£104 1 DD 4 BA 3D Resin Printed 2 Pin IEM
In a rush?
What better companion to share the stress with than an IEM? Pop em in your ears, plug em into your phone. Voíla! Instant music, great distraction. Now, where was I? Thanking Simgot Audio for their kindly review model of just such a thingey; the Simgot EM6L “Phoenix”. It is a 1 DD 4 BA Hybrid IEM. To which I mean 1 dynamic driver, for the low end frequencies, and 4 Balanced Armature Drivers for the rest. This is per side, not in total. You get the 5 for £104, at the last time of looking. The driver shells are 3D resin printed, and in the olive shape that is ergonomically suited to the shape of our ears and is much my preference. The connectors are a recessed 78mm 2 pin affair. There has been strengthening protection applied, in decent amounts. The cable supplied is terminated with an unbalanced plug, so users of a balanced connection need to seek after market solutions. In Ear Monitors continue to be attractive; the cables are getting better value than ever, the designs push boundaries, the appetite for a wired connection refuses to be pushed aside by the advent of TWS. The vast array of £100 IEMs out there attests to the fact. I cannot be there in person with every one of them, however I know what good sound tastes like, and my pallete can give you some guidance as to what represents quality out there. Read on and we shall look at whether these are suitable in theory. Then we shall delve into the practical, and take a listen together.
The scientific stuff
The EM6L will perform in a smartphone, provided you have the right connection, of course. It has 26 Ohms of resistance and 119 dB of sensitivity, the IEMs sit flush into the your inner earlobes and the eartips supplied are reasonably long. The combination of isolation and reach into the ear canal combine to ensure dangerous volumes can be reached with no need for further amping. Better amping or better sources will achieve better sound; that makes logical sense and hopefully shouldn’t need further explanation. Having concluded it goes loud enough; will it sound good enough? Never fear, there’s measuring here!
The H2019 Target has been lovingly, adoringly, stuck to. Depending on the scale we are looking at here, the updated Harman frequency response curve is closely aligned to the tuning of the EM6L. The wavelength looks pretty smooth, with no more than a measles sized bump or 2 towards the higher end of the FR spectrometer. Hoping that this will reassure the average portable audio thrillseeker, let us look and see what other seduction techniques Simgot has employed. There is a blown apart diagram showing you the numerous bits that have been somehow fitted into the design of the phoenix. There are separate cavities for each type of driver to ensure each frequency arrives at a realistic time, and there isn’t too much of a mixed mess going on. The next part of the experience is in the unboxing ritual. For that, we turn to YouTube, and my video upload and general chitchat within.
The stuff inside, putting it together, testing it for size and for sound.
The unboxing experience was a surprise. Nothing was particularly missing, but it wasn’t as luxurious as I was expecting, having dealt with the King Wonder, Simgot’s Flagship, not too long ago. The case and eartips supplied felt like an adequacy, rather than an ecstasy.
Gone is the lovely case with the embossed logo, shown here:
There is a case. But it doesn’t have the Wonder feel to it. It is a generic black case with a zip. Here, have a look:
The Wonder was all about changing the earplug, to change the sound signature of the earphone, so I wasn’t expecting lots of different ear plugs. What you get is the standard 3.5 mm unbalanced plug, on a cable that feels pretty good actually. All terminations have been thought about, and protected, and all potential weak spots have been carefully considered.
Notice the brass colured chin strap, the plastic collar around the Y split, the thicker plastic on the recessed 2 pin terminations and the clear plastic ear hooks.
The setting up is a doddle, thanks to some some useful Gold stencilling for L and R on the inside of the driver shells. The cable was applied snugly and without incident to the driver shells. The drivers were a great fit for me. The eartips applied and sat well into the ear canal entrance but I couldn’t, and cannot now, feel them in my ears, as I bring this article to you. The resin material means there is no issue with temperature, the smoothness of the design results in a no pressure point issue. Anyone hwho has had time with IEMs can attest to having issues with getting a comfortable fot, especially over prolonged use. Why companies don’t all employ Simgot’s current design philosophy is beyond me. I would rather have a comfortable fit than an extra 10 drivers. What is the point of all the drivers if they fall out of your ears constantly?
Even with glasses on, move along please, no problems here
Having now put them in my ears it is time to take the plunge. The results started to emerge immediately, as I listened to this, on my Samsung Galaxy A52, using USB Audio Player Pro with no EQ applied.
It’s a nice enough track, that was chosen entirely at random, but one which has never really gripped me before. I was at once noticing the linearity, transparency, or sheer elegance of this track as played through the Phoenix. It was an instantaneous reaction. I can honestly say; if I did not know the retail price of these IEMs, I’d have had no ide ahow much they retailed at, but I’d have been guessing way way higher than £100. Remember, this is not using any of the masses of gadgets that I have to further squeeze SQ; it was by plugging them into my smartphone. Context was needed. I plugged a pair of £60 KBear Quinlong IEMs in.
KBear are now slouches when it comes to a value v performance match up. If you have them, please don’t take offence at what I say next. I’m sure I will enjoy using them in the future. I’ll just make sure I don’t have the Simgot Phoenix anywhere nearby….
The EM6L absolutely, unequivocally, kicked the proverbial stuffing out of the Quinlong. The TKO was achieved in 37 seconds. That is not an approximation. The Quinlog were taken off after I realised that the bass was not as deep and more bloated, the vocals were grainy and the micro detail was lost in a sea of muddiness, at least in comparison with the Phoenix.
In the end
It comes down to what you want. This is a fantastic IEM for the money. You just need to make sure that an IEM fits your needs. An IEM has cables. Sometimes, cables can get in the way, they can be an annoyance. They get caught in things, they make the drivers fly out of your ears if you’re not careful. When running , or working out, a flapping cable can be off putting. You can put it under your gym clothes, but be prepared for an equally uncomfortable experience as the cables attract the sweat that you are producing in copius amounts. I have run many 1000s of miles with wired earphones. Despite the fact that they sound slightly better than wireless equivalents, in almost every circumstance I now go for wireless. It simply means that I have one less thing to worry about. If sweat isn’t a factor, I really think IEMs can still present an enticing alternative to a wireless earphone, or headphone. The Phoenix has no sound leakage, excellent isolation, the fit is warm and stays firmly in the sweet spot. The sound quality still has me looking for something to criticise. I have found nothing yet. This is a stunningly good IEM which can brush off the lack of accessories and one dimensional colur scheme with disdain. Because of the sound, the Phoenix rises. Because of the that alone, I’d be a fool not to recommend it.