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xDuoo EP1

Rating:
3.83333/5,
  1. Barra
    Great Value IEM
    Written by Barra
    Published Jul 21, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great value for the money
    Cons - Needs to be turned up to higher volumes to get the most out of the dynamic driver
    The xDuoo EP1 is a 10mm dynamic driver IEM for $30 at XTENIK Audio that is an easy recommendation for a general duty IEM. While I have a large collection of multi-thousand-dollar custom IEMs that are clearly better for fine listening, these lower-cost IEMs are more than good enough for most situations and are garnering far more ear time than my expensive customs.

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    Use Case
    While my expensive customs are securely stored away in nice cases to protect them, my xDuoo is setting conveniently on my desk attached to my audio out for private listening to videos and other audio that is typical in my line of work. There are many voice recordings such as self-improvement or podcasts that do not require the fidelity that the customs offer. There are also times that I am mowing the lawn or trimming bushes that I don’t wish to risk my more expensive customs where the EP1 is very handy. The bottom line, with my customs averaging $2000 each, I could buy 100 EP1 sets so if were to damage these for any reason, replacement is easy. Not so with my expensive customs.

    Risk Assessment
    These are very enjoyable for casual listening but will never be my go-to for critical listening. Mowing the lawn creates a lot of noise which these effectively block and provide entertainment. However, the mower is loud enough to interfere even with my best customs, so we are dealing with a diminished experience to begin with. This renders the custom advantages to be a moot point. However, in both cases, I enjoy listening to the music to pass the time and both provide that musical entertainment I crave. On the other hand, my bike rides are less noisy where the custom isolation works well enough to make a difference worth the effort of pulling out the custom. The risk is an issue though, so if I am just listening to podcasts, audiobooks, etc. then I grab the EP1 instead.

    Musical Experience
    The dynamic driver offers a richly enjoyable experience that brings a sense of rhythm and tempo that can get your foot tapping. However, the experience is more back row offering clarity, but lacking the texturing of my much more expensive customs. Voice seems to be what the EP1 does best offer great clarity in voice. While I have been breaking these in for a couple of months now, they seem to be continually improving so there may be updated later. The bass is mainly where I am hearing the improvements coming from muddy to tight, from mid-bass to starting to open up in the sub-bass. The treble while on the bright side is not sharp but smooth and growing smoother.

    Another key point to the EP1 is that they like volume. The more I turn them up the better they sound. I tend to listen to lower volumes where it can sound a little lacking, but in turning them up I get a much richer experience. This also plays to the use case such as mowing the lawn where I am forced to turn them up creating a much more enjoyable experience. The reason that I am favoring them for voice, videos, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. is that I can listen with great fidelity at lower volumes. At higher volumes, the driver begins to sound dynamic with the dynamic bounce that gets my foot tapping.

    Product Quality
    In terms of product quality, these IEMs stand up easily to most that I have experienced in the $150 range. They are a solid, durable CNC metal shell with just enough heft for confidence without feeling like weights in the ears. The cable is light and non-tangling for the most part. While not a replaceable cable, at $20 overall, it is easier to just get a new set.

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    The setup includes an assortment of ear tips to fit your ears which I found good enough as I am happy with the fit and isolation as well as the resulting sound quality. The plug is just 3.5mm for standard connections, no balanced, but again, this was not made for higher fidelity setups and appropriate for its use case.

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    Overall, there is nothing missing as far as I am concerned, and the experience is much better than expected given its price. The comfort is good enough to forget that they are in your ears as you get busy at your activity. The price allows you to take them anywhere with confidence and without fear. I am impressed with this xDuoo product and will replace if anything happens to it and that is the key take away for this review.
  2. Zelda
    Xduoo EP1 – Dark Metal Earphone
    Written by Zelda
    Published Jul 1, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent build quality; Comfortable and smooth design; Smooth and relaxed sound with strong bass; Good cable; Price
    Cons - Included eartips are not comfortable; No carry bag or case included; Might sound too laid-back and off
    REVIEW: Xduoo EP1

    Specifications

    • Driver: 10mm dynamic
    • Impedance: 16ohm
    • Sensitivity: 108dB
    • Frequency: 20~20KHz
    • Power: 10mW
    • Plug: 3.5mm, gold-plated L type
    • Length: 1.2m

    Price: U$D 30.

