Advanced Sound S2000

Rating:
4/5,
  1. Cinder
    Advanced Sound S2000 Review: How Low Can You Go?
    Written by Cinder
    Published Jan 26, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Decent build quality, good bass response, fun treble, above-average clarity, great price
    Cons - Fit too shallow, annoying to get a good seal.
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    Advanced Sound S2000 Review: How Low Can You(r price) Go?
    The S2000 appears to be another entry into Advanced Sound’s audio-market smack-down, allowing them to push even further down into the budget range, well past the $40 M4. But as a brand that’s shown us some uncompromising ideals in their past products, did Advanced Sound actually maintain them in their cheapest product yet?

    You can find the S2000 on sale, here, for $25 on Advanced Sound’s official web store. Versions with a mic and without a mic are available.

    Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Advanced Sound 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 enjoyability 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 S2000 was powered like so:

    HTC U11 -> USB-C adapter -> earphones

    or

    Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones

    or

    HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones

    or

    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.

    Sound Signature
    Initial Impressions:

    V-shaped with limited treble extension.

    Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy

    Treble is reminiscent of the IEMs of Advanced Sound’s past. Unfortunately, however, they couldn’t maintain the excellent level of extension that I’d come to expect from Advanced Sound drivers. This was a bit of disappointment until I remembered that the S2000 only sets me back $25.

    That said, the treble that is actually present is quite articulate and agile, much more so than I was expecting from an IEM of this price. In One Ear sounded airy, but not harsh, as did Midnight City.

    The choruses of string instruments in Outlands had a sweet timbre to them. They were fairly detailed too, more so than I had expected from a low-cost dynamic driver.

    There were no traces of harshness or sibilance from the S2000. Satisfy attests to the non-aggressive tuning of the treble.

    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams

    The S2000 doesn’t have as recessed mids as one might expect from a $25 V-shaped IEM. While they won’t be taking center stage, the mids are still expressive and relatively articulate.

    Flagpole Sitta’s dry recording style benefited greatly from the fuller timbre of the S2000’s mids. The guitars had a good crunch to them but lacked the full expression that I’ve come to expect from my earphones.

    That said, when comparing it to my other IEMs in that price range, such as the First Harmonic IEB6 and Advanced Sound’s own M4, the S2000 competes very well. It edges out the IEB6 in overall clarity and beats the M4 in lower-mids articulation. Again, this surprises me since the S2000 is cheaper than both.

    Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

    I love bass, and so does the S2000. It produces a good quantity of bass at a quality that is way above average for its price bracket. The bass guitar in Moth extended pretty well and had a good, deep, solidity to it.

    Gold Dust benefited well from the naturally complementary tuning of the bass response. Drops had impact and rumble and were fairly quick. That said, there was a small amount of overflow into the lower mids, but not nearly enough for me to declare the IEM “messy” or “mushy”.

    It is here that my hubris ended, as the S2000 met its match; In For The Kill proved to ask too much from the S2000’s single dynamic driver. The sonorous bass line that Skream produced for us simply goes too low. The S2000 sort of flattens out at a certain point, and while it doesn’t sound bad, it is a bit disappointing to not get that sub-woofer feeling I normally expect. Although maybe I am asking a bit too much of this IEM. After all, it is only $25.

    Packaging / Unboxing
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    Build
    Construction Quality

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    The S2000 makes use of a shiny plastic shell. It isn’t anything special but is well-built none the less. There is a fair bit of stress relief where the cable meets the housing. This combined with the plastic layer of memory wire gives me confidence that the S2000 won’t break easily, at least as far as cabling goes.

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    Speaking of cables, the S2000 makes use of a twisted cable. It is a simple twist braid below the Y-splitter and breaks into two above it. It also adopts the black/white “zebra” color scheme you see in the pictures above.

    The Y-splitter is made of plastic and has ample stress relief. The same goes for the 3.5mm jack that the cable is terminated with.

    Comfort

    The S2000 is quite comfortable once you actually get it to seal. The shell is light and small and will work well for people with small ears. It has a shallow fit, so how that interacts with your anatomy is up to your individual ear shape.

    Accessories
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    I don’t really expect anything more from a $25 IEM. Inside the box of the S2000 you will find:

    • 1x 6.3mm jack adapter
    • 3x extra pairs of silicone ear tips
    • 1x soft carrying pouch
    The ear tips are of acceptable quality. While the adapter definitely confuses me a bit considering I’m not sure who’s going to be using serious sources with a $25 IEM, but it is a welcomed edition nonetheless.

    Summary
    Advanced Sound did quite well for themselves with the S2000. I often forgot how little it costs! The S2000 offers a more refined take on a traditional V-shaped sound signature (when compared to other mainstream options at this price) that maintains the spirit of Advanced Sound’s outstanding treble tuning. All in all, I find the S2000 to be a great value for the money and well worth it for someone looking to get their first pair of high-quality earphones or just a pair of beaters.
      PlantsmanTX likes this.