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Echobox Audio Finder X1

Rating:
4.21875/5,
  1. lin0003
    Energetic & Fun - Echobox's First IEM
    Written by lin0003
    Published Dec 31, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Fun Sound, Design
    Cons - Will be too V shaped for some people

    Echobox Finder X1 Review

    Echobox is not a brand that I am familiar with and this is because they are a very new entry into the portable audio market. According to Echobox, they are “a company founded and run by music-lovers and audio geeks. We’ve been watching the personal audio industry for years, researching and analyzing everything from the types of music people listen to, how and where we listen, and, most importantly, the quality of audio that we’ve become accustomed to. What we’ve seen has excited, confused, and disappointed us, all at once.”
     
    CES2015_Echobox_Photo_Main.jpg
     
    Being such a new company, I was curious as to how well the Finder X1 would sit in the pretty crowded $200 range. There are many great options that pop up when it comes to mid-range IEMs and I wanted to see how the X1 stacked up against the best in the same price range. When I first received them, I was instantly impressed by the professional packaging and the finish of the X1 and it certainly boasts an impressive sound as well, we’ll go more in depth into that later on.
     
    **Disclaimer** These were provided to me by Echobox in return for an unbiased review.
     

    Unboxing & Accessories

    My first impression of the Echobox X1 was extremely pleasant, as I opened the superbly packaged X1. The box is very clean and well laid out, including all of the information that you need to know. Upon opening the box, I was met with the X1 and the tips as well as the filters. On the side are the specs and they are:
     
    Build: titanium housing
    Transducers: Dynamic
    Frequency Range: 15 Hz – 32 kHz
    Sensitivity (SPL): 96 dB/mW
    Impedance: 22 Ω
    THD: <1%
    Cable: 1.2 metres, silver plated
    Plug: 3.5 mm stereo

     
    There are several accessories that some with the X1, and these include 5 pairs of tips and 3 sets of sound adjusting rings. There is also a manual and a warranty card along with a clamshell case. The case is one of the best cases that I have seen included with IEMs – they are sturdy and spacious, but not too big. The tips were fine, but I found myself preferring spinfit tips on these. The filters are definitely a welcome addition, but I’ll expand on that a little later. I would have liked to see a cable clip for the people who like to wear their IEMs straight down, but I don’t plan to do that, so its not s problem for me.
     
    EchoBoxFinderX1sample3.jpg
     

    Design & Isolation

    This is where Echobox really hits it out of the park for me, the Finder X1 is among some of the most well finished IEMs that I have ever used. The casings are meticulously created and they look like they cost much more than a mere $200. The design is very aesthetically appealing and feels very solid. I’m no expert when it comes to the merits of titanium vs ordinary stainless steel, but from my watches, I gather that titanium is essentially a less corrosive and lighter alternative to stainless steel. This is certainly welcome, as it means that they sit better in my ears and don’t fall out as easily. The X1 certainly sat very well in my ears and was very comfortable.
     
    The cable is SPC as opposed to the standard copper cables in most IEMs. Of course, there is no solid evidence to back up the idea that silver is superior to copper in audio, but for those who believe that cables make a difference (this includes me), here you go. The cable is also shielded, making is very strong and pretty much tangle free in my experience.
     
    Now onto the negatives in the design. The first one I can think of is the strain relief where the cable enters the housing, or more accurately, the lack of it. I can’t determine whether this will make any difference in the X1’s durability, but it’s always more reassuring to see some kind of support there. The other thing is that it is rather hard to tell the left from the right and vice versa. There are L and R indicators, but they are very light and easy to miss. It would be nice if there was a red and blue ring around the IEMs to make it easier to distinguish.
     
    The isolation of the X1 is just average, perhaps a little under average even. As with the case of other dynamic driver IEMs, they don’t seem to isolate particularly well. They are ok for use in quieter areas, but they tend to not do so well in noisy outdoor areas.
     
     

    Testing Gear

    I ran the Finder X1 with many sources and I settled on the D14 + P5 with PS combo. This, I felt, paired very well with the X1. Obviously it’s not portable, maybe its transportable at best, but I thought they brought out the best of the X1. With that combo, I felt like the somewhat hot treble was tamed a little. With DAPs such as the DX80 and DX90, they also did very well. I found that they needed a bit of juice to sound at their best, so if you are planning to use them with just a phone or an iPod, you might want to consider buying a cheap amp along with these.
     
    finderx1black3.jpg
     

    Sound Quality

    Given that this was the first IEM that Echobox has released, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from them. One thing I feel I should mention is that the X1 needs burning in, to me at least. I felt like the sound changed appreciably after a hundred hours or so of burn in. I was quite impressed by how the X1 sounded, especially considering that it was the first product that Echobox has ever released.
     
     

    Filters

    I preferred the white filters over the black and red ones. The white one is the reference one so it didn’t come as much of a surprise. The other filters do what they say – the black is bassy and the red is bright. Personally, I find that the white filter is already V shaped, I would have liked to see a midrange boosted filter, one can wish right? The black was quite nice as well, it took the edge off the treble, but this came at the expense of looser bass.
     
    CanJam_London-EchoBox-Finder20X1.jpg
     

    Bass

    The bass will likely be a little bit of a love hate area depending on what type of sound signature you like. The bass is distinctly heavy and undoubtedly boosted, but I like it, quite a lot. It’s the type of bass that I really enjoy, not overly heavy, but with a nice edge to it. If you come from a more neutral IEM or perhaps a slightly bass light one like the ER4S, the X1 would likely take some time to get used to. Having spent a lot of time with the Titan 5 recently, the X1’s bass was wonderfully balanced to me. The speed and detail is impressive, the bass never lingered around for too long, but had a very solid impact to it. If I had to describe it in one word, it would be fun. It may not be the more accurate or the most detailed bass in this price range, but it is one of the most entertaining and satisfying bass responses I have heard. Extension is also very good, sub-bass is string and also a little boosted, it has a very nice rumble to it.
     
