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Dual balanced armature earphone

EARNiNE EN2J

Rating:
4.5/5,
Tags:
  • As a special specification for domestic domestic use, EN 2 J is a product produced with the opinion of customers in Japan. The housing part adopted stainless steel material used for luxury watches. It realizes gorgeous and clear sound unique of high-grade material, while it is a universal model, it has excellent fitting feeling and relieves fatigue feeling during long-time use.

    1. We adopt our own BA driver (balanced · armature).
     I succeeded in development by repeatedly failing and challenging for about two years by the in-house development team. Full range BA and Woofer BA is equipped with a notch above 2 Way model.

    2. Adopting a twisted cable Although
    it is a basic model, it is very important to prevent touch noise securely and it was possible to minimize it by adopting a twisted cable. In addition, we adopt silver plated wire as a model up a notch.

    3. Noise Isolation
    Design By design that fits the structure of the ear, we were able to concentrate more on music than suppressing external noise.

    4. MMCX connector mounted
    MMCX connector with re-cable support In addition to the supplied cable, please enjoy with your favorite cable.

    5. Carrying Pouch / Silicone Ear Chip (3 sizes) / Form Ear Chip (1 Size)
    Carrying Pouch and 4 Ear Chips are included. Please use them according to your preference.

    Model name EN 2 J
    Tyep Canal type. Housing made of stainless steel · hairline
    Driver Unit Proprietary manufacturing BA left and right two units (full range + Woofer)
    Output sound pressure level 104 dB ± 3 dB at 1 KHz
    Playback frequency band 20 Hz to 20 KHz
    Impedance 20 Ω ± 20% at 1 KHz
    cable Special twisted cable 1.2 m, silver plated copper wire, MMCX re cable compatible
    plug 3.5mm gold-plated 3 pole L-shaped plug
    Attached S / M / L earpiece, carrying pouch, form tip M size 1
    JAN Code 4589761310871

Recent Reviews

  1. IryxBRO
    EARNINE EN2J — designed for serious audiophiles
    Written by IryxBRO
    Published Dec 28, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - great resolution, great bass textures, very good treble extension, mature sound
    Cons - lacks the volume in midbass
    Couple of month ago we have already reviewed EN1J IEMs from EARNINE brand. The fact that this brand is from South Korea might already designate to somehow different approach towards sound tuning due to other standards and listening habits. In fact, EN1J IEMs are the ones that deviate much from the whole bunch of models that we own, no matter which country those are originating from. EN1J sound is tuned to focus and resolve mids in natural and delicate way, mostly common for studio monitoring.

    [​IMG]

    As far as we are concerned EARNINE brand is mostly known for its previous product — EN2J. This model is based on 2BA drivers and got lots of warm mentions by different audiophile geeks and reviewers. It is our turn now to play with it and come up with our own conclusion. Of course, the comparison to EN1J is inevitable since both models look similar and even despite the fact of belonging to totally different price league.

    [​IMG]

    EN2J technical specifications:
    • Drivers: 2 BA (Full Range + Woofer)
    • Output sound pressure level: 104dB ± 3dB at 1kHz
    • Frequency range: 20Hz to 20kHz
    • Impedance: 20Ω ± 20% at 1kHz
    • Cable: twisted, 1.2m, silver-plated copper wire
    • Cable connectors: MMCX
    • Plug: 3.5mm, L-shaped plug
    • Housing: made of stainless steel · hairline processing
    EN2J stucture:

    [​IMG]

    Additional information:
    • 2 years of in-house development until the best qualitites and combination of drivers were found.
    • Twisted cable to prevent touch noise
    • Engineers from EARNINE have developed the shape of IEMs that perfectly fits the structure of the ear which given them the ability to concentrate more on sound tuning rather than suppressing noise coming from outside.
    [​IMG]

    Packaging, design and materials:

    EARNINE EN2J comes in pretty large box with vivid design of outer cover that contains large glossy product picture and lots of additional technical information. Box design is very familiar since it is shared among both models — EN1J and EN2J.

    [​IMG]

    Cover aside, the box itself is very strict, matt back with barely visible EARNINE logo imprint at the front.

    [​IMG]

    Inner box compartment holds foamy podium with IEMs and storage case openings — regular and effective way of protecting product during the transportation.

