Review: LEAR LUF-Turbo Dual Dynamic Driver IEM
Firstly I would like to thank Lear for sending me this sample, they have over 100hrs of burn-in before writing this review.
*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.
Audio Opus #2 / Hidizs AP200 > LUF-Turbo
Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
The LUF-Turbo come in a fairly plain black box, there is a LEAR sticker on the bottom which tells you the model inside, but no indication of specs on the box. Once you open the box you’ll find the IEMs held in a foam inlay, with the carry case below holding the cable. Underneath the foam inlay you’ll find the box which holds the tips. The box is plain, but simple and elegant.
The Turbo come with the typical Lear hard carry case, with a good selection of tips. You get S, M and L in single flange silicone, and 2 types of foam tips (both M size), you also get a wax cleaning tool. Overall a nice selection of accessories, and everything that is needed.
The Turbo are very well built, the shells are handmade and you can see that just by looking at them, the attention to detail is superb. They are flawless, the MMCX socket is solid and they are a very well made IEM. The nozzle does not have a lip to hold tips on, but providing you use tips that are fairly tight I do not see this being a problem.
The supplied cable is pretty average; it's a 4-core braided cable with good strain relief, and memory wire at the top. The MMCX connectors are sturdy though, and I see this cable lasting well with some care (the top section is a little thin).
Comfort, Isolation and Driver flex:
The Turbo are shaped like a custom monitor, and the nozzles are short, which means these fit very well with a slightly shallower than average fit. I find these to be very comfortable once you have the right tip, they do really disappear in your ears.
Due to the shallow fit, and there is a vent to relieve driver pressure, these do not isolate as much as a fully sealed monitor, however they are fine for general use, just not the best isolating for noise commutes.
Driver flex is not much of an issue with these, sometimes it appears but the drivers return to normal quite quickly. Nothing severe here.
Split into the usual categories with a conclusion at the end.
Lows: From the description on the website, I was expecting these to be bass cannons, much to my surprise they are not. The lows are definitely a little fuller than strictly neutral, but they are controlled and punchy. I am quite impressed by the quality of bass for this price, it can dig deep when called for, and has a little bit more sub-bass quantity over mid-bass punch. The lows are articulate, bass guitars sound full, kick drums have good impact backed up with body. I will say that the speed of the lows isn't the greatest, the extra bit of body and sub-bass presence does slow down the lows a little, but they only get congested on very complex tracks.
The lows here do well with most genres, but they play especially well with modern pop, slower alt rock, and EDM.
What really caught me off guard are the kicks during Bombtrack by Rage Against the Machine, they hit so hard and sound realistic with the right amount of punch and body.
Midrange: The midrange has some dips and peaks, it is not the most linear but it isn't fully recessed when compared to the lows and highs. They sit just behind the main bass line in most tracks; female vocals do sound a little thick as there is a dip in the upper midrange. Female vocals lack a little crispness to them, but there is no sibilance so that is good. Male vocals actually come across a little better, with a more natural tone to them. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there feels like at a certain frequency there is some resonance that dulls the energy of certain notes in the midrange, muting them slightly. Again this is only during certain tracks, and for the most part is not an issue. Electric guitars have good energy and the main thing about the guitars is placement within the soundstage, which is very precise and accurate. Whilst a little more tuning could be done, the midrange is largely inoffensive, fun and smooth with good detail retrieval.
Highs: The treble on the Turbo is very good when it comes to presence and energy. They have not toned down the highs, but they have been tuned to be smooth. I do find them to be a little splashy at times, but again at this price point it is hard to do everything right. The highs are not sharp, and I found them to never become fatiguing, just well placed within the soundstage with good presence and energy, There is not a lot air up top, and they do roll off a little early, but this is a minor fault.
The Turbo have a fairly wide soundstage, but the imaging is very good with a defined centre image and everything has good L/R definition. The instrument separation is fairly average, they do get a little congested during faster tracks.
Conclusion: Well I wasn't sure what I was getting with the LUF-Turbo, I was expecting bass cannons but instead I was actually pleasantly surprised. These are not flawless, but nothing really is, what these do produce though is a very fun and engaging sound without major dips or peaks. Yes the bass is full and articulate, the mids sit a little behind but do sound quite good, and the highs are definitely there with good energy and sparkle. To get this sound from 2 dynamic drivers is no easy feat, add in excellent build and comfort and these are quite the budget IEM. These are one of those IEM's you can put in and forget about when out and about; they are not made for critical listening, but for enjoyment.
Sound Perfection Rating: 7/10 (not perfect, but very good fun)