Single-BA

Earmax ER580

Rating:
5/5,
Tags:

Recent Reviews

  1. HiFiChris
    A really inexpensive Single-BA IEM that is even slightly better than the UE600 in some areas
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Dec 22, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - price, value, resolution, beats the UE600 in some areas, nice cable
    Cons - sub-bass could be better extended
    Preamble:

    Before I start with my review, I’d like to thank Yele Trading Shanghai for providing me with an evaluation sample of the Earmax ER580 (http://aliexpress.com/store/product/Earmax-ER580-Balanced-Armature-Type-Inner-ear-headphones/1093398_32389526705.html) in exchange for my honest opinion.
    Please note that my review reflects my actual thoughts on the product and that I am in no way affiliated to the company/store in any way, nor do I get any compensation or financial gain for this review.


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: ~ $25
    Drivers: Balanced Armature
    Frequency Response: 15 – 25000 Hz
    Impedance: 8 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 125 dB
    Cable: 1.2 m, silver-plated
    Power Input: 15 mW


    Delivery Content:

    The Earmax in-ears arrive in a cardboard box that has got the Earmax logo on all sides except for the top and rear. The upper side features a sticker with the technical specifications.
    Inside, there are a warranty card as well as a sealed plastic bag which contains the in-ears as well as their accessories which contain of a protective zippered carrying case (very nice to see it included at this low price point), four pairs of soft black silicone tips (in three sizes) as well as finally two pairs of valuable foam tips (different sizes).

    The delivery content and quality of the accessories is very good and more than one could expect for the low price.
     

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    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    Let me start with the silver-plated cable: it is very flexible, seems sturdy and has got effective strain relief. The semi-transparent rubber coating is soft, but neither sticky nor rubbery and appears sturdy.
    The 3.5 mm plug as well as the y-split are made of metal; a chin-slider which is made of rubber is also present.
    The in-ears’ design strongly reminds me of the UE600 (formerly known as Super.Fi 5), but both earphones slightly differ in design, shape and diameter, and the Logitech IEMs have got a top-firing BA driver, whereas the Earmax have got a straight one.
     

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    Comfort, Isolation:

    The in-ears are very lightweight and can be worn both with the cables straight down as well as over the ears, whereby I perceive the latter as the definitely more comfortable method due to the shape (and microphonics are also drastically reduced when the cables are guided around the ears).
    Overall comfort is excellent.

    As the in-ear bodies are entirely closed, isolation is superb.


    Sound:

    My main source devices for evaluation were the iBasso DX80 as well as the HiFiMe 9018d. Music files were mainly stored in FLAC format.

    For listening, I used the included large black silicone tips.

    Tonality:

    The sound of these in-ears is pleasantly balanced and heads into the neutral direction.
    In the lows, there is solely a very modest emphasis in the upper bass and lower fundamental range, the rest is free of any elevations. Towards sub-bass, level unfortunately rolls off somewhat.
    The mids are tonally correct in my ears.
    The middle treble is only marginally pushed back and the upper highs are a tad more in the background as well. Above 10 kHz, there is not much subtle sparkle anymore, which is kind of the regular case with most single-BA in-ears.

    The UE600 does not roll off in the sub-bass and has got less upper bass, but the same amount of fundamental range. The mids are tonally identically correct with both in-ears, but the Logitech sometimes appears somewhat “tinny” in the midrange in my ears, the Earmax however does not. The middle highs are audibly pushed back more on the UE, wherefore they sound more “relaxed”, the Earmax are more correct in this area. The UE600 have got a distinct peak in the upper treble, the Earmax don’t. Above 10 kHz, both are pretty much identical in my ears.

    Resolution:

    Not much surprisingly, resolution, precision and speech intelligibility are BA-level and therefore really good. Who is looking for a very balanced sound, doesn’t want to spend much and is seeking for the typical Balanced Armature driver resolution, will find good in-ears with these.
    The bass is punchy, arid and precise. Even with fast and complex music, the in-ears retain good control and don’t appear strained.

    The resolution of these can keep up with the UE600 and the Earmax are even a bit more arid and faster in the bass. Solely the treble seems a tiny bit more differentiated with the Logitech UE600.

    Soundstage:

    The imaginary soundstage is of average width in my ears and has got about the same amount of spatial depth. Typically for most single-BA in-ears, there is a good and coherent spatiality.
    Instrument separation is good and the soundstage also remains consistent with fast music.

    The UE600’s stage is narrower, though it has got a tab more depth and the better layering.


    Conclusion:
     
    The ER580 are really good single-BA in-ears that don’t cost much. The cable’s build quality is sublime, the in-ear bodies however could be better made. The delivery content contains a good carrying case and valuable foam tips.
    Typically for most single-BA-earphones, the sound is balanced, precise, and crisp. Solely the sub-bass could roll off less, but that was it basically.
    In many areas, these in-ears are on par with the UE600 or even superior.

    Close 5 out of 5 possible stars are what these in-ears get with ease for the little price they cost (95% - solely the sub-bass could be better extended).
      mgunin likes this.
    1. justPasca
      Excellent review. How does this stand against KZ?
      justPasca, Mar 5, 2016
    2. HiFiChris
      @justPasca
       
      I don't really like to compare dynamic IEMs with BA IEMs, but if I had to, I would have to give the edge to the Earmax. 
      HiFiChris, Mar 5, 2016

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