Little Dot Wyn (CU-series) - Reviews
Little Dot Wyn: A woody, which is non-tubey!
Pros: Good fit
Affordable for this sector
Does well in this sector
Competent all-arounder (to me)
A good choice at which to look at this price-point
Love the bass quantity
Cons: Tough competition (even though it competes well)
Slightly behind others in detail retrieval
Separation a bit compressed
Some will not like bass quantity, and there is a bit of bleed into the mids
Little Dot Wyn: A woody, which is non-tubey!



Little Dot website
Cu Wyn: $160


From the website:

Little Dot is giving the new definition for low bass IEMs, for those who enjoy pop, EDM, metal, rock n’ roll, and ACG, this is our gift for you!
Wyn represents Little Dot’s understanding in music, and we refuse to hind behind “classic.” That is the reason why we develop Wyn, in order to satisfy those EDM and pop lovers. Of course, while the development, we made sure Wyn would provide you an excellent listening experience overall, so you are not going to be unsatisfied with Wyn’s mid and high. Wyn (ƿ) represents reward, it also means joy or bliss, and that is what we would like our customers to feel while you are using Wyn, we want to share our joy with you!


Specs:

Tech Spec:

Earpiece Design: In-ear
Driver Type: 5-layers 8mm dynamic, armature
Impedance: 16 +/- 2.4 ohm
Frequency: 20 Hz to 20kHz
Sensitivity: 109 +/- 3db


In The Box:
IEM
4x silicon tips, 3x foam tips
Shirt clip
Plastic round case
Pelican-like case
Two cables: one 6N OFC Copper


Gear Used/Compared:
BQEYZ Spring 2 ($160)
Oriolus Finschi ($170)
Cayin N6 mk2
Shanling M6 Pro
HiBy R3 Pro


Songlist:
Joey Alexander-Warna album and others
Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado
twenty one pilots album, Trench
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Big Head Todd & The Monsters-Beautiful World
Mark Knopfler-Down The Road Wherever




Unboxing:

The Little Dot IEM’s come in a very tasteful slender slick-black package, which clamshell opens from the right. Laden with the logo, and name on the front, there is a fairy not unlike Tinkerbell “anointing” the IEM name. I like it so far.

Opening the box reveals semi-soft foam holding both the round plastic case, and the pelican-like case on the right. The choice of two cases is nice but opting for the larger Pelican-like case won out for me every time. The left side shows the specs as well as an exploded view of the IEM itself, highlighting each model inside. Again, tastefully simple and elegant. This is most definitely a situation that I appreciate where less is more and done well. Having similar case-ology as the Kis & Cu Cen, Little Dot does save on cost, but not at the expense of it being nicely done. This is a well-apportioned set up and includes a good amount of kit for the price. Especially when you realize the Cu Wyn is “cheapest” of the three.

Fit/Finish/Build:

A black all acrylic (resin) shell is made of one piece with a nozzle that is inserted into a well fit shell. A walnut wood faceplate shorn with the Little Dot fairy and Cu Wyn name adorns the back. I do wish the vent hole was not so large. To me it takes away from what is a very nice looking back plate. Finish and build quality are excellent and the included two cables are as well.

Starting with the thin Cu Rad-like cable, I quickly changed to the 6N Oxygen-free copper cable, which I believe goes with the Cen or Kis. Not that the thin cable is bad, but the copper braided cable looks totally boss on the Wyn. With shrink-wrapped plastic sheathing from the y-splitter to the covered 2-pin connector, it exudes quality. The sound of it is quite nice as well, opening up the mids a bit to me. Also included with the models were adaptors including a 3.5 se, 2.5bal and 4.4bal. The Little dot models come with a 3.5bal, so the necessity of an adapter is warranted. I did switch temporarily to the 2.5bal jack and found it too powerful for my listening and review purposes. If this were my unit though, that or the 4.4bal would be my jack of choice. The sound emanating from it was open, airy and vibrant. Almost antithesis of the Wyn character. I mention again that the adapters are rather large and can indeed put pressure on the source jack should an unanticipated “bump” occur so be careful. This could be especially bad with the 2.5bal connector as it is the smallest. That said, I have never had problems, but there is always a first time, and it could be bad.

This is the most “traditional” of the Little Dot offerings, and as such fit nearly flush in my average sized ears. Slight microphonics came from the sheathed upper cable, but not enough to warrant a scolding. I was too busy enjoying the bass from the single DD and single BA for that. I did note a slight disconnect from the 3.5se jack on the input side of the cable. A little finagling of the cables jack fixed the issue, but one would be wise to not switch too much based upon that. Of note is that this was the only Little Dot to adapter to have that problem and switching to one of the others fixed the issue. Differences in tolerance could very well have been the issue.

I continue to be impressed with the build of the Little Dots, and this is no different.



