Simgot EN700 Pro: Quality

Greetings!

Today we’re checking out the new EN700 from Simgot.

Simgot is not yet a well-established brand being founded only in June of 2015, but in their two short years on the market have made quite a name for themselves with their EN700 lineup of earphones. The original EN700 turned heads with a unique design that seemed to take design inspiration from high end planar magnetic headphones, evident by it’s slatted grills- and egg-shaped housings. Once they got into the hands of customers, feedback showed they sounded about as good as they looked. The EN700 was followed by a revised version called the EN700 Bass which, as you would expect, filled out the low end. Now we have the EN700 Pro. The Pro builds upon it’s predecessors with the addition of slickly implemented removable .78 2-pin cables but retains the same basic design and features.

I’ve spent nearly a month with the EN700 Pro, it’s use being intermingled with more expensive and well-regarded products like the Campfire Audio Polaris and FLC 8S. I have come away mighty impressed with what Simgot has accomplished with their sub 200 USD, single dynamic offering. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Disclaimer:

A huge thanks to Sabrina from Simgot for sending over the EN700 Pro free of charge in exchange for a fair and impartial review. The thoughts within are my own and are not representative of Simgot or any other entity. There is no financial incentive for writing this.

At the time of writing the EN700 Pro could be picked up for 149.00 USD:

www.simgot.com/en

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0761VY1YP

Source:

For at home use the EN700 Pro was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp or straight out of my Asus FX53V laptop. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, HiFi E.T. MA8, HifiMan MegaMini, or Shanling M1, all of which brought it up to listening volume without any effort. The EN700 Pro can be driven comfortably by pretty much anything. I recommend running them amped if the option is available, as they scale nicely with more and cleaner power.

Personal Preferences:

I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, Brainwavz B400, TinAudio T2, and thinksound On2 offer examples of signatures I enjoy.

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 101dB
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Frequency response range: 15-40000Hz

Packaging and Accessories:

The EN700 Pro’s monolith-like packaging with it’s matte black on gloss black color scheme certainly stands out. If I saw it alongside more standard packaging in a store, I would want to take a closer to see what this mysterious box was all about. The exterior sleeve shows a number of aspects of the earphone like the ear pieces, jack, and y-split, along with the all-important specifications on the back. Also proudly on display is a legitimate ‘Hi-Res Audio’ sticker showing official certification by the JAS and JEITA.

Sliding off the sheath reveals a nicely textured and expensive feeling box printed with the word Suzaku, and a stylized image of the bird itself above. To put it simply, it looks cool. I wonder if the Suzaku was inspiration for the iconic Pontiac Firebird decal? Lifting the lid whose inside is lined with foam for extra protection, reveals the earpieces and a gorgeous, well-constructed faux-leather carrying case. All in you get;

  • EN700 Pro earphones
  • High quality 6N single-crystal copper and silver-plated, braided cable
  • Carrying case
  • 3 pairs of wide bore silicone tips (s/m/l)
  • 3 pairs of small bore silicone tips (s/m/l)
  • Cleaning brush
  • Velcro cable tie
  • Warranty card
  • Manual

The number of accessories provided is adequate for the price, tied together with a neat and tidy presentation. It’s a very nice unboxing experience.

Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

To my eyes and fingers, the EN700 Pro is both wonderful to look at and fantastic to hold. Even though the right (red) ear piece has a couple little niggles that wormed their way though quality checks, they’re minor visual blemishes that do not detract from the great build and design, unless you’re actively hunting for something to complain about. What are those minor issues? There is some glue visible, some of the fabric behind the grill was feathering out of place, and the grill itself isn’t quite seated correctly. Keeping these items in the back of your mind, the EN700 Pro is otherwise immaculately built with very low tolerances between individual parts that make up each ear piece. This is quite evident where the cable plugs in. If you didn’t already know the cables were removable, you’d be hard pressed to tell just by looking at the EN700 Pro given the feature is integrated to naturally into the design.

The cable is also quite good. The 8 strands are very tightly braided and feel quite durable, even above the y-split where I find cables in this price range tend to thin out a bit too much for comfort. Not the case here. The straight jack is metal with a classy black accent and well-relieved to protect the cable. The y-split is absent of any relief, but at least you’ve got a very effective chin cinch which I’m glad is present. I found microphonics (cable noise) louder and more obnoxious than preferred, which the cinch helps to greatly alleviate. I also noticed some mild memory retention for small kinks and bends, similar to the performance of the cable on the TinAudio T2.

Comfort is a standout too, not something I was expecting due to the odd, ovular design. The EN700 Pro is one of those earphones you can confidently pop into your ear and get a stable fitment and good seal near instantly, pending you selected the right tips. The housings are well-rounded and the nozzle long enough to provide a secure, medium depth insertion. Combined with the preformed and effectively shaped ear guides, it all comes together to provide you with a positive wearing experience. Simgot’s design is a nice go-between for barrel-shaped iems which tend to droop and tug at your ears, and low profile Shure-styled designs that completely fill your outer ear.

While the EN700 Pro doesn’t highly isolate you from the outside world, it’s not terrible either. I found them fine for walking around the city as cars and voices were dulled enough for me to enjoy my music without the need to crank the volume to compensate. I also noticed that despite the slatted design, wind noise was kept to a comfortable minimum, something that can easily hinder an earphone’s usability when worn outside.

Keeping in mind the mild QC issues of my pair, I found the EN700 pro very well constructed with a night quality, though slightly noisy cable. Comfort and fit are above average and isolate is acceptable, not spectacular.

Sound:

Tips: The included tips work really well with the EN700 Pro. While I did try my usual third party options (Sony Hybrids, UE600 tips, etc.) I didn’t feel it necessary to stick with them and did all my testing with the stock wide bore mediums(Eartip I). The large stock small bore tips (Eartip II) also sounded and fit very well, but I preferred the more balanced and slightly less bassy presentation of the wide bore set.

