Outstanding treble cleanliness and background detail, Very well-balanced, Effective switch tuning system, Excellent imaging
Bulky uni housings, medium soundstage size within its price class
Listeners searching for an exceptionally well-balanced earphone with excellent treble detail and clear vocals will love the Model X from Lime Ears.
Lime Ears are a Polish custom IEM manufacturer with almost a decade of IEM experience under their belts. The Model X exemplifies this as their second highest model that sports all of the design philosophies from Emil’s experience in acoustic design. Of note, is PAR (passive acoustic resonator), whereby one of the bores is tuned by length, diameter and volume to provide an optimal impulse response from the attached driver. In short, this provides a lower resonance sound with greater fidelity. Varibore also makes a return from their flagship Aether, utilising different bore diameters for different drivers. The Model X is a 4-driver in-ear that demonstrates how driver count isn’t everything, but rather the careful and purposeful integration of those drivers into a coherent whole. The Model X is now available as a universal. You can read more about the Model X and purchase one for yourself here.
I would like to thank Lime Eas very much for their quick communication and for loaning me the Model X for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
Undoubtedly, the Model X makes a grand first impression on first unboxing. A large textured Lime Ears box with an alluring magnetic latch reveals a huge assortment of ear tips and accessories within a foam inlet. The earphones themselves are packed safely within a massive milled aluminium case with screw lid. It isn’t pocketable in the slightest but has an aggressive texture and an excellent in-hand feel, this is quality stuff. Also included is a small fabric pouch that provides a more portable way to store your earphones.
Though constructed from acrylic resin, the Model X has a deliciously enticing aesthetic with semi-translucent smoke housings adorned by carbon fibre faceplates. Machined aluminium tri-bore sound tubes complete an aesthetic denoting sonic excellence. The housings are lightweight but are smoothly finished with an even clear coat and smooth edges.
The earpieces are quite large, however, being a custom shell smoothed and adapted to universal proportions. As such, they protrude noticeably from the ear and give off a slightly more DIY impression. Up top is a non-recessed 0.78mm 2-pin removable cable system. The stock cable is of the standard 4-wire braided affair as most CIEM’s. It is thin but supple and easy to live with.
Memory wire earguides contribute towards a stable fit in conjunction with a deep fit on behalf of sculpted, elongated sound tubes. Due to its fully sealed nature, isolation is very strong, especially with foam ear tips, suiting frequent commuters and even air travel. The outer faces have small switches that toggle between two sound signatures, an interesting feature I will detail further below.
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