     

    Midrange

    As with all bass heavy headphones, there is always danger of the bass bleeding into the midrange and there was none of that here. The transition is very smooth and the midrange stays very clear and devoid of any bass bleed. The sound signature of the X1 is definitely V shaped and the midrange is recessed. It is pulled back quite a little and it shows, at times I felt perhaps just a little too much. This made the treble and bass sound a little bit overly forward. The midrange itself is perhaps a little bright up the top, but quite flat throughout. Vocals sounded crisp and clear with little colouration, but I did notice some light hissing and sibilance. Clarity is excellent and the timbre of instruments is very good. Detail is also up these among some of the best, it is very upfront with the small details. Detail in vocals is especially evident, the clarity mixed with the slightly bright midrange means that the small details are really flushed out.
     
     

    Treble

    The treble is bright and this can be slightly tamed with the black filters, but even then, the treble is still bright. This, however, is not a deal breaker, at least for me, but I prefer my headphones slightly bright, and your preferences might be different. Despite it being bright, it is not overly bright to me, and there is a little bit of sibilance up the top, but this is very minor and I didn’t feel like it made the X1 any less enjoyable to listen to. Extension is very good, and there is no audible roll off at the highest registers. Cymbals have a slightly sharp edge to them, but it isn’t too bad. They sound quite natural and I found the brightness very easy to handle, especially at normal listening volumes. Treble detail is excellent, it does almost as well as the TWFK driver IEMs. The X1 has a hot treble, but this is far from a problem and I actually didn’t mind it at all, and felt it was quite nice.
     
    EchoBoxFinderX1sample4.jpg
     

    Soundstage & Imaging

    Whilst the soundstage of the X1 isn’t the largest that I have heard in this price range, it does hold its own against the Titan 5 very well. The soundstage is not particularly wide, but I did find that it was quite tall and deep. The soundstage is more of an intimate one rather than an expansive one. It sounds rather different compared to other IEMs which attempt to create a concert hall soundstage, it’s a little Grado like.
     
    The imaging is quite impressive; it is certainly very good for the price range. Something I have found with cheaper IEMs is that they don’t do particularly well here, but the X1 does superbly. Its single dynamic driver presents a very clear and accurate stage, making it easy to distinguish between instruments. Overall, the Echobox Finder X1 does pretty well in this area. While it doesn’t really stand out, it performs very respectably.
     
     

    Separation, Detail & Clarity

    Something I have found with dynamic driver IEMs is that they tend to not do quite as well as BA IEMs in this area. However, the X1 sounds more like a hybrid than a single driver dynamic. The separation is excellent, it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the DN-2000, but you wouldn’t expect it to at this price point. Everything sounds clear and coherent even in very busy passages. It’s put it around the level of TWFK IEMs.
     
    The X1 isn’t an overly detailed IEM, but that is not to say that it is poor when it comes to detail retention. It does do quite well, but as with many other dynamic driver IEMs, I find that they aren’t detailed as some other IEMs in the same price range which use multiple BAs. It’s nice to see that the heavy bass doesn’t really affect the detail. Some micro details were evident, but it isn’t really on the level of TWFKs.
     
    Clarity is very good due to the very clean tuning of the X1. Once again, the bass doesn’t really seem to affect the clarity much. Overall, the clarity is up there with the best in this price range. The overall sound signature of the X1 is quite cool except for the boosted bass and the clarity is excellent in the midrange and treble. It probably could be a little better in the bass area if the bass wasn’t as heavy, but it is still very impressive.
     
    finderx1black2.jpg
     

    Summary

    My first introduction to Echobox as a brand has been a very pleasant one. The Echobox Finder X1 isn’t really the king of anything, but is rather the jack of all trades. It is a very entertaining and engaging IEM which really makes the listener want to tap along to the music. I would say that for anyone who is looking for an IEM under $200 who prefers an elevated bass to take a serious look at the Echobox X1, it is really an excellent choice if you are a fan of a V shaped sound signature. 
     
    As always, thanks for reading this review and I hoped it helped. And just a note, the photos are taken from Google, if you own any of them and want me to take them down send me a message.


  2. ClieOS
    A Good First Effort
    Written by ClieOS
    Published Dec 31, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build Quality
    Cons - Bright Sound
    Echobox is a new startup with a strong audiophile’s background, and the Finder X1 is the company’s first IEM that has placed an emphasis on durability as much as it is on sound quality. The company has already finished up a successfully indiegogo campaign that offered the early bird Finder X1 for US$79, though you can still get one at US$149 with a January delivery day before it will be eventually sold at its regular price of US$199.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Spec
    Driver: 9.2mm dynamic driver with PEEK diaphragm
    Frequency Response: 15Hz ~ 35kHz
    Sensitivity: 96dB/mW
    Impedance: 22ohm
    THD: under 1%
    Housing: Titanium
    Plug: 3.5mm Stereo Gold Plated
    Cable: 1.2m Silver Plated Copper
    Sound Tuning Filter: Reference, Bass and Treble.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
    The Finder X1 I have with me is probably the same as the early bird perk, so there might be a little different form the final retail version as far as packaging goes. But if the early bird packaging is of any indication to the level of attention that Echobox has put into its product, I can only guess the retail packaging will only get better as it certainly doesn’t look anything short of a high-quality, retail-ready product. However, as much as I am impressed with what I have seen, there are still one minor flaws – the sound tuning filters are so tightly fitted into the box that I have a really hard time getting them out. Also, it would have been nice to have a small case or holder to put those filters in once they are taken out of the box. While the included hard case is really good in quality, it doesn’t have the right compartment to place the 4 tiny filters in by themselves as they can fall out quite easily. This might come as a slight inconvenience for those who like to re-tune their Finder X1 from time to time as you might have to find your own way to secure those filter in the hard case.
     
    Accessories wise, besides the filters and hard case I have mentioned, you will also find a couple pairs of single flange silicone eartips of different size and two pair of tri-flanges of different size. For the retail version, there should be some Comply foam tips included as well. All and all, a fairly good selection of accessories, though nothing above and beyond.
     
