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PMV A-01 MK2

Rating:
5/5,
Tags:
  1. TheWongWrong
    Deserves more recognition
    Written by TheWongWrong
    Published Sep 17, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - -Vocals
    -Separation
    -Imaging
    -Accessories
    Cons - Materials aren't that great.


    I'd like to first say I'm not very experienced with audio, so make of it what you will.

    First off there are a few changes made to the product compared to the previous version which I don't think anyone else has mentioned, which I think is important for anyone interested in buying it just as a heads up if you see pictures of the older version so you know what you will and won't be getting with this new version.

    The bottom half of the cable leading to the 3.5mm jack has now changed to a bare cable without the cloth sleeving, which is a bit disappointing for me, as I do love myself a good braided cloth cable.

    The 3.5mm plug itself is now an L shaped plug which is a lot smaller and compact than the previous straight plug. Thumbs up for that!

    Next is the housing. The CNC backplate is now sold in black, which makes it look very discreet and does not grab attention, if that's your thing. I personally don't mind. The other half the housing remains the same but maybe just a little less transparent, when I compare it to photos of the previous version. This again, I personally don't mind at all.


    I find these to be very tip sensitive, if using a wide bore tip they can actually get quite dry and sibilant. Using the stock large single flange tips I was able to get a nice, slightly warm tonal balance, while still getting all the detail in the highs. The double flange tips were hard to get a seal with. YMMV.

    (All my impressions will be based on using it with my phone and the stock single flange large tips.)

    Now for the sound.

    -Bass:

    Bass on these are nice and controlled, with decent quantity. Impact is strong and quick, making it feel quite lively. Overall bass is slightly elevated but not bloated and quite precise without leaking into the mids.

    Again, getting a good seal is important to bring out all the bass, as you might not get a good seal with your first try.

    Not bass monsters by any means, but it's definitely enough for most genres.

    -Mids:

    Mids are gorgeous. You wouldn't think something that looks so discreet to have such luscious mids. The slightly warm tonality gives it a natural, soulful sound, without being muddy or boring.

    Vocals sound clear, crisp and slightly forward, but it doesn't overshadow other parts of the music, allowing things like electric guitars to come to the fore front when called upon.

    Female vocals are really great, it can sound seductive, or light and floaty depending on the singer, as if she's singing right in front of you. Male vocals on the other hand have a nice body and weight to it, sounding very real and natural, as do acoustic guitars, which also sound natural, as well as crisp and smooth. Strings sound grand and have a real presence to it. These are mids that just resonate through your soul, and comfort you like grandma's home cooking. Without a doubt the best part about these phones.

    Yet again, use the right tips, or they might sound a little too forward and end up being slightly fatiguing.

    -Highs:

    Not that much to say about the highs. The two BAs are definitely helping when the highs get busy, as they never sound congested and remain detailed. Cymbals and snare drums sound crisp and well reproduced without sounding sibilant or painful, but he sibilance that does occur is present in 'S' noises, especially with female vocals. YET AGAIN, this was because I was using the wrong set of tips, almost calling them dissapointing. It really is a massive difference with a wide bore and narrow bore as the sibilance was mostly eliminated using the narrow bore but when using the wide bore tips the highs and mids both sounded dry.

    -Build:

    Build is kinda meh, the CNC backplate is pretty neat but mine did come with a small scratch on one side. Cable does not tangle or hold any memory and is flexible and soft without feeling fragile. It has pretty good strain relieves too. I'm a clumsy ****, so I do hope I don't yank these into two one day. Maybe that'll be the day for a removable cable mod, who knows(wish they already did have a removable cable though). Overall they feel solid, enough.

    Here are all the accessories included:



    And a sturdy hard case:




    -Ergonomics and comfort:

    Fit is great regardless of tip, they don't fall out or move around much, but getting a good seal does require a bit of tip rolling though. Once in the ear they don't feel heavy and the rounded housing creates no pressure point, comfort is a thumbs up. You could wear them for as long as you want, which is great, since you do want to enjoy the sound these things produce.

    -Isolation:

    Well, average, I guess. Though, with the volume turned up you'd still get run over if you're not paying attention. They don't leak sound though, provided a reasonable volume. So you can use these in a quite environment.

