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Old 09-21-2012, 08:58 AM
bennyboy bennyboy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London, me old china, London
Posts: 73
Default New IEM on the block - Musical Fidelity EB-50

Picked up a pair of these babies today.

I've owned more different iems than I've had hot dinners - from the low end Senns to the high end 3 and 4 driver sets.
And Musical Fidelity have hit the jackpot with these EB-50s.

Simply put, they are the best sounding iems I have ever tried.

The attention to detail in the whole package is brilliant - MF have clearly done their research and noted all the stress points that their competitors fail to cover, and ticked all the boxes when producing their debut in-ears. You can check out their website and other marketing material for details on what you get, but suffice it to say you should get a fit with these, no matter what size lugs you have.

For myself, I've had a brief play with some of the tips and found a pair that fit me snugger than bugs in rugs.

Worn over the ear, the earphones themselves are small and lightweight and pleasing aestheritically, in a functional, utilitarian way. The only concession to colour is the blue and red markings for left and right, and I like that - it's non-blingtastic in an understated 'does what it says on the (almost literal) tin' kinda way.

And these things do exactly what it says on the tin. Or in this case, box. The frequency response does indeed seem to back up MF's claims of being ruler-flat, with no frequency band being pronounced or coloured over another. 'Coloured' is not a term you'll hear associated with the EB-50s, I dont think. Everything sounds so natural and unforced and musical in precisely the way the track is meant to sound musical - i.e. you get the sense that all your ears are receiving is the music as intended.
A big claim eh? Well, so far (a few hours) into my listening, I think its true. Admittedly, I've only thrown a narrow range of genres at them - mostly guitar-based folk, Americana, a splash of Dr John, some Dylan, Nick Cave, Bonnie Prince Billy, etc. But every track so far has sounded utterly perfect and devoid of any distorted or maligned bandwidth. Vocals in particular are just so lifelike and textured. You can almost taste them. Lest you infer the mids as pronounced, let me state that they most definitely are not. Neither are they recessed - they're just where they need to be, and the same seems to go for bass and treble.

Soundstage is going to vary I think. according to whichever tips you use, but I'm loving the medium ones (not the ones that come fitted, but the medium black, non-colour cored ones from one of the two little plastic bags of tips that are provided. (MF have bundled so many tips, Ladbrokes must be 'well jel', as the kids are fond of saying these days.) Anyway, these mediums I'm using give me all the depth and breadth of soundstage I could wish for. I dont know whether thats because they have a wider bore nozzle than some other single balanced armatures I've owned (Etymotic ER4P & HF5, Klipsch X5 & X10, Samsung whatever they were called, etc), but the EB-50s are above average in presenting the instrumentation outside of the head, clearly spaced and layered in virtual 3 dimensional space. Nothing seems artificially placed or deliberately stretched - a complaint you could levy at some of the multi-driver units i've had.

And don't forget that these are just single BA iems. Incredible really, when you consider universal iems are now up to 4 drivers with Westone and Sony etc, not to mention the custom end of the market. To put out this quality of sound from a single driver is nothing short of a sonic miracle, in my book.

And for the ludicrously reasonable price of £150 too! That price point ultimately makes these homegrown beauties a real bargain and cause for celebration. Hand on wallet, they outperform products twice their price. It's a congested, competitive jungle where iems are concerned, and growing ever more so, but based on the admittedly limited time I've spent with them, we might just have a new king.

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