Astrotec DX-60 Review

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Added Mar 2013

Details: Entry-level headset featuring flat cables and 13.5mm drivers
MSRP: est $20
Current Price: $20 from lendmurears.com; $27 from mp4nation.net$30 from amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 110 dB | Freq: 20-18k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ I-plug w/ mic + 1-button remote
Nozzle Size: 4.5mm | Preferred tips: stock single-flanges, MEElec M6 bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down

Accessories (2.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes) and TRRS smartphone adapter
Build Quality (3.5/5) – In contrast to Astrotec’s higher-end sets, the DX-60 is mostly plastic save for some metal inserts with the Astrotec logo. The two-tone flat cables are tangle-resistant and feels trong but the strain reliefs are stiff and there’s no sliding cable cinch
Isolation (2/5) – Low due to the shallow fit
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Very low in the textured flat cable
Comfort (4/5) – The plastic housings are ergonomically designed for cable-down wear. They’re a little big due to the 13.5mm drivers but overall quite manageable. Those with smaller ears may have trouble with the cable exit point at the bottom of the housings.

Sound (4.9/10) – Astrotec’s entry-level in-ear pursues a consumer-friendly sound signature that reminds me of Sennheiser’s now-defunct CX300. The mid-bass of the DX-60 is hyped up to the point of overshadowing parts of the midrange and draws attention away from the rather good subbass. The low end is boomy, but I wouldn’t call the DX-60 a bass monster – it’s not as bassy as the JVC FX101, for example. Instead, it competes with the likes of the MEElectronics M9 and UE100, though it lacks deep bass emphasis compared to the former and control compared to the latter. Next to Astrotec’s higher-end AM-800 model, too, the DX-60 clearly sounds bloated and sloppy at the low end.

The midrange of the DX-60 lacks some clarity due to the uncontrolled bass but has a pleasant smoothness to it. Despite the slight veil, the mids sound more open and natural than the recessed mids of the MEElec M9 or the more congested midrange of the UE100. The treble of the DX-60 is not as energetic as I would have liked, which enhances the warm and bass-heavy character of the earphone but also makes it very forgiving of poor source material. It’s not as harsh as the MEElec M9, for example, and remains less critical of poor-quality recordings than Astrotec’s higher-end AM-800 model. With its shallow-sealing housings, the presentation of the DX-60 is also surprisingly “big” and uncongested. Aside from the mid-bass bloat the only issue seems to be a relative lack of depth. Expectedly, the higher-end AM-800 has far better imaging, but for the price the DX-60 isn’t half bad.

Value (7.5/10) – While not as refined in sound or design as Astrotec’s higher-end in-ears, the DX-60 is an affordable smartphone headset with a warm, easy-going sound signature. It competes well against similarly-priced headsets from the likes of Soundmagic and MEElectronics, especially impressing with its noise-free, tangle-resistant flat cable.

Pros: Almost no cable noise; ergonomic design
Cons: Lacks clarity; low isolation


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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