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Echobox Audio Finder X1

Rating:
4.21875/5,
  1. Zelda
    Finder X1 - Titanium IEM
    Written by Zelda
    Published Jul 8, 2018
    4.0/5,
    REVIEW: Echobox Finder X1

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    Website: Echobox

    Specifications:
    • Driver: Dynamic 9.2mm PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone; check Wiki for more info)
    • Cable: SPC (Silver-Plated Copper), 1.2m length, 3.5mm plug
    • Impedance: 22 ohm
    • Sensitivity: 96 dB
    • Frequency: 15Hz - 35KHz
    Price: U$D 99 + S&H. (Original retail price was ~$200)

    Warranty: 3 years!


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    Accessories:
    • 3 pairs of single flange eartips (S/M/L)
    • 1 pair of dual-flange eartips
    • 1 pair of triple-flange eartips
    • 1 pair of Comply Foam T-400 (M size)
    • 3 tuning filters
    • Carry case
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    Design & Build Quality:

    The Finder X1 is a very compact in-ear earphone, featuring a very sturdy and elegant design. The small earpieces are probably the best part of the X1, made of strong titanium material which is also very light. With its conical/trumpet-like design, the rear part is very narrow, putting the 9mm dynamic driver closer to the nozzle. The filters are also made from a strong metal material and are very easy to change. The 3 filters are identical in size and shape, and just different on the mesh color and material. They're a bit small, though, and could be easy to lose.

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    Parting from the shells, the cable features a non-standard strain relief, which is totally internal instead of being added to the outer cable exit, and while the cable may look a bit thin, it looks of good quality and rather resistant. If anything it's a bit springy and just above average in cable noise. The y-split and slider are very flexible. Similarly, the straight plug is also made of metal and has the short rubber cover that acts as relief.

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    Fit, Comfort, Isolation:

    The so compact design and longer than standard and softer eartips, might cause the X1 to be a bit tricky to fit at first. The nozzle/filter width is standard, so tip-rolling is very easy; Spinfit or Sony Hybrids can be used as well. As for comfort, the Finder X1 is really very comfortable, and with its small, light weight and round design, it is barely noticed.
    Isolation is decent, a bit above average, but wind noise can be an issue.

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    Sound
    :

    The tuning filters option is not a really new feature for an in-ear earphone nowadays, and not the first one I tried either. The X1 nozzles only differ in the type of the mesh used on each one. The changes in sound are still well noticed, but they still follow a similar presentation.

    While are labeled as 'Bass', 'Reference' and 'Treble', the Finder X1 still has a strong dominant tuning regardless the one used. The 'default' signature of the X1 is of a mild v-shaped sound not very different from any other traditional lively sounding earphones, but the emphasis and forwardness of each frequency can be slightly adjusted with the corresponding nozzle filter. The pronounced v-shaped sound signature carries a strong sense of warmth and the low-end is strongly enhanced and could be easily categorized as a heavy bass one with a slightly bright and energetic upper end.


    Silver filter - Bass
    :

    With the Bass filter the X1 turns into a rather heavy bass earphone with a sharp v-shaped sound signature. The bass is very dominant, powerful and well extended, offering a good balance between impact from the mid-bass and depth from the sub-bass region. Control is good for its current $100 price among IEMs. Even though, the very strong midbass hump and the addition of the slower bass nature contribute in making X1 sound somewhat bloated which tends to overshadow the rest of the sound. The overall bass presentation shares some similarities with the Fidue A73 hybrid and Lear A1d in its most bassy setup.

    The midrange follows the usual v-shaped rule; fuller thanks to the strong low end response, but also quite recessed. Detail is not too high and there's certain lack of definition and depth. Bass bleed into the mids is strongly noticed as well, to the point of being rather veiled, which I found to be very annoying. The tonality of the X1's Bass setup is dark and not very liquid, and it's more focused into instruments rather than in vocals. Female vocals suffer the most in texture and clarity and usually sound unnatural. There's also a bit of extra sign of harshness at the upper-mids.

    Treble is the less pleasant part of this Bass filter. Not as recessed as the midrange but its presentation is less competent. While it has enough energy due its lively signature, it's still overly dark and doesn't have enough sparkle. A little sharp, with a certain peak at the lower treble and has the tendency to accentuate harshness and sibilance. Not a total deal breaker, especially when compared to some 'hot' treble IEMs like the GR07 or the more artificial S5, but cannot be considered as natural. It has enough energy to keep it from sounding dull but less attention calling as with the rest of the filters.


    Black filter - Reference:

    While I found very difficult to like the sound from the Bass filter, the next included filter proved to be much better in most aspects making the Finder X1 a more enjoyable earphone. The less mid-bass strength and overwhelming low-end is now taken under control and the X1 gains a more 'musical' presentation. However, the word “reference” is rather misleading and far from how I'd describe it; if anything the 'Treble' filter gets closer to be referred as a 'reference' sound. Anyway, with the 'Reference' filter the signature is still v-shaped, but the presentation is much more convincing with a more competent level of clarity and detail.

    The bass is moderately enhanced, still with strong impact but with higher quality and control. It gets a bit boomy but definitely not as bass-heavy as with the previous Bass setup. There's undoubtedly better overall balance together with a more natural character, nicer texture and well rounded lower notes. Speed is quite good as well, and the less bloat gives place to a deeper and more effortless sub-bass reach. Not a bass cannon anymore, although still warmer than the MA750. The Nebula One is similar in terms of pure quantity, but the more open design and larger dynamic driver inside the AAW option offers a more spacious and faster bass response.

    Even though it keeps its default v-shaped signature, the midrange is significantly less recessed. In fact, it has the most forward presentation among the 3 filters. The boosted bass adds a strong sense of warmth and richness that when combined with the better clarity from the slightly boosted upper mids and lower treble makes the Finder X1 a much more enjoyable earphone. It's has a good mix of resolution and fun factor that makes it stand out among its similar priced competitors.

    Treble performance is probably the best with the 'reference' filter. It maintains the conventionally lively v-shaped sound, but it is not harsh or sibilant at moderate listening volumes. It is reasonably prominent and crispy but remains smooth at the upper end. Some sense of air is missing but there is almost no presence of grain or an annoying peak.


    Red filter - Treble:

    And lastly, the red 'Treble' filter. It maintains the plentiful bass impact of the 'Reference' filter but balances it more with the treble. Bass is noticeably less enhanced with an overall tone that is slightly warm, a little thinner in body and texture but tighter and with better depth and less annoying mid-bass hump and just a minimal amount of bloat. For most listeners it's a good trade of quantity for quality, but a basshead might still prefer the 'reference' setup.

    The midrange is still recessed with a more traditional v-shaped sound signature; however, it is also the most clear. Clarity is very good, still slightly limited by the less mids forwardness and bass presence. Detail level is quite good for an enhanced low-end model but falls short of some flatter-sounding earphones, like the VE Duke, DBA-02/B2 or the more accurate and slightly mid-forward Hifiman RE600. Vocals are less favorable than with the 'reference' filter, due their thinner and drier texture. However, instruments separation and layering is very competent.

    Lastly, from the upper mids and all the way up to the higher treble, the Finder X1 gains a rather high level of energy boost falling under the 'bright' earphones group. A tad splashy and less forgiving with lower quality recordings, though not as revealing as with more analytical-treble IEMs. Extension is as good as with the lows, too.

    The soundstage on the Finder X1 does not depend much on the filter setup, not overly wide and open sounding, yet far from being intimate. The use of a more spacious DAP or some extra amplification can help in this regard, although the X1 is very little source dependent.
  2. B9Scrambler
    Echobox Finder X1[i]: Allende!
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Nov 21, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Nigh invincible - Adjustable signature via three filter options - Oozes quality
    Cons - Fatiguing - Fragile filter construction
    Greetings Headfi!

    Today we are going to be look at an interstellar champion, a titanium infused monster, the Finder X1 from Echobox.

    In Echobox's words, they founded their company "...to help personal audio evolve to a level that does justice to good music. We plan on making good sounding audio products that are well-built and available at prices that are affordable to anyone who is passionate about music..."I have spent the last two months and well over 100 hours with the Finder X1 and can comfortably see that the X1 encompasses Echobox's values and beliefs. The X1 is one of the most detailed, revealing, and entertaining earphones I've come across at any price, routinely impressing during each and every listen, and not just from a sound perspective. They are the complete package.

    Disclaimer:

    The Finder X1 was provided complimentary of Echobox in exchange for a fair and impartial review. I am not receiving any monetary compensation and all views and opinions within this review are my own. They are not representative of Echobox or any other entity.

    You can purchase the X1 here: https://echobox-audio.myshopify.com/products/finder-x1

    Be sure to check out Echobox's social media platforms as well; Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

    About Me:

    Over the last couple years I decided to dive head first into the world of portable audio. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI's multi-earphone review thread and being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own reviews. Fast forward a couple years and I've had the opportunity to write about some great products for wonderful companies like RHA, Havi, FiiO, NarMoo, Brainwavz, and Meze. I don't do it for money or free stuff, but because I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to an earphone that makes them happy, I'll consider that a job well done.

    The gear I use for testing is pretty basic composing of an HTC One M8 cellphone, Topping NX1 portable amplifier, and my aging Asus G73 gaming laptop paired with a Plantronics Rig USB amp. An XDuoo X3 has recently been added to the crew and was used for the majority of my testing. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. When it comes to signature preference I tend to lean towards aggressive and energetic, but I try not to limit myself to one signature only. I also tend to listen at lower than average volumes.





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    Packaging and Accessories:

    It's always nice to purchase a product that gives you a pleasant unboxing experience, which the Finder X1's packaging certainly does. The exterior sheath starts things of well with glossy images of the Echobox logo and the X1. The rear informs you of Echobox and their beliefs, and covers some of the unique features of the X1; they use Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK) drivers, titanium shells, a silver plated cable, and an acoustic filter system. Down the sides you find the earphones specifications, accessory list, and a nice wireframe image of the hard carrying case.

    Sliding the sheath off reveals a beautiful matte black box with Echobox printed in glossy black. This black on black design motif is subtle and attractive, and definitely something worth displaying. Lifting off the lid reveals the X1's housings on display in a matte black, cardboard presentation board, and a curious round flap hiding the neatly wrapped cable and Comply ear tips. I would have preferred ta foam insert instead of cardboard, but it works fine.

    Echobox provides a generous helping of extremely high quality accessories with the Finder X1. These include;

    - a high quality, spacious clamshell carry case
    - three pairs of single-flange ear tips in small, medium and large sizes
    - one pair of dual-flange ear tips in medium
    - one pair of triple-flange ear tips, also in medium
    - one pair of medium T400 Isolation Series Comply ear tips
    - three sets of tuning filters (white = bass, red = treble, black = balanced)
    - an organizer for holding all these tips and filters
    - detailed instruction manual
    - three year parts and labour warranty card

    The single-flange tips are made from a very comfortable, flexible, opaque, and very grippy silicone. A welcome feature that I haven't seen on any other tip is the size printed along the bottom inner edge. This is especially helpful as the medium and large tips are quite similar in size and not easy to differentiate at a quick glance.

    The clamshell case is probably the nicest I've seen provided with any earphone to date. The leatherette material doesn't slip out of you hands and has proven to be very durable. The zipper slides smoothly but with good resistance. The two mesh pockets inside keep the earphones in place and will hold your spare ear tips with tons of space to spare. That said, you don't need the mesh pockets to hold the ear tips because of the organizer. Simply put, this case feels expensive.