    -Soundstage and imaging:

    The soundstage isn't very wide, but there's a decent sense of width and depth when called upon. Imaging is much better, positional audio is very accurate and you can hear just as much detail wherever it is coming from. The experience is immersive, vocals sound intimate, but music doesn't sound like it's being played from a box inside your brain either.

    -Other remarks:

    Well they are really sensitive, and can go up to very high volumes of a weak source, but floor noise is pretty bad though, especially if your source is also pretty sensitive you will hear quite a bit of noise in the background. Recommend using a DAP or whatever other standalone music player for it.

    I think these are great for the price, and would recommend this to anyone that are looking for great vocals and separation.
  2. mark2410
    PMV A-01 MKII Earphone Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published Aug 11, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - They are incredible to the point of incredulity. Stupidly dirt cheap.
    Cons - They are a bit warm flavoured. They are a little too bassy.
    PMV A-01 MKII Earphone Quick Review by mark2410
     
    Thanks to PMV and their distributor, Penon Audio for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/816957/pmv-a-01-mkii-earphone-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  Burn the witch!!!
     
    Price:  US$79 or about £61
     
    Specifications:  Speaker Impedance: 16Ω, Sensitivity: 100±3Db, Distortion: <3%(1KHz 1mw), Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz, Maximum power: 10Mw, Cable material: Silver plated oxygen-free copper, Length: 1.3m, Plug: 3.5mm (gold plated)
     
    Accessories:  PMV A-01 MKII Earphone, 6 pairs of Silicone Eartips(S/M/L), 2 pairs of foam eatips, 1 pair Double-flange eartips, 1 pair Earhook, Carrying Case.
     
    Build Quality:  For me they are outstanding.  The buds, the cable.  Considerably better than you would expect.
     
    Isolation:  Rather good.  These are among the top level for dynamics.  I’d be fine using these out and about, on buses etc etc.  Tube and flights, well they would sort of ish do.  Naturally enough to get yourself run over if you aren’t keeping an eye out for traffic.
     
    Comfort/FI:  Great.  They do sit relatively shallow but that’s the only thing of note.  In they went and done.
     
    Aesthetics:  They look alright. The outer is the same as the v1 but the inner half of the buds are a dark translucent plastic so you can see bits inside.  They look really nice on the inner half, the outer, well yeah they look fine.
     
    Sound:  Wow.  These are so good and so cheap that I cannot escape the feeling I must be making a mistake.  That old adage too good to be true, these are so cheap that they cannot possibly be true.  They just cannot get a triple drivered IEM this nicely built and this good sounding in at this price, you just can’t.  Sorcery, witchcraft I say, PMV must have a pact with the devil, pitch forks and torches at the ready everyone!!!  Joking aside, I really cannot escape the feeling that these are too good to be true.  Their bass is bigish, rounded, warm, with very nice depth and though a touch slow is more than nimble and fast enough.  The mids are a touch warmed too but BA clean and forthright. The clarity more than covers the warm flavouring they’ve applied.  Not the best mids ever but good god for the price they have so much detain and nuance.  Highs, perhaps a little sedate for some, I like it.  It’s my favoured, warmed, tamed, only a tiny bit of an edge but with a goodly shimmery decay.  It’s so refined and of such a quality you will want to feed these nicely.  Good bit rates, good source etc etc.  The overall presentation is a little bit bass slanted a W so it’s not going to be perfect for everyone, I mean that bass is a bit over abundant and ever present for me but, *** they cost US$80.  How?!?!?!?  If when the worst I can say acoustically is they a bit too bassy and a touch over fond of instrument separation it’s not exactly damning is it.  These are good in a way you think a product double this price might be, not this.
     
    Value:  I would be flabbergasted if anyone bought a pair of these and was not just not happy but is anything other than floored by them.  They feel too good to be true.
     
    Pro’s:  They are incredible to the point of incredulity.  Stupidly dirt cheap.
     
    Con’s:  They are a bit warm flavoured.  They are a little too bassy.
    1. tripside
      @mark2410 How do these sound compared to something like Yamaha EPH-100 or Trinity Vyrus?
      tripside, Sep 17, 2016
  3. peter123
    A great IEM just got even better MK2!
    Written by peter123
    Published Aug 9, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound quality, build quality, value for money, comfort
    Cons - No chin slider
    The PMV A-01 MK2 was sent to me from PMV by the help on Penon Audio. Thank you to both for let me try them out.
     