Sound:

Meant again for pop and EDM, bass rules the roost here. I mentioned that the Rad had the deepest reaching bass of the foursome, but the Wyn wins in quantity. The sub bass rumble is quite vibrant and overpowering. The walnut faceplate plays into the vibrant bass sound, giving good reverberation, much like the choice of wood should. Dense, the walnut gives a good backbone to the bass. Since this is their bass model, it holds that would be emphasized. It is, and with a little bleed into the mids. But here that bleed aids in a warmth of sound not had in the others (or as much). Since this is the bass model, it holds that the signature would be on the warmer side. Thankfully there is not compensation up top to make up for that push down low.

While the bass is taut and rumbly it feels fairly controlled as well with little exaggeration, which can be often had as laziness of bass. This aids well in the rumbly sound and keeps it from being overly-slow as well.

While the star is the bass, the mids hold themselves admirably. In softer bass passages, the mids especially vocals and guitars are allowed to shine through but without being shouty. In electric music such as The Farewell Courtyard, this shows itself as the synthesizer plays well along with cymbal claps and the uppers of a synthesized organ. There is no mistaking that the bass is there though, and when it comes on, the mids can fall behind. Again, those who favor EDM might have found a new favorite.

As mentioned, the treble does not become grainy or overly bright to accommodate the bass. Rounded slightly at the top makes for a pleasing (to me) feature where too much would turn this into a very v-shaped mess. Polite would be used well here, and as such those cymbals mentioned in the mid-section come across as subdued. Other percussives come across as crisper but tied to the cymbals makes for a disconnect, I cannot seem to get by. This does not detract for me, as I still appreciate the tuning. Especially since I favor a good bit of rumble (but well controlled).



Soundstage/layering/instrumentation:

With similar width to the other LD’s reviewed, I was appreciative of that expansiveness as it allowed instruments to spread out, countering the forward sub-bass nicely. Added height helped separate the layers as well, but depth was about the same as the others. A nice presentation, but an oddity when compared to the other LD’s. Not in a bad way and meant to counter the bass in a positive way, just different. The three mentioned characteristics worked in concert well here, presenting a sound, which will surely make bassheads and EDM listeners smile as a result.

I will also state that this is the only LD model where fit comes into play even with my favored tip choice. I accidentally yawned during a song and lost the seal from the TinHiFi foam tips. Granted a larger size would overcome this, but I did not have that problem at all with the other three models.

Comparison:

Little Dot Cu Wyn ($170) vs BQEYZ Spring 2 ($160):

As luck would have it, Will also sent his copy of the Spring2 my way as I await mine from BQEYZ. I am a fan of the BQ3 and heard decent things about the Spring. But upon hearing the Spring2, I dug the BQ3’s back out to remember what I liked. The Spring2 are superb example at the sub$200 IEM range. Bass that is present, but not overly so, mids including vocals which are sublime in nature, and a sparkly treble make this an immediate favorite of mine. In fact, I liked it so much, that it accompanied me on my walks paired with the Hiby R3 Pro (don’t tell Will, though…). The Spring is getting some accolades for its tuning and it should. Tuning is excellent and even. Providing an open, airy signature counters the bass-laden Wyn as all but polar opposites.

It is the tuning of such IEM’s as the Spring2 that make me all but forget about the sub-$100 market and the subpar IEM’s mentioned in the Rad review (one specifically). If there is one Achilles though, it would be the brittleness of cymbal crash. Almost artificial in sound, it is a bit too bright for my tastes. But that is easily countered by a good foam tip of choice to me. This that appreciate excellent upper mids will like that push, though.

As I said, polar opposites here at the same price. Details galore, with sumptuous vocal presentation or a bass that makes almost all other blush, you will certainly have a preference here. I won’t decide for you as I really, really like both.

Little Dot Cu Wyn ($170) vs Oriolus Finschi ($170):

An all-time favorite of mine of which I have gushed profusely here, with only a downside of cable microphonics, the Finschi is still my go-to at this price. So much so, that I would love to hear the higher offerings from Oriolus. This is the IEM, which set the tone for me regarding bass quality and quantity at this price. But doing so without hindering the overall tonality including excellent vocals. Compared to the Wyn, the Finschi is a bit bass-light though. I do not consider this a bad thing, since the quality is so good.

Vocal presentation is a bit clearer as a result. Tyler’s voice emanates from deep within my cranial matter but clearly so. Melding perfectly with the highs and lows, the mids are amongst the best I have heard (personally) and a standard bearer since my first listen. Its downfall is an almost too polite signature. It must be driven to be appreciated fully. But when you do, it simply sings. That taut bass makes the lack of comparatively a moot point. Crisp details run roughshod over the Wyn, and I do believe the Wyn has met its match in my mind. Again, if you want bass quantity the Wyn wins. If you want an overall fantastic sound signature you could do much worse than the Finschi. I still hold to that point, personally.



