A Rival To Beat
- Great sound for every penny paid, a great value for money.
- Tuned for clarity, transparency, without losing balance, expressiveness and presence in all ranges.
- Very successful profile between the Harman Target 2016 and the Simgot-Classic Target.
- Excellent quality/price ratio.
- Great level of construction.
- Good cable.
- Good ergonomics.
- Sensitive and easy to move.
- Bass presence is adequate and fair, but for those looking for more punch this will not be the set for them.
- It is clear that all the flesh has been put into the sound and construction, while there is only a set of tips and a cloth bag for storage.
Link to the Store
Once again, Simgot, it goes on and on. In the EW100P review, I already said that Simgot was going to be one of the recurring brands of the summer. And it is confirmed after the presentation of these new EW200s, even with the new EM6L model on the horizon (1DDD + 4BA tuned according to the H-2019 Target Curve). But, back to what concerns us in this article, the EW200s are IEMS with a 10mm SCP diaphragm, dual magnetic circuit and dual-cavity dynamic driver. They have a polished, shiny metal capsule, in the style of the EA500, but smaller. They use a high-quality silver-plated OFC cable, a sophisticated tuning system and advanced technology, plus a dual magnetic circuit and top-level dual-cavity dynamic speaker. From its description, «the EW200’s dual magnetic system uses internal and external magnetic paths, reinforced by N52 grade magnets. This design greatly improves dynamic range and transient response, resulting in a wider frequency range and a more immersive and detailed listening experience. The EW200 uses a revolutionary diaphragm material: the SCP diaphragm. This diaphragm incorporates a special polymer film as a substrate that is coated with a layer of hybrid silicon by double-sided sputter deposition. By combining the strengths of DLC and LCP diaphragms, it maintains the high-density midrange performance of LCP diaphragms and the extended and exquisite high-frequency response of DLC diaphragms. It also overcomes the difficulties of high-frequency control and slight harshness found in some audio sources with a DLC diaphragm, resulting in a luxurious, smooth sound with rich layering and spaciousness.» There is no doubt that the website provides a lot of information about this model. Let’s look at other aspects in this review.
- Driver Type: 10 mm dual magnetic circuit and dual cavity dynamic driver. Double-sided vapour deposited silicon crystal diaphragm.
- Frequency Response: 10Hz-50kHz.
- Effective Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz.
- Sensitivity: 126dB/Vrms (@1kHz).
- Impedance: 16Ω±15% (@1kHz).
- Jack Connector: SE 3.5mm gold-plated.
- Cartridge Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm.
- Cable: OFC high purity silver plated.
The Simgot EW200 comes in a relatively small dark box, whose dimensions are 114x98x37mm. On the main face, in the background, there is a pattern reminiscent of a maze. In the upper left corner is the brand name and slogan. In the centre, in faded gold lettering, you can read «MAZE». Underneath, it says «EW200 HIGH PERFORMANCE» in the bottom right corner is the Hi-Res logo. On the back is a lot of information in 4 languages, including English. It starts at the top with the model description, the frequency response curve and the specifications. Once the outer cardboard is removed, you can see a matte black box with only the brand logo in the centre in holographic silver. Once opened, the capsules can be seen inside a black foam mould lined with black cardboard. To its right is an elongated box containing the accessories. Below this first level is another box containing the cable and the manual. In summary, the complete contents are as follows:
- The two Simgot EW200 capsules.
- One cable.
- One set of white silicone tips, sizes SxMxL.
- One cloth bag for transport.
- One user manual.
It is worth remembering that the price of this product is $40. The accessories are minimal and it seems that the biggest cut is in the construction of the capsules, to a lesser degree in the cable. And, overall, the sound.
