ANEW X-One - Reviews
Pros: Well balanced tuning with outstanding resolution, detail, imaging, and the stage to pull it off. Surprising level of refinement for the price point, Good packed in SPC 4 core cables, A large Pelican type custom case included, Tuning modules that actually work ( After burn to hear the differences, required) Red module for treble resolution and extension. Black for mids, bass and treble in this order of emphasis, Blue detunes the region for bass to shine. Blue being least effective.
SQ that punches above the asking price.
Cons: Blocky large housing with a short stubby nozzle. Mmcx for a larger housing, should have gone with 2 pin. Bright on open listen ( Absolutely requires burn in for modules to work). Tips with a short stem for a short stubby nozzle will not fit some people including myself. Must resort to aftermarket copper based cable and your own tips to show how good the tuning is. Comes with a useless Pelican type case and a thin pouch, should have gone for a pocketable zip up case instead. The larger blocky housing will protrude outside your ears. Housing is not so ergonomic.
ANEW is a Chinese earphone manufacturer that I had no idea about till I was offered a review sample of their X-One hybrids. Incorporating 4 BA plus a dynamic in a larger aluminum alloy shell. The X-One has some interesting if not unique way to tune the treble end using a module chip that is a part of the housing. Possibly a tweak in the crossover configuration with each module. The earphones come with 3 modules and have the red installed on open box. This made me curious to know how effective the changes will be. It is different from the usual nozzle tunings incorporated by NiceHCK, LZ and BGVP which all use tuning nozzles to change up the tone and sound balancing. The modules can be changed via a plastic clip like device which is used to take out the module chip pictured here.
Easy enough to change the modules the question is just how effective is this method of changing up the tuning?

I would like to thank NiceHCK and ANEW for the review sample. The ANEW X-One can be purchased here. These are my thoughts about the design and sound of these “flagship level.” earphones from ANEW.
The package is decent but not outstanding for an earphone that costs $329. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the accessory selection. It does come with a nice Pelican like plastic box case which I am sure will protect whatever is in the insides. The reality is I doubt anyone will use that to carry around their X-One earphones. It is simply too big to carry around in a pocket which renders them a bit useless. Unless you like to throw your earphones in a backpack. There is a simple grey pouch that is included but that is the opposite of the Pelican like case in that it will be good to carry around an earphone but will not protect the earphones from being crushed. Then there are the included accessories. 5 pairs or 2 sets of short nozzle silicones, the 4 core SPC cable and the earphones themselves.
Beyond what is included, the earphones themselves look sturdy and a bit boxy in form. The housing I would put in the large category and only comes in one colored design called Lily white. That aluminum alloy shell seems sturdy enough but due to the bulkiness of the housing I feel ANEW should have used a 2 pin design instead of MMCX. Beyond this little oversight I will get into the faults of the X-One a bit more later. The included Silver plated copper 4 core cable is described as high purity copper silver plated cables. I actually like these cables. However again I will dive into what the problem here is and it is not these cables. These are better than most cables that are included with earphones but only if they compliment the sound design of the earphones. With that being said. Let's move onto the sound of the X-One.
Sound analysis was done using my DAP sources: Fiio M15, Shanling M6 pro, M5s, M3s, Sony ZX300, Ibasso DX160 and Cayin N5ii.

Out of the box listening was interesting. The clarity was there but maybe a bit too much. Everything had a brighter hue to the sonics. So I can tell the sound design has a lot of detail involved. Switching out the modules is easy enough but you do have to make sure the modules are in correct otherwise you get either no sound or no bass. Switching to the black balanced module yielded very similar sound to the red ones. Hmmm so off they went for the blue lower frequency enhancing module. Again not at all different.
It turned out there was a reason for not being able to tell the difference early on. Upon looking at the instruction manual. Yes, that skinny pamphlet that we usually don’t look at that comes with most earphones. It does say burn in the earphones from 100-200 hours. After 2 weeks of on and off again burn in and use. Trying the modules on the 4th try. Ok. Now we got some tuning changes. I am very certain the sonics has to settle on the X-one before you can hear audible changes switching out the modules. The 3 modules each have a specific tuning from 4Khz-8Khz region which it seems to be using harmonics to enhance the mid bands to treble. Red module is specific for folks that want their detailed treble. It does give the best overall treble definition.

