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Smabat ST-10

Rating:
4.33333/5,
  1. LetheFB
    This Bat Sounds Good
    Written by LetheFB
    Published Jul 5, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Subbass Extension and Rumble, Fast and Weighty Bass, Clear Mids, Clarity, Instrument Seperation, Depth of Soundstage
    Cons - Accessories

    INTRODUCTİON


    “Shenzhen Smabat Technology Co.,Ltd is a young and energetic entrepreneurial company” which was formed by the team that has developed Svara models.

    Smabat has three products, namely XT-10(iem), Svara Black (iem) and the only earbud in the productline: ST-10 which i will review as much as i can.

    Thanks for excellent customer service of Smabat and Jim from NiceHCK to make this review possible.

    Smabat ST-10’s retail price is $99 and it can be purchased from NiceHCK Audio Store.

    1.jpg 2.jpg

    Packaging and Accessories


    The Smabat ST-10 comes in a black rectangular box which is housing the logo of Smabat and its website address. When it’s opened, ST-10’s itself and its leatherette carrying pouch welcome us

    3.jpg

    Under the leatherette pouch, ST-10’s cable is replaced. The rest of the accessories are two pair of foams(full foam and donut foam), a pair of vented silicone tips and an owner’s manual. Overall, the packaging and presentation is very nice but there would be a pair of earhooks to get the fit better.

    4.jpg

    Design and Fit

    ST-10 shares the same design of the Svara Pro. The only difference is the position of the MMCX connector. Shell and the material of the Smabat St-10 is different from most of the plasticky earbuds. It has a brushed aluminium outer surface which is housing the company’s name, L/R indicators and the product model number. Overall design is very good and ST-10 looks attractive and premium.

    20190705_204424.jpg

    ST-10 is an earbud which is worn over ear. You can also wear them cable down purchasing an aftermarket cable. The stock cable make it easy to sit the earbud in your ears thanks to its well-shaped memory-wire. Fit is dependable from person to person. To get the most out of ST-10, you should make a couple of trials while music is playing to find the best fit. Fortunately, this is not a case that only applies to ST-10, it’s an earbud lover activity :beyersmile:

    Technical Specifications

    · Drive Unit: 15.4 mm

    · Frequency Range: 10-22000hz

    · Sensivity: 115dB

    · Impedance: 45 Ohm



    Drivability

    Although ST-10 has a relatively low impedance, it needs a little more power to perform it’s best. It’s not a must. ST-10 is an efficient earbud to listen with cellphones and digital audio players but you had better match the ST-10 with powerful sources, stack it with a portable amp or replace its cable with a balanced one and plug it into a balanced out of a DAP.

    IMG_20190629_153918.jpg


    Review Equipments

    Earbuds: Shozy BK (Balanced)

    DAPS,DACS,DAC/AMPS: Sony WM1A, FiiO Q5(with AM3D amp module)

    6.jpg


    Sound Signature

    I have witnessed to positive effect of burn-in and i have written this review after 110 hours of burn-in. I have attached full foams during my listening sessions. Imho, included vented silicone tips affect the sound in a negative way, it smooth out every frequency.

    The Smabat ST-10 is an earbud with a slightly bright tuning which has well extended bass, clear mids and non-piercing but lively treble section.


    BASS

    One of the most outstanding frequency range which impresses most from the first time is the lows. Yes, it is a “love-at-first-rumble” type of earbud, because subbass extension is comparable with, say, Astrotec Lyra Collection which is almost 3 times more expensive than the ST-10. Subbass goes very deep and has decent rumble especially for an earbud. The song “&burn” by Billie Eilish is an good example to witness to ST-10’s low frequency extension abilities (Actually, it is a song that you can almost completely test all capabilities of an earbud/iem etc…).

    Emphasis on the subbass and controlled midbass provide fast and accurate bass presentation. Beside that, kick drum hits have a more than average punch and this makes the ST-10 a very good earbud to enjoy metal music archive. For instance, Nightwish’s Wanderlust or Dark Tranquillity’s Encircled can be listened effortlessly through ST-10.

    Midbass region is behind the subbass region in terms of emphasis, but it has warmth that prevents the ST-10 sounding too thin and adds some body to instruments, like acoustic guitars in the song “Volcano” by Damien Rice.

