We're partnering with CustomArt to bring you a CIEM - The Ei.XX.
8/19 reveal: # of drivers
We're going with a 6 driver, 4 way crossover design. Inside the Ei.XX, you'll find 2 super low, 2 low, 1 tweeter, and 1 super tweeter. Neat fact: the super tweeter being used in this project is a new driver just released in 2015, and as far as we're aware this is the first implementation of it in a CIEM.
8/20 reveal: sound signature
We approached the tuning of the Ei.XX with a vision in mind.
The baseline was based on research Dr. Olive at Harman has been doing the past couple of years. Their studies found that headphones received favorably by the average listener had a frequency response that was smoothed, extended in bandwidth, and a bass lift simulating an accurate loudspeaker calibrated in a listening room), read more directly from the source here: http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2014/10/at-recent-137th-convention-of-audio.html
From our personal experiences, these three factors hold true. A headphone that exhibits no valleys or peaks, reaches far on both sides of the frequency response range, and has a lift in the lower end that’s tastefully done are typically desirable traits we look for in a product.
Keeping the above in mind, the Ei.XX was designed with the following goals:
- Extension into the sub-bass region for a lower end rumble that’s tight and controlled
- A midrange that makes vocals sound smooth and natural
- Highs that are textured and detailed without being shrill or harsh
- A deep soundstage with excellent imaging
Olive-Welti’s compensation curve was a good place to start with the tuning with a proven crowd-pleasing sound signature. Minor lifts were added to the sub-bass and highs to give the Ei.XX a slight V-shaped tilt while being careful not to push it too far.
The result, we hope, is a sound that is engaging and musical across genres that appeals to casual listeners and seasoned Audiophiles alike.
8/21 reveal: price, accessories, customization options
At $599 + shipping, the Ei.XX is an acrylic custom in-ear monitor available for purchase soon in all countries that Massdrop ships to.
We believe that a core requirement of a custom product is the ability to make it your very own. This principle is reflected in the Ei.XX. Choose from a wide array of shell colors, or create a unique custom blend (prices vary). Pair that with the numerous faceplates options and the ability to use custom artwork (prices vary), and you have all you need to make your pair of CIEMs a one-of-kind design.
There’s a couple options for cables as well. The stock choice is a standard two-pin, but you’ll be able to make them recessed, or go the Linum route with their Music and BaX cables ($40, $45).
As an additional value, you’ll have the ability to add on a pair of silicone earplugs to your order for a flat rate of $25. We’ve used quite a few of the existing universal earplugs, but nothing beats the sound isolation and comfort of a pair tailored to your ears when you’re in plane, bus, noisy place, or plane and just want to block out the outside world.
8/24 reveal: manufacturer unveiling
Good job guys. CustomArt it is. Unfortunately, there's a bit of craziness going on at the Massdrop office today (we hired some new people and they started, hooray!) so we're pushing back the AMA until tomorrow.
In the meantime, here's a couple pictures of the first prototype unit to whet the appetite (yes, you'll be able to get them without the Massdrop logo and stuff. This one's just for photography purposes, although I think it turned out quite nicely!).
8/25 Manufacturer AMA
Q: Looking good! Any hints on when the drop will, you know, drop?
A: We're shooting for a sometime-in-September time frame.
Q: How long will the Massdrop offer be available for, and will the manufacturer continue to produce the CIEM after the drop has ended?
A: Typical one-week drop. There is the possibility of offering the product again, but it's TBD on timeline. The Ei.XX (name drop, boom) is exclusively available on Massdrop.
Q: How long after we order the CIEM through Massdrop will we receive the CIEM?
A: Depends somewhat on you. The good news is Piotr is fielding impressions directly and shipping directly to the end customer. But it's up to the member to coordinate getting impressions, sending impressions, and handling everything that needs to be done to make sure they get their CIEMs back in a reasonable time frame.
Q: Will there be any previewers before the Massdrop backing date limit?
A: Yes, we have a couple reviewers lined up. We're looking to have at least one complete review prior to the drop going live.
Q: Just wondering, if it turns out to be Custom Art (Poland/EU based) would it still be an interesting drop for EU buyers because of additional fees/VAT? Or would these be shipped directly from the manufacturer?
A: No VAT fees if you're purchasing from EU, just the flat price.
8/26 Danny's Pair Lands
My impressions should mean absolutely nothing to you (and I could be a total shill) since I helped bring the project to life, but if you're a fan of the Shure SE846 lower end sound signature these will hit an incredibly sweet spot with the depth and impact they bring to the table.