    Build quality is where the Finder X1 excels – well, mostly. Echobox has made a point that the Finder X1’s housing is made out of titanium for increased durability, but I will say that the finishing is quite beautiful as well. As an added bonus, it is also extremely light. The cable is also equally good in quality and look – so why is it not the perfect IEM? Firstly, because of the bell shape design small housing and the lack of cable’s strain relief, it is actually not that easiest shape to grab when you are trying to remove it from your ears (and make worst if it sits deeper in a larger ear canal). That tends to encourage user to grab onto the cable to remove the earpiece – while the cable is really good in quality, no doubt all the pulling still won’t be great in the long run. Also noticeable is that the single flange eartips, while excellent in build quality, could use a small opening on its nozzle as the current design isn’t the most optimum for smaller ears. Lastly, I notice the reference (black) filter doesn’t screw all the way down like the bass and treble filter. Though it doesn’t impair its functionality (and you won’t be able to see it under the eartips anyway), it does mean the reference filter is slightly easier to unscrew than the others. None of the above is really much of a turndown, so to speak, as the overall build quality remains excellent and these issues can be overcome with either careful use or aftermarket parts. But in a sense, it is still a little bit form over function.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Sound Quality
    As far as sound signature goes, the Finder X1 has a mild U-shaped sound with a bright upper tone. Bass extends fairly deep, but lacks a bit of body and weight to really have a character of its own. It won’t be a bass head’s dream-come-true, so to speak, but otherwise there is no real fault to speak of either. It is clean, well behaved and overall in good quality. Mid is rather on the dry side, as you would have expected from a mild U-shaped sound signature. As a result, vocal sounds just a bit too far - not entirely lifeless but it does leave the listener wanting for more. Treble on the other hand is both the highlight and perhaps the Achilles’ heel of Finder X1, and this is where the tuning filters have the most effect. On the default reference filter, the treble is crisp, airy and beautifully extended on the top, but comes up almost edgy near the upper mid / lower treble range and can be somewhat irritating on my normal listening volume. The treble filter just worsen the edginess a bit more and as a result, I didn’t quite spend any real time on it. The good news is the bass filter does tame the treble down enough that I can more comfortably listen to the Finder X1 for an extended period of time, provided if I don’t push the volume too high, which will bring the edginess back again. The downside is however, the bass filter does take always some of the crispiness and airiness in exchange. Due to the mild U-shaped sound and the well extended treble, soundstage is excellent on the reference and treble filter. Even with the bass filter, which reduces the airiness a bit, it is still well above average.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Sum-up
    As Echobox first IEM, the Finder X1 speaks quality – both sonically as well as aesthetically. If you already got the early bird US$79 deal, I’ll congratulate you for getting a lot of IEM for quite a small price. Even If you are on the January deal of US$149, it is still a good bargain overall. The final retail price of $199 however will definitely put Finder X1 in stiffer competition since that is the same space where some of the best value / performance IEM occupy. So if you are already planning on getting a pair, do it before it is too late – of course, I do want to put the emphasis that the Finder X1 is not for everyone – just make sure you do like a mild U-shaped sound with a bit of brightness. I can imagine music like EDM and string instrument will go particularly well with the Finder X1’s clean and slightly sterile presentation.
     
    If ever Exhobox could give the Finder X1 is bit more warmth and a bit less treble, it could very well have a big winner at hand. While Finder X1 is not perfect, it is still stellar as a first effort into the very crowded IEM market.
     
    A thanks to Echobox for the review sample.
      Raketen and H20Fidelity like this.
    1. glassmonkey
      Thanks for the review! I seem to remember something about the strain relief being built into the casing. Maybe @Gilly87 can clarify?
      glassmonkey, Dec 31, 2015
    2. mochill
      I read it is built in the housing as well .
      mochill, Dec 31, 2015
  3. shotgunshane
    The Durable and Airy X1
    Written by shotgunshane
    Published Dec 4, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Great build, Fun and airy sound
    Cons - Can be a bit too bright at times
    Disclaimer: The Echobox Finder X1 was provided to me as a review sample. 
     
    X1.jpg
     
    The X1 contains a 9.2mm dynamic driver and is very well made. It has small and unobtrusive housings made from titanium. The housing shape is reminiscent of the Final Audio Piano Forte series but unlike those, the X1 is designed to fully seal the ear and can almost disappear from view depending on your ear canal shape. The small, titanium bell shape is quite attractive and comfortable.
     
    The X1 cable is silver plated copper wire and by all appearances seems pretty durable. Thankfully it is also very flexible. What good is bragging about your wire composition if the thing is an annoyance to use? The only real concern I have is the lack of external strain reliefs at the housings. Supposedly strain reliefs are contained internally. The cable is terminated in a small, straight TRS plug with silver accents to match the titanium of the housings. This plug works great with iPhone cases. The X1 cable is pleasure to use and hopefully it proves as durable over the long haul as it appears.
     
    X1plug.jpg
     
    Accessories include a carrying case and several different kinds of tips to fit most ears. The stock single flange tips are very soft and comfortable. It’s a shame I couldn’t maintain a seal in my left ear with them, they really are very comfortable. Maybe for the future they can slightly stiffen or thicken them just a hair, so they don't fold in on itself quite as easily. That would help seal and not give up much in comfort. Also included are a pair of triple flange, double flange and Comply tips. I found my best fitting with Spin Fit tips, which allowed me to fit the X1 a bit deeper and tame some of the energetic treble.
     
    This leads me to the tunable filters the X1 comes with: 
    Red - Treble
    White - Reference
    Black - Bass
     
    Removing the filters from the box turned out to be quite a challenge. I nearly went WWE on it. Suffice to say I won't be taking any glamour shots of the inside of the box now! Once removed from the packaging, an omission from the manufacturer is quickly brought to light: now what do I do with these tiny filters? There’s no place to store them or organize them to keep from losing them. RHA and AKG both provide a metal plate to screw them to for long term storage when not in use. I guess I’ll keep my X1 filters in a little ziplock in the carrying case. 
     
