I'll admit that I was a skeptic at first. My go to universals for the last 4 months have been the GR07 BEs. They hit way above their price point so I haven't really been looking for an upgrade. A few weeks ago I came into a pair of Sony MDR 7550s which were traded for the H200s more out of boredom than interest. Well, the H200s surprised me.
I've been A/Bing them against the BEs for the last week and the T Peos have finally won out. Even though their soundstage is pretty minimal, the payoff in clarity and SQ is more than enough to make up for it.
Here's the rundown:
Treble: Very detailed (think TF10), a touch rolled off at the extremes, prone to mild sibilance, but this is related more to tip choice and source quality.
Mids: Very smooth and upfront. Not Grado upfront, but not as recessed as most V-shaped sigs. Very fun.
Bass: Nice mid bass and a medium extension. Sub bass is present, more felt than heard. Once again, very fun and versatile.
The only qualms I have about these guys are the occasional driver flex, smallish soundstage, and microphonics. Hopefully an upgraded cable will help with microphonics and soundstage.
Here's to being pleasantly suprised!
EDIT: The price of 0 I paid was because they were traded.
Cons - Coherence issues, Treble peak, Deep null at 6.5KHz
I'd to thank the folks at T-PEOS for sending me a sample of the H200 for review.
The promise of the hybrid earphone is to offer a best of “both worlds” solution between the two most common types of earphone transducers, dynamic (moving coil) drivers and balanced armatures, offering the clarity and precision of balanced armatures with the natural resonance and, well, dynamic bass a dynamic driver can provide. One of the earliest consumer hybrids was the Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 EB, an earphone that, while not without its faults, was proof that the concept could work in practice. Fast forward a few years and now there are a number of hybrid earphones on the market including AKG’s $1300 K3003, Aurisonics ASG-1, ASG2 and the AudioFly AF78.
What I have here is the first hybrid I’ve ever had the chance to test, the T-PEOS H200, the second hybrid earphone in the company’s lineup and its current flagship. Being the first hybrid earphone I’ve had the opportunity to test, the T-PEOS H200 has the honor of being my reference point for hybrid IEMs, the standard by which I judge others, should I get to test them down the road.
So, does the T-PEOS H200 provide a fine reference point or will the promise of the hybrid earphone be unfulfilled? Read on to find out.
Accessories: The T-PEOS H200 ships with six pairs of silicone eartips in various sizes, 3 pairs of wide bore translucent grey tips and 3 pairs of Sony hybrid-esque narrow bore tips. There is also one pair of red foam tips, a leather carrying case, a ¼ inch adapter and two pairs of detachable cables, one black fabric covered with a microphone and one button remote and the other is a standard, red audio only cable.
Design and Build Quality: The H200 is comprised of metal and plastic shells that are both large and solidly built. The removable cables are a boon for durability, as one can simply replace the cable should it develop problems and the cables themselves seem well engineered and designed. Overall, I can’t imagine many will have a problem with the H200 in terms of long term durability because they’re built like tanks.
Comfort: While the housings themselves could potentially have posed an issue for those with smaller ears on their own, the oblong plastic ring near the front of the IEM also presents its own issues as far as fit is concerned. I will say that, at least for me, the ring didn’t pose an issue and I was able to get a comfortable fit with the H200.
I can only hazard a guess as to why the IEM was designed in such a way but it may have to do with the fact that the H200 sounds best with a shallow insertion and the plastic ring is in place to ensure that users don’t (or can’t) insert it too deeply in order for it to sound its best. But of course, I can only speculate.
Isolation: Isolation was decent with shallow insertion.
Microphonics: Because these can’t be worn over the ear, microphonics are an issue, and I wouldn’t advise wearing these while active (running, exercise, etc.) because they carry a fair amount of cable noise.
Burn in: The T-PEOS H200 was given upwards of 50 hours of burn in prior to review. No significant changes were detected.
The idea of a hybrid earphone has always appealed to me in some way. Ever since trying the Rock-It Sounds R-50 and being impressed with the capabilities of a well-tuned dual balanced armature array, I’ve thought that the R-50 could’ve been improved on if it had more present and natural bass. That’s where the dynamic driver of the T-PEOS H200 comes in, taking on the job of rendering low bass and leaving the dual balanced armatures to handle everything else.