    Some manufacturer's like RHA offer simple (but beautifully crafted) tip holders that keep the included tips organized and secured. These holders aren't designed to travel with you. Bringing extra tips requires you to leave it behind somewhat defeating the purpose. Echobox's solution is brilliant. They include a fitted silicone organizer that securely contains every tip and the spare filters, all designed to fit comfortably in the case along with the earphones themselves.

    This unboxing experience and the overall quality of the accessories included give an amazingly positive first impression. It was only after spending some time with the different filters that I found they were quite delicate and easy to damage with normal use. I'll expand on that in the next section.




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    Build, Design, Comfort, and Isolation:

    Echobox released a short promotional video in October of 2015 to announce their, at the time, upcoming Indigogo campaign of the Finder X1 and the impressive durability of this earphone. How did they do this? They taped it to the road at a busy intersection in Los Angles and let cars run it over for five minutes. The earphones came away unscathed, as you would expect from a promotional video. While I can't personally attest to them surviving such abuse, it wouldn't shock me if after being left there all day they came away looking brand new, working just as well as they did out of the box; they're that well built.

    Every piece of titanium is beautifully machined with a very fine, subtly ribbed texture that improves grip and flat out looks damn cool. The small straight jack and in-line control module are well relieved, though the cable feels cat-proof with it's dense outer sheath. I doubt the strain relief is even needed to be honest. Relief for the ear pieces is in-built, a feature I first came across on the even more compact AAW Q. The only potential qualm I have with the cable is that it's on the stiff side, though not so stiff that it impedes on usability in any meaningful way.

    The inline control module is a little bulky and heavy, offset by the aura of quality and steadfastness on display. The three buttons depress with a satisfying and stable "clack". This tactile feedback is something other manufacturers should try and mimic. It's very satisfying. It works well for phone calls, but a bit of background static reduces clarity a minute amount.

    The filters themselves are quite small and very well machined. I had no issues installing and removing them from the X1, though things weren't all positive. While swapping out the red filters on one occasion the mesh separated from the exterior housing of the filter, sticking to the nozzle. I was able to pop it back in place and have no had any further issues. On one of the white filters the fabric separated from the inner grill and bunched up, thereby rendering it useless. I was able to peel it out of place with a pin, carefully smooth it out, and re-install it. It still works but has a tendency to stick to the main housing if changing filters. This is an area of improvement for the X1 given it's a primary and defining feature.

    Due to the compact size, light weight, and curvaceous housings, I found the X1 to be extremely comfortably, even more so when worn cable over ear. They didn't create any hot spots in my outer ear, nor were there any odd ergonomic quirks to worry about. Just set 'em and forget 'em.

    For an earphone with dynamic drivers, the X1 isolates exceptionally well for me. I chalk this up to the vents being integrated into the internal strain relief, around where the cable enters the housing. Toss on the included Comply foamies or the included multi-flange tips to improve things further.

    Overall they are an unreasonably well-built and comfortable earphone, just be careful installing and removing the filters as they seem somewhat frail.




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    Sound:

    Tips: If you happened to pick these up and are sensitive to treble, then you'll do well by tip rolling. The included Complys do a decent job of nullifying some of the most intense treble peaks. Comply's Sport tips with the added moisture guard are even more effective. Sony's Hybrid tips also pair quite well, as do KZ's new star-edged tips. Their bore isn't as small as the Sony's and the stiff inner tube doesn't deaden the treble as much, but they simply sound good and accompany the X1's well-engineered ergonomics quite effectively. If mass quantities of treble doesn't bother you, the stock tips are some of the best you'll find so you can end your search there.

    Amping: I definitely recommend an amp, especially if not playing high quality files. The X1 is very revealing and doesn't play nice with low quality source material. "Quality in, quality out" definitely applies. They can be driven just fine from a smartphone like my HTC One M8 but I found adding the Topping NX1 into the chain noticeably tightened up the treble and gave their somewhat soft mid-bass punch some needed authority.


    You know that moment when you find something that just clicks for you? You pick up that 'just right' pen with ergonomics that mold to your hand allowing a flawless scroll across the page. Or maybe that moment when hunting for your dream car you think;

    "This is it. This is the one for me."

    That's how I felt the moment the Finder X1 graced my ears. I was struck with a sense of deep familiarity because they were so similar to my favorite earphone, the JVC HA-FXH30, but improved and better in almost every way. What hit me first was just how clear and detailed they were. I've tried a number of hybrid and balanced armature earphones which output a good amount of detail in addition to offering up other typical BA benefits like improved driver speed and response, heightened clarity, etc. etc, but it's always nice to see a well-tuned dynamic hang tight in these metrics. It's earphones like the X1, and the FXH30 before it, that dull my desire to try all the hyped budget hybrids popping up left, right, and centre. I don't really feel the need when this single 9.2 mm, PEEK driver pretty much does it all.

    Speaking of PEEK, or Polyether Ether Keytone; what is it? Based on some interweb sleuthing it is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic with a few qualities that make it great for use in this particular application; high tensile strength, stiffness, and low moisture absorption rates to name a few. I'm sure you can see how these would be useful in the application of an earphone in which a diaphragm is always moving and inserted in a fairly moist environment, that being your ear. What did choosing this material result in? A highly detailed, quick, accurate, and entertaining earphone with a signature that can be personalized with the three filter options.

    The general signature of the X1, regardless of filter, is slightly warm with an abundant mass of treble, a crystal clear though somewhat dialed back midrange, with a swell of sub-bass. From the upper treble through to the lower midrange the Finder comes across slightly thin, accentuating their already excellent detail and clarity. Things thicken up a bit heading into the low end giving the X1 some much needed body and weight to their sound. While they do not have a massive soundstage, it is evenly distributed and airy enough to give you the occasional "what was that!?" moment as sound whips around you. Imaging, layering, and separation are all quite impressive, backed by a nice black background that lets the detail shine.




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    *In the manual the white filter is listed as the balanced option and the black as bass, but a quick listen did not support this in any way. It was clear bass and treble quantity overall was reduced with the black filter, and bass quantity, sub-bass in particular, notably increased with the white filter.*

    Let's take a glance at the filters to see how they play around with this general sound, covered from most to least favored.

    White - Bass

    The white filter brought the X1's signature more in line with my personal preferences for lots of sub-bass and less mid-bass while maintaining an energetic but not overpowering upper end and fairly prominent mid-range. This to me came across as the most even-handed and refined filter.

    Red - Treble

    I totally get why these filters are marked as the least favorite in most reviews. They take an already abundant top end and bring it even more forward in the mix. This is a treble-head filter through-and-through and if you're down for some wicked detail, these little babies will shove it down your throat with a stupid grin on your face. There's still a clean midrange and notable bass quantity kicking it in the background, but the highs steal the show and can be a little over-enthusiastic at times, even for me.

    Black - Balanced

    The black filter is the balanced option. It's not balanced in the sense that it makes the X1 a neutral, uncolored earphone because it certainly isn't that. It simply dials back the bass and treble enough to bring things a little closer together. The X1's lovely mid-range is given additional emphasis because the upper end's energy is dulled a notable amount. I found they also significantly reduced sub-bass extension and increased mid-bass response, a shift I wasn't overly fond of.

    Select Comparisons:

    JVC HA-FXH30 (~55 USD): The FXH30 confidently held my attention since I first bought them in early August last year. It has continued to do so as a result of it's high energy sound, unique design, and outstanding comfort, and is still my top recommendation for an earphone under 100 USD. It's saying a lot about the Finder X1 that I consider it a direct upgrade from the FXH30.

    It shares many of the same qualities; a speedy, accurate driver with a high energy upper end, cleanly defined midrange, and a robust bassline. The X1 adds into the mix even tighter and more prominent treble, enhanced sub-bass extension with reduced mid-bass presence, and a well-rounded soundstage that does more than just depth. If you love the FXH30's signature and want to step up to something similar but more capable, the Finder X1 is it.

    Accutone Gemini HD (129 USD): The Gemini HD and the Finder X1 cater to very difference sound preferences. Regardless of the three filters installed, the Gemini is warm, smooth, bassy, and quite mellow. The X1 is the opposite; colder, quicker, and undeniably more aggressive. The Gemini HD offers up a much more expansive soundstage catering well to it's more mellow sound, but it lacks the raw detail, clarity, and lazer-focused presentation of the X1.

    AAW Q (~210 USD): The AAW Q is a pretty unique earphone, sorry, canalphone. As compact as the X1 is, the Q is significantly smaller coming in around the same size, all-in, as one of Echobox's medium single-flange tips. If you want something as unobtrusive as possible, the Q is it.

    When it comes to sound quality, as good as the Q is I feel the X1 is playing another sport altogether. The Q lacks the refinement and all-round extension of the X1. It's bass presentation centres a little too much around their mid-bass presence. It is lacking the sparkle and technical prowess of the X1 coming across somewhat soft and almost dull, though this does mean it's the less fatiguing of the two and better for long listening sessions. Soundstage is about the same, with the X1 edging ahead in separation. Imaging and accuracy goes to the Q. You can't beat a tip-mounted micro-driver there.




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    Overall Thoughts:


    With the Finder X1, Echobox has nailed all the qualities that make an aggressive signature fun. It's quick, treble heavy, has a robust low end, lots of detail, and it's isn't harsh or sibilant. The thing is also built like a tank, excusing the somewhat fragile filter construction.

    If you're a fan of bright, aggressive earphones and are in the market for something around 200 USD, this should definitely be in the running as a top pick. The Finder X1 is entertaining as heck and a great value.

    Again, a huge thank you to Sam and the crew at Echobox for the opportunity to experience the Finder X1. This is one heck of a successful leap into a very competitive market. Awesome job!

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scrambler
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    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

    Test Songs

    Daft Punk - Touch
    Gramatik - Bluestep (Album Version)
    Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians
    Infected Mushroom - Deeply Disturbed
    Jessie J - Bang Bang
    Kiesza - Hideaway
    King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black
    Run The Jewels - Oh My Darling (Don't Cry)
    Supertramp - Rudy
    Supertramp - Asylum
    1. View previous replies...
    2. B9Scrambler
      B9Scrambler, Nov 22, 2016
    3. makethemusic
      I promise the next one will not be X1. Maybe something more creative...perhaps XX1? :D 
      makethemusic, Nov 22, 2016
    4. Headmusic
      Interesting review. I crowdfunded the Finders and Explorer on their discount price. Being quite averse to IEM, because essentially do do want to get tinnitus, I took a bit of a punt. At first I thought they were utter junk, being completely unaware of the whole 'seal' issue with the tips, none of the supplied tips fit my ear properly, only the Comply mountable tips work. I think the filters are a bit of a gimmick. Once you get a good 'seal' they sound pretty good, hopefully the Explorer complete the pairing..Essentially I have both as a replacement to my OTHER Crowdfunded HD device, the Pono!
      Headmusic, Nov 22, 2016
  3. ExpatinJapan
    Echobox Finder X1
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Sep 15, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Easy fit, great sound, good value, a variety of tips and filters
    Cons - none

    Echobox Finder X1 In Ears Review - Expatinjapan

     
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    Echobox Finder X1 in ears review​
    -expatinjapan​
     ​
     
    I first met the Echobox team in Tokyo at the Fujiya Avic headphone show in early 2015 where I was introduced to their upcoming and unique looking DAP The Explorer.​

     
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    later after I started Head Pie I got in contact with Echobox and interviewed them for our blog.​
    http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2015/11/echobox-interview-with-george-gill.html
     
     ​
     ​
    [​IMG]
     
    John Darko spotted in the wild with the Echobox team at the e-earphone festival.​
     ​
    Later on we again met in person again at the e-earphone portable festival in Japan,  Echobox graciously gave Head Pie two sets of the Finder X1 to review and give feedback on.

