Pros: Clean sound signature with airy highs, Very good BA bass, Fit and comfort is great. Decent soundstage for the price, Great case and cable.
Cons: Slightly sibilant (depending on genres), Upper-mids can be too aggressive, Imaging needs some work.
Driver Setup: Dual Knowles BA, one high BA, one middle and low BA
Price: $149 (USD)
Disclaimer: I borrowed the Audiosense DT200 from mistereden on Carousell Singapore for review purposes. It currently retails at $202(SGD)
Audiosense is an audio company originating from China and they rose to fame when they released their flagship T800 (8BA) which was relatively well-received from the public and thus generated a huge following in the audiophile community. They seem to also have a competitive edge for its 3D-printing in its IEM offerings which explains why the DT200 felt so comfortable in my ears while maintaining a very good seal.
Packaging and accessories (Score: 7.5/10)
The DT200 comes with a very nice pelican-like case with 2 sets of ear tips, foam and silicone which I really appreciate. They also come with a very pretty copper cable that is soft to the touch yet feels sturdy and durable enough.
It ticks all the boxes, with a great case, a decent selection of tips, and a nice cable to top it off. It’s not fanciful stuff but Audiosense has slightly exceeded expectations for something in this price range, delivering with quality over quantity. Kudos!
Build quality and fit (Score: 9/10)
The 3D printed shells were printed nicely, and they are very comfortable in my ears. They isolate well (and I am comparing them to Shures) to a point that they might be even better than Shures. These do not feel heavy at all and I wore them for 2 hours straight! Their braided cable feels softer than I expected which felt great and durable. As a whole, the DT200 build inspires confidence and I’ve convinced that they can last for quite some time.
Sound (Overall Score: 8.4/10)
I consider the DT200 as bright sounding with a slight mid bass boost which gives it some body.
- JDS ATOM DAC AND ATOM DAC
- Ibasso DX120
- IPhone XR
Music tracks listened to
- Everybody Changes (Keane: Hopes and Fears)
- Secrets (One Republic: Dreaming Out Loud)
- Salute D’amour (YoYoMa)
- Jay Chou/JJ Lin/Lala Hsu/Eric Chou etc
- Cry (Cigarette After Sex: Cry)
- HALO MCC OST
- Violin concerto in D major allegro
- 1812 Overture
- Magnum O Mysterium (Choir)
- Ophelia (The Lumineers)
- Hello (Adele)
Bass: (Score: 8/10)
Mid bass is slightly boosted but it is done tastefully, mid bass wise it still has that punch and impact although it is done by a BA. Do expect a different kind of bass as compared to Dynamic driver units as the DT200’s bass is clean, quick, fast decay, and agile which might not suit everyone. Bass bleed into the lower mids is minimal and does not mar the clarity in the mids.
Mids (Score: 8.5/10)
The first thing that I noticed in the DT200 is its emphasis on upper-mid range aka female vocals, violins and synths which clearly stands out in the tuning of this IEM. They can be quite glaring sometimes depending on what type of tracks you are listening to, but I sometimes do have to turn down the volume because some female voices just become too aggressive and piercing.
In most cases it brings that extra punch to the female vocals (depending on your preference) but such tuning do have it cons and if you are very sensitive to female vocals and instruments in this region, watch out. Male vocals on the other hand sounds calmer and not boosted in comparison, however sometimes it just leaves me wanting more bite and depth with its male voices after being exposed to a very dominant upper-mid range.
Treble (Score: 8/10)
Now this part is tricky as I do like the clarity and airiness of this unit, however sometimes I do find it sibilant and it might be due to some boosts in the 7-8khz region (my sensitive region) which makes it borderline unpleasant but mostly it flies right under that region, so no worries for like 90% of the time. The treble here is quite resolving, it is also quite well extended and exceeded my expectations for the price.
In general, I would say that it is mids and treble focused, the bassline is present but not overpowering, some may consider this as bright-neutral or mid-forward. Treble heads should give this unit a shot if you are looking for something within this price range with a pretty decent treble and not poorly done. Technicalities wise I feel the sound staging is decent and average. I felt that imaging was not very good on the DT200, which isn’t surprising given its driver setup and price point. Sometimes I just feel that several instruments are just coming from the same place, it’s just not very competent in this area. Tonality wise I find it coherent, very nimble throughout, no red flags here.
Audiosense here went for a slightly bolder tuning with a more forward upper-midrange and extended treble. Some may recognise this tuning to be more characteristic of chi-fi made for the Asian/chifi market as opposed to the more mainstream “western” tunings which are safer. This made the overall listen slightly bright and forward. However, what’s impressive is how Audiosense ensured quality in the bass region.
If you are exploring BA timbre and tonality options in this price range, I think the DT200 is a very decent choice if you are a treble-head or if you love crisp and energetic female voicing which are very common in mandopop. The musical nature of the DT200 also helps the IEM deftly avoiding sounding cold or boring and is a really fun listen. Furthermore, the packaging and accessories that come with the IEMs are actually quite commendable in terms of value. This is not to forget the excellent fit that Audiosense earphones have. Overall, the DT200 may just be the perfect commuter earphones.
Overall Grade: B
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