    The white reference filters turned out to be my favorite of the three. With those in place, the overall sound signature is V shaped with boosted deep bass and bright, sparkling highs. Bass is definitely enhanced and is focused on deep/sub bass. It has a natural, if slightly extended, decay. The treble is pretty bright; it’s energetic, highly sparkling and can at times be a little splashy. Deeper fit of the Spin Fit tips comes in handy here to mitigate the peaks. The midrange, while recessed compared to bass and treble, is very clear and very airy. There is zero midrange mud, which is a pleasant surprise because many bass enhanced phones get a little muddy here. 
     
    The red filters, having the least acoustic resistance, are the brightest by far. Ultimately the red filter is a little too top heavy for my tastes but I definitely preferred the lighter bass of the red filters. It felt faster, more nimble and a bit airier or less dense. The black filters, on the other hand, are are denser sounding, warmer and bassier in comparison. While the black filters tame the treble a bit more than the white filters, I felt it was missing some of the midrange and treble airiness I appreciated in the white and red filters. The good news is that neither of the filter selections deviate too far from overall quality from each other. In other words, the sound signature maintains good quality with whichever filter you use. 
     
    The X1 seems made for filter modding. Underneath the screw on filters, there is a nice little chamber to experiment with different filtering materials. I decided to use the red stock filters to test with, as it has the least bass and adding material is going give the perception of more bass. Cutting the tips off of a Q-tip is my favorite and most successful material I’ve used in other filter mods and it proved to be successful here too. The Q-tip cotton tames the treble nicely without robbing too much air and energy from the midrange but also doesn’t sound quite as bassy as the black filters. It seems the tune-ability options for the X1 are going to be quite expansive! 
     
    IMG_0350.jpg            IMG_0349.jpg
     
     
    MSRP for the X1 is slated to be $199 but can be had for as little as $79 on the Echobox Indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/echobox-the-evolution-of-personal-audio#/
     
    X1case.jpg
     
     
      masterpfa likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. shotgunshane
      @maguire, I'll get you a pic of the mod up in a couple of days.
      shotgunshane, Dec 23, 2015
    3. maguire
      Oh.... mighty fine of you as usual....
      maguire, Dec 23, 2015
    4. shotgunshane
      Finally remembered to add the requested mod photos. Please excuse the poor quality!
      shotgunshane, Dec 31, 2015
  4. Dsnuts
    Transparency
    Written by Dsnuts
    Published Nov 29, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Transparency
    Cons - Transparency
    800x600px-LL-7ffa6613_1312497881_headset-productcrop2.png
     
    The Echobox Finder X1. Currently on sale at indegogo for the awesome low price of $79.  I was given a review copy of the Finder X1 for my take on them. Thanks goes out to Gilly87 for the review sample. 
     
    Onto the review. Every year I have seen some crazy phones for the prices and as of late it seems manufacturers are always trying to outdo the other for the most bang for buck cost effective earphone they can make. To me it really don't matter if the phones cost $10 or $1000. If it has IT. It has IT. The sound is what I truly care about and does this earphones have IT? 
     
    I have known Gilly87 for a while on the threads as a member of headfi and someone I have had thread chatter with. It was surprising to me when he contacted me to try out these crazy iems his cohorts have made called the Finder X1.
     
    Sure I am always game for hearing something new. Something exciting. I have had these earphones for approximately a months worth of time. In that time I have had the pleasure of 1st) giving them a nice long burn in process. 2) Figuring out what filters and tips works best for me. 3) And finally absolutely being impressed with the design, the build and ultimately the sound of the Finder X1.
     
    BURN IN?
    So here we go again. Why do these need burn in? Well for one the cord is made out of a silver plated copper cable. Believe in burn in or not. Every single silver coated cable I own out of box does in fact make the phone your listening to sound bright. Which adds to an already thin proprietary highly detailed 9.2mm PEEK (polyether etherketone) driver. Whatever this material is, sonically they share some characteristics with titanium treated drivers to my ears. And yes every single one of my silver coated cables I own sounded much better the more I used them. Much like the other earphones that have stiff diaphragms these had a markedly sharp/bright tone out of the box.
     
    I threw the Finder X1 onto my burn in station and just let them get the beat down they deserve for a week straight. Beyond that I gave them an extra week. Then they have been listened to every day since. I have to admit the more and more I listened to them the more I admired how good Echobox's first earphone efforts are.
     
    I think by now people have read about the build quality of these earphone but to hold them in your hands and feel how sturdy these are in person is another matter. I honestly think these will and could last a life time of listening to them. I am of the camp that actually treat each earphone like they are the last pair of earphones I own. I don't ever recall having one short out on me out of the 100s I have owned or auditioned. So I am not about to treat these any differently but if there was one earphone that can last a long time it will be the Finder X1.
     
    Now these do have some bad microphonics if worn straight down. Microphonics will be gone once worn over the ear however.
     
    SOUND:
    For everyone that buys these from the indegogo page I ask you to be patient with their sound and you must absolutely burn them in. I noticed when I was burning them in the sound for me would go from being sharp to acceptable to sharp again and then clean again, there seemed to be variations of the brightness during break in. I noticed this due to all the different tips I was trying. It would sound great one night and then bad the next. I must have used my entire box of tips trying this and that. In the end it was my JVC Spiral dot tips that won a permanent place on the Finder X1 nozzles.  These come with 3 different tip filters that change the emphasis ever so slightly toward. Red=Treble. Silver=Balanced. Black=warm, bass oriented. 
    800x600px-LL-31669ced_part_all.png  
    The metal work on these earphones are top notch. The housing and the filter caps are made of titanium and are finely machined so you know these filters will last a very long time as long as you don't loose them filter caps I suppose. If I have one complaint to Echobox it would be how these were mounted in the box they came in. I found myself breaking up the box the filters were set in due to how deep they were placed in the display. They sit on some foam and it was actually difficult to take out the filters from the box. Sharp tools are actually needed to take out the filters from the box. You guys can design a top notch original housing design for the Finder X1 but flounder on how to actually place the filters in the display box? Small complaint but I am one of those guys that actually keep the packages earphones come in. This is the first time I can recall that I actually had to destroy a part of the box just to get at some filters. I would have rather they came in a little plastic pouch in the case.
     
