Xears Communicate CP100iP Review

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Xears Communicate CP100iP
Reviewed Aug 2011

Details: Entry-level single-button headset from Xears
MSRP: 39,95€
Current Price: €40 (est $54) from ebay.de
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: N/A | Sens: N/A | Freq: N/A | Cable: 4’ I-plug w/ mic & 1-button remote
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Stock foamies, stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (3/5) – Single-flange (3 sizes) and bi-flange silicone tips, foamhybrid tips, and padded carrying pouch
Build Quality (3/5) – The build quality of the aluminum CP100iP is similar to the older XR120 model with its long strain reliefs and somewhat stiff rubbery cable but the housings seem to come apart more readily and the appearance is let down by the somewhat cheap-looking paper filters. Driver flex is mild
Isolation (3/5) – Good with silicone tips and a bit better with the foamies
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Tolerable when worn cable-down, good when worn over-the-ear
Comfort (4/5) – The CP100iP is very lightweight and has longer nozzles and a smaller housing diameter than most of the other Xears earphones, resulting in good long-term comfort

Sound (7.1/10) – The sound of the CP100iP follows the usual Xears mold – plentiful bass, smooth mids, and competent treble. The low end is powerful but not quite as deep and hard-hitting as that of the similarly-priced Dunu Trident. There is a larger mid-bass hump than with the Trident and more bass body but the CP100iP is still not as much of a bass beast as Xears’ boomier-sounding PS120, TD-III, or N3i models, reminding me more of the Xears Resonance. The low-end detail retrieval lags slightly behind the Dunu sets but the CP100iP is quicker and cleaner overall.

The midrange of the CP100iP is crisp and fairly open-sounding. It’s a bit less warm and full-bodied compared to the pricier N3i and XE200 models and also lacks some of the detail but still has good presence, beating out the Resonance in emphasis. The treble, as usual, is smooth and a bit laid-back. Top-end extension is decent and overall sparkle quantity is low-to-moderate.

The soundstage is above average in size – not as large as that of the XE200PRO or Resonance but still quite spacious for an entry-level in-ear. The XE200 also images more consistently across its stage whereas the CP100iP seems to have more of a left-right-center presentation. Instrumental separation is good, however, and the overall sound is airy and open without sacrificing cohesiveness. A point worth noting – the sensitivity of the CP100iP is relatively high and may hiss or buzz a bit with poorly-matched sources.

Value (7.5/10) – The Xears CP100iP headset delivers more of the Xears goodness in a reasonably-priced, smartphone-compatible package. As usual, the audio quality is well above average, the build quality is mediocre, and the nonexistent packaging leaves much to be desired. That said, the smooth and bass-heavy sound signature is not too different from that of the pricier Resonance model and those looking specifically for a stereo headset will be hard-pressed to find anything that sounds better for the money.

Pros: Lightweight and comfortable; solid sound quality with a popular signature
Cons: Mediocre build quality


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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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