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Edifier P220 In-Ear Chrome Design Headphones With Microphone - Blue

  1. Hisoundfi
    A budget option for your smartphone. The Edifier P220 in-ear monitor with universal single button microphone and remote
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Aug 24, 2016
    Pros - Inexpensive, Lightweight and comfortable, Impressive bass performance
    Cons - Cheap build, Sucked out upper midrange, Hazy/splashy treble response, Minimal accessories, Middle of the pack performance for price
    At the time this review was written, the Edifier P220 was listed for sale on Amazon. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
    Why do I still review budget gear? The answer to this is easy. Every now and then you get a diamond in the rough, or something that surprises you with build or sound quality (sometimes both). If I’ve heard a budget earphone that performs well, I will keep the manufacturer on my radar in hopes that their new releases will be something the Head-Fi community needs to know about.
    When Edifier contacted me to see if I could cover their H850, they also asked if I would cover the P220 in-ear monitor. I agreed to do so, and see if these could possibly be the next big budget earphone on Head-Fi. Is the P220 a giant killer? Today we will go over them with a comprehensive review and find out.
    I was given an opportunity to review a free sample of the P220 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Edifier. I would like to take this time to personally thank Edifier for the opportunity to experience and review their earphones.
    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.
    20160407_101355.jpg    20160407_101400.jpg
    The P220 comes in small clear plastic box with a green and black cardboard insert. The product name is featured on the front of the box. The back of the box lists product features in several languages.  
    Specifications and Accessories
    CONNECTOR TYPE: Straight
    DRIVERS: Single 10mm Dynamic
    CABLE LENGTH: 1.3m
    WEIGHT: 0.012kg
    CONNECTOR: 3.5mm
    The P220 housings are made of lightweight molded plastic. They are a bit on the cheap side of the spectrum. The nozzles are wider and shorter than the average in ear monitor. The slightly different shape of the nozzle can make tip rolling a challenge (especially with narrow bored tips).
    The plastic housing has a rounded shape where the nozzle meets the housing. Depending on your ear’s shape, you will most likely be able to get the housing to rest comfortably in the conchas of your ears. A plastic piece extends down from the housing and extends just below lobes of my ears and attached to the cable.
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    The P220 cable is in line with its asking price. It’s a rubber coated 1.3 meter cable that is on the cheaper side of the quality spectrum. It isn’t the most frail thing I’ve come across in this price range, but at the same time it isn’t the most rugged thing I’ve seen either.
    The cable has considerable spring and memory. The Y split is a piece of black plastic (nothing special). The P220 jack is a straight style 3.5 mm four pole plug. The jacketing is the same plastic/rubber material as the Y-split. A detachable chin/neck slider comes attached to the cable and is pretty useless. Any time I tried snugging the cable in place the clasp would fail to hold the cables together. Strain reliefs are adequate but not spectacular. I can see someone who takes care of their stuff getting adequate mileage out of them. In the same breath I can also see someone who abuses their property going through these fairly quickly. The plastic housings and generic cable build doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in them if handled carelessly.  
    A single button remote and microphone is located six inches down from the left ear piece. It is an inline small plastic box with a small oval button. The microphone and remote works well for both Android and Iphone. When talking to friends and family, they reported my voice coming through at a four on a scale from one to five.
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
    The housing shape of the P220 makes it almost necessarily worn cable down. They can be worn over the ear, but when this is done the look and fit is rather awkward (and also less secure). When worn cable down there was considerable microphonics. When worn cable up microphonics were better controlled but still somewhat present. With the right tip and a good seal microphonics were average. I could hear ambient noises when music wasn’t playing, but couldn’t when it was.
    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
    At 24 Ohms, the P220 is geared to be used with a cell phone, but can also be used with a DAP. A high powered desktop rig is overkill and defeats what the P220 is designed for, which is to be a low cost portable earphone option.
    The P220 has a dynamic lower frequency and crisp finish. I found them to pair better with a warmer sounding portable source. A neutral and linear source will further emphasize their crisp upper frequency tuning and make them border on sounding harsh.
    Sound Signature
    To my ears the P220 has a lot of good things going for it. A very dynamic and robust lower frequency response outperforms its asking price. A crisp and slightly unrefined upper frequency range rounds out the sound, making it somewhat V-ish in shape. The overall feel (with a good sealing tip) is aggressive and entertaining. The tuning will work well with most genres.