    MİDS

    As a result of the V Shaped tuning (not completely V-Shaped exactly), mids are placed somewhat behind bass and treble. This is not the end of the world because ST-10’s mids are very clear and effortless. Additionally, their detail retrieval capability is very high and represent good level of clarity.

    High mids are presented more obviously than the low mids. Low mids lacks a little body and in terms of tonality, they are close to neutral(I don’t mean that they are completely lean, they have enough body. I think that engineers chose to tuning the ST-10’s low mids to represent clarity rather than body). In spite of this lack of body, there is no dryness to point out.

    In contrast, electric guitars in Dream Theater’s Bombay Vindaloo or Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Little Wing sound extremely lively and crunchy.

    Female and male vocals have good presence but i want to admit that i love listening female vocals with ST-10. It portraits Norah Jones’ rises well without being sibilant in the song Don’t Know Why.


    TREBLE

    ST-10 has non-fatiguing clear treble section which adds extra clarity and an airy presentation to the whole sound. To my ears, they have good energy(especially hi-hats) and cymbals or hi hats can be easily counted due to fast attack. As you listen, you start to think that engineers spare a special room to the drummers for only hit cymbals, hi-hats and rides. There is no harshness or congestion to worry about. I think that there is an attenuation regarding crush cymbals and this may be done for preventing ear-fatigue. There is no such an attenuation in hi-hats, they sound very energetic and shimmer.

    Treble extension is an another strong point of ST-10. It extends very well and make you feel as if they are endless.

    TECHNİCAL ABİLİTİES

    St-10 is one of the most technically talented earbud i have ever listened up to date. The sounstage is both wide and deep but depth of the stage is more remarkable.

    Instrument seperation is above its price point and along with the successful imaging, you can pinpoint instrument wherever they are. There is very good attack and decay thanks to the cleverly tuned midbass and almost neutral low mids. Pace and rhytm is another successful point that keeps almost all music genres listenable with a good clarity.


    COMPARİSON

    I have a lot of earbuds but none of them is directly rival to the ST-10, considering their sound performance. Comparing the ST-10 with the Shozy BK is not fair, but i think that judging an earbud with only its price tag is completely wrong because there are good earbuds that have a sound above their price and now i will compare one of them with Shozy BK.

    Shozy BK is flagship earbud like ST-10 and both of them have strengths or weaknesses to each other.

    7.jpg

    Shozy BK sounds warmer than ST-10. In terms of subbass depth, ST-10 is an absolute winner thanks to its IEM-like subbass presentation. Shozy BK has also good subbass depth but it lacks extension and rumble compared to the ST-10. By the way, Shozy BK is very successful on delivering lows for an earbud on its own.

    St-10’s midbass is more rigid and rounded. Both of them have controlled midbass that doesn’t tend to mess midrange. Tonality-wise, Shozy BK’s midrange is more thicker, fuller and better in portraiting lushness and emotion, while the Smabat ST-10 is more detailed, thinner and less textured.

    Both of them have pronounced and controlled upper mids but Smabat ST-10 has more crispness that doesn’t lead to fatigue at all. Shozy BK’s vocals have more emotion and sound more intimate than those of Smabat ST-10.

    Treble region of the Smabat ST-10 is more upfront than those of Shozy BK and this keeps ST-10’s sound signature more airy compared to Shozy BK. Both of them present fatigue-free treble response. In terms of shimmer, Shozy BK has softer treble presentation which has less sparkling than that of Smabat ST-10

    As far as soundstage width and depth concerned, Smabat ST-10 is a winner by a large margin. Shozy BK has more intimate soundstage. In terms of pace and rhytm, both of them is very good to enjoy fast genres.


    CONCLUSİON

    ST-10 is the first earbud produced by Smabat and it proves that the company should be followed for the next products. If you want an earbud that has iem-like bass, headphone-like soundstage, clear mids and crisp, airy presentation without any fatigue, Smabat ST-10 will suit all your need. I really really love them, highly recommended.

