Smoothness and Clarity…
Simphonio was formed by a group of professional and experienced audio engineers and young- innovative audiophiles, who have created a number of products. The company Simphonio is located in Dongguan City, Guangdong, China.
The Simphonio Xcited2 is an In-Ear Monitor with a 9mm diameter single dynamic driver.
Simphonio Xcited2 was provided to me by Simphonio as a review sample. I am not affiliated with Simphonio or any third person beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.
The Simphonio Xcited2 is available on Penon Audio for 159,90 USD.
Purchase link: https://penonaudio.com/simphonio-xcited2.html
Package and Accessories:
The Simphonio Xcited2 IEM comes in a medium sized light gray cardbox which sports the Simphonio logo & brand name and a flower patern relief on the top of this box.
This box contains the following items;
- 1 x Simphonio Xcited2 In-Ear Monitor
- 1 x pair of pre-installed Silicone Eartips
- 3 x pairs of Normal Silicone Eartips
- 3 x pairs of Diamond Silicone Eartips
- 3 x pairs of Comfit Silicone Eartips
- 1 x Shirt Clip
- 1 x Zipper Case
The zipper case with integrated cable management is in black color and a safe place for your In-Ear Monitor.
The box contains also one shirt clip and 4 types of silicone ear tips, which are called normal, diamond and comfit. There is also one silicone ear tip which was pre-installed and has a column that splits the sound nozzle. Btw, all silicone tips I have tested out where comfortable to wear.
Design and Build Quality:
The Sinphonio Xcited2 is available in two color options and those are black/silver and white/silver color combinations. My unit came with the black/silver color combinations and has a nice appearance.
The housing of this IEM is made of plastic, but don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t looks or feels cheap, on the contrary it is well build and has a unique design. The outer shell surface is smooth and there are no sticky or burr-like residues.
The Housing is made of two parts; the upper part has a chromium coating which simulates a metal look. On the top of the upper part is the silver colored Simphonio logo and the faux leather like unique pattern surface.
The lower part is made of a transparent black plastic, which sports the slightly angled nozzle and two bass vents. You can see the driver inside the shell which is a single dynamic driver with a diameter of 9mm. The nozzle is relative long and has an golden filter on the top.
The Simphonio Xcited2 has a non-detachable cable which was a big surprise for me, because many models, especially in this price range have now a detachable cable. I don’t know if this is a real con, but the cable itself has a solid built quality, which should last for years.
The cable is made of 6N purity OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) wire with a twisted profile. This cable is coated with a non-microphonic soft plastic material.
The Y Splitter is made of metal and sports the model name Xcites2, but please note that there is no chin slider.
The 3.5mm TRS (single ended) headphone jack is gold plated and has a also a metal housing which sports the brand name Simphonio. The cable connector of the 3.5mm headphone jack is protected with a metal spring relief, which gives the Xcited2 a solid appearance.
Fit, Comfort and Isolation:
The Simphonio Xcited2 is a medium sized In-Ear Monitor with a relative ergonomic and comfortable design. I didn’t have had any issues regarding to comfort and it doesn’t hurts my ears, even after listening periods of 2-3 hours. The noise isolation in environments like bus, metro, train is above average.
Some Technical Specifications:
- Driver : 9mm Dynamic Driver with Neodymium Magnet
- Frequency Range : 20 Hz ~ 25 KHz
- Impedance : 16Ω
- Sound Pressure : 108±3dB/mW
- Max. input power : 3mW
- Cable : 1.2M 6N OFC twisted
Weight : 18g
The Simphonio Xcited2 is quite sensitive and easy to drive IEM with an impedance of 16 Ohm’s, which makes it to an ideal table earphone for portable sources like smartphones, DAP’s and tablets. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus was able to push Xcited2 to very loud volume levels.
a) Albums & Tracks used for this review:
- Jehan Barbur – Yollar (Spotify)
- Minor Empire – Bulbulum Altin Kafeste (Spotify)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (DSD 64)
- Gothart – Jovano, Jovanke (Spotify)
- Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Adam Taylor – Colour to the Moon (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Liqid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad bu True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
- Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Deeperise feat. Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)
b) In-Ear Monitor : Simphonio Xcited2, Magaosi K3 HD, TFZ Tequila1
c) DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Hidizs DH1000, Hifiman HM603s
Sound Analysis and Comparisons:
The Simphonio Xcited2 review is written after a burn-in of approx 80 hours. I have used silicone ear tips with the divided sound hole, which came pre-installed on the Xcited2.
Sound Signature and Tonality:
The Simphonio Xcited2 is an In-Ear Monitor with a V shaped sound signature, which has a hint of warmness and relaxing presentation.
The bass of the Simphonio Xcited2 has some pretty good rumble and punch, which is giving a nice body to the sound. But the sub-bass of the Xcited2 sounds more like it comes from a Balanced Armature than a dynamic driver, that sounds clean, controlled and which has a pretty good speed, but that doesn’t reach to the lowest register.
The mid-bass of the Simphonio Xcited2 have an average speed with a moderate decay and the good thing is that it doesn’t mess in to the midrange. The bass is textured and has an above above-average resolution, which is in my opinion more then enough for the price what Simphonio is asking for.
Btw, the Simphonio Xcited2 has enough bass presence for instruments like bass guitars or drums, but is missing a bit of weight and fullness.
