Reviews by SynaestheticA

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
The Review You've Been Waiting For
Pros: Dual-Channel Audio Jack
Cons: Bass
Mids
Highs
Staging
Imaging
Quality
Tonality
Frequency
Missing Frequencies
Should be more Missing Frequencies if they aren't going to tune them
No Bass
Shallow tips and fit
Sibilant
Alright. It's the review you’ve all been waiting for. The Krisworld Singapore Airlines Complimentary IEM.

It’s those secret IEM’s, diamonds in the rough and needles in the haystack which keep this hobby alive.

The Complimentary Krisworld IEM is not one of them.

All audio was tested using FLAC files and high quality video via a mobile phone AUX.

Packaging
These come packed in a plastic puch that requires ripping the top off, however it is resealable which allows the packaging to double as a little pouch. Something you don't see a lot of from other manufacturer (Other Brands Take Note).

Accessories
This come with a single medium sized eartip and no other sizes for tip rolling providing. For the price, it's not bad, but some deeper fitting tips would have been nice.

The first thing you’re going to want to do with these bad boys is some tip rolling. Unfortunately the 2 pin in flight connector makes cable rolling an impossible task but hey, still better than MMCX am I right?

Tip insertion on the stock tips is short and doesn’t fit comfortable in the ear so pair of longer Tri Clarions was in order to bring out more bass and also get a better fit.

Cable had no microphonics and was otherwise comfortable. If you only have $4000 iems in your collection and are too scared to take them outdoors with you, then the good news is you wont feel any of that ambivalence with these. And if you play your cards right (Steal from your neighbors at the end of the flight) then you can end up with a few extra of these in case (God forbid) anything were to happen when out and about.

Design
The design is simple bullet style iem with a deep dark blue plastic shell and a classy golden Singapore Air logo on the faceplate. along with L/R indicators which I really don't think is necessary.

Sing Air 1.jpg


Overall Frequency/Sound
Disgusting is sub title Crinicle gave these back in 2018 and I believe that title is still fit for these. in fact, due to the simplification in colour scheme Singapore Air has employed since 2018 when they lost the orange colour around the nozzle, I think it's fair to say the sound signature may even be worse now than before.

It's hollow, lifeless, 1 dimensional, sibilant and missing entire frequencies.

Here is Crinicles FR Graph from 2018
1704308773599.png


And Here is Mine

Below is the FR Graph for the Krisair Complimentary iem based off technical listening and plotting of sine-waves to my ears.

graph-baseline.png


Actually pretty close to Crinicles if you ask me.

Let's dig into the details!!

Bass
It’s not that the bass is bad, It’s just that it’s not there at all. If you refer to the made up FR you can see very clearly that the gaps in bass response. It feels less than 2 dimensional coming in at a full 1 dimension. Bass begins at the very final bass note giving it no body, rumble or texture. I hate them.

I never thought I would say these words but Singapore Air sure could learn a thing two from Beats audio.

crap, Raycon could probably lend a hand here.

Mids
Mids might at first seem acceptable, but it quickly becomes clear that there are entire gaps in frequencies coming through. Tonally, they’re off, violins sound like Guitars and a voice as distinct as Morgan Freemans could be mistaken for Danny Trejo.

Ok it’s not that dramatic. But it ain't good. It’s $0.07 good. Which is the feeling I have that these cost. Most likely less. If KZ or any of the chi-fi brands can pull off a $1 iem, there is no way these are costing a business in the air industry any more than 10c a pop.

Even male voices manage to cause pain which a new experience for me. So points for new experiences as well as a fantastic in flight breakfast array goes to Singapore Air.

You’ll be consistently reminded of the missing audio as you’re hit with peaks up in the upper mid frequencies which cause you to wince and turn the volume down. But then you will miss voices, instruments and other necessary parts of audio, which will make you want to turn these up again. In a way, it's a great cure of sibilant prone folks who after a few minutes with these will be begging for the shrillest consumer model out there just for a reprieve.

Treble
If I'm being honest. The best part of this IEM. The sibilance and pain comes from voices (Even male voices) but not from cymbal crashes. Extension isn't bad either tbh.

Teardown (Ok I used a kitchen nutcracker to snap them open)

WhatsApp Image 2024-01-03 at 20.23.33_e08f21d2.jpg



Is It Worth It?
Now by Head-Fi standards the cheaper the IEM the higher the ranking, terrible IEM that cost $7? Well how do you beat that value?

Depending on how you look at it, this complimentary in flight IEM cost me either $4500 with a ticket to Europe or was indeed free and complimentary. Making it a 1 star either way.

However, I wouldn't go so far as to say “you couldn’t give these away” because they do. To thousands of people every day, who use them for hours on end (Burn in anyone)?

These might be more used than any other IEM on this site. which is the interesting intersection between necessity and quality.

Final Thoughts
It’s rare to find a set of IEM’s that perform worse than the audio output from a mobile phone. But just like exemplary customer service, comfortable seats and a great selection of inflight food and entertainment, Singapore Air has done it.

Now I would be interested to see how these perform under proper amplification. Would a Cayin DAP make these babies sing?

It remains to be seen.

I wouldn't be jumping up and down to try and get my hands on a pair but if you find yourself flying Singapore Air, a great crew member is going to great you with a smile as they hand them to you for free and it sure is hard to beat that service.
Exekuhtor
Exekuhtor
Ok, but have you tried modding them and using them balanced with a palladium-plated gold cable on a Cayin N30LE? It really brings out the details.
S
stormwrx
Thanks for the laughs! With a balanced cable and A&K SP3000, these are S-tier for sure! :)
SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
@jmwant I'd give these a miss and save up for the Etihad airways complimentary IEM

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
But They're Cheap Right?
Pros: Sub-Bass
Mid Physicality
Left / Right stereo sound
Out of head feel
Cons: Foamy sound
Bass-Cap
Clashy unclear highs
Can be noisy
The EW200 was sent to me courtesy of an impromptu message from a Simgot rep. Considering all the hype around these I was surprised I would be getting asked if I wanted to Partake, but given all the Simgot love. Well yea colour me a curious little Betsy.

Foreword
Full disclosure, I am frustrated by the never ending barrage of Chinese IEMS hitting the market, receiving praise after praise, with the dreaded “This is an easy, no-brainer, simple recommendation, eSpEciALly at $45!!!!

And If I have $55? Then what? Then what?

While I understand budgets are budgets and that can actually be very helpful, if all I want is a fantastic IEM, what am I meant to make of that?

I get so annoyed by the Chi-fi and am so distrustful of the reviews praising them that I wanted to buy the 5 cheapest and highest rated IEM’s to review myself just to prove how completely average they really are. I was going to compare them to TWS and was certain the Denon Perl Pro would beat them all.

I didn’t do that because I had a moment of maturity. But there lies my bias.

Ok so that’s my bias onto the Simgot EW200 review.

Review
At first I was quite surprised by how good they sounded. However the more Iisten the more things I come across that has me scratching my head for the barrage of 4.5 & 5 star reviews.

Sound is out of head and has noticeably enjoyable left to right sound which I’m not sure has anything to do with tuning and am certain every earphone does as well as another, but on several tracks the sound oscillated across from one piece to the other in such a vibratory and physical way which I've only felt from an all BA set.

Bass
I am pretty sure that bass is my favourite frequency and found the EW200 to be delightful in the sub-bass and pretty good in the upper bass notes. Although it does feel inconsistent. On some tracks that I know for certain have large electronic kicks such as Astrix - Deep Jungle, the EW200 doesn’t quite reach the required levels of boom. But on other tracks with lesser bass they feel like they hit above what is required of them (which is a good thing). Overall it feels like there is a bass-cap that stops them from hitting those louder and larger bass notes. But on acoustic music feel wonderfully done.

Mids
The mids are both my favourite part of this set and my least favourite part. You'll hardly notice it on electronic music, but on female vocal tracks it sounds like their voice is coming to be through a piece of foam. Lacking the extension and full brightness of a lady voice. Piano keys also come through sounding as if you’re hearing them from outside the room they’re being played in.

It’s less apparent on male vocals and not a concern on electronic music but is a pretty noticeable otherwise.

Why the mids are also my favourite part?

Its all in the oscillations man.

When the mids are good they are really good, physical and well placed. They are detailed and have an extension that allow them to flow up and down the mix.

Highs
Not my favourite part of the EW200. It’s not that they sound “spicy” or too bright, but rather that they are slightly harsh without any of the details. Harsh and veiled would be the two words that intersect to describe them yet they really aren’t as bad as those words would suggest.

If i was going to be constructive I would say either dull/recess them down a bit, or tune them to provide more clarity with less peaks.

Overall sound
Feels a bit like an oxymoron. While they have good depth to the sound, they also seem noisy. As if there are never any gaps in the music. It leaves little breathing space for notes and everything feels like it just whizzes past with the next sound jammed in. The longer I listen the more apparent it becomes.

Positives
Overall what I like about this set are the visceral sub bass. Mid oscillations and technicals depth.

Improvements
Where I could see some easy improvements are on the upper register tuning, bass consistency and mid range tonality/clarity. As well as space & air.


Get them?
To me being cheap doesn’t affect the sound. Does a free pair of 2010 earbuds from my computer lab class get a 5 star because they didn’t cost me anything?

The question is, do I want to listen to these or not? Why would I spend $5, $15 or $450 on something that’s not going to give me something new.

To be fair, If you don’t critically pull apart your sound, have the unique ability to just enjoy the music, want something premium feeling, premium looking and and comfortable. Then I think you will really enjoy these.

However, for the critical listener I think there are too many things in need of improvement to just sit back and enjoy these,

Take that as you will.
Ace Bee
Ace Bee
Certainly a very different and fresh point of view. Although my impressions do not align with yours, I commend you for being honest in your opinions.
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Oh the curse of critical listening. When it's on, it's never off :dt880smile: Maybe when one listens to something really expensive, one can convince their brain to stop nitpicking for once.

Great review, mate! Btw, I don't think many IEMs can do that out-of-head imaging, regardless of price point. If this IEM can, it would be an impressive aspect.

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
The CEO of Music
Pros: Soundstage
Dirac Virtua
Textured Bass
Overall Sound Presentation
Excitingly Positioned Bass
Unique Sound
Features and bit n' bobs
Cons: ANC off can't be toggled without using APP. It's ANC/Social mode toggled via touch. Or neither via app.
Denon.jpg


Lets get something out of the way

I'm not a feature and benefits guy. I don't care for ANC. A TWS app doesn't do anything for me, I don't care about setting touch controls, awareness mode is useful but I also do not care for talking to people with an earbud in. Just take it out. Are you the worlds laziest person; It's like going for a run with a person wearing a blindfold.
EQ is useful, but every audio player now has a built in eq and although I do occasionally make a tweak hear or there I'd prefer not to have to.

Why do I say all this?

To set expectations, so that when I rate the Denon PerL Pro 5 stars, we have no illusion as to why.

It actually does need saying these days, but I buy in-ear-musical-devices for the sound they produce.

It's the music..... It's always been the music.

1693093651279.png



I'm just like you, I want sound quality to be fantastic. I want to be blown away. We've all had that experience and we're all chasing it again and that's how you create an addiction hobby.

What I've found in throughout this addiction hobby is that most IEM makers are making a slight tuning variant of the same sound. The tuning, peakiness or smoothness, width and colour of the notes might all change but the presentation of that sound remains largely the same.

"the most honest reproduction of a recording" or something like that. Each IEM/TWS is a slightly improved version of the same vision. a slightly more textured bass, but it's the same kind of bass. A slightly wider stage, but the same stage.

The Denon PerL Pro doesn't do that and that's why the PerL Pro gets 5 stars. It plays by it's own rules and hasn't invited anyone else to play. They make the rules and don't ask for other peoples opinion. They are the CEO of music.

I mean it when I say I prefer this over most wired earbuds I've owned. The sound presentation is simply more exciting.

Yea it is also probably in the top 3 tws out there for features and I'm sure you're paying for them to some extent. But for this feature hater I think the sound is still worth the asking price.

Sound
The first thing moment of enjoyment comes from the soundstage. It's bigger than almost anything I've experienced. Rivaling the Noble Kublai Khan in depth width and sheer outdoor dancefloor like presentation.

There is no better way to describe it then saying that is like having speakers in your ears. If you've ever been on a festival dancefloor, a bush doof or to a lesser extend a good night club then you can start to picture how the sound comes across.

It's as if you have two huge rigs either side of you blasting bass while the mids and highs sit in between the blasts flying through the air with as much as space as they need.

In fact I've found the more complicated and busy the track the better these perform as more and more sounds fill the space without ever creating a sense of there just being too much in the mix.

This isn't an honest reproduction of sound. It doesn't adhere to a studios concept of how music should be heard. It's the kind of sound that has people on a dancefloor windmilling their arms and jumping from foot to foot. Fist pumping and head banging. if you like to party, these are for you.

3D
These are also one of the first pairs of earbuds that has made a lot of audio talk make sense to me. When I hear people talk about a V or U shape signature I truly have no idea what that means in practice considering the typical V or U shape graph looks nothing like a V or a U but more like a slight dip between two tiny mounds of bass and sparkle.

The stage like 3D nature of the PerL Pro allows you to perfectly visualise a multifaceted sound where you can place big speakers on the side pumping bass out, a singer in the middle of the stage and high's high above it. In a prism like formation that is about as dynamic as it gets.

Against the Noble Fokus Pro the mids don't attack in the same upfront forward way but rather sit in the centre of that prism loud, clear and wonderfully separated with more than they need to be honest but then again, as a soundstage sucker, I don't really believe there is such a thing as too much space.

For You?
In fairness to you, dear reader. If you listen to more chilled out genre or intimate music, honestly these may be wasted on you. They are glorious with things like Electronica, Psytrance, Goa trance, Drum n Bass, Metal and other hardcore genres that get you moving.

A Rebranding?

There is reason to believe these are just a rebranding of the Nura True Pro and by all accounts they are. However there are some significant changes to the PerL Pro that could all have been implemented by a few software updates OR could have been purposeful fixes before releasing to the public.

First of all I think the sound is largely the same. Every one has stopped talking about the NTP technology and begun using Massimo AAT to describe the hearing test as if it was always a Denon technology. That's neither here nor there because the two biggest issues that stopped the Nura True Pro from hitting 5 stars have been solved.