    Thanks for reading :beerchug:
      Moonstar likes this.
  2. FastAndClean
    "Bass detail"
    Written by FastAndClean
    Published Jul 23, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - High quality bass response, forward upper mids without harshness, ability to take bass EQ, light and comfortable, good build and packaging, good soundstage and positioning
    Cons - lack of fullness in the mids, treble not very extended
    9940764_l.jpg

    source for the review - Sabaj DA3

    Songs used for the review
    Jim Keltner - Improvisation
    Eric Clapton - My father's Eyes
    Nah Youn Sun - My Favorite Things
    Inception - Dream Collapsing
    Steve Strauss - Youngstown
    Stimulus Timbre - Expression
    Diana Krall – Let's Fall in Love
    Trevor Jones - Clear The Tracks!
    The DALI CD - Zhao Cong , Moonlight on Spring River
    Baba-Yaga, for orchestra, Op. 56
    Rebecca Pidgeon - Grandmother
    Sara K - Maritime
    Trevor Jones - Promentory
    Patricia Barber - Regular Pleasures
    Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
    Dire Straits - Your Latest Trick
    Dave Brubeck - Take Five
    Marcin Przybylowicz - Go Back Whence You Came
    James Horner - Going After Newt
    Hans Zimmer - Dream Is Collapsing
    Hans Zimmer - Molossus
    Harry Gregson - Emergency Launch
    Shpongle - Shpongle Spores
    Dizzy Gillespie - Could it Be You
    Dominik Eulberg - Bjorn Borkenkafer
    Trentemoller - The Forest
    Kryptic Minds And Leon Switch - Ocean Blue
    Nirvana - MTV Unplugged In New York (Album)
    Xiomara Laugart - Tears and Rumba (2015) [192-24](Album)
    Xiomara Laugart (2006) Xiomara (24-96)(Album)
    Xiomara Laugart (2010) La Voz (24-88)(Album)
    Jed Palmer - Upgrade (2018)(Album)
    Plug_-_Drum_'N'_Bass_For_Papa-2CD-1997-FLAC(Album)
    Jon Hopkins - Insides (2009)(Album)
    Eric Serra - Lucy (2014) [flac](Album)


    Jim asked me if i want to review the ST10, i saw some reviews praising the bass response.
    That got me very curious because i have OURART ACG and the only weak point was the bass response. So i told Jim to send them in.

    Packaging
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    carrying case, mmcx cable, foam covers and some rubber covers


    Build, fit and comfort
    The build is very good, half plastic half metal build, they are very light but feel solid.
    At the beginning i was not able to get a good fit over the ears but when i changed the cable with another one that has no hooks i was able to do it, over the ears and cable down also.
    The comfort is great, they are very light and comfy.

    Overall sound signature. (i am using them with full foam covers)
    ST10 is neutral with a little bit of a bump in the upper mids.

    Bass
    On some reviews i was reading that the bass is boosted, for me the bass sound neutral in DF target with very good extension for earbud. It goes down to about 40hz and that is a very good result.
    The bass is tight with excellent texture and details, reaching deep with fast hits, that makes them very enjoyable with bassy types of music like DNB and EDM. The bass is very articulate and clean, very unusual for earbud, most of them are trying to cheat with boosted mid and upper bass but not here.
    ST10 can take bass boost without distortions retaining the bass control and texture, the driver inside is very capable.

    Mids
    The mids have some boost in the upper part, the lower midrange sound linear. Male vocals sound clean but not full, the female vocals are forward and clean sounding. I was worried that the midrange will be very aggressive on some bad recordings but it is not. Overall clean midrange performing better with female vocals.

    Treble
    The treble have some sparkle in the lower to middle treble but after that it rolls of, not a lot of upper treble here but is not harsh or overly bright. Overall clean and articulate treble without aggressive peaks but not the airiest out there.

    Soundstage and imaging.
    The soundstage has good width and dept, it is tall also so the shape of the whole soundstage is more like a sphere, the positioning is very good, the driver is very fast and there is no congestion even on complex tracks.

    ST10 VS ACG
    IMG_20190818_170609.jpg

    Bass
    ST10 has deeper bass response, ACG has more mid and upper bass but no sub bass at all.
    ST10 sound more natural and it is better for modern recordings.
    Also ST10 can take bass EQ if you want to have some fun, ACG cant, the driver on ACG is fragile.

    Mids
    ACG has fuller mids and more mids overall, ST10 sound thinner and a little bit in the back compared to ACG.

    Treble
    The treble quantity is similar, ACG sound smoother with a little bit more upper treble.

    Soundstage and imaging.
    ACG has similar stage size but the imaging is better and more distinct.

    Conclusion
    I like them very much for doom and DNB, for vocal music i prefer ACG.

    Have a good one.