    Back to the sound. These have a neutrally tuned U shape sound to them but with the one aspect of sound that absolutely makes them a winner. Transparency. These have some wicked detail to their sound. Something that I am not used to for a single dynamic at this price range these are going for. I have heard some micro HD earphones  that come close but not done quite like the Finder X1. The detail of the phones at times throw out a holographic like imaging that not many earphones can do. These have an enthusiast tuning. Not a consumer one which is very welcomed to my ears.
     
    However this amount of transparency and detail will come at a cost. I can see guys that are sensitive to brighter, cleaner sounding earphones not being a fan of these earphones. These sound best at low to medium volume levels which in the long run is better for your hearing. These will and can sound fatiguing at higher volume levels due to the high levels of clarity and detail they have. The sound field and stage of the earphones extend beyond the small housing these come in.
    800x600px-LL-96d02ea0_headset_2.png
     
    The medium sized sound stage has pure quality to it with good amount of depth to the sounds.  Back ground instruments come in as clear as I have ever heard them with distinction and at the correct position to the vocals. Treble emphasis and extension is one of their strong suits but again I can see guys that are fatigued by treble emphasis not being a fan of these. For me I am a stickler for detail in my treble and these have it in spades. There is not a detail or nuance from your tracks you will not hear on these.  Makes for an energetic sound with supreme attack and speed in the treble. 
     
    I think if I had one reservation about the sound it would be the mids. The mids do take a back seat to the treble emphasis on the Finder X1. (Challenge to the Echobox team.) I don't find the mids to be the weak point of the sound, on the contrary the mids have a neutral clarity that works with this sound signature however a slight increase and fullness in the mid range could in fact make these sound more engaging than they already are. The slight recession in the mid range is off set by the overall clean and clear definition of the mid range bands. I think if you like your mids to be crisp and defined your gonna like how the mids are on the Finder X1.
     
    As clear as the treble and mid bands are it is the bass that made me a huge fan of these earphones. There is some magic on the thin membranes Echobox is using for drivers here. Bass is quick and snappy. Overall I would say tonality is on the brighter side of neutral but when that bass kicks in it will throw a smile on your face. These lean more on accurate bass that digs deep into the soul of the tune as it was intended. Using the black filter the low end warmth off sets the brightness of the treble emphasis. The tight speedy bass end makes quick work of speed metal to the low end rumble of hip hops greatest. There is not a low end note rumble, tone, texture or pitch your gonna miss with the Finder X1 in the bass area. Which again makes me appreciate their ability to do so at the cost these are going for.
     
    In the end.
    A few things that could actually help this particular sound. If your gonna go for an enthusiast signature. Go for an even greater stage and depth using possibly a larger housing/venting design. I know one of the key aspects and why people will like the Finder X1 is in fact due to their smaller housing design. On one hand I applaud the fact how original this design is. Sure it is made of titanium and will last a life time of listening. However with this sound signature you guys are going for I would like to see a follow up with even more stage and depth even if the tuning was exactly the same. I would like to actually see a treble taming filter for next round too for guys that don't like their treble as forward as these emit. The mids could use a bit more separation, fullness and depth. That bass? I wouldn't change a thing.  Keep on keeping on I think for a first time effort from Echobox. These will be a big success.
     
    For the guys that have put in your $79 for a pair. Give these the time they deserve. Try all your sources and tips to find the best sounding Finder X1 for you, and as always happy listening.
      jant71 and 7S Cameron like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Dsnuts
      The filters are basically different density screens on the caps. You can see on the 2nd pic. They screw on tight. No worries about them getting loose. The caps are titanium as well so no worries about the caps messing up on you. They are small however. More danger of loosing them than them actually messing up on the screw part of it.
      Dsnuts, Dec 4, 2015
    3. biggysmalls
      biggysmalls, Dec 7, 2015
    4. masterpfa
      Thanks, got my pair delivered during the week. Haven't taken them out since
      masterpfa, Jan 17, 2016
  5. dweaver
    Bright fun sounding IEM with cool tiny shape and design to match
    Written by dweaver
    Published Nov 29, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Small excellent designed IEM, bright articulate sound
    Cons - Treble may be to bright for some people, has an etched harsh edge to it.
    I would like to thank Echo Box for being asked to review their new IEM. I received the IEM in exchange for my honest review and opinion.

    So let's go through the non music aspects of this cool little IEM first. To start, well is a COOL LITTLE IEM! :wink:. The size and shape is it's most unique aspect. It looks cool in hand and simply disappears in ear. I love its minimalist design and how the cable comes out of the IEM and the manufacturer's clever strain relief system. I worry that the strain relief concept won't work but only time will be able to answer that question. The cable itself feels really good in hand having just the right amount of heft and bounce.

    The included tips work well but may not always feel like they do. When I started out I felt I was struggling to get a good seal and switched to some JVC spiral and Sony hybrid tips which definitely sealed better. But the higher seal actually affected the signature to much. In the end I went back to the included tips because they created the best sound balance for me despite not always feeling like they were as sealed as I like.

    Finally there is the filter system included with the X1. This is about the 5th IEM I have reviewed with such a system. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with these type of IEMs due to the nature of a filter. The best way I can describe filters is that are like a poor EQ system that is prevalent in a lot of portable devices these days. The EQ that doesn't just increase the area being adjusted but affects the sound spectrum around the area being adjusted. Filters similarly affect other aspects of the spectrum often giving them a mixed bag of results. I think the best way to think of filters is that they give a chance to achieve best sound right for each person. I don't find them great for switching around on a regular basis.