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    The box contents are:
    • EARNINE EN2J IEMs
    • cable with MMCX connectors
    • 3 pairs of silicone eartips (S|M|L)
    • 1 pair of memory foam eartips
    • storage case
    • warranty card
    • short user manual
    [​IMG]

    Storage case is pretty standard in terms of design and shape but the quality is very good — it is soft all around and has the additional pocket inside for storing exchangeable eartips. Concerning that shells of IEMs are shiny and polished — such an accessory is always welcome.

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    Shells are made of two stainless steel parts with «hairline» finish at the very top whereas the rest of the surface is polished and glossy. We have tried to capture what is meant by «hairline» finish in our photograps — not very easy task to perform.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully, you can see tiny horizontal lines across the top part surface — those are thin scratches that create a notion of using steel and reduce the reflections. EARNINE logo is engraved at the top as well.

    [​IMG]

    Channel indicators (plastic dots, red for right and white for left) are located on the inner part. Another plastic elements are output nozzles covered with aluminum filters.

    [​IMG]

    MMCX connectors feel tight and secure, no free play whatsoever.

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    Overall build quality is excellent. Top and bottom shell parts are perfectly aligned, the gap is very small and almost imperceptible. The only what we are worried about is the inevitable scratches that would appear over time on such shiny surfaces. That is why having soft storage case is vital for EN2J IEMs.

    [​IMG]

    Stock cable is OFC silver-plated, twisted, 1.2m in length and features lots of plastic parts such as Y-splitter, limiter, MMCX housings and cable bending protection. Great that audio jack housing is made of aluminum and L-shaped (which is more durable when carrying DAP with connected IEMs in a pocket). A little bit of touch noise (mic noise) is produced by the cable while walking but we wouldn’t say that this is a problem since the effect is very weak.

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    In terms of fit EN2J are kind of a step backwards in comparison to EN1J which are made of plastic, have less weight and lower profile. EN2J are still ok (thanks to the choice of eartips and intergrated earguides) but the weight is something we should get used to. On the other hand, isolation is superior to EN1J — seems that thicker profile and stainless steel cuts off outer noise much better than plastic shells.

    [​IMG]

    Sound quality tests:

    Tested with Hidizs AP200, Hidizs AP80, xDuoo X3 DAPs

    EN2J belong to IEMs that should be given several iterations to get the complete understaning or to reveal all sound quality potential. This refers to main audio characteristics which would heavily depend of the choice of eartips and final in-ear position. Therefore, our findings are based on many hours of listening in combination with different sources and have changed significantly since the very first try.

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    Lows and midbass:

    Our first impression was that lower frequencies are underpowered and virtually absent. But the more we listened, the more we understood the nature of EN2J sound. Deep bass is kind of congregated and attendant rather than overwhelming or highly pronounced as in many dynamic IEMs. It can even reach barely audible levels and create a feel of vibes and shivers with some bass-heavy tracks (not so powerful in comparison to dynamic drivers, though). But in most of the cases it would neatly accompany all other instruments showing plenty of textures and very precise countouring.

    A bit of recession comes in the midbass section. Good speed, presence and overall articulation but lacks some volume to sound punchy and powerful. It mostly accentuates higher freqeuncy notes while not involving much from the lower end. That leads to crisp but grasped delivery. Totally enough to assist the entire sound picture and very common behavior for pure BA IEMs.

    [​IMG]

    Mids and vocals:

    Mids are showing the exceptional resolution and large amount of micro details. It doesn’t matter whether it is a voice or any instrument — everything feels very detailed, or to tell more — analytical. Despite that, there are no signs of harshness or unpleasant peaks that would force you to limit the time of listening — upper mids are not elevated, male and female vocals sound mostly equalized and not influenced by lower treble. This gets even more exceptional considering that the main accent of EN2J sound picture is made on mids — bringing this range closer to ears, emphasizing uncompromised clarity and excellent separation. Layering is another virtue of this model — every instrument is perfectly outlined and clearly perceived.

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    Treble:

    Treble section extends the perception of clarity and sharpness of EN2J sound and provides the pleasing airy feel. At first, is might feel too accentuated and crisp but at the end it is a matter of the right choice of eartips. In either case, this clarity and sharpness sounds far more natural and justified in comparison to some other BA rivals that would try to add synthetic juice by boosting only one portion of treble to quite unreal gains. Much more adequate tuning in EN2J would lead to fatigue-free long listening sessions, balancing between highest resolution and deliberate supply. Treble is very well balanced to other frequencies and doesn’t tend to occupy the leading role.