What we have in the H200 is a low end that’s natural and authoritative but never excessive. While I wouldn’t say this is the be-all-end-all for die-hard bassheads, the H200 has a nice, detailed and extended low end that manages to be immensely fun and accurate. Bass is tight and controlled and sub bass texture and overall linearity is rather good, with no discernable roll off at the lowest of lows.
The midrange is where the dual balanced armature array begins to kick in but smoothly and without an obvious disconnect between the dynamic and balanced armature drivers. Because the bass is so well controlled, it doesn’t creep up on the midrange at all, allowing the impressive clarity to shine through. The level of micro detail is quite impressive and at least as good as any IEM I’ve heard and imaging and separation are top notch as well.
Continuing into the upper registers, the H200 becomes rather peculiar in that it sounds disconnected from the rest of the signature in a way. There is a deep valley at about 6.5 KHz, likely due to a crossover error, which causes the earphones to sound a bit hollow at times and this is somewhat exacerbated by a sharp peak at 10 KHz. Because of this, the high end has a bit of a splashy feel rather than a pure sparkle. That said, the level of detail is, once again, excellent but it does have an air of unnaturalness that can be off-putting to some. But, I can’t say the high end is particularly offensive, even with the treble peak.
While I wouldn’t call the H200 neutral in the strictest sense, it does a good job of maintaining a good balance between the frequencies. The frequency response is nicely balanced and engaging, if not completely accurate or particularly linear. Tonal balance skews slightly towards warmth but not in a way that compromises detail and the sound is mostly coherent, only losing some cohesiveness because of the upper end unevenness.
The T-PEOS H200 is available from some online retailers and from the company’s own website for about $250. It’s one of the better earphones I’ve heard and certainly worthy of its price tag. Its presentation is quite good and its resolving ability is on the level with the best IEMs I’ve heard. While I think there are a couple of flaws, they fail to bring the H200 down enough for me to say they’re not worth their asking price.
So, has the promise of a hybrid IEM been realized? Yes and no. The bass is more satisfying to me than the low end I’ve heard on any balanced armature based IEM thus far and it offers an intricately detailed soundscape that, while a bit smaller in size than some IEMs like the Triple.Fi 10, still has the ability to shine like the best earphones I’ve heard at any price. Though there are some hurdles left to be cleared, namely in the area of coherency rather than overall detail, T-PEOS is on the right track with the H200 and makes a strong case for the value of the hybrid IEM, a Jack-of-All-Trades that’s mere steps away from being the master of many.
About myself: http://www.head-fi.org/t/674373/story-of-a-new-reviewer-kimvictor
So, as I promised on H-200 tread, I'm writing a review on the H-200. H-200 has been controversial because some claim it to be the greatest thing ever created, while some say they don't measure well. These are my impressions on them. I'll start with a pic.
Priced at around 230,000won, or roughly $200USD, it is a very good iem. However, availability is limited. Also, pricing in US and countries besides Korea is rather high. They are still worthy of the cost imo.
H-200 is a 3 way hybrid design iem, with a dynamic driver for bass, and a TWFK for mid and treble. Considering that other hybrids costs $600+, this iem is very attractive.
I'll start my review form factors and comfort.
Design: Fairly stylish with a red cable and a black cable. Only available in black as of now.
Build Quality: A big plus for the replaceable cable. Upgrade cables should be available soon. Overall build is very solid but the filter/mesh seems kind of fragile.
Comfort: These iems are rather big. I used medium olives with SE535, but I have to use small tips for these. They do fit fine though.
In-the-box: Various tips. 1 pair of foam tips. 2 cables(black cable with remote and red cable). Leather case. Shirt clip. Warrenty/Manual
Now the sound. I'm breaking the sound section into multiple sections.
Gears used: AK100, Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII, GS3
Sub-bass: As expected of a dynamic driver, H-200 has very deep and powerful sub bass. Bass has power and punch.
