SOUND VALUE: 8.2/10
''Mangird was started by a small handful of young engineers passionate about music and high-resolution audio. Combining their knowledge in electrical engineering and studio performance audio gears, the Mangird team has since produced numerous professional in-ear monitors that have stirred up a global sensation. Some of these include the Xenns UP, which combined the latest driver technology with a powerful tuning, and the Tea, which was beloved for its precise balanced signature. The Mangird team is committed to hand-producing each of their units in small batches to ensure top-of-the-line quality assurance and a bespoke character. Make every song your own with Mangird.''
Personally I haven't try any Mangird products before, but read lot of good things about them. Its unclear if the company name is Xenns or Mangird, and it seem this company don't have official website. So, who know, perhaps it's one of those Linsoul sub-brand, but more official info will be welcome for a company aiming mid tier and high end audio products.
Anyway, this company seem to focus on hybrid and tribrid IEM, and there Tea 1DD+6BA get good praise.
When I know a canadian fellow have a pair of the Xenns UP, i can't hold myself to asking him a loan and thanks to Tone Deaf Monk generosity, today I will be able to review them.
Priced 700$, the Xenn Up are tribrid IEM with 1DD for low, 4BAs for mids and treble and 2EST for upper highs.
Let see in this review if the sound benefit is high enough to worth the asking price.
Since these are loan unit from a friend, I can't comment on packaging nor on cable which wasn't included.
Let's begin by saying those are chunky boi, but due to their organic shape and light resin plastic material, they are comfortable but not meant for deep fit.
All in all, nothing to complaint about construction.
Sure, the bass is boosted here and even add hint of warmth to mid range, but this permit an organic cohesion that bluff the listener thinking he don't listen to a tribrid packed with drivers, i'm mean, if you go into intense critical listening, you might be able to pick up balanced armature timbre, yet the sonion BA are known for excelling in mid range and this is no exception here, the implementation is examplary and all about delivering realist timbre that is appealing to the ears.
So these aren't exactly neutral, nor what I would call basshead even if low end is quite boosted. And yes, apart the bass part, it mostly follow Harman target but not Moondrop way at all, this isn't a Blessing2, it's lusher, bassier and more natural sounding than that. The Xenn Up aren't cold or lean sounding: note weight is there, timbre density have hint of euphonic warmth and treble is snappy with this appealing brilliance that avoid dryness.
I really love the bass presentation of these since we have both mid bass and sub bass boost, balanced way. It's round, weighty, fast and just a hint warm in definition so transition in mid range doesn't feel scooped artificialy. It's a thick and juicy bass that have plenty of slam when calling for, the rumble is vibrant with short resonance so their no unwanted veil since it mix up with low harmonic naturaly. The extension feel elastic and versatile for wide range of impact and instrument, and while the punch have authority it never dominate whole sound spectrum, keeping it's layering quite clean. Sure it's a bit colored in tone, due to timbre that is a bit dark texture wise, but low region doesn't feel detached nor out of timbral balance.
For soul track from Gallant to Muni Long to Pip Millet, the bass had this engaging slam we need while vocal are upfront, letting bass response extend in the back. As said above, the rumble do not create alot of resonance, in fact, it's a bit tamed in natural decay and resonance too, which can be perceive with toms or acoustic kick, this will tend to denfisy the presence and impact weight.
I know a bass response is versatile when it's as good for kick instrument than for cello and contrabass, and we are in this rewarding territory. I adore how cello sound with the Xenn Up, it's not sounding like a violin when it go in lower octaves, as well, their this air vibration that is felt in the instrument body, without an over emphasis of texture that could distract us from pure tone.
When it come to contrabass, Lars Danielsson bass line sound fabulous on it's album Tarantella, the extension is clean and deep, the attack grip is well perceive, the tone and timbre is natural, in fact, even more natural than cello which confirm the Xenn Up are Jazz master that permit well layered bassist, clean open mid range that don't lack weight for piano notes and very fast and precise percussions presentation.
Yes, we are in this rare case of bass quantity meet quality here and saying it's addictive is an understatement.
At first, the mid range isn't what hook the attention the most, then you get immerse in it's richness and understand how capable and full sounding it is. The sonion balanced armature are beautifully implemented here and don't suffer from artificial or thin timbre nor too high pinna gain that can create shoutiness. Perhaps they have been customize, since i feel their hint of warmth to them as if dampened. So we have smooth, clean and detailed mid range, with natural timbre, incredible layering capabilities and good amount of lower mid range to permit good note weight, as well as dense enough male and female vocal. Again, Xenn Up nail versatility in this frequency range and the technical ability become more evident with complex tracks that are busy with sound layers since it's what stand apart here: articulation of all this sound info.
