General Information

Impedance: 16Ω
Earphone sensitivity: 116dB/mW
Frequency range: 20-20000Hz
Interface: 3.5mm
Cable: 4 core black plastic-sleeved cable
Plugs: L Plug SE termination

ANN N200 are vintage earbuds that was introduced way back 1997. These are already discontinued and comes off as extremely rare at the moment.

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Pictures from forum.lowyat.net

Latest reviews

mervindc146

New Head-Fier
Vintage Build, Vintage Sound
Pros: .
+ Textured, punchy lows
+ Sub-bass present, well timed decay
+ Note weight and thickness present
+ Good lows presentation overall
+ Smooth mids, clean tonality (subject to preference)
+ Inoffensive, for longer listening sessions
+ Unique shell outer coat, looks premium
+ Vintage and worth the trouble to find (at least for me)
Cons: .
- Midrange smoothness over articulation and transparency (subject to preference)
- Male vocals lacks thickness and warmth. Cold female vocals
- Dull upper midrange to air region
- Veiled highs, dark sounding
- Initial attack on treble lacking
- Lacks sparkle on percussive instruments, quick decay
- Horizontal imaging present, but depth and headroom is lackluster
- Outer shell coating fades/prone to scratches
- Cable punches you back with stiffness
- Discontinued and extremely hard to find
Sound Signature: Warm

Disclaimer:
I bought ANN-N200 from a reseller in the Philippines. This will be as honest a review as it can get. All you can read here will be my own opinion, subject to different factors such as gear used, music, and what my own ears perceive. I also only write reviews after thoroughly listening to it for a week or more rather than just a day; both casually and critically with reference tracks I'm personally familiar with listed below. Please be respectful towards the comments section. For these, I used standard foams. With all that on the side, let's talk ANN-N200.

Price: Unknown original SRP. Bought $8/₱400 from a reseller.

Specifications:

Impedance: 16Ω
Earphone sensitivity: 116dB/mW
Frequency range: 20-20000Hz
Interface: 3.5mm
Cable: 4 core black plastic-sleeved cable
Plugs: L Plug SE termination

Gear used:
(Hiby Music) Mi 9T Pro (naked)/Mi 9T Pro > Tempotec Sonata HD Pro w/ 2 Vrms active. (Foobar2000) Desktop (naked)

Reference Music:
Dream Eyes - Mine, Kosuke Quintet (DSD 128)
Work 1 - Mine, Kosuke Quintet (DSD 128)
Giorgo by Moroder - Daft Punk (DSD256)
Making of a Cyborg - Kenji Kawai (FLAC 24bit)
Evolution Orange - Earth, Wind & Fire (FLAC 24bit)
Charlie Wasn't Afraid - Day Din (FLAC 16bit)
Uchiage Hanabi - DAOKO x Kenshi Yonezu (FLAC 24bit)
Upstairs - Psapp (FLAC 16bit)
Grand Escape - RADWIMPS ft. Toko Miura (FLAC 24bit)
Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach - Gorillaz (FLAC 16bit)
Hotel California - The Eagles (WAV 32bit)
Black Rainbows - Hawaii: Part II (FLAC 16bit)

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Build:
Typical mx500 shell but with different outer coating. It is coated with a fabric-like layer which feels matte on touch and adds grip. The best way to describe it for me is when you dip a thin layer of paper mache, plaster it on the shells then dry it under the sun for a few hours. L & R markings are written on white at the end of each stem and a bold ANN lettering accompanied by what I can assume as the logo, is inscribed on the inner-sides. The shell coating however falls apart after quite some time and is very fragile as a scratch could literally mean goodbye. Small dings will alligator/tear the fabric-like layer slowly, and there is no fix for it. Though, as shells go, they look absolutely unique and gets my "girlfriend approves" award.

Cable is almost similar to Moondrop Shiro-yuki. Black colorway with what I can assume as plastic sleeves, they look better than rubber cables but has the same problem; memory. They do not sit well on flat surfaces even if you do "over and under" wrap with them. Splitter is rubber Y-split with no chin sliders. L Plug with typical rubber strain relief, gold-plated SE termination.

Comfort:
Quite comfortable to me despite using mx500 shells. Lightweight and doesn't come off even when tugged. These are good for casual listening as it's a wear and forget type of earbuds. Still your mileage may vary.

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Isolation:
These are earbuds, don't expect too much.

