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Alpha & Delta AD01

Rating:
3.75/5,
  1. Nymphonomaniac
    Fun sounding for some, but not for audiophile
    Written by Nymphonomaniac
    Published Feb 3, 2019
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Fun bassy sound, wide soundstage, sturdy housing construction, lot of accessories.
    Cons - Lack of resolution and instrument sepration, unstable treble, messy bass, so so cable, little expensive for such tuning.

    ALPHA & DELTA AD01 (very late) Review :

    P2030571.JPG

    CONSTRUCTION: 7.5/10
    DESIGN: 7/10
    SOUND: 7/10
    VALUE: 7/10



    Alpha and Delta is a very promising earphones company from Singapore that aim for quality instead of quantity and have create 6 different iem up to date. There goal is to stay budget friendly while delivering good sound quality, wich their last model call the Alpha & Delta D6 show perfectly.
    Now, for the AD01, there first attempt, they try to create something for the mass with a bass oriented soundsignature that will entertain the basshead while keeping enough details and clarity to be enjoyed by music lovers as well, these I think aren’t mean for critical listiner or audiophile but more for youngster that enjoy bass driven music and want to make a first step in good quality audio.



    CONSTRUCTION, ACCESSORIES AND DESIGN :


    P2030570.JPG

    Very pleasant unboxing experience with lot of extra eartips of all type, ear hook and cable clip. As well a good quality protective case is include. It look like A&D give lot of attention to details when it come to product presentation ,as we can see with the cute little box that contain eartips.

    P2030572.JPG

    A&D do not idle on construction, always goind toward durability for their iem, AD01 is no exception and have a built like a tank housing made of thick (and heavy) polish metal. As well, it come with all copper detachable cable of average quality this time.

    P2030575.JPG P2030574.JPG

    For design, i’m a little more reserved due to the iem being very big and heavy wich will not suit every type of ears and even if it do not fall from my ears I guess I look dumb wearin. As well, not having MMCX connection but an old type of connection that make you dependant to their store when it come to buy extra cable is a drawback for me becaus yes, I would be curious to try a SPC cable with the AD01 because the one caming with it are just basic copper one, sure they are cute and have the advantage not creating microphonic, but these days its either MMCX or 2pin connection so I don’t see the goal of this type of cable choice.

    P2030577.JPG P2030580.JPG

    SOUND :

    P2030582.JPG


    Overall impression of the sound is rather positive if I forget the 100$ asking price for a V shaped soundsignature that hesitate between darkness and warmnest and struggle with complex music or anything that need a well controled bass or treble. This is a very wide sounding IEM with big impact and pumped but not detailed and well layered bass that without sounding completely boomy is stilla little muffly and well, immature sounding. Treble curve help mids being more hearable than low grade V shaped IEM and we have some details to enjoy, but attack decay and speed is above average in this price range, as well, no sparkle to be found and layering is kind of veiled.



    BASS have pumped up impact that lack resolution where the sub and mid bass mix togheter and gain in weight but not really in energic thickness, it can be too slow for very fast electronic or jazz rock, but can deal great with some rap like Sudan Archive wich is very well mastered and clean sounding by its own. These are freakin basshead earphones where A&D try to keep the mids not too recessed, even if there some bass bleed it do not feel it veil them, its more the whole overall sound that feel little veiled in fact and lacking enough texture in lows to make the punch enough fowards as we can heard in RAGE track from Rico Nasty where everything sound as a big wall of sound without lot of deepness to it, so in some sens, the bass sound cavernous but at the same time in your face wich is a very strange experience that lack realism. Anyway, bass is energic and do not sound boomy, so it will not be a problem with excellently mastered music.



    MIDS are warm but have some magic trick extra grainy resolution that make them just okay and not completly overshadowed by vast bass, its not really an IEM for instrumental music because violin or piano lack treble and details, but it do okay and have laid back non fatiguing approach that can be still enjoyable for some jazz and such. Transient response is well coordonated in all range but lack in finess, transparency and layering. Vocal can slightly sound hissy because of upper mids peak, but they have above average resolution for a bassy tuned iem.



    HIGHS are roll off in upper region and non fatiguing, as the most fatiguing aspect of these iem is bass. It have enough treble to show details and some push in lower high but it do not really help percussion to shine and be easily hearable, even snare lack fowardness here, but the bigger problem is even if soudnstage is wide it do not feel clean as well as having enough air in all the space to make precise sound have well spoted presence. Overall, the AD01 is slightlydark in this region even if whole sound have lot of grain to it.

    COMPARAISONS:


    P2030581.JPG


    VS NiceHCK M6:
    Around 100$, the M6 is well tuned comapred to AD01 and even if both have good bass energy, the separation from mid and lower bass of M6 is in another league as it have better separation in whole sound spectrum. Mids of AD01 feel congested compared to M6 wich is in the middle, well separated and barely recessed. Both M6 and AD01 are onthe warm side without fowards highs but M6 because of great layering due to its multi driver implementation (Dual DD+4BA) is clearly more detailed even if less fatituing.

    VS Macaw GT600S:
    Bass of AD01 have more impact even if less textured, its more energic and weighty and give a more exciting fun sound. Soundstage of AD01 is wider while the one of GT600S is deeper and cleaner. Mids of GT600S are more fowards and textured but somewhat thinner than AD01. GT600S have more fowards highs and details and can be fatiguing for treble sensitive people in this aspect, M6 are more permissive in this region.

    P2030573.JPG

    CONCLUSION as said, isn’t as disastrous as it can look , because these AD01 are quite enjoyable and fun to listen with some (simple well recorded) beat driven music, but unfortunatly it’s a minority of them. The V here lack resolution and details retrieval to create an enough clear sound and I say that using very clear and detailed sound source (Ibasso DX90 and Xduoo X20). As well, I feel at 100$ we can find lot of better IEM because last years competition in budget earphones go crazy. All in all, this AD01 is an average sounding classic V shaped earphones with wider than average soundstage and great fun for beat driven enthusiast but not for audiophile or critical listener (wich wasn't the consumer targeted).

    images

    1. P2030578.JPG
  2. faithguy19
    Great Bass and a solid build with removable cables!
    Written by faithguy19
    Published Jun 10, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Features great bass and removable cables.
    Cons - Cable can be a little stiff. Personally thought details and clarity could have been stronger.

    Lend Me Ur Ears is a name that many in the portable audio world know and love.  They are known for being a distributor of quality audio products to many around the world.  In the past I have really enjoyed the Vsonic brand in which LMUE is an authorized dealer.  However, recently I was contacted by headfier @nmatheis asking if I would be interested in testing and reviewing a brand new in house product by LMUE the Alpha & Delta AD01 IEM.  What follows is my experience with the AD01. 
     
    Specifications:
    •   Driver unit: 9.8mm and 6.0mm Dual Dynamic Driver
    •   Rated Impedance: 9 Ohm 
    •   Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW 
    •   Frequency response: 10Hz- 25KHz 
    •   Rated power: 10 mW 
    •   Maximum input power: 30 mW 
    •   Plug: 3.5mm dual-channel plug 
    •   Cable: 1.30 mm 18N OFC cable
     
    Accessories:
    My review unit came packaged in a fantastic box and is labeled Alpha & Delta with an AD01 sticker in the bottom right corner.  Immediately the presentation of these earphones impress!
    IMG_3057.jpg [​IMG]
     
    Upon opening the box you will notice that the body of the earphones themselves are in fact separate from the cable.  Which of course means removable cables! This is a great feature and not one that you often see at this price.  Also included are a nice selection of biflange and single flange silicone tips a pair of foam tips and a nice hard case to use on the go.  Also included are a pair of ear guides to use when wearing these over the ear and shirt clip.
    IMG_3059.jpg
    [​IMG] IMG_3058.jpg

     
    Build Quality & Fit:
    The AD01 is one solid earphone! I personally did not have any issues with the build quality of the earphone itself during my time with these.  I must agree with other reviewers in saying that the cable on these can tend to be a little stiff and springy.  Also of note is that it is not very clear as to which earphone is the left and which earphone is the right.  Some clearer markings would have been helpful here especially given the fact that these come with removable cables.  Speaking of….removable cables!!! That is awesome to see and very welcome at this price point!
     
    Isolation:
    Isolation is actually better than what I thought it would be.  I found that they were reasonably effective at blocking noise but definitely not at the level of my old etymotics or even my aurisonics rockets.  Of course tips and proper seal can make a difference here as well.

     

    Microphonics:

    Microphonics were never an issue for me during my review period.  I wore these cable down.

     

    Sound:

    LMUE has something really fun going on here with the AD01.  These were very enjoyable to listen listen to but definitely not for someone looking for immense details and clarity.  The bass is certainly elevated withthe AD01 and I would certainly classify this as a warm sounding earphone.

    Lows: As I noted above the loves are accentuated in the AD01 and they are without a doubt the most prominent feature of the sound signature.  Midbass is king with the AD01 and the lows present themselves front and center.  I could see many bassheads very happy with these in the under $100 price range.  Overall, bass tends to be a little slow and it can ever so-slightly bleed into the mids.

    Mids: The mids of the AD01 can be categorized as slightly warm and smooth.  Unfortunately for those that really enjoy mids these can be a little recessed.  The clarity and the detail of the mids are just fine but as soon as a song calls for bass the mids are simply overshadowed.    

    Highs: The highs are not recessed but do not expect to be blown away by insane amounts of treble.  If you are looking for clarity on the level of the B2 you will be better served elsewhere.  I personally found there to be more of a presence in the highs than the mids but once again the bass is the star of the show here with the AD01.  On the bright side is the fact that most will not consider the AD01 to be very fatiguing due to the little emphasis placed on the upper highs.
    Soundstage: I found the soundstage of these to be average in this price range.  It is not something to brag about but certainly not so closed in that they feel congested.
     
    Conclusion: Overall, I feel that these are pretty good for the price LMUE is asking and an awesome debut earphone from them.  I cannot wait to see what they will offer in the future.  Once again a special thank you to LMUE and @nmatheis for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate.
      Hawaiibadboy likes this.
  3. HiFiChris
    A really good first attempt from LMUE for the bass-loving guys and gals, but speed could be better
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Feb 29, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - mids & highs, for the lovers of bass, cohency, build quality, modular design
    Cons - bass somewhat slow, overall refinement could be a bit better - steep competition at the price
    IMG_20160208_182644.jpg

     ​
     

    Preamble:

    Lend Me UR Ears is a dealer for audio products and based in Singapore. Besides their online shop, LMUE also has got an Amazon shop as well as a local storefront that is opened Monday to Saturday from noon to 7.30 pm.
    Alpha & Delta is LMUE’s very first own brand and the AD01 (http://www.lendmeurears.com/alpha-delta/) their first own in-ear creation, a dual-driver with two dynamic drivers per side. The Alpha & Delta AD01 is modularly built, which means that both earpieces as well as the cable can be purchased separately in case that one of them breaks, which is really commendable. Replacing the parts is easy as well.
    The in-ears are available in two colours (silver and black), an upgrade cable can be bought, too.

    The Alpha & Delta AD01 in-ears were sent to me free of charge by Lend Me UR Ears’ Teo for the purpose of an honest evaluation. I should have originally posted this review months ago in the past year, but something seemed to have gone wrong at the mailing route in Germany and the parcel was returned, but the second delivery this year was successful. Thanks, Teo!


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: SGD 130/~ USD 93
    Driver unit: 9.8mm and 6.0mm Dual Dynamic Driver
    Rated Impedance: 9 Ohm
    Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
    Frequency response: 10Hz- 25KHz
    Rated power: 10 mW
    Maximum input power: 30 mW
    Plug: 3.5mm dual-channel plug
    Cable: 1.30 mm 18N OFC cable


    Delivery Content:

    The in-ears arrive in a navy blue cardboard box that can be flipped open and has got a shiny silver Alpha & Delta logo on the lid. Inside, it is bolstered with velour. The amount of included accessories is quite ample: besides the in-ear bodies and the cable, a carrying case with loop, one pair of foam tips, three pairs of double-flange tips, three pairs of regular silicone tips as well as three pairs of hybrid silicone tips (“Sony-style”) come included.

    IMG_20160208_181546_hdr.jpg   IMG_20160208_181607_hdr.jpg
    IMG_20160208_181646_hdr.jpg   IMG_20160208_182018.jpg

     ​
     
    The upgrade cable arrives in a small black pouch, along with one pair of cone-shaped silicone tips.
     

    IMG_20160208_182201.jpg

     ​
     

    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    The in-ear bodies are made of black, machined aluminium and don’t show any flaws in terms of build quality – they even feel somewhat premium and very solid. As the cables are replaceable and the in-ears modularly built, there are no side-markers on the in-ear bodies themselves but solely on the cables in the form of letters (additional coloured side-markers would probably be useful).
    The connectors are 2.5 mm DC plugs, similar to MEE M6’s, however they aren’t rotation-locked on the AD01 (but still sit quite tightly).

    The carrying case doesn’t look super premium and could be somewhat better made on the inside, however it is still very sturdy and protects the in-ears, just like it should.

    The regular black cable reminds me of the one used by SoundMAGIC and on the Brainwavz M3, however it is a bit more flexible and less springy. The angled 3.5 mm connector, y-split and 2.5 mm DC connectors have got really good and commendable strain relief; a chin-slider (cable cinch) is also present. Overall, the cable leaves a positive impression.
    The upgrade cable is haptically quite similar to the black one, meaning it has got the same excellent strain relief. In contrast, the metal elements are silver and not black, and the coating is clear, wherefore the copper litzes can be seen. The upgrade cable is more flexible as well.
     

    IMG_20160208_182240.jpg   IMG_20160208_182300.jpg
    IMG_20160208_182549_hdr.jpg   IMG_20160208_182644.jpg
    IMG_20160208_182611.jpg   IMG_20160208_182434.jpg
    IMG_20160208_182452_hdr.jpg   IMG_20160208_182506.jpg



    Comfort, Isolation:

    The in-ear bodies aren’t overly large, so the in-ears should easily fit most people.
    In my large ears, the AD01 sit very comfortably and securely. I have worn the in-ears with the cables over the ears, along with using the cable cinch, wherefore microphonics were entirely eliminated. Nonetheless, even when wearing the in-ears straight down, microphonics were relatively mid.

    Isolation is on a good level and definitely above average, however still a bit below entirely closed in-ears.


