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  1. Army-Firedawg
    Fantastic, inexpensive, workout iem
    Written by Army-Firedawg
    Published May 19, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sweat/water resistant, good battery life, good noise isolation, tons of tip and wing sizes, magnetic back, powerful bass, inexpensive, in-line mic.
    Cons - Cable is extremely microphonic, sound is not "audiophile" friendly.



    Dudios is another brand that I was very recently introduced to when they reached out to me requesting a review and in this particular case, of their new Zeus bluetooth iem (which you can check out one here if interested). Looking over the product page I knew that it would be a workout iem and after getting my hands on it myself my prenotion was most definitely confirmed, but I’ll of course touch on that here very soon. But I would very much like to give my sincere thanks to Dudios for reaching out me and taking interest in me doing a review for them. But without further adieu let me give my thoughts after my extensive time with the Dudios Zeus. Before I jump too much into the sound I need to put out a disclaimer or argument or whatever the technical name is for it but Dudios, on the product page, claims the Zeus to be noise cancelling and I want to inform that it is NOT noise cancelling in the least, it is only noise isolating.Now, with that aside, onto the review.



    A little about me

    I would like to say that first and foremost I am NOT an “audiophile” but rather an audio enthusiast. I listen to music to enjoy it. Do I prefer a lossless source? Yes, of course. But I can still be very happy streaming from Pandora or even my YouTube “My Mix” playlist. I also prefer equipment that sounds the best to me personally regardless of what frequency response it has or rather or not it's “sonically accurate” and I always have and shall continue to encourage others to do the same.

    I'm a firefighter for both the civilian and military sector and the cliché of wanting to do this since I was born couldn't be more present with me. I've worked hard over the last several years to earn this position and now it's time for me to work even harder to keep it.

    My interests/hobbies are powerlifting, fishing and relaxing to audio products and reviewing them to help other decide on what products would work for them. Few things make me as an audio enthusiast/review feel more accomplished than when someone tells me that I helped them find the type of sound they've always been looking for.

    Now, the sound signature I personally favor is a relaxing, warm and sensual sound that just drifts me away in the emotional experience of the music being performed. Yes, accuracy is still important but I will happily sacrifice some of that if I'm presented with a clean, warm sound that can wisp me away into an experience that makes me yearn for more.

    My ideal signature are that of respectably forward mids and upper bass range with the bass being controlled but with some slight decay. I like my treble to have nice extension and detail reveal with a smooth roll off up top as to not become harsh in the least. Examples of products that have given me chills and keep giving me the yearning for more feels are the (in no particular order) Bowers & Wilkins P7, Oppo PM-1/2, Empire Ears Hermes VI & Zeus XIV, Audeze LCD-XC, Meze Headphones 99 Classics.

    Equipment used at least some point during the review

    -Sources

    -LG V20/HP Pavilion

    -Playing Pandora, YouTube, and various format personal music

    Disclaimer

    I am by no means sponsored by this company or any of its affiliates. They were kind enough to send me a product for an arranged amount of time in exchange for my honest opinion. I am making no monetary compensation for this review.

    The following is my take on the product being reviewed. It is to be taken “with a grain of salt” per say and as I always tell people, it is YOUR opinion that matters. So regardless of my take or view on said product, I highly recommend you listen to it yourself and gauge your own opinion.

    The Opening Experience

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    Why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience

    Please allow me to explain why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience with a product. Maybe it’s due to my southern roots in the hills of eastern Kentucky, but I’ve always been raised under the pretense of when you introduce yourself to someone for the first time you present yourself with confidence, class, character, pride, and competence. You greet the other person with a true warm smile, eye contact and a firm handshake. Anything less or short implies to other person that you either don’t care about them, are too full of yourself, too busy to be bothered by the likes of them, or worse, just generally disrespectful.

    As a consumer, I take this same belief to when I open a new product. Why? Because think about it this way. How else can a company introduce themselves to their customers? How do they present their products? Are they packaged with pride and presented in such a way that makes the listener eager to listen to them? Or maybe they’re just wrapped up and placed in an available space. How about the box itself? Is it bogged down with jargon that says look at this, look what I can do. I’m better than anything on the market and here’s why read this and check out that. Or, is the package clean, simplistic and classy? As if saying to the customer ‘Good day, pleasure to meet your acquaintance. Please give me a listen and allow me to show you what I can do and allow my actions to speak louder than my words.’

