Review: Simphonio Xcited2 (Sunrise audio rise from the Ashes)
Firstly I would like to thank Simphonio for this sample, it has had well over 50hrs of burn-in before reviewing.
Simphonio are a company born out of the ashes of Sunrise Audio, who were a well respected brand a couple of years ago. So lets see what their first new IEM is like.
*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: iBasso DX200 / Audio Opus #2 > Xcited2
- Driver: Dynamic 9mm neodymium magnet
- Frequency response range: 20Hz~25Khz
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Output sound pressure level: 108±3dB/mW
- Maximum input power: 3mW
- Cable: 1.2M 6N OFC twisted
- Weight: 18g
- MSRP: $159.99
Packaging, Accessories and Build quality:
The Xcited2 come in a simple box, with the brand name and logo on the front and some info and specs on the back. Take the top of the box off and you are greeted by the IEM's held securely in a velvet coated foam tray. Underneath this foam you will find the accessories. Overall the unboxing is simple and pleasant, and the packaging is plain but attractive.
The Xcited2 come with a few accessories, you get 3 different types of silicone single flange tips, a semi-hard clamshell case and a cable clip. Everything you need to get a good fit along with a secure place to store them, nothing is missing here.
The Xcited2 feel well built, the housing is mainly plastic with metal accents and a textured face plate. The cable is fixed which is a shame as I would have liked to see a detachable cable for the price. The cable is the twisted type, but then sheathed in very soft and flexible rubber, it does however have some memory effect that may take a few days to straighten out. The jack is metal and has a spring strain relief, the y-split also has a metal casing with Xcited2 engraved on it, however there is no chin slider unfortunately.
Comfort, Isolation and Driver flex:
The housings are rounded, with faily long nozzles which allows you to get a medium to deep fit that is comfortable and secure. The cable routes up and over your ear with ease, and they are very comfortable once you find the right tips.
Isolation is fairly average, there is a vent on the main body that affects the isolation, but means there is no driver flex. I find these to be fine for most regular use, but fully sealed units will nearly always be better if you are using them in very loud environments.
Split into the usual categories with a conclusion at the end.
Lows: I appreciate the lows on the Xcited2, the reason for this is they have just the right amount of impact and presence for a lot of listeners. They don't blow your head off with heaps of power, but you can easily separate different layers down low. Bass guitars are articulate and kicks hit with great impact but don't linger to slow down faster tracks. The bass is not the focus, but it has enough warmth to prevent these from sounding cold and they are expertly controlled. The control down low may have some people wanting a bit more bloom, but these lend themselves to those who prefer the more subtle details in music. The transition from the lows to mids is very well executed, with a slight smoothness but nothing that really affects the lower midrange.
Mids: These have an excellent midrange, it is not recessed and comes across with excellent clarity. There is perhaps a little bit of emphasis on the upper midrange, bringing female vocals forwards a little and also giving the sound a bit of crunch. Separation is a strong point throughout with these, they just seem to be able to separate individual instruments very well for the price. Nothing is really boosted, and these give quite an honest reproduction of sound, the midrange is quite neutral and does not suffer from added warmth from the lows. Electric guitars have excellent definition on the Xcited2, due to the clean and detailed midrange they really have excellent crunch and power. These can verge on the limit of becoming sibilant, but don't ever quite reach it, very well done here as they don't dull the lower treble.
Highs: The treble is the only place where these could perhaps have a little more control, they are not splashy but they don't have the most natural timbre up top, with a slight metallic tone. Overall though the highs are excellent as I find too many companies play it safe with the treble, and it holds so much information and detail that is lost when you tone it down. I understand we all have different thresholds when it comes to listening fatigue, but the Xcited2 pulls off the fine line between being well presented and too much, I feel most will be fine with the quantity and quality provided here.
The soundstage is very good on these, it expands quite wide with fairly average height. Separation is a real strong point though, with excellent control and the ability to easily pick apart complex mixes.
Conclusion: Well the Xcited2 are a superb IEM, even for the price, but I really would have liked to see a detachable cable. The build and fit are very good indeed, but the sound quality is where these excel. Plenty of detail with a good balanced across the frequency range, nothing is boosted and nothing sounds particularly artificial. Yes the highs could be a tiny bit more controlled, the lows could have a little more sub-bass but overall they are very fun to listen to.
Sound Perfection Rating: 7.5/10 (great detail and comfort)