    Sound:

    My main sources for listening were the iBasso DX80, LH Labs Geek Out IEM 100 and HiFiMe 9018d.
    I used the upgrade cable as well as the largest included black silicone tips.
    Although I don’t believe much in burn-in (with headphones), I burnt the AD01 in for 100 hours with noise and sine signals.

    Thoughts on the Upgrade Cable:

    I am someone who is very sceptical towards the sound of cables as long as they don’t influence the sound because of measurable parameters, for example a different cable’s inner impedance in combination with multi-BA in-ears. That said, I was also somewhat sceptical when using the upgrade cable for the AD01. I indeed seemed to hear a slight difference in terms of control and clarity, but it was easily explainable as volume output was very slightly louder with the upgrade cable than with the standard one.
    I just want to leave it at that, as objective listening comparisons between cables are barely possible.

    Tonality:

    A small side-note regarding the tonal differences between the Sony Hybrid-style and regular black silicone tips: sonically both types are very similar sounding – the largest difference is that the hybrid tips have somewhat less level in the middle highs, hence sounding more relaxed – the difference isn’t super large though.

    I would describe AD01’s tonal tuning as bass-heavy with a (much lesser) upper treble emphasis for compensation – therefore it is a quite common “consumer-oriented” tuning that tends towards a v-shape.

    The lows are the central element and dominate the sound. With about 13 dB at the climax, the lows’ emphasis is quite ample. Sub-bass doesn’t really roll off, however it softens a bit. The focus lays on mid-bass; from there on the emphasis decreases evenly with the shape of a hump towards the mids where the emphasis stops at about 800 Hz. As a result, the fundamental area is quite lush and the lows don’t only appear mighty and voluminous but also warm, with mids that are still more or less natural considering the strongly emphasised bass, however voices and instruments in this area are warmer than they should be and are also a bit overshadowed by the lows that spill into the lower mids. Between 1 and 2 kHz, level is neutral and very even, wherefore vocals sound still quite good despite the added warmth; above, the treble is evenly in the background in the upper lower and middle highs. 6 and 7 kHz are more in the background than the rest and guarantee for a smooth, relaxed sound and quite good long-term listenability. At 9 kHz is a rather bread-banded peak that is above the ground-line, however it is rather mild and of much lesser quantity than the bass emphasis, it just compensates for the lows and helps that the sound doesn’t become woolly or muffled.
    The v-shaped signature is clearly bass-focussed.
    Above 10 kHz, level rolls evenly off.

    What’s quite positively outstanding is that sound is very coherent; there is no audible transition between both drivers.
    Who knows me and my reviews better should know that I don’t judge a headphone for its general tonal tuning as long as the mids are tonally quite correct and the upper treble extension is good. For the price, extension above 10 kHz is still good, however I have to subtract some points for the midrange: despite the mighty bass, it sounds quite natural, but is audible on the warm side with deeper voices, with slightly too much warmth and lushness – a somewhat lower starting bass emphasis would probably have been slightly better for the mids.


    Ensuing is a frequency response plot of the in-ears:

    FRhybrid.jpg
     
    Please note that it wasn’t recorded with professional equipment but with my Vibro Veritas coupler that was pseudo-calibrated to more or less match a real IEC 711 coupler’s response with applied diffuse-field target, hence the results shouldn’t be regarded as absolute values but rather as a rough visualisation. Especially at 3, 6 and 9 kHz, there are sometimes greater deviations from professional plots – but for a general, rough comparison between various in-ears and a rough idea of how they sound, the results are sufficient.

    Resolution:

    Positively, there is no audible transition between both drivers; transition is very cohesive and unobtrusive, unnoticeable.
    Starting with the highs: they are quite detailed and sound harmonious, mostly very natural. Here’s really nothing I could blame.
    The mids are slightly overshadowed by the strong bass emphasis, however they are still able to keep authority, although they sound slightly less detailed than the highs. On their own, the mids sound quite good though.
    The big drawback in the system however are the lows: the bass is clearly more on the boomy than punchy side, more spongy than dry and more slow than fast. With more demanding music, lows lose contour and begin to sound muddier; the bass also softens towards the sub-bass.
    Overall detail retrieval is about average for the price – neither super outstanding nor particularly bad.

    Soundstage:

    In my ears, AD01’s soundstage is slightly wider than average, with good spatial depth and height. The relation between depth and width is very natural and the soundstage is round as well as harmonious.
    Layering and instrument separation could be slightly more precise and less foggy nonetheless.

    ---------

    Compared to other In-Ears:

    Brainwavz R3:
    The AD01 is so much easier to insert and comfortable – despite (or probably because of?) my large ears, I struggle to get a secure fit with the R3 and getting a seal also takes quite some time, whereas inserting the AD01 is extremely easy.
    The Brainwavz is tonally very balanced sounding, with a slightly dark neutrality. The only thing it could be blamed for is that the mids are a bit on the darker side.
    In terms of detail retrieval in the mids and highs, both in-ears are about comparable – both have about similar resolution in the treble and a midrange that is slightly less detailed. Where the R3 wins however is the bass: R3’s lows are easily more controlled and faster.
    A01’s soundstage is deeper, R3’s is a bit wider and has got the slightly cleaner instrument separation.

    Havi B3 Pro I:
    The Havi is much more balanced sounding and has got a very natural, moderately warm signature with slightly elevated upper treble (with the stock tips I am using).
    The Havi is an extremely good in-ear for its little price, although there is one thing I can’t describe closer and that makes me not to like it entirely for 100% - probably a phase anomaly? Nonetheless, the transition between both drivers sounds slightly inconsistent (however just very minimally) – here, the AD01 sounds more coherent in my ears, however the Alpha & Delta can’t compete with the B3 Pro I when it is about resolution, bass speed and spatial precision: the Havi is a distinct level above and offers unbelievable value for its price.

    TTPod T1 (non-E):
    TTPod’s (that I consider as a very good overall in-ear for their price) signature is a v-shape as well, however a much tamer and more natural one.
    T1 has got audible less bass and is quite a bit brighter in the treble department – sometimes even slightly too bright.
    T1’s midrange resolution is slightly better, however its highs sound less natural and are a bit gimmicky, faking resolution with the emphasis. Despite the treble that is more in the background, AD01’s detail retrieval in the upper frequencies is clearly better and sounds more natural as well. As long as there are not too many fast or complex bass lines on the recording, details in the lows are comparable; generally speaking, detail retrieval is about comparable with both in-ears, however the T1 slightly wins in the mids and the AD01 in the treble.
    The T1 isn’t known for super-fast lows (although they are faster than some other in-ears’), but sounds quite controlled and clean – AD01’s bass sounds muddier, boomier and less controlled when the music speeds up.
    In terms of soundstage, AD01 slightly wins because of more spatial depth; both are about comparable regarding spatial presentation and precision.


    Conclusion:

    Are the AD01 in-ears worth their price? Yes, they are, especially if you are looking for this kind of sound – but keep in mind that there are some technically superior models for less money, however none of them with a similar tonality. Who is looking for a tendentially v-shaped sound with full-bodied lows that are clearly in the focus will find solid in-ears with the AD01.
    Their snag is definitely the bass which is rather blunt, rather slow and can’t handle fast music with authority. If the bass would be more refined and faster, the AD01 would be good in-ears for the price – they are not bad as they are now (they are quite solid), have got good spatiality, offer a good amount of accessories, are well made, offer replaceable cables, a really well made treble and are bass-heavy however without any muffled midrange, but can’t handle faster music as good as other similarly or lower priced in-ears.

    67% or 3.35 out of 5 stars.
    My suggestion: tighten up the lows and the AD01 will be a really good basshead in-ear.
      twister6 likes this.
  4. Hisoundfi
    Quality first offering from a seasoned veteran in the game of earphones. The Alpha & Delta AD01 presented by Lendmeurears
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Jan 13, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Bass forward signature with high resolution that will satisfy many, Unique and high quality detachable cables, Many options with fit and accessories
    Cons - Not for those who don't like north of neutral bass, No microphone/remote cable options from Lendmeurears
    20160113_010125.jpg
    At the time of the review, the Alpha & Delta AD01 was was on sale on Lendmeurear’s website. Here are a couple links to their listing of the product:
     
    http://www.lendmeurears.com/alpha-delta/
     
    As you can see by clicking on the link, there are various styles and options we will go over in this review.
     
    Introduction
    The market for lower to mid-fi earphones is flooded. If you aren’t active in Head-Fi threads and researching products and releases on a daily basis, it’s easy to get lost in all the hoopla. It can be a tough when faced with our particular budgets, and have to pick out the best earphone for our lifestyles and preferences. Head-Fi is a valuable resource because there’s reviews for just about every earphone there is.
     
    We all know the big players in earphones. What Head-Fi does is give us reviews on many of the more popular brand’s models and also the new companies that are trying to get established. One thing is for sure, the newer companies are hit or miss, and some of them bring new earphones to market having no idea what the game of in-ear monitors is all about.
     
    The AD01 is a unique entry into the world of earphones. Alpha & Delta is owned and operated by a vendor (Lendmeurears). I feel this gives them a competitive advantage. Not only do they understand the game of in-ear monitors, they have a website in which they market and sell their product. Today we will cover the AD01 with a comprehensive review.
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to review the AD01 as part of a tour and in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Lendmeurears. I would like to take this time to personally thank Nikolaus (nmatheis) for the opportunity to be part of this tour.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
    20160113_010253.jpg
    The AD01 comes in a royal blue box with a sophisticated Alpha & Delta logo stamped in silver leaf on the front. The back and sides of the box are blank.
     
    20160113_010322.jpg
    Opening the package I’m greeted with a nice layout of the housings, a bag of accessories and the cable. Removing the top foam panel, there is a is a nice sized semi rigid cloth zipper storage case along with a lanyard and some earhooks.
     
    Specifications and Accesories
     

    Specification:

    1. Driver unit: 9.8mm and 6.0mm Dual Dynamic Driver
    2. Rated Impedance: 9 Ohm
    3. Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
    4. Frequency response: 10Hz- 25KHz
    5. Rated power: 10 mW
    6. Maximum input power: 30 mW
    7. Plug: 3.5mm dual-channel plug
    8. Cable: 1.30 mm 18N OFC cable

    20160113_005135.jpg

    Accessories:

    1. 1 pair of foam tips
    2. 3 pairs of biflange tips
    3. 6 pairs of silicon tips of various sizes
    4. 1 hard case
    5. 1 pair of ear guides

     
    Housings
    20160113_005547.jpg
    The housings of the AD01 are a black all metal barrel design. There is a venting hole at the back of the housing and at the base of the nozzle. The nozzle is a pretty standard design. I had no trouble tip rolling with them.
     
    20160113_005746.jpg
    The detachable cable connects to the bottom of the housing at a ninety degree angle.
     
    NOTE: The AD01 comes in two finishes. Black (pictured) and silver (not pictured)
     
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    The cable of the AD01 is a black 18N OFC cable that is on the thin side, but seems very durable. It has a considerable amount of spring and memory. The cable connect via an exclusive connection that appears to be a combination of a MMCX and DC plug. I really like the design and feel as though this is an improvement over a standard MMCX adapter. The Y split has a black metal jacketed housing with a chin slider that snugs flush with it when not in use. The jack is a ninety degree gold plated plug with a metal and rubber jacket. Strain reliefs at all plugs are adequate and well built to withstand the test of time.
     
    20160113_005954.jpg
    Also included in the tour package was an upgrade cable offered by Lendmeurears. It is a 32N OFC cable that is slightly thicker than the stock cable, but is in a clear jacketed rubber cable that reveals the inner wire. Aside from being slightly thicker and having a different appearance, the upgrade cable offers the same Y-split, cable jack and strain relief features but also with a different appearance. Lendmeurears claims that the upgrade cable tightens the AD01 bass and makes them more detailed. I didn’t notice a significant upgrade in fidelity. If there is, it isn’t a night and day difference to my ears.
     
    Functionality
    The AD01 is a plug and play device. I didn’t get any microphones or remotes with the AD01. Plug them in, play music, enjoy, repeat.
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
    Fitment on the AD01 is pretty standard. It is a barrel shaped in-ears with a ninety degree plug. They can be worn cable down or over the ear. The provided chin slider is a nice touch that helps snug things into place. As always, finding a tip that seals well is necessary for maximizing the sound quality of the earphones.
     
    Cable down, the AD01 has better than average microphonics, but it is still present to a degree. Worn over the ear microphonics are pretty much eliminated.
     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware for portable and smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for a high fidelity portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier in both high and low gain. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    At nine ohms the AD01 is incredibly easy to drive and sounds good through just about any source you plug them into. The bass forward tuning makes them very forgiving. They do have the ability to upscale with better sources and higher bitrate files. Listen to the AD01 with a neutral source and high quality recordings for best results.
     
    Sound Signature
    The dual dynamic driver design of the AD01 is basshead audiophile material. They have an authoritative punchy bass that can dig deep. This forward bass is complimented by a pretty neutral midrange and treble that compliments the rest of the signature without making the AD01 seem either harsh or rolled off. The overall feel is an engaging and entertaining sound.
     
    Bass
    The bass on the AD01 kicks like a mule. It is punchy and dynamic bass that digs deep when the track calls for it. It will satisfy the needs of most bassheads, but is in a good spot that it can be enjoyed by the masses. The forward nature will impact the rest of the sound, but thanks to the dual drivers it is able to pack this much bass wallop and still have a decent amount of separation. The AD01 does this while avoiding a case of the dreaded mid bass bleed.
     
    Midrange
    Listening to sounds when the bass wasn’t playing, the AD01 midrange seemed neutral and polite, with a decent sense of clarity and detail. There didn’t appear to be any type of upper midrange boost. All in all it was pretty smooth. The thing to note is that when the bass hits, separation of sounds is good but the amount of punch and rumble puts the midrange in the back of the pack. The AD01 is not midrange forward, that’s for sure.
     
    Treble
    The treble follows follows suit with the AD01 midrange response. It sits in a good spot that it’s hard to pick apart. I would describe it as universally polite. It is not what I would consider extended or rolled off. It isn’t sibilant, and it isn’t lacking crispness. It really is in good balance with the rest of the frequencies so it can be enjoyed for long listening sessions.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The dual dynamic’s strong and dynamic bass presence in combination with the reasonably clear midrange and treble gives the AD01 a better than average sense of soundstage. The booming bass prevents me from being able to get a solid sense of imaging.
     
