We have another first for the blog today, that being a guest review. Please welcome fellow Head-fi’er Trivium911 to the channel *clap, clap clap!*
Trivium911 picked up the EE846 five BA model from the WooEasy store over on AliExpress a while back. Reviews of WooEasy products aren’t welcome over on the Head-fi forums due to some questionable review and sales practices. I’m not supporting what went down, I just think it was a really unfortunate situation because some of his stuff makes for a pretty solid budget buy.
I haven’t heard this particular model but I do have the EE846 Hybrid. For the price paid they’ve been absolutely stunning, going head-to-head with the 400 USD Accutone Pisces BA. It seemed Trivium911 was pretty impressed with the performance of the all BA model, so to help spread the word I offered to share his review here.
EE846 (BA) Review by Trivium911
Euge Groove-Tango In Tio (FLAC)
Lawson Rollins-meeting in Madrid (FLAC)
Yanni-Adagio in C Minor (FLAC)
Fiio X3ii and EE846 DIY With standard blue cable, 1 More Dual Drivers (comparison)
I would like to start out this short review with stating why I chose the 1MORE dual hybrids as a comparison. The main reason is that while these may not be the most expensive pair I own, they are the best sounding, although a little heavy on the bass for some. They also offer some of the best soundstage and instrument separation that I’ve heard at their price range. Second, I am an avid member of Head-Fi, however this review will never make it to there as I found out fairly soon when I started asking about the EE864 before purchasing that the seller was not permitted to advertise on Head-Fi. I don’t care why this is the case or any of it’s logistics, right now we are here to talk about an excellent product for an excellent price. I will tell you that my purchase experience with Easy Earphone was nothing short of excellent, the order was built very quickly and shipped out quickly and I will definitely be purchasing again. I just bought the additional foam tips from WooEasy Earphones which were shipped extremely quickly. I think I just found my go to favorite store in china!
I received my EE846’s 15 calendar days after they were shipped Via Epacket to Canada…so this to me is very quick shipping (B9 interjection – Yes, that’s really quick! I usually wait at least 45 days from other sellers). Regarding visuals, they look pretty much identical to the Shure SE 846s and possibly use the same housing, but contain three Knowles drivers, two of which have dual drivers in one with a single sound port to make up a total of five drivers per in ear monitor. It’s interesting to note that these technically have an extra driver over the Shures. Now, to go over the basics.
Comfort: I’m still doing some tip rolling, but I like the foams and I’m not sure why some people are complaining about them; perhaps they have odd shaped gremlin ears ? The foams are basically a knockoff of Comply foams which we can could all agree are heavily marked up. The provided silicones do an excellent job and I had no issues with them either. The around ear design pretty much eliminate microphonics which is more than I can say for the 1MORES which can be annoying at times. You tend to plug these into your ears and forget they are there, so they are considerably comfortable and even excellent to sleep in.
Listening to some of my sample songs reveal that these have excellent overall texture with saxophones and violins and they don’t carry that annoying grain that can sometimes follow with certain dynamic driver headphones. Yanni’s Adagio for C minor and prelude have amazing presence and balance, silky smooth and not sibilant or harsh which allows you to pick up how the different violins and cellos are playing together to form a warm cloud of music around you. Detail retrieval on high resolution files are absolutely stunning; you will definitely hear additional details in the music that you would not normally.
Moving to soundstage, this is a tricky department. It seems the 1MORE creates an illusion of a larger soundstage by placing the vocal frequencies and your focal instruments, such as a saxophone, slightly in the background instead of fully in front like the EE864 does. Regarding the isolation, the EE846 isolates far better and does not leak sound for a more private listening experience while the 1MORE can leak background noise when turned up due to their vented dynamic driver. As a result tis also lets some sound in.
Lows: Some say these may be lacking in the low department. I generally prefer more of a balanced sound and these do a great job of delivering a silky smooth bass which is not overpowering. The bass has excellent texture and presence with no grain to be found, very smooth, akin to a sealed quality 8” subwoofer in your car…just enough to fill in the low notes and that’s it. The 1MORE on the other hand dig deeper and are more fun sounding, much like a nicely ported subwoofer. Just for the record, I prefer sealed subs when it comes to music. This does not mean there is zero sub bass in the EE846’s and if you believe that you may be in for a bit of a surprise, it just means that it’s on a neutral level. If you are a basshead these won’t be for you. If you want quality bass that will compliment your classical, Jazz, or even Metal track, you will love these. Metal heads rejoice! The bass sounds great with most metal songs and Cookie Monster singers.
Mids: Mids carry an excellent presence as well that you can tell are fairly balanced if not slightly forward. I can note a similar sound signature akin to that of the Sennheiser 598’s, minus the open soundstage. Strictly regarding tone, I would say these are somewhat similar but with better treble extension. The clarity is actually quite amazing and will likely surprise anyone coming from a dual hybrid IEM, and definitely a single dynamic.