    This is why I feel so strongly about the initial presentation of a product, and I feel it’s truly a shame more people don’t. But with all that aside, let’s discuss how this products introduced itself shall we?

    For a product that only costs roughly $30 (usually less with a little shopping) I was quite impressed with the level of care Dudios gave their Zeus. The exterior box is quite consistent with other products of this price point meaning there’s a lot of features and addons and look at me’s that the Zeus comes with. As you open the package, you’re greeted with the user manual, a plethora or extra silicone ear tips and wings so pretty much anyone should be able to find the size that fits them perfectly. Something that I REALLY was surprised to see what opening the Dudios Zeus is that they supply you with a rather nice carrying case with respect to this products price. And of course inside you’re greeted with the Dudios Zeus, at least in my case, charged and ready to be utilized.

    So though this was a fairly straight forward unboxing and fairly consistent with other ranging in this price point the fact that Dudios included such a nice case as well as the multitude of tips and wing sizes, to me, really sets it apart from other introductory priced products.


    Construction

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    The build quality of the Dudios Zeus is standard for iems of this price range. The frames are made of plastic and the cable connecting the 2 is a very basic, rounded, cable that does at least offer a microphone (that works respectably well). One cool feature that I have actually really grown to like is that the Zeus’ housing backs are magnetic, so what this does is when I’ve them out of my ears I just snap them together and they stay around my neck and I don’t have to worry about them falling off (which happens fairly often with bluetooth iems).

    The horn size is, what I feel, to be the most universal size. Before you ask I’ve no idea what the exact measurements are but it’s the horn size I personally see on the vast majority of iems. The wings are easily interchangeable which unless you’re sharing them with others I don’t think you’ll be changing them out for different sizes but till you find the perfect one for you.

    The frame itself is a cylinder like shape that does protrude from your ears enough to make it rather uncomfortable to sleep on your side with them. However, despite their bulk they’re very lightweight and at least in my case, I’ve never had an issue with them falling out or becoming fatiguing for my ears. Now, once negative that the Dudios Zeus does indeed have is that it’s quite microphonic. Anytime it brushes up against anything, YOU HEAR IT. This does make it rather frustrating when running in them, like, really infuriating. A fix that I found is I taped the chord in a “S” like shape so that it just wraps around the back of my head vs dangle around my neck. So if Dudios could add like a plastic piece in future runs of this product that would do this, that would be FANTASTIC.

    Despite that rather basic build materials the Zeus is made from, I think Dudios has created a fantastically built iem. From my, very extensive, time and testing of this thing it’s not once gave me the impressions that it’s about to break or anything of that matter and these have been thrown around, stepped on, and various other things someone should most certainly never do to a product if they don’t want to break it.


    Comfort

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    This is something that I look for MOST when it comes to a workout product.

    ‘WWHHHAAAATTTTT!!!! Firedawg, what are you saying?! Sound quality is always the most important thing isn’t it?!’

    Well my completely made up imaginary friend, usually you’re correct; but when I look for a workout product I look for, in order, how comfortable is it to wear for long and rapidly changing durations and movements, how well is it built so it can hold up against sweat and being tossed around, and then sound quality. But getting back on track, the Dudios Zeus is quite comfortable once you find the right size ear tips, which really isn’t too difficult of a matter. Now, to disclaim, I personally switched over to Comply Memory Foam tips about half way through my review NOT because the stock tips are uncomfortable etc… but merely because I personally prefer the isolation and comfort Comply tips provide.

    I’ve worn these terrific things for several hours on end in terms of both general musical listening as well as long workout sessions and I really never had any discomfort in the very least once I switched to the Comply memory foam tips. Now note, I said once I switched. During my time using the silicon tips, and this very well may’ve been user error, when I would put them in my ear it’s like the silicon would bunch up which muffled the sound somewhat and it took a bit on tinkering around for me to get it fixed, this could again be very well an error on my part but it was consistent enough for me to feel the need to bring it up.

    Kind of a short section I know but, it was really comfortable to wear, and with memory foam tips, they’re fantastic.


    Sound

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    *In my video review, I mentioned I used tape to do what's shown above.....I found these clamps after the video and will say this is MUCH more convenient than tape*

    Now for what many of you are likely waiting for, the sound. Yes, I believe this iem is primarily a workout iem so, to me, the build quality and comfort are more important for this type of category the ability to produce pleasing sound is still important to a degree (admittedly I rarely listen to the music I’ve playing when I workout I’m mainly just hearing it as background music to drain out distractions). The overall sound to the Zeus is VERY like, let me stress, VERY bass heavy which I’ll elaborate more on in the bass section but wowza.