    Unboxing
    expatinjapan unboxing http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2015/12/echobox-finder-x1-iems-unboxing.html
    Rudi0504 unboxing http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/01/echobox-finder-x1-unboxing-rudi0504.html

    The Echobox Finder X1 comes in an exquisite packaging, fine lines and beautiful design make this a joy to open. Users have commented on the filters - either they are hard to get out and one has to damage the box to do so, or else they fall out all too easily. Echobox are aware of this issue and are working on rectifying it.
    See and read more at the above two links.
     
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     ​
    Build
    The build of the Echobox Finder X1 is top notch. Made from titanium it is lightweight and robust.
    They are near perfectly machined and stunning to look at.
    I found the size of the earphones to be suitably small and compact.
    The see through cable is gorgeous to look at and reminds me of many quality custom cables. The cable itself is strong, supple and flexible. 
    At the point where the cable enters the earphone there are contrasted rubber rings to denote which ear to place these beauties within, red for right for one example.
     ​
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    Sound
    This review took me a lot longer to do than some of the others. Mainly because the Finder X1 has included three filters to change the sound:
    The filters are:
    Black -Reference
    White - Bass
    Red - Treble
     
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     ​
     
    So in a way it was almost as If I was reviewing three sets of earphones, or four. Also tip rolling to find that perfect fit and complementing sound took some time and then I was back to square one with the filter testing.
    There have been some great reviews on the Echobox Finder X1 already, so I am just adding to the pot as it already stands. Most reviews seem to agree on the main strong and weak points of the X1.
    Head-fi has a couple of good reviews and Nathan of Ohm Image and Headfonia has done an excellent job as usual.
    http://www.headfonia.com/review-echobox-finder-x1-new-values/
     
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    Basic measurements supplied by Echobox.​
     
    More in depth measurements at inearspace http://inearspace.com/2015/12/07/measurement-monday-echobox-finder-x1/  
     
    My Tree` fiddy...
     
    Many reviewers have noted the Finder X1 as a V shaped earphone, I myself place it more in the small u shape category. Of course it differs ever so slightly depending on filter, fit and tip as shown by inearspaces measurements. The highs can certain seem too extended and overly bright at times, this was more subdued to an acceptable level when I started using the JVC Spiral Dot tips and as time went on.
    The mids come and go it seems, which gives rise to the popular idea of these being of a V shape sound signature.
    The Finders reproduce fairly accurately most music tracks, detail is at an acceptable and lifelike level, though not to the $500 plus side of things of course.
    There are the highs which may be a bit much for those who are sensitive to such things, but as written earlier these can be tamed somewhat with the right choice of filter paired with a tip such as the afore mentioned JVC Spiral Dots, other users have had some success with Comply
    I have read various early impressions which described it as a metallic sound - I myself heard that tinny treble which seemed to go away after I got a few hours on them.
     
    The first few days I did find myself wanting to break out my DITA-The Truths from my bag but as time went on and I ditched the black filter for the white (I wanted to start out with the reference-for reference) and as my tip rolling became more successful I started to enjoy the Finder X1 more and more, as an understated workhorse so to speak.
    The Finder X1 either burned in, or my ears and brain adjusted to accommodate them - choose the phrase which best fits your belief system. But definitely after I got a few hours on them, or into them they certainly become better and more pleasant to the ears.
    The highs tamed, the bass became more tight and less overpowering and also the mids came up a tad to even things out.
    The initial V slowly transformed to a U and then quickly moved to a u shape sound.
     
    A good sixty hours on average will transform these from an ugly duckling in an easy to listen swan.
     
    I find the Finder X1 to perform well whether straight out of a Dap or when using extra amplification.
    Most of my testing was done with an ipod touch 6G connected to a Centrance hifi-Skyn using Flacplayer app.
     
    It, the finder X1 has enough instrument separation to please, bass and highs to thrill, a little more mids would be lovely though, detail is very good for its price range, sound stage is an acceptable width and breath considering its price point.
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
     
     ​
    Fit
    The Echobox Finder X1 are on the small side when compared with todays Mac Truck multidriver IEMs. This makes them suitable for nearly any ear size, when connected to the lightness of the build this makes them appropriate for most users. Those with a larger size earhole may find it may penetrate too deep and the surrounding metal could rub against the outer part of the ear canal.
    I have found as usual tip rolling, or trying out different brands of tips is essential to acquiring a proper fit, seal and insertion. Some users have commented that the Finder X1 requires a deep insertion, or tends toward a deeper insertion naturally.
    Currently my favorite tip for the Finder X1 is the JVC Spiral Dot tips.
    I have tried Comply, Sony, Sony Hybrid, Ortofon and Spinfit tips.
    You definitely need a proper fit/seal for these to sound at their best or else the bass is thin and highs can end up shrill or tinny.
    I find wearing the X1 over the ears to be suitable and a secure fit for myself.
     
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
     
    Extras
    As can be seen in the unboxing articles that were linked earlier in the review the Echobox finder X1 comes with:
    The Finder X1.
    Three sets of filters to alter the sound to suit ones tastes. Easy to change by unscrewing one and then screwing in the newly chosen filter.
    Extra stock tips including double and triple flange tips.
    A product manual.
    A warranty.
    A durable and compact carry case.

     
    [​IMG]
     
     ​

    [​IMG]
    Photo:Rudi​
     
    Value
    Echobox initially offered the Finder X1 at a low price of US $79 on an indiegogo campaign. 
    I believe there is still an offer of US$149 with January 20th being the final day of the indiegogo campaign.  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/echobox-the-evolution-of-personal-audio#/updates
     
    The Echobox Finder X1 will eventually settle on a final retail price of US$199.


    Specs

     
    [​IMG]
     ​
    Overall
    The Echobox Finder X1 is a wonderfully done earphone, certainly a superb first attempt. ​

    Is it perfect? No. Does it fit within the final asking price range of US$200 in ears, I would say a strong: yes. 
    If you were lucky to have bought it earlier on at either one of the discount prices you certainly got a bargain. The Finder X1 is a keeper for me.
    Finding the right filter is a key start, the Finder X1 seems to generally ship with the white filter, others prefer the black reference filter, few settle with the red.
    As mentioned early these do benefit with a bit a breaking in or burn in imho, or if you don`t believe in that sort of thing then it would be your ears getting more used to their sound.
    Also tip rolling and finding the right tip is essential, but this could be said for most IEMs and IEM users. People who have been through a few sets of in ears generally have a small store of tips to chose from.
    In summary the Finder X1 whilst not being an all rounder certainly ticks many of the boxes for the casual to serious listener. No doubt many improvements will be made from the feedback of the audio community which will be incorporated within the future Finder X2, whilst most complaints have been minimal and seem to have largely faded from the early demo releases, some niggles remain such as the at times tinny highs which some have pointed out fade with a bit of time and as I wrote proper fit/seal and tips.
     
    The Finder X1 I would honestly say is an IEM that performs well and even the most jaded buyer of audio products would find the build something to behold, the packaging a Christmas in itself and the sound non distracting - in the sense that one can just relax and enjoy the music and stop listening to the gear for change when all the pieces: filters, tips etc balance out to a point of pleasure.
     
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
     
    Thank you again to Echobox for providing the finder X1 for review.​

    -expatinjapan​

     
     
    [​IMG]


  4. Cinder
    A Tuneable Titanium IEM With Some Brightness Issues
    Written by Cinder
    Published Aug 16, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Excelent build quality, analytic upper-end, eartips
    Cons - Washes out sound, red filters unusable

    IMG_0840.jpg

     

    -Introduction-​

    When I’d first heard of Echobox, I was intrigued — A startup, bright-eyed with many big promises, especially regarding their new titanium IEM and their upcoming flask-shaped DAP. I was lucky enough to get a chance to try out the IEM, the Finder X1. It has tuning filters, and is powered by German-made PEEK drivers. Looks good on paper, but how does it sound?
    The Finder X1 can be bought from Echobox’s official website here for $200.
    Disclaimer: This review is based upon a sample unit provided to me by a manufacturer in exchange for my honest opinion and un-edited words. I do not profit in any way from the writing of the review. I would like to thank the team at Echobox for providing me with this unit.
    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
    Source: The X1 was powered off of a Nexus 6P -> Creative Sound Blaster E3. All music was served as FLAC, ALAC, or as 320Kbps Mp3. I found the standard DAC/Amp inside my phone and PC to be adequate to drive the X1 at near-peak levels of quality. Pairing tests will be done in a later section.
    Tech Specs
    1. Housings: Solid titanium
    2. Drivers: 9.2mm PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone) Dynamic Driver
    3. Cable: SPC (Silver-plated copper)
    4. Cable style: Down or over-ear
    5. Cable length: 1.2m
    6. Impedance: 22 Ohms
    7. Sensitivity: 96dB/mW
    8. Frequency response: 15 Hz — 35 KHz
    9. THD: <1%
    10. Plug: 3.5mm stereo, gold-plated
    Please note the above specifications were taken directly from the Echobox official website.
    IMG_0844.jpg

     