An interesting track that was very problematic with all my IEMs apart Final A8000 is ''Mars&Venus'' from Paul Epworth ''Voyager'' album, the Vince Staples vocal get either mixed up in fuzzy sound layers or too bright due to upper mids lift that try to create fake clarity, but with the Xenn Up, Staples vocal is smooth, natural, non sibilant yet have it's own layer space and is tonaly right, without any mudyness and presentation is both holographic and intimate, engaging and laid back, very impressive.
My benchmark instrument for mid range is the acoustic piano and the Up don't disappoint here, we feel the note weight, the decay is clean but not the longest. We never struggle to follow piano melody even in a crowded orchestra, yet, it doesn't feel force but effortless in it's well centered presentation.
These are transparent mids with class leading layering capacity that benefit all type of music from classical, to jazz to folk, eletronic and everything in between. We can say these are safe too, and a ''Jack of all trades, master of near everything''.
Only instrument that need abrasive attack and very textured presence will perhaps feel a bit too smooth, but this is more about treble section.
If i can nitpick something it will be that vocal and instrument feel a bit lacking in presence wideness, so they aren't presented ''bigger than nature''. As well, while not thin sounding, I don't think it would be lush or thick enough for some mid centric audiophile that like their mids very colored, it's too well balanced for that.
Ok, when we see that an IEM have EST drivers, this make us have wild expectation that often lead to underwhelming result in term of vivacity of treble presence, sparkle and extension. Let say while the highs are more brilliant and snappy than the Kinera URD using similar sonion EST, it doesn't mean the Up deliver a sharp agressive W shape tonality where the upper highs will be over boosted or ultra magnify, nope, in fact, the treble is even a hint dark with the UP. While crisp and well resolve, these aren't analytical IEM, it's too smoothly balanced for that. But this doesn't mean it can't dig lot of micro details, it just mean it's not agressive sounding on top even if ultra highs are quite sharp, snappy and brilliant in edge.
You can discover the EST presence with instrumental folk music, acoustic guitar plucking, harp, clavichord or with percussions, which sound phenomenal in sharp clean presence and crazy fast attack timing and control, in fact percussions part tend to attract our attention alot and amaze us with slightly cleaner and crisper definition, they add spatial cue and sens of much needed openess in Y axis.
You will not miss a single cymbal or hit hat strike with the UP, whatever lightning pace of the tempo.
Yet, even if sparkly, decay cut short, I mean, EST are so speedy that even resonance, sustain and decay are kept to minimal, with this sharp brilliance as a result this urgent highs delivery.
So while mostly smooth, liquid, transparent and gently detailed, the treble do have this spicy upper treble that might create wow effect or less positive distraction depending of listener sensitivity to anything pass 10khz.
What the Xenn Up treble isn't: thick, crunchy and fully boosted as a whole. To the contrary it's gently boosted in presence and a bit thin and dry due to how textured is transparency, but never to the point being displeasant or too cold. It's very well resolve with excellent layering and micro details rendering, these can pick up lot of sound info yet never going over saturated or fuzzy-trebly in resonance or distortion.
And good news, they don't boost background noise of bad recording, making them very versatile for different music genre.
Soundstage isn't the highlight of the Xenn UP, but with right ear tips it sound wide open enougn, just not very deep or tall.
Imaging in the other hand is quite good, thanks to transparent layering and precise treble, we don't struggle to pin point instrument position even if separation space isn't widest.
VS KINERA URD (1 dualDD+1BA+2EST-650$)
URD is darker, more U shape in tonal balance and more open in spatiality. Sub bass is more boosted than the UP, while less punchy in mid bass, so kick drum feel less tamed in dynamic with the Up while it's sub bass doesn't dig as deep, nor warm the mids. URD mid range is smoother, darker and more open, upper mids is softed too while pinna gain is notably more loud with the UP which have a more energic and textured but hint more compressed and intimate mid range. Treble of both these IEM is handle by EST driver but the overall tonality of UP being more energic and W shape, upper treble is more boosted so it deliver more micro details as well as sparkle and snap but the the cost of a less organic and laid back tonality as well as some spatial saturation with sound info. The soundstage is notable bigger, wider and taller with the Urd, center stage being more recessed yet clean, it feel deeper too. Imaging is a bit darker and less sharp and precise in positioning with the Urd. Timbre wise, the Urd is a hint dryer-brighter, less liquid and dense than the URD, violin will sound not as boosted in texture but offer a creamy naturalness that is highly musical as well as non fatiguing, but not perfectly define as more edgy UP presentation. In term of tone and vocal, I do find the URD more appealing since it have more low harmonic that add fullness and less upper mids presence that can overly boost texture, so while male vocal feel a bit thinner and more recessed with the UP, female vocal, especially soprano in loud passage, can feel too fowards and sometime a hitn shouty.