Construction and Design
The construction is reminiscent of the EA500 only in its shiny, metallic finish and use of metal. The EW200 headphones feature an all-metal body with a silver mirror finish, made from a precision-machined, high-density cast alloy. The outer face is flat and has several flat faces, while the largest face is a rounded right angle. Inside is a drop-shaped piece, which protrudes out. It contains the logo in its centre and the brand slogan near the edge of the circle. At the apex of the drop there is a small hole. The part containing the 2Pin 0.78mm connection is completely embedded in the body of the capsule and is the classic transparent, rectangular insert with the gold-plated connectors. The inner side has two levels, as usual for the other Simgot models. The lower level has the channel lettering inscribed in a circle near the corner of the capsule. Next to it is the model name. The second level is the base of the mouthpiece, projected from an inclined cone with a hole in its skirt. The nozzles are fully integrated and there is no separation. They have two diameter levels. At the beginning, the diameter is smaller and measures 5mm. The upper edge is 6mm. The total length is approximately 4mm. The inside is protected by a dense metal grid. The capsules have a mirror finish that is a fingerprint magnet and are somewhat heavy in the hands.
The cable consists of two intertwined strands and has a transparent PVC sheath. Inside, the conductor is high-purity silver-plated OFC. On the other hand, the rest of the components are the most common, a black plastic L-connector sleeve. The plug is 3.5mm SE gold-plated. The splitter piece is padlock-shaped and also made of black plastic, with the brand logo embossed on it. The pin is a rectangular piece, also made of black plastic, with the brand name inscribed on it. The 2Pin 0.78mm connectors are straight, inside a straight transparent plastic housing. Each side is differentiated by a red or blue mole to indicate the side. Each cable has a stiffer jacket which gives it an over-ear shape. It is a simple cable in parts, striking for its silver-plated content mixed with more gold-plated wires on the other pair. It is relatively thin, but is a slight departure from being a basic cable. It has a bit of stiffness, is not microphonic, and is generally not bad for the price. Finally, it is comfortable on the ears.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
The most critical thing about the capsules is their weight. Otherwise, the ergonomics are very good. The flat shape of the outer side of the headset makes it fit quite well in the ears. The curved shape of the rim fits perfectly into the pinna and its integration is very high. Once the capsules are fitted, the movement is minimal and the discomfort is almost non-existent, even the weight of the capsules fades away. The inclination of the nozzles is sufficient for orientation to be noticeable. The length is not long enough for insertion to be more than shallow, hopefully it can be medium if longer tips are used. As usual, I have used my large foam-filled tips, which I make at home. With them the fit is immediate and the level of insulation is good. The seal is subtly occlusive although slight movement can spoil it. To improve it, the mouthpieces should be subtly longer.
As the frequency response graph in the box itself informs us, the Simgot EW200s move between the Harman Target 2016 and the Simgot-Classic Target. However, I find discrepancies between my own FR and the one provided by the manufacturer. In my case, the low end is closer to the upper-mids. And this is something I welcome. Although, to my ears, it is clear that this is a more exalted set in the upper-mids than in the lows. It is a Harman 2016 pattern that seeks more clarity, stretching the mids, limiting the control zone of the first treble and tilting the curve towards the sub-bass. It is a balanced profile with a clear tendency towards light, without losing sight of the presence of the deepest bass.
The bass is dry, forceful, but tight, restrained, with a very limited boomy, just enough to maintain naturalness and a realistic and very controlled performance. It is true that I prefer a little more presence, but the EW200s have a bass with a canonical tendency: it sounds as it should and it is presented as a reference. It is not a flabby bass, on the contrary, it is agile and quite fast for its price, with good colour and a gentle, pleasant and quite dynamic behaviour. The speed of its decay is fast and there is hardly any sediment left in its sediments. It does not possess a presence above the rest of the frequency range, but it has the executive authority to demonstrate its quality and presence when needed. So much so, that one expects extra power… I would welcome bass with this quality and superior lift. But control has its limitations, as does the balance demonstrated throughout the range. Incidentally, this is a clean bass, emphasised in the sub-bass, which descends smoothly towards the mids, ridding itself of any rumble or emphasised mid-range aspect. In this way the EW200s demonstrate wisdom, depth, know-how in poor conditions (read dirty and unfiltered bass), agility and the ability to represent planes with ease and clarity, as well as to follow complex bass lines.