Finale:
Based upon that last comparison you may think the Wyn is not for you. You may be right if you are in want of a better overall signature. But when you factor in the accessories included with the Wyn ranging from two very good cables, to the adapters and tip choice you can modify the signature just enough to make you almost forget its shortfalls. It is the bass star of the LD lineup, and if that is your preference, you would be wise to at least give it a try and a good listen with your favorite songs. I did enjoy it, but the Wyn is not my top choice here. That is but one mands opinion and as such take it as a recommendation to go listen anyway.
I again thank Ian and Little Dot for the review sample. I appreciate the support and the offerings of their fine wares, because they are worth a listen. Even if you go a different route, you should consider them due to the Little Dot history of quality productions. Cheers.

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Little Dot Wyn - Let the Bass drop!
Pros: Sets out to deliver big bass and succeeds, good build quality, great kit.
Cons: Big bass with some bleed and compression in busy passages.


disclaimer: Little dot is opening a US based web site and store and was looking for reviewers on this side of the pond to help promote their product line to the American market. I agreed to do so based on previous experience with Little dot’s CD transport and Amplifiers. Their tube amps have been a mainstay of the budget (and not so budget) headphone enthusiasts recommendations for quite some time, but to my surprise the first thing Little Dot wanted to send was their earphones. I’ll admit, I’ve known of Little Dot for most of 10 years, but never realized they make earphones, let alone four different models thereof. I was sent the 4 models of in-ear by LittleDotUS for purposes of review. I have not received any other renumeration or input from Little Dot on the content of these reviews.

Each model in the Little Dot / CU Audio line is designed with a different target in mind. The Wyn was designed from the ground up with EDM and house music in mind, while the Cen was designed to excel with vocal and choral music. The KIS was designed with the idea of creating the best possible signature regardless of cost, while the Rad was designed a an introduction to Little dot and Audiophile listening at the opposite end of the cost spectrum. Here you will find all four reviewed, but remember the one you are looking at now was designed for enhanced bass performance specifically for EDM and house genres and is tuned as such.

Unboxing / Packaging:
The Wyn shares its packaging style with the Cen and Kis models using the same box and largely the same kit. The box is a book-fold design with the Little Dot name on the face and the CU Audio fairy logo beneath it. Specs are all on the inside of the books cover and not visible on the package exterior so clearly not a stand-alone retail package for western shelves, but all the information is there once you open the package. The kit is all nestled in foam in one of two provided cases. The first is a hockey puck sized round metal case with the CU Aud logo on the top while the second is a pelican style (although not waterproof) snap closure polymer box that is slightly larger and rectangular. The polymer case has about 50% more internal capacity so those wanting to take accessories may prefer it over the smaller metal case which has room for earpieces and cable but little else. The kit that comes with the Wyn is quite complete and has an interesting twist not seen often. There are two cables provided, what I call the travel cable is a lightweight cable with a 3.5mm single ended jack. The 2nd cable is a heavier braided cable with a 3.5mm balanced termination and 2.5 and 4.4mm adapters as well as a converter for 3.5 single ended use. Typically a TRRS 3.5mm jack is seen on cables with mics with a balanced 3.5mm being much less frequently seen. For this reason some care needs to be used when plugging in the Wyn as use of the balanced plug in a single ended device may result in problems for the earphone, the source, or both. The remainder of the kit includes a robust shirt clip and ten (10) different sets of tips including foams and double flange versions in addition to several styles of silicones,




Build/Fit:
The Wyn is the most conventional shaped of the 4 Little Dot models with a resin inner shell and an outer face-plate of walnut. The shape is the now familiar semi-custom shape that approxmates an inverse tear-drop with the bi-pin connector at the upper front and the nozzle exiting near the lowest point with a forward and slightly upward rake. L/R are marked on the inner shell in the space immediately above the nozzles. The nozzles themselves are part of the inner shell and not a separate part as is more common. A pronounced lip aids in tip retention as well. The Wyn has two vents, one in line with the nozzle that passes through the walnut face-plate and a second that sits over the dynamic driver on the center of the inner shell.




Internals:
The Wyn is a hybrid with a 8mm 5-layer dynamic driver dedicated to the lows and an armature handling the mids and highs, the Walnut face-plate was chosen intentionally to pair with the dynamic driver to provide the best low end grunt. Nominal impedance is listed as 16Ω with a sensitivity of 109 dB/mW. This puts the Wyn firmly in the class of in-ears that don’t need a high powered amplifier and I actually found that the Wyn distorts more readily with higher potency amps and is best paired to things like phones , tablets, dongles, or lower powered daps like the Cayin N3.