Mid-bass: Mid bass is punchy and quick, but I feel like it's too powerful for my taste. These iems are not for those looking for neutral or light bass.
Lower mids: Very slightly recessed. Not recessed like Triple Fi, which is constantly compared against H-200.
Upper mids: This is the problematic part. Overall, they are good. Very clear upper mids, but there is a harsh metalic sound that is caused by a big peak. There also is a big dip, causing certain voices to sound recessed.
Lower treble: Bit harsh, but maintains clarity. Forward lower treble.
Upper mids: Decently extended, and clear, but lacks air.
Clarity: Main selling point of this iem. TWFK is known for their clarity, and H-200 is not a exception. Think of H-200 as B2 or any TWFK based iem with much better bass. Very impressed.
Detail: Fair. Not exceptional, but nothing under average. I change my mind. It has good detail. Good micro detail. I didn't realize this until I compared it to other $200 iems. Before, I compared H-200 with my UERM and SE535, which are well detailed.
Soundstage: Fairly limited. Lacks air in treble and decay in mids. However, it's average for an iem. I've heard iems with better soundstage(TF10 and MDR7550), but it can be a lot worse.
H-200 has a certain frequency region that is extremely recessed, or a dip in it's upper mids. It also has a region that is extremely forward, or a peak in it's upper mids as well. This causes some female vocals to sound recessed and others to sound metalic/harsh. This is just about the only flaw in this iem, but it's a major flaw.
Some head-fiers claimed that burning the H-200 in helps reducing the peak and dip noticeably. However, although I've burned in my H-200 for 50 hours, no audible changes happened. Now, you might claim I have a terrible hearing or something, but I doubt it. I'm a high school student and measurements shows that I have above average hearing in upper mids and treble range.
*Tip: Using black tips as opposed to translucent tips helps in reducing the peak.
Now the fun part. IEM vs IEM part.
H-200 vs Triple Fi.
These two were compared frequently for having similar signature. I feel like they are very different iems. H-200 has better bass impact and slightly more forward mids while Triple Fi has much better soundstage with more recessed mid. Both do have good bass and aggressive treble though. H-200 edges the Triple Fi in terms of clarity.
H-200 vs SE535
SE535 is much more expensive, but I felt like H-200 could compete against it. SE535 is much smoother and softer sounding with better imaging/soundstage and detail. However, H-200 has better bass extension as well as clarity. Much better clarity on H-200. Also, treble is more extended on H-200.
H-200 vs W4
Sorry. But no real comparison here. While W4 may not be as smooth as SE535, it has bass extension and clarity that SE535 lacked. Therefore, W4 beats the H-200 in almost all aspects.
H-200 vs MDR7550
Similarly priced, but different iems. H-200 is more V shaped while 7550 has it's focus on great mid and bass. Detail and clarity wise, H-200 is better. However, 7550 has much better soundstage as well as mids. Bass has much more punchy as feel on 7550. I consider 7550 to have the best bass amongst all iems I've heard. H-200 has good bass, but 7550 is better imo.
I think I was bit harsh in judging this iem. However, I can say for sure that if you are looking for a fun bassy sound with very good clarity, H-200 is one of the best choice. It has one of the best clarity I've heard from any universal iems along with a very solid bass.
Sorry if you wanted more info on H-200. If you do want more opinion, feel free to ask for it.
I tried to keep this brief, so it's not boring to read. This review will be updated whenever I feel like I should update it.
*I have no affiliation with T-PEOS. I don't have any reasons to hate or like a specific company. Just saying.
* 8/4/13 I've updated the review few times. Currently, I decided to burn them in for additional 20 hrs to see if the peak settles. This review will be updated soon.
A Major Update!
I filled the tips of my H-200 with a ball of tissue, and the sound sig drastically changed. Mids are much thicker and richer and the peak has disappeared. The bass also increases and treble becomes smoother. This also allowed a wider soundstage for what ever reason. With this mod, I would rate the H-200 4.75/5. The score of H-200 will be readjusted to 4.5 starts instead of 4.
Updated Again! 10/6/13. Updated info on vs MDR7550 part. Now that I own a MDR7550, I changed my mind about the comparison.