The discovery thread!
Jul 16, 2023 at 7:33 AM Post #83,206 of 96,181
Theoretically the filter only, but practically just pinch together as they won't make any difference in sound quality, even ear wax will be very small chance to go into that tiny hole of the grill.
@DynamicEars Thanks a lot! The grill was so hard, so I took it out and punched a hole in the filter only. Big improvement on the Hola, IMHO. Better bass for sure. I feel they are fuller and less harsh as well, or am I just imagining that? Thanks for sharing this mod! Really appreciated!👍
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 7:44 AM Post #83,207 of 96,181
@DynamicEars Thanks a lot! The grill was so hard, so I took it out and punched a hole in the filter only. Big improvement on the Hola, IMHO. Better bass for sure. I feel they are fuller and less harsh as well, or am I just imagining that? Thanks for sharing this mod! Really appreciated!👍

Not your imagination. The too thick nylon filter dampens the sound so much, and as per my experience, using this kind of damper will block airflow for bass, so bass will be smeared or bloated. Make an airflow for the bass through little hole resulting in tighter and cleaner bass for sure.

Less harsh shouldn't an effect of it, maybe just your feeling. Usually they are just slightly harsher (sometimes not noticeable) but with better detail and resolution.

You're most welcome glad you have better experience with yours. Enjoy!
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 8:02 AM Post #83,208 of 96,181

Qudelix-T71 Discrete 7.1 Surround USB DAC

New Quidelix is coming folks, they got 4.4mm balanced this time. Just hope the build is more solid, and not having overly sensitive buttons anymore.

ES9219 DAC + INA1620 OPAMP
Max. Output Voltage: UNBAL 3.8VRMS / BAL 7.6VRMS
Max. Output Power: TBD
2Ch Mode: 384KHz x 32bit (High-Resolution Stereo Audio)
8Ch Mode: 96KHz x 32Bit (Gaming, OTT, Movie)
1000mA Battery (for mobile use case)

https://www.qudelix.com/blogs/t71/q...yWkcCnL3EtYmqTjSFIpwKMoRl21OOOLZiDSfg5rZTlb2M

1689487546617.png

1689487644215.png

Compatibility with conventional stereo Earphones & Headphones

T71 USB DAC is compatible with traditional stereo earphones and headphones. Despite being designed for surround sound, the T71 still provides an enhanced audio experience when used with conventional stereo headphones.

While stereo headphones are typically designed to reproduce audio in a left-right channel configuration, the T71 can leverage its advanced DSP features to enhance the audio quality and provide a surround sound-like experience. This is achieved through virtualization techniques that simulate the spatial characteristics of surround sound, even when using a stereo output.
Finally!!! :money_mouth::money_mouth::money_mouth::money_mouth::money_mouth:
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 8:12 AM Post #83,209 of 96,181
Reporting on further testing with the DUNU Falcon Ultra.
DUNU 2.jpg


Just got off a 30 min A/B comparison between the Falcon Ultra and the legendary Tanchjim Oxygen. The Oxygen has had many stealth revisions to tuning/drivers over the years, and FWIW my Oxygen is the first version with the original lauded drivers (which gives more sub-bass).

In terms of knick-knacks, the Falcon Ultra is definitely king. It has one of the most generously accessorized IEMs I've seen at the $200ish bracket. It has a modular cable to allow both 3.5mm and 4.4mm source pairing, which increases its versatility. It is a real looker too, with the blue reflective shells giving the Falcon Ultra a very distinctive yet elegant aesthetic.
DUNU 1.jpg


The Falcon Ultra has better fit - there are quite a lot of forum reports of the stubby Oxygen nozzle causing fit issues.



On to sound, which is the most important comparison!

The Falcon Ultra has 2 tuning nozzles, which converts it between a Harmanish signature and a more laid back one. This is kind of getting 2 IEMs in 1.
DUNU Falcon Ultra.jpg


Both sets have natural timbre in keeping with their single DD roots.

With the blue nozzle in place on the Falcon Ultra, both sets are Harmanish, though the Falcon Ultra has a bit more bass and upper mids, albeit the Oxygen is a bit airier and sparkly in the upper treble.
DUNU Falcon Ultra versus Oxygen.jpg


When it comes to technicalities, the Falcon Ultra is superior in soundstage, imaging, layering and instrument separation. Micro-detailing is about on par.

