Separate names with a comma.
In-Ear item created by Cinder, Feb 11, 2017
Pros - Warm, deep bass extension, musical sound signature, non-fatiguing, price!
Cons - Slightly rolled off treble
Intro & Me: I’ve been buying IEMs and audio gear for a few years now and it is safe to say I have an addiction. So with that out of the way, let’s dive right into these wallet-friendly earphones this time around! Musical genres that I like are pop, electronic, blues, jazz, rock and country, so you could say that I enjoy everything for the most part. I enjoy writing reviews because let’s face it: head-fi isn’t as much fun if you just buy gear, use it, love it, and don’t get to write or post about it! So I am here today to offer some thoughts on the “Whizzer” A15 IEM.
Test Equipment: For these IEMs, I primarily used my LG V20 and my iPhone 7 Plus connected to both my Chord Mojo and my Centrance DACport HD. This gave me a pretty good idea of how they sound given that those sources range from bright and analytical (V20) to warm and musical (DACport HD).
The IEMs and What’s In the Box: I bought these from my favorite store on AliExpress called NiceHCK. I have been buying gear from Jim for a while now and he’s always been great. I actually was buying some other IEMs, the Simgot EN700 Bass, and he suggested these to me saying they were getting very positive reviews. I decided for $69, why not give them a try. The packaging and presentation of this IEM is rather nice for the price point and I’ve gotten less for much, much more money from other manufacturers. These come with a wide array of tips, a nice leather-like carrying case and some other other goodies. Here is a link to read more about the IEMs and purchase them if you wish: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/2016-New-RWhizzer-A15-In-Ear-Earphone-HIFI-Earphone-Metal-Earphone-Headset-Tri-frequencies-Equalization-With/1825606_32786673635.html
In a nutshell, these are single dynamic driver earphones which use a standard MMCX cable connection. The cable is of great quality, being covered in fabric and resisting tangles pretty well. The memory wire over the ears is very soft and easy to flex into a comfortable position. And that leads me to my next point, comfort. One thing to note is that they are only 98dB on the sensitivity side, so they are more suited to something with decent power. If powered by a mobile device, I would say iPhone does fine with them. But if your headphone output is on the low side, you may find yourself wishing for more volume.
Comfort: These IEMs are incredibly comfortable and very much remind me of the shape of the MEE Audio Pinnacle P1. That is a good thing as I found those to be incredibly comfortable. These have actually become my go-to workout IEMs because I don’t even feel them in my ears. I have absolutely no complaints on the ergonomics.
Sound: The sound signature of the A15 is warm, musical and non-fatiguing. I would not call these “reference” IEMs, but rather a very pleasant consumer sound signature on the warmer side. I love them for long listening sessions because of their comfort and non-harsh sound. You can tell that some careful thought went into the tuning on these and if a lush, warm sound is what you are after then I think you will be very pleased with these.
Bass: The bass on the A15 can reach thunderous levels depending on your source, volume and whether or not the music calls for it. I would call the bass on the warm, elevated side and can very slightly become over-powering at times depending on your kind of music. Now keep in mind I am borderline basshead, so I love this sound and have no complaints. Most of head-fi, however, seem to prefer neutral and accurate bass so this is definitely on the Norther side of that. Being a larger dynamic driver, the bass is relaxed and not the fastest or the tightest, but like I said it is a warm almost euphoric like experience and I very much enjoy it.
Mids: Mids on the A15 do what they are supposed to in a very clean, detailed and behaved manner. Vocals on the A15 are lush, if a bit of a step back from the mid-bass. On music like Eric Clapton for example, the vocals are very smooth and plenty detailed. Guitars and other stringed instruments have good character and sound very pleasing. These are not eeking out every last drop of detail in the mids, but I do not consider that a drawback depending on your musical preferences.
Highs: Treble on the A15, while somewhat smoothed and recessed, is very pleasant and textured. Like I said, these are very musical IEMs and you can listen to them for hours on end and the treble plays no small part in that. You will not find any sibilance here, but instead just a nice, smooth treble that is energetic enough if the music calls for it. The details are there, it’s just that the treble doesn’t shout or become fatiguing in the least.
Detail and Separation: I find that the A15, for the price, have a great amount of detail in their presentation. Instruments are clearly separated and while something like the Pinnacle P1 provides more clarity, the A15 wins in a musical and laid-back sense. It’s really hard to complain about the amount of detail here for $69 and keeping the price in mind, I’m very impressed with what these IEMs can do. The dynamic driver is obviously very coherent and has been tuned with precision. A pretty darn nice showing.