    Accessories:
    • 3 pairs of silicone eartips (S/M/L)
    • 2 pair of foam eartips (S/L)


    Design

    For the first IEM from Xduoo, the EP1 boosts an excellent construction and thoughtful design for the price. The build quality of the shells really stands out with a thick and sturdy aluminum material which is still very lightweight. The design is well rounded without any sharp ends and has a smooth surface that fits very easy and very comfortable in the ear. However, the supplied silicone eartips are not well made; they’re very thick and make it difficult to achieve a decent comfortable seal. Trying other tips is highly recommended, not just for fit but also for best sonic results.
    The cable is a joy. Not too thick but not thin either, super flexible and doesn’t tangle much, and very easy to wear down or around the ear. The plug is well made and nicely relieved, and the slider works properly.
    Isolation is just about average or below at best, even though the design doesn’t seem to have any large visible vent on it.

    Sound

    Similar to its black color and smooth and comfortable design, the sound of the EP1 sets towards the dark, smooth and easygoing signature. The presentation is not something to be considered balanced or all-rounder, but it doesn’t present a particular peak on any frequency.
    Going for a darker kind of sound, the bass is full and well bodied, with a stronger emphasis towards the mid and upper bass region rather than the sub-bass, which is not too surprising for a budget IEM. As such, the extension is somehow limited and the EP1 won’t show too much rumble. It’s still fun to listen with metal or heavy bass tracks. The texture is quite decent and bloat towards the midrange is relatively minimal; the EP1 has a good overall control.

    The midrange is laid-back but not really recessed; it’s more the treble that is missing which gives a less open sound. Instruments and voices sound equally balanced, though the lower vocals and instruments gain a higher priority over the rest of things. Upper mids are soft, and maybe too much for some, but they show no sign of grain or unevenness which is rather unusual at this price point where budget oriented earphones tend to bring a harsher midrange in a try to bring some extra detail. The EP1, on the other hand, does not lack in detail, but it is less obvious due the so smooth sound.

    Highs are very laid back and smooth, and can be considered way too safe and reserved. Pairing with a warm source is not recommended for the Xduoo IEM, and even a treble boost on more reference sounding DAPs would be good to bring a better overall balance without sounding unnatural. It actually matches well with X3 Xduoo DAP.
    Soundstage is about average, decent for the $30 price. Some other options like the Vsonic VSD2S, Fiio F3 or Xiaomi Piston 2 would give wider stage and sound more resolving, if you can handle their extra treble quantities.
  3. mrazik
    Well made first attempt
    Written by mrazik
    Published May 24, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Fit, manufacturing quality, impressive bass
    Cons - It can have to much bass for some
    I got recently opportunity to try and review triad of cheap earphones, this opportunity was given to me by PenonAudio.com and I´m grateful for that. This is my impression and honest opinion on second one.

    xDuoo EP1
    – new player on the market. xDuoo is known as DAP producer, who provide one of bests ratio between spent money and sound performance. X3 player got attention of many for its detailed sound which in some cases outperform players with much higher price tag. X10 is another example of xDuoo success, when player with price below 200USD easily beats his competitors twice or triple more expensive. This year xDuoo release their first earphone attempt – EP1. EP1 have best manufacturing quality from all 3 tested earphones. Shells are made from metal alloy, it have similar shape as Seahf, only EP1 are bigger, but still very comfortable. Fit is good, isolation is on average in the class. EP1 are equipped with best cable with no microphonic at all. Cable is very well made, flexible and is made from oxygen free copper. Inside shells is one 10mm dynamic driver per each side. In the box are only earphones and 3 pairs of ear tips. Nothing more.

    Sound is most heavy from all three tested units. These can be basshead choice. Bass us really strong and goes deep, but it is not bleed to rest of bands. Only in some more complex music parts is loosing a bit on resolution. Midds are well articulated and clear and trebles do not miss some airiness. Sound is tuned to V, but top end is less elevated, than bottom. Soundstage is wide and as the only candidate in this test is deep as well. It is not best 3D imaging I ever listen, but for 30USD is good enough. Clarity and detail retrieval is on lower level than have Seahf, but EP1 sound is more relaxed and will be for many less fatiguing than bright Seahf. EP1 can be good alternative for those who possess expensive earphones and do not like to take them on jogging or some other activities, but on other hand do not like sound compromises either. EP1 are decent earphones with more than decent manufacturing quality for reasonable price. I personally do not think, that xDuoo earphones reached xDuoo Xfactor as their players have, but as the first attempt, direction is right and will be interesting to see, what will come next.

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