All in all, the Kinera Urd offer a more laid back and bassy U shape tonality with more buttery and smooth mid range and more open spatiality but isn't as well resolve and feel inferior in technical performance. Bass is slower and warmer, mids are fuller but leaner and treble is darker but again smoother, the Xenn Up pack faster more textured punch, brighter more detailed mids and sharper more extended treble.
VS GSAUDIO SE12 (8BA+4EST-1000$)
SE12 is notably brighter and more treble centric, it feel a hint more balanced V shape against balanced W shape of the UP. Why? Because the mids are a bit leaner and more recessed, thinner too than the Up. Bass is all about mid bass punch, its faster and better separated, but not as round and extended than the UP, so we have this fast BA woofer boom with good enough texture but sub bass is more about resonance than well textured presence UP offer. Mids are where i feel the UP is notably fuller sounding, more bodied and wider in presence, but not as clean and open than the thinner brighter mids of the SE12. Vocal are notably more pleasing with the UP, tone is more natural and full, presence is more stretched and enveloping, so overall balance with bass and treble feel more cohesive, less boosted in upper mids and spiky in highs. Treble is the most evident different here and let say its perhaps due to the fact it use 2 more EST driver since its quite analytical and way sharper and more vivid in detailed, near overwhelming with sound info sometime, and percussions can feel a bit too agressive and underline compared to overall warmer macro-resolution of the UP. Yet, this do create intense Wow effect at first, then can induce a treble overdose, unlike the UP which doesn't distract with micro details invasion. Spatiality wise, SE12 feel more open and airy but about same widness, just deeper taller. Imaging is superior, since it's an analytical clarity we have but it's not very realist and percussions cue will be wrong, too fowards.
All in all, SE12 sound notably more technical and vividly crisp than better balanced and fuller sounding Xenn Up. Vocal, tone, timbre is more natural with Xenn Up and tonality is more versatile. SE12 talent is all about treble and boosted clarity, yet, we get fatigue fast of it's clinical musicality.
VS FINAL B3 (2BA-500$)
Ok, this is just for fun so let's say it's impossible to compete technicaly against Xenn Up tribrid with only 2 balanced armature, i'm mean it's evident but I was still surprise to prefer the B3 musicality with certain music. Let's begin by what I prefer: tone and vocal are fuller, and overall dynamic sound less distant and tamed than the UP, the cohesion feel more natural and well rounded too, even warmer. Timbre is thicker, lusher. Bass is notably less clean and controlled, more warm in impact with less clean separation than the UP, its embrace and thicken lower mid range more too, thus this thicker lusher timbre. Yet, this bass fell thicker and more vibrant, but less clean and deep and lean in extension. Their no doubt the UP is more detailed and open sounding this time, it have greater transparency in mid range and more extended and crisp treble. Dual BA show their limitation in busy bassy music especially, where the B3 tend to go way more muddy than the UP. Soundstage is both wider and deeper with the UP and imaging have both better layering and horizontal instrument separation.
All in all, Xenn Up is superior in all regard apart perhaps vocal presence and fullness since their this hint of appealing warmth in them, but the tuning is less versatile and can go plain messy with some music at high volume, unlike the UP.
The Xenn Up are the first IEMs i ever try from Mangird and let say i'm utterly surprise by how talented they are technicaly and how well balanced they are tonaly.
To deliver this kind of smooth, transparent, engaging musicality without loosing cohesion between all these different drivers is a tour de force in it's own.
Sure, sound benefit diminushing return is present, but not as much as the Kinera URD for example, which offer a more colored tonality with darker resolution.
It's easy to love the Xenn Up, but not easy to forget the cozzy immersive musicality it offer, due to the great versatility of it's tonal balance.
Unless your a die hard fan of mid range and want it thick and lush and very fowards, the Xenn Up is a safe sounding IEM that doesn't lack dynamism and will please as much bass fan than high fidelity fans.
Big thumbs UP!
PS: These were loaner unit. I have no obligation to review them and just share my honest impressions with you because i feel like it.
You can buy those at Linsoul for 700$ here (non-aff link):https://www.linsoul.com/products/mangird-xenns-up
I'm guessing the bassy tuning masks some of the midrange.
There also seems to be a lack of treble but this IEM has 4 ESTs? Why tho?