    The soundstage is quite in your face so prepare so be nice and personal with that bass drum and hard vocals. This may sound like a bad thing, but at least to me personally, I prefer this style for my workout products (especially when running and I’ve cadences playing) for it’s almost like a good workout partner that really pushes you to push out that last rep.

    Imaging is also meh at best. It’s there if you really focus but it’s certainly not gonna get you to close your eyes and enjoy the performance. But allow me to open up the meat and potatoes of the Zeus review so hopefully I can relay a little bit better my thoughts on how these workout partners perform. And a brief cut in, these are NOT an audiophile iem, by any means. It’s a sharp V shape that’s bass is very bloated and full of decay and the music as a whole is not that “true” sounding. But again, that’s not its focus, it’s focus is to be a workout iem and it accomplishes that, to me at least, in spades.


    Treble


    The highs on the Zeus as a whole are fairly decent. It does peak quite early and doesn’t give a lot of energy from things like violins etc… but it does highlight the finer details enough so that the music doesn’t feel hollow. A good song that I use when testing out treble on a product is “A Moon Filled Sky” it’s a particularly sad piece that has a lot of emotion behind it but the Zeus just plays it. You can hear all the instruments present so there’s nothing missing in that regard but the Zeus just can’t present that, magic, that is present in this song.


    Mids


    The soul of the music. For those who follow me likely know how this is the area I care most about in the audio spectrum. I like to hear the emotions of the singers and experience their feelings. I’m also a big fan of acoustic instruments as well so this is a really focused part for me. When reviewing the Dudios Zeus I had to keep reminding myself of what these are designed for, and that’s working out. I’ll gladly admit that when I’m working out I am NOT listening to music, I am hearing it in the background and mainly just getting into the beat to pump myself up for the lift to come. I feel quite confident that that was also the design of the Zeus because the vocals are just their. The mids are quite subdued and pushed into the background as a mere accent to the bass and kinda sorta treble which is where, again, when working up I pick up more on anyways. The song “Dogs of War” by Blues Saraceno is a very mid focused song and one I really enjoy to just listen to but on the Zeus, it’s just music that’s playing.


    Bass


    Dat bass though. These suckers have some serious punch to them. Now yes, as I mentioned above the bass on the Zeus, though powerful, is very bloated and full of decay that bleeds into other notes. But for a workout iem I DON”T CARE!! It’s truthfully exactly what I want and focus on and, at least for me, gives me that strong push to finish up my powerlifting workout. Of all the products I’ve tried, very few have made me so satisfied as these $30 Dudios Zeus do, the punch they deliver gets my adrenaline surging. I’ll list a few songs that’s from my “My Mix-Rock Music” YouTube playlist that is exactly what I listen to when I workout.


    Whatever It Takes” Hollywood Undead

    The Light” Disturbed

    Thunderstruck” 2Cellos

    The Pride” Five Finger Death Punch


    Conclusion



    I’m really glad companies like Dudios reach out to me. For one, it honors me to know that they’re interested in my opinion and believe that my exposure is of enough profit for them to send a product to me. And second, it opens up my eyes to even more, very talented, companies that produce some really quality stuff. The Zeus is the only product I’ve heard from them to disclaim and it is by NO means a traditional “audiophile” product, but it is an incredible value for someone looking for a rock solid workout iem. It has a really good battery life, sweatproof (marketing for water resistant), and strong noise isolation (NOT cancellation). At roughly $30 I have very little negatives to say about the Zeus, very well done Dudios, I am legitimately excited to see what else comes from you all.






    Also, make sure to check out my unboxing and review videos. They’re pretty awesome AND you getta put a face to the Army-Firedawg name. If this review helped you out at all please hit that thumbs up button for it really helps me out a lot. Till next time my friends, stay safe.

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    1. View previous replies...
    2. Army-Firedawg
      @voxie Glad I could be of some help my friend.
      Army-Firedawg, May 19, 2018
      voxie likes this.
    3. happy0713
      Thanks for the review. I like it.
      happy0713, May 21, 2018
      Army-Firedawg likes this.
    4. emrelights1973
      Thank you, this is what i was looking for...
      emrelights1973, May 22, 2018