When perusing Simgot’s promotional material, I was confused about the exact differences between the Bass and Pro. After a brief exchange, Simgot pushed the new 8-core silver plated cable as the biggest acoustic upgrade (the Bass used a copper unit). The actual driver and housings are unchanged though Simgot intimated towards some subtle tuning of their N50 driver. Cable believer or not, the Pro is an evolution over the original with very real sonic upgrades that put it more in line with more expensive in-ears than the Bass and those around its price. As usual, I put the Pro through 200hrs of burn-in, I didn’t notice any huge changes, perhaps they sound slightly smoother though I have no objective measurements. Please see Simgot’s web page here for the full specifications.
The EN700 Pro retains much of the character of the original, as a warm and natural sounding in-ear with a mildly V-shaped tone. However, the Pro is noticeably more balanced throughout, its high-end presence has been invigorated by that silver cable and the earphones sound both cleaner and clearer through a slightly more restrained mid-bass presentation. The Pro is also a nicely balanced in-ear when compared to competing models, it isn’t as mid recessed as either the Pinnacle P1 or 1More Quad Driver while retaining a lot of engagement and long-term listenability. Its smoother upper midrange and treble won’t satiate those seeking absolute engagement, but the Pro’s natural tone and warm bass create a very inviting signature that is easy to enjoy.
The 2 sets of included tips also serve to alter their tonality with the firmer type 2 tips providing enhanced bass and the softer, larger bore type 1 tips providing a more balanced listen. The bass tips unsurprisingly increase mid-bass quantity and indirectly increase lower-midrange body without overly affecting the rest of the sound. That said, I found the best experience with the high frequency focussed tips; they are more balanced, mid-bass bloat is cleaned up and the earphones sound more defined throughout while retaining a nicely warm and natural presentation. Thus, the bass tips better suit noisier environments while the type 2 tips provide more balance during home listening. I will be using the balanced tips for the sake of review.
Like the EN700 Bass, the low end on the pro is full and organic at the cost of speed and definition. Sub-bass take more of a backseat to the Pro’s fuller mid-bass response creating a presentation that is warm and easy going. Sub-bass extension is good, rumble is well present but a little loose and lows are tight enough to service faster songs. However, the focus of the Pro really lies higher up within the mid-bass and, to a lesser extent, upper bass. Bloat is evident, but this bump grants bass notes with a tastefully warm and full presentation and the Pro still sounds more linear than the similarly mid-bass focussed Pinnacle P1 and the slightly muddier Quad Driver. Moreover, their slightly more reserved sub and upper bass responses imbue their sound with less muddiness and midrange spill than is usually associated with this level of emphasis. They aren’t quite as delineated as the cooler P1 but the Pro does sound smoother than the 1More Quad Driver within its bass/midrange transition.
And on a technical level, the Pro is noticeably improved over its predecessor but still fails to resolve outstanding levels of bass detail. They are still a nicely textured earphone but lack a little control and definition within the lowest registers. They are definitely an improvement over the Bass and the balanced tips do a lot to mitigate the mid-bass bloat of the bass boost tips, but the fundamental presentation of the Pro persists. For instance, when listening to Vance Joy’s “Lay It On Me”, the bass line was full and nicely textured though competing models like the Quad Driver and Pinnacle had appreciably clearer bass details in addition to a little more separation between bass notes. So like the Bass before it, the low-end on the Pro isn’t its most standout quality, complementing the rest of the sound through its organic tone as opposed to visceral weight or agility
The EN700 Pro has a balanced midrange with a slight rise in the upper mids that grants female vocals with some additional clarity. And despite their low-end warmth, the midrange of the Pro is clean with great clarity; this is a tonally excellent presentation that is very easy to enjoy. This starts with slightly recessed lower midrange that avoids the scooped sound of the P1 and the full-bodied warmth of the Quad Driver. Male vocals are clear and naturally voiced with excellent resolution, while instruments such as piano sound nicely uncoloured. Furthermore, their slightly more organic tone grants acoustic guitars with a pleasant but not overbearing sense of body. The Pro’s upper midrange compounds upon this presentation with slightly enhanced clarity and a more neutral body. Female vocals sound delicate and immediate if a little raspy while instruments sound crisp. Though not at the forefront of the Pro’s presentation, vocal lovers will find a delightfully organic presentation that mid-forward earphones cannot achieve by virtue of their more restrained bass presentation.