Lows:
ANN-N200's greatest strength. They have good bass presentation, and when I mean good; they're better than most in my collection. Lows are well-textured and note weight is more than adequate as listening to Charlie Wasn't Afraid by Day Din, they handled synths with ample thickness and depth. Switching to Making a Cyborg by Kenji Kawaii; the powerful initial thump is more than justified as rumble feels incredibly satisfying with no masking on lower midrange. Decay is timely, tight and accurate. Overall good lows presentation, I can only wish for better separation between upper-bass (200hz-300hz) and lower midrange, other than that, they're more than satisfactory to my ears.

Midrange:
Smooth with clean tonality all throughout, the ANN-N200 is perfect for casual listening and is extremely forgiving even on shouty tracks. Listening to Uchiage Hanabi by DAOKO x Kenshi Yonezu, DAOKO's voice sounds smoothened and musical but lacks the usual intimacy you hear with female vocals, meanwhile; Kenshi Yonezu's voice feels lackluster in thickness but still enjoyable. Maurice's voice in Evolution Orange by Earth, Wind & Fire sounds dull as the usual raspiness is gone. These are not deal-breakers though as the goal for ANN-N200 is providing a decent listening experience rather than critical listening. Despite having cold midrange presentation, it is still a delight to listen to, I'm just wishing for more.

Treble:
The weakest frequency range of ANN-N200. Percussive instruments are present, but they could use more power, especially with their initial attack. As mentioned above, midrange has a rather cold tonality; which can be attributed to slow roll-off from lower midrange up to presence region (4k-6khz) but this time it continues way past 6khz which sadly results to dark sounding highs. Blues such as Dream Eyes by Mine, Kosuke Quintet sounded mediocre, with cymbal strikes delivering a less than satisfying sound and hi-hats feeling hushed. If you're looking for a pair for treble-appreciation, these vintage earbuds might not be for you.

Soundstage:
Quick Note: Soundstage is a highly subjective spectrum of audio. Different factors such as how the track was recorded or if it was properly mastered, plays a crucial role in identifying soundstage. Please take everything with a grain of ajinomoto seasoning.

Soundstage is average. They are not congested nor bloated and no frequencies smear each other down. Left and right panning is good but feels it can be improved, tracks like Black Rainbows by Hawaii Part II sounded mediocre at best, as female vocals lack proper transition from right to left. Depth and headroom is almost missing.

Layering and Separation:
Due to early roll-off on treble, layering and separation for ANN-N200 suffered but definitely still better than most earbuds. Identifying which instruments are playing should be easy unless you play tracks like Metropolis Part 1 by Dream Theatre, a busy track with multiple layers of string and percussive instruments. Still, they sound remarkable for the price I got them so no qualms for me.

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Comparisons:

Vido Red:
Winner (ANN-N200) If a pair of earbuds beats Vido's bass, then you could be sure that Vido didn't stand a chance from the get-go. Unlike the reds's lows which sounds clear and punchy but suffers greatly from congestion and masks midrange early notes like it's everyone's business, the ANN-N200 produces a much clearer, well-tamed bass. Our challenger has better mid-bass texture, decay and punch, not to mention the smooth tonality of ANN-N200 leaves Vido packing. The only frequency Vido might win is through highs but with a congested soundstage, I'd pick ANN-N200 more so than the $2 champions.

Moondrop Shiro-Yuki: Winner (ANN-N200) Honestly I don't think Shiro-yuki can win against any other earbuds unless it's against bootleg or LG earbuds that sounds way more metallic than moondrop's. I'd take ANN-N200 any time of the day, as they're not offensive. Moondrop Shiro-yuki's sound signature aims to displease everyone with thin bass, a fatiguing treble and sharp peaks. ANN-N200 on the other hand is so smooth it's like the God of butter himself bathed with it. Our challenger is the clear winner.

Qianyun Qian39: Winner (Qian39) Frankly the best comparison when it comes to overall tonality. They're both clean, smooth sounding but Qian39 edges out of the competition because of its serenading timbre. Despite having almost the same bass presentation, the Qian39's lows feels well separated going into lower midrange, not to mention the vocals are lush and richer. ANN's early roll-off from 300hz to highs made Qian39 superior in every way from soundstage to sparkles and definition. Qian39 takes the pedestal over our challenger this time.

Conclusions:
As vintage earbuds go, the ANN-N200 far surpassed my expectations. I've been aware of the stigma when it comes to blind buying vintage earbuds, as they might sound like your neighbors's karaoke binge at 3 am. I'm happy to say that ANN-N200 doesn't fall on any of those prejudicial categories. They're lacking when it comes to treble but they're very pleasant to listen to. If you find them in good condition and for sale on your local marketplace, grab them; they're worth the trouble as collection pieces go.

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