Review: Earnine EN120 (Superb value for money single BA IEM)

Firstly I would like to thank Earnine for sending me this sample to review, they have been used for well over 100hrs.

*disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.


Gear Used: Audio Opus #2 > Earnine EN120 Small tips

Tech Specs:
Driver Unit:
Proprietary BA
Sound pressure level:
104 dB
Frequency Response:
20 Hz to 20 KHz
Impedance:
22 Ω
Cable:
Twisted cable 1.2 m
Plug
3.5mm gold-plated 3 pole L-shaped plug

Packaging, Build quality and Accessories:
The EN120 come in a very simple small card box with a plastic tray holding the IEM's in place inside. At the bottom of the packaging, you will find the eartips, on the front there is a flap, there are some details about the IEM and specifications. Under this front flap you will also find a plastic window which shows off the IEM's inside. Overall the packaging is nothing special but for this price I really cannot complain.

The build quality is superb, the housings are polished metal and very well finished, the cable is the twisted type which is supple and feels strong. There is good strain relief on all parts, and the 3.5mm jack is angled with a metal housing too. These feel more expensive than they are, and are built to last.

Accessory wise these don't come with much, all you get is some extra silicone single flange tips, so they come with Medium pre installed, and come with some S and L tips. I would have liked them to include a pouch, but I also understand this may have raised the overall cost (and you can buy a cheap case online).


Comfort, Isolation and Cable Noise:
The EN120 is small and smooth, which means they fit really easily into most ears. The included tips are of good quality, but I also found Final tips to work very well with these; you can use these with a deep or shallow insertion depth. I found them to be light, and very comfortable for long periods of time, the cable can be used straight down, or over the ear.

Isolation is excellent, the housing is sealed and uses a single balanced armature, perfect for everyday use and also most commutes. I would even be happy using these on a flight, they really isolate very well with the right tips.

Cable noise is slightly present when used straight down, but not an issue at all. Using them with the cable behind your ears gets rid of the tiny amount of cable noise so there are no issues here at all.


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

Lows: The EN120 leans towards the more neutral side of sound but they are far from lacking down low. For a single balanced armature driver the lows are surprisingly full and articulate, lacking only on the absolute extension front. Being a balanced armature driver the lows hit tight and fast being able to keep up with the fastest of tracks, bass guitars are fairly prominent and easy to follow too. The lows stay well separated from the midrange not adding any added body allowing instruments in the midrange to shine. Yes these will not appeal to bass heads but those looking for a slightly warm but accurate low end should definitely give these a shot, they are certainly not lacking down low that's for sure.

Mids: The midrange leans towards a slightly drier tone but is very detailed and crisp, fine detail shines through with ease and the midrange is never recessed. Electric guitars have excellent crunch to them during heavier rock tracks, and there is good separation and air. There is no sibilance in the upper midrange with a smooth transition into the treble range. The midrange is incredibly well detailed and open for this price, and they are not too clinical or cold. They have good tonality to them without any major peaks or dips, listening to Radiohead you can hear every nuance in the midrange, all excellently separated.

Highs: Again like the lows, very good quantity and positioning, only lacking in the absolute extension department but they do not drop off too early or sound flat and muted. The highs have good clarity and are never pushed too far back in the mix, always audible and in good quality. The highs are great quality too, I find a lot of the budget offerings around to have either splashy undefined highs, or artificially boosted highs to give the feel of quality. These do neither of those, instead offering excellent layering and definition up top, you can easily distinguish between different cymbals. The initial impact is there without a painful peak, and then they extend nicely without a sharp roll-off, it is also easy to pick out where the cymbals are placed in the recording with accurate spatial cues.

The soundstage and separation are unrivaled at this price point, the width and air around instruments is superb and rivals IEM's costing over twice as much. Everything is accurate and easy to hear, yet still cohesive, simply sublime for the price.


Conclusion: I keep forgetting these only cost around $50, they simply punch way above their weight. The sound is full yet balanced with superb detail retrieval and PRAT; you really do think you are listening to a far more expensive pair of headphones when you have these in. Yes the extension on both ends is ever so slightly limited, but I can easily forget about that when the build quality and comfort are excellent, and they sound this good. Bullet For My Valentine - Tears Don't Fall is simply incredible through these, I can wholeheartedly recommend these IEM's and I look forward to new models from Earnine. Now please Earnine, start selling these in other countries, people are really missing out on some excellent budget IEM's.


Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (Superb value for money if you are looking for a precise and balanced sound)

Comments

  1. Where can these iems be purchased, outside Japan?

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately they are only available in Japan, but they are looking for worldwide distributors currently.

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