Review: Verbatim High Performance Sound Isolating Earphones

Firstly I would like to thank Verbatim and Publitek for loaning me this sample to review, they explained it was a new model from a company looking to enter the Headphone market and wanted my opinion. I always try to write my honest opinion in reviews, these headphones received over 50hrs of burn-in, no differences were noted.



Tech Specs:
·         10mm speakers drivers
·         Aluminium speaker housing
·         Frequency response: 20Hz to 20Khz
·         Sensitivity: 98 +/- 3db at 1Khz
·         Impedance: 32 Ohms +/- 15%
·         Max input power: 10 mW
·         Weight: 18.5 grams
·         Total cable length: 139cm
·         Cable width: 4mm

MSRP: Around €35


Build quality and Accessories:
The build of these IEM’s is very good to say the least, they have a flat cable which doesn’t tangle easily, and a metal housing with an excellent finish. The L shaped 3.5mm jack feels strong but could use a little more flexible strain relief, the y-split is not too clunky and there is a chin slider too. The single button remote has a plastic housing, but the button feels strong and I cannot see any problems arising from this area. Y-split on the housing is very flexible and the R and L earpiece are easily distinguished with the letter R and L clearly marked on the strain relief.

Accessory wise you get a soft velvet pouch and a good selection of single flange tips, enough for most users to get a good seal. Nothing really lacking in the accessory package for the price.

Comfort, Isolation, Cable noise and Driver flex:
The comfort is very good, I find it hard to get a good fit with a few designs, but I found these to be quite comfortable, offering a medium insertion depth. They did stay in well with the included tips, these include a good selection of tips, so finding the right one shouldn’t be difficult. The housing is a little sharp, but I did not find this to be a problem when they were in. They remained comfortable for the duration of my commute (around an hour) and would be suitable for longer listening sessions.

Isolation is good, but the housing is vented so they do not isolate as much as fully sealed IEM’s.

Cable noise is not a problem when using these.

Driver flex is slightly present upon initial insertion, but the driver returns to normal very quickly, the vented housing works well here.

Sound:
Split in to the usual categories with a conclusion at the end.

Lows:
The lows on these are very impressive, they dig deep with control and articulation. They have a good amount of punch yet remain well controlled throughout. They don’t sound muddy, and are well separated, kick drums had body, bass guitar lines are easily audible. The lows add a nice warmth to the sound, which help them from sounding clinical, they work very well in outdoor environments where a little extra body is desirable. The lows can keep up with most genres, but do best with modern pop, as I find them to lack a little speed in faster rock, they do fair well with alternative rock however.
Listening to Mumford & Sons new album, you can hear the bass line very clearly, and the kick drum has good energy, yet the vocals still cut through clean with minimal added warmth from the lows, the lows in quantity are slight above neutral, but not overpowering.

Mids:
The mids come across clean and detailed, and sit just behind the lows in terms of quantity. Vocals, both male and female, have good detail retrieval, guitars don’t have the power and crunch that some IEM’s have, but this way they don’t mask the bass line. I find the focus on these is slightly on the mid-bass yet the mids still captivate and are capable of impressive detail retrieval on well recorded tracks. They also do not suffer from sibilance, and tonally are slightly sweeter than neutral, which leads to a more pleasing listening experience.

Highs:
I thought these would have to do something wrong, yet I cannot fault the highs. For a more consumer product, they do not miss out on having good high frequency performance. The highs really complement the sound, and sound very coherent with excellent balance. They don’t come across as peaky or sharp, going with the smoother yet well extended approach, you never lose track of the highs, even during faster passages. Every tap and crash of a cymbal is audible and never fatiguing, I am very impressed.

A brilliant track to bring out the best in these, is Pearl Jam – Come Back, it has such a fantastic bass line that sounds just right, and Eddy’s vocals come across quite intimate, the cymbal crashes and taps come in from the right places and spacial queues are easily made out.

The soundstage on these surpasses that of any other budget IEM’s I can think of, these do not sound congested, with air around everything and out of head experiences to be had.

Conclusion: Well I think there is some stiff competition in the same price range from the likes of SoundMAGIC and Dunu, but I can say that these are some very impressive IEM’s for the price. They may not have the refined sound of more expensive models, but what they do offer is a well balanced sound, with a mid-bass boost that would please most listeners, and helps them retain body when in louder environments. The lows never become overbearing, the mids have good clarity and separation, the highs have air and extension that would put many an IEM in this price range to shame. Very impressive indeed, everything is there, in a comfortable, non fatiguing, wallet friendly package.


Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (fantastic value for money)

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