The first noticeable character of Simphonio Xcited2’s midrange is the transparency and airiness of its presentation. The mid-bass character and control makes it possible to create a nice amount of space for instrument and vocals. I have tested out the Xcited2 with some complex songs like Liqid Tension Experiment 2’s “Acid Rain” and GoGo Penguin “Fanfares” and Xcited2 was able to reproduce it fairly well without to loose the overall control.
The detail retrieval is in a good level, especially at a price range between 100 – 300 USD. The only noticeable downside of Xcited’s midrange tuning is the missing of some fullness, which should be needed for genres like acoustic, jazz and/or blues.
Xcited2 sounds pretty emotional with female vocals like Minor Empires soloist Ozgu Ozman or artist like Jehan Barbur, but is misimis of some weight for male vocals like Allan Taylor or Brian Adams.
The upper midrange sounds dynamic and is pretty well presented without any remarkable harshness even in some tracks with high upper midrange stress level like Liqid Tension Experimen’s – Acid and/or Megadeth’s – Sweating Bullets.
The Simphonio Xcited2 is an IEM with a moderate level of brightness, which has pretty good detail retrieval with a nice sense of air and lively sparkle at the treble range. The transition between upper midrange and treble is well done. The treble sounds controlled and can beat even higher priced IEM’s that I have tested out in the last couple years.
The treble range of the Xcited2 is not harsh and the tuning is giving the overall presentation an airy presentation, with an above average extension. The treble speed is pretty good for an IEM with a single dynamic, but is slightly slower than some In-Ear monitors with balanced armature driver configuration.
The Simphonio Xcited2 has a nice 3D like presentation with good depth and a quite impressive wideness, which allows enough space for the positioning of vocals and instruments. The binaural recording of Casey Abrams in “Robot Lover” is a good example to show, that the Xcited2 is quite capable IEM regarding to staging, imaging and instrument placement.
Vs. Magaosi K3 HD (with silver filter)
Both IEM’s have V Shaped sound signature, while the Magaosi K3 HD has slightly more sub-bass quantity that reaches to a lower register. The Simphonio Xcited2 on the other hand has better bass speed and control and the bass extends slightly more extension compared to those of the Magaosi K3 HD. The Simphonio Xcited2 has slightly better definition with better decay then the K3 HD has.
Both, the Magaosi K3 HD and Simphonio Xcited2 have a warmer than neutral midrange, but the Xcited2 has a more forward oriented vocal and instrument presentation, while the Magaosi K3 HD sounds more recessed and is missing some micro detail that Simphonio Xcited2 has. The Xcited2 has also the upper hand for instrument separation, because of additional air which is rendered between the instruments.
The treble range of the Xcited2 sounds airy and with more sparkle, while the Magaosi K3 HD has a warmer tuning, which makes the overall presentation of the Xcited2 livelier. The Simphonio Xcited2 has also the upper hand for treble control and extensions, while the Magaosi K3 HD has a smoother presentation.
Regarding for soundstage, the Magaosi K3 HD has slightly more depth, while the Simphonio Xcited2 has the wider stage.
Vs. TFZ Tequila1
The Simphonio Xcited2 has the more balanced tuning in direct comparison to the TFZ Tequila1, which has a very musical and full sounding presentation.
The bass of the Tequila1 has more weight than those of the Xcited2, which sounds punchier and with moderate speed. The Simphonio Xcited2 on the other hand, has less bass quantity, which extends better and is also slightly quicker than those of the Tequila1. The sub-bass of the Tequila1 extends deeper and has also additional rumble. Instruments like bass guitars or drums sounding quite good on both IEM’s, but the Xcited2 sounds a bit more natural, especially with acoustic songs.
The TFZ Tequila1 sounds fuller and warmer in the midrange area, where the Simphonio Xcited2 is missing some fullness, but has additional transparency and clearness. People who want a fuller and more intimate vocal and instrument presentation should prefer the Tequila1, but those who want a more realistic and natural presentation should prefer the Xcited2. The Simphonio Xcited2 has the upper for definition and shares slightly more micro detail. The upper midrange of both IEM’s sounds quite controlled, but the Tequila1 has the upper hand for sparkle, while the Xcited2 has better authority.
The TFZ Tequila1 sounds brighter and feels more energetic in the treble range. Both IEM’s have a good detail retieval for this price range and are nearly identical in this regarding. The Simphonio Xcited2 has the upper hand for treble extension and control, where the Tequila1 sounds a bit harsh due the brighter character. The overall presentation makes the Simphonio Xcited2 to a more comfortable IEM for long listening periods.
As I have mentioned before, the Simphonio Xcited2 has a very nice 3D like presentation, which is rarely found in this price range. The Xcited2 has better depth and is superior regarding to soundstage wideness. The Simphonio Xcited2 sounds more precise for imaging and instrument placement.
The Simphonio Xcited2 is a very capable IEM at the price range between 100 – 250 USD, where you can find lots of competitors. The Xcited2 is characterized by its fairly neutral and detailed presentation, which is produced with only a single dynamic driver that is crowned with an airy and relaxing presentation.
Pros and Cons:
- + Natural and detailed presentation
- + Transparency
- + Good build quality
- + Lots of accessories
- – Cable is not removable
- – Good build quality but all plastic housing
- – A touch of fullness in the midrange could be great