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UFOEAR UFO-112

Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. Johnny Mac
    UFOEAR UFO-112 Realview.
    Written by Johnny Mac
    Published Jan 20, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Balanced sound, non-fatiguing sound
    Cons - 2-pin connection is too tight
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    UFOEAR is another new player in the upper tier earphone market from China’s Dongguan City Huaxian Industry Co. Ltd managed by its Dongguan City Broad 3D Technology Co., Ltd branch which specializes in 3D printing. The UFOEAR brand, as the name suggests already, draws inspiration from the astronomical fields and schemes for its overall company direction although naming patterns has already been done before from IEM models such as the Andromeda. This approach makes their entire UFOEAR line showcase what the space exploration silhouettes are capable of.

    UFOEAR currently has 2 debut models, the UFO-111 and the UFO-112 which the latter is said to be limited to a run of 2000 units worldwide. The UFO-111 is marketed to have great synergy with Pop music and little is to be known spec-wise as I wasn’t personally able to find any information yet except that it looks a rather toned-down sibling from the UFO-112 which, according to UFOEAR, is for ACG music and if I got this correctly, stands for Anime-Comic-Games and is widely popular in mainland China. What we have here to realview is UFOEAR’s UFO-112, a triple driver single dynamic and dual BA hybrid IEM which comes in 3 color options (Red, Blue and Black) and is spec’d out with a 14Ohm Impedance, 109db Sensitivity and a Frequency Response of 3 Hz-20 KHz. The UFOEAR UFO-112 price starts at $360 and caps out at $440 depending on customization options. You can check them out on their official site, UFOEAR and cop one off the UFOEAR TaoBao site. They say aiming for the moon makes one to be among the stars, is UFOEAR’s aim a hot or miss? Let’s take an in-depth shoot.

    Packaging and Build Quality

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    Concealed in a black box with a silver flying saucer print and the UFOEAR and the Bluetooth HD Ready marketing assurance and on the lower side showcases all the necessary product information which is 90% in Chinese except for notable notes like the color of the IEMs and the unit number since this is on a limited 2000 pieces run. Underneath is a full-pledged cushion setup of foam cut-outs designed to secure the distinctive UFOEAR gray metal flying saucer IEM and ear tips receptacle.

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    Inside this flying saucer are 2 sets of black foam ear tips, 1 set(S, M, L) of black silicon ear tips and 1 set(S, M, L) of translucent silicon ear tips. The official UFO-112 comes with a BT cable supporting aptX and a charging cable although my review unit didn’t so we won’t be touching that aspect. The round metal IEM receptacle itself is lined with black velvet and utilizes the spin-lock mechanism which is very satisfying to open and close on the go and fits the UFO-112 along with its stock cable perfectly.
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    The UFO-112 came with a pseudo-round braided SPC stock cable in the standard .78 2-pin configuration and a gold-plated 3.5mm straight plug with metallic silver housing and Y-split and decent strain relief. It does come with a chin slider and an over-ear memory wire guide which helped greatly with keeping the UFO-112 in place. There is almost no microphonic noise on the cable when used on the go. The shell is a bonded 2-piece circular FDA-approved integral molded 3D resin with the flying saucer imprints and the UFOEAR branding on the faceplate along with 2 polar opposite vents for the dynamic driver although upon careful inspection, the internal wirings are slightly getting in the way of the vents and the dynamic driver, the vents are nonetheless nearer the dynamic drivers than the dual BA drivers. The underside of the UFO-112 shows “FOR-ACG” on the right earpiece and “UFO-112” on the left and the usual L-R markings. The build is overall sturdy and clean except for one thing, the 2-pin connection was too damn tight and detaching it was a no-go as you could clearly see through the translucent shell that the 2-pins were bending too much and we won’t be having this realview now don’t we if I decided to get my way.

    Tonality
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    The UFO-112 out of the box sounded bright with a noticeable emphasis on the upper midrange and the high frequencies. I then and there opted to utilize the stock foam tips that came with the UFO-112 and with it sporting a dynamic driver, the recommended 50 hour burn-in was observed. I used the xDuoo x3ii and the Sony CAS-1 desktop setup off an MSI GF 62 8RE laptop via Foobar2000 v1.4 for the whole duration of the realview.

    Lows

    For an IEM inspired by mankind’s desire for flight, the UFO-112 takes that into account with how it delivers its low-end performance. I pulled out Spandau Ballet’s “Foundation” in 16/44 FLAC and the sub bass is barely deep and gives modest impact and body. It doesn’t pan out too long providing a fast bass decay. The bass is overall clean with great control yet lacking in power.

    Midrange

    As they say, the higher we fly, the hard we fall. The UFO-112’s midrange gives it a leeway to work towards building its highs. Susan Wong’s “Killing Me Softly” in 16/44 FLAC gave out a clear and detailed lower midrange, free from lower frequency bleeds. The midrange sounded natural and timbre was on point. It is borderline lush, almost inviting and engaging.

    Highs

    The UFO-112 flies high and does it well, harsh and sharp treble peaks are not to be heard. Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” in 16/44 FLAC is rendered delicate and has a snap to them. There is no sibilance to be observed as well. The sparkle and clinical treble bite most treble heads would be needing is there.

    Soundstage and Imaging

    Wide and distinct, in the IEM world that is. The UFO-112 excels in emanating a spacious hall when tracks such as Maria and The Captain’s “Something Good” in 16/44 FLAC are to be listened to. There is a great sense of space with intelligibility of voices and instruments being definite. The vents on the faceplate after all, works.

    Select Comparison

    UFOEAR UFO-112 and Periodic Audio Beryllium:

    With the UFO-112 being a hybrid of BA and dynamic drivers and the Periodic Audio Beryllium purely driven by a dynamic driver presents questions to be asked yet we are here for the sound as discerned by yours truly. You should know by now that I prefer a bright sounding signature done cleanly and non-fatiguing as possible. The BE does that excellently and while the UFO-112 sounds less bright sounding than the BE, it presents a more balanced sound. The lows, midrange and the highs are more coherent on the UFO-112 while the BE is just damn delicate and has great control with its highs.

    Conclusion
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    Being unique and setting yourself apart from the competition is always a welcome and excellent start when on debut especially on the audiophile scene, yet one thing should always be standard, great quality sound. The UFOEAR UFO-112 sounds balanced with a tinge of emphasis on the upper frequencies coupled with an almost complete accessory set one needs nowadays, from going full audiophile mode via its stock cable and the wireless cable it supposedly comes with (would have loved to have tried it). The UFO-112 plays the niche game with its approach and the silhouette it comes with may please some and turn off some. One thing is for sure though which is apart from the very tight 2-pin connection, the UFO-112 presents a tight competition for its peers around its price point.
    1. rantng
      Perhaps post more pictures of this unique looking IEM.
      rantng, Jan 25, 2019
    2. Johnny Mac
      Yup, will surely do on my page.
      Johnny Mac, Jan 27, 2019