Most importantly Connectivity: The NTP was unusable outdoors for me. Even If I held my phone 5 cm from my face and the TWS it was an experience of consistent and non stop cutouts on both an android and iphone on every codec at all times. Considering how nice these are to have in your ears while running that was a no go for me. 2 replacements didn't help and eventually I got a refund which I put into this Denon purchase.

Secondly: there was a huge jump in volume from turning ANC on and off. If you had ANC off and wanted to switch it on you genuinely needed to push the volume down a few steps first, lest you blow your hearing molecules away.

Both these have been resolved and I gotta say, I'm in no need of another pair of earbuds wired or wireless.

The only remaining nit pick would be the weird design of not being able to toggle anc/no anc/awareness mode. You can toggle between anc and awareness but if you want neither on you cant assign this to the touch commands and need to go into the app to turn off the option of both anc & awareness mode altogether.

I'm sure this a chip/software thing but would be nice to toggle between the three.

ANC
As someone who has what I recognise as a nonsensical moral imposition to active noise cancellation (It's rude, the worlds noise ain't that bad, passive isolation works well enough 9 x out of ten, it encourages companies to focus on the wrong aspect of their audio device AND it generally ruins the audio making it an oxymoron for consumers who want the best sound AND the best anc (You don't get both so be a big boy and grow up)).

That is all to preface this point.

ANC is fine on these. At first I preferred it but still dislike the whole concept of ANC. I've also found it can muddy the upper bass and lower mids. However the low end feels a bit heavier and more chonky, sitting the immersion mode somewhere between + 1 and +2 at a nice + 1.5 (When ANC on and immersion set at 1).

AAT
I'm still skeptical of hearing test technologies. I think the sound at first is neutered so that after the hearing test the dynamics are added making the music sound better no matter which profile is being used.

Also different eartips give completely different sounds, with some making the music skewed a certain colour vs others which might make them brighter (Like Spintips).

It doesn't matter to me as the music sounds great anyway. Just seems like a convenient way for audio companies to avoid serious sound criticism as (everyone will have a different experience and therefore there is no objectivity to be spoken about).

Once again that doesn't matter as there are no criticisms to be had here.

Denon Purchased Nura specifically for the personalised sound technology so I'm sure it isn't all mumbo jumbo. But how and why it works is beyond me.

Fit
If you have shallow or small ears there is a possibility these wont fit very well. My ears are like golden monkey ears, everything small and everything large fits in them. So consider that before purchasing these. Just look at those beautiful ears.

Golden Ears.jpg
PerL in Ear Crop 2.jpg



Comparisons
Nura True Pro
These are the Nura True Pro in every way only more reliable with outdoor connectivity as well as improved volume control when swapping between ANC and ANC off. There are no other serious comparisons to make here.

Check my Nura True Pro Review for more in depth details on Mids, Bass etc.

Noble Fokus Pro
I got the Fokus Pro pretty recently actually when the Nura True Pro failed me. They are pretty great at what they do. Mids have a stronger more forward attack but sit within a tighter stage. It never feels congested but it also never feels like a dancefloor.

The Fokus Pro I would say are one of the best at playing the best version of that sound that everyone is trying to get in the TWS space but doesn't hold up to the Denon.

The PerL Pro is more unique, has a bigger stage, better bass presentation, more features, better separation and a more engaging overall sound presentation.


IMR BC 2023
I want to compare these to a wired IEM to prove a point. The IMR BC 2023 is probably the most classically balanced IEM I own. They are maybe the best version of that sound everyone is trying to reach that I've heard. I like them, but they don't 'wow' me purely because 'the best version of that sound everyone is trying to reach' isn't the most exciting sound it's just a balanced one. Balance is great, nothing wrong with balance. But balance doesn't = more fun.

The PerL Pro has a waaay wider and deeper stage, equal separation, way more engaging bass with better sub-bass, highs about on par.

The BC 23 extends vocals a bit further and in all honesty does have a more compelling mid range with vocals on the DPP feeling like they roll off a tad sooner.

The Denon though is more 3D in nature, has a more out of head feeling and is near equal in note texture. If you've ever seen those 3D topographical heat maps (image below for your convenience).
1693053993938.png


The IMR BC plays notes with texture like the image, being able to visualise them just a bit more with their ups and downs. it could be due to codec but it is what it is. That being said, the PerL Pro still has a similar feel, just not to the same extent and despite the difference, it is still more engaging and better built for busy fast chaotic passages.

Tri i3 Pro & 7HZ Timeless
The Denon is better than both of these imo. The Subbass is better along with a soundstage that can't be matched. I do consider the Timeless a cleaner sound than the i3 Pro but I consider the i3 Pro more dynamic, heavier and fun than the Timeless. The Denon is better than both with smoother high end and no harshness, more space for instruments, a better musical presentation stronger bass, cleaner mids.

You name it, I don't think these wired sets have can touch the Denon.

Finale
In short, I would challenge anyone who claims that a $100 chi-fi product "Can easily beat any tws" to put these in their ears and tell me they have ever heard a wired iem present a sound in the same way.

I know this forum and this hobby is riddled with 4 and 5 star reviews on products that probably don't deserve a place in that space. And I know those ratings influence people to purchase products for their addiction hobby.

So don't buy these. Continue listening to the same variant of the same sound, continue telling yourself that 36 different tuning switch options and filter nozzles are a great way to tailor the sound to your liking.

Continue telling yourself that bluetooth can't compete with the wired earbuds that cost $20 but need a Cayin stack to be driven properly.

I truly don't mind. Because I'm not the one missing out.

Denon 2.jpg

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B
brodyphone
Thanks for this very usefull review! Have you also heard the Devialet Gemini? They both seem to go in the same directions.
SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
At @yeowyap can't help on the HiBy app sorry. Haven't used it. Would have thought controls are in the bud not influenced by an app.

Also I do find them bassy absolutely (tune immersion down if needed) I wouldn't recommend these to someone who didn't want bass. But it doesn't touch the other freqs and it's a live speaker like bass which is pretty fantastic.
SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
@brodyphone almost everyone is having a better fit experience with the Devialet and from what I've read there are a lot of similarities in sound presentation with some people preferring the Gemini II.

Haven't heard it but I'd recommend buying either from a place with a decent return policy if that's an option.

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
Teachers Pet
Pros: Design
Pretty Cable
Comfortable
Good tips selection
Sub-bass
Cons: Hyped
Bass
Volume
Driver requirements
I opened up Head-fi today and you know what I thought?

This sight needs another 7Hz Timeless review.


I purchased the Timeless right after hearing the Tri i3 Pro. My favourite part of the i3 Pro was the Planar sounding mids. I heard it and instantly wanted more! Bigger, Louder!!

The Timeless certainly delivers some of that. I describe the planar "sound" as if all the sounds/tones/notes in their multitudes of layers, and instruments are eminating from a singular wave. Like a plasma

I've also heard some people call it a wall of sound effect. I like mine better.


Design, Form, Cable, Tips
Contrary to some comments i've read I quite like the cable. I think it looks a little sexy, it's super sleek, has nice connectors and is all round decent quality. it also isn't too heavy which I like for convenience sake.

I also like the rotating connector.

Unpopular opinion I know..

And tips? I actually found best sound and fit with the supplied tips. (what am I? The devils advocate?) I opted for the dark blue ones purely because they looked cool. I did test Spinfits, Azla Sedna, Comply, The Nuarl Block + which I use on pretty much everything as well as some other brands but found the stocks did the job for me.

As for the IEM form. Pictures made it look a lot bigger, i was expecting something around the size of the Nuratrue Pro but was pleasently greeted by a much smaller sexy little iem.

And packaging? A delight, YES! The metal case is not the most useful, but having somehow missed on every review I read I truly wasn't expecting it and thought it added a very nice touch.


Sound

The sound of these can change quite a lot. For most my listening I was using it through my phones aux cable. Now say what you will, but I think I should be able to do this, a single driver, not too expensive, why shouldn't it work on a phone? Well the sound was thin and not particularly dynamic. It still worked on some genres, but not better than anything else and the volume? OH THE VOLUME!

WONT SOMEBODY THINK OF THE VOLUME.

The Timeless just can't get there on it's own. It gets close, but doesn't hit the sweet spot which is disappointing.

Why do I think it should be able to? Entitlement mostly, the world should work the way I want it to! But also is it unreasonable to suggest that the cheaper the iem the less demanding it should be on equipment? Do I need a Cayin Nii 9 to run a sub $300 iem? Ok, ok, a simple DAC might be fine.

Like the Dragonfly Black, which is what this review is written on.

Also worth noting is that out of a computer or laptop the Timeless is giving you a much better sound.

Actually Sound

The Timeless is a competent resolver of an iem with great separation. The bass lacks a bit of texture, but otherwise can give a non-bass head satisfying amount of bass. Sub-bass also shows itself if it's forced too. But the Timeless won't give it to a track willy-nilly


Bass - The sub-bass of the Timeless is better than the mid bass. It has rumble and impact above and beyond what you would expect from an iem with this kind of mid bass. Electronic Kickdrums dont slam or have weighty body to them but are clearly defined and have enough room to sit by themselves without touching the mids.

The sub-bass is in all ways satisfying and well contained. It's a light experience, not dark and dirty.

Mids - Vocals and instruments sit forward in the mix with what I'd call balanced. They don't quite roar at you and aren't particularly wide or exciting. Listening to it makes you realise that a lot of it's hype was simply hype. A fuller presentation might have impressed me.

Treble - High hats can come across as a little hot as the treble is forward along with the mids. It isn't distasteful but it does stop you from driving the Timeless to higher volumes to get more of those mids. . . . If you can.

Alright alright, I did plug these into my computer to get a better idea of it at high volume which is where the treble impression comes from.


Technicals -

The Timeless performs very well in the separation department keeping all layers and instruments apart. it is easy to tell what is what in the mix.

Imaging is about average with nothing really specatular or bad. It isn't the type of imaging that makes you feel like you're in front of a stage able to place where each sound is coming from and that's partly due to the soundstage. I don't really no what else there is to say about imaging, it either does that or doesn't. but not doing so isn't necessarily bad.

Soundstage
Soundstage is average or perhaps even below average. The sound isn't narrow in a sense but there is never a sense that music is coming from anywhere but the two speakers in your ears. If you compare this to the Tri i3 Pro and even a lot of TWS earphones you often have to check the connection to make sure you aren't playing tracks out of your phone instead of the IEMs.

I haven't had this sensation with the Timeless which is to it's detriment.

Planar Speed
From everything I've read about Planar and their speed I was expecting more WOW. Yes there is never a sense of 'not being able to keep up' but all that means is that the track is played faithfully without any struggle. However, as we know, struggle builds character.

Life lessons aside. I don't really get it. What does speed mean? You can't play a note faster than it's meant to be played, so what does that leave us? An accurate sound with minimal resonance. Well this daddy likes resonance. And pretty much every type of speaker can play a note as it was meant to be played. So you don't get point for also being able to do it.


Should you buy it?

It isn't a bad little IEM. But it doesn't impress me. Maybe everything else around the $300 market is trash and that's why people shat their panties over this IEM. I can't say. I do personally prefer the Tri i3 despite it being a little less clear purely due to it having some character.

The 7hz Timeless feels like the kid at school that would tell on you for not doing your homework.
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Flicoco
Flicoco
Lmao, this was the best one so far. And yep, overhyped.

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
HiBy Crystal Eyes
Pros: Warm enjoyable bass
Good performance off Mobile Device
Cons: Average synergy with HiBy RS6 DAP
Peaky frequencies
Not as Smooth as new Gen 2
Not as good as Gen 2 overall
High notes hurt in a bad way
Crystal 6 1 . 2.jpg


Crystal 6 Gen 1 is an interesting listen and was considered mostly as a companion IEM to the HiBy DAP range.

This unit was loaned to me by @Joe Bloggs and one of my first experiences with an all BA IEM.

However, I am going to use this review to show my supreme impartiality.

Let's begin

~

The HiBy Crystal 6 (Gen 1) does some things right, but most things wrong. I can see why HiBy would have decided to update this IEM and thank the heavens for that. However there are some caveats to this.

Personally, when running the Crystal 6 (Gen 1) off a mobile device I think it outperforms the Gen 2 in the bass category. Rather than going for a tighter punchier jab of sound you get a softer warmer and more listenable experience. The bass has less texture but also feels more like a warm blanket that hugs you right up.

The technical performance of the Gen 1 also supersedes that of the Gen 2 when run from a regular 3.5 smartphone device.

And the positives stop there.

But let's go over the usual frequencies and rehash some of the above.

Bass
I find the bass of the Crystal 6 softer, warmer and more comfortable to listen to for longer sessions. It doesn't have the depth and attack of it's bigger brother but in some ways i find this preferable as you get a wider more thumpy sound that sticks around a little longer. The sub-bass also doesn't fail to show up making the Crystal 6 capable of plenty of rumbles.

Mids
Mids sit forward and clear in the mix with electronic music. This doesn't seem to have the same oscillation power of the MKII, by which I mean, in acid music you can sometimes feel the acid lead in as much as the same way as you can feel sub-bass. having an electronic lead scrape it's way across your brain is great fun and highly recommended. The Crystal 6 II did a great job at achieving this, I don't get the same sensation with the gen 1.

Female Vocals could be further forward, in Alannah Myles Black Velvet she sounds a few steps back from the front of the stage. Strings however, don't have the same experience, instead they find themselves floating forward around her vocals.

Male vocals are similar in their stage positioning. I didn't notice it with electronic music but when vocal playback comes on I find myself wanting vocals to pushed further forward. There is a very outdoor concert like presentation, like big speakers are shooting vocals forward with you the listener with your ears about 1/4 away from the stage.

Still they are enjoyable to listen to, meld in well with the bass and highs and give the music an honest playback.

High's
Everything is clear, high notes don't linger as long as they could but they are also perfectly transparent and slightly forward in the mix. However female vocals and those Sssss notes come with an added side of harsh peakiness. Sometimes I actually don't mind this, a little pain I actually like, as if the driver is on the edge of it's performance and pushing right on the verge of danger. But the harshness here is more unpleasant than enjoyable and in the wrong places.

Technicals
From a mobile phone without any DAC help the Crystal 6 has Stronger technicals than it's bigger brother the MKII. The soundstage is vaster, there is an out of head feel, imaging is more of a speaker at a concert feeling than a precise positioning of where those instruments are on the stage and separation is great.

This is one of the interesting points between the Crystal 6 and the Crystal6 MKII, on the MKII once plugged into the HiBy RS6 you are experiencing flagship TOTL technicals. it really is awesome, and the source difference is massive.