The Oxygen has been my midFI single DD benchmark pair for the past 3 years, but the Falcon Ultra has taken over this mantle, boasting better versatility (via source pairing cable modules and tuning nozzles), better fit and better technicalities.
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 8:25 AM Post #83,210 of 96,181
Yep, two days or so into it, and I can already tell the 10th Anniversary is the best thing Penon/ISN has ever made. Just the total size of the stage for one. Then such effortless in walking. Just simply going ahead and parlaying such distance of imaging. Really it’s unreal how good these are. Penon totally sequenced the introductions (to me) too, recently first the Volt, which I totally understand where the Volt gets it’s value, except this 10th Anniversary is so much more elaborate and evolved, most contrasts! The contrast is really doing something? :)

Taking everything they have learned, plus the last 10 years since the store opened, to not become afraid in adding bass and treble. But the bass is fast and detailed, there are tiny little bass embellishments which go ahead to show how it’s not slow in the slightest? Then the treble as so far as the best treble from Penon ever. Big and involving but textured and dense yet fast and agile. All this goes ahead to lay the groundwork for the mids.

Anyone who says these mids are showing grain must be a planted shill or an operative to keep the truth from being known? The mids are dovetailed in and seemingly doing their duty. These are Penon mids, the center of the ability here. There is a very careful placement of all the instruments I know in songs, yet each instrument shows a slight added dimension of correctness and poise? I still can’t get over the stage too, the way it’s forward and back, top and bottom but also the prefect width?

The best thing Penon has ever made, and not by a little, but by far! This isn’t a matter of opinion! Keep in mind I haven't heard the Impact.

Now here is the thing, even difficult stuff the 10th Anniversary just takes it like it’s nothing. The scary part is just how really well rounded the 10th is. AnythIng, anything I would play has the same drama and the involvement? Everything all music is a gift, nothing does it do off. And finally the timbre? What? The 10th puts all other methods to shame. I mean I love Hybrid anyway, but this is not metallic or steely or anything, but the 10th shows the space and distance between notes and events just like the best Hybrids do, except everything, everything is with-in correct timbre. I’m looking for what it does bad, but I can’t find anything? I just listened to the whole album of Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL Batman v Superman in 96 kHz - 24 bit. I listened to Theater of Tragedy “Episode” 44.1 kHz - 24 bit and Anastasis by DCD “Kiko” in 44.1 kHz - 24 bit. Used Sony WM1Z and ISN G4 cable! Truly this is something here? And Penon has never done this exact tune before, totally new! New but the tune doesn’t remind me of anything? Speechless.......A TOTL Flagship in every sense of the word!

Oh, and fit, they are big, but fit perfect!

DSC_0392.jpegqw.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Jul 16, 2023 at 8:38 AM Post #83,211 of 96,181
The best thing Penon has ever made, and not by a little, but by far! This isn’t a matter of opinion!
Better than their TOTL model Impact?
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 8:45 AM Post #83,212 of 96,181
I have not heard the Impact. This one is 2DD/2BA/2EST. So it's a DD TOTL, the Impact is 4ESTs and 10 BAs. Co-flagships.
Better than their TOTL model Impact?
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 8:46 AM Post #83,213 of 96,181
Howdy folks, my review of Dunu Alpha 3 earbuds are online on head-fi and my review blog.

The Alpha 3 inherits the advantages associated with Dunu products, such as impressive build quality and generous accessories. The tuning is mature and generally easy to listen to. One notable aspect is that the Alpha 3 feels like a complete product rather than an experimental prototype. Whether this is viewed as a positive or negative aspect is subjective. Personally, I find it exciting to see big manufacturers with their research and development capabilities returning to this niche market and offering interesting options. I would love to see more breakthrough performance, but Alpha 3 is a good starting point.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality and included accessories.
  • Comfortable fit, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Natural tonality, particularly when using the full foam configuration.
  • Good resolution, allowing for the retrieval of fine details in the music.
Cons:

  • Lacks some dynamic contrast, impacting the sense of energy and impact in certain tracks.
  • Does not offer a 4.4mm connector option, limiting the choice of balanced output.
  • Could have pushed boundaries further and introduced more groundbreaking features or innovations.
alpha3_summary.jpg



Updated: July 16, 2023
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 8:51 AM Post #83,214 of 96,181

Qudelix-T71 Discrete 7.1 Surround USB DAC

New Quidelix is coming folks, they got 4.4mm balanced this time. Just hope the build is more solid, and not having overly sensitive buttons anymore.