Black module sets a mid harmonic that enhances and highlights mid band tones. This actually balances out the sound the best out of the 3 modules. The blue lessens the harmonics and detunes the area so bass can come through. The foundational tuning from sub bass to upper mids are the exact same. It is interesting that just by purposefully tuning the presence and brilliance area of the treble affects how we hear the sound balancing. That is what ANEW has done with the modules. It is a unique way of sound tuning. While the tuning is not drastically changed. The sound balancing for the most part remains the same however, these guys might be onto something..
The sound of the ANEW X-One is actually very good. It has what I consider an enthusiast level audiophile tuning. ANEWs take on the higher end sound. The overall tuning is more a U/ slightly V shaped signature depending on the module used with a high level of detail and imaging. Adding to these aspects a very nicely done wide stage. Sound balancing is actually done well with these with a skew toward upper trebles and sub bass. If you're a fan of airy treble extension with a well balanced tuning. These might be what you're looking for.
With the stock tuning with a focus on definition and resolution does the cable match up? While the quality of the cable is much better than most that are included with earphones. The X-Ones cable actually enhances the overall brightness and detailed nature of the sound tuning and the tuning comes a bit thinner in note. It is like pouring more cold water onto a sheet of ice to make it even more slicker. The cable here was simply the wrong choice. What ANEW should have included is a good copper based cable to add some warmth, fullness and smoothness for the tuning that is on the X-One.The cables are a good design and functionable and they can be used with the X-One just fine. But in trying out other cables, especially copper based ones. It is clearly evident the stock cable was not the right choice.
The cables are not the worst offender here. It happens to be the included tips. The tips sit very shallow on the short stubby nozzle of the X-One. You can see the top of the nozzle opening on the earphones when using the included tips. I think this was done to forward the sound a touch to your ear. Which might work for very specific ear shapes but for my own ears. I could not get a proper seal. I had to push the housing in to get a proper sound. Ultimately they should have included a variety of tips for a variety of ears. A tighter fit with the nozzle into the ear yields a fuller more musical sound but none of that matters if the tips don't fit well. These tips for me were useless. The blocky housing design also gets some criticism here. It is not the most ergonomic, blocky is a good way to describe it but add to that a short nozzle. Short tips on a short nozzle equates to 2 wrongs don’t make a right.
Highly recommend an aftermarket copper or hybrid cable and your own tips add to that probably your own semi hard zip up case. To maximize the sound of the X-One. This is merely a suggestion as I find the sound of the X-One gets substantially better. The stock cable and tips will not show you how good these earphones are. ANEW is not the only manufacturer that are guilty of not optimizing the sound through their pack of accessories. I do expect more from a mid fi category of earphone however. So I am highly recommending these aspects. Tips especially. I will have a picture in the end of the review of what I am using on the X-One.
So it is not all doom here. The plus side is these have some outstanding air, extension, lightning transients and detail to the treble end you can only associate with higher end earphones. The X-one is able to pick off treble nuances better than a lot of earphones I have owned that are mid fi level. Overall tuning I would categorize as balanced with a slight analytical edge. Coherence of the BAs and dynamic also is outstanding. Very seamless in sound and has an overall definition that is outstanding from the lowest of notes to the highest of the highs.

Mids have a neutral amount of emphasis in the lower mids with a rise toward the upper mids. Clarity, imaging and detail is superb in the mid bands which I consider higher end level for the price. If you're familiar with AKG or Beyer type tunings you will recognize where these guys get their influence for the mid bands, especially with the blue modules. Mids sounds a touch distant with the blue and sounds just right with black module. Vocals lack a bit of range and height but has very good airy sometimes sweet quality in tone due to the ample treble emphasis. Stringed instruments has excellent presence and the detailed nature of the tuning bodes extremely well for natural instruments. Be it rock, acoustic, metal, Jazz and orchestral scores. Because of the ample bass end does decently with EDM and bass genres.

Sound stage is another aspect I like a lot about the X-One. The give and take of using a larger shell. The give is that these will protrude outside your ear and they do look a bit like marshmallows in the ears. The take is that these have a wider than average stage. This tuning only works with a large wide stage and the X-One does this as good as anything I have heard. Depth of sound is greater than the height. With ample BAs on tap the mids timbre clearly shows it is using BAs but imaging and clarity is top notch. Mid notes could use more weight( which can be fixed using a good copper cable) but overall mid bands don’t take too much a step back from the trebles and bass. Vocal clarity is outstanding but again could use a bit more weight and range. If you have heard a good open back headphone. These are tuned very similarly in that regard.
Bass has good deep reach, has decent rumble with ample punch, but for my own personal preference I would have liked just a bit more bass presence to balance out the extended lively treble end of the tuning. I can tell the bass dynamic seems very average here. Texture of the bass notes is again average. The bass end does a good job keeping up with the highly detailed signature but does not stand out to be anything special. I would put the bass end as adequate but not great. It does show tightness with good speed during faster tracks and can represent good rumble when called for.

These remind me a lot of one of my favorite earphones, IBasso IT04. Similar tuning but with even greater treble extension. The sound quality is most definitely catered for enthusiasts in mind. Your first time earphone guy will not appreciate the high level of detail and resolution of these earphones but I get what ANEW is doing here. Imaging and sound separation is done very well. The stage is wider than most IEMs and has a high level of detail across the board. Lacks a bit of height but the stage is awesome. Instrument separation and technicalities in general are it’s strong suit. Bass end is only average for a hybrid at this price, but does not drag the overall tuning to be anemic or weak.
In the end if you're the type to not leave well enough alone the ANEW X-One does have great potential and for enthusiasts that like this type of detailed reference style tuning. These are worth taking a look, flaws and all. My gripe is that for the amount of money involved the lack of thought out accessories is an oversight. The tuning aspect of the earphones however is the saving grace. For enthusiasts and seasoned veterans of earphone users will appreciate the higher end detailed nature of the tuning. This is the type of tuning that is more traditional on higher end models and if you're willing to use your own cables and tips to optimize the sound the X-One becomes a very enjoyable detail monster. The tuning module aspect actually works for these and while they don’t completely change up the tuning. It does what the description says it does which is highlighting aspects of the frequencies using harmonics that are tuned into each module. It is a brilliant idea but none of that matters if the included tips will not seal in your ears.
Penon CS819 hybrid cables pictured with Moondrop foams. Smoother fuller more dimensional sounding, Moondrop foams smooths out the upper treble edge and I can get an actual seal in my ears vs stock tips.

To be honest I mostly go for my own set of tips anyway and I am sure you do as well so the complete fail for included tip thing is forgivable. You certainly should expect more for the price point however. If you're willing to experiment a bit with tips and cables. They sound tremendous due to their large wide stage punchy extended bass, clean mids, a great stand out imagery and extended airy sparkly treble.. As always, thanks for taking the time to read. Happy listening always.
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