On the first gen, despite performing better with lower power sources it doesn't quite reach TOTL level technicals once powered by the RS6. It becomes smoother and clearer but doesn't open up nearly as much.

Conclusions
Overall this product is no longer available on the HiBy store and has been superseded by a much more capable companion (The Gen 2). The synergy with of the OG Crystal 6 with the RS6 isn't so great that I would rush out and get it. However the second gen is seriously worthy and one of the only IEM's that received a MASSIVE soundstage with the RS6.

I really only wrote this review so that I could post the below photo



Crystal 6 1.jpg


Final Words
Just get the Crystal Gen 2
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SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
Reaching The Zeta Zone
Pros: Treble
Treble
Treble Treble Treble
Upper Mids
Analogue Bass
Angelic
Cons: Seriously can not find faults in this unit since taking advice of 0ogenesiso0 in comments below
The HiBy Zeta

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Disclaimer:
This is a Feelings-No-Facts review.

My favourite kind.

~

Review sample was loaned courtesy of @Joe Bloggs

Sound impressions are based off the HiBy RS6 DAP pairing.

~~

I'm not usually very good at describing treble, or what it is that I like about high notes. It's easier to acknowledge what it is that I don't like about Treble. I don't like it harsh or peaky (Although I'm in no way sensitive to it). I don't like it dull (although I mostly listen to electronic so it isn't too bad if it is) and I don't like treble pushed more forward than mids (Mids just seem more important to me).

Most treble to me is perfectly "adequate". I thought I felt this due to the music I listened too. In an electronic track you don't have all the naturalness of pitch to deal with, it's much easier to get sounds within a smooth pleasant frequency.

But the HiBy Zeta changes all of that.

In a way this review could be about nothing else but treble. I've never experienced a presentation like this, but it couldn't possibly just be about treble, because in many ways sometimes I don't know where the upper mids end and the high notes begin. Everything about the mids and high notes feel so elevated. Shiny, glistening and Sparkly are words you might often hear, This is beyond that.

It feels like there is a giant bright spotlight being shone onto the upper frequencies of tracks. Yet it doesn't create and analytical or "bright" sound. In some ways the dynamic bass offsets what will sound like "brightness" as I describe it. But it isn't brightness, it's a thick glimmering that flies across your brain and fills your head with light in way that can probably be best represented by the upper stage of enlightenment from that expanding mind meme.

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Higher notes come across with so much fullness and such a shine that it is quite often difficult to register where the higher mids and treble really end and begin.

When you read that you might think "gee that sounds bad" but you'd be wrong. And the measure of a person is to know when to admit that.

Instead it's a testament to the cohesion of the HiBy Zeta. When I listen to any other IEM including the Kublai Khan I can tell that there are different drivers doing things. There is clear separation and micro details to assist with that. With the Zeta and with the exception of the dynamic bass, everything flows out as if it's one big note creating a sense of fullness with an ethereal fog light being put onto the upper notes.

That isn't to say that separation is in any way inhibited. The opposite, separation is fantastic with the Zeta being able to handle just about any convoluted passage due to the highs that just fly effortlessly over head.

I told you, I could make this review about nothing else but Treble.

For those of you that have heard a successful implementation of EST drivers maybe this experience is common. But this is my first time with them and it's sensationally good. There's a word we can stick with, because it creates a sensation in your head. I find myself listening to treble heavy music just to feel the treble and fill my brain as I expand into the fifth dimension of consciousness.

Bass

Alright yea, there is bass too. When I first listened I had just come from the Hiby Crystal6 all BA set and my first impression was that HiBy should have gone with a BA bass implementation. Too be completely honest, they still could have, it would be neither here nor there but it would certainly be a different IEM.

The bass is huge, truly massive and thick and vibrating. But it is also soft and warm, it doesn't stab at you and it doesn't become overwhelming with higher volumes. I mention this as with the Kublai Khan the bass is the thing that stops me from being able to crank the volume. That's not a criticism, some frequency would sooner or later stop me from being able to give myself long term hearing damage, with the KK it's the bass. With the Zeta, despite the size and power of the bass, it doesn't stop the sound from being CRANKED.

In some ways I thought the speaker like concert feeling of the bass didn't fit with the ethereal nature of the other frequencies, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. It is the only part of the Zeta that stops the feeling of total cohesion within electronic music specifically but it doesn't stop the feeling of total immersion. The bass forces you to head bang and dance with your foot and just make you feel like you're at one big concert while the rest of the notes lift you up into the clouds.

The bass has an analogue feel ok? You all know what that means.

The rest of the Zeta is lovely.

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They are quite compact yet have a great weight to them giving them a real sense of longevity, sturdiness and top end feel. The actual design on the face plate itself I feel neither here nor there for. See! I am impartial. It's not bad but it isn't some beautiful design you want to swaddle and stare at. In the ear they feel great and smooth, I have not an inch of discomfort.

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The nozzle is normal length but due to the rest of the shell not protruding too far into the ear it isn't the longest fit. personally I like this as most tips fit and I can get a great seal with everything pushed up against my ear. They feel very secure.

The cable is a lovely cable, thick and a very nice colour of blue. Another colour would (I think) have given the overall design of the shell and cable a better more cohesive look. The blue on silver is fine, but doesn't really match. One of those nice metal looking graphite cables or something more grey would have suited better. But it's not like the blue is problematic so let's leave that there.

IMG-20230518-WA0007.jpg


I believe you only get a 4.4 connection with these which I'm sure everyone on this site has a source for already. I however do not so I can't test these on my phone to see the difference between running these on the RS6 and a phone. But if the Crystal 6 is anything to go by it will be night and day in every way.

Worth noting though is these are quite easy to drive. Swapping between the IMR Bass Cannon 2023 and the Zeta on the HiBy RS6 requires me to push the volume down as the Zeta just doesn't need it. BTW since we are talking about the Bass Cannon, the Zeta is the real Bass Cannon here.

Graphs
I could only do much worse than the very comprehensive @o0genesis0o in the other review, I'd strongly recommend going ahead and referring to those to get your dose of facts.

Comparison

This is the part I've been most excited about. Comparing the HiBy Zeta to the Noble Kublai Khan. The only other Flagship TOTL IEM I've heard/own (I do not own the Zeta).

The KK is the more technically proficient model. Microdetails and definition is above the Zeta quite significantly with the bass feeling tighter, punchier and more defined. You can see more of the bass, it's 3d and holographic in the sense that with electronic kickdrums I can visualize every angle of the kick.

However, that punchiness can also be overwhelming and if I was sensitive to migraines I'm certain it would have been given me one. Both can be considered bass monsters with the HiBy coming across as warmer, softer and less fatiguing in that region.

Here is the fun part. I think the Zeta high's "feel" more musical and delicious. The way they flow and the spotlight presentation of them YES does lose some microdetail but YES YES YES does it feel amazing to have in your ears. I've come to the learn that the forward presentation pf microdetails doesn't necessairly make an iem better. It's one hell of an experience, but it isn't the only thing that matters.

That being said, overall the KK is probably the one you would pick if you for some reason where deciding between the two, but the price bracket difference is pretty significant so the comparison really isn't that informative, I just bring it up as I wanted to.

The technical proficiency of the KK I just can't imagine being improved upon and I'm a sucker for technicals. But let's not take away from the important statement here which is "The upper mid and treble presentation of the Zeta is more musical and enjoyable to me than those of the KK"

Which is pretty damn badass.

I also occasionally find the KK to be like a sweet. It's delicious in small doses but sickening to have all day long. The Zeta I could have in my ears for the rest of my life.

Song Time

Yea alright how about some music.

in Leonard Cohens Hallelujah you really notice something when the choir ladies come in towards the end of the song. Their hallelujah pierces through the air and lingers long after the note is over.

Pretty much every Regina Spektor track just goes off the scales as her piano and voice assert themselves in the mix with smooth angelic ability. There is an added emotionality to female vocals that elevate them into the heavens and it really comes out here.

The Genius Next Door (which I'm pretty sure is about teenagers cumming in a lake) starts with piano keys that feel like they are being played in your head. her voice leaves resonance in the track that feels like it continues rising well after she has finished harmonizing.

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I could review a Patricia Barber track but; and no disrespect meant to Patricia but how many people are buying IEMs just to listen to Patricia Barber?

Why not listen to another song about Jesus instead? It seems fitting considering the angelic presentation we get here.

God Only Knows by the Beach Boys starts fairly harsh and sibilant on the all BA set HiBy Crystal (Gen 1). On the Zeta the treble is smoothened over despite extending much further into your mind. Their higher pitched vocals work really well here and stay separated during the all of the crossover harmonizing. The jingles and cymbals reach higher than they have any business being and extend deep in the mix while also managing to be forward and ever present.


Where HiBy could Improve

I wouldn't want to change anything by the way of frequency presentation. However some of the technical performance could be taken to another level to create an even more unreal experience. Soundstage width specifically as well as microdetail retraival are the only two places I could really suggest making any change at all.

Soundstage is usually a deal breaker for me. If it don't have it I don't want it. The Zeta is over what I need as a minimum but it isn't as grandiose as it could be.

And that's all really.

*Edit: since taking advice of 0ogenesiso0 in comments below I no longer have any suggestions on improvement of the Zeta.

Soundstage opens up significantly with the right power or EQ profile. I can imagine cable rolling having similar effects.

~~

I can imagine a world where people with more experience could suggest further improvements. But for me the tuning and implementation of sound is above and beyond what I thought I could expect from an iem. When I first read about Planar drivers I thought music was going to sound completely different to other drivers, only to find it it still sounds like music. The Zeta with it's EST is a true point of difference and IS that different presentation I was expecting with a Planar.

Final Disclaimer: I've been influenced by overly enthusiastic reviews before. You read them and think "Wow, if someone can say all of this with cogent energy they musty be good". And then you get the things and they are just fine. It's annoying. I get it. But this is a feelings-no-facts review so we're all just going to have to live with that.

So why a 5 star?
I see a plethora of reviews that rate a product a 4 or 4.5 despite mentioning glaring issues or room for improvements. It's hard to rate something at 3 or below as it feels mean, it might hurt someone's business and quite frankly this is all subjective and you could very well be in the minority of your opinion.

To me a 5 star isn't about the sound being "perfect" or hitting a certain number of criteria. It is about music being presented in a unique and interesting way that makes the addition of that unit a worthwhile consideration in a collection.

The Zeta does effortlessly by creating a sound presentation that is sensational.

The Zeta sound has character and confidence as well as excellent ergonomics and design. It isn't just a well done IEM but a unique IEM with a beautiful sound.
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o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Fun review, mate!

The narrow soundstage is somewhat due to the RS6. I mostly use RS6 with something with a lot of stage already like U12T and Andromeda. For something with more depth than width like Zeta, I had better experience pairing with Topping G5 or even Shanling M6 Ultra.

Btw, Joe left some impulse response profiles in the RS6 that he creates for Zeta. One applies some EQ, the other one also has speaker emulation. Turning everything on creates quite interesting sound.
SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
Been meaning to give you a shout out for this comment since you made it. Those controls worked a charm, made them perfect for me. Still haven't been satisfied with an IEMs treble since hearing the Zeta.

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
Smooth Oscillator
Pros: Dreamy Sound
Smooth
Design
Technicals are HUGE on RS6
Kickdrums never wane
Mids spray music at you like a fireman
Perfect companion to the RS6
Cons: Long Nozzle = Careful Tip Selection
Not fantastic for every genre, big bass music doesn't benefit
Technicals not all there on regular phone output
Hiby R6 IIII.jpg



The Hiby Crystal6 II was loaned courtesy of Joe Bloggs as a little runners up gift for their latest review tour.

Disclaimer: People being nice to me influences my opinion and makes me want to say nice things.

I joke, these are just sound impressions to my ears.

From everything I’ve read Hiby IEMs have been considered companion products to their DAPS, one of which I was also sent the Hiby RS6. This review is a mix between sound impressions from the RS6 and from my regular android phone the Oppo Reno 8 Lite.

The Crystal6 II is my first all BA IEM, if i’m being upfront, impressions of BA only IEMs always seem to have some caveat:-

“I can’t believe an all BA is able to produce this sound”

“This is the best bass i’ve heard from a BA”

"I can't even pick up on that dreaded BA Timbre"


You’ve read the rest of them. But suffice to say caveats don’t come across as particularly confident and I’ve never really considered an all BA set.

Well it’s safe to say after some pretty extensive listening across devices that I genuinely like this IEM simply as an IEM.

I won't be able to give my impressions without referring to pre-conceived notions I had prior to listening to this, so away we go

~
First of all, I find the shell with it’s opalescent streaks, understated but beautiful. They aren’t flashy enough to make you feel like it’s jewellery or an over the top statement piece but they do have a lovely up close look that makes me want to move to Cooper Pedy to dig for opals.



Another plus before sound is that the Crystal6 II can run perfectly well from a 3.5 aux smartphone. I find this pretty important. I like having a phone to sort my music, DAP always seem to come with some kind of downside, my least favourite of which is on board storage space, sd card restrictions and physical size. When I say it can run perfectly fine, I mean that the sound isn't noticeably unenjoyable, the technicals are dramatically reduced on a smartphone but the tone of the frequencies still work together well.

While the Crystal6 II sounds truly extraordinary from the RS6, the sound can still be considered from an Android.

Sound Impressions - Without DAP

Bass

I never originally thought I was a basshead, but after getting into this hobby I’ve discovered that I undoubtedly am. However I do listen to bass heavy music, so for me, it isn’t about being a basshead, but having an accurate representation of bass as the genre requires. When I hear subdued bass, music doesn’t sound neutral to me, but neutered.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that “BA Bass” is just bass. Yes, the tuning here gives more punch and depth than width and weight but it’s actually preferable in some circumstances and I’ve found myself missing it’s clear speed and sharpness when going back to Dynamic Drivers. Circumstances where it isn't good is where you want big wide bass like in Psybass or Drum n Bass but for trance it actually works quite well.

Sub bass is not affected whatsoever by the lack of a dynamic. I find the Sub-bass here more powerful and enjoyable than many other pairs I have. However, here is the most impressive part and a little discovery. . . .

It deserves it’s own paragraph. Kickdrums in convoluted electronic music have always found themselves subdued in busier mixes as other elements come over the top. The consistency of this experience has led me to assume that this is the result of the mix itself, producers purposefully dialing bass back to keep things clean and put focus on melodies. NOPE.