ES9219 DAC + INA1620 OPAMP
Max. Output Voltage: UNBAL 3.8VRMS / BAL 7.6VRMS
Max. Output Power: TBD
2Ch Mode: 384KHz x 32bit (High-Resolution Stereo Audio)
8Ch Mode: 96KHz x 32Bit (Gaming, OTT, Movie)
1000mA Battery (for mobile use case)

https://www.qudelix.com/blogs/t71/q...yWkcCnL3EtYmqTjSFIpwKMoRl21OOOLZiDSfg5rZTlb2M

1689487546617.png

1689487644215.png

Compatibility with conventional stereo Earphones & Headphones

T71 USB DAC is compatible with traditional stereo earphones and headphones. Despite being designed for surround sound, the T71 still provides an enhanced audio experience when used with conventional stereo headphones.

While stereo headphones are typically designed to reproduce audio in a left-right channel configuration, the T71 can leverage its advanced DSP features to enhance the audio quality and provide a surround sound-like experience. This is achieved through virtualization techniques that simulate the spatial characteristics of surround sound, even when using a stereo output.
Is this only USB / Hard Wired, and NOT Bluetooth? Seems to target a different user base than their 5K ???

Don't see measurements, but this looks significantly larger and heavier than the 5k...
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 8:57 AM Post #83,216 of 96,181
The best thing Penon has ever made, and not by a little, but by far! This isn’t a matter of opinion! Keep in mind I haven't heard the Impact.
My guy - I’m thrilled that the 10th is working out to be a killer in your collection but this statement right here… come on, bro. Of course it’s a matter of opinion.
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 9:15 AM Post #83,217 of 96,181
I saw some people were curious about EPZ K5, so I wanted to share my review here too. You can also check out the graph of the K5 and compare it with other iems at my squig: https://fahryst.squig.link/?share=EPZ_K5





EPZ K5 Review: Everything is too shouty?

Some of you may know the EPZ brand but I assume most of you didn’t hear any of their earphones before. That’s because they are, although not new, not a very popular manufacturer in the global market. However I know they are pretty active in China and Japan. K5 is their current 1+4 hybrid iem. With around a $100 price tag and a premium build and accessories I think the K5 is pretty competitive.

Pros

  • Well built
  • Decent accessories
  • Non-fatiguing listenin experience
  • Decent technicalities

Cons

  • Recessed mids
  • Weak bass
  • Unusual tonality (subjective)

Disclaimers

EPZ sent the K5 for review but I won’t be keeping them as they will be going to someone else. As I always say, everyone is biased one way or another so take everything you read with a grain of salt. Also I will try to be more concise and to the point in my reviews from now on without worrying about the word count etc. If you have any questions please ask me in the comments and I will try to answer them to my abilities.

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A Little About the EPZ

Roots of the company extends as early as 2008, but as a brand EPZ was established in 2019. They make iems, custom and universal, micro speakers, tws and etc. They also have several dongles and other accessories under their brand name. Right now most notable products in their line-up include K5, 530, Q1, Q5, G10, TP20, TP30 and many more.

Build and Accessories of the K5

The shells of the K5 are made out of resin. They feel nice to touch and are probably skin friendly. The nozzles are long and provide a deep insert if that is important for you. I don’t have the full package since they are loaned to me but I can say the included cable is a decent modular one. It is made out of 6N high purity copper and can be bought separately for around $25. Cable and iems use regular 2 pin connectors and cable entries on the shells are flush. They are not very small but fairly comfortable even for someone with weird shaped ears like me. Carrying case also looks and feels very premium.

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Sound of the K5

Although I will try to comment on every part of the frequency range, I don’t want to separate them to different headlines because in my experience they are all tied together and I tend to mention each in another’s headline.

Tonality

Anyway, generally the K5 is a slightly warm iem with recessed mids. They are very easy to drive. In fact they might be the most sensitive iems I have at hand. But that also means if your equipment has a high noise floor you will hear a noticeable hiss.

First thing I noticed was the recessed mids, especially the upper mids are quite relaxed. This might be a good or a bad thing depending on your taste or if you are sensitive to the area or not. Some people are especially sensitive to this area and find most of the recent iems shouty. But if you like your vocals, especially female ones, the sound of the K5 may come as distant and unenergetic.

The presentation of K5 is slightly warm but you may as well call it neutral at this point because what I perceive as neutral (like moondrop or etymotic style) sounds thin to most people. I’m more of a headphones guy and I’m forever cursed (or blessed) by the Hifiman and the Sennheiser sound.