    Comparisons
     
    VSONIC GR07BE ($85 to $135 USD on many sites)
    The GR07BE is a hall of famer that will be a part of my collection for as long as they hold up. The Biocellulose driver offers a slight V-signature with what to this day is still some of the most responsive and satisfying bass I’ve heard in an in-ear monitor.
     
    Comparing the two, the first thing to point out is that the AD01 has a boomier and more boosted bass response. The GR07BE bass is tighter and more enjoyable to my ears. The midrange and treble of the GR07BE is more forward. Overall resolution goes to the GR07BE. Treble on the GR07BE is more extended, but can also be sibilant and fatiguing at loud volumes. I prefer the treble response of the AD01 as it sets up for more enjoyable less fatiguing listening sessions.
     
    Build goes to the AD01. They offer all metal housings and detachable cables as compared to the plastic housing and attached cable of the GR07BE. Ergonomics also goes to the AD01 as they can be worn over or under the ear (GR07BE is over the ear only).
     
    Accessories is a draw. Both offer a large selection of tips and a case/pouch.

     
    Zero Audio Duoza ($110 to $130 USD on many sites)
    The Duoza gained quite a following after their release. Their design was pretty awkward (the look like Frankenbolts when wearing them) but there’s no denying their impressive sound presentation. The Duoza offers a forward bass presence with awesome overall clarity and separation.
     
    Comparing the two, again the AD01 has more bass presence and is more boomy in nature. Although the bass of the Duoza is more controlled, I enjoy the AD01 bass more because it has better sub to mid bass balance. Duoza has some of the best midrange I’ve heard and is considerably better than the AD01 to my ears. Treble is similar on both.
     
    Build again goes to the AD01. The flimsy attached cable of the Duoza is almost laughable. Ergonomics also goes to the AD01. Their shape is more conventional and conducive for owners to get an easier and more versatile fit.

     
    Conclusion
    The AD01 is a bass lover’s earphone with complimentary frequencies that help them present a very enjoyable listening experience. If you are in the market for a basshead-meets-audiophile earphone for around one hundred dollars, make sure to consider the Alpha & Delta AD01.
     
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
    20160113_010125.jpg  

      omastic, Brooko, gikigill and 4 others like this.
    1. gikigill
      Got one on the way, lets see how they fare compared to XB90 and the G10.
      gikigill, Jan 13, 2016
    2. complete
      Thanks for the nice review ..
      complete, Jan 16, 2016
    3. MadMusicJunkie
      Nice review; pretty accurate.  I generally play in the $150 to $800 iem market, so getting this was simply due to the dual-dynamic.  I tend to like the realism in dynamic drivers (as well as the bass), and I wanted to hear what it'd be like with two of them.  I wasn't expecting very much, but i do find the bass a delectable treat.  These compare well to the Cardas A8's, IMO.  Cardas is still a noticably better earphone, but if not comparing the two side-by-side, back-and-forth, you wouldn't listen to the AD01's and think that you're missing something; if that makes sense.  The 'ol, you don't know what you're missing.  But, you aren't missing an awful lot.  Overall, at ~$100, these are a great buy.  The M6 Pro headphones use the same cable connection, and you can buy a M6 Pro cable on Amazon for $10.  It has a volume slider and single button with mic, and it can be delivered same-day in some areas.  Otherwise, I'm not aware of any other phones using this kind of connector.
       
      My point is, I second your review.  These are a good buy.  For those seeking polite highs and great bass, this is a home-run.  Not a grand-slam, but you'd have to pay double the money for that.
       
      Interestingly enough, there is another headphone by Kinera:
      http://a.co/5ffIUXA
       
      That is about $30, and when I side-by-side with the AD01's, I find very, very close sound signatures.  I haven't done a full A-B yet, but I don't prefer one over the other; at least yet.  The Kinera has the same, excellent, big bass that does not overtake the rest of the spectrum.
       
      Beautiful review.  I'd like to hear more comparisons and your recommendations; as it seems like you might hear things very similar to how I do!
      MadMusicJunkie, Dec 27, 2016
  5. earfonia
    One of the best IEM for realistic cinematic experience!
    Written by earfonia
    Published Sep 19, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Very good bass, natural and smooth midrange and treble, detachable cable, plenty of eartips provided.
    Cons - Obscured left and right markings.
    First of all, big thanks to Lend Me UR Ears (LMUE) for the review sample of Alpha & Delta AD01!
    Alpha & Delta is LMUE house brand, and AD01 is their first product.
     
    http://www.lendmeurears.com/alpha-delta-ad01-black/
     
    01P1130549.jpg
     
     
     
    Through my journey in head-fi world, I've heard of IEMs that are technically superior but lacking of the subjective musical enjoyment. On the other hand, there are IEMs that may not sound technically outstanding, but musically pleasing, and highly enjoyable. Alpha & Delta AD01 is leaning more to the later, while still being technically excellent.
     
    Alpha & Delta AD01 is a two ways IEM, using dual dynamic drivers on dual concentric configuration. It uses 9.8mm and 6.0mm dynamic drivers, with rated overall impedance of 9 ohms. The cable is detachable using 2mm DC connector, the same type as older Nokia phone DC connector for charging, so durability has been proven. There are not many IEMs in this price category to feature detachable cable, so a plus point for the features. My usual concern for multi-driver IEMs is coherency between the drivers. But after extensive listening, I don't hear any coherency distortion from AD01. The 2 drivers are very coherent, and sounding like a single driver configuration.
     
    02P1130465.jpg
     
     
    Before going into details, I like to start my review with summary. Please take note the scores below is based on the best matching setup that I've tried, which is using AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.0c DAC, iBasso DX90, and Fiio X3 2nd generation, the copper colour upgrade cable for AD01, stock white foam eartips, Comply T500 foam eartips, and large bore (red core) eartips (from Lunashop).
     
    03P1130411.jpg
     
     
     
    Estimated Sound Quality: 4/5 (Very Good)
    Estimated Value (SQ/Price): 5/5 (Excellent)
    Features & Build Quality: 5/5 (Excellent)
    Noise Isolation: 3/5 (Good)
    Microphone: No
    Other Features: Detachable cable
     
    Perceived level of:
    Naturalness & musicality: 4/5 (Very Good)
    Clarity: 4/5 (Very Good)
    Detail & Separation: 4/5 (Very Good)
    Holographic Imaging & Spaciousness: 4/5 (Very Good)
    Dynamic & Transient: 4/5 (Very Good)
     
    Silicone eartips:
    Treble level in comparison to midrange: -1
    Bass level in comparison to midrange: +1
    Relax (-) to Analytical (+) balance: -1
     
    Foam Comply T500 foam eartips:
    Treble level in comparison to midrange: 0
    Bass level in comparison to midrange: 0
    Relax (-) to Analytical (+) balance: -1
     
    Scores and levels:
     
    5 - Excellent
    4 - Very Good
    3 - Good
    2 - Acceptable
    1 - Poor
     
    +/- 1: Mild - Still within acceptable range for most recordings.
    +/- 2: Moderate - Generally acceptable, but may start to sound a little too much on some recordings.
    +/- 3: Strong - Generally sounds unnatural and too strong for most recordings.
     
     

    Pros:

    1. Excellent value, can be considered a giant killer IEM for bass lover. Deep and tuneful bass with good midrange and treble clarity.
    2. Wide frequency response.
    3. Detachable cable.
    4. Various eartips for flexible sound tuning.
    5. No driver flex.
    6. Sounds good out of the box, no burn-in required.
     
     

    Cons:

    1. Left & Right markings are not clear.
     
     

    Suggestions for improvements:

    1. Clearer Left & Right marking for the drivers.
    2. To include good quality large bore silicone ear tips and more variety of foam ear tips for various sound tuning.
     
     

    Summary of Sound Quality:

    1. Excellent smooth and full sounding all-rounder IEM.
    2. Relatively balance tonality with some mild to moderate bass emphasize (eartips dependent).
    3. Lively dynamic with beautiful bass. Bass sounds deep with powerful sub bass rumble for realistic live performance or cinematic experience.
    4. Smooth and pleasing tonality with no irregular peaks and dips in the frequency response, mildly warm, with good level of clarity, detail, and upper treble extension.
    5. Treble has decent sparkle, and quite immune to sibilant.
    6. Very good stereo imaging for realistic cinematic holographic illusion.
     
     

    Recommendation:

    1. AD01 tonality is rather bassy, therefore it is not for those who prefer neutral transparent sound signature with lean, flat level of bass, but more for those who are looking for full and lively sounding IEM, with realistic powerful bass and good clarity.
    2. Highly recommended for both music and movie, and probably one of the best IEM for realistic cinematic experience.
    3. Large bore eartips and Foam eartips such as the Comply T series are recommended for a more neutral, less bassy tonality.
    4. Need decent source or player to sound best, bass may sound a little loose and boomy from lower quality player such as mobile phone.
     
     

    Fit and comfort:

    Generally very good, no issues with fit and comfort so far. Bullet shape design is generally more flexible, can be worn both over the ear or straight down, and can be easily inserted deep into the ear canals.
     
     
     
    04P1130500.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Sound Quality
     
    The way reviewer describe sound quality will be more or less influenced by his/her personal preferences, recordings they use, and other equipment used for the review. Definition of balance perceived tonality has some degree of variation between different people. My personal preference on tonality, I prefer balance sound that has good amount of bass and sub bass, natural sounding midrange (not too warm or analytic), with smooth and transparent treble. I don't consider neutral tonality with lean flat bass that sometime called as 'reference' or 'purist' tonality, as balance, as I mostly perceive it as thin sounding. I like good quality bass at realistic level, with deep sub bass rumble and extension. But as much as I love good quality bass at realistic level, I really hate loose, boomy, and bloated bass. To me both bass quality and quantity are equally important. The same goes for midrange and treble, good balance and natural sounding clarity is a must. But too much clarity that sounds unnatural and analytic is not pleasant and I consider as bad remarks. Midrange and treble must be pleasantly smooth and transparent with good level of detail.
     
    So far, I tried not to be restricted too much into a particular sound signature, and learn to appreciate wider variety of sound signature. I try my best to evaluate IEMs or headphones by considering their unique sound signature. For example, bassy IEMs are to be evaluated as bassy IEMs, and how they perform within their category of sound signature. For example, if personally I prefer analytical sound signature, and I judge an excellent bassy IEM as bad because they are bassy and are not matching my personal preferences, I think it is more of a personal opinion, and not a fair judgement for a review.
     
    05P1130483.jpg
     
     
    Now let's discuss a little of how human ears perceive balance tonality. When looking into various equal loudness contour graphs, there are quite great differences between the older Fletcher-Munson graph (1933) and the newer and updated ISO 226:2003 graph (2003).
    http://www.macfreek.nl/memory/Sound_Level
     
    For example, looking at the graph for 80 phon loudness (my average music listening level), at 63 Hz which is the bass area, Fletcher-Munson curve is indicating 88.0 dB (SPL) and the ISO 226:2003 curve is indicating 98.4 dB (SPL). That is more than 10 dB (SPL) of differences which is quite significant. My definition of balance tonality, especially for bass area, is most probably closer to ISO 226:2003 curve than the Fletcher-Munson curve.
     
    Another interesting observation is the 'Golden Ears Target Curve':
    http://en.goldenears.net/419
    Golden Ears applies around 6 dB of bass boost in its target curve for earphones and headphones, as compared to the flat target curve for speaker. So, it seems that my preference of mild bass boost for earphones and headphones is in line with Golden Ears target curve.
     
    From all the IEMs that I have, and have tried, 1964 Ears V3 tonality is so far the closest to what I perceived as balanced tonality, followed by DUNU DN-2000. 1964 Ears V3 probably has around 2 dB higher level of bass than DN-2000. And AD01 has around 4 dB more bass than DN-2000. So AD01 bass is only around 2 dB higher than 1964 V3, but with stronger sub-bass.
     
    Thanks to InnerFidelity for the measurement of AD01:
    http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AlphaandDeltaAD01.pdf
    Compared to DUNU DN-2000 measurement:
    http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/DunuDN2000.pdf
     
    The bass level in comparison to 1 kHz on AD01 is around +13 dB higher, while on DN-2000 it is around +9 dB. And treble level of AD01 is about -3 dB less than DN-2000.
     
    06P1130477.jpg
     
     

    Bass

    Some AD01 users described AD01 as bass heavy, some said a bit bassy, it's all boils down to personal preferences of bass level. To me, it is a bassy IEM, but only mildly bassy. I won't say AD01 is a basshead IEM, because the overall tonal balance is still more or less quite balance in my book, with only a few dBs of bass emphasize, not yet in the category of bass heavy IEM such as Future Sonics G10 for example. And the bass can be reduced a little by using larger bore silicone eartips, or foam eartips, such as Comply T series, for more bass reduction. The small bore stock eartips is rather bassy and cut a little bit of the treble. Using wider bore ear silicone eartips make AD01 sounds more balance with better treble clarity. Speed and texture of the bass are good, not the best, but good enough and doesn't sound lazy and bloated. The sub bass extension is simply one of the strength of AD01. We can hear realistic sub bass rumble and vibration which is important especially for movie, or listening to church pipe organ recordings. Even many much more expensive IEMs rarely have such good sub bass quality. So, though it has some emphasize on bass, but AD01 does it in a nice and tuneful way, not the brute force boomy and bloated kind of emphasize. AD01 bass is beautiful, powerful, and addictive. And I consider it as the strength of AD01. Comply T series foam ear tips reduces the bass by probably around 2-3 dB, brings it to a more neutral level. The stock white foam ear tips, though sounds good, but it has stronger bass than Comply T series. I'm not a fan of foam ear tips, but this time, it works really well on AD01, and highly recommended when bass level reduction is preferable.
     
    07P1130479.jpg
     
    08P1130492.jpg
     
     

    Midrange

    The midrange is natural and smooth sounding, but not overly smooth. I can still observe the different level of smoothness from different amplifier using AD01, and that means the midrange detail is actually pretty good. Midrange sounds full, but not warm, and not analytical either. The bass does creep a little bit into the midrange adding some fullness to the midrange, but it doesn't ruin the midrange detail and clarity. Vocal has good clarity and a little laid back in presentation. To me the midrange simply sounds natural with minimum coloration. A little smooth and relax, but still with good level of detail, texture, and dynamic.
     

