Sunrise Xcape IE review (with comparison against Hifiman RE0)
Jul 18, 2011 at 12:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

zhuangzijian

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DISCLAIMER: I would like to thank lend me ur ears for the sample. Also, Shi Jie the owner of Lend Me Ur Ears have kindly offered to loan me his personal RE0 iem as the two are in the same price range. My music taste vary according to my mood and I will try my best to portray the 2 iems fairly. As always, YMMV 
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SPEC:
Driver: 9mm silver coil dynamic transducer
Impedance: 32Ω
Sensitivity: 118 +/- 3dB
Frequency Response: 16Hz-24kHz
Cable: 1.2m, gold plated 3.5mm plug

 
INCLUDED ACCESSORIES:
Hard case, small, medium and large tips, biflange tips, shirt clip and hard case
 
SOUND QUALITY:
Testing Equipment: iPhone 4
                                 Acer 4750G laptop (winamp)
Songs: Bar 9 – Strung Out
            Technoboy – Next Dimensional World
            Uffie – Pop The Glock
            Armin van Buuren feat. Laura V – Drowning (Avicci Remix)
            Katy Perry – Pearl
            Agnes Obel – Riverside
            Adele – Set Fire To The Rain
Bar 9 – Strung Out
 
Re0 was able to render every single detail but it was seriously lacking in bass. The bass was completely unacceptable for dubstep. Sure, it was quality bass but in this case, I think I will be willing to sacrifice some quality for quantity. Furthermore, the decay was very fast making this song unenjoyable. For the xcape IE, the whole song was rendered with more gusto. I get a very nice sense of space at the melody  parts. Also, the bass was clean but hit with more force than re0. However, it would be great if there was even more bass detail as I felt I was missing some notes were smoothed out. Still, in the end I preferred the sound of sunrise xcape IE compared to re0 for this song.
 
Technoboy – Next Dimensional World
 
Well, I do not want to skimp on the review but again, the re0 was no match for xcape IE. It was totally outclassed in this bass heavy song. The xcape IE got me shaking my head along to the beats but the re0 just made the whole thing sound almost unlistenable by rendering the song too thinly.
 
Uffie – Pop The Glock
 
On this song, xcape IE sounded fuller. However, I could hear a slight veil against the vocals. Sure, the bass and voice was fuller but re0 gave me a more balanced sound. Still, I think xcape IE edges re0 out with its fuller bass and vocals.
 
Armin van Buuren feat. Laura V – Drowning (Avicci Remix)
 
Re0 rendered this song beautifully but I wished for fuller vocals. Xcape IE rendered beautiful vocals but the female singer sounded veiled. Maybe it’s due to the smooth nature of xcape IE but in this case, re0 was better for me due to its better balance and clarity though xcape ie wasn’t far away with clarity.
 
Katy Perry – Pearl
 
I have a hard deciding which iem was better at reproducing Katy Perry’s vocals. I would say again that xcape ie sounded fuller but re0 gave me a cleaner sound overall. However, I feel that as whole song, I would prefer xcape ie as it just made the whole song sound right.
 
Agnes Obel – Riverside
 
The xcape IE shows its magic with higher pitched voices in this song. It put a nice spotlight on the upper mids which caused Agnes Obel to sound magical in this song. However, re0 reproduced the piano notes more faithfully. However, I will take Agnes Obel’s voice over the piano notes anytime so xcape IE is the one for me.
 
Quick Summary:
 
Re0 ($79 from head-direct) vs Xcape IE ($90 from lendmeurears)
I found both to be a bit sibilant and if the recording has sibilance issues, they will both probably show it. Re0 is a very analytical iem while xcape ie is much smoother and warmer. Unfortunately, I do not listen to songs that require the re0’s precision so I will probably go with the xcape ie in most cases. I do recommend both as great iems for the price but personally, I would say xcape ie is better for me.
 
BUILD:
The xcape ie isolation was good enough for me to use it on the subway here in Singapore without having to blast the music. It cannot be worn over the ear and the microphonics is an issue but the provided shirt clip solved it. It does feel a bit cheap in my hands with the plastic housing and I would have preferred a more robust stress relief but I belief as long as I take proper care of it such as keeping it in the hard case, it would probably last more than a year or two.
 
PACKAGING:
Sorry for the bad photo quality but the phone is my only camera right now.

This is the simple box that the iem came in. At another side, it lists the specs of the sunrise xcape ie.

There is foam inside the box sandwiching the case which contains the accessories and the iem.

This is the warranty card which was in the box as well.

These are the accessories. The black sony hybrid tips are my own and I prefer them for comfort but the single flange tips offer superior treble clarity though. I can't fit the dual flanges into my ears so I can't comment on them. I feel that the accessories sort of reflect the price of the iem. It is rather sparse but at least there is a case and a shirt clip. The tips are of decent quality too but I do recommend checking out the sony hybrid tips.
 
Thanks for reading my first review and I hope that you could understand what I was trying to convey. I'm sorry about the lack of pictures of the iem itself but I just feel my camera cannot properly take the pictures of them. However, you can check out clieOS review at http://www.inearmatters.net/2011/05/review-sunrise-xcape-impressive-edition.html I will try to post up more impressions of other iems against sunrise xcape ie soon when I visit my local earphones store.
 

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