I found the bass in the K5 weak to be honest and that’s probably because of the rolled of sub-bass. There is just not enough power behind every hit. You can also say the transients are fast and if you like it, that is fine. But in the K5’s case I think they are a little too fast.

Treble on the K5 is interesting. Although it is pushed to accentuate the details, it is not overly aggressive. It kind of reminded me Hidizs MS5 that I listened to for a brief period of time but I liked the sound of the K5 much better. It is just much more natural. The MS5, on the other hand, was much more aggressive.

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Technicalities

Technically I’d say K5 is decent. Some of the technical prowess of the K5 comes from its tonality like most of the other iems but driver configuraton, housing and implementation also somewhat play a role. The K5 sound decently wide thanks to the recessed mids for example. But also details in the midrange are lost to the rest of the frequency response. Thankfully there is no severe bass bleed that would drown the already recessed mids.

Apart from the mids, the K5 is fairly detailed for its price, especially in the treble. But timbre is somewhat unnatural, still it is not down the drain and didn’t make me want to remove them from my ears.

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Short Comparisons

From the iems I have on my hand, I thought comparing the K5 to Audiosense AQ4 and Truthear Hexa made the most sense in terms of price and drive configuration.

EPZ K5 vs. Audiosense AQ4

Compared to K5, AQ4 is much bassier and has more note weight. Also I like Mids on AQ4 better since they are not recessed like K5’s. They are similar in treble, both are relatively relaxed but K5 is safer. All in all AQ4 sounds more balanced.
K5 is wider, compared to that, AQ4 sounds relatively intimate. Imaging is also more precise on K5. Resolving capability and separation of instruments is also better on AQ4. This may be because of the quality of the drivers used in AQ4. K5 may present details more easily because of its tonality but AQ4 sounds more competent. Timbre sounds more natural on AQ4. K5 sounds a little bit more synthetic because of its tonality.

EmvVZhl0CSdthkwlyL_HSFVjhS6MErjpMc0BjYUeMZhvdsADyKe5P59Xfoz-vgUYJKxCjsz7fii9TxcVxNVfeoWDJbmUXRoCYe0UweuWX1pMd-eoaAyepdVpeANtM868COm4ac5_QGu7Q-cI3j3OI3A

vs Truthear Hexa

Tonally they are the exact opposite. Hexa extends deeper into the bass and has more slam.
K5 is warmer in the lower mids. Rest of the mids are more accentuated on Hexa, female vocals and higher pitched instruments are more energetic on Hexa but neither is harsh. Lower treble or presence region is slightly more relaxed on Hexa therefore it is less prone to sibilance or harshness but neither is really sibilant. Rest of the treble is also more forward on K5. This helps hearing minute details easier on K5. Technically K5 is superior to Hexa in almost every aspect. K5 is wider and deeper but imaging is similar. Only in timbre K5 loses out but not by a big margin.

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Conclusion

If you are underwhelmed by Hexa’s tonality or you are allergic to forward upper mids, K5 might be a competent choice. Although K5’s tonality is not my favorite, it never offended me or fatigued me during my listening sessions. For the price, they are very well built and offer premium accessories that would surprise you.
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 9:52 AM Post #83,219 of 96,181
So for now, I'm impressed with Krila aside from that thin mids and slightly off timbre, they have great bass that hard to find in this class with superb technicalities as bonuses. As objective as I try, i have to congrats Tyvan and KZ, you did great job with Krila although there are room for improvements as I commented above. Perhaps lower down the 2-4khz roughly -3db and put foam in the nozzle or move the BA further from nozzle opening will be great. Congratulations on delivering the sub $50 budget King challenger here, but sorry they are not ready to fight up until $1000 class.
Can’t wait for the Krila Ultimate Pro, to be released in +/- 5 weeks.
 
Jul 16, 2023 at 9:58 AM Post #83,220 of 96,181
Just got my EPZ 530 today. VERY IMPRESSED so far out of the box.
Refined and detailed with excellent timbre. Loved it on "AIR" and "AIIR" by SAULT.
Great rec from @Tonytex!
I ordered an EPZ 530 unit as well... I couldn't resist this hype. I was looking some full-BA models (among them the Leisurely L8s), but I ended up shooting this EPZ after the Akros review.

At the end of the year I want to test side by side with a unit from the Neon Pro and another from the SR8 to understand how close or far they are in practice (for my taste and for my preferences).
 

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