The EN700 Pro provides you with a very engaging signature that is fairly even through the treble, mid-range, and bass. I didn’t find any notable emphasis, except possibly in the lower treble, though this could be softened with the Eartip II selecting which shifts emphasis to the mid-bass region. The slight warmth inserted into it’s sound gives them a very natural and smooth presentation. It feels almost like a direct upgrade from TinAudio T2, adding in some extra detail and refinement, and grunt to sub-bass regions, all while fleshing out the sound stage even further while maintaining a similar tonal quality. It makes for a great listen.

The EN700 Pro’s treble is crisp and accurate with great speed and a natural presence. Extension is impressive without becoming strident or inducing sibilance. Cymbals hit with authority and lack any sense of tizziness or failed control, and are presented with an adequate rate of decay. Chimes sparkle and shimmer realistically and it’s all heard with a spacious airiness.

Heading into the mid-range, which I found set back just a touch compared to the treble, the EN700 Pro has a very clear presentation. Male and female vocals are equally represented and tonally accurate. The mid-range here has a very satisfying heft and thickness to it that makes lush and textured performances especially emotional and engaging.

The EN700 Pro’s low end is well-rounded too, with a solid mid- and sub-bass balance. The bass here is really only present when called upon. This can lead to moments where the bass presence feels lacking, and at other times big and brash. It tends to vary quite a bit from track to track which I suppose can be though of as both a positive and a negative. Those who want an earphone that plays more true to the recording should be satisfied with what the Pro puts up.

All of this plays within a large and dynamic sound stage that is deep and wide with a solid sense of height as I noticed when using them for gaming. Imaging is precise with clean and detailed transitions between channels. Sound is issued in a very layered presentation with clear separation between instruments and effects. Out of similarly price earphones I have on hand, only the B400 is superior in these regards.

Overall the EN700 Pro makes for a great listen. Their signature is balanced and detailed with impressive clarity and technical performance. I appreciate the even presentation between bass, mid-range and treble and that the low end is capable of some serious heavy lifting if required.

Select Comparisons:

Tin Audio T2: I consider the T2 a budget version of the EN700 Pro, but with a less bassy, more neutral signature. They share a lot of positive qualities, such as above average layering, imaging, and separation, a great cable, fantastic build quality, great fit and comfort, and their general tone and presentation. The EN700 Pro just does the audio portion of it all that much better, most notably in terms of extension. Treble reaches higher, and sub-bass digs lower and with a more visceral presentation.

Echobox Finder X1[i]: The Finder and EN700 Pro are very different takes on a single dynamic. The Finder is much, much smaller with a more traditional, barrel-shaped iem fit permitting cable up or down wear. It’s cable is fixed unlike that on the EN700 Pro. While the EN700 Pro is nicely built, the Finder is spectacular with my only qualm being levied at the delicate filters.

In terms of sound, the Finder has some large treble peaks that tend to define it’s signature. It lacks the treble control of the EN700 Pro with cymbals coming across quite splashy in comparison. It also places a larger emphasis on sub-bass and reduced mid-bass giving a less balanced sound. While it’s presentation is somewhat thin compared to the EN700 Pro in the upper regions, their mid-ranges are comparably thick and prominent. Bass control is excellent all around with both offering up a punchy, visceral feel. The EN700 Pro does a better job pulling micro-details and with imaging accuracy, but I find the Echobox’s presentation more open and spacious, possibly due to their slightly thinner presentation. Overall the Finder comes across more v-shaped due to the emphasis placed on the extremities of their sound, and it’s treble can occasionally be too aggressive and unforgiving.

Brainwavz B400: The EN700 Pro and B400 couldn’t be much more different; CNC machined aluminum housings with a single dynamic and removable 2-pin cables vs. 3D printed acrylic housings with quad balanced armatures and removable MMCX cables. Despite these differences, I found the two tonally similar, though with some significant differences. The B400 lacks the end-to-end extension of the EN700 Pro with noticeably rolled off bass and treble and a more forward mid-range. The EN700 Pro places more emphasis on treble and sub-bass in comparison giving it a more vibrant, engaging sound.

Where the B400 stands up is in terms of imaging, layering, and separation. The EN700 Pro is no slouch in these qualities, but doesn’t do as good a job at separating and layering instruments as the B400, nor with moving sound with the same nuance and details. This comes as no surprise to me as I found the B400 to bat well above it’s price point in these qualities. The B400 also improves upon the EN700 Pro in terms of detail retrieval while at the same time being a smoother, more refined listen.

Final Thoughts:

The EN700 Pro is a very well-rounded earphone. It’s design is mature and interesting with great thought put into the flawless implementation of it’s removable cables. It’s sound is vibrant and balanced with no real quirks, like a notable treble spike over over-boosted mid-bass. Even the packaging is high quality with great accessories. The faux-leather carrying case gives the EN700 Pro a premium feel and the included tips provide a subtle but noticeable, and accurately advised change to the sound signature.

Despite being a new company with only a few variants of the same earphone under their belt, Simgot knows how to make a refined and mature product. Heck, they even back it up with a one year warranty to provide their customers with that extra bit of piece of mind. If in the market for an earphone around 150 USD and want something with a versatile signature and quality build, the EN700 Pro is well worth a look.

Thanks for reading and thank you once again to Sabrina at Simgot for the review opportunity.

– B9Scrambler

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Some Test Tunes:

Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)

Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)

King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)

King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)

Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)

Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)

Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)

Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)

The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)

Tobacco – F****d Up Friends (Album)

Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet) (Album)

Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)

The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)

Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)

Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)

Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)

Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)

Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)

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