Pros: Great Treble Presentation, Value, Soundstage and Imaging
Cons: Quality of Bass, Slightly Recessed Mids
Driver Setup:1 balanced armature for high frequency,
2 piezoelectric ceramic for ultra-high frequency,
7mm graphene diaphragm dynamic, and
8mm dome titanium diaphragm dynamic
Disclaimer: This review set was graciously lent to me by a friend from his personal collection and the review is written of my own accord. This set was purchased by him from Penon Audio at full price.
At first sight, many will misread the name Geek Wold as “World” which I too made the same mistake. Geek Wold is one of the many relatively obscure Chi-Fi brands out there that are up and coming. The GK10 is a 5 driver hybrid consisting of 2x Piezoelectric, 1x Balanced Armature, and 2x Dynamic Drivers which is uncommon to see in this price range but certainly the trend in the upper echelons of the IEM world.
Accessories and Build Quality (Score: 7.0/10)
For a budget option, the GK10 comes with minimal accessories as I would expect given the stacked driver design and usage. It comes with 2 sets of silicone tips, a carrying pouch and a pretty decent braided cable.
For US$47.90, I do not have any qualms in terms of value here and besides that, the quality of the cable is certainly much better than the likes of some other budget options.
Build quality-wise, the shells are smoothed out with no rough and pointy edges, a heart-shaped faceplate design which I am not a fan of but that depends on your preferences as well. The materials used feel like plastic to me but at least it feels sturdy handling it.
Fit (Score: 7.0/10)
Fit wise, the heart-shaped design feels relatively odd as it does not sit into my ears as well as some others do. It is relatively small as compared to some offerings that stack drivers as the GK10 do which helps with comfort in longer listening sessions. Nozzle size is pretty average, no comfort issues there but hoped that it could be slightly elongated to have more seal.
Sound (Score: 7.5/10)
Frequency Response Graph of the GK10
- Ibasso DX120
- Atom DAC and AMP
Music I listened to:
- Alan Walker – Alone/Faded/Darkside
- Billie Eilish – When we all fall asleep, where do we go?
- Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
- Chainsmokers – Sickboy
- Cigarettes After Sex – Cry
- The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
- One Republic – Human
- Keane – Fears and Hopes
- Nino Rota – The Godfather OST
- Osaka Shion Wind Orchestra – 2016 all Japan Band competition
- Fedde Le Grand – Cinematic
- ARTY – Rebound
- ACDC – Highway to hell
The GK10 is tuned rather warm and meaty which some may enjoy this enormous warmth bass that engulfs the listener. On my end, I felt that it made the entire presentation here rather sluggish for my taste and took some marks away in technicalities. I would have liked it more if there were lesser bass bleed. More emphasis on separation here would have made it a superb experience.
On the upside, the GK10 does have good thumps and punches which again appeals to the majority of having an energetic bass response that is overly boomy to the listening ear.
There is some slight recession in its mid-range at around 1khz and an uplift in its upper mids to create that sense of clarity and energy. I do notice that vocals on the GK10 sound rather thin and lacking some sort of “depth” that makes it sound “full and weighty”. Think of it as a painting, it has the right colours but with weaker strokes. There isn’t much upper-mids spike here so we are all good on that fatigue bar over time.
Now I would like to say that the GK10 does have pretty gorgeous treble tuning here. It is very smooth and sparkles like a star when the time comes for it to shine. It does not sound sibilant even with some spikes in that region. The extension is great on the GK10 which is another plus point that I did not expect in this price bracket. I am guessing it is due to the 2 piezos it has and it is definitely working wonders in there.
Details, speed, attack, decay, and tuning/tonality were pretty much spot on here for the GK10 which I really enjoyed and dig. What a great surprise here!
The imaging and soundstage of the GK10 are definitely above average in this price bracket but I felt that tonality wise, it is slightly skewed. It did well in striking a good balance with that mild V-shaped tuning where it does not sound wonky and off.
I do enjoy the mid to treble regions a lot but with a slight letdown with its mid-bass hump which makes it lose out in terms of quality and shy away from a super-competitive triple threat driver pick.
In conclusion, the GK10 is wonderful at what it is good at, has superb treble performance and good staging/imaging capabilities that ensure great value for you people out there. However, it does have some shortcomings in terms of technicalities in its bass regions. For the price, I feel that the tradeoff is decent and furthermore, individual preferences will differ. If you like that warm tone with great sparkles, this might be a good budget pick and a good introduction to piezoelectric drivers.
Overall Grade: B
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