    -Sound Signature-

    Initial Impressions: These impressions were taken before I’d seen any FR response graphs or measurements. Impressions are taken off of random songs in my music library. As per Echobox’s recommendation, I’ve burned the X1 in for 60 hours.
    Black filters (neutral): These are my favorite filters. It balances out what I would consider a slightly lopsided bass, that the silver filters have. The X1 extends quite well, giving a noticeable level of volume to the 20Hz-200Hz band. The 250Hz range could get more love, but isn’t causing any major problems at its current response levels. It seems to me as though there is a boost at the 1.6–2.2KHz range which may be responsible for the somewhat sparkly highs the X1 has.
    Silver filters (bass): With the silver filters installed, you get a balanced sound signature with a slight emphasis on the treble, and a moderate emphasis on mid and sub-bass. However, even with the bass boost, I still find myself wishing for more fleshed out lower-mids. This is the filter with the most tamed treble.
    Red filters (treble): These are my least favorite filters, despite the fact I am a self-described treble-head. When using the red filters, the Finder X1 is sibilant 30% of the time, and just bordering it the other 70% of the time. Furthermore, these filters dampen the bass further than it is already. This makes the red filters very unappealing for me, so much so that I won’t be including them in the future parts of this review. If you are dying to know a more about the red filters, check out this review and this review from Head-Fi.
    Treble: Songs used: White FlagMidnight CityOutlands
    Treble is very present, but never sibilant. The boost in White Flag lends the X1 a slight boost in retrieval and resolution, at the cost of drying out the sound a bit. The vocal echos are well resolved and fade out evenly. Attack and decay is good.
    Midnight City’s intro sounded a bit thin. Furthermore, the drums burst through the song in a piercing manor, giving them a very aggressive tone, even with the silver filters installed.
    The violins of Outlands sounded tense and poised, a new, but interesting presentation. They have hard edges, and separate themselves well from the rest of the song. It doesn’t sound too natural though. I feel this is due to some missing lower-frequencies. This stands true for both the silver and black filters.
    Mids: Songs used: The DriftJarsI Am The Highway
    The piano and violins of the Drift are presented well, and resolve without any distortion, but do seem to be brightly colored. The deep chugging sound that normally sits in the lower-mids has a greatly scaled-back presence, suggesting a valley between 150Hz and 350Hz.
    Jars sounded a little washed out. The depressed lower mids make it difficult to distinguish the guitars from one another during the chorus. However, the vocals did remain in control for the entire duration of the song.
    I Am Then Highway didn’t fair much better than Jars. Even with the silver filters installed, I found the Finder X1’s reproduction to be too harsh and dry. To put it in perspective, I had to reduce the upper-mids by 7dB in order to get the X1 back into a relatively uncolored state.
    Bass: Songs used: LightsKyoto99 Problems (Hugo Cover)Leave Me
    The Finder X1 performed passably on Lights. While I would have appreciated a wetter bass, I don’t think the overall performance of the X1 was all that bad. The X1 extends quite far into the sub-bass, and emphasizes it appropriately.
    However, the story changes for Kyoto which did not play nicely at all with the Finder X1. The lack of bass response really made it hard to listen to at anything higher than a moderate volume level.
    Hugo’s 99 Problems did fair slightly better. The sub-bass and mid-bass response’s evenness with the black filter really helps balance out the low-end of the song.
    Leave Me was a surprisingly good. Since the Finder X1 has a decent level of sub-bass response, what could have otherwise been a dry and flat song behaved quite well. There was a good amount of rumble, with appropriately timed decays.
    Clarity: Songs used: ThroneMap of The ProblimatiqueI’m Not Alright
    Throne performed well. While there was some harshness to it, I didn’t hear any distortion. I’m impressed considering the very emphasized upper-range. Upper-treble clarity is top notch.
    The good news continues into Map of The Problimatique. There was no smudging in the mids and lows, with the upper-treble being dynamic and articulating, regardless of how far back it was in the mix.
    I’m Not Alright performed decently. The the background did become cloudy in the upper-mids, and the song had generally low transparency.
    Male Vocals: Song used: Hotel CaliforniaAshes of EdenSunday Bloody Sunday
    High-pitched male vocals do tend to be a little veiled in songs and strained on the Finder X1. There a lot of detail, but it seems to too cloudy, almost as if there is a layer of smudge over it.
    Lower-pitched male vocals, such as those of Ashes of Eden, do fair better as they aren’t as veiled. However, they still lack a natural sound, and feel metallic — a common problem with titanium-treated drivers. The Macaw GT100s has the same issue.
    Female Vocals: Songs used: Stupid GirlNeed Your HeartCrushCrushCrush
    Female vocals are generally more transparent than male vocals, but have the same metallic sound to them. The most natural sounding song out of my three testers is Need Your Heart, which ironically, has the most post-processed vocals.
    Sound Stage
    The Finder X1’s sound stage is wide, and of a mediocre depth. There is little to no height, so expect to be up close and personal with your music. If the X1 had a little more air to it, its sound would be greatly enhanced.
    Comparisons
    Finder X1 v.s AAW Q ($200)
    The AAW Q sounds tame when compared to the unbridled brightness of the Finder X1. However, that’s not a bad thing, as the relaxed treble and fuller lower-mids and bass really do make the Q sounds miles more natural. Since the Q is so much smaller and of comparable build-quality, I’d say the Finder X1 looses this round.
    Finder X1 v.s RHA MA750i ($130)
    The MA750i has a much better midrange and lower-mids. Bass production is about the same. The Finder X1 easily bests the MA750i in upper-mids and treble, but fails to achieve a more transparent sound signature. It’s difficult for me to declare a solid winner here, as these two IEMs have vastly different sound signatures that can appeal to two different camps of listeners. However, I see the RHA’s as a better value, with a sound signature that would appeal to the masses better. Sorry Echobox, this one goes to RHA.

    -Packaging / Unboxing-

    Echobox did a really good job redesigning the X1’s packaging. It feel very premium, and is befitting of the $200 price tag.
    IMG_0774.jpg

     ​
    IMG_0776.jpg
     ​
    IMG_0778.jpg

    -Build-

    Construction Quality
    My favorite feature of the X1 is by far its construction. Made from an ultra-durable titanium housing, the X1 will last a long time. The cable is SPC, and coated in a protective layer of clear plastic. The stress relief on the driver housings and the Y-splitter looks to be very competent. Both the inline controls and the 3.5mm jack have metal housings, though I’m not sure if they are made from titanium as well. My only complaint is that it is hard to distinguish the right side from the left, as the markings are etched very lightly into the driver housings.
    IMG_0784.jpg

    Comfort
    The X1 is very comfortable. Since it is so light, I find that I often forget I’m wearing the X1 during extended listening sessions. The included silicone tips are also very high quality, and the first ones I actually feel comfortable using. The X1 can be word both cable-down and over-ear style. I didn’t notice any enhancement to the fit while wearing them over-ear, other than a slight reduction in microphonics.
    Controls
    IMG_0848.jpg

    The Finder X1 is equiped with a pair of iOS compatible inline controls. The controller’s housing feel rugged, as do the buttons. Basic pause/play and forward/rewind functionality is available on Android and Windows Phone.

    Accessories

    Echobox ensured that even the Finder X1’s accessories feel premium. A touch I really appreciate is the oval tip tray. Since it is the same shape as the case, you can easily slip it in and store it with you IEMs — a nice touch for someone who likes to switch eartips around.
    IMG_0780.jpg

     
    IMG_0781.jpg
     ​
    IMG_0840.jpg

    -Summary-

    The Finder X1 is a durable, bright-sounding IEM not for the treble shy. While it can make some songs sound dry, the durable titanium driver housings and tough cable make it a good buy for those looking for a durable and detailed IEM. For everyone else, there are better-sounding IEMs out there.
     ​
      puppyfi and audio123 like this.
    1. audio123
      I am entirely convinced by this review. Points on point. Great review mate.
      audio123, Aug 16, 2016
    2. Cinder
      Cinder, Aug 17, 2016
  5. Hisoundfi
    Crisp and clear sound, Titanium housings. The Echobox Finder X1 in-ear monitor
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Jun 28, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Small sleek and sophisticated titanium housings, Tuning filters help personalize sound, Good extension on both ends, Clarity, Rugged build
    Cons - Sibilance, Red filters are terribly bright, There's a ton of competitive products at this price range, Removing/installing tuning filters is tedious
    20160628_205927.jpg
    At the time this review was written, the Echobox Finder X1 was listed for sale on their website. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
     
    http://echobox-audio.myshopify.com/products/finder-x1
     
    Introduction
    Axpona was a great venue. I met a lot of manufacturers and listened to some pretty amazing stuff. I’m not sure what it is that I enjoy more, the gear or the people.
     
    There was some really cool guys behind the Echobox booth. They had the Explorer DAP and the Finder X1 earphones on display. When I asked them if they were on Head-Fi, they unanimously all said they read it often. We chatted about different subscription threads and listened to the X1, along with some other great earphones they had at the booth to compare them to. I had them listen to a couple pairs of earphones that I brought as well. They were earphone guys who enjoyed the hobby  just like me. When they asked if I would be interested in reviewing the Finder X1 for them I agreed with the understanding that it would be a while before I could get to them. I snapped some photos of the new packaging and was on my way.
     
    Well, the Finder X1 has finally made its way to the front of the line of the review queue. Let’s go over them with a comprehensive review.
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to review the Finder X1 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Echobox aside from the fact that I agreed to write an honest and unbiased review of their product. I would like to take this time to personally thank them for the opportunity.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me. I want to hear any earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I can share my impressions with  enthusiasts and help them find the audio product they’re looking for. My Head-Fi profile has a list of audio products ranked from favorite to least favorite. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and having a variety of different gear to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are solidly built, with ergonomics and sound that is pleasing to my ears. It’s my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based on gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
    20160416_145646.jpg
    The Finder X1 comes in a white box with gray, black and red accents. A picture of the earphones, along with the product name and company logo can be seen on the front of the box.
     
    20160416_145701.jpg
    The back of the box features a couple paragraphs from Echobox talking about their brand and product, along with some more key features of the X1.
     
    20160416_145715.jpg    20160416_145708.jpg
    The sides of the box displays the Finder X1 accessories package and specifications.
     
    Specifications and Accessories
    20160628_204330.jpg
     
    Specifications
    HOUSINGS:         SOLID TITANIUM
    DRIVERS:        9.2MM PEEK(POLYETHER ETHER KETONE) DYNAMIC DRIVER
    CABLES:        PC (SILVER-PLATED COPPER)CABLE STYLE DOWN OR OVER-EAR
    CABLE LENGTH:    1.2M
    IMPEDANCE:        22 OHMS
    SENSITIVITY:        96DB/MW
    RESPONSE:        15 HZ - 35 KHZ
    THD:            <1%
    PLUG            3.5MM STEREO GOLD-PLATED
     
    Accessories:
    1X FILTER TUNING SYSTEM, 3 TUNINGS (Bass, Reference, Treble)
    1X PAIR S/M/L SILICONE TIPS
    1X PAIR DOUBLE AND TRIPLE FLANGE SILICONE TIPS
    1X PAIR COMPLY I400 ISOLATION SERIES TIPS,
    1X CARRY CASE
    1X CABLE CINCH
     
    Housings
    20160628_205304.jpg
    The Finder X1 is constructed from titanium and are very small, with a resemblance to the head of a bullet. Their all metal construction is sleek and stylish. The nozzle comes out the opposite end of the narrower part of the housing. Tuning filters not only change the sound of the Finder, they operate as the lip of the nozzle when screwed in place.
     
    20160628_205510.jpg
    The Nozzle of the X1 is fairly average in terms of width and length. Add the fact that just about any tip sits flush with the housing, the Finder sets up well to be worn both looped over and hanging from the user’s ear.

     
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    20160628_205211.jpg
    The Finder cable is a silver plated copper cable with a rubber/plastic coating. It has a semi-transparent gold/gray appearance and has a bit of spring and memory. The Y-split is a gray plastic piece that splits the cable into two. The cable jack is a straight plug with a metal jacket and gray strain relief. There is no strain relief at the housing which would normally cause concern, but the Youtube videos of them withstanding being run over by cars in rush hour and still work makes me take back any concerns I have.  
     
    [​IMG]
    Titanium eh? Cool!
     
    Functionality
    My pair didn’t have a microphone or remote. However, this is an option if you are thinking of purchasing the Finder X1.
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
    20160628_205722.jpg    20160628_205703.jpg
     
    The titanium housings of the Finder X1 are very solid and lightweight. The fit was universally easy to obtain. An included chin/neck slider helped cinch things up when worn over or under the ear. Tip rolling was easy thanks to the relatively standard sized nozzle. Sony Hybrids, Dual Flange, RHA, Spin Fits and various other tips worked well. The Finder X1 creates a suction like seal. With the right tip, isolation on the X1 was excellent.
     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-V10 for smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or iBasso DX80 DAP/Bushmaster D14 DAC/Amp for high fidelity portable use. For desktop use, I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a ifi micro iDSD playing at 32/192 kHz. I tested them with several other sources as well. I used Google Music in its highest download quality (320 KBPS), and also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    Coming in at twenty-two Ohms, the Finder X1 is an easy to drive earphone that doesn’t need power beyond an average smart phone. They somewhat dry tuning (with red or black filters) with high sensitivity, neither of which allow me to say these are forgiving with low quality files and sources.
     
    Listen to them through a source that’s too powerful and you will get some noise floor hiss. Listen to them with low bitrate music files or poor recordings and their treble gets sloppy and harsh. Do this with both and you’ll think they’re terrible. Just the opposite, the Finder X1 rocks when listening to them with my old budget Rockboxed Clip Zip. A warm source without much power works great and brings out the best in what the X1 has to offer.