    Soundstage:

    Soundstage is moderate regarding both width and depth. Vocals are perceived to be brought to front while the rest of the instruments in mid section sound a bit tight and gathered around a singer. Instruments in other ranges are helping to make the scene wider and deeper. Bass guitars sound more distant and flow on the background while treble helps to define vertical domain.

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    Sound in overall:

    EARNINE EN2J sound could be described as highly detailed, fairly balanced, a bit prone to brighter tonality, with slight accent on upper mids and lower treble. Great textures on lows, exceptional resolution on mids and treble. The only section that might have been a bit better is the midbass which lacks some power. The most appropriate genres would be rock, blues, jazz, classics, soul, vocals and anything else saturated with bow and sting instruments.

    Compared to LZ HIFI A5:

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    Despite almost similar pricing, LZ HIFI A5 has completely different sound picture, tuning and tonality. It mostly focuses and accentuates treble, giving it overwhelming sharpness and presence which forms enormously bright tonality. This would also affect mids and vocals to some extent forcing them to sound a bit thin and less natural. At the same time, lows and midbass are both great, thanks to the dedicated dynamic driver. Sound produced by EN2J is more balanced in overall, less accentuated and crisp on treble which results in more natural audio reproduction.

    Compared to EARNINE EN1J:

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    The only few things that are in commom for those two models are the desing of the box, shape of the housing and brand name. Price, detachable cable, fit, tuning, sound picture and tonality are all completely different. EN1J are mostly focusing on mids while other ranges are left behind. Lows and midbass are recessed, treble is far from being emhasized. Mids are very detailed and natural. This makes EN1J a good monitoring option for guitar players and singers. EN2J has better lows|treble resolution and extension, brighter tonality and similarly natural sound in mids. Feels like a significant upgrade of lower and treble ends applied to EN1J.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion:

    As it was mentioned — EARNINE EN2J belong to different dimension and provide totally exclusive sound experience. EARNINE approach towards in-house BA design and sound tuning distinguish this brand from the rest in a crowd giving audio fans the opportunity to try new and refreshing approach. In fact, we feel that this product is mostly aimed at audiophiles who would pay the required attention to the choice of accessories, have the will to listen attentively and vote for the mature sound of carefully and delicately tuned IEMs. Episodic sessions of a casual listener is not what this product is about. Previous experience, pursuit of better sound quality, new inventions acquired through constant iterations — this is what EARNINE EN2J are designed for… And capable of!

    You can purchase EARNINE EN2J at PenonAudio store
      Markolav and B9Scrambler like this.
    1. Badder
      Excellent review, very well written. Are you able to compare these with the Q-Jays II in terms of frequency response, namely the quantity of bass, mids and highs? Thanks.
      Badder, Jan 18, 2019
  2. B9Scrambler
    EARNiNE EN2J: Unforgivingly Detailed
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Mar 3, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Impressive detail and clarity - Cable - Mature and professional design
    Cons - Not a universal signature; near neutral with a treble lean with foam tips, bright and bass light with silicone tips
    Greetings,

    Today we're checking out EARNiNE's flagship earphone, the EN2J.

    The EN2J is a dual balanced armature earphone. Unlike most, EARNiNE does not use drivers from well-established companies like Knowles or Sonion. Instead, they designed their own in-house which gives their earphones their own unique sound.

    Let's check em out, shall we?

    Disclaimer:

    Thanks to Penon Audio and EARNiNE for arranging a complimentary sample of the EN2J for the purposes of review. All thoughts within are my own and do not represent EARNiNE, Penon, or any other entity, nor am I being provided any financial compensation to write this review.

    The EN2J retailed for 267 USD at the time of this writing: https://penonaudio.com/earnine-en2j.html
    The EN2J on EARNiNE's site: http://earnine9.com/e9/?page_id=99

    Source:

    For at home use the EN2J was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp or straight out of my Asus FX53V laptop. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, HiFi E.T. MA8, F.Audio S1, or Shanling M1, all of which brought it up to listening volume without any effort. I didn't find it particularly susceptible to hiss from any particular device. You don't need a powerful source to bring them up to volume, but a clean source is suggested. The EN2J is very revealing.