Highs: Not harsh or sibilant! Considering I’m treble sensitive these do a fairly good job of rolling off the highs (rolled off in the right place as I hate sibilance). As a result, they are very revealing and bad recordings/sources will rear their ugly head. I will say that some female vocals tend to be a little peaky; as mentioned I can be very sensitive to treble and it also could be poor recordings. I have not touched any EQ and its only on a few songs that I noticed this (songs not mentioned in this review); I’m not talking about Adele which sounds great on these BTW, just other female singers in general that can be a bit peaky in the upper mids.
A direct comparison to the 1MORE Dual Hybrids
The 1MORE has a grainy texture and is not as crisp. The soundstage puts the main focal instrument further back and takes away from the main focus of the singer/instrument. Given this on the soundstage, I’m having a hard time deciding which one really has the larger soundstage, and that’s saying something as the EE846’s are sealed. The 1MORE have more bass …perhaps too much for some but are well controlled. In some songs the midbass can be annoying after a while, especially for metal, but it also makes for a warmer listen appeasing the masses. In comparison, the 1MORE lack treble extension and detail retrieval and are overly warm paired with the fiio x1 or x3ii . I still love the 1MORE Dual Driver hybrids as they are one of my favorites and still have their place, but in direct comparison the EE846 are on a different level. Furthermore, those that listen to hip hop or rap will enjoy the 1MORE much more. In conclusion the 1MORE are warm and dark, and the EE846 neutral and slightly analytical.
-Looks like a $1000 headphone
-Excellent presence and instrument separation which compliments stringed instruments stupendously
-Above average isolation, probably next to the best you will get without active noise cancellation
-Great tonal balance; would make a great studio monitor
-Excellent clarity, texture and impeccable detail
-Natural treble extension; no artificially enhanced treble
-Excellent price especially considering Knowles BA drivers (well trusted brand and not exactly cheap) are used
-Impressive build quality, minus the case which is falling apart already
-Replaceable cable; I’m not hard on headphones so I imagine these will last a LONG time.
-Due to the odd shape you can sleep in them comfortably; I have a funny feeling these are going to be my new best friend.
-Full frontal vocals and main instruments are intimately close in the soundstage pushing some things further back, which may not be for everyone. Not a con for me but for some perhaps.
-Looks like a $1000 headphone, lol. YOU THIEF!!
-Can be upper mid peaky on some tracks (some female vocals)
-No manufactures warranty as you might get from your Beats from Walmart, although I’m sure Easy would cut you a deal or help you out if you had a problem. There is also purchase protection through AliExpress if you asked for it to be extended.
-These have a very delicate sound and need a clean source with a black background and low output impedance. In other words, your iPhone is not going to cut it. Those of you spending ~$150 on headphones which probably sound like $500 headphones to use with your iPhone or other cell phone can refer to image below.
Bonus (For rock and metal heads):
I left this section last as I always have a special place for metal and Cookie Monster singers. This was my favorite genre before I got older and opened my mind to different music and stopped caring what people thought of me. That said I still listen to metal regularly, mostly for my weight listing sessions. I decided to test these out at the gym although this is not the reason I purchased them. I mean, I don’t feel comfortable using these $150 headphones in the gym even with the detachable cable. Overall I found these to be a nice surprise. The balanced sound complements metal and rock very well. High quality recordings really stood out and you can hear a lot of the detail and separation of the different guitars. The likes of August Burns Red, Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold….new stuff and from Walking the Fallen (M Shadows never sounded so good!). The bass follows quickly and if they didn’t cost so much they would make excellent IEM’s just strictly for this genre alone. Furthermore I found the treble to be especially excellent since cymbals and higher notes sounded very natural which is refreshing since so many headphones tend to overdo treble and make it sound artificial and metallic sounding (I’m looking at you Takstar Pro 80s and most Sony IEMS). The biggest problem here is that most of us have been trained to hear a v-shape with our rock and metal, and have come to expect artificial treble when we listen to this genre. These have a natural treble response and mostly flat frequency response. If you give these a chance with this genre you will be rewarded with a resolving and surprisingly natural sounding pair of headphones, allowing you to hear the music the way it was supposed to be heard.
Conclusion: Guys, I’m going to be honest. By now I’m sure after my long review you are asking whether or not these are worth the money and how they stack up in this price range. I don’t have a lot of headphones really, but based on what I know and own I think you will have a hard time finding a better sounding brand name IEM for under $500-$600 nor could I tell you if these sound as good as the Shure SE846. However, I’m sure there are some decent unbranded pairs similar to these such as the Super Audio 6’s or the Dolphins which I would love to try, I just fear the diminishing returns especially since the aforementioned products cost twice as much. Paired with the proper source which I feel the Fiio X3ii is a match made in heaven for the EE846; these will sing like a beautiful, nude mythological Greek goddess. For some these may be endgame. For myself? Who knows what the future holds, but some people like me never stop buying headphones like a chronic methamphetamine drug addict. Assuming these last for a long time, I will be enjoying these for quite a while. Enjoy the headphones guys I know I sure will .
Written by Trivium911 @ Headfi
I hope you enjoyed the review. Thanks Trivium911 for taking the time to write and share your thoughts on these gems! You might very well have given me the motivation to write a little something about the hybrid model.
Until next time, thanks for reading!