     
    Sound Signature
    On a whole, the Finder is a high resolution V-Signature that uniquely and creatively stretches the sound spectrum. To my ears it sounds like the sound was thinned out in the middle, then stacked up on each end of the frequency ranges. You get plenty of bass that is very tight and responsive even at the lowest of notes. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the treble response seems just as boosted as the bass, offering a bright, emphasized and high resolution presence. In between, a slightly thinned and dry midrange plays in the background with great clarity. It isn’t the most natural thing I’ve ever heard, but one thing is for sure, you can’t say they aren’t high resolution. The micro detail retrieval is elite.
     
    The Finder comes with three filters. Rather than go over general terms for all three, I will try to explain the earphones with each filter.
     
    Red Filter
    The red filter is the “brightest” filter. It is useless in my honest opinion. It takes an already bright earphone, dries out the rest of the sound even more, and makes them sound really harsh to my ears. Bass is still tight and very punchy. Unless you’re a retired rock star, you probably won’t need these filters either. Sorry Echobox, this was not my cup of tea. Do I think someone will like these filters? The answer is yes, someone with upper frequency hearing loss will appreciate them. Other than that, not really.
     
    Black Filter
    The black filter is listed as the “balanced” filter. It is a high resolution V-signature with this filter. With this filter the Finder has a dry and slightly thin midrange. The emphasized sub bass rolls along and hits every note with a level of clarity that is excellent. In this setting I wish there was more midbass and lower midrange. On a positive note the black filter’s tuning is thin enough to make them very revealing and detailed. Treble on the Finder is somewhat sibilant but still very clear with this filter.
     
    White Filter
    The white filter is the “warm” filter, and was by far my favorite. It added needed warmth to the tuning of the X1. With this filter the sub bass seemed to stay the same, but the midbass came forward. To me, this filter added a needed element/dimension to their sound that made them seem more cohesive and natural.  The added warmth the white filter provided took the focus off of the treble, making it very balanced and natural sounding to my ears. You will still get an occasionally sibilant pronunciations of the letter S or T, but not as often or severe as the other two filters. If you asked me what the most balanced filter in the set was, I would say it’s the white. Different strokes for different folks. Your mileage may vary.   

     
    Soundstage and Imaging (all filters considered)
    On a whole, I think they did well in terms of soundstage. They are extended and emphasized on each end of the sound spectrum. The red filter performed the poorest. The Black filter seemed to have the biggest soundstage, but probably the worst imaging. The white filter was definitely the most natural sounding from what I heard.
     
    Comparisons
    MEEaudio Pinnacle P1 ($199 USD on many sites)
    The Pinnacle is the same price, and in my opinion appeals to the same market as the Finder X1.
     
    I gave the Pinnacle a five star review. They are a solidly build flagship from MEEaudio, offering an all metal housing with a fifty Ohm single dynamic transducer that if driven right, provides some amazing sound quality.
     
    Comparing the two, the Finder has more sub bass quantity and impact. The bass on the Finder is tighter and more responsive. Midrange on the Pinnacle is more musical and engaging. Treble is less extended, but more natural and easy to listen to on the PInnacle. Finder X1 has more upfront and extended treble that dabbles in sibilant ranges.
     
    I would say that because they both have metal housings that build quality is a draw, but knowing that the Finder X1 is titanium, and watching cars run them over and still working, I have to give Exhobox the advantage. Even still, the materials used in the making of the Pinnacle are exquisite.
     
    Accessories goes to the Pinnacle. The Finder X1 gets a point for offering a tuning system.

     
    Trinity Atlas ($175-$200 USD-discontinued)
    Trinity released the dual hybrid Atlas on Kickstarter, propelling them to their next series marked the Phantom. The Atlas checked a lot of boxes from reviewers and received high praise from many. Their five different filters altered the Atlas’s bass response, helping owners shape their sound, similar to the Finder X1. Good luck finding a pair though. Since selling out, owners are asking top dollar for their pairs.
     
    Comparing the two, the white filter of the Finder X1 resembles the brighter filters of the Atlas. The Finder is a thinner and slightly brighter tuning than the Atlas. The Atlas has slightly more musical tuning, with the Finder being even more detailed and resolving at the expense of some dynamics. Bass is punchier on the X1, while the Atlas bass is a touch looser and full sounding.
     
    Accessories goes to the Atlas. Their five pairs of filters and assortment of tips gives them a slight edge over the Finder.

     
    Conclusion
    The Finder is a good earphone, no doubt. I don’t think they are the most natural sounding earphone I’ve ever heard, but they have unique qualities that I can appreciate. If resolution and clarity are your thing these are definitely something to check out. They have superior response and detail as compared to most earphones I’ve heard. If they can add some warmth and musicality to this, they will definitely have something elite on their hands. The PEEK driver has a lot of potential. I don’t think we’ve heard the last earphone with this type of diaphragm. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Finder X2.
     
    The Finder X1 is tough as a back-alley bouncer, and provides listeners with a crisp and revealing signature with enough elements to say it sounds good once you find the right filter. At their current asking price, the most challenging thing for them will be diving into a pool full of very strong competitors. Can the Finder X1 swim with the sharks at the two hundred dollar mark? It’s going to be tough for them. There’s lots of amazing earphones at this price point that will give it a run for its money.
     
    I enjoyed my time with the Finder. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out their upcoming Flask-shaped DAP, the “Explorer.”
     
    http://echoboxaudio.com/explorer.aspx
     
    It’s refreshing to see start-ups like Echobox try and make way into the audiophile market. I look forward to hearing about their new and exciting products as they continue to grow.
     
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    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
      twister6, puppyfi and Cinder like this.
  6. mochill
    THE BEST V-SHAPED SOUNDING IEM I HAVE HEARD TO DATE AND A GREAT START TO ECHOBOX.
    Written by mochill
    Published May 7, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - SPEED ,DETAILS,BUILD,COMFORT ,ISOLATION
    Cons - IF THERE IS ANY IT WOULD BE NOTHING MUCH :p
    SOME PICTURES OF THEM : 20160507_135629.jpg
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    I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THANKS TO GILLY FROM ECHOBOX FOR SETTING ME UP WITH A REVIEW SAMPLE OF THE FIRST IEM CALLED THE FINDER X1,THE FIRST THING THAT GOT ME EXCITED ABOUT IT WAS THE TITANIUM HOUSING IT WAS MADE WITH AND A NEW ADVANCE DRIVER MATERIAL CALLED PEEK WHICH CAN HANDLE VERY HIGH TEMP AND ABUSE . I WAS LIKE HECK YES ON REVIEWING THESE BABIES.​
     ​
    ACCESSORY:
    ACCESSORY ARE A HARDSHELL CASE WITH5 SETS OF TIPS , THREE SINLGE FLANGED TIPS IN THREE SIZES ,AND DOUBLE FLANGED AND A TRIPLE FLANGED TIP.ALSO HAVE THREE REMOVABLE FILTERS INCLUDING AND BASS , REFERENCE,AND TREBLE FILTER​
     ​
    BUILD QUAILTY:
     
    TOP NOTCH BUILD QUAILTY WITH TITANIUM HOUSING AND NON TANGLING CABLE AND A PLUG THAT IS BUILD TO LAST.
     
     
     
    ​SOUND QUAILTY:
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    BASS:
     
    THE BASS ON THE X1 IS DEEP TIGHT AND CONTROLLED WITH NO BLOAT THAT EVER GOES TO THE MIDRANGE,THE FILTER ONLY AFFECT THE TREBLE ALWAYS.
     
     
     
    MIDRANGE:
     
    CLEAN AND DRY ALWAYS , WISHING IT WAS A TAD FULLER AND FOWARD . VERY DETAILED THOUGH AND ABIT SPREAD OUT OF THE HEAD.
     
     
     
    ​TREBLE:
     
    THE PART OF THE FINDER X1 THAT WILL MAKE YOU DECIDE IF YOU WANT THE X1 OR NOT,THE TREBLE IS SUPER EXTENDED WITH ALL THE FILTERS AND THE BASS FILTER TREBLES IS JUST RIGHT AND WIT THE REFERENCE FILTER IT INCREASES MORE GETTING SHARP AND PEAKY, AND THAT RED TREBLE FILTER IS KILLER WITH SO MUCH PEAKINESS AND SSSSSSSSS. THAT IT MIGHT KILL THE ENJOYMENT OF THE MUSIC.
     
    SOUNDSTAGE:
     
     
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    WIDE BUT NOT SO DEEP, IT IS STILL OUT OF YOUR HEAD NOT CONGESTED .HAS ALOT OF SPEED AND CONTROL BUT THAT TREBLE KILLS IT XD.
     
     
     
    CONCLUSION:
     
    THE FINDER X1 IS A VERY EXCELLENT FIRST IEM WITH A SLIGHT FEW FLAW WHICH IF CAN BE CORRECTED ,IT'LL BE TOTL IEM IN ITS CLASS BAR NONE.
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      Wokei likes this.
    1. Wokei
      Nice one bro....Woot woot
      Wokei, May 8, 2016
    2. mochill
      Thanks bro :innocent:
      mochill, May 8, 2016
    3. Larethio
      I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS A NICE REVIEW EXCEPT FOR ONE THING!
      Larethio, Sep 27, 2016
  7. HiFiChris
    Here comes the Fun - an e x c e l l e n t first Product from Echobox Audio
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Mar 7, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - fun, titanium, design, clarity, detail, bass control, midrange tuning despite u-shape
    Cons - can't do gentle, not harsh but also not for the treble-shy guys and gals
    IMG_20160212_121712.jpg

     ​
     
     
    Preamble:

    Echobox Audio (echoboxaudio.com) is a very new American company that has specialised in making portable hi-fi products. In the past year, the start-up company has very successfully financed their first two products, a dynamic in-ear for $199 and a digital audio player for $499 with the help of the community on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo; future ideas and products are already in the pipeline.
    The small company grabbed my attention many months ago when they showed a first digital design rendering of the Explorer X1, a quite unique streaming DAP with a rather uncommon design: the audio player with touchscreen has got the shape of a flask, which is both a novelty as well as a risk in the field of digital audio players. During the pre-order phase, I also ordered one Explorer X1 DAP (I reported: http://kopfhoerer-lounge.blogspot.de/2015/12/Echobox.html), maybe I’m also writing a small review if I’ve got the time and desire for it, but I’m quite sure that I will at least post some impressions along with measurements on my German site and probably on Head-Fi as well.
    But until then, there is this test of Echobox’ first in-ear headphones, the Finder X1 which are entirely made of titanium and feature three pairs of exchangeable sound tuning filters that allow for individual sound alteration (to a certain degree).
     
    Like of most Asian audio engineers, you have probably never heard of Tang, the engineer who was the main brain behind this in-ear. Yes, the Finder is no product that was created on lucky coincidence, but by a guy with loads of experience and many years in the field of professional audio design and engineering, having developed headphones for various big global players. So welcome to his newest brainchild, the Finder X1.


    Before I go on, I would like to thank Echobox Audio and especially their George Gill for sending me a sample of the Finder X1 in-ears free of charge for an honest, unbiased test.


    Technical Specifications:

    MSRP: $199
    Drivers: 9.2 mm dynamic
    Impedance: 22 Ohm
    Sensitivity: 96 dB
    Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 35 kHz
    THD: < 1%
    Cable Length: 1.2 m


    Delivery Content:

    The packaging the Finder X1 arrives in is quite neat  looking: on its front, it shows a shiny, rainbow-coloured picture of the in-ears (all other pictures and the entire text shimmers with the same, however less distinctive rainbow effect) on planetary background. The back gives information about the cable, the drivers as well as the bodies. Inside, one can find the in-ears, a sturdy carrying case, the sound tuning filters, a quick-start guide, a warranty card as well as six pairs of silicone tips (1x double-flange, 1x triple-flange, 4x single-flange (1x S, 2x M, 1x L)). Three pairs of Comply Foam tips came included, too.
    The unboxing experience is quite appealing.
     