    Treble

    The treble is smooth and linear with good level of extension, clarity and sparkle. Not for treble lover, because the level of treble is slightly below the midrange, and may be perceived as slightly soft, but not lacking either. The good thing is, the treble has good upper treble extension, reaching quite high, and free from peaks and sibilant. So this is a friendly IEM for treble sensitive people.
     
    Another interesting signature of AD01 is the sensation of sounding big, a holographic illusion of big space, with clear and distinct instrument separation. Though AD01 sound signature is not the transparent type, but stereo imaging is spacious, good depth with impressive holographic imaging. It is quite rare an IEM with smooth and bassy sound signature like AD01 to have such a spacious stereo imaging. Beside the bass, this is another character of AD01 that I like most. Deep good bass with spacious holographic imaging are really good recipe for realistic cinematic experience for movie.
     
    09P1130472.jpg
     
     
    What I like most from AD01 is its liveliness and musicality. It practically sounds good and highly enjoyable to almost any recordings I tried. Sometime bassy IEM like AD01 is not very suitable for large scale orchestra where we need to hear plenty of detail, clear instrument separation, and most important spacious holographic imaging. But to my surprise, AD01 done it quite well. From classical to modern large scale orchestra, AD01 put a smile on my face. Not only the bass is so addictive, AD01 spacious holographic imaging is also very impressive. Presentation is big and spacious. Only on some Chesky binaural recordings that I found AD01 is lacking a little bit of airiness and transparency. But other than that, it is a great all-rounder, especially for bass lover.
     
     
    AD01 performs differently using different players. I can hear clearly the difference of sound quality using different DACs and player. This is a good indicator, indicating that AD01 has good capability to reveal the sound quality of other components. I found that my desktop DAC, Yulong DA8 is a little too warm and bassy for AD01. With source like Yulong DA8, I agree that AD01 is a little too bassy, but AD01 performs differently with different source, so it is not always too bassy. Though my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone drives AD01 adequately, it is clearly not the best player for AD01. From Galaxy S4, AD01 bass sounds loose and a bit boomy, lacking of speed and tightness. I found that the 10 ohms output impedance of Centrance DACport reduces the bass a little bit, making the AD01 less bassy. Cayin C5 DAC also controls the AD01 bass pretty well, but the midrange and treble are a tad grainy. Bass is tightest and fastest on AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.0c DAC. Treble is also more transparent with better overall imaging and spaciousness. On the go, iBAsso DX90 and Fiio X3 2nd generation are good match for AD01. Generally AD01 is easy to drive, but demand matching player to sound best.
     
    10P1130408.jpg
     
     
     
     

    Comparisons

     
    11P1130520.jpg
     
     

    Comparison with my current reference IEM, 1964 Ears V3 (universal fit)

    Tonality wise, there is some similarities between the two. 1964 Ears V3 is more linear and balance, like AD01 with around 2 dB less bass and around 2 dB more treble. Bass it tighter, faster, with better texture on 1964 Ears V3, and treble is more sparkling with better texture as well. Most obvious is the level of perceived detail and clarity that, as expected, is better on the 1964 Ears V3. For movie, AD01 wins the low bass rumble. While 1964 Ears V3 is better on other sonic characters. Beside the different emphasize of the tonality, what I like from both are the smooth frequency response that sounds natural to my ears.
     
     

    Comparison with other dual dynamic drivers IEMs

     
    12aP1130530.jpg
     
    Comparison with ATH-IM50 (one way dual dynamic)
    Those who like ATH-IM50 sound signature will most probably like AD01 as well. They share the natural bassy signature, with more or less similar level of bass emphasize. IM50 emphasizes more on the mid bass, faster attack and punch harder with slightly better bass dynamic, while AD01 has more sub bass, therefore bass sounds bigger with more sub bass rumble, but slightly slower. For movie, I slightly prefer the AD01 bass signature that sounds bigger and reaches lower. ATH-IM50 mids is more forward and intimate, while AD01 mids is more laid back. ATH-IM50 treble is a little rolled off on the upper end and slightly less sparkling than AD01 treble. If AD01 perceived as balanced, than ATH-IM50 is slightly 'n' shape with less sub bass and upper treble extension. But if we perceived ATH-IM50 as the balance reference, than AD01 is slightly V shape. Both are more or less are quite balance in my book. My personal preference leans slightly to the AD01. The slightly laid back presentation and the extra low end and upper end coverage makes the overall presentation bigger and more spacious. AD01 also has slightly smoother texture.
     
    Comparison with ATH-IM70 (one way dual dynamic)
    ATH-IM70 and ATH-IM50 sound pretty close. IM70 is only a tad more refined, a tad smoother treble. There rest are about the same. Beside the differences described above, one important thing to be mentioned is the fit and comfort. Both ATH-IM50 and ATH-IM70 are design to be worn over the ears, and due to the design, some people have issue with the fitting. AD01 conventional bullet shape design is actually more flexible for any wearing style, and also allow deeper insertion into ear canal. Therefore AD01 will be most likely has less fitting issue.
     
     
     
    12bP1130556.jpg
     
    Comparison with Narmoo S1 (two ways dual dynamic)
    When I tried AD01 for the first time, it immediately reminded my of one of my favorite IEM, the Narmoo S1. When I compared them, I was right, they surprisingly sound really close. So close that I guess they must be designed by the same IEM engineer, or at least using the same drivers. According the their website Narmoo S1 is using 10 mm woofer and 6 mm tweeter, while AD01 is using 9.8 mm woofer and 6.0 mm tweeter. They have the same sensitivity at 102dB/1mW (S.P.L at 1KHz), so I don't have to do any volume adjustment when comparing them. Most probably they utilize the same drivers. There is a slight difference in impedance; Narmoo S1 is rated at 10 ohms, while AD01 is 9 ohms.  Anyway, they sound surprisingly very close to my ears. After comparing them for hours using the same large bore ear tips, I would say their tonal balance is really close, like 95% similar. AD01 is like a tad smoother and more refined, slightly deeper sub bass, and has a few percents improvement in dynamic. There is a very slight difference in presentation, where Narmoo S1 is a little more forward than AD01. Besides that, other physical differences are, Narmoo S1 shell feels very light and some users reported slight discomfort from the knurling texture. AD01 shell feels heavier, smoother surface, and more solid. AD01 cable is detachable, and Narmoo S1 cable is not. I experienced driver flex with Narmoo S1, while there is no driver flex with AD01. So, are those differences justify the price difference? Depend on the priority. Some people prefer detachable cable, and some allergic to driver flex, so the price difference is justifiable. But those on tight budget, Narmoo S1 is really a good alternative for those looking for a fun sounding IEM with deep and good bass. Both are highly recommended in my book.
     
    13P1130522.jpg
     
     
    Comparison with MEElectronics M-Duo (two ways dual dynamic)
    There is no contest here, AD01 sounds way better than M-Duo. M-Duo tonal balance is not natural, the midrange sounds muffled, bass is boomy and loose, the mid bass is over emphasized, and the high frequency driver doesn't sound coherent with the low frequency driver. I don't have to write further, AD01 is a clear winner here.
     
    Comparison with TDK IE800 (two ways dual dynamic)
    Though TDK IE800 is a dual dynamic drivers IEM, somehow I always have the impression that TDK IE800 sounds like an excellent dual balanced armature drivers IEM. IE800 has good micro detail, and share some signature of balanced armature IEM. IE800 has neutral, flat frequency response, especially from mids to treble. Bass level is slightly lower than my personal preference. Perceived like Bass -1 and Treble 0 in comparison to the midrange. IE800 has slightly better perceived detail and clarity as compared to the AD01, but lacking in dynamic, and also lacking in bass. IE800 always sound like it is a hard to drive IEM. Very good tonal balance but rather lacking in dynamic, similar to what I often hear from a good dual BA IEMs. Though tonality wise AD01 is not as neutral as IE800, AD01 offers a lot more power and oomph. Many recordings sound good on IE800, but for certain music like EDM, good dynamic is a must. IE800 sounds very good, but AD01 sounds more enjoyable.
     
     
     

    Comparison with other IEMs in similar price category

     
    14P1130531.jpg
     
    Comparison with Yamaha EPH-100
    Yamaha EPH-100 has a smooth 'dark chocolate' type of sound signature, some mild emphasize on the lower midrange with nice smooth chocolaty texture. A little more colored than AD01. EPH-100 is slightly darker than AD01, the upper treble rolls off earlier. AD01 has better frequency extension than EPH-100, more sub bass and more transparent upper treble. Bass to mid bass level is approximately about the same, but AD01 bass extends lower. EPH-100 tonality is somewhere close to ATH-IM50 and ATH-IM70, but with slightly less treble extension. EPH-100 has about the same smooth texture as the AD01. EPH-100 was one of my favorite front mounted micro driver IEM, but now I prefer AD01 over EPH-100 for a more spacious imaging and a more extended frequency response.
     
    Comparison with Brainwavz S5
    Brainwavz S5 emphasizes more on clarity, and sounds brighter. Perceived detail and clarity are better on S5. Bass is faster and punchier on S5, but also slightly thinner and doesn't have sub bass rumble as good as AD01. Bass is not lacking on S5, but clearly less emphasized. Both have smooth frequency response, but different emphasize. I indicated AD01 Bass as +1 and Treble as -1 with comparison to the midrange, and S5 would be Bass -1 and Treble +1. Both are very good IEMs, about in the same class, only different emphasize in tonality. Both represent my tolerable margin for bassy or bright IEMs. More bassy than AD01 I would call too bassy, and brighter than S5 I would call too bright. Currently 1964 Ears V3 is my reference for 0, or flat tonality. For movie and EDM, AD01 would be my choice. While for classical music, Brainwavz S5 is the better choice.
     
     
     
     

    Features and Specifications

     
    The stock black cable is a little coiling, and the upgrade copper color cable is more flexible and doesn't coil as much. As for the sound quality between the 2 cables, the difference is minimal. From what I can hear, the upgrade cable is only a tad more transparent and smoother, just a tad. While the black cable is a tad dryer in texture. I asked a friend of mine to compare the 2 cables, and he has more or less the same impression. Honestly the difference is very little, and not at the level that I might be able to pass in a blind test. IMHO, the benefit from the upgrade cable is more on the flexibility and the quality of the cable's jacket which does feel much better than the stock black cable.
     
    15P1130502.jpg
     
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    I like the 2mm DC connector for the connection to the driver. The main benefit as compared to 2 pins connector, the cylindrical DC connector is rotate-able, so when wearing the earphones over the ears, we can just rotate it to adjust the cable placement on the ear to make the cable stays nicely on the ear. MMCX connector is also rotate-able but a bit loose, while the 2mm DC connector is more firm and doesn't rotate loosely like MMCX.
     
     
    17P1130443.jpg
     
    18P1130564.jpg
     
     

    Specification:

    Driver unit: 9.8mm and 6.0mm Dual Dynamic Driver
    Rated Impedance: 9 Ohm
    Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
    Frequency response: 10Hz- 25KHz
    Rated power: 10 mW
    Maximum input power: 30 mW
    Plug: 3.5mm dual-channel plug
    Cable: Detachable Y cable, 1.30 m, 18N OFC cable
    Nozzle size: 4.5 mm
    Colour: Black and Silver
     
     
     
    I consider Alpha and Delta AD01 a successful beginning of LMUE house brand. I'm saying this not just for the sake of review, but I've been observing myself that since I have AD01, I've been reaching to it quite often, more than my other IEMs. Probably I'm in the mood for good bass. But to be honest, I like it a lot, and I placed AD01 in my list of highly recommended IEMs. Clearly one of the best bassy IEM I ever had. Kudos to Lend Me UR Ears!
     
    19P1130515.jpg
     
     
     
     

    Equipment used in this review:

     

    Earphones / IEMs:

    1964 Ears V3
    Audio-Technica ATH-IM50
    Audio-Technica ATH-IM70
    DUNU DN-2000
    MEElectronics M-Duo
    Narmoo S1
    TDK IE800
    Brainwavz S5
    Yamaha EPH-100
     

    DAPs & DACs:

    AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.0c
    Cayin C5 DAC
    Centrance DACport
    Fiio X3 2nd gen
    iBasso DX90
    Samsung Galaxy S4
     

    Computer & Player:

    DIY Desktop PC: Gigabyte GA-H77-D3H-MVP motherboard, Intel i7-3770, 16 GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1.
    foobar2000 v1.3.3
     
     
     

    Some recordings used in this review:


    1. View previous replies...
    2. Fruggnts
      Another extremely detailed review !! Awesome! enjoying the creditable read!!
        
      Fruggnts, Sep 22, 2015
    3. Groumpf
      Thanks for this review! This helped making my mind into buying these buds, and I really love them!
      Just a question about your Comply T500 foam eartips : what size are the ones on your photograph (and that matches the white oned supplied with the buds)?
      http://cdn.head-fi.org/f/fc/fcdccb6f_07P1130479.jpeg
      Medium? Large?
      Thanks
      Groumpf, Oct 4, 2016
    4. earfonia
      @Groumpf congrats! AD01 is still among the best $100 IEMs out there. 
      The T500 eartips, I'm not really sure of the size. I think I got that from IM50, most probably medium size.
      earfonia, Oct 4, 2016
  6. Tom22
    A First timer for Lendme Ur Ears thats not to be dismissed!
    Written by Tom22
    Published Sep 10, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - rich, smooth bass, great clarity, detachable cables, replaceable earpieces, solid construction, plentiful accessories, subtle styling
    Cons - a bit bassy, cable retains a bit of memory.
    The Alpha & Delta AD01 is the prized first entry of popular reseller, Lendme Ur Ears.  They decided to take a stab at the portable audio market, in particularly at the rather crowded $100 price point. It’s certainly a rather ambitious goal. Lets see if they have succeeded in making a splash in the seemingly ever-changing audio scene.
     
    Before I begin I want to thank Teo as well as Lendme Ur Ears for sending me a review sample. If you would rather watch this review, please click on the link below, be sure to like, subscribe, share and comment! I look forward to hearing your feedback!
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Design: At the time this review, the AD01 comes in two colours, the sleek black, and a “silver bullet” shade. The pair I have on hand is the black variation with a rather minimalist design, that’s sleek and subtle, reminiscent of a pellet. No branding is found on either the housing or cable, making for a difficult time identifying what company this earphone belongs to. On the flip side, this is quite refreshing in today’s society where we are bombarded with branding and logos left and right.
     