Bluetooth MMCX Cable: As I mentioned, the A15 has become my go-to workout IEM for morning jogs and at the gym. I find normal cables to be extremely clumsy in that environment, so I also obtained a Bluetooth MMCX cable from the nice folks at NiceHCK which can be seen here: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/2017-New-NiceHCK-HB1-Wireless-Bluetooth-4-1-Earphone-Upgrade-Cable-MMCX-Cable-Support-For-Aptx/1825606_32789274984.html?spm=2114.12010615.0.0.xZCkX9
Honestly, the pairing of the A15 and this MMCX cable has been absolutely outstanding. I have never been a believer in Bluetooth because of extra batteries to charge, loss of details, etc. but all of my concerns were wrong and I am very glad I have revisited things in 2017. I cannot say enough good things about this cable and for a mere $49, it has brought new life to my A15s. I have at the time of writing, over 15 pairs of IEMs and I hate to say it, but the A15 might only get worn once or twice a week with the normal cable. Nothing wrong with the normal cable at all, but, I have a ton of wired earphones. Now, with the MMCX cable, I am able to get the same fantastic sound quality I am used to with wired headphones and the comfort of wires not flailing all over the place. Sure, the battery life is only somewhere around four hours, but for my use case this cable is just awesome. It’s also got a rather powerful amp, so it works very well with the A15. Consider this pairing if you want great sound quality, but don’t want to spend a fortune.
Conclusion: I am really impressed with these A15 IEMs from Whizzer. It’s pretty incredible to see what you can get for significantly less than $100 in the quality department. These punch well above their price point. They provide a pleasant, musical, fun and engaging sound and they do it in a very nice looking package with above average build quality. To think that you can enjoy music on this level for years to come at this price point I would have thought impossible a few years ago. Truth be told, I think these sound even better than the Simgot EN700 (at least much more fun) which I was originally purchasing when Jim told me about these. I don’t think anyone will find any major complaints with the A15. For me, it’s probably the best budget IEM (budget in a relative sense) I have ever tested. They are definitely here to stay and they put a smile on my face when I put them on every morning to go for a run. Very, very well done.
Pros - Well-built stainless-steel housings, MMCX connections, decent detail retreival, great tuning, smooth and laid-back sound signature, value
Cons - Slight mid-bass bloom, heavy, cable might not last too long
Whizzer A15 Review: When Did Chi-Fi Get So Well-Rounded? Ever heard of Whizzer? Well, me neither. They careened into my conscience about two weeks ago when Penon Audio began to stock what appears to be their first IEM, the A15. While there were some shipping complications, I’ve finally gotten these IEMs into my ears. After sitting with them for a while, only one question burned in my mind: when did Chi-Fi get so well-rounded?
You can find the Whizzer A15 here, on Penon Audio, for $69.
Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Penon Audio or Whizzer beyond this review. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.
Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
Source: The A15 was powered like so:
Nexus 6P -> earphones
Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones
HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones
PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones
All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.
The A15 played nice with all my sources, and didn’t change too much when used on cold or warm sources. As such, I did most of my testing on my most linear setup, the AP100 -> FiiO A5.
Sound Signature Initial Impressions:
The Whizzer A15 is a rare-beast. It does not have any strange peaks, harsh frequencies, or overblown tenancies. Instead, you are greeted with a laid-back sound with a well-matched treble and upper mids. The lower-mids are a bit warm of neutral and are paired well with the mid-bass. The sub-bass is slightly boosted past the mid-bass and lower mids.
Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy
Treble isn’t particularly boosted, but is certainly clear. High-hats and cymbals cut through the din well without sounding sharp or abrasive. There’s no hint of sibilance on any of my songs, even the infamous Satisfy by Nero.
The treble elements of In One Ear were quite well resolved and toned. The high-hats were smooth and well-timed. Not only could I hear them, I could hear them clearly throughout the whole song. While it’s not quite like what the (very, very bright) Macaw GT100s or RHA T20 can do, it is impressive in its own right given the A15 has a laid-back sound signature.
The synths in M83’s Midnight City were well defined, hard-bordered, and well toned. It’s not often that you can find an IEM that maintains separation of the synths without making them harsh of sibilant, and yet the A15 does so seemingly with no effort.
I find the greatest part of the Whizzer A15’s treble to be not its good decay, not its lack of sibilance, and not its great separation. I find it to be how cohesively it interacts with the rest of the sound. The treble doesn’t get disconnected from the music by a harsh boost to the 7KHz to 20KHz range unlike many “clarity” based IEMs.
Mids: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams
The A15’s mids are quite smooth. They lack character, which in my mind is not a bad thing. If you want the IEM to just get out of your face and let you hear your music, then these are the kinds of mids most of you will want to hear. While a bit warmer than neutral, the A15 is careful to not color the sound too much. Instead, Whizzer tuned it such that the mids are comfy and inviting.