    In the end I found the black filters gave me the best signature, followed by the silver, then the red with each filter being increasingly bright and bass subdued.

    There is also the perfunctory clam shell carry case and essential accessories. The packages looks wonderful and is good with the exception of the filter holding system which gets wrecked in order to remove the filters.

    Over all I give the design, look and feel of the IEM and accessories high marks. The product looks and feels very premium.

    Score of 4.5 out 5.

    Before discussing the sonic characteristics of the X1 I think it good to discuss my audio journey to help people understand my preferences so my enthusiasm or lack thereof doesn't inadvertently affect their decision.

    I have vacillated between bass heavy products are more articulate choices. Going from products like the Monster Turbine Copper or Sennheiser GR8 to the opposite extreme such as Etymotic HFx series or the UE900. I loved the detail of the one and the bass and dynamics of the other. In the past year I started using some hybrid IEMs that have the big bass I love along with BA type midrange and treble I also enjoy. My favorite of these IEMs has been the Sony XBA Z5. One side effect of this extended love affair has been getting used to detailed but relaxed or subdued treble especially in the creation of cymbals. Consequently I now struggle listening to sharp or etched treble whether it be BA or dynamic driver created.

    Ok now back to the X1 review.

    When I listen to the X1 I get the distinct impression that Echo Box listened to existing filter IEM’s from companies like RHA and found those offerings distinctly short of the Audiophile standard so set out to correct that problem. Unfortunately for me they went too far in the other direction. Creating an IEM that eschews clarity and articulation at the expense of cohesion and fatigue. The good news is lovers of brighter signatures and Grado or AKG like sound will be ecstatic.

    Out of the box I found X1 bright and lively but within a few hours of use I was starting to find it too fatiguing and unnaturally sharp especially for cymbal production. So I decided to break them in for 3-4 days. To accomplish this I used a combination of contrasting difficult songs and a burn in file I created a few years ago that uses white, pink, and Brown noise along with cymbals and heavy drumming and an enforced 10 minutes of silence to give the headphones a break every once in awhile. I set the volume at a level that I personally find to loud for comfort and then just let the IEMs play. A hundred hours later I tried the IEM again. The end result was a slightly more relaxed signature that was a bit less fatiguing but still too etched and harsh for my tastes.

    Bass - the bass of the X1 is pretty linear with no issues such as a midbass hump but is also not particularly deep in regards to having a lot of sub bass. I find the bass works well for most older rock genres and a lot of jazz. The bass lacks weight for instruments like Cellos and kettle drums as well Double Bass so works OK for Jazz relying on the Double Bass and classical but does not shine for those genres.
    Score 4 out of 5.

    Midrange - the midrange is nice and detailed with no particular emphasis on one area such as upper mids or lower mids so it works well with both male and female vocals. The vocals while detailed feel slightly behind the bass and treble with the treble being the most prominent. Listening to singers like Dianna Krall or Patricia Barber feels like they are not front and center. I get the same feeling with when listening to male singers like Neil Diamond.
    Score 4 out of 5

    Treble - This area is the one most troublesome to me. Cymbals in particular are just too hot for me and have too much sizzle giving them a static like quality which I am not fond of. I also feel there is a bit of grain in this area.
    Score 3.5 out of 5.

    Sound stage and imaging - I am actually surprised as how well the sound stage works since these are so tiny. It is not large but these definitely don't lack In this area compared to other IEM’s. The imaging is even a bit better due largely to the sharp treble.
    Score 3.5 out of 5
    1. dlayman
      In what way did you find the tighter seal provided by your other tips to degrade the sound of the X1?  Most other people who have heard these have commented that the bass is quite strong, while you find it lack impact and extension.  I wonder if this might be due to an incomplete seal with the provided tips, as you mentioned it sometimes felt like you didn't have a good seal.
       
      Have you heard the RHA T-20?  How much more treble do you find the X1 to have compared to the T-20 if using the reference filters on the T-20?
       
      Thanks, and great review.
      dlayman, Nov 30, 2015
    2. dweaver
      The JVC tips accented the bass and treble even more increasing the v shape signature. The hybrids which usually tame unruly treble caused some other sonic issues for me. But i may retry the hybrids again just to be sure.

      I have the T20 and suffers from a small spike in the uppermids and lower treble but is less treble oriented and less v shaped than the X1. In my review I mention RHA but mean their T10 model as it would have been the one on the market when Echobox started to develop the X1.
      dweaver, Dec 1, 2015
    3. dlayman
      Thanks for the response.  It sounds like quite a different signature than the T20's, which I am really digging.  I agree that they do have a bit of a spike in the upper mids / low treble (around 4-5 khz it seems).  They do so much else right that this small deviation from neutrality doesn't bother me.  I've eq'd it out a few times, and the T20 just doesn't sound as magical without it.
       
      But back to the X1.  It was kind of an impulse buy for me, made before any reviews really were out.  The headphone I have that might compare most closely with might be the over ear ATH-M50x, which I rather enjoy.   I'm really looking forward to receiving this, as this will be largely a different signature than  my other gear.  I think the only way that the treble response would bother me is if it resulting in spitting "t"'s or whistling "s"', which it hopefully won't.  I rather like a strong response on cymbals and enjoy following the high-hat tapping rhythm that accompanies a lot of tracks that a lot of headphones and speakers basically miss.  Thanks again.
      dlayman, Dec 1, 2015
  6. H20Fidelity
    Did you Finder X1? I Think We Did!
    Written by H20Fidelity
    Published Nov 23, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Very clear, detailed sound, excellent 'unique' design, use of great materials at affordable pricing.
    Cons - You will need to enjoy brighter sound signatures, lacking some final amounts of mid-range refinement.
     
     
     
           x1coverphoto.jpg
     
     
     
    Head-fi is a relatively active website, opening my web browser there's always new things to discover, fresh products, new companies. It seems the pace things move on a weekly basis makes it difficult to keep up. I was reading my private messages early one morning over a coffee when I discovered an invitation from a new company based in Bellevue, USA. Gilly, one of Head-fi's active members now transformed Echobox Audio inquiring whether I'd be interested in sampling their very first earphone fresh on the portable audio scene, Finder X1 - Titanium earphones.
     