    Overall: 7/10
     
    500x500px-LL-61bc629d_image.jpg    20150902_135905.jpg    20150902_135419.jpg
     
     
     
     
     
    Accessories: The AD01 comes with the following:
    A protective shell carrying case with a lanyard strap
    A wide assortment of eartips (3 pairs of narrow bore black single flanges, 3 sets of colour coordinated hybrids, 3 sets of wide bore biflanges)
    * A minor quibble. I would have preferred to have a mesh or pocket for the earphones and various included eartips*
     
    Overall: 9/10
    500x500px-LL-64635da9_image.jpg
     
     
    Build Quality- Very solid. The all-metal housing exudes a weighty but not intimating feeling. They come equipped with a pair of 2mm DC plug connectors (yes the AD01 come with a detachable cable feature).  The cable connectors are secure and feel quite robust, requiring moderate force upon removal and insertion. Lend Me Ur Ears stated that the left and right earpieces are interchangeable are sold separately for easy replacement on their website. They also sell replacement cables in two configurations: the stock black cable and an upgraded bronze/copper, transparent cable (intended to improve sonically). Both cables feel well made, with good very well relieved joints, a compact y split with a strong cable cinch and terminate in L shape headphone jack. However, my issue(s) with the cable is that it tends to retain memory, and carries some cable noise. (the upgraded cable seems to be an improvement in these areas).
    Overall: 8.5/10
    ScreenShot2015-09-03at1.31.45AM.png     20150902_135855.jpg
     
    20150902_135830.jpg      20150902_135745.jpg   20150902_140024.jpg
     
    20150902_140003.jpg  
     
     
     
     
    Comfort- The housing is very smooth and is devoid of sharp edges that may carry the potential to cause irritation for some users. These earphones were designed to be very practical, allowing them to slip in out of your ears quickly, without fuss.  (I preferred wearing these cable down, with the earphones sitting flush against my ears). The housing is on the chunkier side, so these may not be as comfortable as the tiny Hifiman RE400, due to the sheer footprint size. I found the soft wide bore double flanges to complement the AD01 on a comfort and a sound perspective, but more on the sound later.
    Overall: 8/10
    20150902_135546.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Isolation: I found the isolation to be slightly above average. The AD01 as pointed out my by friend nmathesis, is a multivented design, with a vent on the underside of the nozzle, and another vent on the rear side of the housing. That said I found the isolation to be sufficient for outside and commuting use, where I imagine is the environment the AD01 is intended for, see below.
    Overall: 7.5/10
     
    20150902_135707.jpg
     
     
    Sound:  The AD01 is packed a 9.0mm and a 6.0mm dynamic driver in earpiece. Alpha and Delta had not divulged the materials and the arrangement of these drivers.
    That said, in terms of sound signature, I would characterize the AD01 as a slightly V shaped, but takes cues from its competitors with a smooth, warm sound. This makes the AD01 a rather unique because the bass is rich and smooth, but because of the slightly emphasized treble, it doesn’t dull or sleepy.
     
    I was also given the upgraded cable, that was described to improve the sonic performance of the AD01, I personally did not hear any differences between the two cables, but I preferred the upgraded cable because it retained less memory and I was quite drawn to the transparent bronze colour. 
     
    Let me clarify below:
     
    Bass: The bass on the AD01 is above neutral. It’s walking a fine line between being bassy , with a very satisfying punch. The bass is robust and well rounded with a thicker, smooth mid-bass response with great depth and rumble down low without sounding overly boomy. The bass is well rounded with medium speed with a hint of looseness, but nothing overblown.
     
    Midrange: The midrange is cleverly tuned, with good clarity without being buried behind the punchy bass by any means. The lower midrange is a bit on the thicker side, giving male vocals  strong presence, and a bit of chesty sound. I don’t listen to much jazz or blues much on the tracks I did test them on, it mades Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble nice and rich.  The upper midrange seems to be reined in a bit, to avoid strident female vocals and preventing saxophones from sounding overly energetic, but is slightly thinner, aiding in terms of clarity.
     
    Treble: The treble is nicely detailed without sounding bright. The treble has a slightly emphasized lower treble, giving cymbals a nice crisp response, but tapers off to prevent any added sibilance. The treble is not what I would call “brilliant or ground breaking”, its nicely tuned to be snappy but can benefit with a bit more extension.
     
    Soundstage: Due to the treble tapering off, the AD01 does not have quite have that airy soundstage, but has a nice left and right imaging, avoiding the congestion that  warmer-sounding earphones typically suffer from.
     
    Comparing with the Audio Technica Im70 ($150).
    These are quite similar with a few notable tweaks. The AD01 has a similar characteristic in the bass, smooth abeit in the thicker end. However the AD01 has better extension down low, with a better sense of depth and rumble. The Im70 on the other hand, has a “lusher” and more forward warmer midrange, which makes vocals in particularly female vocals quite beautiful. Both are smooth sounding, but I would give the edge to the AD01 in terms of clarity.
     
    Comparing them to the Dunu Titan 1 ($120-150)
    The Titan 1 has the edge in terms of detail retrieval, and bass texture and clarity. But a common criticism of the Titan 1s, myself included is the brighter treble that’s a bit metallic, which can be a bit fatiguing for some listeners.  This is where the AD01 fills that role, as a smoother alternative, but still has a healthy dose of “pizz zazz” up top.
     
    Overall: 8.5/10
     
    In conclusion,
    I’m very pleased to say I can wholeheartedly recommend the AD01 as almost a complete package for someone looking for a bassy all rounder, it comes with a wide array of accessories (plus detachable cables!) with a simple, and practical no- nonsense design. It also has a sound signature that is nicely detailed, that’s rich without being too rich, and is smooth without being completely devoid of energy. Great first entry Lendme Ur Ears! One of my favorites!
     
     
    Possible areas for improvement:
    I hope that the cables have a both a visual and tactile marking to help distinguish between the left and right side (as the earpieces are identical, and interchangeable, this makes for a bit of a task when taking them out of their case
    Providing pouches in the hard shell carrying case (2 ideally) to better fasten the headphones and accessories (cables and such).
     
    Trading a bit of that bass for bit more extension in the treble.
    The material on the hybrid silicone is a bit hard and brittle on my pair, causing it to rip, I hope for a softer material to be used on future iterations.
     
    20150902_135935.jpg    20150902_135401.jpg
     
     
     
     
     
    Overall: 48.5/60= 81%
      leobigfield and hakushondaimao like this.
    1. Hawaiibadboy
      Nice review. I am a big fan of the fun without mid scooped sound they made. The balanced it out nice. 1970's rock sounds epic!
      Hawaiibadboy, Sep 10, 2015
    2. earfonia
      Nice review! I have more or less similar impression as yours :)
      earfonia, Sep 19, 2015
    3. Tom22
      @Hawaiibadboy I agree, the mids aren't missing on these guys, and the upper mids are dry but not too dry =) smooth but not too smooth. @earfonia I'm honored to hear you enjoyed my review. =) did you find any silicones that mimic what the complys did for your pair? I haven't tried them yet, only the included stock foam (that's included), which I think is quite nice especially given its an add on, I wonder where I can get more? hopefully its not as expensive as complys =(
      Tom22, Sep 24, 2015
  7. Hawaiibadboy
    No amp? No EQ? No problem. Easy to drive fun sounding IEM.
    Written by Hawaiibadboy
    Published Aug 27, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Bass tuned just right overall frequency tuned quite well actually.
    Cons - A similar tuned larger driver higher max power version would be nice

     ​

     
     
     ​

     ​
     ​
    [​IMG]
     ​
     ​
     ​

    You gonna get an amp now? ...or wait?​

    4494showing.jpg
    o.k., you gonna wait? keep reading..​
     
     
     
     
     
     

    SUB-BASS

     
    (20-60Hz)
    1. 20Hz
    2. 30Hz
    3. 40Hz
    4. 50Hz
    5. 60Hz
     
     

    MID-BASS

     
    (65-120Hz)
    1. 65Hz
    2. 75Hz
    3. 85Hz
    4. 95Hz
    5. 100Hz
    6. 110Hz
    7. 120Hz
     
     

    UPPER-BASS

    (125-250Hz)
    1. 125Hz
    2. 150Hz
    3. 175Hz
    4. 200Hz
    5. 220Hz
    6. 250Hz
     
     
     
     
     

     

    I think it's safe to say I got an offer to review these because they are good with bass

     
     
    They are.
     
     
    I always listen with an amp and a lot of eq boosting regardless of genre' as the bass will not show itself if it's not there.  no audio info..... no worry ......that a U.G.K track on a random shuffle playlist is gonna bass bomb the Led Zeppelin track that comes right behind it. It doesn't and wouldn't happen.
     
    There is a lot of parroting of beliefs that are based on nothing and just generic good ole' fashion misinformation.  One would be that a pair of earphones in or out with an elevated low end response is not going to play well with certain genre' Really? Roger Waters does not sound like he punched out Nick Mason and unplugged David Gilmour's guitar while jumping on a stack of amps when my bass slope for a Hip hop track rolls right into a Pink Floyd track.
     
    A flattish response curve is ideal for 2 simple reasons and one is that it will replay the track closer to the original mastering and second if one does want to manipulate the curve they have a much easier time if a flat eq is pretty much in-line with the curve.
    That's it. Purist thinking. Very simple actually. That it's associated with expensive gear is a kinda weird joke.
    The Sony MDR7506 or older versions are what the mixers of some famous music were wearing when laying down Phil Spector like "Walls of Sound"
    They cost $88 bucks.
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Now...
     
     
    IMGP3092.jpg
     
     
     
     
    IMGP3090.jpg
     
     
     
     
    IMGP3087.jpg
     
     
     
    IMGP3086.jpg
     
     
     
    IMGP3085.jpg
     
    IMGP3084.jpg
     
     
     
    This is a dual driver set that has a lower end that is elevated. There is no roll off in the sub-bass. that would be a death blow for me as the only set of roll off music gear I own is the Sony MA900 and I make that work cuz they shine in many other ways. An IEM with little or rolled off bass is a non starter for me...we ain't going anywhere. Fleetwood Mac isn't gonna sound good and neither is 2pac.
     
    The bass to mid transition which is the hardest zone to get right is nice in an M-Audio Q40 kinda way (to compare to an over ear) and that is high praise.
     
    Now the mids go from about 300Hz-5000khz.
     
    If this set has any issue it is somewhere between 850-2,500Hz.  The eq below is really simple and not un-common and took a thinness out of the replay and gave some body to everything.
     
     
    IMGP3050.jpg
     
     
     
    The highs are really smooth and not rolled off like my Aurisonics 2.5 which cost me $800.00 here in Japan.
    These AD01 are not on the same level but it shows that most everything has some kind of an issue somewhere along the line...literally and it happens to stuff that costs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,$900.00.
     
     The highs were the nicest surprise as the talk of a "V" response gave me thoughts of piercing treble. Nope...didn't have that problem and it wasn't rolled...neat ******* trick for about $100 bucks
     
     
    The only true issue is the power handling which is the rub....it's kinda perfect for a large group of folks. I listen to stuff with massive power and eq elevation and I'd kill these but I am a ******* relic. A Car Audio bass competitor who ported himself to personal audio. I'm in the minority.  I know that because i get a lot of PM's from folks asking for advice and the idea of an amp and an EQ seems to be too far a walk for them.  They got an ipod/iphone or a walkman and just want some ******* bass...what's with me and my vids? Is there any middle ground? WTF??
     
    If middle ground is a set that plays Rock/Rap/Reggae and has no issue with electric or acoustic guitar and is just plug and play?...... than this is your middle ground. The bass is really really nice. They knew that and sent them to me or they are looking for a niche' and looking to the bassheads? Doesn't matter to me as they really are a nice tuned set and stupid cheap,lots of tips and well made.
     
    That's a lot of WIN.
     
     

    Unboxing vid
     

     
    [​IMG]
     

     

    From the site:

     
    Dual Driver Design for Excellent Sound Quality
    In designing this IEM, we aimed to create a pair of earphones that has a strong punch bass while maintaining the overall clarity in the mids and the highs. To this end, a dual driver design is used for such purposes. 
    Modular Design
    AD01 also adopts a modular design. This means that that drivers and the wires can be easily replaceable if damaged or lost. The drivers and wires will be made available for sale separately.
    Well designed connection pins    
    For AD01 to use a modular design, the wires needs to be detachable. However, several existing solutions for the connector pins can lead to loose connection overtime. To this end, AD01 overcomes such build quality issues by adopting the 2mm dc plug connector pins which are extensively tested for reliability. 
    Accessories: 
    1. 1 pair of foam tips
    2. 3 pairs of biflange tips
    3. 6 pairs of silicon tips of various sizes
    4. 1 hard case 
    5. 1 pair of ear guides 
    Specification: 
    1. Driver unit: 9.8mm and 6.0mm Dual Dynamic Driver
    2. Rated Impedance: 9 Ohm 
    3. Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW 
    4. Frequency response: 10Hz- 25KHz 
    5. Rated power: 10 mW 
    6. Maximum input power: 30 mW 
    7. Plug: 3.5mm dual-channel plug 
    8. Cable: 1.30 mm 18N OFC cable
     
     
     
     
     

     
    There is no disclaimer. If you think I'd blow smoke up asses to play with a set of $100.00 IEM then you don't know me.
     
     
     
     
     Thanks to Lend me UR ears
     
     
     
     
     
     
    IMGP3116.jpg
    1. gikigill
      Well detailed and fleshed out review. Might get these.
      gikigill, Oct 12, 2015
  8. Cotnijoe
    LMUE AD01: The Punch That Average Consumers Love
    Written by Cotnijoe
    Published Aug 20, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Presentation, Lots of Accessories, Awesome Ability to Replace Earpieces, Exciting Punch In Bass
    Cons - Poor L/R Indication, Slower and Less Detailed Sound
    Introduction:
    Lend Me Ur Ear (LMUE) is a Singaporean-based dealer that has made many Asian brands, such as Vsonic and Fidue, available to the international market. LMUE is a dealer that I’ve personally purchased from before, and my experience with them has been very positive. After being in the business for a few years, LMUE decided to use the experience they’ve gained from being an audio retailer and create their own set of IEMs. The Alpha & Delta AD01 is a dual dynamic driver IEM that was the results of their efforts. The particular unit that I have is part of the North American Tour that a fellow Head-Fier and LMUE set up, and I’d like to give a thank you to LMUE for bringing us the opportunity to try their new IEM as well as for their great service!
     