    Personal Preferences:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, MacaW GT600s, and thinksound On2 offer examples of signatures I enjoy.

    Specifications:
    • Sensitivity: 104 dB/mW +/- 3 dB @ 1 kHz
    • Impedance: 20 ohm @ 1kHz +/- 20%F
    • Frequency response: 20-20 kHz
    DSC02289.JPG DSC02290.JPG DSC02294.JPG

    Packaging and Accessories:

    EARNiNE's packaging is straightforward and effective with an attractive design. On the front of the outer sleeve the EN2J's smooth lines and metal shells are on display. The sides outline some features and accessories. Out back you're provided an exploded image of the housings and how they're constructed along with technical specifications and some additional features.

    Removing the sleeve reveals a magnetically sealed cardboard box containing the important goods all nestled within neatly cut protective foam. In all you get;
    • EN2J earphones
    • Silver-plated MMCX terminated cable
    • Carrying case
    • 3 pairs of single flange silicone tips (s/m/l)
    • 1 pair of foam ear tips (m)
    It's a fairly minimal accessory kit, especially for the price, but the quality of everything is outstanding. The tips are dense but soft and sticky providing a great seal. The case is compact and spacious inside with a smooth-moving zipper and covered in a durable fabric. I would love to see EARNiNE team up with Spintfit in the future and include a set of their tips. They pair beautifully with the EN2J.

    DSC02295.JPG DSC02297.JPG DSC02299.JPG

    Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

    The EN2J's steel housings both look and feel quite stunning. They're weighty without being heavy, and are constructed well with acceptable tolerances between pieces. Left and right channels are denoted by blue and red plastic dots inset into the inside of each ear piece. They could have painted those on, or written a small L or R like most, but they went a step further highlighting an attention to detail that permeates the EN2J to it's core. My only qualm is the outer plates are soft and pick up micro scratches quite easily.

    The cable is one of the nicest I've come across, though I wouldn't have guessed it on looks alone. At first glance it looks like those generic, overly thin braided cables found on countless budget earphones, but then you touch it. It weighs nothing. It behaves more like a piece of thread with extremely flexibility, NO memory, and almost no noise transmission. It is terminated in a compact, well-relieved 90 degree angled jack. The y-split is a compact and durable hunk of rubber. It has an effective chin cinch. The flexible, pre-formed ear guides do not interfere at all with my glasses and keep the cable secure behind my ears. I absolutely adore this cable and wish I could buy more separately because it belongs on every MMCX equipped earphone I've got.

    As a result of their shapely, low-profile design and the EN2J is very ergonomic and virtually disappears in my ears. With the stock silicone tips I found them slightly finicky to seal fully, but that's more a result of the shape of my ear than anything. It's my experience with most earphones of this style. Using the included foam tips eliminates this issue completely, as do any number of after market tips be they from Sony, KZ, HiFiMan, or another brand. At 5mm the EN2J's nozzles are a standard size and the majority of 3rd party tips fit them just fine.

    As is the case with most BA earphones, the EN2J's steel housings are fully sealed and isolation is stellar. Despite being sealed, I never experienced any pressure build up causing discomfort. Can't say the same for the vast majority of fully sealed earphones I've come across.

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    Sound:

    Tips: Foam tips. If you've got them, use them. They soften the treble and make the EN2J a wonderfully near-neutral experience with a mild treble tilt. They don't seem to hinder the intense clarity and detail either, and even serve to improve imaging accuracy further. Very rarely do I find foam tips have such a positive effect, but here is pretty clearly the superior tip. Next up I'd recommend a set of Spintfits. The EN2J sounds best with as deep a seat as possible, and the extra length and soft silicone of Spintfits really helps achieve this. The stock tips are great too, but I couldn't get quite as deep a fit as was needed to get the most out of the EN2J leading to less accurate treble and a touch of harshness.

    I liken the EN2J to that of a tool. It is clinical in it's presentation, completely unforgiving of a track's flaws and unrelenting in the delivery of detail. From that, as would be expected the EN2J's treble is intensely detail and revealing. You better be playing high quality tracks through a noise free source when listening to this earphone because you'll hear everything.

