Reviewed Mar 2010
Details: The pricier of the two ECCI models currently on the market, the PR200 is related very closely to its lower-end PR100 sibling
Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP: $45)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 55 Ω | Sens: 102 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock (wide-tube) single flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down
Accessories (3.5/5) – Narrow-tube (3 sizes) and wide-tube (3 sizes) single-flange silicone tips, shirt clip, and oversize clamshell carrying case
Build Quality (4/5) – Sturdy two-piece metal shells feel solid and are finished in a handsome gunmetal color with the model name etched on the front. The dark-grey TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) cable is thick and sturdy, with proper strain reliefs on cable entry and a functional cord cinch. Sadly, the translucent hard plastic sheath on the 3.5mm plug is more likely to damage to the cord than protect it, tainting an otherwise excellent build
Isolation (3.5/5) – The extra long nozzles allow for deep insertion of the earphones, boosting isolation above what one would expect for a ported straight-barrel dynamic. On the downside, the bottom-facing vents make the earphones more susceptible than most to wind noise
Microphonics (3.5/5) –bothersome when worn cord-down; good otherwise
Comfort (4/5) – The extra-long sound tube allows the earphones to be inserted deeply without pressing the wearer’s ear into the housings – a good thing as the front edges of the shells are rather sharp. Short strain reliefs and elongated bodies make the earphones easy to wear cord-up as well as cord-down. Either way they are quite comfortable for prolonged listening sessions
Sound (5.9/10) – The sound of the PR200 is extremely similar to that of the lower-end PR100. It is similarly-balanced with tight bass, smooth mids, and relaxed treble. The differences between the two models are actually rather minute – the higher-impedance PR200 boasts better clarity, a smoother and more balanced frequency response, slightly better imaging, and deeper bass extension. It is also expectedly difficult to drive, requiring several more volume notches from my mp3 player and tightening up better with a portable amp than the PR100. The PR200 also exhibits no hiss with my netbook’s not-too-clean HPO while the 16Ω PR100 hisses slightly.
Value (7.5/10) – The ECCI PR200 is best summarized as a slightly-more-refined version of the cheaper PR100. Whether the price premium is justified is a personal preference. Make no mistake – the PR200 is the sonically superior earphone, but the competition is a bit stiffer at its price point than that of the PR100. If using the earphones with a not-so-clean source like a laptop or hissy DAP (e.g. Amp3), the PR200 is easily worth the extra money. But if the PR200 didn’t fit in my budget, I would not fret settling for the PR100.
Pros: Good isolation and build quality, comfortable, balanced sound
Cons: Microphonics can be bothersome