Once again, on a technical level, the Pro doesn’t excel but provides great ability that complements its excellent tone. On account of their linearity, background detail retrieval is excellent, the more you listen, the more you notice. Foreground detail retrieval is also good and instruments have very accurate timbre though the Pro doesn’t bring nuances to the fore quite like the P1 and Quad Driver. Upper midrange resolution also isn’t quite as high as either of these models, preferring a slightly smoother response, though the Pro’s tone is more inviting than either. In addition, vocal layering is clear and they strike a surprising balance between clarity and natural voicing, organic warmth and transparency. So despite not being the most absolutely resolving earphone out there, the Pro is still a very mature sounding earphone and certainly one of the most enjoyable to listen to around this price.
The Pro has a small bump in the lower treble that coincides with their upper midrange lift, creating a coherent and well-integrated sound. This contrasts greatly to the Quad Driver whose treble response sounds almost disjoint and the spiked treble response of the P1 that makes it sound overly aggressive. The EN700 Pro lacks the unevenness of both of these earphones with the same realistic tone of its predecessor augmented by notably enhanced technicality. Treble is mostly linear and natural with accurate body to cymbals and strings. As such, notes are well textured and details are more realistic if not as hyper clear as the Pinnacle. Strings are especially well portrayed, smooth with perfect body. The EN700 Pro still errs on the natural as opposed to engaging side though they have surprising sparkle due to a lift higher up in their treble response. Their most notable shortcomings stem from extension and air, both of which are good but not outstanding.
Otherwise, treble frequencies are clear but not artificially so and high-frequency resolution is very nice. They do sound a little more dampened than the P1 and the Quad Driver is a little more detailed, but texturing is better on the Pro as is general accuracy. Treble notes are defined but a little confined due to their lesser extension. The Quad-Driver actually sounds even more congested due to some integration issues though the P1 holds a notable lead in terms of treble separation that really aids their reproduction of complex tracks. The EN700 Pro still has plenty of space and it is by far, the cleanest earphone with the darkest background, though foreground detailing and clarity don’t match class leaders.
Soundstage, Imaging and Separation –
On account of its more resolving tone and open form factor, the Pro has a terrific soundstage that is among the best I’ve heard, not just around Simgot’s asking price. This starts with sensational space, depth is fantastic, creating especially extended vocals, and width easily reaches beyond the periphery of the head. The EN700 Pro really takes advantage of the space within each track to deliver a delineated yet coherent presentation that serves to heighten immersion and engagement. Imaging is also very commendable though not quite as class leading as their sense of space; vocals are well centred and instruments accurately placed. That said, the 1More Quad Driver is more holographic and the P1 impresses with superior transience. Still, the Pro is nicely separated on account of its linear tone and space, and it is one of the most coherent in-ears I’ve heard around this price.
So given this very tangible upgrade, many are probably curious about the cable itself. Now removable, the Simgot SPC cable pairs with any 0.78mm 2-pin earphone though those with recessed connectors may be a bit loose. The cable is one of the better units I’ve come across and a bargain relative to other upgrade cables on the market. Its performance doesn’t match the excellent Effect Audio EROS II nor the ARES II or Oriveti Affinity, but it does compare very nicely to units that cost almost as much as the EN700 Pro itself. The cable has a slightly brighter tone built atop a cleaner bass response. Extension is just okay but midrange and treble excel with greater resolution and clarity. This also serves to create a more open soundscape without imaging becoming even remotely disjoint. The Simgot cable thus finds great synergy with warmer, darker earphones such as the Noble Django and EN700 Pro users definitely should not feel the need to upgrade this cable.
The Pro is quite sensitive at 101dB with a lower 16ohm impedance, easily reaching dangerously high volumes from portable sources. And, being a single dynamic driver earphone, it isn’t overly affected by output impedance, sounding tonally consistent among sources. That said, I found the Pro to scale very well, thriving off of a powerful, slightly more aggressive source. My Shozy Alien+ provided my most preferred pairing, it’s a very powerful source with a natural but very detailed sound. From the Shozy, the Pro’s bass tightened up noticeably and details were more present. Midrange resolution slightly increased as did soundstage space when compared to my HTC 10 or iPod Touch. That said, the Pro still sounds excellent from a smartphone since it focusses more on tonality than technicality. As a result, the Pro is a great choice for those lacking a dedicated source but those that have access to one will find some nice benefits.
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