Guitars, both acoustic and electric, sound very good on the A15. Those within Flagpole Sitta sounded exceptionally good in terms of tonality, and were clear and defined throughout the entire song. The warmth in the mids didn’t color out the song at all.
While normally dry-sounding, the drums within Flagpole Sitta and Jacked Up performed well too. While they were relegated to the back of the mix, it was easy to hear them. The drums did seem a bit truncated, though that is likely due to there being a lot going on in the songs.
Male vocals performed very well. Weighted naturally and clear, vocals on the A15 are respectable. While listening to Audioslave and Weezer on the Whizzer I found it easy to jam along with the vocalist. You won’t find any immersion-breaking sibilance in the vocalists’ words with the A15.
Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), Leave Me
The engineers in the East did a good job making the bass present, relatively impactful, and shaped. DJ Fresh’s single, Gold Dust, had a good level of visceral impact with only a minor level of bass bloom/bleed.
The bass seems a tad sluggish but hurried at the same time. It’s not bothersome during the song, but is something I’d not yet heard on an IEM. If I had to guess the cause it would be slow attack and fast decay of the midbass.
Sub-bass performance is above average but still nothing I’d call spectacular. The A15 did a reasonable job manipulating the complex and sonorous bass lines of La Rou’s In For The Kill but ultimately failed to impress me.
Bassheads will be satisfied with the A15. Quantity and quality are both up to spec to allow it to do battle with many of the more aggressive electronic genres. Taska Black’s traditionally dry bass lines were appropriately wet during Leave Me.
Packaging / Unboxing The A15 has some seriously impressive packaging. It’s among the best I’ve seen so far among IEMs in this price range. The box it comes in is quite large.
Build Construction Quality
You might think that Whizzer would have to forsake build quality in order to give the A15 such good performance for the price, as well as it’s fancy packaging, but you’d be wrong. The A15’s driver housing is built from two steel plates. The construction is quite impressive as the crease between the two plates is very small, something even the mighty engineers at RHA have hard time doing consistently. On the inside face of the housing you’ll see a bass port, above average in size, with some anti-dust foam sitting just below it.
The nozzle is fairly short, but doesn’t have any slippage issues. I actually really like its design as it allows me to easily swap out various foam eartips without being worried about damaging them. Inside the nozzle you can find a removable debris filter. There are about 10 extra filters included in case you find yourself in need of a quick swap.
Whizzer chose to go with a slightly modified MMCX connection for the A15. The modifications are small and unobtrusive, so you should be able to use whatever aftermarket cable you want. The change, in essence, is that the MMCX port is slightly deeper, allowing the included cable to get a pretty good seal. Despite this extra length, none of my other MMCX cables suffered from not being able to connect though they were a little less secure than the stock cable.
The cable itself is a bit strange, though not nearly as much as the one that comes with the Cappuccino Mk. II. The jack is terminated in a metal-housed right-angle 3.5mm jack. From the jack you’ll find a good amount of rubber stress-relief connecting to the nylon-sleeved lower-half of the cable.
Above the Y-splitter the cable becomes a thin plastic-covered wire which connects to the wire-based mouldable earguide and MMCX terminations. I am a bit concerned with the connection between the wire and the earguide, as there isn’t too much stress relief there. When coiling this cable, ensure that you do not put too much stress on that connection. However, worst comes to worst, you can buy a replacement MMCX cable for as little as $8 on some aftermarket sites.
There were no cable microphonics that were out of the ordinary.
The A15 is reasonably comfortable, but fails to disappear like the Rose Aurora can. I find this to be a necessary evil with stainless-steel earphones, as this durable material comes at a hefty weight-cost.
Whizzer outfitted the A15 with a pretty impressive set of accessories. While the actual contents of the accessory package aren’t to spectacular on their own, their presentation really wowed me. Inside the box you’ll find:
1x semi-hard carrying case
6x pairs of spare silicone eartips
2x pairs of foam eartips
10x spare debris filters
1x filter removal tool
For $70, I’m not sure what else you could ask for. Perhaps a pair of genuine Comply would be nice, but the included foam tips aren’t all that bad to begin with. The carrying case is reasonably competent, if not a bit small. My case’s placard is slightly misaligned, but you wouldn’t notice if you weren’t looking for such imperfections.
The eartips are stored in a sturdy metal plate. The plate stands up by itself, almost as if Whizzer expects you to display them to your guests as they walk into the house. It’s a nice addition that I’ve not seen other OEMs go for.
Summary The A15 is a very well-rounded IEM for the price. With an impressive accessory package, a good price-to-performance ratio, and solid build-quality, there’s not much to complain about. While the A15’s sound signature isn’t for treble-heads, I’m sure most people could find a place in their collection for the A15.