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    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    As the in-ears are made of titanium, they are very lightweight an also super sturdy. The bodies are very small plus cone-shaped and a coloured rubber strain relief is visually unobtrusively integrated to the housings, acting as side-markers in addition to the classical letters.
    The silver-plated cable is twisted and then coated with clear rubber; flexibility is good, there is no springiness and on every part and transition, there is a commendable strain relief. What I find quite smart is that the left side of the cable cinch is marked with a small tactile dot.
    The threads for the filters are precisely cut, so that attaching and replacing them works easy and fast.
    The in-ears seem and feel very valuable and beautifully made.
     

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    What I like as well is the small zipped carrying case with Echobox branding and two inner pockets.
     

    IMG_20160212_120824.jpg   IMG_20160212_122058_hdr.jpg


    Although the silicone tips could be somewhat stiffer and thicker, there is one thing about them that is pretty cool looking: they have incorporated Echobox labels together with a size designation.
     

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    Comfort, Isolation:

    The small titanium bodies are very lightweight and because of their size, the in-ears are also very easy to place and position in smaller ears (which is however irrelevant for my large ears).
    The cable can be worn both classically straight down or more professionally around the ears, whereby I, as usual, recommend the latter due to the improved  fit, comfort and the drastic cable noise reduction together with the cable cinch.

    Noise isolation is better than average.


    Sound:

    For listening, the devices I used most of the time were the iBasso DX80, LH Labs Geek Out IEM 100 as well as HiFiMe 9018d.
    Music was mainly stored in 16 bit, 44.1 kHz FLAC format.
    For listening, I installed the largest single-flange silicone tips.

    Tonality:

    The Finder X1 arrives with three pairs of sound tuning filters that have a (more or less distinctive) effect on tonality in terms of treble levels. The filters mainly influence the treble and with all of them, the Finder sounds very bassy and sports a u-shaped character.

    Black Filters (“Reference”):
    The lows’ emphasis starts quite evenly extending at 600 Hz and forms its climax in the midbass at around 60 Hz, though it very slightly rises towards the sub-bass as well. With about +15 dB in the midbass at 60 Hz (compared to something really flat like the Etymotic ER-4S), the emphasis is quite strong; as the upper bass at 100 Hz and the lower root are however less emphasised, the bass appears quite strong, though not as mighty as with many other in-ears that have a similarly distinctive emphasis but whose bass rises with the shape of a hump – as X1’s rises quite evenly and therefore has less middle plus lower fundamental tone and less upper bass, it sounds only very bassy in the low registers but definitely not any bloated at all. That’s what I would call “bassy done very well and right”.
    Typically for a u-shaped signature, the mids are somewhat more in the background, nonetheless they are tonally very well made with just extremely little bleed from the bass – voices sound very correct and not coloured, however a bit distanced due to the tuning. Right after 1 kHz, the presence area is pretty correct in terms of level; from 2.5 kHz on level starts evenly rising and forms its emphasis’s climax at 8 kHz with around 8 dB above zero. Above and in the super treble region, level drops and then rolls off; I’d probably wished somewhat more subtle glare above 10 kHz.
    With this filter, sibilants are more or less emphasised as well, though they don’t overly hiss with moderate to low listening levels.
    On a side-note, I was very positively surprised and happy when I heard that the midrange was very well made despite the tuning.

    Red Filters (“Treble”):
    With the red treble filters, the high frequency emphasis is even somewhat more present, giving the sound a more metallic timbre and a more sibilant signature at times. Sound becomes sharper, more cutting, and the mids start sounding somewhat hollow.
    Who listens at very low levels and/or is not afraid of treble should get along with this tuning; who prefers a smoother signature and listens rather loudly should definitely stay away from the red filters.

    Silver Filters (“Bass”):
    With these filters that come pre-installed when the in-ears arrive, the treble is in relation the flattest out of the three filters and sibilance is audibly tamed, nonetheless upper treble is still elevated (, splashy, still slightly metallic and bright) as level evenly rises from the lower highs on as well, though the upper frequencies sound the most natural and even with these filters.
    Therefore, I am not surprised at all that exactly these filters out of the three pairs came installed as standard.

    On a personal side-note: In contrast to many in-ears, X1’s presence area and middle treble are not somewhat recessed but evenly rising emphasised, which could be a small shock for people who come from such in-ears that have recessed middle highs. As someone who loves to listen to music with the very neutral Etymotic ER-4s which is neutral and not recessed in the middle highs, it wasn’t too difficult for me to adapt to Finder’s uplifting treble. As an effect of the rising level in the upper frequencies, X1 sounds somewhat more aggressive than many models and because of having relatively correct level in the presence area, it is also bit more critical with bad recordings.
    Who is listening at low volume and doesn’t have a problem with bright, upfront treble should get along with the Finder quite well.
    As I am someone who listens at low volume, I can also get along more or less well with the red filters, however the silver ones offer the least sibilance and the best long-term usability with the least fatigue. That’s why I also mostly prefer the silver ones which are still bright however more realistically sounding in the highs.

    Resolution:

    Very often, with this kind of tuning, a certain amount of control and resolution get lost and it is difficult for an in-ear to maintain a good sound, however the Finder X1 handles it with really good authority. Despite the ample bass emphasis, the lows don’t really sound too soft although the impact is a slight bit slower than usual (which is however due to its distinct emphasis); the bass sounds mighty but yet not boomy at all. In return, the lows are very controlled, relatively clean and also decay comparatively fast. The bass’s impulse response here is good and the lows have got a really nice texture and some good body to them due to the slightly softer character.
    The mids remain quite good authority and don’t sag too much; vocal details are quite well revealed although there could be a smidgen more definition and physical closeness (but that’s due to the u-shaped tuning).
    The treble is all right, though it sounds a slight bit metallic as an effect of the emphasis and could be slightly more refined with fast music material.
    The overall control and dynamics could be very slightly better, too, but both are good despite the tuning and the in-ears still sound fine and I would definitely recommend them for someone who is looking for this kind of sound signature.
    In combination with the premium, flawless build quality and the good accessories, the resolution and value are very decent, although solely judged by the pure sound, I would see the price up to $30 lesser, around $170. That the Finder X1 is Echobox Audio’s first in-ear is by the way really not noticeable at all, as it is really well tuned for a u-shaped in-ear, has got decent resolution and is perfectly built. Yes, they are totally worth their $199 price tag in my humble opinion.

    Soundstage:

    The soundstage is relatively circular, with just minimally more width than depth. In terms of size, I would say that it is slightly larger than average.
    When it is about instrument separation and layering, the X1 does a quite decent job although it fails a little at displaying “emptiness”. With faster and more complex tracks, control is still surprisingly good despite the strong emphasis and the soundstage remains quite cohesive.

    ---------

    Versus other dynamic In-Ears:

    Sennheiser IE 80:
    The IE 80 has got the fatter, darker fundamental tone area and kicks slightly more in the upper bass, the X1 has more level in the mid- and sub-bass (Sennheiser’s screw fully closed). X1’s mids are more correct. IE 80’s lower mids are quite full-bodied and add some warmth but also mugginess to the midrange along with the somewhat recessed upper mids. Here in the mids, the X1 is clearly better tuned.
    X1’s bass speed is somewhat faster however not super much. Nonetheless, the Finder has easily got the better control and sounds less muddy with fast music.
    Overall, X1’s resolution is higher.
    IE80’s soundstage is larger however X1’s instrument separation is somewhat better.

    RHA T20:
    The T20 has got more upper bass as well as lower fundamental tone; in the mid- and sub-bass, the Finder is once again more present.
    The X1 has got the somewhat better precision in the bass (T20’s upper bass sometimes “rattles” a bit unbridled with fast bass strokes although its lows are rather quick for an in-ear with dynamic drivers).
    In terms of resolution, both are about comparable, although the T20 is a bit more refined in the mids but the X1 has got the somewhat better bass quality with better control and texture.
    In terms of spatial presentation, both are quite similar, with the RHA’s stage being moderately wider.

    DUNU Titan 5:
    The Titan 5 also follows more a v-shaped signature, however it has a clearly less emphasised bass. In the treble, both are about comparable, though Titan’s upper frequencies sound somewhat more natural.
    DUNU’s resolution is a bit higher and it sounds slightly more refined and differentiated.
    Titan 5’s bass is somewhat faster, but in terms of control both are about equally good though.
    The soundstage of the Titan 5 is somewhat better layered and separated, but pretty identical in terms of size.


    Conclusion:

    IMG_20160212_121148_hdr.jpg
    The Echobox Finder X1 is a good “fun” in-ear with u-shaped signature and combines excellent build quality with a very solid sound where really not much is to be complained about sound for a dynamic driver IEM with this kind of tonality. Though, one shouldn’t have aversion for a strong, evenly raising emphasis of both ends of the frequency spectrum when deciding to go for the Finder.
    What I’ personally like to see would be a filter which really lowers the bass, as after longer listening sessions, it can become quite mighty and somewhat exhausting. For some people, another filter that tames the treble even more could also be wishful, nonetheless everybody can also try modding their Finder as it is at the moment, because when unscrewing the filter, there is cavity between the filter screen and the driver where damping materials like for example cotton wool could be placed. A small container for the sound tuning filters wouldn’t be bad either.
    As a fun headphone, the Finder X1 really managed to convince me.

    With a 70%-sound/value-to-30%-rest-weighting, the Finder scores 86.7% or 4.335 out of 5 possible stars.


    On a personal side-note: although this is definitely not the kind of sound signature I normally like for indoor use, I absolutely love the Finder X1 for outdoor and on-the-go use, where I often see myself liking a v-shaped sound signature for in-ears. These really are the perfect, engaging “fun” dynamic driver in-ears with a really good sound and excellent build quality for a reasonable price (and you can believe me, there are only very few dynamic driver in-ears that I subjectively, very personally thoroughly love: TE-02, M3, Titan series, LHF-AE1d and now the X1). Yeah, in my book, they are a big success, and I’m really looking forward into what Echobox Audio is going to bring out in the future in terms of headphones.


    Very well done, George, Sam & especially Tang, the ingenious engineer who created this in-ear!
     
