Standing for Balance

One of the first things I noticed when listening to these is that they do require just a little more power to get the best of them. Probably due to them utilising a dynamic transducer in opposed to balanced armature which most IEMs I get through these days use. The impedance is not very high at 24 ohms but the sensitivity of 101dB is certainly a bit lower so is probably this hunger. In a day of DAPs and portable DAC/amps requiring a little more is actually a positive as you will never get hiss. RHA has actually opted for high impedance on their two latest models for this very reason.

I have found that Simgot has gone for quite a measured approach when tuning the EN700. It is obvious they wanted a more balanced sound, moving closer to neutral but did so in a different way to what I think most brands opt for. Instead of just boosting treble and upper mids for that more reference/analytical sound, these have kept mids and treble quite level headed and just cut the bass a little. The sound is therefore actually balanced and not bright or something else. Overall I find this to also be a much lighter sound, not really carrying to much weight in any region. That is also apparent in the soundstage which really lacked any depth to my ears. Weirdly that may inspire a better perception of width but I don’t actually think that is the case. The soundstage seemed dismal even with one of the bigger sounding players on the market such as Astell & Kern’s AK380! Soundstage is probably one of the weaker areas though with everything else being coherent and cleanly delivered. It actually reminds me at times of Dunu’s DN-2000J without the same level of treble energy (read no sibilance) or refinement/detail/technical ability. But then these are cheaper so no shame in that!

16en700-11

As I have already made straight, bass is pretty introvert and actually holds its hand closely through the lower mids only boosting in the slightest until we hit out first peak on the transition into the upper midrange. While the bass may not be in the slightest boosted or bold, it is still punchy and with a firm timbre, due to a strong combination of speed and no exaggeration. Regardless it will still be indifferent if you want quantity even at the expense of a softer, mushier sound or even worse, messy sound, this will never deliver in this regard. The bass keeps it head low delivering nippy hits while also being pretty level in all departments, with sub and mid bass alike.

The very clear nature of this earphone does lend thanks to the way the upper mids do step up the decibels a bit, the same goes for the presence range of this monitor but it really isn’t in the way where this starts to steal the limelight from everything else. Listening to this earphone you wouldn’t be wrong saying these have a very prominent midrange but it is simply a deception to the level of clarity it has, not due to outright being forward. There is a nice delicacy and air around the midrange that lends a hand in captivating listeners but beyond that, it lacks any true colouration with the bass not giving the slightest of influences on the sound. By the time we get to the treble there is a nice flare to the sound but again it isn’t a stepped up frequency, just nicely in line with everything else. I have mentioned before the earphone is on the thinner side and that is by no favour of the treble which does come across a little leaner and can be a bit metallic and unnatural at times. It doesn’t ruin anything for me but there certainly could be some smoothing out of the treble. That being said I still don’t find these to be a bright earphone, not in the sense of some old school models like Fischer Audio’s DBA-02 and I wouldn’t say stay away if you find something like the DN-2000J hard work, this is still calmer than that.

While I have found the overall monitor very clean sounding and am a big fan of a more balanced sound signature, this product does have its flaws in a rather linear soundstage and a sometimes problematic treble (I did find the AK380 helped this a lot, the Cayin i5 not so much). That being said I think it is priced just perfectly. I do still prefer Dunu and AAW models over this in terms of sheer sound, they have a bit more substance and wow factor to them. This doesn’t stand out in any real sense but that is also positive in its own right.

As Solid a Buy as it is Built

This is a model you won’t go wrong with but it also won’t be the best you can get. It has got to be one of the cooler looking IEMs out there, with added value if you own a HiFiMAN HE-1000 and a very strong build. This seems to be a safe and solid bet, especially if you want a balanced sound (certainly look elsewhere for bass), but with so many options it’s hard to say what this does extra special. I know a lot of people want to read about the latest giant killer, or how it sounds out of its price range but nowadays there are so many options I don’t really hear much that is clearly better than its priced these days. I was provided with this by HCK Headphones, they sell absolutely loads of Chinese IEMs but I would only recommend this earphone easily if it goes back to $70 on Massdrop. Everything being said I have seen much worse efforts for a first IEM and Simgot clearly know what they are doing in this game and I have on good authority the next product is an exciting one so I am going to stay tuned!

 

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Sonny Trigg
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