Simgot doesn’t have the rich heritage of decade-old Western audio giants like Bowers and Wilkins, Grado and Shure, but their fresh outlook on audio does net them with a certain level of creative freedom. And though their first earphone, the EN700, didn’t grant them with a glorious entrance onto the audio scene like other Chinese manufacturers Dunu and Oriveti, Simgot’s huge aspirations are only matched by their stunning rate of development; demonstrated by their upcoming EN700 Pro along with a set full-wireless earphones. And sitting in the middle is the EN700 Bass, an evolution of the EN700 that has proved to be one of my favourite earphones around the $100 USD price class. Keep reading to see how the EN700 Bass compares to some of the most competitive earphones around this price and whether it’s natural tones will work for you.
I would like to thank Simgot very much for getting in contact and providing me with the EN700 Bass for review. There is no monetary incentive for a positive review and despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will be as objective as possible in my analysis.
Next Page: Design
Next Page: Sound
The EN700 bass doen’t have the groundbreaking hybrid driver setup of earphones like the 1More Triple Driver and Magaosi/Audbos K3 Pro but rather utilise the tried and true dynamic driver. And I honestly have no issue with that, because the EN700 Bass has no issue keeping up with similarly-priced armature and micro driver models. And what technical ability they lack in comparison to the best $100 hybrids, they more than make up for with their natural tuning that represents far more maturity than one would expect from such a new company.
As always, I gave the EN700 Bass around 200 hours of burn-in before review but didn’t notice any substantial changes from initial impressions, perhaps the midrange has become a little more linear, but I wouldn’t say that burn-in is essential at all with these earphones.
I’ve been on a roll recently with the K3 Pro and Fiio F5, and the EN700 Bass maintains my streak with another impressive soundstage performance. In fact, I do prefer them in this regard to the K3 Pro as they are better rounded and image better as a result. Space is very good though they still retain an ovular presentation that places emphasis on width. They are just as wide as the K3 Pro and depth is much improved; they do have a moderate amount of forward projection with track that call for it. Centre image is a little hazy, they don’t have the solid centre of the K3 Pro but also lack the blank spaces. When listening to “Playing to lose” by Lemaitre, the EN700 Bass provided great vocal width with nice layering and an intimate but not congested sense of depth. Imaging was also really nice, both vocals and instruments were easily located. Separation is another forte of the EN700 Bass, they never struggled with congestion during my testing due to their spacious presentation and clear sound. They performed similar to the Oriveti Basic and were overall more consistent than the K3 Pro. If soundstage performance is important to you, the EN700 Bass is a good place to start.
The En700 Bass is quite sensitive at 101dB, less so than the TFZ King but also appreciably more so than K3 Pro. They have a lower impedance of 16ohms and, utilizing a single dynamic driver, did sound very consistent across my various sources. They aren’t difficult to drive at all and will be well served by most modern smartphones and iPods, even my iPod Nano 7G drove the EN700 Bass quite well with minimal compression and plenty of volume. Listening to my HTC 10 with Poweramp Alpha, my volume levels were as follows:
K3 Pro – 11/50
EN700 Bass – 8/50
TFZ King – 6/50
Through my HTC 10 and Oppo HA-2, the EN700 Bass achieved a considerably expanded soundstage with the Oppo producing some extra detail and resolution, especially within the high-end. That being said, users should not that amplification is a necessity with the EN700 Bass though they do scale with better sources, notable with their soundstage.
Simgot made sure to emphasise that the “bass” moniker added to the new EN700 doesn’t insinuate that the earphones are bass-head targetted earphones, rather that they have addressed the analytical tone of their previous earphones. And taking a quick listen, it was good to see that Simgot haven’t overcompensated. Bass is characterised by mid-bass punch and impact over sub-bass slam with a slightly uneven tuning that provides an interesting yet mostly enjoyable character; they are actually tuned very similarly to the K3 Pro in terms of bass along with the same strengths and weaknesses. In terms of quality, bass might be my least favourite aspect of the earphone though they are hardly a subpar performer in comparison to similarly priced models. Sub-bass extension is okay but not exemplary, and the TFZ King and Oriveti Basic both provide considerably more slam to the very lowest notes. When listening to Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years”, the mellow bass tones possessed some rumble and texture but sub-bass notes had a softer tone similar to the K3 Pro. Mid-bass has a moderate boost with the bass tips, producing a sound that is on the lusher side of neutral but retains enough balance for genre versatility. Some bloat is evident, producing texture loss; the K3 Pro’s had slightly more texture to bass notes and were more consistent between tracks while the TFZ King and Oriveti Basic sounded more defined and textured yet. The EN700 Bass also has a slightly slower bass response, they don’t become overwhelmed due to their mostly tasteful tuning though finer texture and bass detail during rapidly transitioning bass tones are frequently lost. Furthermore, though similar in tuning, switching to the K3 Pro’s immediately revealed a faster, tighter bass response.