     
    03/07/'16: Added some info about the brilliant guy behind the Finder.
    1. Gilly87
      All the credit goes to Tang on this one - I helped more with the Explorer DAP, but the Finder is solely our CTO's brainchild :)
      Gilly87, Mar 7, 2016
  8. Jackpot77
    Echobox Finder X1 - a very good first impression
    Written by Jackpot77
    Published Feb 15, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Clarity, titanium build, comfort, cable, bass impact, detailing
    Cons - Sharp "default" treble signature may not be to everyone's taste
    Finder X1 – initial impressions
    Had the Finder X1 for a little while now, and wrote an impression on one of the forums after around a week of solid listening. Finally porting it across here a few weeks down the line, but after re-reading the below, my opinion stays exactly the same - all I have added is some additional comparisons to other IEMs that I have come across recently. This is my first impression/review attempt on HeadFi, so please take it all with a pinch of salt – YMMV.
    About me: newly minted audiophile, long time music fan and reasonably inept drummer. Listen to at least 2 hours of music a day on my commute to work – prefer IEMs for out and about, and a large pair of headphones when I have the house to myself and a glass in my hand. Recently started converting my library to FLAC and 320kbps MP3, and do most of my other listening through Spotify or Tidal HiFi. I am a fan of rock, acoustic (apart from folk) and sarcasm. Oh yeah, and a small amount of EDM. Not a basshead, but I do love a sound sig with some body to it.
    Unboxing
    For a first effort, the packaging is top-notch. The box and supplied earbuds and carry case definitely feels like a premium product, so once these things hit their expected RRP of $199 I don’t think anyone will feel short-changed by the packaging. I would also suggest that Gilly and the team consider sending the filter section of the box to the Rubik Foundation for consideration as their next puzzle if they ever get bored of cubes – getting a filter the size of a reality TV stars brain out of a foam bed shouldn’t make you feel like a contestant on The Cube! After resorting to a series of bladed instruments and tweezers (and narrowly avoiding graduating to a carving knife) I managed to get mine to safety, but the box didn’t fare so well.
    Build quality
    Again, for a first effort, the general build quality can’t be faulted. The shiny titanium shells of the IEM feel light, strong and incredibly well-made, and the thread on the filter system is so fine it is practically invisible. The cabling is silver mesh encased in a see through plastic jacket, and exudes the sort of quality you would expect to see on a high end CIEM. It is tangle free and microphonics are minimal when worn down, and pretty much non-existent when worn over-ear. The cable terminates in a straight 3.5mm jack which isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but it is reasonably short and finished in a matching material to the IEM shells so looks very slick. From a practical standpoint, the short strain relief makes it pretty practical as well, compared so some of the elephant-trunk style cable finishings I have seen on other products in the same price bracket. Speaking of strain relief, there has been a lot made of the apparent lack of strain relief where the cabling enters the IEM housing – apparently Echobox have a new solution to that where the strain relief is built inside the housing itself. If it does work as intended, then I think a lot of other firms will be following suit as it does add a very streamlined look to the product – fingers crossed it stands the test of time! The video on the Echobox site shows the housings being run over by a truck with no ill effects, and it is very easy to believe that once you have the product in your hand. The only possible downside I can see with these is that they will make other universal IEMs in your collection look like Fisher-Price toys if laid next to them, so may induce jealousy among other Head-Fi users!
    Ergonomics and fit
    The horn-shell design of the IEM is fairly unusual, but fits well into my ears and seems very comfortable and pretty secure (I have been told by my girlfriend and family on numerous occasions that I have a head the same size as a small cow so my ears are correspondingly large). The supplied silicon tips give a good fit, but I have found the enclosed COMPLY tips to provide the best sound isolation and overall security of fit for day to day use. I have worn these for extended periods of time with no need for adjustment or removal, so can see these easily getting through a whole day of use without causing any discomfort.
    Sound quality
    Test gear:
    Sony NWz-A15 (unamped and with Fiio E6/Topping NX1/Brainwavz AP001)
    LG G Flex 2 (as above)
    Sansa Clip+ (Rockboxed)
    Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (straight from the output jack)
    Test tracks (mainly 320kbps MP3 or FLAC/Tidal HiFi):
    Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – S.O.B. / Wasting Time
    Blackberry Smoke – The Whipporwill (album)
    Slash – Shadow Life / Bad Rain (my reference tracks for bass impact and attack, guitar “crunch”)
    Otis Redding – various
    Elvis – various
    Leon Bridges – Coming Home (album)
    Foy Vance – various
    Blues Traveler - various
    Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (album)
    Sigma - various
    Rudimental – various
    Rodrigo y Gabriela - various
     
    Filters used
    White (bass) and black (reference) – I have tested all three and settled on the white (bass) so the below observations are based on both bass and reference, the red treble filters were just a touch too sharp for my preference.
     
    Highs
    There have been many comments on the bright signature of these IEMs on here already – my personal preference is for a headphone/IEM that has a good tight and punchy bass, full mids and a slightly rolled off treble so I wasn’t expecting to get on too well the highs. How wrong I was! Initially, the treble can be quite sharp, but after a few hours of use/burn in and settling on the COMPLY tips, it settled into a beautifully detailed and airy sound. Cymbals and hi-hat come across with a lovely sense of detail, and just enough “splash” – on some tracks it does actually make you realise that they are there in the background, rather than being drowned out by the other competing sounds. That being said, the treble never feels overpowering, and just adds to the feeling of detail retrieval that these IEMs bring. Also, despite the crystal clear highs, I have not managed to hit any sibilance, despite picking some deliberately screechy music to push them. Everything sounds clear and smooth, and I have not had any issues with fatigue so far despite prolonged listening sessions. Whether than means my ears have taken one too many hits from the sound system at my local gig venue over the years remains to be seen, but I find these to be a good blend between sharp (for detail and “air”) and smooth.
    Mids
    After a few hours use and burn in in between, the mids have settled into a reasonably neutral and detailed presentation. They aren’t as emphasised as the treble or the bass, but to my ears this doesn’t feel like a massively V or U shaped IEM. The detail retrieved is very good, and the tone it gives both male and female vocals in my opinion is what makes this IEM so special. Listening to Elvis through these made the words practically drip out of the microphone into my ears. Smooth and creamy has been used already to describe these, and I can only echo that. As a reasonably new convert to this hobby, it is still one of life’s small pleasures to me to hear the breath moving in and out of someone’s mouth when they are singing and the background echo from the recording room in the audio – all almost imperceptible, but clearly present when using these IEMs. When pushed with some more driving rock, they also impart a greater sense of energy and “fizz” than other IEMs I have used in the past. The crunch and drive of Slash’s guitar work is brought to the fore, and makes for an almost “live” presentation which really draws you into the music. I have found myself taking an extra lap of the local area on my walk back home after work on more than one occasion just to enjoy a few more songs.
    Bass
    Ever using the bass filters, these aren’t an IEM for those lovers of tooth-rattling boom at the expense of everything else (or Beats users, as they are otherwise known). For everyone else, I would say these are damn near perfect, however. The bass extends inhumanly low, with plenty of quality, but not at the expense of the rest of the sound. There is a slight mid-bass hump according to some more learned head-fi’ers out there, but I find that helps bring a good sense of depth to rock and other guitar music without bleeding into the main sound, so it works very well for me. The pace and control of the bass are both excellent, and listening to something like Daft Punk through these gives a great sense of sub-bass, without sacrificing any of the clarity in the mids and upper registers. There is punch aplenty, so for those lovers of crunching rock riffs, these will be perfect. The best way I can think of describing it is like the difference between a hot bath and a shower if the bass is the water – both equally satisfying, but once the shower stops, you aren’t left surrounded in a soup of water and other soapy scum until the plughole drains out, you just get piping hot amounts whenever the tap is on.
    Difference between the filters
    I tried all three, but the red (treble) were slightly too hot for me, and gave up a bit too much bass to make the presentation enjoyable – they are strictly for lovers of a thin and crisp sound. The difference between the reference and bass filters is small, and I would be perfectly happy if the IEM came tuned to either of these without the filter option. The reference filter still has plenty of bass punch, and is probably the most “audiophile” sound – the slightly lower bass presence lends an impression of air and space to the sound that is slightly bigger than the bass filter. The bass filter is my favourite – there is still heaps of detail and space in the sound, but it just lends a touch more substance to the riffs and a weightier timbre on the singer’s voice for me – it was a close call though.
    Soundstage/separation
    For an IEM, these have a good soundstage and excellent instrument separation. As with all IEMs, the stage is more akin to an evening in Ronnie Scott’s than a night out at the Grand Ol’ Opry or Wembley Arena, but does allow enough room for the music to breathe freely. Separation and positioning is also excellent – listening to Leon Bridges, you can “feel” where in the room the backing singers are coming from, and where the sax player is standing, which all adds to the live presentation feeling this IEM manages to bring to most tracks. Individual separation is also excellent – it’s a well-worn cliché, but they will bring out details in tracks your other audio gear hasn’t, so it does feel like you are rediscovering old favourites. The clarity of the sound helps massively here too, picking up micro-detailing like the strumming of a guitar string and layering it right at the back of your mind so it adds to the music, rather than distracts from it. Hands down the most enjoyable IEM I have spent any time with yet.
    Amping
    As a newbie, I don’t have access to many amping solutions (yet!) but this IEM is pretty easy to drive, so I didn’t notice any major benefit to cranking up the power. My Sony A15 (much maligned of it’s anaemic output power) can happily drive these beauties louder than I want them to go, with bags of detail and dynamism to spare. Ditto for my LG phone – I’m sure some of the Chord Hugo or Mojo owners out there are probably chuckling at the thought of that or saying a prayer for my poor malnourished eardrums, but for day to day use, these are perfect with our without amping.
    Comparisons
    Trinity Audio Atlas
    Another tuneable filter IEM. These are another great set of buds, with a dual hybrid setup giving good bass and smooth buttery mids. The sound quality is similar to the Finders, but for my money, the Finders just edge it in terms of the mids (slightly more forward and smooth) and have a slightly less etched treble to my ears. The bass quantity is similar, with the Atlas winning out if you need a bass cannon in your ears due to the more “soupy” sound of the bassiest filter. Comfort is pretty much on par for both, with the Atlas being slightly better for gym wear due to the over the ear design and removable/Bluetooth cabling.
    Flare Audio R2A
    My previous daily driver, and an outright brilliant IEM for my personal tastes. The Finder wins on treble (being slightly more detailed than the smooth roll off sound of the Flares) and gives an overall sense of detail that the Flare just misses (probably due to the boosted treble in the Finder – the mind is a funny thing). In terms of comfort, the Flares just pinch it due to their tiny size. The only area that they win comfortably on is soundstage – the Flares are acknowledged as having a ludicrously large soundstage for an in-ear , so not really a fair contest there. That all being said, they are now being replaced by the Finders as my daily driver, so chalk another one up to the Echobox team.
    Aurisonics ASG-1.5
    Only recently had the chance to start listening to these, and the signature is probably at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what the Echobox team are trying to achieve. The ASG-1.5 is a very dark tuning, as has been noted on the forums here - I listen to the 1.5s with an EQ bump of +12db Treble on a Rockboxed Sansa Clip+ to bring out the mids and treble detail to an acceptable level and it is still a dark IEM! The Finder wins hands down on treble detail and just general amount of higher range sound, as this seems to be the main target soundrange for this particular IEM. The mids are different - the Aurisonics pull out a thick, midcentric tone once EQ'd which lends a nice live weight and musicality to a singer's voice, whereas the Finders provide less thickness and an overall feeling of a sharper sound image and more clarity, so both have different tracks they will shine on. The bass is a thumping beast on the Aurisonics (as they are famous for) so adds a massive layer of sub and mid bass to proceedings, which can overpower the whole sound without some drastic EQ. The Finders in contrast provide a punchy, tightly controlled sound in the lower registers which still provides a good body and backing to the track. It would be unfair to declare a winner here as these are aimed at completely different areas of the listening audience - bassheads would probably be willing to consider EQ and overlook the other shortcomings on the 1.5 for the ungodly amounts of bass on tap,  but the "average" HeadFi'er like myself would be far more suited to the Finder for day to day listening.
    Brainwavz S1 – no contest – now on eBay for sale!
     