Cables:
The Wyn shipped with two cables, one lightweight “travel” cable that came in the kit, and a second braided copper cable as an add-on. The travel cable is a single strand in a soft black rubber casing. It starts with a 90º 3.5mm TRS jack (yep you read that right – standard single ended) and has black plastic splitter, chin slider, and hooded .78mm bi-pin connectors. Cable material is listed as 6N oxygen free copper.

The 2nd cable that was also provided with the kit I received is a heavier stranded design. This makes it more durable, but also more prone to microphonics. This cable starts with a straight 3.5mm TRRS jack and uses 90º adapters for 3.5 single-ended, 2.5 and 4.4 balanced connections. Material is still 6N Oxygen free copper in 4 strands from the jack to the splitter, then two strand twists above. A nice touch is those two strand twists are encased in soft clear polymer from the splitter to the earpiece. This material is used to form the earhooks at the top end and protect the cable below that. This makes the cable less likely to tangle and is something I wish more makers would emulate.

It is worth mentioning that the adapters used are capable of putting a lot of pressure on the jack in the source device especially the 2.5mm that concentrates that force into the smallest possible area. So while this arrangement is very versatile, some care is required to be certain pressure is not applied to the adapter accidentally and transferred into the source device.

Overall, I found the cables well made but my preference was definitely for the upgrade cable rather than the travel model. as it gives more options for connections and is of higher quality than the travel option. If this turns out to be an added cost option, I highly recommend it.







Sound:


Bass:
The Wyn has emphasized sub-bass centered around 50Hz before rolling off in the low 30s/upper 20s on one side and before dropping back as you move through the mid-bass. Sub-bass has lots of rumble but the speed of the driver keeps it from getting too loose and monotone. Make no mistake though, this is the focus here and with the Wyn described as “the earphone for bass lovers” we should expect nothing less. While the mid-bass doesn’t share the same level of emphasis as the sub-bass, it is still forward of most of the signature and makes the bass in overall the most dominant feature of the sound landscape. Speed is good in the mid-bass but there is some bleed into the mids and some warmth as a result.

Mids:
The mids soft of plateau at a level just slightly behind the mid-bass before a rise in the upper-mids pushes vocals a bit forward. Lower mids have good detail and fullness but do have a little obstruction due to bass bleed when heavy bass passages arrive. I found guitar to have good tone and enough edge to really growl when needed. True mids have good detail as any obstruction is gone and they are on full display. Male vocals have good texture and tone with female vocals taking advantage of the upper-mid push to stand a bit in front of their lower counterparts. While the upper mids are mildly pushed, the lower treble is not which is a rare tuning.

Treble:
Normally when I write about an upper-mid push forward, this section starts with the words “lower treble continues the climb” but here that is absolutely not the case. Lower treble falls away quickly as we move from the upper-mids and only gains some of that decrease back above 8kHz where they rise again to add back some air at the top end before final roll-off above 14kHz. Overall treble comes across as very polite with no tendency to get overly assertive or bright. This is the warmest of the Little Dot series as a result. Snare rattle is still surprisingly sharp but cymbals do lack a bit of energy and don’t quite arrive at realistic. Still detail is good throughout and I didn’t find myself feeling like the Wyn was particularly closed in or lacked in top end.

Soundstage / Imaging:
The stage on the Wyn is wider than deep with about 20% more width than depth to my ear. Height is good and surprised here. I expected it to be similar to the Rad but it has a good bit more 3 dimensional nature to the stage comparatively. Seating the orchestra is a bit of an odd experience with an earphone designed for hip-hop, but other than a slight tendency for the bass instruments to step forward in the mix, the instrument separation was surprisingly good and the seating arrangement was mostly correct. The Wyn does suffer from compression as tracks get really busy with mid-bass thickening and getting a bit loose at moments. Layering is about average for the class and certainly acceptable considering the target genres. Imaging is solid with positions being well defined and tracking easily followed.

Thoughts / Conclusion:
I’m not a basshead as many will already know. I have often commented that many people now think neutral lacks bass or is too light. This is the earphone for those people. It unabashedly states right on the package that this is a bass first experience. The good news for those of you who have wanted a bit more bass than a standard tuning provides, the Wyn delivers for sure. Bass is the star and it is plentiful and well rendered. For those interested in a warm iem with limited treble due to sensitivity, the Wyn also becomes an accidental option as the upper end is tuned very politely and will not likely be too treble forward for all but the most sensitive listeners. It may not be my favorite tuning, but for EDM I found the Wyn a very pleasant listen and can say that while I cannot suggest this is something I’d ever use for reference, it is a kind of guilty pleasure for when you want a V shape without the fatigue that usually accompanies the top end of the V. Knowing the target was bassheads, I think Little Dot has accomplished their goal quite well and recommend anyone looking for big bass in an in-ear give the Wyn serious consideration.
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