In the very low-frequency pure tone test, the quality of the LFOs’ performance is noticeable. It is not easy for IEMS in this price class to sound as good as natural and deep. At the lower limit they sound sensory, with a performance that demonstrates a skill that is not easy for higher IEMS. As you move up the frequencies the notes become more audible, but without losing their naturalness, adjusting to a very real timbre, stellar performance for the price and a vivid and very effective realism. Perhaps, to put it mildly, the surface is soft and smooth, not a rough or visceral bass. It’s clean, it doesn’t tear and that limits the fun and also the informativeness of the texture. You can’t have everything for $40, but it’s excellent nonetheless.
The mids start very clean and without any presence of bass contamination, thanks to the finite content of the lower range. This means that there is hardly any warmth in the first half of the midrange. Presence is high, even for male voices. Although its packaging is somewhat thin, for my taste it lacks a bit of physicality, body and base. The upper part of the male voices’ frequencies feel higher. Its texture is limited and in it you can see nuances and details that are surprising for the price range. But there is no visceral, deep, physical roughness. On the contrary, as I say, the vocals are lean in this respect. There is also a lack of bite and punch in the lower voices, which are too soft and polite. I instinctively reached for my warmer sources to extract the true potential of the fleshier voices. But to no avail. If you’re looking for exuberance in these voices, you’re not going to find it. On the contrary, the performance is truly clean, clear and luminous. The projection of detail is high, but, fortunately, it strikes the right balance between body and nuance. Despite the thinness of the male voices, they are not over-exposed in detail, but rather there is a technical and more analytical tendency, but without this being predominant.
The good relationship between vocals and instruments is surprisingly good, the blend is defined and well separated, and the music shines in both aspects. The EW200s are good for vocals, especially female vocals, and also for instruments. For the ensemble, they have the technical ability to recreate an explicit, clear and high-resolution representation for their price range, achieving great definition and cleanness between the two worlds, thanks to a remarkable sense of dynamics, transparency and darkness in the background.
The high-mids have that plateau and tuning that has given such good results to recent IEMS from other brands, such as TinHiFi. In fact, it has a similar tuning, but with a more accentuated technical level. In this sense, this maintained top end brings that characteristic stamp of brightness, clarity and transparency, supported by the efficiency of a dynamic driver that is quite fast in its response. Female vocals are more exuberant and both guitars and brass are more prominent in the ensemble. There is control here, but I can’t help but feel that this is a level of exposure that can become tiring over time. Perhaps it is more suited to more discerning ears looking for quality and a more balanced profile, with less bass presence. I’m inclined to go for more presence in the low end. But I can’t help thinking about the great quality level that the EW200s have in the midrange, every time I use them, thanks, also, to their level of precision, something very remarkable for their price.
Dynamic drivers increasingly achieve a more pronounced treble extension. But then you have to know how to fine-tune this extension. And the EW200s achieve this for very little money. All the technical skill is reflected in the treble. There is a relaxed control drop and a noticeable sustained extension up to the air zone. This results in a quite realistic and natural timbre, as well as a sparkling, splashy, almost crisp treble. There is a good level of energy in this range, but it is not overpowering. There is also a remarkable linearity and homogeneity, something that also helps the high notes to maintain their grip on reality without sounding too forced or apparent. The high end keeps a good luminous balance with the rest of the range, but with enough presence to shine on its own, achieving an explicit and slightly protagonist range, which does not show itself as a mere comparsa, but expresses a lot of musical potential at a great level for its price range.