    Overall conclusion
    To paraphrase someone else on here, at the price I paid for these on IDGG, it feels like I robbed the shop. Outstanding detailing, a beautiful and durable set of buds, top notch cabling and a memorable and overall enjoyable sound. I’m a backer on their DAP as well and if that turns out to be ½ as good as these pieces of kit, we are all in for a treat. Buy this IEM – these guys deserve to be rich!
      Gilly87 and peter123 like this.
    1. alpha421
      Nice review.  I have the 1.5 coming and sold off the X1 as I found it too V-shaped for my liking.  What tips were you using on the 1.5 and did you use an amp instead of driving straight from the Clip?  Glad to hear the 1.5 EQ well as did its predecessors (owned them all).
      alpha421, Feb 15, 2016
    2. Jackpot77
      Thanks for the comment. I am using Comply T500s at the moment with the 1.5 - the isolation they offer makes up for any loss in treble as there isn't much to start with! Tried the 1.5s with a Fiio E6 and direct from a Sony A15 as well. The volume and detail they get from both small sources mean that I didn't really notice any difference with amping as they are comfortably easy enough to drive direct. There might be some sound changes that come with better amping, but the sheer volume of bass you can generate off something as small as the Clip with these things is quite amazing. I have a pair of 2.5s on the way so can see myself putting the 1.5s up for trade or sale at some point if the 2.5 have a similar low end impact, otherwise they might become my default gym pair of 'phones. Never heard anything tuned quite like it, and once you EQ away some of the dark edges, the raw power is quite addictive. Still prefer the X1 for my day to day listening preferences tho!
      Jackpot77, Feb 15, 2016
  9. Trager
    Excellent mid-range IEMs, especially for pop/electronic
    Written by Trager
    Published Feb 11, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Amazing materials, engaging sound, good pack-ins
    Cons - Wouldn't call them analytical, somewhat intolerant of poor recording, difficult to get filters out of packaging
    First off, my IEM taste might be a bit biased at this point -- I've been through a lot of IEMs in the past (and have a bunch left around for comparison listening), but I've been using Westone W60 IEMs for the past year, and that's a hard comparison for any IEM, let alone one that comes in at a fifth of the price (or a tenth if you were an Indiegogo supporter, like me). Also, after a few minutes of listening with the default white filters, I decided to go for the black (balanced) ones instead. (Side note: did anyone else have an almost impossible time trying to take those bloody things out of the package? I ended up having to use a box cutter to dig the replacement filters out!) All testing was done with those. Also, I did not perform any burn-in due to technical issues with my burn-in setup.
     
    My test methodology for a new IEM is pretty lengthy: I run through a TIDAL sample playlist straight out of my iPhone 6S+ (since that's my default listening mode), then the same playlist using my Oppo HA-2 amp. If I am curious, I may then use some songs from the same playlist through my Mac and Fiio E17.
     
    First impressions (iPhone 6S+, no amp)
     
    I Am John (Loney Dear): great start to the song, but as the tempo and instrumentation builds, things get a little congested and clarity suffers. The music is still engaging and fun, but it doesn't have the crispness that I'm used to with my Westones.
     
    Pompeii (Bastille): This song is very obviously mixed a little hot and with mostly digital instrumentation. It tends to sound good with almost anything, and these phones are great. Plenty of bass and the highs comes through clean.
     
    Torn Blue Foam Couch (Grand Archives): Some sibilance showing up on this song, as well as a little bit of congestion. Some of that is actually the recording, though. It's still fun to listen to, with a surprising amount of bass impact and presence. Also, I'm just noticing how enveloping the sound stage is.
     
    Jumpin' at the Woodside (Ellington/Basie, First Time version): This is a tough test track. Lots of things going on. Lots of spacial variation. And I know the song very very well. Surprisingly, the high horns don't blow out my ears, which makes me think the sibilance on the last song was as much recording artifact as something from the headphones. Even when both orchestras get going, parts are cleanly discernible, although I suspect that my Westones are a little better at separation. The soundstage is really quite excellent, and the decay on the final piano note is lovely.
     
    Memphis Soul Stew (King Curtis): Another test track with a great deal of separation and some really isolated and pretty instrumental pieces. The instruments sound fantastic, although King Curtis's vocals have just a little bit of edge to them. 
     
    Let It Be (Claudia Lennear, Live Santa Monica Civic version): Bass and background is lush and full, Lennear's vocals are almost a little recessed compared. The reproduction of her voice is detailed and rich, though. 
     
    The Flag (Barenaked Ladies): I've been listening to this song for 20 years through so many systems that it makes a great personal test. The cello is detailed and lively (which isn't always the case, since it's not recorded particularly well). Page's voice is clear as a bell with surprisingly minimal sibilance. Strangely, the bass at the tail end of the song does not hit that hard or extend as low as I'm used to. 
     
    9 Crimes (Damien Rice): Breathy female vocals are breathy. Again, the music has a lush feeling, with impact on the bass hits and a clear spacial distinction between the two singers and their background instrumentation. 
     
    Two Step (Bear Mountain): Plainly put, this song rocks. It's all electronic, and it has slam and energy and just sounds fun.
     
    Artillery (Infected Mushroom): Everything is clear as a bell. Bass extends low and sounds pretty fantastic. This is not really a challenging track, because it's recorded super clean, but it makes these IEMs sing. Whispered and layered vocals maybe aren't quite as clean as they are with my Westones or when I tested the Oppo PM-3 cans on this song, but that's pretty rarified territory. Bottom line is that is sounds great. 
     
    The Boxer (Jerry Douglas, Mumford & Sons, Paul Simon): I used this track to test an awful lot of gear at CanJam. Lots of quiet, distinctive parts, and also a lot of very busy, crowded, and layered bits. The intro is really good -- bass is strong and filling without overpowering Mumford's vocals, and the guitar sounds lively. As the music swells, the parts blend maybe a little, but not in a white noise way. It's more like how a chord resolves and is almost perceived as a single sound.
     
    Second phase (using the Oppo HA-2 DAC/Amp):
     
    I am John (Loney Dear): Slight sibilance on vocals throughout the song. Separation is definitely a little better, but as the song gets more crowded, the sibilance gets worse.
     
    Artillery (Infected Mushroom): Minor improvement over the naked version -- the clarity on the whispered/layered vocals is definitely improved. 
     
    Torn Blue Foam Couch (Grand Archives): Separation is definitely improved over the naked version and the sibilance that was apparent before is greatly reduced. Can't stop tapping toes.
     
    9 Crimes (Damien Rice): Piano sound is definitely leaner and tighter. Everything is a bit more accurate. Still not a sound that I'd call analytical -- it's fun to listen to. 
     
    Jumpin' at the Woodside (Ellington/Basie, First Time!): Layering is definitely improved. Soundstage is still very good, although the HA-2 might be making it just a little narrower. At the climax of the song, there was just a bit of top end interference.
     
    Pompeii (Bastille): I feel like the bass might actually vibrate my entire spine. Zowie. Again, almost a little too much on the top end, but it's right on the line. 
     
    The Boxer (Jerry Douglas, Mumford & Sons, Paul Simon): Definitely tighter and more detailed. The layered and complex parts sound fantastic. No apparent sibilance or upper register harshness.
     
    Memphis Soul Stew (King Curtis): Leaner sound, better reproduction of King Curtis's voice. Still has great slam on the drum and good spacial separation for instruments. 
     
    Since there wasn't all that much difference between the naked iPhone and HA-2 version, I decided I didn't need to go through again with the Fiio E17.
     
    Overall impression:
     
    Very fun headphones that are easy to drive and benefit some from improved source and amp. I don't know that I'd recommend them for classical, but they hold up to jazz and funk pretty well and sound great with electronic and pop music. Build quality is first rate, and the differently-tuned filters give some ability to customize to your tastes. Isolation is excellent and tip selection is really good, plus they are so light that you barely notice they're in your ears. They have a great bass sound and tone with no midbass bump (which I hate!) and nice soundstage and imaging, especially for such tiny phones. 
     
    Comparisons:
     
    vs. W60: The Finders definitely have a lusher sound, occasionally verging on harsh. Great soundstage and spacial separation for in-ears, and they have a good bass presence, although the W60 has better extension and texture. 
     
    vs. Ety ER-4P: This is kind of a silly comparison, since they're really entirely different phones. The Finders have a much wider soundstage and fuller low end, with an active but sometimes uncontrolled high end. The ER-4P are all about analytical precision.
      Gilly87 likes this.
  10. mark2410
    Echobox Finder X1 Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published Feb 10, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - The thing is titanium. Looks sublime. Sound beyond dazzlingly spectacular.
    Cons - Highly treble abundant. Utterly unyielding and unforgiving. Can’t do mellow.
    Echobox Finder X1 Quick Review
     
    Thanks to Echobox for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/797891/echobox-finder-x1-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief: Unyielding titanium dazzlers.
     
    Price:  US$199
     
    Specifications:  Housings:  Solid Titanium, Drivers: 9.2mm PEEK (PolyEther Ether Keytone) dynamic driver, Cable: Silver plated copper, Cable Length: 1,2m, Impedance: 22 ohms, Sensitivity: 96dB/mW, Frequency Response: 15Hz -35KHz, THD: less than 1%, Plug:  3.5mm Stereo, gold plated.
     
    Accessories:  Cable synch, Case, 3 pairs of tuning filters, 3 pairs of Comply’s, 3 pairs of single flange silicones and 2 pairs of biflange silicone tips
     
    Isolation:  Pretty good for a dynamic as is the case with many these days.  So they’re fine for most uses, walking out and about, on a bus etc etc but probably not what you’d ideally want for a long flight or Tube commute.  They would do if it’s what you’ve got but you know.  Also more than sufficient to get yourself killed if you forget to use your eyes when near traffic.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  Par excellence.  Fit me great worn up or down but as ever, YMMV.
     
    Aesthetics:  I’m currently huge on monochromatic, everything black, white or some shade of grey.  Plus I’ve always had a thing for bare metal so the darkened, not quite glossy, not quite anodised finish the buds and jack have is pretty much perfect to my eyes.  There are right up there as one of the best looking IEM’s ever.
     
    Sound:  Dazzling.  If there was one word that I had to use it would be dazzling.  So, even with their sound variable filters they are inclined to be hyper articulate and crisp in the uppers.  Add in my own treble sensitively and I found the treble filters to be blindingly bright.  The reference ones were also highly intense.  Dazzlingly intense, like a CK10 that’s gone wild, MTV “Spring Break” style.  WAAAAAA!!!!!  The bass filter, it has a little filter to tame some of that crazy treble energy and they become something very interesting.  Their treble is still CK10 like but with an ever so slight dynamic hint.  They move like lightning and are just as dazzling, the extension seems to soar extremely high.  It’s so nimble, so agile, it can go from a thousand miles an hour to full stop in the length of a pin head.  Mids are light tonally, a little cool and upper end slanted but once more the X1 is so fast, so clean, so accurate, its hyper accurate, too accurate to be real.  The more ethereal and openly dry vocals you can find the better they are.  Sweeping, soaring, floaty with a butterfly like delicacy then they can explode out of nowhere.  It’s spectacular if maybe not the most relaxing listen ever.  The bass, it’s not centre stage but it’s clearly cut form the same cloth.  So taut, so nimble, so viciously articulate.  Its depth is highly impressive, does a nicely linear job of it too though I find sometimes I wish is was a little less austere in its presentation.  You know, relax a little, mellow and go with the flow.  Nope, the bass here is ridged and extremely disciplined.
    In short, this is the dynamic based, bass boosted successor to the CK10. 
     
    Value:  Since you can’t buy the CK10 cost is irrelevant though these are considerably less than they ever used to go for. Plus who else has earphones made of the same stuff that the SR-71 was???
     
    Pro’s:  The thing is titanium.  Looks sublime.  Sound beyond dazzlingly spectacular.
     
    Con’s:  Highly treble abundant.  Utterly unyielding and unforgiving.  Can’t do mellow.
     
    1. swannie007
      Good review. I have these and absolutely love them! When they first arrived I loved the look of them but thought they wouldn't perform too well as they are quite small. Boy was I WRONG! They are one of my two go-to iems and I use them virtually every day. Sound great, look fabulous and are all day comfortable. What's not to like?
      Cheers.
      swannie007, Feb 11, 2016