- Clean and wide balanced V sound
- Very enjoyable mids
- Elegant and particular design
- Level of construction and finishes. Sensation of robustness
- Slightly short nozzles
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- Driver Type: Driver Dinámico 11mm con diafragma de PET
- Frequency response: 20-40000Hz
- Sensitivity: 95dB/mW
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Jack connector: 3.5mm
- Cable length: 1.2m
The EP10 comes in the classic white NiceHCK cardboard box, with the brand name on the front and a drawing of the shape of the IEMS. On the back are specifications in several languages, including English. Inside you will find the classic zippered case from the shop. Once opened, the capsules of the IEMs can be found protected inside Zip bags. There are also two other Zip bags, one as 3 pairs of red core silicone eartips sizes S-M-L, and the other with two pairs of bi-flange silicone eartips of the same size but in different colors, blue and white, both translucent.
The content and the presentation continue in this line of offering the minimum and indispensable.
Construction and design
The design starts from an already known base and ends up in something almost different, with that shape of metallic almond with a polished surface. The back part reminds an earbud, but in the other half appears the nozzles in asymmetric arrangement to facilitate the adjustment against the shell of our ears.
I find its design very elegant, somewhat adventurous in the sense that the form may not fit all ears, but certainly totally distinctive and particular. No doubt everyone who has it will not be able to confuse it with another lEM that possesses.
The only negative point of its design is that the nozzles are very short and this can make adjustment even more difficult.
The metal used is heavy in the hand, but personally, once put not notice them so.
The cable is also very similar to that used in earbuds, copper 4-core. The plug is straight and metallic, with the mark engraved in white. In the splitter, also metallic, is engraved the name of the model. It also has a pin for adjusting the cables under the chin. For the black capsule model, the cable is brown..
As the adjustment is downwards it facilitates the microphony, although to an acceptable degree, since the braided cable improves this aspect.
Adjustment and ergonomics
As I say, by its design the adjustment could become critical. Luckily for me it has not been like that. But it is true that to adjust them I need a few seconds to be able to fit them completely. As the nozzles are short, the insertion is superficial. Once fitted I don’t notice their weight or move and the seal I get, using my homemade hybrid eartips, is pretty good, achieving a good isolation.
To evaluate the sound, I used eartips of size L, with an inner diameter of 4.5mm that are quite low, filled with foam. What I try to get with them is a large outside diameter to facilitate surface adjustment and that the nozzles are as close as possible to the outside.
In V but soft, without having the mids so far away, is even more, I would say that the central part is emphasized almost more than the rest of segments.
Once the proper eartips are found, the bass have a fairly adequate presence. They are not excessive or fall very deep, although they have a good hit at 40Hz. Underneath its power is no longer very significant. Above, up to 100Hz, they maintain the level, beyond which their gain softens.
The bass are not thick or too focused, nor do they stand out in speed. In any way I find them dull but neither would they be IEMs to enjoy electronic music over others that I own.
Concluding I could say that this segment is quite balanced, without large peaks, does not have excessive body and has a warm character.
The first thing I notice is the warmth in the lower mids and fuller sound in this area due to the slow decrease in the gain of the bass, this is something I certainly appreciate. Male voices gain in body and nuances, their presence becomes wider, far from being isolated and sounding thin. There is no veil in the mids, nor is there any feeling of mud in the voices.
The tonality of the mids, in my opinion, is neutral but slightly warm. There is an enhancement in the midrange, a characteristic that conditions the overall sound of the IEMs. Thus, female voices enjoy a certain enhancement.
Mids are clean and wide, with good separation, very pleasant and musical, without being analytic or blatantly detailed.
Wheezing is quite controlled, without reaching unpleasant or excessive levels.
In my opinion, treble provides more clarity and air than brightness, resulting in a controlled treble sound that is not trimmed. The detail and precision is good without highlighting. The sound is neither piercing nor sharp. The result of this segment brings to the sound the neutrality, the musicality, the cleanliness and the relaxation that it possesses.
A quite remarkable feature of these IEMs is the width of their sound, along with their cleanliness. Both qualities are perceived almost instantly, without the need to listen to many songs. The scene is perceived with that width, although not with the same depth or three-dimensionality.
The separation is good due to the cleanliness of the sound, its neutrality and the air it contains.
KZ ED16 (15€)
Due to their price range and their relatively recent nature, ED16 were first on the list to be compared with EP10. Previously I must say that I sealed the front holes of the ED16, in order to get more bass.
ED16 are more sensitive. But really the sound signature differs more than I expected. In comparison the ED16 are warmer, darker, with more present bass and fuller and congested mids. The voices sound somewhat distant and veiled in comparison, almost muddy and sometimes more nasal. The level of detail is below the EP10, the ED16 sound blunt in comparison. It is true that the EP10 media are brighter but that brightness is never harmful, it also provides a level of detail and clarity that ED16 do not have. In some recordings the sound of ED16 is unnatural compared to EP10.
The scene and image of the ED16 is well below the EP10. The sound of the ED16 is quite focused and although it enjoys good separation, it lacks the air and width of the EP10.
I have enough KZ, but I’ve been denying their sound for a long time. Although I can not deny that until now the ED16 seemed to me quite well, compared to my other KZ. But after comparing them I see that my preference is clearly towards the EP10 and I would only choose the ED16 if I want more bass presence and an over-ear fit.
Artiste DC1 (33€)
A priori and from memory the EP10 have reminded me of the DC1. And in a certain way I see in them more similarities than differences. The EP10 are a little warmer and a little more V shaped. They have wider bass and extend more in both directions. Thus, male voices are not as well focused as in DC1, where they are actually very well recreated, defined and closer. Female voices, however, have a bit more body and presence in EP10.
The presence of lower treble seems more sharp in EP10s while DC1s are more extended and thinner. In general, the sound of DC1 is more precise, somewhat more analytical versus solidity and more sound in EP10. The EP10 sound wider and fuller again, generating a more complete sensation in the image and filling the gaps left by the DC1, without losing clarity or detail, giving a sensation of sound somewhat more massive than the sharp DC1.
In short, the sound in the EP10 is bigger, with better scene and image, while the DC1 sound cooler, less visceral, more delicate and precise.
In terms of construction the EP10 are considerably more solid than the DC1, both in cable, plug and capsules. The DC1 only gain in ergonomics and lightness.
The EP10 are IEMs with earbuds soul, both in design and almost in sound. They stand out for their elegant and polished design, as well as for their pleasant sound profile, where balance, maturity, width and cleanliness are their main characteristics. These virtues make they a very versatile IEMs that can be used for many musical genres. All this for a really contained price for everything they offer. It’s a very round product that is only tarnished by the size of its nozzles, a characteristic that can cause certain adjustment problems and subsequent sound perception.
I don’t want to finish without writing how much I like the sound of these IEMs. The more I compare them with other models, the more I realize their value and the overall quality they offer for so little money.
Sources used during the analysis
- FX-Audio DAC-X6 (OpAmp Burson Audio V5i-D)
- Audio S1