It’s a result of drivers dialing themselves back to make space for the rest of the sound. But this experience is completely different on the Crystal6 II. Throughout none of my testing did I notice a change in tone or volume of kickdrums.

Still, kickdrums are a jab rather than a round house kick, but be assured, you’re still getting hit.

Mids
Might be the star of the show.

Picture a fire man with a fire hose spraying his water up and down. That’s what it feels like the mids achieve from these little tubes. A barrage of sound waves spraying out at you, just like the fire hose, you can feel them as they oscillate up down and around. This is the experience I thought a planar was going to give me, but I find this much more enjoyable.
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They are still well presented and balanced over the bass notes sitting more or less in line with the treble. Voices come across with prominence and when called for a delicateness. Ambient tones are smooth but not quite reaching silky smoothness.

Acid lines in Goa Trance comes across furious and powerful, keeping composure in even the busiest of tracks.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call anything here “Spectacular”, these aren’t quite reference, they don’t grab the microdetails and you aren’t getting the widest presentation of sound. But there is a smooth cleanliness to the sound.

You’re able to drive these quite loud to get more of those clean mids into your ear holes and across your brain which is pure joy and it’s easy to get lost in a track.

Treble
I’ve heard the new Hiby Zeta before listening to this which has tainted my experience somewhat. Had I not heard that, I would have said that the highs have great detail, no sharpness, aren’t hot, cymbal crashes roll of delicately and there is very fine balance of frequencies.

And I will still say all that, because it’s true. But i’ve seen the light, or rather seen the light shone on the treble when 4 EST drivers are being used.

It’s not fair to compare, but after this revelation i have to say that the highs are fine, portrayed true to form, not offensive but not the star of the show.

Technicals
Are not all that and detract from the sound. From a smartphone they are right on average. They don't improve the experience, but they also don't make the experience worse. However for me, I need atleast a big soundstage, it's one of my favourite parts of hearing music. Separation is still good but without the wider stage the imaging is bang on average. You can place instruments but once powered with a DAP the placement becomes much more precise and accurate.

In a lot of ways you can summarize the overall sound like this. The Crystal 6 does everything right, has a smooth presentation and is a fun way to listen to music. I was surprised to see myself enjoying the sound presentation of an all BA set more than the Planar 7HZ Timeless, it’s smooth sound presentation along with the design and driveability make it a great IEM.

Now all that’s without any help from the Hiby RS6

Sound Impressions - With Hiby RS6 DAP
Hiby R6 IIIIIII.jpg

Hiby R6 IIIIII.jpg


YOOOOOOOOOO!


The soundstage opens up immensely, I didn’t have much to say on technicals earlier because they sit on average and there wasn’t much to say, it didn’t take the enjoyment away but it also didn’t increase the enjoyment. Now they are wide, deep, out of head, the delicate nature of the sound is smoother and moreish. There is a nice rounded off distant stage that instruments sit within and curve around without even a chance of bumping into one another.

Without the DAP these were a smooth, clear and enjoyable listen. With the Hiby RS6 the Crystal 6 II sounds unreal. Cohesion is the first thing you will notice with sound flowing at you in a singular fashion. Everything previously mentioned with the lows, mids & highs is maintained but amplified. Bass is still the same but has more power and assertion behind it, they feel like they have more colour within them AND Psytrance kickdrums have that beautiful crack behind them.

The mids still flow at you with a constant oscillation but are smoother, fuller, have edge details and sit within a more separated and larger stage. The highs are still in line with the mids but have more presence without stepping into hot-hot-hot territory.

Songs that include vinyl crackle have it loud and clear, cymbals roll off further and cohesion OH THE COHESION.

I really wasn’t expecting the difference to be so extreme but after hearing this pairing together the claim that the Crystal 6 II was tuned to work with the RS6 makes perfect sense.

I really want to stress that the soundstage when paired with the Hiby RS6 is on on par with with my Kublai Khan. The width and depth are something to behold and these things truly are your ultimate pairing with the RS6.

Sound Summary
These are great for smooth music and almost anything that doesn't need big wide dirty kicks. But I will be the first to say that yes, sometimes you want those big wide dirty kicks and for those moments you are getting more depth than width here. But the mids and highs really flow in what I find to be quite a unique way. With proper power you get a full sound, spacious soundstage


Other Things
The length of the stem is on the longer side, making tip selection important. I wanted to feel everything up against my ear so opted for shorter foam ear tips supplied with the Zeta. It goes without saying but getting the tip deep and cosy gives you more sound.

Photos of the case and tips and all of the unboxing experience can be seen in the earlier review.

I have a photo of the Crystal 6 II on a Rhino


Hiby_R6_III--0-hQeaJqI-transformed.jpeg


Final Thoughts

These seem to me like an obvious pairing to the RS6. There is a lot to like and only very few genres in which you can find something to do a better job and let's be honest, you probably already own whatever those are.

I find vocals, instruments and highs to come across with a wonderful smoothness. The bass is pretty fantastic for particular genres and presented differently and satisfyingly.

My favourite part is the vibrating oscillation of the mids both with and without a DAP. But with a DAP these have so much more to give and the first proof of that for me.

So why a 4.5 star rating? Well the technicals when paired with the RS6 are on par with or close to a kilo-buck IEM. The texture and feeling of the sound is excellent and the smoothness is just so smoooooth.

https://store.hiby.com/products/hiby-crystal-6-ii
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SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
TRI i3 PRO - A Review
Pros: Bass
Sub-bass
Planar mids
Really good for electronic
Meaty
Comfortable
Fun listen
Cons: Needs a bit of assistance to drive at loud volumes (Common Planar issue)
Not particularly sparkly treble
Some mids and highs don't have fantastic seperation
tri i3 4.jpg


TRI i3 PRO - A Review

Looking for a cheaper alternative to the Oriolus Szalayi led me to the Tri i3 Pro with the same driver configuration. This was my first Planar experience and quite a good one at that.

But with so many more options in the market and with time passed are the Tri i3 Pro still worth consideration? Who knows? Who cares? Maybe just me, let's find out.

Disclaimer: I run music through my phone using FLAC files downloaded from Bandcamp. I rarely use a DAP/DAC of which I only have one, the Audioquest Dragonfly Black. I buy my iems for running and therefore don't have a desktop setup or any decent DAC configurations.

~

Form Factor
Upon reading about the i3 Pro I was under the impression it was going to be a lot bigger. The OG was apparently too big for most people and I've read plenty to suggest the size here is still on the large size. I was prepared for this but was pleasantly surprised to find them quite small, with an easy fit in my ear and solid ear security I never need to readjust these when running.

tri i3 3.jpg


Bass
Bass is about as plentiful and present as you would want it. It isn't textured in any great detail but has a solid slam and great sub-bass rumble which makes genres like Drum n Bass quite fantastic to listen to. In fact I could recommend these specifically for Drum n Bass. Vocal, liquid, dancefloor whatever, it all works. More modern tracks have a great slam and the rumbles are absolutely wonderful.

I never get a sense of the bass stepping on the mids however it is fair to say that mids aren't pushed forward. If we were talking about a singer on a stage then I would say they are in the middle of the stage rather than the front or the very back.

Despite not being overly bright the i3 Pro isn't particularly warm or dark which I only mention to say that it has plenty of speed and attack. I could imagine an iem with bigger, deeper and wider bass, but for the rest of the tuning it is pushed right to where it needs to be

Mids
The PLANAR. planar mids are a treat, I've read about them, but only now do I really get it. I'll be honest, I thought at first (From what i've read) that it was a completely new way to hear music. In reality the music is still the music. BUT, it feels like the mid notes are being played on a singular wave length endlessly flowing from the driver with all of the actual different mid notes shooting off from the this wave but always remaining connected. Think of if the Venom Symbiote represented soundwaves.


unidentified-object-virus.gif


Or that gross pink thing from the Igorrr - Very Noise music video

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It's nice, and noticeable, there isn't a chance that the speed won't be adequate and the mids feel very full.

The upper mids do step on the treble somewhat but it isn't really the worst criticism as it isn't too noticeable.

Treble
Despite the dedicated BA treble isn't incredibly defined in the microdetail sector. Female vocals and high notes however are full, linger with a nice resonance are quite wide and have impact. Bright songs don't come across as overly bright but they also don't let bright songs shine.

Technicals
Soundstage is actually quite nice on these, there is an out of head feel, sometimes I got to play music on lower volumes and can't tell if the sound is coming from my phone in front of me or the iems. At higher volumes it obviously becomes more obvious.

it isn't extraordinary however and there isn't much to write home about. However to purely describe it I would say it has good height with lows, mids and highs appropriately stacked and and do somewhat encroach on one another but not in a horrible sense.

Sound Summary
So this all sounds quite positive yes? Well yes it's all very good, but where it stops short as reaching the territory of extraordinary. I don't like mentioning bring price into these things; it's either good or it ain't. But we also have to be fair, I would bring price into things if we were talking about a $4000 iem so why not a $189 pair?

Ok so I broke my rule straight away, clearly not a man of conviction. If this is your budget and you like bass. You want a planar or you just want a heavy full sound to be thrown your way and aren't expecting every nuance of music to appear then these are a great choice.

They convey an emotionality above average and capture the euphoric tones with delight.

However I still consider them just great.

Comparison
The only IEM I have that is a fair comparison is the 7hz Timeless which I immediately purchased after hearing the i3 Pro to get more of that "Planar Sound". They both have their pro's and cons but after some use I do prefer the Tri i3 Pro. They are quite similar but I prefer the bass quantity put out by the Pro, while the Timeless has more of that "Planar wave length" thing going on.

Some people consider the Timeless neutral or as a reference sound iem. To me I think the bass is lesser than what an electronic musician would want and therefore it is not reference but rather missing some low end. However I've read the general sentiment as being there is too much bass so take my words with a grain of sand.

The Timeless has better imaging and separation but less of the meatiness of the i3 Pro and it's weighty mids.

It should also be noted the Timeless performs significantly better when played off a source that is not a phone.

Other stuff

Cable

Cable is decent quality. Thick copper, however I wanted to use the Tri i3 Pro for outdoor exercise so changed it to a thinner and lighter Xinhs silver cable to reduce some weight. I did notice small changes in sound but nothing dramatic.

Volume
As I mentioned I run these off a phone. I do find them lacking in 1 or 2 steps of volume. At home I don't feel the need to drive them to max volume but out during a run they don't quite hit the sweet spot and leave me wanting more. This is a minor grievance as I understand it's common with the planar. However, I have a TOTL Noble iem that runs just fine off a phone and has like 3 x the amount of drivers, so I really do think manufacturers could get there if they tried a little harder.


Truth me told I'm not using a $189 iem on a DAC for critical desktop listening and I don't think it should be standard practice to make these things for a DAP/DAC set up.

On a computer using the regular aux input I can't listen at max volume as it's too loud.

DAC
What a convenient segway. I did try and run these on my Audioquest Dragonfly Black and it completely warped the sound. It's hard to describe but it felt like the drivers started to play all the wrong frequencies without any of the required tuning. Everything became so thin and quite unlistenable. I didn't realise this was possible and that was the end of my testing.

Conclusion
These are fairly inexpensive way to test a fun driver combination. They look and feel nice, have a solid sound presentation with good note weight, standard technicalities with occasional surprises in that department, powerful bass and smooth everything else.

You could really enjoy these, unless you have something better, then you probably wont listen to them a lot.

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SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
@justtsaman

Take with with a grain of pepper as I don't have the go blu. But I was only 1 or 2 volume steps away from satisfactory volume on my Oppo mobile.

On the Dragonfly Black there was no problem, so I think you would be fine with any DAP
justtsaman
justtsaman
Thanks brother 🙏🏼
justtsaman
justtsaman
Thanks brother 🙏🏼

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
Noble Kublai Khan - The Bad Song Review
Pros: Resolves the unresolvable
Takes you back to the good times
Nothing sounds dull
New respect for the Biebers comeuppance
Cons: Still not an Island Boy
Why do I feel like playing Dota?
Can't fix every song
kk 1.jpg


The Noble Kublai Khan, a masterpiece in resolution. Easily the most resolving, exciting and powerful sound I've ever heard, but that's easy, until now I've mostly only listened to True Wireless Earbuds and a few cheapo over-ears.

There's not a lot that hasn't already been said so I today we be different. Today we are going to solely review the sound of these devilish dragon beasts against songs I had no interest in ever hearing again.

Can they make some of the objectively most despised songs sound acceptable? Nice? Enjoyable even?

Let's find out.

~
And start with a track that epitomized my final year of high school parties. A song that I never wanted to hear then and a song I don't want to hear now.

Bombs Away - Super Soaker: God I hate this song. The Kublai Khan brings the kick drum of my 2011 pool party anthem in with punch and strong placement. It's sharp, fast, not particularly deep but punchy. The bass lines and lower mid notes are more resolute than they deserve to be. Vocals come in even clearer and more upfront, which is truly unfortunate, this turd doesn't shine and every little accent and inclination of the Bombs away vocalist makes me feel dirtier than an 18 year old on their 3rd day of a pool party in the same pool with the same people.

Verdict: I can only hear more of what I don't like. There's nothing the KK brings out that a $30 Bluetooth speaker Couldn't.

Island Boys - I'm an Island Boy: Can anything save this song? can the Kublai Khan ride into Tiktok town and set straight what needs to be set straight? Can the bass be tamed, can the vocals achieve a pass? No. No not even the Kublai Khan can save this track. The guitar strong-sliding at the beginning of the track gives me a moment of hope, clear, crisp and realistic, but the bass of this track can't be saved, muddy, blown out and in all ways horrible, at a moment like this I find myself wishing for no dynamic driver and no BCD.

The vocals? Surprisingly there is a decent amount of emotion in Flysoulja's voice, I don't know if you're meant to be able to hear the pain behind this Island Boiz voice, but with the KK you can hear it.

Verdict: The Kublai Khan took one look at this track and ran the other way, despite the might of the Khan, this track can not be saved. I'm still not an Island boy.

Justin Bieber - Baby: The song that started it all. You hear a lot about iem's excelling at female vocals or male vocals. but what about male vocals that sound like female vocals?

What are we doing here guys? Teasing teenage boys? From the first chirp, first beat and first chord you know why this song created what it did.

The beat hits with depth and fullness never encroaching into Biebers mids which also might be highs. percussion in the background taps along, backing vocals are positioned perfectly and when Luda comes along and spits his verse right into your right in the ears.