At the very end, it’s time to get down to earth and come back to price. The EW200 costs $40 and you can’t ask for extreme detail and resolution. It is quite good for its level. But, pushed to the limits of its performance, micro-detail is only intuitive in the mid-range. Despite the remarkable clarity it possesses, the resolution is quite good, but it is not sufficient to reveal the tiniest nuances. Nevertheless, the perception of transparency is high and this effect manages to counterbalance some shortcomings by offering a relatively bright, dynamic, even energetic sound, as well as possessing moderate macro details and details.
In terms of the stage, it presents itself with width, frontal presence and appreciable laterality, without crossing the 180-degree barrier. The height is distinguishable and the instrumental and vocal positioning is more than acceptable.
As of today, the TinHiFi C3s cost $49 to $40 for the Simgot EW200s. The physical differences are obvious, while the C3s have a resin capsule construction, the EW200s have a polished metal finish. The C3s have a 4-strand silver-plated cable and the EW200s have a 2-strand silver-plated cable. Despite the larger size, the ergonomics of the C3 semi-custom capsules are superior, lighter and with a more occlusive and permanent fit, with a higher level of isolation.
Profile-wise it is very similar in both, although the EW200s are arguably brighter in tune than the C3s. The bass of the C3s is denser and heavier, while the overall sound feels a little darker. There is more clarity and light in the EW200’s. They are also easier to move, as they are more sensitive.
The bass of the EW200s is more compact, slightly faster and tighter, more technical. The bass of the C3s is fuller, more extended, especially towards the sub-bass and darker, but its recovery is somewhat slower, it has more punch.
In the midrange, there is more closeness and clarity in the EW200s, more light and transparency. The mids are more diaphanous, which is noticeable in both male and female voices. They feel closer and clearer. On the C3s, the voices don’t feel as prominent or expressive. Instrumentation is better represented in the EW200s in its detail and nuance, seeming to have more resolution even. The C3s feel more relaxed in this respect, while the EW200s are more explicit.
Although the high end curve is very similar, the treble of the EW200s is more defined, more noticeable and present, crisper and brighter. In addition, their timbre is more realistic and lifelike. That point of greater brightness and explicit capability gives them a presential and leading edge over the C3s, which have good extension, but are calmer and softer.
The more relaxed, softer and somewhat darker sound of the C3s offers greater cohesion and fluidity. On the other hand, the more incisive and explicit feel of the EW200s projects more sound, detail and even makes the scene appear larger and wider, thanks to the greater sense of dynamics. The greater sense of light, transparency offers a more separated and wider sound. It also looks higher resolution, but, in the end, the level of micro detail may be the same, although it may seem more evident in the EW200s.
Simgot has shown what it can do for twice the price of the EW100P. Make no mistake, that value is only $40 and, without a doubt, with this amount of dollars the brand has managed to create a reference to beat in this tight price range and with so much competition. It doesn’t go off the beaten track looking for an alternative sound, it’s a cross between the Target Harman 2016 and Simgot’s own Target. But, truth be told, that crossover brings a trait of neutrality and clarity that is not easy to find for this price. Not, at least, until now. I haven’t tried all the IEMS under $50, nor can I say that the EW200s are the best. But, I can say that this is a clear and obvious recommendation for those looking for a very high price/performance ratio, a clean, clear, detailed, skilful, dynamic, vivid and effective sound, in which all three ranges are very well represented, especially the transition between the mids and the first treble, but without reaching the danger zone that such emphasis always entails. Wise implementation, wise choice. But, to all this, we must add an exemplary level of construction, with polished and shiny metal capsules, as much or more than their sound. It is true that they are a little heavy, but once they fit in your ears, it is as if they disappear, thanks to their outstanding ergonomics. The cable is suitable and comes with a cloth pouch for storage. Well, it’s not much more, but I’d rather the brand spent every penny on the most important things: the sound, the construction of the capsules and their ergonomics. A rival to beat and a reference for its price.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- xDuoo Link2 Bal.
- Tempotec MARCH III.
- Burson Audio Playmate II.
- Aune M1p.
- HiBy R3 Pro.