First Impressions: Fearless x Crinacle Dawn + Focal Utopia + Moondrop Blessing 2 + Thieaudio Voyager 3



This will be a quick look at various headphones and in-ears that I have in for review through various channels.

THESE ARE ALL FIRST OR LIMITED IMPRESSIONS!!!

Fearless x Crinacle Dawn

Source: on loan from Linsoul


Packaging: Big box, really nice looking case and accessories with a 3D-Printed ear tip holder

Design: Stunning really. The design looks very nice. Good fit, has a little weight to it. 2-Pin connectors. Nice cable with gray braided look. The splitter and connectors are weighty solid metal pieces, which actually adds a bit of heft to the cable.

Sound: Harman IE 2017 target with a tamer pinna boost from 3-6KHz, so it does become a nicely balanced set. Midrange is slightly thin, especially in lower-midrange, but not bothersome to me. Treble is elevated with only occasional harsh peaks during some pop songs that accentuate the 6-9KHz area. Not much of a problem in general as those songs cause issues with many IEMs. It has a little bit of a spicy sizzle.

Bass drivers are fast and nimble, though does lack a bit of the slam capabilities that I was expecting. Good sub-bass gain otherwise. Definitely sounds like BA-type sound, and so, I find the decay levels to be fast. Doesn't have as natural sound of some higher priced multi-BAs like 64 Audio U12t, especially when it comes to natural decay and texturing. Otherwise, I don't mind at all, as all my daily IEMs are multi-BA anyway.

Soundstage is above average width and has some depth. Imaging is good, with clean instrument separation.

Enjoying it for most rock, female folk/country, electropop, and classical and certain jazz genres. Really good for post-rock and ambient type stuff. Feels a tad light for some deeper male vocal genres like male-based country music.

This IEM doesn't necessarily WOW me off the bat, but it does make me smile because it's tonality is solid and it's well-balanced. Maybe, it's because it reminds me a lot of some sort of hybrid between the Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+ but with much better resolution and technicalities, and these are things I listen to daily.

Full review to come in the next week or two.




Focal Utopia



Source: on loan from headphones.com

Packaging: Nice big box that's well protected. Comes with a very big bulky cable that isn't the easiest to handle and adds a bit of weight, but feels quite durable. 

Design: Incredible design in both aesthetics and quality. Metal housing with beautiful lines and machining. Carbon headband with nice leather padding. It's really stunning to look and hold in your hands. Easily one of the best looking headphones available, ever. The one down side is that its probably about 50 grams heavier than I'd like. While it's not Audeze level heavy, it does feel weighty compared to my other headphones and more than the Focal Elex, which I previously owned (and absolutely adored).

Sound: For me, it is quite ideal. It strikes a wonderful balance for my tastes with nice dynamic presentation that is full of crisp detail and layers and layers of it. Soundstage is intimate, but it's packed with depth. Bass response is really nice. It has a roll-off to it, but it's tight, punchy, and has a sort of rumble that you don't always expect, which probably has a lot to do with the excursion capabilities of the driver. The upper-midrange is boosted but not as much as the Arya, another favorite of mine, and treble extends well giving it a good solid sound that I have nothing really to complain about.


Moondrop Blessing 2



Source: Purchase from HifiGo with small discount

Packaging: Anime girl cover isn't my thing, but it's not distasteful and working to a specific audience. Comes with a really nice leather (fake?) case and a series of tips and a nice braided cable.

Design: Very weighty hybrid IEM with 1 dynamic driver and 4 balanced armature drivers. Nice transparent resin inner shell with a stainless steel faceplate that looks better in-person than in photos. The bore diameter is 6.5mm (!!!) which is quite wide and also is angled off to the side more than other iems, which may wreak havoc on your ears -- hopefully not, but they certainly do to mine as I can't wear these for very long without hurting (see Campfire Solaris review).

Sound: Tonality and sound signature is really in-line with what I like. Slight bass shelf with a pinna gain that isn't quite Harman level peakiness and a good treble response that isn't too sharp and isn't too dark. It does sound like there's an occasional disjointedness between the dynamic driver and the BAs, though many times the dynamic driver doesn't really display the natural decay levels and textures that one would expect it to and can also sound a little blunted. It has the speed and decay of a balanced armature without the resolution of one. Resolution is otherwise pretty good for this price range, and generally would like it, however due to fit, this is not going to stay in my collection. 



Thieaudio Voyager 3

Source: Free Review unit from Linsoul

Packaging: Comes with a nice round case with ample tips and cable.

Design: I was sent a purple-ish shell design which is one of my favorite colors. That said, not a super fan of the faceplate art however it's of one's opinion. This is the cheapest IEM I can think of with switchable cross-overs, with switches to control bass and treble quantities. The fit is so-so for me with the biggest issue being getting tips to stay attached. Same issue with Blessing 2 as well as the Fearless.


Sound: The default tuning looks like it's trying to approach Campfire Andromeda though, with a uneven upper mid-range boost and an even bigger treble gain than the legendary Andromeda. This makes the IEM sound quite bright to me, while also being hazy and the big bass boost isn't really that appealing either. None of the switches correct the issue, and in fact make them worse. The bass switch just makes this sound like BASS and completely dead. The treble switch makes it piercing. Like with most IEMs, treble sensitivity can vary greatly from person to person so YMMV (your miles may vary).  




Newmine TWS-R9

Source: Free Review unit from Linsoul

Packaging: Heavy metal charging case that uses USB-C and a few tips

Design: Nice simple design with a colorful faceplate. The IEM speaks to you in Chinese, and as far as I know, does not have an English switch. There's a battery indicator in the case. Fit is nice and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Sound: Warm, bassier sound, that is still generally well balanced. More resolving than some other true wireless and even wired IEMs I've heard under $100, though I believe these are $119. I haven't listened to these enough to really give much more opinions, but this is one that may impress me the more I listen. We'll find out.


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