The BCD comes alive in this track and you know ya boi Ludacris knows how to add some sub-bass to a track.

Verdict: Obviously the best produced of the tracks here and the KK shows it. Positioning, resolution and details (including a cymbal crash at the end that rolls off into the distance) are all enough for me change my opinion of this track and this little superstar.

Basshunter - Dota: I had high hopes for this one but some tracks are simply made for cheap speakers and first gen apple earbuds. Vocals don't all of a sudden shine and pop the kick drum sounds like a slowed down hard style beat and while they are wide they aren't incredibly deep. No sound has a particularly impressive resonance left lingering in the air and perhaps the most impressive part is the Swedish mum at the start with her foot steps, door opening and Swedish words. I felt like turning my computer screen off and jumping into bed like a 12 year old past his bedtime.

Verdict: Despite the desire to open up Steam for a few rounds (12 hours) of Dota, this track doesn't get much else pumping.

Crazy Frog - Axel F: Ah a classic. A truly horrible nightmare of ringtones and 2005. I could have picked 'Tricky' but to display my impartial fairness I will admit I actually like that song. But the image of a fully grown man making motorbike rev charades in the middle of the street to the Axel F ringtone is burnt into my mind.

The frogs mouth sounds and melody start out of the head quite a distance from the ears. As the brain adjusts the "Bem Bems" move to the front of the skull which is the part of my head I wouldn't mind smashing against a marbled table. The kick isn't as deep or vibrating as you might hope, it could have added a depth to the vacuous-empty-soulless-CGI-foreshadowing of the future world we were building. . . But there is also a naivety, a sense of fun and honestly no matter how many cracks I put in this fine Italian Calcutta Marble I still tap my toe.

Verdict: The Kublai Khan resolves the unresolvable and reminds me of a simpler time. I'm not happy about it, but it works. The feeling is....Tricky.

~

After thoughts

The Noble Kublai Khan is a piece of art. It's the one musical device I have that makes it impossible to focus on any task other than the music. These are for deep listening and yes, I do feel like I've tainted them with some of the above tracks. But the Kublai Khan can handle it and has changed my mind about a lot of music.

First of all, I didn't realise artists and producers even put that much sound into their tracks. I wonder who it's for? Since the plethora of producers promoting Raycon and Beats is endless. Do they even know how much sound they put into music?

They've also helped me appreciate vocalists I never liked before. I was originally going to put Ariana Grande into this review, but when I listened to her through the KK for the first time I couldn't believe I had such little respect for her voice. I listen almost exclusively to psytrance, goatrance, psybreaks and psybass so that wasn't easy to admit. And she is just the tip of the iceberg as to what a female vocalist can do.

Anyway, this is just a short review, there are plenty of other people here giving it the praise it deserves, hope you enjoyed and see you next time when I test the Viking Ragnar against Paris Hiltons sophomore 2006 album Paris
kk3.jpg


kk 2.jpg
system123
system123
Wow what a deep and satisfyingly funny review, i could relate to. Kudos....

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
The Micro-Manager
Pros: -
Soundstage
Dirac Virtua
Textured Bass
Excitingly Positioned Bass
Crispy Mids
Features and bit n' bobs
Cons: -
Situational Spotty Connection
Nura 2.png


Brand: Nura
Model: Nuratrue Pro
Release Date: Late 2022 / Early 2023


~
Final review Score has been changed from 4.5 to 4.0 to better reflect the connectivity issue
~

I've been around the world.

Japan, China, America, Europe, All in the search of the perfect TWS.

I seen some things.

Well I didn't think that I'd find what I was looking for in my own humble little country of Australia. Poker machines sure. Overpriced property, you got it. and weird little creatures with mucus pouches for their offspring; are all things I'd expect to find here. But cutting edge technology? I thought that stopped after penicillin. I thought we dusted our collective hands off and decided we'd done our bit.

That’s why we drink so much right?..........Right?

I've tried either a healthy or unhealthy selection of TWS (depending on who you ask), each one carefully selected after reading countless reviews, asking questions and every comparison chart out there. As I've gone up in price I've raised my expectations by the same percentage. This has left me poorer and dissatisfied, only being able to find incremental improvements at the cost of something else.

It’s nice to finally feel satisfaction. I know with the world the way it is we may have forgotten all about that word. But satisfied is what I am with these in my ears.

These are the true wireless earbuds I've been looking for.

Let’s get to it.

Case
Case has a nice matte feel to it and a hefty weight. The weight actually makes me feel like it is high quality with a nice hand feel (if this was a McDonald's product they would consider it a high-value "Mouth Feel". Buds get easier to pull out of the case once your nails grow a bit or as the finger grease you’ve left on the edge of the Nura starts to harden creating a sticky resin that allows easy gripping.

You can also push down on the inner side of the bud to lift up the edge of the outer side for easier access

Nura 4.png


ANC
I’m not sure if by the time I got these, an update had already done something with the ANC. All original reviews and comments mentioned dissatisfaction with the ANC of the Nuratrue Pro.

Now although I talk about it all the time I’m not an ANC fan.

I doth not protest too much about it

I couldn’t care less about it, the world is full of MY noise and I like it that way! Unless you're listening to ambient music at 30% volume I don’t understand how passive isolation and the speakers inside of your ears aren’t good enough.

All that being said, these have excellent ANC. I'd be happy to recommend them as an "ANC Bud" (whatever the **** that means). It dramatically dulls baby screaming, white noise, voices, A grass cutter I almost didn’t realise I was walking past earlier, car’s, gym music and just about everything else. It’s actually quite impressive and doesn’t leave any noticeable 'Feeling'.

I hear people say that ANC changes the music for the worse. With TWS it’s hard to know for sure as you already are at a disadvantage. But on the Nuratrue Pro the ANC increases the volume of the music quite dramatically (To the point that you need to turn it down a few bars before activating) and gives it a fuller sound.

My only gripe is that for some reason you can swap between ANC and Social mode through bud taps, but if you want neither on you have to go into the app to disable the options altogether instead of toggle through...But what are we niggling for?

Design
Nura Pic1.png


Social mode

Is only really good if you listen to ambient music at 30% volume. It brings voices and sounds through clearly but if you have these you should be listening to some hard rock or electronic and you’re better off just pausing the music with social mode on to get a proper social effect. Luckily this is a touch option you can configure on the buds.

I say this as if you told me that you wanted to listen to ambient on a tws, I could recommend a better bud, these are weirdly extra fun for harder faster genres. Rather than smooth and soft music. They have a low end roar. Psychedelic Bass music however is a mix of ambient and bass and these are super nice for that able to frame the subbass around a track in any kind of what they want.

At home in the dark corners of the house where I listen to music I found that social mode give these more of an open back feel to them adding even more space to the already ridiculously expansive soundstage. But be sure to watch out for that volume increase when switching over to ANC again.

Immersion Mode
This is a bass and sub-bass controller that will give you more rumble for your tumble. You can take it to +3 which would be absolutely psychotic or you can take it to -3 which is equally psychotic but for different reasons. +1 is the sweet spot for this young reviewer who believes that moderation is the key to balance and a balanced life and that while the fringe frivolities of our existence that can be deemed as 'fun' should not be indulged in to the point of making it a sole focus and an end unto itself you need balance and an non-myopic awareness of everything that is going on so at to be able to take it all in for the full world that it is.

The rest of the app is quite impressive. I won't go into any more details because who really buys tws for the app? It’s nice cream on top, but I ain’t here to review cream.

So far this doesn’t sound to positive does it? Let’s change all that

Connectivity
The ONLY inconsistency of these is connectivity and I wish it wasn’t there because it’s a big one. At home I don't experience any cut or dropouts but while out in the world they can get pretty bad. This is in public open spaces with the worst of the dropouts in the middle of an open park with hardly anyone around. At first I thought it might be related to big cable towers I was around or maybe it could have been the 5G, who knows?

I want to be fair here, I blame chip makers for bluetooth cutouts. Manufacturers buy their product to put in their own device. I know things can block signal and their could be some kind of software interference, but that is still Qualcomms responsibility. I've had cutouts on every single tws I've owned, the common denominator here is the chip maker.

Let's be more fair.

The app support for issues is really good and actually quite pleasant to use. It remembers your position if you leave the page and is actually a pretty impressive troubleshooting guide.

However all the steps and a factory reset didn’t resolve the issue. It’s hard to know what it is, is it the three thousand different functions of the chip? the bluetooth 5.3 not working with older phones or the server connection that seems to be needed to use the app? I don’t know, but whatever it is I would give it up to resolve the issue to use these purely as a pair of exercise buds.

The connectivity issues aren’t consistently there, it feels mostly brought on by a phone in a pocket that swings while you run. They occurred twice on a short walk the other day but didn’t occur in the gym. And another time on a run it was pretty bad causing me to cut the run short to go home. But still, cutouts should have been bluetooth 1.0 stuff not a 5.3 issue.

All the above is cope, sorry to put you through it, bottom line is they get pretty bad during activity on this specific pair. but so far, I still forgive it for the good times we do have.

Soundstage
These are the first buds I’ve found myself fully appreciating the out-of-head soundstage in a while, another time was listening to the Nuarl brand employing the HDSS technology.

Nura uses a similar thing called Dirac Virtuo™. I’ve gone through their white papers and it looks like a lot of the Nura features might be a result of their collaboration with Dirac. They claim spatial audio, wider soundfield, better imaging, thicker mids, turning my generational-rancher of a father into a man who can feel, understand, and love. You get it.

This is a good collaboration and confirms a thought; If you are releasing a TWS you should be implementing some version of Dirac Virtua or HDSS or whatever the hell else is out there into your buds as a big soundstage is almost always a big win. It’s essential.

The soundstage on these is ridiculous. Mids can sit so far back but still with forward prominence that it feels like it’s being played from across the street, loudly.

Metallic sounds have me searching around for the falling pylons around me and bass, well I’ll go into bass next, but the soundstage as a whole is completely impressive and satisfyingly massive.

In quite environments the social mode gives them a full on open back feel.

!Bass!
Welcome to the bass section!

This section could go on forever. Bass is the biggest selling point of these babies. I’ve heard big bold bass cannons that don’t have the soundstage width and I’ve listened to buds with retained bass and kick drums in order to make room for the sound of other elements. I've heard all kinds of kick drums okay?

The bass digs deeper, heavier and better positioned than any other tws I've heard. I put the caveat of 'tws' because of the one single iem that I have. So this makes it the second best low end I've heard across the board, including overhears that I have. This is mostly due to where the kickdrums and basslines sit in the mix. They don’t sit below the music but behind it, coming at you the same way a pair of speakers at a festival pump out towards you. ⚡⚡⚡⚡

You wouldn’t know that these are driven by a single driver, they have the feel of a dual dynamic low end and it makes you wonder how no one other brands have managed to texture their bass like this.

⚡⚡⚡It's radical⚡⚡⚡

These are definitely bass-head tws, 🥁🥁🥁🥁 but they also can not be, the immersion mode lets you choose for yourself and is pretty responsive.

The subbass has serious rumble to it and can leave your ear with a satisfying digging out of it on tracks that shouldn’t even have it 💥. And tracks that should have it? Well watch out, it’s coming for you
💥


Another thing hinted at earlier is that the subbass doesn't just sit under a track, but can frame it as if the track is a painting and the subbass is a frame that sits around it. However, sometimes it's the top of the frame that vibrates, other times it's the left and top or the entire thing.

I wont go on, but I’ll leave on this: The bass positioning, textering and strength of this TWS is one of the best I've heard. And I have very, limited experience.

Mids
The bass attack isn’t the only thing you’re going to enjoy here. I have heard some people describe the mids as a bit dry, I would suggest instead that they are crispy :fire:

The soundstage once again really is a manufacturers best friend and stops the mids from even touching the lows, getting stepped or squashed by the low end.

They sit slightly recessed in the mix and if there was one thing I would change with the tuning here it would be to get the mids to a point where they can scream at you. This is personal preference due to the music I listen to and not a reasonable request. Still, When a song reaches a crescendo I like to feel on the borderline of pain. It’s just nice to feel something.

The recession is hardly a recession, it feels more like the mids are slightly curved back into the mix but still completely sitting over the vertically placed lows.

Otherwise everything comes across well positioned with plenty of room for mids to dance around in the mix.

Darker tones and male vocals are where the Nura has a particular edge. In electronic music the darker notes of the track have a real danger and vibrate with energy. In Muddy Waters Feel Like Going Home, Mr Waters voice starts low and finishes high up as it projects into the ether. It reaches down and up with an impressive amount of depth and actually gives me that wince of near pain I was after, perhaps I'm just listening to the wrong era
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Treble
There isn’t as much to say about the treble. It comes across just about where I like it, which is something you will hear most people say with a product that is custom tuned to their exact hearing preference.

Subjectivity really might be Nura’s greatest weapon here. High hats and jingles all come across positioned well in the mix with cymbals having a resonance that rings out into the distance.

However the dynamic driver isn't getting that perfectly resolved high end. In no way is it a problem as the mids and bass take so much attention that to ask treble to do the same seems almost unreasonable. It does it’s job and doesn’t seem to miss much if anything at all. Todd Rundgren’s I Saw The Light is a pretty treble heavy track (Yes I read that on a whathifi article, what're ya going do? Call Crinacle on me?),

The Nura positions the cymbals appropriately moving around the sound spectrum, not just sitting at the top of the mix. Sometimes they are lower and during the little tap-tappity-tap cymbal solos that you can feel them move around in a circular fashion.

Now I've never met a treble-head, I haven't met all sorts of people but that doesn't mean that I don't believe they're out there. The impressiveness of the Nuratrue Pro lies in the other frequencies with treble playing an important supportive role. Everyone else will be absolutely fine and let's stop talking about treble already.

Dirac Virtua
Let's give these guys their own little section. And yes this seems suspiciously shill-like, and maybe I am the CEO, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a company who has some kind of integration that I don't fully understand but at the same time doesn't seem to complicated.

I told you, I'm the CEO.

If you look through thei*Uh I mean *"My" website, a lot of the strengths of Dirac Virtua are the strengths of the Nuratrue. I can't say how much of a difference it really makes, but I think Nura knows those are it's strengths and is promoting them.

I've heard HDSS as well as Dirac, another company doing a similar thing has made me believe this is a real thing. I'm glad that brands give them credit and emphasise their strengths. If anyone else is using them but not saying so, they are doing themselves a disservace. They both add such an expanse to the sound that to consider listening to anything narrow feels like a waste of time. This tech has been out for a while now and is currently worth whatever premium they have to charge for it.