    Packaging and Accessories:
    I don’t think I know of any audio product under 100 dollars that is as well-presented as the AD01. The AD01 comes in a nice blue box that opens like a jewelry box. At a first glance of what’s inside, I’m immediately reminded of the packaging from Tralucent Audio, but watered down a few notches. There are different slots in the box where the cables, accessories, and housing of the IEM are as well as a few special slots for some extra ear tips. Again, for an IEM under 100 dollars, the presentation of the AD01 is top notch.
     
    The AD01 also comes with a generous number of accessories. There are a good amount of silicon tips (the silicon tips look like they may be Sony tips), a pair of comply tips, an ear guide, as well as a hard carrying case. What’s also included is the optional upgrade cable, which can be bought on the side for an additional 30 dollars or so. I personally enjoy clear cables that allow me to see individual strands that are inside the cable. So for those that would like to score a few extra style points, the upgrade cable is certainly something worth considering, as it’s not overly expensive. LMUE also sell replacement earpieces, which I think is a fantastic service that they provide to insure that there’s a fairly economic way of replacing the AD01 if it breaks after its warranty. Big thumbs up to LMUE for offering this kind of service.
     
    FullSizeRender.jpg
    Very Nice Presentation and Packaging of the AD01
     
    Build, Design, and Comfort:
    The AD01’s metal housing feels very sturdy while remaining relatively light. The cable, both stock and extra, are also very well build and very sturdy with good strain relief at the 90 degree angle jack. At 100 dollars, I think the AD01is a very well-built product.
     
    The cable is detachable, and the connector reminds me very much of those used by Sleek Audio. I personally feel that the cable may detach a little too easily, and those that like to stuff their earphones in their backpack or purse and just go might have to search through their backpack to find one of the earpieces every now and then. That doesn’t mean the connection is loose though. When wearing the AD01, you’ll never have any issues with the connector coming off because of the cable being tugged at. Overall easy to use and simple design that works.
     
    One downside to the earpieces being replaceable if damaged or lost is that there’s no right/left indicator on the housing itself. Instead, the indicators are on the cable. Unfortunately, the indicators are way too damn hard to read. Rather than having almost illegible R or L on the cable, I think simply a red and blue dot would have been much more effective.
     
    Overall comfort of the AD01 is very good. The housing, while perhaps a bit bulky, is quite comfortable and lightweight. Its sound isolation is average, as it doesn’t insert particularly deep. The AD01 can be worn both straight down and over the ear with the ear guide provided – I’ve found both to work very well. Cable noise isn’t a big issue with the AD01, but is nonetheless present. I do find that wearing the cable over the ear reduces cable noise a bit and is my preferred method of wearing the AD01 because I hate cable noise.
     
    Listening Impressions:
    I’ve had more time in the house during the week that I had with the AD01, so most of my listening was done with my desktop setup running Foobar > Schiit Wyrd > Asus Essence III DAC/Amp > AD01. The setup is probably a bit overkill for the AD01, but the AD01 isn’t particularly sensitive so the setup drives it quite well. In addition, I’ve been using this setup more and more for most of my listening, pairing the AD01 with it gives me a more consistent listening experience as well.
     
    As a whole, the AD01 is a v-shaped sounding IEM with most of its emphasis on the mid bass and lower midrange, giving it a more colored and warm sound.
     
    The bass is certainly big and bold, and one of the bassiest products I’ve tried in the past year or so. Bass impact is surprisingly good in terms of tightness in its punch for the amount of bass boost that the AD01 has, and the bass also extends quite well into the bottom end. I think LMUE did a respectable job bringing forth so much bass without the sound of the AD01 becoming boomy. However, I do find the caveat to the AD01 having such an accentuated bass is that bass texture and separation isn’t quite up to par with what it could be. The bassline of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” possibly the most badass bassline to ever exist, while punchy, didn’t really have the grit to its texture that makes it so satisfying for me. Overall bass decay is also a bit slow, which also adds to the bass’s separation and texture being a bit more difficult to distinguish.
     
    The midrange of the AD01 has more emphasis on the lower midrange, and is fairly relaxed sounding overall. The accentuated lower end does color the midrange a bit, giving the AD01 a warmer and slightly thicker sound. The upper end of the AD01’s midrange is more recessed relative to the lower midrange and lower treble of the AD01, giving the AD01’s midrange a fairly smooth sound that, to me, is just a little lacking in detail. Despite that though, I do have to commend the AD01 for remaining clean sounding with relatively good separation despite its emphasis on the lower end.
     
    The treble tuning of the AD01 is a bit interesting. There’s a peak at 3kHz and 5kHz, but then the AD01 takes quite a bit of a dive after 5kHz and eventually rolls of around 15kHz or so. The lower treble peaks are present, but not jarring to me. It gives instruments a bit more edge, texture, and crispness, which I personally like, but others may find a tad artificial sounding. Besides that, the treble is quite smooth, without any other peaks that would cause any excessive harshness. Extension is fine on the AD01, but the sound does begin to roll off past 15kHz. For that reason, while not closed-in sounding, the AD01 doesn’t offer the airiest or open sound.
     
    Soundstage I think is fair on the AD01. It still fairly in-your-head, but does have a good sense of extension in all directions. Left/right imaging is pretty good overall, but the warmer and less airy sound of the AD01 doesn’t really allow for the most natural experience.
     
    The sound signature of the AD01 isn’t really my cup of tea. The bass is a good bit more boosted than I’m used to and the midrange is just a bit too pulled back for me. The tuning is, however, very consumer friendly and certainly makes a whole lot of sense for its target audience.
     
    FullSizeRender1.jpg
    Quick Shot of AD01 With Upgrade Cable
     
    Ending Thoughts:
    The AD01 is certainly a good first effort from LMUE. The presentation and accessories that comes with the AD01 as well as the ability to get replacement earpieces is unseen in an IEM of its price. In fact, it’s hard to find such services at all. I think at its price of just under 100 dollars, the ability to replace the earpieces makes the AD01 a very safe investment that could save you a lot down the road. Despite that, I do feel that the price of the AD01 is just a tad steeper than I would like. While you certainly don’t get the benefits and services or the sheer bass punch of the AD01 in most other IEMs at a lower price, I do feel that you can get better sound for less – unless you really want the extra bass punch. There are IEMs that have enough bass to satisfy most people while retaining better detail than the AD01, so unless you’re looking to buy an IEM that you’ll be using for years and years down the road, I think there are other options available. Nonetheless, I do commend LMUE on putting forth their first IEM, and I am excited to see what else they can do.
      thatBeatsguy likes this.
    1. hakushondaimao
      Looks like we had similar impressions. Good first effort, but would like to see a bit less bass and more midrange in an AD02.
      hakushondaimao, Aug 20, 2015
  9. hakushondaimao
    Nice First Effort from LMUE, with a Fun Personality
    Written by hakushondaimao
    Published Aug 16, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality; sturdy, detachable cable; fun, consumer-friendly SQ; tip variety; comfortable fit
    Cons - Recessed mids; bass transients with fast tempos; slightly springy cable
    A few weeks ago, my great Head-Fi pal @nmatheis contacted me and asked if I’d like to coordinate a Canadian tour of a new IEM from Lend Me UR Ears (herein known as LMUE). I knew of the company from their online store, but wasn’t aware they’d decided to try their hand at designing and manufacturing their own product. Initial information on the Alpha & Delta AD01 was that it seemed like a solid product with good build quality and a consumer-friendly sound signature. I’m always up for trying a new piece of kit, so jumped at the chance and said yes.
     
    0.ProductImage.jpg
     
    I am not affiliated with LMUE in any way, and was sent a sample the AD01 in order to try out the product, write an unbiased review, and coordinate the Canadian review tour. I have not derived any benefit as a result.
     
    About the AD01
     
    The AD01 is a dual dynamic driver (9.8 mm and 6.0 mm) IEM with solidly built metal housing (silver or black) and detachable cable. Cable connector is a 2.0 mm DC plug that fits snugly and seems very robust and durable. The 2 mm connector is shorter than that used on some other IEMs (like the newer T-Peos Altone series), which allows for both a sturdy connection and a reasonable housing cylinder length.
     
    1.Product.jpg
     
    2.Comparison.jpg
     
    The cable seems very well made, with plentiful strain relief on connectors and the L-shaped plug, and at the y-split. There is a cinch for securing the cable when worn up around the ears. The cable has some spring to it, so the cinch is a necessity.
     
    Product specifications include:
    1. Rated Impedance: 9 Ohm
    2. Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
    3. Frequency response: 10Hz- 25KHz
    4. Rated power: 10 mW
    5. Maximum input power: 30 mW
    6. Plug: 3.5mm dual-channel L-shaped plug
    7. Cable: 1.30 mm 18N OFC cable (black casing)
     
    Standard accessories include:
    1. 1 pair of foam tips
    2. 3 pairs of bi-flange tips
    3. 6 pairs of silicon tips of various sizes
    4. 1 hard case
     
    3.Tips.jpg
     
    In addition to the standard black cable, the tour unit also came with an upgrade cable with a clear casing. I’m not 100% sure of how the cable differs from the stock black cable, but I did find the upgrade cable slightly less springy so used it exclusively in my listening.
     
    Unboxing images:
     
    4.Unboxing.jpg
     
    5.Unboxing.jpg
     
    6.Unboxing.jpg
     
    6.5.Unboxing.jpg
     
    About Me
     
    Before getting into the review, a little about me. I’m 50 years old, and so probably have deficiencies in my hearing (in a recent, entirely non-scientific test I discovered I can’t really hear anything over about 15 kHz, with roll-of starting around 12 or 13 kHz, which is actually pretty good for someone of my vintage). I’ve been a music lover for decades, but am still relatively new to the MidFi/HiFi/Head-Fi game; I haven’t listened to a lot of high-end equipment, and am not an expert on the technical aspects of electronics or musical terminology. I have read a lot of reviews and threads on Head-Fi, and spend a lot of time on the site; as such I know what has been helpful to me in reviews and endeavor to provide what I consider useful insights to help others make decisions about items they might want to try, buy or avoid.
     
    I listen to a variety of music genres, in particular, Classical (mostly mid 1700s to mid/late 1800s), Jazz (late ‘50s to early 70’s), Rock and some Prog-Rock (‘70s), ‘80s New Wave/Electro, and Trip Hop/Acid Jazz (90’s into 00’s). My preferred sound signature would be characterized by a good sub-bass presence, tight mid bass, and relatively linear, detailed mids and highs. I like my music quite lush and rich, but with a good level of detail. I’m not a bass-head, am not a big fan of anything too boomy, and don’t like highs that are too intense or harsh.
     
    The Review
     
    Without further ado, here are my impressions of the AD01. As I usually do, I’ve divided my observations into two sections: first straight listening for general AD01-specific sound characteristics, and second comparisons with what I consider to be comparable products. Before doing any critical listening, I used the AD01 as my sole IEM for a few days to adjust my ears and brain to the sound signature. General listening was done using my Hidizs AP100, and comparisons using the Fiio X3ii. Both DAPs are powerful enough to drive the IEMs used, so I didn’t bother with additional, external amplification.
     
    8.ListeningHidizs.jpg
     
    General Listening
     
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977): Usually when I do listening evaluations of DAPs or headphones, I pick one song from a variety of albums, with each chosen to showcase different elements of audio performance. I was going to choose a Fleetwood Mac track, but wasn’t set on which and had to do some dishes, so I decided to just listen to Rumours from start to finish and figure out a review track as I went along. About three songs in it came to me that this is perhaps the perfect review album as it has a mix of vocal styles, great instrumental variety and detail, and energy levels ranging from slow ballads to energetic, more rocking numbers.
     
    Have to say it’s been a while since I enjoyed this album as much as through the AD01s. Bass is punchy, with excellent quality in both sub- and mid-bass. Kick drum and bass have good rumble and attack, and although bass is somewhat emphasized, there’s no bleed or impact on quality of mids and highs. “The Chain”, with thumping kick drum and energetic bass line is a revelation. Mids are a touch on the dry side and very slightly recessed, and highs have a nice sparkle and clarity without being harsh or fatiguing. Stevie Nicks’ vocal tracks sound wonderful, with her raspy, throaty voice beautifully clear and detailed on “Dreams” and “Gold Dust Woman.” Christine McVie’s smooth, silky voice is airy and intimate, with hushed stillness to the softer sections on “Songbird”, and energy and dynamism when she pushes a bit harder on “You Make Loving Fun” and “Oh Daddy.” Lindsey Buckingham’s vocals are a bit subdued on tracks like “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way”, but still have nice tone and detail. Highlight for me throughout the album is the guitars; both electric and acoustic have a glittering presence, with super clarity and detail. “Never Going Back” with its picked guitar is a lovely listen, with nice left-right separation, while the sharp electric guitar solos in “Go Your Own Way” have energy and a piercing quality, though without harshness. And again on “The Chain,” the dobro and piercing electric solo all have wonderful quality and definition. Throughout the album, guitars, high hat, snare and other higher frequency sounds have a crispness that gives an almost holographic feel to the music and impression of soundstage.
     
    Dire Straits – Dire Straits (1978): So, figured I’d do a play-through of another favourite album. Again, guitars rule! “Water Of Love” opens, and features thoughout, some gorgeously picked guitar, and this is clear and crisp, but not jarring. Mark Knopfler’s vocals are detailed and textured, but a touch subdued and lacking impact; there’s that mid dryness again. Bass and kick drum are lively and prominent without taking over, with the bass opening to “Six Blade Knife” really thumping, driving and energetic, while guitar wails and sings sweetly and clearly up on high. High hat on “Setting Me Up” is brilliant, tap-tap-tapping along to good effect. “Sultans Of Swing” swings, as it should, and again it’s the bass chugging along providing a pulsing heartbeat, and guitars glistening up high that really shine. Again, as with Rumours, I’m impressed with the sound coming from the AD01, and thoroughly enjoying the listening experience.
     