    The EN2J's treble is handled by the same all-range driver that works the mid-range, extending quite well with smartly tuned peaks that give it a high-energy, low fatigue presentation for something so treble focused. That said, especially with silicone tips, the treble sensitive out there will find these much too sharp so I can't recommend you give them a go. Compared to the similarly priced LZ A5, the EN2J's treble is about as lean, tighter, and smoother without the uncomfortable harshness experienced through that model. It is no less detailed or airy either.

    Vocals through the EN2J have a breathy, almost raspy quality to them, though it's handled in a way that gives the EN2J a positively unique quality. It serves to highlight the crazy detail on show while retaining a certain level of musicality. Dare I use the word fun? Triggered. Instruments and effect get the same treatment, retaining a toe-tapping quality that keeps the EN2J pleasing to listen to despite the clinical levels of information being shoveled your way.

    Leading into the low end, you might ask where it is on first listen. I certainly did since I was accustomed to dynamic driver bass and the B400 which has a very robust bassline for an all-BA earphone. The EN2J's low end is definitely there, after all it has a driver dedicated to the region, but it could be described as reserved at best. It really only comes out to play on the bassiest of tracks, and even then it rarely escalates beyond neutral levels. It seems at it's happiest humming along in the background, especially since it doesn't dig particularly deep. Not one for bass fans.

    When it comes to sound stage the EN2J performs quite well. For the most part it has a very forward, in-your-face kind of presentation yet it has no issues tossing effects off into the distance. This is one of those earphones that had me taking them out every once in a while thinking someone was at the door or in the room. I would happily use them for gaming given their imaging is pinpoint accurate and they both layer and separate sound exceptionally well, almost as good as the B400, but the lack of low end presence isn't ideal.

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    Comparisons:

    Instead of dropping a bunch of comparisons likely not relevant to anyone, I figured we could make this section interactive. Let me know in the comments what you want to see these compared to. For other BA-only earphones, on hand I have from Brainwavz the B100 (1BA), B150 (1BA), and B400 (4BA). Other EARNiNE models include the EN120 (1BA) and EN1J (1BA). From Sony we have the XBA-2, the only other dual BA in my collection. The rest of my gear can be found here.

    Final Thoughts:

    The EN2J is an eye-opening earphone from a technical perspective. The level of detail and clarity it brings to the table is frankly quite impressive, all set within a very lively and well-defined stage. It makes the act of listening to the earphone itself and it's particulars, not the music per say, a pleasant experience. The steel housings and mature design are refreshing too, giving off a more mature and professional air than much of the competition.

    That said, as with any treble heavy, bass light product it's not an earphone for everyone. If you know what you like, that being elevated levels of detail and clarity and sharp, accurate treble and mids, the EN2J is well worth taking a closer look.

    Thanks for reading.

    - B9Scrambler

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****​

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock - Skelethon (Album)
    Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (Album)
    Elton John - Yellow Golden Brick Road (Album)
    King Crimson - Lark's Tongues in Aspic (Album)
    King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    Supertramp - Crime of the Century (Album)
    Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians (Album)
    Infected Mushroom - Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
    Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (Album)
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine (Album)
    Fleetwood Mac - Rumors (Album)
    Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels (Album)
    The Prodigy - The Day is My Enemy (Album)
    Tobacco - F****d Up Friends (Album)
    Felt - Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bone) (Album)
      H T T, slowpickr, DocHoliday and 2 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. B9Scrambler
      @seanwee FXH30 is warmer and much bassier. More punch and authority in the low end compared to the 2J. Mid-range is thicker but less forward on the FXH30, though tonally they're similar. FXH30 lacks the midrange breathiness of the 2J, a quality I find carries through EARNiNE's lineup actually. 2J is step up re. detail and clarity. FHX30 has a deeper soundstage, but the 2J's is more well-rounded. FXH30's lower treble spike seems tighter and it has more sparkle.
      B9Scrambler, Mar 6, 2018
    3. Badder
      Very informative review, thanks. Can you please compare with the Q-Jays II in terms of quantity of lows, mids and highs?
      Badder, Jan 18, 2019
      B9Scrambler likes this.
    4. B9Scrambler
      Sorry @Badder but I've never heard anything from Q-Jays.
      B9Scrambler, Jan 18, 2019

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