FOR ME ATLEAST
~

So what does it all mean? These are deepest, widest and most powerful tws I own. In short they are the best TWS I own. If I had connectivity dropouts on any other pair of tws I’d send them back in a heartbeat, collect my refund and go and buy something else. Not here, they are worth keeping and I’m hoping an update addresses dropouts in the future. It’s somehow not a deal breaker, I will do what The Nura requires me to do.

And I love a Micro-Manager.

I usually base my satisfaction purely on sound and stability but it’s hard not to be impressed by all the technologies being employed here too. The Dirac Virtuo implementation should be a standard and I hope to see it more often

They play hard and fast music the way people want to hear hard and fast music which is rare to find in a tws tuning and a welcomed embrace into my ears.

4.0 out of 5

You pricks want a 5/5 then you fix the connection thing.

Nura 3 2.png


:fire:
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domdesilva
domdesilva
Hey really good Review! I got these for 4 weeks now and i See myself reaching less and less for my Kato or IE300. They can't compete with flagship IEM in terms of sheer resolution but oh boy, they hit hard, they have a great soundspace, with my Zenfone 10 via AptX Lossless they sound Just great and the sound is tweakable. The convenience is also a plus!
SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
@domdesilva yep I hear that and good purchase. I haven't even tried with Lossless but am in the same boat. Have a Noble Kublai Khan which these obviously can't compete with in texture layering and resolution. But something about the stage and bass presentation make them my go to.

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
Like putting a intimate little fire in your ear holes
Pros: Clarity
Imaging
Fullness of sound
Smooth sound
Design
Very intimate sound
Amazing for instrumental/acoustic music
Cons: Won't go loud enough to cause you long term hearing damage
EQ changes are subtle
Speed
final 6.jpg


Good Morning and Afternoon. I’ve been using Final Audio’s latest flagship tws the ZE8000 for just over 2 weeks now and have managed to get the experience down into words. Potentially too many words but this bud asks a lot from your wallet so I shall ask just as much of your time.

Thanks to the Addicted to Audio team who allowed the transaction of currency in exchange for goods.

final 5.jpg


The Final ZE8000 is seriously worthy of attention, but it depends on what you prioritize in a bud as well as what genre you find yourself listening too.

In the very specific genre of Goa trance that I mostly listen to, I wonder how good a track can really sound. Being mostly made on software or via hardware directly recorded into a tape you don't get to hear all of the little breaths and edges of sounds, the fingernails lightly touching the wood of the guitar It's just not as much of a factor. While resolution is nice, I wouldn't call it paramount.

But there is chaos, danger and clashing of sounds together as they twirl and spin into melodic bliss. I’ve always thought that it must be similar for metal fans, the risk of the whole thing just falling apart is always present and the symphony of noise can feel dangerous. Do increases in separation and clarity reduce that sense of chaos? Or is that up to the artist?

To be clear, the Final ZE8000 is clearer than any TWS I've heard within a certain range of genres. Its presentation of sound is completely addicting and makes it hard to go back to other buds once you get used to it. It has me listening to a whole bunch of new music I normally wouldn’t listen to just for the enjoyment of the sound presentation (Have any of you really appreciated Taylor Swifts Blank Space?) But it isn’t without its list of things that could be improved upon which should all be possible with updates.

Disclaimer* I don’t like audio tropes; when I hear people say things like "It feels like I'm right there in the studio" I think “Don't you want your music to sound better than that? Don't you want it to feel beyond what is felt in the studio? Don’t you want it amplified baby!” The Final Flagship is perfect for this kind of thought as the music sounds like it’s being given a colour to it that you wouldn’t hear on reference or Neutral buds. This is perfect for me as I like character over neutrality.

Well extraversion is the name of the game for these buds, in it’s audio processing as well as for it’s design. And if you want to explain to people exactly what 8K sound means, well you better do it with confidence or the whole conversation is just going to fall apart.

All that being said, I'm not normally nitpicky, but Finals Flagship is $499 AUD placing it at the top of the range, so today I'm gonna be.

Fit/Comfort/Stability
These fit quite well and are secure upon testing. However they don’t have the most secure feel making the paranoia of falling out feel like a constant. I’ve been for several runs with them which is more than they are advertised as being capable of and I didn’t have any issues once I trusted them enough to stop thinking about it. Still, sweat can fall on the part of the bud that sits on the concha making it’s way between the two. This can be discomforting.

The ear tip design increases the size of the tip but not the round body piece that secures it in the ear. I’ll address this later but I would have had them designed as two separate rubber pieces differing in size so people could find the right combination.
final 4.jpg


Design
Ask yourself something. Do you want to feel like a Zoid? Voltron? Or Full-Metal-Jackass doing coke and business as you shout into your Bluetooth earpiece? Then prepare to stick these sticks in your ears and become mecha.

It takes some time to feel cool in these rather than as if you’re trying to make a statement or vying for attention. The music experience helps take your mind off things and if you still struggle just tell yourself that if you really feel like it, you could deploy your shoulder Gatling guns and eliminate those judgy pedestrians.

final 2.jpg

Just smile and wave

App
Final has designed an app for these baddies. Connection is fast and immediate but does require you to physically go into it to connect each time. However previous presets are remembered. You have the option to change the ambient/anc/wind noise/hear through modes, eq, a volume step, 8k sound and firmware updates.

I’ll go into the features later but for now the app is clean and smooth.

Connection
These are as good at connecting to things as Facebook is to me with strangers I haven't met who would like to marry me 10/10.

Battery
Final claim 5 hours battery life with a reduction using 8k sound. I’ve tested them down to 25% after 3 hours with 8k on and volume at 80%. So I would say pretty consistent to 4 hours once maxed out. Once putting them back in the case and driving for 20 minutes I took them out again to find them almost fully charged.

Sound
This is probably the most addicting sound on a TWS I've heard. They come across as about as warm and full as I can imagine a sound being while projecting an intimate performance right into your ears. There is no shortage of space for the music to move so the thickness of the mix rarely feels suffocating……For more casual genres.

I think they are genre dependent or rather ‘genre exclusive’. They exclude intense genres like a a popular 14 year school girl excludes the weird new girl with glasses and curly hair. You will get the biggest gains on these with instrumental recordings and music you can describe as “heavy” without being overly busy. Keep in mind that most bedroom producers aren’t going through a crazy mastering process and may not have the skills to mix their sounds like Rick Rubin. Therefore you aren’t getting significant gains in some electronic genres.

The Clarity
It's true, I haven't heard any tws clearer than the ZE8000, In Dean Martins That's Amore there are moments where I'm sure I can hear the sound of his lips coming apart as Martin begins his next verse SENIOOORREEEEE

Ringa dinga ling ~ tinga linga ting the rest of the tones travel forward and are delivered with incredible warmth and expression, the warmth doesn't mean that they sound slower this feels simply Amore.

Describing the impact of electronic music on these is hard. What is electronic music? Carbon Based Lifeforms ambient? Astral Projection Goa Trance? Kraftwork? Aphex Twin? There are too many styles to sum up electronic so I will split this into the two differences I noticed that these excel and fail at.

For certain electronic music made on software, I can't say if you get to experience the most out of these buds. Whatever that 8K sound is doing, and it is doing something, you don’t get to really appreciate it with electronic that is missing the nuances of live recordings. Also the kickdrums don’t crackle and do feel wider than they are deep. However, I could say the same thing for just about any in ear I’ve heard. The low end is still deeper and more full than my previous favorite bud the Nuarl N6 Pro2.

However, there is plenty of electronic music that sounds quite spectacular on these. Anything that could be defined as ‘liquid’ like drum n bass or dubstep feels completely encapsulating and thick. The thickness of the mid-range and lows creates a rumble and gives you the feeling of being in a sweaty nightclub with speakers pumping music out from around you. Trap, Street, Grime, Hip-Hop all sound fantastic and show off the smooth sub-bass of the Final.

The faster and busier the track the more the ZE8000 starts to feel too thick, too heavy and somewhat suffocating. They are fine for anything up to techno bpm’s (130-140 bpm). Same goes for anything in the progressive territory like progressive psytrance. However as music gets faster and more hectic the weight of the sound is fun for about an hour but starts to feel quite dense after that.

With live recordings (Including electronic made on hardware) you start to feel the tonal expression that Final have touted. Due to the stage and warmth of the sound you get a sense of being in front of a stage in a concert hall. The music sounds as full as if it’s being projected from clear and precise speakers from either side of you as the different aspects of the track fly forward.

When playing rock/metal you get a mixed experience. Vocals carry in the centre of the mix with instruments shooting around the sides and guitar slices screeching over the top of it all. Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train is the first time I've really appreciated the guitar work and noticed all of the goings on of the chords.

As I'm finding out, this kind of tuning can mean that sometimes instruments can creep over the edges of vocals, but in a realistic way that you would get from a live performance. As instruments pump forward.

Slayer Black Magic sounds a bit busy but also a bit crazy and this is where the clarity and separation starts to let the ZE8000 down slightly.

I heard bass tones in Dido’s Hunter that I’d never heard or noticed before. Her voice lingers and leaves a resonance in the air once it has disappeared.

Time for some fast electronic in the form of MFG's Goa trance monster Desert Sun. The bassline comes in completely electrifying and vibrating around my ears. The kick drum hits with focus but without effort. You feel every twist and turn of the melody and can spot the edges of each tone. This track is beautiful in it’s relative simplicity and is full of colour.

When listening to Puccini's Madame Butterfly on other tws Maria Callas only sounds truly destructive in her final verse. But on the ZE8000 her voice comes across as powerful in her first note. When the final verse finally comes It was pretty overwhelming and I can see why so many of the translated reviews I read on E-Earphone . jp used that word to describe them. I listened first on my Nuarl, then Fiio and then the Final and had to check the time stamp of the track using the ZE8000 to see if she was already at the final act as all of her other verses came through with the power and emotion which I originally only heard in the final act.


As for overall sound signature
Calling it warm would do some justice, another good explainer would be to describe what it feels like the music is being presented. Rather than anything sounding veiled in it's presentation, it feels more like there is a black velvet curtain sitting behind the music with all of the tones and layers dancing through the air in front of it. This is true for the noise cancelling as well. It doesn't feel like sounds are being electronically dulled, but more like someone has draped a thick curtain between you and the noise. It's a different way of doing it and I suppose possible due to all the new little discoveries they implemented in this model.

There are occasional times when the darkness behind the music can feel a little mucho and as if there is a missing airiness. The sound is thick no doubt, but thick without bloating and muddiness. However as mentioned, I feel it begin to let me down in convoluted tracks with a lot of loud noises going on.

My go to track to convolution is We Lost The Sea’s Last Sun which eventually explodes at the end into a mass of devastation. On many speakers and tws it feels like it’s going to cause some kind of damage or pop the drivers. And after listening to this track I get the first hint of why the Final doesn’t go louder. At the 13:30 peak of the song the instruments turn into more of a white noise sound as the speakers struggle to keep things clear. This isn’t purely a fault of of the ZE8000 as much as of the recording and it doesn’t ruin the track but rather make it more dangerous sounding. However I used the FW5 to see how it handled it with it’s triple driver arrangement and it managed to bring the sound across as clearer (Still messy). This is as much due to the difference in thickness between the two buds sound but worth noting if this is the kind of music you want to listen to.

Bass: Bass hits with a thud and vibrates in the ear. You get steady vibrations for sub bass and decent amount of eye wobbles from the kickdrum. Sub bass could be eq’d up and for some genres you may want the kickdrum to go deeper rather than wider. Counter intuitively (Or intuitively for those of you that are good with eq) toning the eq frequency down gave kickdrums more depth and opened the sound up.

Mids: Come across as beautiful and full. Voices linger in the air and you can feel the emotion of every tone. Let’s channel our inner synaesthesia to describe lead lines and melodies. Where once you may have been able to view them as bright yellow or golden the ZE8000 presents them as an electric amber. It’s a significant difference made more obvious by EQ on Wavelet as you switch back and forth between different profiles.

Highs: are also significantly warmer and I am yet to experience a moment of harshness. If anything during EQ sessions I bump them up to add more air to the track. There is no harshness, peakiness or sibilance.

With more time on the Final, when I go back to any bud for an A/B test everything sounds a little thin in comparison. I might be able to hear everything just as well but the ZE8000 sound signature has become addicting.

Call Quality
Call quality is fantastic and fun to use. Everything comes through clearly and the feeling of having one of those old school bluetooth earpieces is hard to beat.

Testing the Claims
Final has made a whole bunch of technological breakthroughs for this product….Or so they say, let’s put them to the test….my test.

8K sound. Final claims to have found a new way unknown to the audio world before hand to represent sound, finding every detail an presenting it. “Overall, 8K SOUND delivers an exquisite sound experience at a level of distinction, detail, separation and speed that has never been accomplished before.”

Ok, so they may have found a new way to present sound, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the sound itself is different. 8K Sound? Perhaps we should settle down a touch. I’ll say yes the sound is quite smooth and thick (After a bit of eq), the sound is also magnificently coloured, you aren’t getting reference tuning here and I prefer it that way, but this isn’t going to be the new benchmark nor is it going to be your endgame (If you're into tws an endgame probably doesn't exist, we're here to consume baby!) There is some fancy processing going on in their chipset and it’s noticeable here.

The features all work kind of well and I don't think Final has used all of it's new little tricks and features purely as a marketing ploy. The wind reduction eliminates wind completely without any interference to music. Did I mention I was on a boat? The wind of the seven seas while I sit on the deck drinking overpriced Australian Draught seems non existent.

Without music the ambient mode comes through more like a recording being played to you but with everything perfectly placed so you can tell exactly where the sound is coming from. With music Ambient might be a bit less obvious as the music is so encapsulating, but at lesser volumes it works quite well.

Voice through I’m unsure about. The first time I tested it I thought I remembered being able to hear the music in the background at quite a dull volume, ever since it feels like music has been switched off completely. I find turning music down on ambient mode more effective than voice through.

As for ANC, the claim is that unlike other tws out there Final has found a way to avoid the unavoidable change in sound quality when anc is activated. It’s hard to say for sure as noise cancellation isn’t the strongest point of this bud, but also because there is no way to turn off all of the different sound modes to see what the actual difference is. So this claim I’m going to say is null and void until this feature (or lack of) is instituted. However I never feel any pressure and despite not getting migraines from anc ever, I still don’t with the ZE8000.


