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Shrill Highs, lack sub-bass completely... extremely fatiguing
They literally just broke after writing this review. It should be noted I am very gentle with my gear and equipment. This was extremely disappointing. Probably should drop to 1/5 stars for how cheaply they are made. Picture below.
****/5 Revamped rating to 4/5 after mod and swapping amps with boost and EQ on Mac. I listened on low level volume for distracted listening where divided attention tasks were unavoidable and necessary. In this headspace and mindshare, these were enjoyable. Without the sticker removal and DAC/amp boost and EQ, these would be a 2/5.
Would not recommend. In a world so competitive with cans and iem’s at this price point, I simply cannot recommend due to the sibilance and piercing highs. Even with the easy bass mod, nothing can save you from the untamed high end.
The separation is okay and detail is nice; however even with a DAC and amp, EQ, bass boost on the amp... nothing can save your ears from the sharp and painful upper end. Even trebleheads should take heed. Instrument separation was decent and fun, stage is above average at price point, but I found myself constantly turning down the volume to compensate for the highs assaulting my ears. I wanted to love these honestly. Now they’ll just sit on a stand or get gifted to a friend who is a musician, but i fear they will share the same fate in his hands.
I have had these for over a year and a half, removed the sticker on the driver, use Tidal and a ifi Hip-DAC for mobile listening. Last listening session I listened to a slew of genres and probably focused on the music for about four hours and afterwards my ears were grateful the grueling workout was over. Still a fan of Drop and Hifiman... just not this set. Just my $.02. Cheers.
Updated: I listened for another session at low volume and the sensation was pleasant once my ears got used to the sound signature. Probably decent for study sessions or where work requires some focus and you just want pleasant background noise and music. For listening enjoyment, def get yourself something else to jam out with you cans out.
Would not recommend to a friend.