    Comparison Listening
     
    Bass Presence: Sade – Bullet Proof Soul (from Love Deluxe, 1992): I had several questions on the dedicated AD01 forum thread around bassiness in relation to other in-ears in my possession, in particular the RHA MA750 and the Brainwavs S0 (little sister to the S5), so decided to include a comparison in the review. I chose this Sade track as it’s my go-to bass-heavy track. Switched AD01 stock silicon tips to Spinfits as I didn’t want tip variation to be a difference maker in the sound comparison (I thus used Spinfits on MA750 and S0 as well).
    1. AD01: Bass is full and crunching. Strong rumble and reverb in sub bass, which slightly dominates the track. Snare drum is clear, nicely defined and textured, but not dry. Sax (lower notes), piano (mostly left-handed chords) and male backing vocal are slightly recessed (somewhat expected from the sound signature noted in previous listening observations). Sade’s vocal is ever so slightly smoothed and lacking in the air I usually associate with her singing (her voice is quite low, so the recessed mids seem to be playing into that).
    2. MA750: Bass is less round and prominent than AD01, particularly in sub-bass rumble. Tighter, less reverb, drier quality. Wouldn’t say it’s absent or lacking, but more balanced, and doesn’t dominate the track as much, if at all. Snare drier and less prominent. Sax, piano and male vocal nice and clear with good brightness and texture. Interplay of male and female backing vocals and Sade’s lead more noticeable and effective. Overall much more linear, natural presentation.
    3. S0: Bass more focused on mid- than sub-bass compared to AD01 and MA750. Warm, mid-forward, somewhat muffled sound signature. Snares a bit hollow and recessed. Sade’s vocal nicely textured, and interplay with background singers more noticeable than AD01, but less than MA750. Sax and piano have a warm, smoothed-over quality, lacking detail and clarity. Soundstage closed in, with sound very much inside the head.
    4. AD01 again, with stock tips: Just out of interest, I decided to give the same track a listen using stock tips as I hadn’t noticed the bass emphasis to the extent I hear with the Spinfits. Stock tips really tone down the bass, not that they make the bass disappear, but they reduce the crunching prominence and allow the mids to come through a bit better. Sade’s airy quality returns, and the interplay with backing vocals is more noticeable. Snare still clear and well resolved, and sax and piano are less veiled. Sound here is not as balanced as the MA750, and mids are still somewhat recessed, but difference with MA750 is less evident, and sound signature is more in line with what I heard in my earlier critical listening.
    5. Verdict: This one is close between the MA750 with Spinfits, and the AD01 with stock tips. Both setups gave a really nice listening experience, and were I not A/B listening, would have satisfied me completely. That said, this one goes to the MA750 for the balance between bass, mids and highs, and overall natural presentation.
     
    9.ListeningComps.jpg
     
    Bass and Treble Quality: Cat Power – Silver Stallion (from Jukebox, 2008): My earlier observations of the AD01’s bass emphasis and treble clarity made me curious about how this IEM compares to the T-Peos Altone 200. The Altone is a triple hybrid, with single dynamic and dual BA drivers, but it also has a good bass presence and what some would call sparkling highs. Having noted the difference in sound with the AD01 and different tips, I decided this time to just go with the tips that I enjoy most on each IEM, so the stock tips with the AD01, and Sony Foam-filled Hybrids on the Altones.
    1. AD01 + Stock Tips: This is a simple song, with just Cat’s vocal and double guitar accompaniment (steel and orthodox acoustic). Slidy steel and acoustic guitars to start have a warm timbre, with sparkle in the high notes. Cat’s vocal has an intimate, simultaneously smooth and textured tone. Steel guitar drops to the background once the intro is done, becoming more of a backing instrument. Acoustic is the lead, and dominates the song somewhat, with prominent reverb in the low notes colouring the overall sound. Cat’s voice is quite low for a female, and it is ever-so-slightly veiled, and overpowered by the lead acoustic guitar.
    2. Altone 200 + Sony Tips: Low end of guitars is less prominent and more controlled. It’s quicker, with less reverb, and doesn’t dominate Cat’s vocal the way the AD01 did. Guitar is not so focused on warm bass and clear highs; now the notes in the middle come alive, and guitar parts become more articulate and cohesive. The vocal loses it’s veiled quality, and integrates with the instrumental accompaniment in a more musical way. Cat’s voice is drier, and details of mouth movement and vocal control become audible. Overall presentation is not as warm here, but more musical, natural and balanced.
    3. Verdict: Preferred the Altone 200 for it’s more balanced, cohesive presentation. AD01 was a pleasant listen as well, but overall presentation was a touch warm and vocal overwhelmed by instruments.
     
    Soundstage and Speed: Al Di Meola – Mediterranean Sundance (from Elegant Gypsy, 1977): Another area of curiosity when I first heard about the AD01s was how they, as a dual dynamic IEM, would stack up against the venerable Havi B3 Pro 1. The Pro 1s are not known for their bass, but have a great reputation for vocals and soundstage. So another test pairing was born. Mediterranean Sundance features no vocal, but I find it a wonderful test of soundstage; two flamenco guitars, duelling it out rapid-fire in what comes through, with the right headphones, as a lovely open recording space. This piece is also a good test of driver speed and transients. Again I went with my preferred tip matches here: stock for the AD01, and Spinfits for the Havi (many prefer the JVC Spiral Dots with the Havi, but I find they de-emphasize bass, even if they do enhance soundstage).
    1. Havi + Spinfit Tips: Guitar clarity across the frequency spectrum is gorgeously bright and open. Strummed lower notes and plucked highs have a glistening quickness to them, with slight prominence of highs, and roll-off in the bass. Midway through the song there is a drum-like effect created by knocking knuckles on the guitar body, and this has a dynamic, realistic woody quality. Sound here is very much outside the head, with a sense that the two players are sat a few feet in front of the listener, and a few feet apart on either side. There is a spacious feel, as if in a large room, possibly a stone church, with high ceilings. Sound wafts, though not in an echo-y way.
    2. AD01 + Stock Tips: For the first time really, I sense the AD01 having difficulty keeping up. This piece involves some speedy, intricate passages, and here the AD01 falls a bit short. The opening of the song, which is relatively slow and subdued, has good detail and clarity, with warmer, bassier undertones than the Havi. Once the piece picks up and the duel begins, highs sound fine, with good detail and clarity, but the low end comes unstuck, with some sound lag and bleed, and an overall muddled sound. Our guitar-body drum-knocks are evident, but less woody, less dynamic, and hollower sounding (not hollow as in guitar-body hollow, but less lively and lacking quality). The sense of space created by the Havi is not evident with the AD01; sound is more inside the head than outside.
    3. Verdict: Preferred the Havi for detail, speed and soundstage. The AD01 had a hard time with this piece, being overwhelmed by the speed and detail, and unable to create a feeling of atmosphere or space.
     
    Vocal Quality: Norah Jones – Shoot The Moon (from Come Away With Me, 2002): If we’re going to listen for a comparison of vocal quality, what better than a little Norah Jones? As noted, the B3 Pro 1 has a reputation as a vocal powerhouse, so this is a good chance to see what the AD01 is made of.
    1. AD01 + Stock Tips: Opening guitar is clear and bright as is accompanying piano (though piano is a touch subdued). Norah’s voice is its usual airy, textured self. Snare and guitar dance playfully, with occasional upper register piano notes for good measure, and low piano and bass – while obviously playing a backing role only – are evident throughout, adding a touch of warmth to the piece. Lower piano notes are veiled, but can still be heard. Overall presentation has a warm, pleasant feel, if slightly coloured; Norah doesn’t dominate, but isn’t overwhelmed either.
    2. Havi + Spinfit Tips: Overall dry, detailed presentation. Opening guitar is bright, plucky, and impactful. Piano clarity is excellent, and the two instruments balance each other nicely before Norah joins in. Bass is rolled off, but still evident in the background. Snare is dry, yet lively. Norah’s vocal is forward, detailed and textured, with an intimate, lyrical quality. She is the star of this show! Overall emphasis on mids and highs here, with neutral sound signature that lacks just a bit on the warmth side.
    3. Verdict: Preferred the AD01 overall as the blend of instruments and vocal presented as a unified whole, while the Havi lacked in the low end and came across a touch cold and dry. Norah’s vocal was more prominent with the Havi, but overall balance was missing.
     
    Conclusions
     
    I have to admit I found the AD01 fun to listen to, most of the time. My impression on first hearing them (and I quote from the tour thread) was: “Sounding pretty good so far; bass-forward but no bass bleed, and pretty good detail in mids and highs. I'd call these fun with a capital ‘F.’” I did find the mids ever so slightly lacking, and hoped they would fill out with some playing time.
     
    Brain burn and further listening did little to change my first impressions. In my general listening, I found bass, especially sub-bass, to be powerful, with crisp and clear highs. Mids were a bit recessed. Female vocals reproduced well, but male vocals were somewhat veiled and lacked impact. Instrumentally, I really liked the portrayal of guitars and piano with the AD01, and the punch and energy of bass guitar.
     
    11.Conclusions.jpg
     
    Fit- and comfort-wise, the AD01 earpieces have a solid heft to them. They feel like… quality. The tapered, cylindrical earpieces are narrow enough for deep insertion, with good length so the cable can be comfortably worn down or up. I prefer up and around the ear, and the cable cinch allows for a secure, comfortable fit, even with a slightly springy cable. With cable up, I did not notice any microphonics.
     
    Admittedly much of my listening was done with older albums, and others who’ve tried the AD01 mentioned that they are perfectly suited to relatively bass-light recordings from the 60s, 70s and 80s, before the “loudness wars” kicked in. I would agree that the AD01s enhanced the low end of these recordings while still allowing the upper end to sing. What issues I had with the AD01 reared themselves during my comparison listening. With bass-heavy songs, the low end could be overpowering and unnatural. If that low end was also high tempo, the AD01 could have trouble keeping up, with articulation, resolution and soundstage negatively affected.
     
    10.Conclusions.jpg
     
    While they may not be the most “audiophile” of IEMs, and displayed some minor issues with certain kinds of music, I really enjoyed the experience of listening to the AD01. They’re comfortable and robust, deliver a fun sound, and work really well with many of my preferred music genres. Given the opportunity, I’d be happy to make these part of my permanent IEM collection.
     
    Thanks to @TEOSJ for making the tour units available, and @nmatheis for making me his tour lieutenant.
      hqssui likes this.
  10. money4me247
    Lumbering Punchiness delivers a Warm & Fun Sound to these Well-Designed Budget IEMs bundling tons of accessories
    Written by money4me247
    Published Aug 9, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - budget price point, tons of accessories, detachable cable, ‘fun’ sound, good sense of warmth & fullness, non-fatiguing treble tuning
    Cons - quite a bit of coloration to its sound signature, warm v-shaped sound signature, notes seem to be a bit on the 'slower' side
    Alpha & Delta AD01 IEM Review
     

     
    Intro: Lend Me UR Ears is a Singaporean audio retailer that sells high-quality but affordable budget gear. Offering international shipping to the USA and Canada, they are the official retailer for a wide range of brands and started producing their own in-house products under the Alpha & Delta brand name. The Alpha & Delta brand is the result of Lend Me UR ear collaboration with an unspecified Chinese manufacturer. The Alpha & Delta AD01 in-ear headphones are their first product launch.
     
    The Alpha & Delta AD01 headphones used in this review is a demo unit provided by fellow head-fi member @nmatheis as part of a product tour. I spend a bit more than one week critically listening to these headphones. I am not associated with Lend Me UR ears and have no financial or personal stake in this product. I am NOT a professional reviewer. This review only illustrates my own personal thoughts on the product. YMMV!
    My experience in IEM is not as comprehensive as my background with full-sized headphones. I have previously owned the Etymotic Research HF2, Bose IE2, Bower and Wilkins C5, Creative EP-630, Klipsch S4A, and various Sennheiser earbuds (MX560 & other similar models). I currently own the Bose SoundTrue for Galaxy phones, Flare Audio R2A, and Flare Audio R2Pro. I’ve demoed the Final Audio Heaven VII, which is the most high-end and best-sounding IEMs that I have extensively auditioned. I do primarily use full-sized headphones for music listening with IEM usage strictly limited to occasional portable usage. My full gear profile is HERE. My external component set-up is the the Schiit Lyr 2 hybrid tube amplifier + Schiit Bifrost Uber dac for home usage and Oppo HA-2 dac/amplifier for portable usage.
     
    For IEMs, I value comfort and sound quality extremely highly. Personally, I dislike really deep insertions and prefer Comply foam tips. For sound quality, I judge IEMs using a more lenient scale compared to full-sized headphones. I do not care about aesthetics at all, but do take into consideration overall build quality.
     
    Please keep in mind that I am more passionate for full-sized over-ear headphones and my experience with the current IEMs market offerings may not be as extensive as other members here. My perspective may be different than other IEM-focused reviewers, so YMMV! As usual, I hope this is a fun and helpful review.
     
    Tech: The Alpha & Delta AD01 is a dual dynamic driver universal-fit IEM with detachable cables. MSRP is $95.15. Currently being offered at $86.53 from Lend Me UR Ears HERE. Additional promo code “LMUECUST” is currently available for an additional 5% discount.
     
    Official Specifications: (copied directly from lendmeurears)
    Driver: 9.8mm and 6.0mm Dual Dynamic Driver
    Rated Impedance: 9 Ohm
    Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
     
    Packaging: I do not weight packaging in my review, but included picture for those who are interested.
     
              
     
    Design & Build Quality: Modular design of the AD01 is very practical. The driver housing uses an olive-shaped design. It measures ¾” long not including the protruding filter where the eartips attach. Using the grey foam tips, its total length is 1⅛”. Diameter of the oval housing is approximately ½” at its thickest part (this would be its height & width measurements).
     
              
     
              
     
              
     
    The AD01 has a very thoughtful detachable cable design, using a 2mm dc plug connector to attach to the driver housing. R and L labelling is written in black on the cable close to where they plug into the housing. The included cables are extremely well-designed. The sleek cylindrical y-splitter has a sliding portion that can serves as a neck ciche or sit discreetly on top of the y-splitter. The cable terminates in a 3.5mm right-angle plug. I personally really like right-angle plugs for IEMs as I feel it works better with portable devices and relieves cable strain. There is no microphone or remote buttons on the cables.
     
              
     
    Comfort: I would estimate the comfort of these IEMs to be good for the majority of users. The inclusion of a large variety of eartips should make it easy to find the perfect individual fit. These are an universal-fit canalphone. I personally ended up using the grey foam eartips for the majority of my testing as I found those to be the most comfortable eartips for me. Sonic impressions will all be based on those tips.
     