    Bass on the P220 is forward but packs a very responsive sound. There is equal amounts of punch and rumble. The above measurements indicate that their bass would overwhelm the rest of the tuning, but attack and decay are impressive enough that this doesn’t end up being the case. Bass forward? Yes, kind of. Separate the other frequencies from the equation and focus on the lower frequency performance of the P220 and I can almost guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised.
    In terms of sub bass, when listening to Daft Punk’s “Doin’ it Right” the P220 was able to hit every note and extended to the lowest notes with ease. Tone is consistent and there doesn’t seem to be any frequency the P220 can’t handle. During James Blake’s “Limit to Your Love” the bass throbbed at its needed pace with a nice punch and didn’t break up midrange tones much at all.
    Midbass is definitely forward, but again it is very fast in attack and decay. There are sometimes when midbass tones in bass lines will come on a bit strong, but they don’t bleed or cause midrange chaos. All in all, the P220 has one of the better bass reproductions in the budget price range.
    After a forward midbass presence, there is a roll off into midrange tones. As you listen up to past the lower frequency range things roll off bit. Vocals finish a bit soft, thin, and slightly cold/dry at the same time. The balance between lower frequency ranges and upper midrange tones are a bit wonky and sound slightly unnatural. It isn’t because of lack of resolution, but more how things are tuned. Some would use the words “sucked out mids.” Either there’s too much bass, or we could use more midrange to even out the sound.
    Treble picks up from a subdued upper midrange and has an aggressive edge to it. The forward bass presence takes a perceptual edge off of a tuning that reveals sibilance in recordings. There’s something about the P220 upper frequencies that is almost “hissy” sounding to my ears. Pronunciations of the letters S and SH have a glare that doesn’t vibe well with the soft finish of vocals and upper midrange instruments. It isn’t horrible, but it prevents me from saying that it sounds superior to earphones in its price range.
    Soundstage and Imaging
    Soundstage is somewhat intimate. The recessed midrange makes vocals take a back seat. Because of this imaging is somewhat skewed.
    Mee Audio M9 Classic ($10 USD on many sites)
    The M9 Classic was the first review I ever did. They are a budget earphone that offers a great return for your dollar.
    Comparing the two, both earphones have a colder than average upper frequency response. The Edifier gets an advantage for having a more responsive bass and midbass presentation. Midrange goes to the M9 for having a slightly more forward midrange presence, making vocals seem more forward and natural. The P220 gets my vote for treble, although both earphones have some “crispy” highs. The P220 may have a better soundstage depending on how your hear it, but the M9 has a better sense of imaging thanks to a better balance between all frequencies
    Build quality goes to the M9 classic for having a aluminum housing as compared to the plastic shell of the P220. Accessories also goes to the M9 for offering a few more sets of tips.

    KZ ED9 (Brass Filters) ($10 to $20 USD on many sites)
    In my book, the ED9 is one of the best budget earphones on the planet. I’ve had guys who own summit fi gear listen to these things and walk away impressed. I like to do the “KZ test” and have them listen to them and then ask how much they think they cost. The answer I get most often is anywhere from fifty to one hundred dollars. When I tell them they go for as low as ten dollars, most people can’t believe it.
    Comparing the two, I give an edge to the P220 for having a more responsive bass presence. Other than that the ED9 gets the edge in every other aspect of sound. There’s a refinement and balance that the ED9 has that the P220 can’t touch.
    Build quality and accessories goes to the ED9. Their metal housings and tuning filters make them a competitive package even at prices higher than what they sell for.
    I went into this review wanting to see if Edifier could produce a budget gem that trumps everything in its price range. At the end I will say that they are a solid middle of the pack performer that won’t leave you feeling like you wasted your money if you bought a pair.
    The P220 has positives and negatives that balance out to them being a decent buy. On one hand their build is on the cheaper side of things (and in line with their asking price), come with nothing more than a single set of tips, and their “sucked out midrange” prevents me from being able to fully enjoy them. On the other hand they have some butt-kicking bass performance that is good at any price range. With an EQ adjustment to raise the mids (or lower bass and treble) their sound is pretty nice! The fit is comfortable and the lightweight plastic housings make for comfortable long listening sessions.
    When rating this product, I have to take all criteria into account. I give these earphones two and a half stars for build quality, three and a half stars for sound, two stars for accessories, and four stars for comfort. All in all, I give the P220 a cumulative score of three stars. They are a middle of the pack performer that makes a decent pair of on-the-go beaters.
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!