    The price at the time of this review was $79.
      
    The PMV A-1 MK2 is available from the Penon Audio website:
     
    http://penonaudio.com/PMV-A-01
     
    I’m not in any way affiliated with PMV or Penon Audio.
     
    IMG_3923.jpg IMG_3924.jpg
     
     
    IMG_3925.jpg IMG_3926.jpg
     
     
    About me:
    I’m a 43 year old music and sound lover that changed my focus from speakers to headphones and IEM’s about five years ago. At that time I realized that it wasn’t realistic for me to have all the different setups that I wanted and still house a family of four children and a wife so my interest turned first to full sized headphones and later also IEM’s.
     
    My preferences are towards full sized open headphones and I believe that also says something about what kind of sound signature I prefer (large soundstage in all directions, balanced and organic sound).
     
    My music preferences are pretty much all over the place (only excluding classical music, jazz and really heavy metal). My all-time favorite band is Depeche Mode although I also listen to a lot of grunge/indie, singer/songwriter/acoustical stuff as well as the typical top 40 music.
     
    I do not use EQ, ever.
     
    I tend to value function over form within reasonable limits.
     
    I’m a sucker for value for money on most things in life Head-Fi related stuff is no exception.
     
    Built and accessories:
    The PMV A-01 MK2 is a triple hybrid IEM featuring a 10mm dynamic driver and a double BA driver. They’re available in one flavor only as far as I’m aware.
     
    As the name suggest the PMV A-01 MK2 is the new version of the original A-01 that was an excellent sub $100 hybrid in my opinion. Although the upgrades made are not huge and most of build and fir is still identical there’s certainly some changes made.
     
    I’ve reviewed the original PMV A-01 earlier and a lot will be similar in the two reviews. For those who would like to read my review of the first version it’s available here:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/pmv-a-01-hybrid-in-ear-monitor/reviews/15876
     
    Given my great experience with the first version I was thrilled to get the opportunity to check out the new one as well, so lets find out more about differences and similarities.
     
    The cable is two parted with a clothed part below the Y-split and more normal rubber above it. The clothed part is quite thick and I’d have preferred a thinner solution. The upper rubber part of the cable seems to tangle a bit more than average. There’s no chin slider, which is a must for me with over ear fit, so I made my own one.  The 3.5 mm connector is straight which I personally don’t like so an angled one would have been more appreciated. That being said the connector is very sturdy and thicker than normal. Strain reliefs are in place in the right places and the Y-split is solid. The strain relief on the MK2 is changed from the original version as feel even more durable now.
     
    The build in general seem solid. The back plate of the housings is metal while the front is plastic but they still feel sturdy and reliable.
     
    The L/R marking is white on silver and I’d have preferred the marking to be easier to see but on the other hand the design makes them fit correct one way only so it’s not a big deal.
     
    The retail package has also changed from the original version and the new one is a lot smaller while still being quite nice and about average for the price point.
     
    IMG_3604.jpg IMG_3923.jpg
    Old large package vs new small one
    IMG_3977.jpg IMG_3986.jpg
    Old to the left and new to the right in both pictures
    IMG_3979.jpg
    Old on top, new below
     
    The accessories pack is pretty standard and I’ve seen both less and more stuff included at this price point. This is what’s included:
     
    6 pairs of silicone tip (S/M/L)
    2 pairs of foam tips
    1 pair of double flange tips
    1 pair of earhooks
    1 shirt clip
    1 zippered storage pouch
     
    The PMV A-01 MK2 is quite easy to drive and worked very well with all the sources I’ve tried it with including cellphones. They’re actually a bit easier to drive than the first release but no dramatic difference.
     
    IMG_3927.jpg IMG_3928.jpg
     
    IMG_3931.jpg IMG_3936.jpg
     
    IMG_3939.jpg IMG_3940.jpg
     
    IMG_3943.jpg IMG_3946.jpg
     
    The specs:
    Housing
    Plastic
    Driver Unit
    10 mm Dynamic + 2 BA
    Frequenzy range
    20Hz-20KHz
    Sensitivity
    100dB
    Impedance
    16 Ohms
    Weight
    5 g
    Cable lenght
    1,3 m

     
    Fit and ergonomics:
    I find the PMV A-01 MK2’s to be very comfortable and got no problem wearing them for several hours. They are over ear only wearing style and they sit quite flush to the ear so I’ve got no problem using them when going to sleep. They’re also very light and I don’t get any “hot-spots” when wearing them for longer time.
     