     
    Accessories: This is where the AD01 really shines. It includes:
    1. x2 AD01 Universal Driver
    2. x1 removable cable (black, approximately 4’3” length)
    3. x1 pair of grey foam tips
    4. x3 pairs of bi-flange tips
    5. x6 pairs of silicon tips
    6. x1 hard case (4.5” x 3” x 1.5”)
    7. x1 pair V-sonic ear guides
     
              
     
    The AD01 packages a plethora of eartip options. There are two distinct sets of small, medium, large silicon eartips for a total of 6 different sizes for people who enjoy olive-shaped silicon eartips. In addition, three different sized bi-flanged eartips (small, medium, and large) and one pair of medium grey foam eartips were included for a total of 10 different options for eartips. As a fan of foam eartips myself, I would have liked to see a bit more varying foam options instead of so many silicon tips, but silicon eartip fans will rejoice!
     
              
    Silicon Eartips in L to R order (non-colored bores Large, Medium, Small ~~~ colored bores orange Small, Green Medium, Blue Large)
     
              
    Eartips in L to R order (Bi-flanged Large, Medium, Small ~~~ Grey medium foam eartips)
     
    The V-Sonic ear guides are planned to be included with the Alpha & Delta AD01. They consist of two black tubes with slits that allow easy attachment and removal onto the cabling to add a more rigid structure for over-ear wear style. Very nice addition for fans of wearing the cables over-the-ears.
     
              
     
    The blue zippered hard case does appear quite durable and includes a detachable black lanyard. A nice touch is the case can only open about 45 degrees with elastic straps preventing the case from flopping 360 degrees and spilling out all its contents. Should be a good practical solution for those who want some protection for their IEMs.
     
     
              
     
    My review tour unit also included the 32N oxygen-free copper upgrade cable for testing and I did extensively try both cables. I cannot engage in any sonic descriptions of cables as I personally have never found myself to be able to hear any differences between cables. The copper styling was quite eye-catching while the black one is more discrete. I personally prefer the look with the stock black cables.
     
     
              
      
    I tested out the variety of different eartips and the ear guides prior to personally settling on the grey foam without ear guides for a straight down wear. Numerous eartip options should be sufficient to cover a pretty extensive range of individual fits.

     
    Sound Quality:
    1. Useful resource for audiophile terms: http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary
    2. Useful resource for frequency response correlation to audiophile terms: http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm
    3. Note: It is actually quite difficult for me to write a review on these headphones as its sound signature is quite a bit different from my preferred type of sound signature. I did my best to write as an objective review as I could here. Do note impressions taken using the grey foam tips.
     
    Overall, the AD01 is a warm and fun-sounding pair of headphones. Quite a bit of coloration, but not in an unpleasant manner. The bass is boosted the most significantly with the treble relatively even but still boosted compared to the mid-range. The midrange is recessed with the upper mid-recession more noticeable to my ears as there is a more abrupt transition from the relatively less emphasized in upper mids to relatively more emphasized treble region. I would estimate the point of prominent mid-recession occurs approximately after 500 Hz. The transition from the upper bass to the lower midrange is quite smooth and well-done taper. The low midrange does not sound recessed with a relative elevation compared to the rest of the mid-range as it is still tapering down from the upper bass boost. I would broadly categorize these headphones as having a v-shaped frequency response tuning that would particularly excel with modern pop, rap & hip-hop, and EDM (genres that provide strong bass that you want to feel).
     
    Treble Tuning: The treble region is not as emphasized as the bass, but there is still a bit of emphasis relative to the midrange, which will give these headphones a bit of brightness (or treble sparkle) to its overall warm feel. Typically, v-shaped frequency responses will have a more dramatic treble tuning, so these headphones present more of a warm bass-focused sound signature rather than a prominent “V” with a very sharp treble. There is a hint of edginess and harshness with certain treble notes compared to some of the more neutrally-tuned headphones I’ve tried, but compared to the typical v-shaped sound signature, the treble should be relatively more forgiving and less fatiguing as it does sound quite even overall. Certain treble notes appear duller than what I would expect on a v-shaped presentation, so treble energy is adequate, but not especially pronounced. Likely no strong peak at 10 kHz, whereas more prominent emphasis in that region would contribute to a more vivid piercing presentation. Overall treble clarity is quite nice for this type of sonic presentation.
     
    The upper frequency does extends up to 18 kHz, but there is a subtle roll-off from 16 kHz, which will make these headphones feel less airy compared to other tuning choices that have peaks in that area. The subtle airiness or breathiness of the treble can often be hidden by the AD01’s strong bass presence, so track dependent how much of those types of details will be noticeable. From 13-16 kHz, the treble does sound relatively even without any glaring peaks or dips. I found there was a significant peak at 11-13 kHz and a recognizable dip in 6-8kHz to my ears from high frequency log sweeps and critical listening.
     
    Mid-range Tuning: The lower midrange is more emphasized with an overall mid-recession primarily focused in the middle to upper mid-range. The lower mids do present a very well-balanced sense of fullness without going overboard, so no excessively muddy ‘bleeding’. There is definitely a subtle bit of bleed from the lower frequencies, but not to the point where it completely overpowers the midrange.
     
    Midrange still maintains a nice sense of richness and fullness due to more noticeable drop-off point of the mid-range recession occurring after the lower mids. The lower mids is elevated compared to the rest of the midrange which contributes to the warmer feeling to the overall sound. I would guess that the upper mids from 1-3 kHz is most likely the most ‘recessed’ from a measurement standpoint as we typically hear that region to be emphasized if the frequency response is linear due to increased sensitivity of the human ear to that region. Many ideal target headphone responses incorporate a slight recession in this area to compensate. The upper mids do sound a bit recessed to my ears, which indicates a bit heavier dip in this region. The contrasting relative change from the dip in 1-2 kHz to the more emphasized the low treble region makes this upper-mid region feel perceptually more recessed, though there is likely similar levels of recession from after 500 Hz to 1 kHz. Overall though, the midrange tuning maintains a good sense of smoothness and clarity. Despite its coloration, I do not think that the AD01’s midrange will sound too overly scooped out for users who enjoy v-shaped presentations as there is a gradual taper from the bass emphasis to the mid recession. The coloration do appear to generally be sloping changes rather than any specific abrupt shifts that may detract from the musical enjoyment. The most abrupt change in frequency response will occur between the upper mids and lower treble. The bass emphasis that transitions into the lower mids tapers well enough that the transition area does sound quite natural.
     
    Bass Tuning: There is quite an apparent mid-bass bass boost on these headphones. This sort of tuning choice provides a good sense of warmth and fullness to notes. From lower frequency response sweeps, it sounds to me as the bass response is a gradual upward slope until approximately 90 Hz where the emphasis becomes more noticeable. At approximately 120 Hz, there is a more dramatic elevation until 200 Hz where it begins to subtly taper down. However, this mid-bass boost is relatively well-done and more gradual compared to some other mid-bass boosted or v-shaped headphones I’ve had experience with, so the bass does not sound overly boomy or bloated. Sub-bass is adequately present, though there is a bit of tapering in the extremely low frequency to my ears. This is common among more budget entry or non-planar magnetic headphones. Many highly regarded mid-tier over-ear headphones also exhibit a similar tapering in the sub-bass region, so I estimate will not be an issue for users who do not have experience with planar magnetic headphones or more high-end headphones. Overall, for this type of headphone in this price range, the bass has a good visceral impact and nice deep rumbling sensation.
     
    Bass is relatively clean and tight for this type of warm sound signature, but I have had previous experience with faster and more accurate bass with similar levels of warmth. The AD01 can sound cleaner than other bass-boosted options with a more punchy feel rather than a very thick ‘syrupy’ feel, but will not sound as accurate as more neutral-tuned options. The punchier presentation makes me think that the bass boost is likely mostly predominantly in the 125-200 Hz region, whereas a ‘muddier’ bass boost will primarily focus in the 200-300 Hz region.  Individual bass notes still sound relatively slow compared to other IEMs and headphones I have had experience (though I do not really own many pairs of v-shaped or more significantly bass-boosted headphones). A bit boomy sounding compared to more neutral-orientated or bright presentations, but likely one of the better done bass boosts out there in this price range for warmer sound signatures. For a v-shaped headphone, these headphones do present the bass relatively well. Should be extremely enjoyable for those looking for a warmer sound signature. Its particularly strong sense of warmth and punchiness with a relatively even and non-fatiguing treble would result in a very fun and musical tuning that should be quite pleasant for non-critical listening.
    A wide sampling of genres and some of my usual test tracks, but I primarily did testing via a short playlist of current popular hits and EDM as I feel like that is where these headphones truly shine. May update this portion with specific tracks if there is any interest when I have more time. (can refer to the test track spoiler on my Aune B1 review from a sampling of some of my previous billboard test tracks and the variety of genres I try to incorporate during critical listening)
     
    Direct Comparisons:
    *******Important Notes*******
    While I normally like to write extensive direct comparisons against competing products, I do not really have any other IEMs currently in my possession that fall within the same budget price range. I do think the most relevant comparison here is against the Bose SoundTrue in-ears, which approximately typifies what can be expected of the pricier consumer-orientated IEMs. Comparisons against IEMs primarily done on my HA-2 dac/amplifier or straight from my Samsung S5 to simulate normal usage with some testing done on my Lyr 2 + Bifrost Uber stack.
    *********************************
     
     
     
    Amplification:
     
    I tested the AD01 IEMs on the Aune B1 amplifier, Cozoy Astrapi amplifier/dac, Oppo HA-2 amplifier/dac, and Schiit Lyr 2. The AD01 IEMs are extremely easy to drive and does not require any additional amplification. Its extremely low impedance of 9 ohms and high sensitivity of 102 dB/mW makes these IEMs more prone to hiss with certain equipment (though I did not experience hissing at my normal playback volumes). If wanting to pick up an amplifier to pair with the AD01, I would recommend looking at IEM-dedicated amplifiers or an amplifier with an output impedance less than 1 ohm for ideal performance.
     
    I would personally recommend pairing these IEMs with a neutral solid state amplifier as they already currently have quite extensive coloration. If disliking the AD01’s stock sound signature, I would recommend swapping to a different IEM rather than spending time and effort looking for a specific amplifier/dac pairing to adjust its sound signature. There is scaling potential, but not enough to my ears to really justify carrying additional gear in portable situations. I do personally think additional amplification is unnecessary for these IEMs.
     
    Value Judgement:
     
    I am not too familiar with the sub-$100 IEM product category, so difficult for me to say how competitive the AD01’s sound quality for its price point. If considering a “fun” IEM, I think these do offer an enjoyable and well-done v-shaped presentation. I do feel that these IEMs are worth consideration if on a strict budget. I view the AD01 to fulfill a similar niche for IEMs as the ATH-M50 does for over-ear headphones. A solid entry-level pair of headphones priced competitively with an enjoyable v-shaped presentation. Should offer a noticeable upgrade from consumer-orientated IEMs, but probably will not satisfy the enthusiast looking for a neutral-tuned reference pair of IEMs with minimal coloration. While noticeable improvements in overall technical performance can be found if budget can be stretched a bit, I cannot comment on comparative performance of other IEMs in this price range. Should be more competitive than many other consumer-orientated brands that retail at a more expensive MSRP.
     
    Rating: Please note that these are nothing more than my personal rating based on my own personal requirements. I hardly ever give out full score rankings unless I feel like the product reaches a new high standard for its product category and price point.
    Audio Quality: 6/10 (probably a competitive sound for a product with this overall sound signature at this price point)
    Comfort: 8/10 (likely comfortable for most users)
    Design: 9/10 (very good design aspects for this price point)
    Isolation: 7/10
    Value: 9/10
    Overall Rating: Probably somewhere between 3-3.5 stars, though can be higher if your preferences differ from mine (aka if you enjoy a warmer sound signatures). Overall rating is also based on pickier audiophile standards rather than consumer standards. For the general consumer, this product will probably score approximately 4 or higher as sound quality is extremely competitive against consumer brands.
     
    Conclusion:
     
    The AD01 are fun and warm pair of IEMs with an even non-fatiguing treble, smooth but recessed midrange, and a hefty lumbering punch behind its bass. Well-designed and extremely affordable, they should offer a good value for buyers looking at this price range.
     
    Greatest overall pro is the AD01’s overall design and extensive amount of accessories. Its cable is extremely well-designed and these IEMs should last quite a long time with all its parts being replaceable. Best tuned region of the frequency response would probably be its bass if looking for a fun warm v-shaped sound signature. These headphones should work well for mobile usage, active usage, and situations that require noise isolation.
     
    Largest consideration is its overall sound signature. These are warm IEMs with a v-shaped sound. While I cannot say how competitive its technical performance (imaging, speed, note spacing, resolution, and soundstage) compares to other options at its price point, it is definitely possible to find significant improvements at higher price points. For me personally, I feel like 'speed' would be the area that would benefit the most from further refinements. I estimate that these will still outperform the pricier consumer-orientated headphones, but there may be other more competitive budget options out there. There also will be better options out there for individuals who engage in critical listening or require neutral-tuning for professional applications.
     
    Recommended for consideration for buyers looking for non-reference sound signature illustrating an enjoyable fun and warm coloration with better technical performance than consumer-oriented brands. Price point is under the $100 mark which would make it a strong contender for buyers on a restricted budget. Good entry-level option for newcomers just starting out on their audiophile journey with non-fatiguing and pleasing tuning. Overall, a nice first entry into the IEM product category with a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing future products developed under the Alpha & Delta banner and I am personally hoping for some neutral-orientated IEMs that will fit my personal sonic tastes better. The AD01's warm sound signature tuning still should be quite appealing for more general tastes and especially popular among the basshead segment within our head-fi community.
     
     
    Official Product Link: http://www.lendmeurears.com/alpha-delta-ad01-black/
      Ardmorepark15 likes this.
    1. nmatheis
      Nice, thorough review as always!  I completely agree with you about the bass and hope that LMUE's next product is a more neutral sound signature with tight, quick, punchy bass and more mid presence.  I rely on those attributes for the music I typically listen to.
      nmatheis, Aug 10, 2015
    2. reddog
      A great informative review.
      reddog, Aug 12, 2015