Nitpicking and Negatives - Or as I like to call it "Let's finish on a low shall we?"

1 - The first and most significant issue of the ZE8000 is EQ. The in app EQ may as well be called unresponsive and isn’t particularly well made. You have the choice of 4 eq sliders with a dial at the bottom to select 4 or 3 different channels per slider. As far as I can tell you can set the dial to a frequency to eq it but can’t change the dial on the same slider to increase that freq. For example the first dial changes to 35, 60, 110 and 220 hz but you can only influence one of these frequencies at a time.

I have had some success following the eq preset of the Majorhifi reviewer which I would originally have thought was counter intuitive as I was trying to increase bass. But you will notice some improvement in sound and spacing with the following eq. However It doesn’t feel responsive enough. I can slide every band to the max db range of + or - 3 (Not enough db btw) and barely notice an influence on the track. If I open Wavelet and do the same thing you will find a significant difference via eq.

I was told these had a similar sound signature to the Sonorous III which I read was similar to the Sonorous X, as I couldn’t find the III on wavelet I opted for the X auto eq which improved the sound of these quite a bit. Highs become sharper (in a good way) and the bass went deeper and shook more heavily.

2 - Volume: This should have been top of the list. These need to be louder. There is a way to max volume on the buds, then the phone and then an app setting that suggests that Final can boost volume even more (Or reduce it) based on preferences. I would wager that a fancy BT player could amplify these with impressive returns but I also shouldn't need to feel this way.

The problem with an incredible sound is that people want more of it. I don’t feel at all like these would struggle to deliver more DB in the overall sound department and this would be my #1 suggestion to make these a winner for more people.

Now they still go plenty loud, tracks from Youtube can sometimes be too loud and Spotify and physical files can be just right at max volume. But I shouldn’t be up to the whims of the uploader nor should I feel wanting. Quite fairly; I get this feeling more with trance tracks than with band music and it isn’t a deal breaker knowing it now. But they just don’t feel like they would struggle to produce the sound even a bit which makes me want more of it LOUDER.


3 - A less serious but fairly nitpicky consideration is regarding the new style of rubber ear piece that overlaps the part of the bud that would ideally rest against the concha. Cool and normal to think that, not a bad design. This is what Final calls it’s new TYPE Q ..…Q tips….Nice

However, why not just have one silicon piece over the concha bit (Maybe supply spares of different sizes) but most importantly removable tip only pieces so we could add different tips. This would be fun from a sound perspective but also a fit perspective as I noticed that each size piece made a significant difference in which sounds were amplified, like an equalizer meaning that the right fit meant the one that sounded the best. I didn’t find that the bigger sizes fit any better or worse than the smaller ones and settled on large for the SQ.

Different eartips would change this and probably increase ear security + considering the current sound quality between sizes, who knows which unplanned combinations could bring in terms of sound quality and fit gains.

4 - Another critique is the the buds always being on one setting or another. you either have NC on, ambient, voice through or wind reduction. But no option for all of these to just be turned off. It's not the worst thing in the world as their claim of a no pressure Noise Canceling is 100% certified. I didn't realize it was on at first but it also meant I didn't realize the world was being blocked out, because it wasn't. So it's not the best NC as far as actual reduction goes and I wouldn't get these as an ANC focused bud, but it does the job without any pressure and is smooth about it.



Comparisons
Nuarl N6 Pro2
The Nuarl was the first and last of the tws to blow my mind, I was still fresh to the game and these were a remarkable step up that I still think are one of the most underrated and best looking tws out there. It taught me that mids and high could be presented in a way that could be described as beautiful.

Now that i've heard some higher end models like the ZE8000 I know that the Nuarl isn't the be all and end all. But it isn’t far away from an enjoyment perspective.

The Nuarls HDSS technology which I am more convinced is a real thing rather than some marketing gimmick gives you an out of head feeling leaps and bounds above anything else i've heard at the price range. The lustre of the mids and highs plus accurate presentation of the bass make it a fun listen.

But Everything about the ZE8000 sounds clearer, cleaner and more present. Bass and mids are fuller and I would still describe the ZE8000 as beautiful as well. It presents vocal music better and gives you that in front of a stage feeling. The Nuarl can go louder, but what you do hear of the ZE8000 makes it the better audiophile choice and now that I’ve heard these the Nuarl is hard to go back to.

This should all be obvious for the price difference

Fiio FW5
The two buds might be able to compete between one another for clarity and separation. I'm the fit of the Fiio is better for activities and public spaces (Still working on the unwavering Zoid confidence. As i'm surrounded by drunks on a boat I feel like it's inevitable that someone will ask me about them but I wont be able to hear and now it's a whole thing. No thanks, I'm trying to relax). The Fiio also feels like the sturdier choice and I want to be careful with the Final.

Once going back to the Fiio from the ZE8000 the sound does sound thinner but I think it's your brain getting used to the drawing back of that curtain that sits behind the music. But it does make the Final sound laid back and slower in comparison.

The Fiio is faster and more energetic and has a more responsive eq in the app however, the triple driver set up doesn’t sound as cohesive with treble always feeling placed at the top of the ears, bass lower and mids…well in the middle. It’s not hard to believe 3 drivers are being used. Neck for neck I think the Final is the more impressive bud But perhaps not the most practical.


Conclusion
For the price and marketing of 8k sound I’ll admit I wanted to be blown away. However the warmer signature and thicker sound feels more like a soft blanket you fall back into to be wrapped around instead of a cliff edge you are pushed off with a wing suit and no training. Overall it will come down to the music you listen to.
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boromcom
boromcom
Great review!!!
pail
pail
They look like satellites orbiting !
I
Ieonasj
good job

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
Clean Strong Sound In Little Package Missing a Little Sparkle
Pros: Functionality
App Support
Bass
Mids
Sound Separation
Comfort
Cons: Soundstage not as wide as advertised
Lack of emotional depth to music
Introducing Victor! A Japanese company that gets it sales techniques passed down from Japan’s department of Immigration.

You essentially need a Japanese passport, Japanese address, linguistic skills and knowing whatever the hell the word “Neucan” means to purchase these.

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Or get an Amazon Japan account.

It’s rare to find a company that not wanting to sell their products outside of their relatively small little island nation. I’m on a relatively large island nation called Australia and we will translate our gas and ore into any language required just for the fun of buying it back at a premium. It’s called business…I think.

I digress.

The Victor HA-FW1000t is touted at one of the greatest sounding tws out there by some people on this humble little website. So when an update to the HA-FX100T the HA-FX150T (Good luck trying to figure out what differences the model code FX and FW represent) I was interested in getting down with the Victor brand.

Product information was incredibly hard to come by with the Victor/JVC website designed by whoever did Yahoo in 2008, while keeping everything in the language of the empire, it was more of a guess and trust in their reputation that lead to this purchase.

So lets see what we got

Box – The arrival box was smaller than I’m used too with branding to let me know what was what. There was no special design techniques being implemented on my psychology to trick me into keeping the box for the next 5 years in a dusty draw which believe it or not, is a nice change.

Inside you get the industry standard useless charging cable and some more useful eartips with the spiral dot design.

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Design – You can get these in all black or in Bronze. I picked Bronze cause I’m a classy bish. Both look nice. The buds themselves don’t stick out too much but are present and visible from front and sides.

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Comfort Fit – The assumption would be that the rounded bottom of the earbud should rest against the corresponding part of the ear. Due to the length of the stem I could only get this deep fit with the smallest size of spiral dots which is new for me. This however reduced stability. I couldn’t determine any sound quality differences when using the spiral tips vs others so eventually went for the small sized Comply ear tips for stability.

I’ve taken these for a pathetic run (Ankle issues) and to the gym and not needed to apply any readjustments. No discomfort for the periods in which I’ve worn them (1 Hour at a time) and fine for back sleeping but not appropriate for side sleeping (unless you’re an expert at nestling your ear in between the gap of two pillows).

Features / App Functionality – Like the Japanese Department of Immigration there was no app support for us foreigners at time of delivery. However as of Monday 21st of November there was a weird way to get the app using an APK downloader that I haven’t come across before.

The app is quite well made and very functional. You can select the tuning presets much easier than cycling through them one by one when holding the left bud for 1 second.

One of the things I do like about the earbud is the Touch and talk feature you can access via the app or by single tapping the right bud, it reduces volume and brings in ambient sounds which is pretty cool. It gently increases volume back to previous levels once pressed again. Not sure if the ambient aspect of this feature worked, at first all I thought it was doing was lowering music volume which I still determined as a cool feature.

The presets themselves are aight but not groundbreaking. The main selling proposition of the buds was the “tuned by Victor” slogan that I found everywhere I wanted to find technical specifications.

I had a big diatribe written on the presets but there is no point going into detail. No setting really widens the soundstage or makes one genre stand out over another but there is no doubt we will all find our preferences.

You could say that the standard Victor tuning is so good no serious changes need to be made. I’m notoriously kind and nice (Ask anyone) so that is what I’m going to say.

Sonic Performance – I wanted to be more enthusiastic about the SQ upon first listening but couldn’t quite get myself there despite not being able to figure out why.

Bass is fantastic. It has attack, punch and power without leaking into mids or sticking around too long. It shakes my eyes and tingles my toes. In all way the lows are great. They also don’t come across as fatiguing. Sub bass rumbles nicely electronic kick drums have a true power to them.

The mids are placed forward, clear and well separated from other mid tones. The forwardness isn’t an issue as bass presence is so thicc. They overrule the treble slightly which means there is no harshness but perhaps also feels like I am missing some sparkle. This isn’t an issue in simpler tracks but when the mids are quite convoluted everything feels like it’s being played on the same layer and a shine is lost.

Treble otherwise is there and causes no sibilance or harshness, this is true for music and voices coming through from calls on the other end. One of the professional preset 2 brings hi hats more forward but there is a certain lustre that is missing from the high ends.

And here is the thing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the sound quality. Even when I A/B test it with the Nuarl N6 Pro 2 I find myself wondering what it was I loved so much about the Nuarl. But when I just listen to the Nuarl without trying to be critical I find myself having a better time.

I’ve tested it for entire days without comparing to anything else and used a consistent track list to stay consistent. I’ve judged the feeling of enjoyment I got listening to the tracks across the days and found that despite absolutely solid sound separation and clarity I find myself not ‘feeling’ as emotionally.

The Victor is missing a wideness and certain sparkle. The sound is all there, and there is also plenty of separation despite the soundstage not being super wide. The lows are the best I’ve heard at this price range and are incredibly energetic. They’re great for simpler edm and progressive psytrance but for more complicated or emotional songs with lots of layering they miss something. It feels like there is a certain resonance absent that isn’t a fault of the tuning but of the driver or something more hardware related. It’s an airiness or a depth, I still can’t put my finger on it and keep wondering if I’m crazy.

You know the feeling that is left in the air at a concert or festival as there is a break in the music and it feels like there is still a frequency in the air? The spirit of what just happened lingering for a moment longer? This is what seems to be missing, once the sounds are stopped in the recording it is like they were never there.

The width of the sound field could make up for the lack of shine … if it was wider. But you wont find yourself forgetting that the music is being played through two little speakers in your ear holes. That being said, it is impressive that they have achieved such great musical separation without the space.

Overall, despite everything being well placed and clear, bass awesome and zero harshness there is a lack of emotion which may just come down to some subjective factor I am not aware of.

Call Quality – Is really good, my voice comes through clearly on calls as well as on recordings of myself.

Summary – Overall I don’t know how I feel. If I used them just to listen to the styles of music that they exceed at then there would be no issues. But I want that sense of resonance that lingers in the air after a tone is played and these just don’t have that.

If you are a bass boy or a low-end gal then these might be for you. Your head will shake and eyes will roll with the power of the bass.

However, if you like to sit on seaside wharfs and solemnly look at the sunset while inducing melancholy through musical choice these might not be the move for you.

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SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
Good for specific use cases, decent office buds or for 3 + device connection
Pros: Cool Concept, First Smart Case, thumping lows, great call quality, great transparency mode
Cons: Stock tips, mids are a bit 2 dimensional, smart case functionality takes some time.

General Information​


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I used to like crowdfunding, it felt like I was getting the latest technology and coolest ideas that the big companies just weren't willing to risk. Alas, with the speed that the TWS market moves, the endless shells available to slap your name on and more recently the great chipset shortage it seems crowdfunding is losing it's charm.

I like to focus on the positives, so let's focus on the positives

Morph is attempting to change the way we use tws, instead of navigating our overly sanitized fingers to different device bluetooth settings to swap connections they have packaged their most recent buds into a smart case which has a screen you can use to change device, control volume, anc, ambient and some other things.

Box - Unboxing was pleasant with a watch box kind of feel. You get a series of different eartips and they even packaged the extra sport wings that I paid for all those months ago. Manual is accessed via a qr code which is neither here-nor-there and there are some stickers for customization.

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Comfort Fit - The original pitch was that Morph was going to use their thousands of little data points for the ultimate fit. The original design looked curved and smooth with all the divots and hills that you would need for that perfect fit. Well the times change and if you don't change with them it they don't wait for you.

What we got was a much more generic design which to be honest is probably the right move from a utilitarian perspective. I've heard people liken them to the Tronsmart Apollo which I personally have no experience with.

Original Concept
Original Concept


That being said the standard design is fine. It is comfortable, they are lightweight and while sticking out of your ears a bit they don't feel like they will fall out from regular movement. With the provided eartips I felt I was going to need to use the added sport hooks for workouts, but since changing from the stock buds to Azla Sedna Crystals they are held in securely.

Sonic Performance - There are two parts to this. I can see why some people might feel like it is a bit of a cop-out to suggest changing eartips and to then rate the performance of sound using them. I think it's psychotic that companies don't consider this during tuning and testing.

With stock tips you get a deep insertion, however, I don't know if it related to the silicon tip extending far beyond the earbud speaker but the sound is muddied and bass weak. You will see this reflected in many peoples comments on their crowdfunding page. I was originally going to rate them as one of my lowest buds in terms of SQ, put them in a draw and forget about them.

HOWEVER with shorter eartips that give the speaker more access to your ear holes you will find yourself having another experience altogether. You don't necessarily need to spend money on the Azla's, My Oppo Enco X tips gave me just as good as an experience, but the shorter the better it seems.