    The short stem made finding the right tips quite challenging for me on the first version and although it has the same length on the new one there’s a change in the design and I find it easier to get the right fit with the MK2’s. While the original version had no “lip” at the end of the stem which made it troublesome when hunting for the right tips and I got multiple tips left in my ears when pulling the IEM’s out with them the MK2 now has the “lip” in place and the tips stays properly in place all the time with them. The bass port is located on the inside of the housings which means that you ear anatomy will have an impact on how much bass impact you get. Although the bass port is still located in the same place the easier fitment with the MK2’s makes the sound much more consistent with the new version, or at least it’s easier to avoind them sounding too thin. I can’t really say why this happens but going back and forth between the two this is obvious, at least with my ears.
     
    The included double flange tips work great for me with the MK2 and that’s what I’ve been using during this review.
     
    Isolation is below average but still ok with double flange tips and music playing.
     
    Sound:
    I’ve used them in my rotation for the last couple of weeks and they’ve played for well over 100 hours. I’ve used them both around the house and when out and about and I haven’t really found any significant weaknesses in the way they’re designed.
     
    I’ve mainly used them with my LG G3 phone as well as the Audinst HUD-DX1and my FiiO X3/Cayin C5 combo and although they’ve worked well with all sources I’ve tried them with. While I enjoyed the first version the most with a source that’s warm and smooth the MK2’s sounds great with all sources.
     
    As already mentioned this review is made with the stock double flange tips on them.
     
    Demo list:
    Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia
    Røyksopp (Feat.Susanne Sundfør) – Save Me
    Ane Brun – These Days
    Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
    Metallica – Die Die My Darling
    The Peter Malick Group – Immigrant
    Eva Cassidy – Songbird
    Thomas Dybdahl – A Lovestory
    Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
    Celldweller – Unshakeable
    Jack Johnson – Better Together
    Seinabo Sey – Younger (Kygo remix)
    Dire Straits- So Far Away
    Tracy Chapman – Baby can I hold you
    Lupe Fiasco - Deliver
    Morrissey – Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
    Adele - Hello
     
    The overall sound signature on the PMV A-01 MK2 is well balanced with great clarity, a good mid bass impact and speed as well as a nice 3D presentation and excellent resolution.
     
    The sub-bass extension is good but not great and impact is also good. Mid-bass presence is also good with good speed and control that gives a clean and clear presentation without any bass-bleed worth mentioning. Total bass is definitely enough to give the necessary drive to electronic- and pop music without going overboard.
     
    The midrange is well in line with the rest of the frequencies, maybe even ever so slightly forward. Male voices have enough weight to feel full and natural and female vocals sounds even better with good help from the excellent clarity and effortless presentation from the PMV’s. This is, just like with the original version, one of the better reproduction of female vocals and also acoustic guitars I’ve heard in a sub $100 IEM.  
     
    The treble is well extended with good detail and never feels harsh to my ears but rather delicate and accurate.
     
    Clarity and micro details are well above average for an IEM at this price point. The combination of this amount of clarity and smooth presentation is not something I’ve experienced with many (if any) sub $100 IEM’s.   Soundstage width is good and depth, which was not quite on par with the width on the original version, is the biggest difference between the two and 3D feeling as well as timbre to the notes is now very good on them.  Resolution, on both the original and upgraded version, is probably the best I’ve come across so far in a sub $100 offering.
     
    Comparison:
    Please note that the comments in the comparison section are not in absolute terms but in comparison between subject A and B. This means (as an example) that if subject A is found to be brighter than subject B it does not necessarily mean that subject A is bright sounding in absolute terms. I hope this makes sense.
     
    These comparisons were done listening through the FiiO X3/iBasso D14 combo.
     