    Echobox formed in 2013, there was about a year prior before engineers and their CEO began working on production concepts. Asking a few questions about Echobox and their long-term goal Gilly responded “Echobox wish to bring awesome, robust, high-quality products made with only premium materials and construction at realistic prices” They're also quite passionate about partnering up with charitable organizations to help spread the bond between creating, learning and enjoying music around the world.
     
    There are many study's which show children who enjoy music early in life become more involved with retaining learning skills and accomplishments. Part of Echobox long-term goal is to create awareness of this and give underprivileged families a chance to rise up! Using music as a 'tool' if you will for learning and retaining skills! (very nice indeed)
     
    Pricing:
     
    The earphone we'll be reviewing today is Finder X1. The retail price is going to come in at $199 USD once the product goes retail. At the moment for some lucky backers you can back the Finder X1 right now on IndieGoGo for just $79 if you're one of the next 200 backers!
     
    IndieGoGo link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/echobox-the-evolution-of-personal-audio#/
     
     
    Head-fi Echobox thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/787831/echobox-audio-live-on-indiegogo
     
     
    Specifications:
     
    1. Housing: Titanium
    2. Transducer:  Polyether Ether Ketone,  (high tensile strength polymer)
    3. Wear Style: In-Ear (no sound pressure)
    4. Frequency Range: 15Hz - 32K Hz
    5. Sensitivity (SPL): 96dB/mW
    6. Impedance 22ohm
    7. THD: < 1%
    8. Cord Length: 1.2 meters (Silver Plated)
    9. Plug: 3.5mm Stereo
     
     
     
    Packaging:
     
    The earphones arrived in quite a classy style of packaging, the front panel of the box shows the Finder X1 in hologram form with a dark Galaxy backdrop and planet set behind them. Box dimensions are 18cmL X 13cmW X6cmH. On the side of the box there's specifications, the Echobox logo and a list of package contents. On the rear of the box is a some eye candy exhibiting Finder X1 as being feather light using bio metal which is non-toxic, hazard free. Seems the guys have done their homework.
     
    They also state Finder x1 is extremely strong, durable and anti-corrosive. I have actually seen a video of Finder X1 titanium housings run over by a 'truck' wheel to test their strength. While you can find that video on YouTube they completely survived the ordeal!
     
    Once you remove the outer sleeve you're greeted by what's similar to a shoe box lid you lift away from the main contents box. Inside neatly presented are the Finder X1 earphones, your filters (for changing the sound) and your selection of tips.
     
    x1boxing1.jpg
     
     
    x1boxing5.jpg
     
     
    x1boxing4.jpg
     
     
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    x1boxing2.jpg
     
     
     
    Build / Design:
     
    As mentioned the Finder X1 housings are made from titanuim and dynamic driver are made from polyether ether ketone, a high tensile strength polymer. Using this material makes the housing super light, super comfortable and it also gives the earphones a specific sound (more on that later), the polished housings are rather miniature in person as well. Areas like the braided cable are extremely soft, flexible with very little microphonics and hardly any memory. The cable is quite impressive, not only to the eye but the materials used are silver plated copper, not all earphones ship with this upgraded wire so its great to see on a stock earphone.
     
    The actual design is quite 'artsy' in that the housings resemble two chess pieces, I will give multiple points for being eye-catching and expressing uniqueness as I've not seen anything quite like the X1 housing shape used before in an IEM. Areas like the Y-Split have been streamlined to keep the weight down, the left / right markings are color coded for each housing at the cable entry, there is a cable cinch present to prevent the cable swinging whilst walking. The gold-plated 3.5mm jack is also considerably small, on this end the strain reliefs are sturdy and to a degree flexible.
     
    x1build5.jpg
     
     
    x1build1.jpg
     
     
    x1build2.jpg
     
     
    x1build4.jpg
     
     
    x1build3.jpg
     
     
    Accessories:
     
    Once you remove the earphones, filters and tips from the upper sleeve insert there's another compartment underneath which contains a pill shape carry case. I will say I had some trouble removing the filters from the packaging, they were buried quite deep inside the inserts and I needed to use a sharp object to prior them away from the cardboard.
     
     
     
    Included in the accessories are:
     
    1. x1 pair of dual flange silicon tips
    2. x1 pair triple flange silicon tips
    3. x3 pairs of Echobox single-flange tips (S/M/L)
    4. x3 Sets of tuning filters
    5. x1 Echobox branded zipper carry case
    6. Warranty Card
    7. Product Manual
     
    x2acessories1.jpg
     
     
    x1acessories2.jpg
     
     
     
     
    If we look closely at the tips they have been specifically manufactured for Echobox, the brand name can clearly be seen imprinted on the side of each tip. This is great thing in my book because really they could have ordered any random tips in bulk though creating your own style and original tip for your earphones show Echobox care about sound, presentation and being individual. The tips are quite soft, flexible and most certainly add to the high comfort levels of Finder X1.
     
    x1tips.jpg
     
     
     
    Fit / Isolation:
     
    One thing apart from sound is Finder X1 have especially high comfort levels. When Echobox declared X1 were light as a feather they seriously weren't joking. Once wearing the housing along with that near memory-less cable you can hardly feel you're wearing anything (really). The way the housing sit in your ear is near one of the best fitting earphones I've tried. The only thing you may encounter is the housing touching your ear may be cool for the first few minutes due to the titanium.
     
    Once you obtain a seal isolation is above average however testing the levels I'm still able to have a conversation with someone when needed. I think the isolation is passable perhaps expect on a busy subway or heavy traffic areas. None the less the levels achieved are enough to take down a fair amount of noise and most ambient noise around you even before any music is playing.
     