Still, these comments are in comparison to some of the absolute finest earphones around $100 and when compared to earphones like the Shure SE215, the EN700 Bass holds just as much advantage as those earphones over the EN700 Bass. The EN700 Bass immediately boasts more sub-bass slam and extension than the SE215 while lacking the thicker tone of the Shure’s that can muddy bass notes and bleed into the midrange. The EN700 Bass retains a lusher character but avoids any spill and midrange detail loss. There’s really nothing wrong with the EN700’s bass performance and one can easily find enjoyment in their tuning. So I do feel that the bass tuning and performance of the EN700 Bass is good, they just lag behind class leaders at this price.
The midrange on the EN700 Bass does a lot to redeem their bass performance; they have a very natural and balanced response that really surprised me. Both the upper and lower midrange are well balanced, mids are slightly brighter though I never found lower midrange instruments or vocals to sound recessed or distant. In relation to bass and treble, vocals are given nice presence, neither sounding as recessed as the K3 Pro or Oriveti Basic nor as aggressive and forward as the TFZ King. Mids are also given a really nice sense of body that grants vocals with a great sense of realism and the EN700 Bass avoids sound raspy like the K3 Pro and occasionally King. The EN700 Bass actually reminds me more of the very smooth, refined Oriveti Basic though with more balance and presence making for a very rewarding midrange presentation. Listening to IU’s “Palette” and vocals were very well rendered with plenty of clarity and great layering; often Asian tracks can sound overly thin due to their style of mastering
Listening to IU’s “Palette” and vocals were very well rendered with plenty of clarity and great layering; often Asian tracks can sound overly thin due to their style of mastering though the EN700 Bass provided a pleasingly restrained reproduction. And despite sounding natural and balanced, the EN700 Bass still retains its own character, they aren’t “flat” like the Hifiman RE-600, they just don’t sound artificially boosted. Resolution is also good, and though the King and K3 Pro both hold a slight advantage in that department, midrange detailing is on a similar level to those earphones. Background and even some micro-detail is well resolved though neither are brought to the fore quite as much as the King. That being said, they are clearly rawer and more detailed than the Basic whose smoother, more laid-back character glosses over these finer intricacies. Ultimately, the EN700 Bass provides a very tasteful balance between clarity and realism, resolution and smoothness. They aren’t quite awe inspiring like the King and even the K3 Pro, but they are ever more realistic without losing engagement.
Treble is similarly very well done with nice extension and a natural tone. Similar to their midrange, high-notes also have realistic body when compared to the thinner King and K3 Pro, they also sound more linear and extended than the Basic which had a bit of roll-off at the very top. The EN700 Bass excels with instruments such as trumpets that sound lush and realistic whereas a lot of treble boosted/spiked earphones around this price compromise on that natural sense of detail and realism in pursuit of clarity and aggression. That being said, the EN700 Bass is not lacking in resolution, treble is clear and clean with pleasing linearity and no obvious peaks or dips.
I find Jazz a good indicator of treble performance as the mastering is very revealing of overly boosted or uneven earphones and the EN700 Bass unsurprisingly provided an impressive reproduction. Listening to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” revealed crisp guitar strums and smooth strings free of grain. By comparison, the King sounded a little over-forward and aggressive in the highs while the K3 Pro sounded uneven, losing a lot of background detail. The EN700 Bass rather excels with background detail without aggressively shoving it the listener’s face. They are a great choice for non-fatiguing listening sessions without compromising too much on clarity, resolution and air, something that I can’t say about a lot of earphones these days.
Next Page: Verdict
The EN700 Bass is just as impressive as the exemplary K3 Pro and King even without being as technically proficient as either. As has been said time and again, tuning remains just as important as driver quality or setup and the Simgot have maximised the potential of their affordable dynamic with a mature sound that is delightfully natural. And balanced isn’t to be taken as neutral, they certainly are not, but each frequency is given its own space and room to shine.
Verdict – 8/10, The build is fantastic and the accessories are splendid. The ergonomics are reliable if not ideal and the ability to alter the level of bass will provide another layer of enjoyment to these earphones for those with varied genre tastes. The EN700 Bass is one of the most natural earphones around this price.