    PMV A-01 vs PMV A-01 MK2
    Sub-bass have quite similar extension on both while the impact is quite a bit more noticableon the MK2. The MK2’s has more mid bass presence though, giving them a touch more warmth through the whole frequency range. The mid-bass on the original version are actually a touch tighter and better for my preference.  The midrange is very similar on both with the difference that it’s slightly fuller and warmer on the MK2.  Soundstage width is quite similar with maybe a slight advantage to the original version while the MK2’s have better 3D imaging and timbre to the notes due to being a bit more on the warm side. Treble has similar extension and clarity on both but the MK2 is a bit fuller here as well. The difference between these two are not very big and although I prefer the bass on the first version by a slight margin the overall presentation with a bit more warmth is better on the MK2’s in my opinion. The first version could get a bit too thin in the upper midrange on some recordings and this is not the case with the MK2’s. Not a big difference but a welcome one.
     
    I find both of these very comfortable.
     
    The MK2’s are a bit easier to drive.
     
    Isolation is identical on them.
     
    LZ-A2S vs PMV A-01 MK2:
    Compared to the MK2’s the LZ-A2S have slightly less sub-bass extension and impact. The A2S got more impact in the mid- and upper bass. The MK2’s on the other hand has faster bass response and less bloom. The MK2’s also have a slightly more forward midrange and more natural sounding female vocals while male vocals are equally good on both.  The treble rolls off a bit early on the A2S while the PMV’s have very good extension. The treble is full, warm and non-fatiguing on both of them but even more so on the A2S’s while the PMV’s have better detail. The PMV also have a wider soundstage, better clarity and a higher resolution while the A2S is more intimate and smoother.
     
    I find them both equally comfortable but the A2S, being straight barrel, will probably be more easy to take in and out of the ears for most people.
     
    Build in general feels equally good on both.
     
    The A2S is slightly harder to drive.
     
    Isolation is slightly better on the LZ-A2S.
     
    TFZ SERIES 5 vs PMV A-01 MK2:
    Compared to the MK2 the TFZ 5 has more bass presence.  Sub-bass extension is better and impact is higher with the TFZ 5’s and they’ve also got quite a bit more mid- and upper bass presence. Compared to the fast, hard and detailed bass response on the PMV’s the bass on the TFZ5’s sounds a bit loose and muddy. The midrange on the MK2’s is more forward and has better clarity.  Male vocals sound great with both of them while female voices sound a bit more natural on the PMV’s. The treble is quite full on both but the extension is slightly better on the PMV’s while the TFZ’s slightly smoother. The PMV’s has better clarity, micro details and overall resolution. The PMV’s also have a bit better soundstage width while depth and 3D presentation is slightly better on the TFZ’s
     
    I find the PMV’s to be more comfortable and they also sit much flusher to my ears.
     
    Build quality feel equally good on both.
     
    The TFZ’s are slightly harder to drive.
     
    Isolation is similar on both.
     
    Summary:
    The PMV A-01 was a great introduction to hybrids at an affordable price. The MK2 version does improve even further on it. Although the mid-bass on the original version is ever so slightly better to me I’ve got no doubt that the MK2 is the better IEM. It sports better build quality (better strain reliefs and “lip” on the stem to keep the tips safely in place) as well as a better 3D presentation and a slightly warmer and more enjoyable sound. In total the MK2 fixes pretty much the few negatives I had on my list from the first version.
     
    The PMV A-01 MK2 is indeed an excellent offering that will be an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a fairly well balanced a non-fatiguing pair of IEM’s with very good vocal reproduction and the best resolution I’ve heard so far in the $100 segment.
     
    IMG_3945.jpg
      jant71, Pastapipo, ozkan and 7 others like this.
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    2. peter123
      Thanks for the support guys!
      peter123, Aug 11, 2016
    3. Edric Raguindin
      How does this compare to the Titan 1?
      Edric Raguindin, Oct 12, 2016
    4. NymPHONOmaniac
      Hi there, I buy these from my hard earned money and like them, will perhaps review them too cause I feel they are on the bright side and you don't seem to feel this way...what music player or audio source you use for the review if I may ask? With the Ibasso DX90 they sound way too harsh, with the Xduoo X3 it is more warm but far from delicate or easy listening, I consider these as a intense experience every time I use them, especially at high volume, wich is why I love them, it sound very special and exciting cause of 3d presentation and ultra HD details...
      NymPHONOmaniac, Apr 23, 2017