    Filter System:
     
    x1filter2.jpg
     
     
    x1filter1.jpg
     
     
     
    Included in the packaging are three sets of tuning filters. These are simply applied using a screw in thread to the nozzles of each ear pieces. Each filter will change the sound allowing three (3) different variations to choose from. The threaded ends on each housing are a little delicate, I would advise to take care when changing between filters. I also had one lock itself on which needed a slight amount of pressure to release it anti-clockwise.
     
    To my understanding the filters are to provide three separate sounds:
     
    1. Bass (Black)
    2. Reference (White)
    3. Treble (Red)
     
    We will speak more about these in the upcoming sound section.
     
     
    Sound Quality:
     
    Sources used:
     
    1. IBasso DX50
    2. Pono Player
    3. iBasso DX90
    4. Hum Pervasion
    5. Colorfly C3
     
    File Format Used:
     
    1. 16/44 FLAC
     
     
    Because this earphone relies on a tuning filter system we can't really give any one single tonality or signature to Finder X1. The beauty of having variety is the sound section will be split into three (3) main sections each allocated by the intended filters. At the end I will provide my personal favorite.
     
     
    Black Filters: (Bass)
     
    The bass is strong, the quantity, texture and impact feels solid, the mids appear slightly thicker than the original reference filters X1 came pre-installed with but the presentation still leans on the 'brighter' side of our tonality spectrum. Slight sibilance which could be found using the reference filter has taken a back seat and that low end manages to keep away from the mid-range still.
     
    The levels of detail retrieval remain similar although the entire presentation sounds more 'solid', slightly thicker. The overall tone and timbre is still on the brighter side which makes X1 sound extremely clear and high in detail for its priceTreble is slightly calmer showing lesser emphasis than the stock (white) reference filter and the soundstage shows a clean amount of width. If I had to choose one filter (so far) I think this one is my favorite, but there's still two more we need to try!
     
     
     
    White Filters: (Reference)
     
    With the white filters installed the sound is neutral to fractionally bright, there's a strong presence in the upper mid-range which allows female vocals to emit strong detail, there's also an admirable level of micro detail coming through with some Kryptic Minds tracks, if not lacking some slight refinement overall. One feature which stands out is the timbre and tone of the polyether ether ketone driver in play with the titanium housing, this compliments a nice atmosphere to the overall sound making the entire presentation quite transparent.
     
    The low end is extremely well textured showing a firm amount of impact, but less quantity than the black filters we tried previously. What's impressive is the way the bass manages to stay away from the mid-range at all times (very well done). I can a detect a little vocal sibilance with a few tracks however nothing too damaging. Moving onto the high end there's a light emphasis into the lower treble which can jump out or come across edgy during some passages and recordings depending on the genre. Areas like separation are still a positive aspect and the earphone is technically competent with all filters.
     
     
     
    Red Filters: (Treble)
     
    Using the red filters X1 becomes quite lean and top heavy, the treble shows a little too much emphasis for my preferences. I think anyone who admires a lot of treble should enjoy this lean type of sound. Other things noticeable are the mids sound quite a bit thinner than the previous two filters.
     
    For me, personally, I can't say I would use this filter much, my preferences already lean for bright / analytical but due to the treble emphasis these take it bit too far. Surely, others may think differently? The soundstage still remains wide and the separation fairly skilled. Just the overall tonality and note weight using these filters is a little thin, a little over the top for me.
     
    My Conclusion on the Filters:
     
    My favorite are the black filters, I feel they add a nice amount of weight to the brighter sounding polyether ether ketone drivers tuning, the bass helps allow some body to the lower / center mid-range, and the treble is set back calmest of the three filters supplied.
     
    If I wanted to go for a really reference type sound I may use the white filters with some acoustic genres or female vocals, though in a whole I'd (personally) be quite happy leaving the black filters on full-time. Overall the housing and driver does provide a certain tone and timbre with all 3 selected filters, the variations may not be completely huge but enough you'll want to pick one over the other.
     
    I think there will be filter for everyone, in saying that you may want to be sure you like a brighter cleaner sounding IEM. For those who want warmth, darker mid-ranges I don't think you will find that from any of the filters. For those who admire clarity, clear and great detail retrieval you'll surely be impressed.
     
     
    x1boxing6.jpg
     
     
     
    Final Conclusion:
     
    I've found Finder X1 to be an extremely competent product, the packaging, the unique design, filter system even down to those custom ear-tips we mentioned show Echobox are taking things seriously. And for a first IEM on the market its going to show a few others (even pros) what someone new on the block can do and that great sound doesn't need to be expensive. If I had to knit pick Finder X1 as a product it would be the levels of refinement and treble need a little tighter posture. While the mid-range remains insanely clear and detailed some of the polyether ether ketone drivers lean tuning creeps out into the top end. While it doesn't bother me in a whole (especially with the black filters) it may be bothersome for some others.
     
    If you can grab Finder X1 for the $79 IndieGoGo price you'll be getting an earphone with fabulous build, design, extremely comfortable and competent sound quality. For that kind money you'd be hard-pressed to find something better out there currently. Whether Finder X1 grabs traction among audio enthusiasts I simply cannot say. The audio world is a strange beast, its the consumers who always decide and although Echobox is new on the scene its going to come down to exactly what the 'people' say once this product reaches the majority's hands. Personally, I really enjoy them!
     
    I've very much enjoyed the Finder X1 sample and wish Gilly (and the entire Echobox team) a lot of luck with their campaign, I hope to see them expand and show us what else they can do in the audio world!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. avitron142
      Great review! I hope I get one :)
      avitron142, Nov 23, 2015
    3. DogMeat
      The cables look really sweet!
      I'm a firm believer in the quality of cables having a major bearing on the sound....these look really nice, they have a good materiels composition, so I have high hopes that the pair I've ordered will be quite nice for an entry level price! Thanks for the review and the introduction of a product that should be a real pleasure to try!
      DogMeat, Dec 1, 2015
    4. eldus
      I was wondering how do these compare to RockJaw's Alfa Genus filter system IEM?
      eldus, Dec 1, 2015