Bass drives deep and hits hard with shorter tips. It's full rounded and maybe one of the bassier buds I have. I have tuned my Earfun Free Pro 2's to Oluvs latest Reference setting and the bass on the Morph now hits harder than the Earfun (overall SQ not better than EFFP2).

Mids are nicely positioned more-or-less forward which is where I like them. Vocals sound a bit mechanical and don't have that emotional depth to them, for electronic music this isn't a problem.

The treble doesn't sparkle and shine and crackle and pop. But it's also not harsh and overwhelming. Maybe it's the music I listen to but treble is my least concerning part of music, if it doesn't hurt me, and I can hear high hats, I'm generally happy.

Sound doesn't wrap around your head and is clearly coming from the earbuds. I'm still not blown away by the SQ, but I rate it as very decent and am using them quite a lot for different reasons.

I would say these are really good for electronic music, and could be tuned with eq to be great for vocal music but for now aren't quite there.

Features - Alright, a smart case, there must be features upon features right? All sorts of equalizers, bud reset options and the size of that case! Surely a biiiiig battery to go with it right?
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Right?

Nah.

The case screen will stay on for up to 3 minutes (Changeable down to lower numbers) and then go into standby mode. Once in standby mode you need to push the power button on the back to slowly wake the beast up. This requires reconnecting the buds to the case. Perhaps an ok compromise if the battery didn't drain while in standby mode, it requires turning the case all the way off to avoid this, which isn't too different from standby mode.

To connect to another device you need to go to the device screen and select the device you want to connect too. If in standby mode (Which you will be) this cant be done fast enough to catch that incoming call if you want to connect to your phone before picking up.

Call quality is very good once on a call, and the auto switch to transparency mode is a nice touch. these probably have the best transparency mode of any tws I have. However there is a slight hiss for both transparency and ANC which is always on by default when removing buds from the case.

Buds will always connect to the last device they were connected to before being put away.

Ok what about the other features? Well that's kinda it. No equalizer option, no earbud setting options, no real 'settings' at all to customize the buds to your liking and store the saves there. I don't think the battery life (Which isn't amazing) or the features of the case warrant it's size and there are some missed opportunities here but also some future update opportunities (YAY).

I will mention that the LCD screen is in colour which is only relevant because the original design was black and white. My hope would be that the colour screen update wasn't one of the factors for the change in case design from the original as it really isn't worth it, is hardly on and also black and white is retro and consumers would have been cool with that.

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<-- Final Case

So where does this leave us? I'll Put aside any qualms there may be by the changes in design since original conception. Things change and chip shortages happen.

What I do find however is that the functionality of the case isn't smooth enough to make it more convenient than having a 2nd pair of tws for phone calls or more useful than a single pair of tws with multi point connectivity that works.

The project is a really cool concept and it has been a real dog fight getting any tech crowdfunded successfully over the last few years. So absolutely no ill-will towards Morph.

My use case for these, is as a pair of tws that I will have connected to my work phone for phone calls. I will occasionally use the case to switch over to another phone and If I connected my TWS to my TV then yes, these would be incredibly useful.

My use case might just be limited and I'm not using these to their full potential. If the device switching was a little more instantaneous then I'd say it's a complete success, the 5-7 seconds of switching time + the time it takes to wake the case up reduce this charm somewhat.

Overall I still say well done to Morph.

These aren't a "No don't purchase", their will be plenty of reasons to get them and at an office or if you connect to more than 2 devices at a time these could be really useful. i don't use Voip or Ucaas services and work from home. So 2 phones is all I use at once. one for music and one for calls. With all the tws I have I can easily have one ready to pair as a call comes in and just swap them over.

However for work related reasons I find myself using these along with my Oppo Enco X about 50/50.
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regancipher
regancipher
I'm about to review these as well, bit of a disappointment compared to the concept!
SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
If they just perfected the part of this that mattered it would have all been ok.

Looking forward to your more professional analysis.

SynaestheticA

500+ Head-Fier
Exacerbated Emotion and Auditory Delight
Pros: Soundstage, Imaging, Details, Lows, Mids, Highs, Design, Functionality, Stability.
Cons: Button Beeps, One size wing tip.
N6 Pro 2’s arrived Monday and I've been banging them for a few days.

Box - Standard box, earbuds are out of the case and using this nice little clip system to stay in place over the foam. Inside the box smells like a new sneaker box. I liked that.
The first thing I noticed is that pretty much every photo including photos I’ve taken make these look way bigger than they are. Although just like a lot of the Bose Soundsport products you won't be lying on your side with these in.

No Spin fit included. Just standard Block ears +. Not a real problem + I bought the spin fit 360’s for the N6 Mini so I have some ready to go.

Love the colour of the case + the buds, got the Bordeaux and am happy I did. Case snaps shut nicely with some magnetic function. I think the aesthetic design is fantastic, a big fan of the style.

Comfort/Fit These are quite comfortable. wingtips cause me discomfort after casual listening for more than an hour on all buds I’ve tried, Generally, wing-tipped TWS are for running where 1-2 hours is the max I will do and have more things on my mind than my ears. But these are the softest I’ve felt so far, I think they would stay in my ears without the wings altogether but you can also get away without putting them in your ear grooves. I forgot they were in on an 8km I went for yesterday. They don't move around and are secure. But I do see how they could be knocked out by hoodies or hats as some users mention above.

Wingtips are very pliable so it is ok that they need to be pushed into my little ear cave. But smaller extra wings would have been a nice option..

Connection is seamless and simple. Distance is good, connecting across devices is easy. Disconnect from one and then connect on the other.

Now on to SONIC PERFORMANCE.
This is the reason we got these little burgundy devils. My reference TWS is the N6 Mini, not exactly fair since they use the same drivers as the N6 which is bassier than the N6 pro, and they also don’t come with the HDSS. But enough of that, Let’s just say it how it is.

AMAZING. Yea they sound fantastic. I’m easy to please. I think I like bass but I don’t think I am a basshead. Goa trance (Like Psytrance + Techno) is my main genre. It isn’t EDM that needs rumbling sub-bass and relies on the low ends at all times. But at 145 BPM’s you want it to be quick, punchy and Deep. It also presents a plethora of layers that stack around each other and do all sorts of twists and turns. Well, These deliver on that no problem. They outperform the N6 Mini, The Fiil T1X/T1XS.

I’ve heard people say that they don’t sound great on poorly mastered tracks. Whose listening to poorly mastered tracks? … That being said I actually think the opposite is true for poorly mastered tracks. Dreamchilds - Manta Ray and Chi A.D’s Earthcrossing album are both notoriously poorly mastered but expertly written, they actually sound better on these with more emotional depth than I'm used to.

No bad tracks here, on A Phauns newest ambient release “Regeneration” I can hear all of the little electric flicks, the drips deep in the background, it only has a few moments of bass but I can say that they are deep and fulfilling. Overall I feel like ‘elevating’ is the right word for how music sounds on these.

My usual reference track for headphones is anything by Nibana, this time I chose Moonset. The melody is moving and delicate, the detail is impeccable and there is a sense of being surrounded by the sweet sweet layers.

For me the mids are the most important part. I need detailed, textured forward mids that don’t get lost around a multitude of other layers. In progressive psytrance who is a better bass monster than the ‘Fabio & Moon’ boys. Pure club trance and the Pro 2’s deliver just fine. Powerful, loud, punchy and energetic kickdrums with a solid bassline.

I’ve also listened to a few songs with mechanical, industrial, cyber sounds and FX. I had to look around to see if someone was operating some equipment near me. The sound stage really is magnificent and quite wide. These are the first IEMS that I have used where the sound didn’t feel like it was coming from the ear tips themselves. I got that a little bit with the N6 Mini but it’s on another level here.

For the rock enthusiasts my reference band was ‘We Lost The Sea - Challenger Part 1’. When the rock finally starts I can hear differences that I never paid much attention to earlier. The clicking together of drum sticks, the clashing of cymbals from forward to back and the riffing of guitar strings all make themselves more known.

Final rock test track is We Lost The Sea - The Last Sun. The final 4 minutes of this 14-minute song usually leave me worried that my speakers or ears are going to explode at any point. On a lot of earphones, the sound muddies and distorts as the track climbs and climbs which probably has a lot to do with the recording too. So how does the Pro 2 stack up? The best of ANY in earbuds I’ve heard so far. During the final few seconds of the apex, I can still distinguish the cymbals from the kick drum from the guitar from the electronic elements. I have no fear for my ears and it didn’t sound like the pro 2’s were going to explode either. . . Which is nice.

Now for a psychotic Goa trance track, I went with Moksha from Psylent Buddhi and it was a true riot. True the recording was already top notch, even my Pamu buds sound good here but on the Pro 2 it was another entire auditory experience.

I’m not big on EDM but I listened to The Business by Tiesto for you EDMammals. The vocals are airy and balanced with the other layers. Kickdrum is full and tbh I can appreciate the track a lot more than I usually would.

To get some proper sub bass rumbles I turned to RL Grime - Scylla. The sub bass is where it should be, it isn’t the vibrating underground club experience but it’s exactly where I would want it to be for a TWS. Sitting under the bass while leads toot overhead with force and power.

… I have to retract the above about sub bass. I just listened to some Kendrick and Kanye West and noticed that the sub-bass is way bigger than I thought it was. But I've already written the above so I'll leave it there for the Electro heads. Blood On The Leaves brings plenty of rumbling vibrations along with it and Kendricks - Hood Politics is deep and brings all sorts of satisfying vibratory enjoyment. All the other track production is spot on and a delight to the senses.


That brings me to buttons. At first I was excited for buttons instead of the almost always unused touch controls. But now I see why manufacturers might be more prone to use a touch function instead. I only use the functions either when at the desk or while running. I have to admit that while running the touch controls are much easier to use. While at the desk the buttons are preferable and this is all just nitpicking based on preference. What isn't nitpicking is the button beep on volume up and down functions. Seems very unnecessary, who in their right mind wants a beep while messing with volume?

Luckily touch and button functions on TWS are usually not good enough to warrant me using them. Just push the phone button, it ain’t so hard. What's the problem? You’re telling me that we can carry our phones around like an extension of our own bodies that we keep close to us for dear life but we can’t use the volume control when we have earbuds in? Who are we kidding? People here have like 8 + TWS units on them at all times, are we really remembering all of the different button combinations? And quite frankly it wouldn’t hurt for companies to stop enabling us and normalising the use of these functions. Get rid of em, increase your IPX and give people on the internet one less thing to complain about.

Ambient mode, ANC and other things - I find that Natural isolation is good enough on most headphones and TWS that I don’t know what the added benefit of ANC is other than to have a bunch of frequencies shot into your ears that I feel like I can always ‘Feel’. But that’s an opinion, it’s conjecture and irrelevant as there is no ANC. I will say the sound is wide and ‘full’ enough that even at low volumes I can’t hear my very loud wife when she yells directly at me for my attention.

Ambient mode is more useful I will admit and quite good on these. My own voice comes through really well and doesn't do that deep bass annoying thing, and other sounds as well as keyboard clicking come through nicely. All in all, I’d call them office appropriate.

Another point
I've noticed from the N6 Mini and is the same here, but you can turn these up quite loud without it feeling ‘painful’ on the ears. My Fiil T1X/XS can only go so high before they start to produce diminishing returns. It’s not that they ‘hurt’ but just that the loudness isn’t enjoyable for whatever reason. I don’t get that on these so far, there is a sweet range from the medium volume to high volume point that produces satisfactory results.

Equalizer - is a bit of a laugh. 2 settings, ‘default’ & ‘flat’. I think default might be my preference. ‘Flat’ brings the sound ‘down’ while default seems to lift it if that makes sense? Maybe saying that ‘default’ spacializes the sound is more accurate, even though that isn’t a real word but you all get it. ‘Flat’ brings the sound closer to you and makes it sound more ‘full’. If you prefer big bass then Flat seems like the better option. Default is better for overall detail and treble.

The rest of the app is fine. You can change the button combos to 4 different presets (Great) for the front and back buttons which is a nice touch. The middle button stays set how it is.

Conclusion - I’m not the type of guy who would say that these are like hearing all your favourite songs for the first time again. But it is like hearing them from all angles with a fun and energetic sound that picks up as many details as my DT770’s or my MSR7B’s. And you get to have a badass looking pair of TWS in your ear while you do it.

Cons (Kinda) - Only one ear wing size, Beeping buttons.

Pro’s - The N6 Pro 2 picks up all of the track details and has one of the best sound stages I have ever heard on a pair of ear buds. Currently these are my favourite in ear buds. The design is lit and the sound is unreal. Everything is textured and positioned extraordinarily well.

@tma6 mentioned on their N6 Pro review that “the dynamics are also surprisingly good. You can actually hear crescendos when they occur in music, adding nice emotion to what could be perceived as a flat-ish sound signature.”

On the Pro 2 I see exactly what was meant. Most of the music I listen to tries to dig up some euphoric kind of emotion. On these buds, That emotion is exacerbated and brought even more to life. I can’t put my finger on exactly what they are doing to elicit this but I have to say, with everything taken into consideration, I highly recommend giving these a go. I love these things, I’m gonna treat them right and make an honest TWS out of them.

If you like the design and want to experience auditory delight then I recommend it. If you’re in Australia you can get them from the bad boys over at Earspan.com

I rate these 5 out of 5 for all of the above reasons and for the price point. These are the most i've spent on a TWS and I'm glad that I have as everything comes together for sonic satisfaction.
SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
@JustBimBim I was skeptical of HDSS at first. But I've tried lots of other buds with similar things implemented and now won't buy a tws without some version of it (roomfeel, Dirac Virtuo, HDSS). I mean. Truth is I will, but it's more important to me than ANC or touch controls.

Yea the FW5 is probs the way to go. It will feel bigger (soundstage) due to the better seperation and the BA's.
J
JustBimBim
Sadly both mini3 and next1 don't have hdss. But I'm curious about the sounds from those new drivers. Maybe I will go out and try them.
By the way I hope nuarl will sell the wired iem worldwide. The overture has n10 v6 with 3 hdss modules.
SynaestheticA
SynaestheticA
Yea damn I'm keen to try the Overture. I could probably get it here (Aus) but need to navigate the Japanese sites which ain't easy.

I've heard the Next1 is pretty average (no soundstage and very thin, bad bass). Haven't heard myself tho. The N10 I wasn't a big fan of.

I loved the N6 Mini (bought about 4 of them) so was keen on the Mini3 but without HDSS im happy to wait for something else.

Let me know if you get to try the Overture.
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