start I thought the T-Peos H-100II was a bit of a party machine and the more time I spent with it the more convinced I was that I was right. It is an amazingly detailed and dynamic party machine. For the money the detail level it hurls at you is quite spectacular and with some retuning it and I could be the best of friends, as it stand its wildly enthusiastic presentation is too much for my ears. It wants to dance and sing and scream and do everything with the energy of child who’s just eaten a bag of sugar. It’s thrilling and exciting and its detail levels are all untouchable at this price which is awesome, if you want that, that is.