DD HiFi Janus (E2020A) Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

DD HiFi Janus (E2020A) IEM Review

 

Introduction:

DDHiFi (DD Electronics Technology Co.Ltd.) is a relative young company located in China that is specialized in Portable Audio Accessories like Protective/Storage Case’s for DAP’s, DAC’s, etc. Cables and various adaptors for devices such like Smartphone’s and Tablets.

DD HiFi Offical Webiste: https://www.ddhifi.com/

The DD HiFi Janus (aka E2020A) is the first In-Ear Monitor of the company and features a 10mm diameter single dynamic driver and offers two different connector types at the same time that are the MMCX and 0.78mm Diameter 2-Pin standard.

 

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank DD HiFi for providing me Janus sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with DD HiFi beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.

 

 

Price:

The DD HiFi Janus (E2020A) is available for 199,99 USD with the stock Forest cable (BC120A), while DD HiFi offers also an bundle with the Sky upgrade cable that is available for 259,99 USD. Both options can be find under the link below;

 

 

Package and Accessories:

The DD HiFi Janus (E2020A) came in a rectangular box made of recycled cardboard material and has some brandings in green color on the top.

This box contains the following Items:

  • 1 pair x DD HiFi Janus (E2020A) In-Ear Monitors
  • 1 pcs x DD HiFi Forest (BC120A) detachable cable
  • 6 pairs x Silicone Ear Tips (3 pair x Bass Tips & 3 pair x Treble Tips)
  • 1 pcs x DD HiFi Earphone Storage Case (C80B)
  • 1 pcs x Magnetic Cable Clip (C10B)
  • 10 pcs x MMCX hole dust cover
  • 1 x Manual/Warranty Card

The DD HiFi Janus IEM came with 6 pairs of silicone air tips, 3 pairs are the bass enhancement tips, while 3 pairs are do have a wider opening for higher treble response.

The DD HiFi C80B storage case is a “Genuine Leather” Earphone Storage Case that can also purchased separately under the following link: C80B Storage Case

The C80B uses DD HiFi’s newly developed fine-grained first layer cowhide, which is well distributed and smooth. The oil layer on the surface is treated with special processing, so that it will not dye or fade according to the companies advertising.

The symmetrical flip cover is located on the side, which can be opened easily. The double-sided magnet design enables them to attract to each other regardless it’s placed above or bellow.

The inner surface of the storage case comes with a fine micro fiber inner lining that will protect the earphone from damages like scratches.

The packages includes double sided dual magnetic cable clip (C10B) made of genuine leather material which is a very nice addition. This Magnetic Cable Clip can also be purchased separately under the following link: C10B Magnetic Cable Clip

The DD Forest cable (aka BC120A) is a member of the Air series upgrade cables and is available with 2.5mm TRRS Balanced headphone plug, which has a length of about 120cm.

This cable is made of 6N high purity mono crystalline copper (OCC) material, strengthened with Kevlar fiber.

The cable consist of 2-wire twisted pair configuration, with each having an outer diameter of 2.0mm and each wire consist of 80 strands of conductors, dimensioned at 0.5mm. The outer insolation (sheath) is made of a quite soft TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) in light blue color that shows some low amount of microphonic effects.

The MMCX female connectors do have a metal housing in form of a cylinder.

The cable features a metal Y splitter with the Air branding on the top and metal chin slider with the same grey color.

The 2.5mm TRRS balanced headphone plug has a straight profiled metal housing in grey color with the DD HiFi branding on the top.

The build quality of all accessories is top notch!

 

 

 

 

Design, Fit and Build Quality:

The DD HiFi Janus (E2020A) is an In-Ear Monitor that comes with a single full range Dynamic Driver with a special developed flexible FPCB as an interface between the copper wires and the dual socket system.

DD HiFi named the E2020A after the Roman’s God of beginnings “Janus”, symbolized by two faces, which is the interpretation by DD HiFi for the Dual Socket system. The unique Dual Socket system means that each monitor features two different connectors at the same time, which are the MMCX and 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin connectors.

The monitor shell of the Janus has a form of a capsule and is made of two different materials.

The front part where the sound nozzle is located is made of metal material, while the main body is made of high strength transparent plastic material.

Each monitor features a so-called Dual Cavity System, which are small air pits located on the front and at the rear side of the shell.

But so many vents/pits do also mean less isolation, which is on an average level in case of the Janus.

On the front of the monitor shell is the sound nozzle that has a metal mesh on the top to avoid the insertion of small particles like dust and earwax that could damage the driver over time. Near the sound nozzle are the front cavities, which in particular do provide a unique sound adjustment with six air pits that do have six tuning papers located behind of them.

 

On the top of both ends are the sockets, which are the MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) and 2-Pin female connectors.

The part with the 2-Pin connector sports the DD HiFi branding, L or R and + / – markings.

The right side of the 2-Pin connector has also a red color indicator for an easier identification.

The Janus is a very lightweight IEM with a very ergonomic shape, which makes it to an ideal IEM for long listening periods.

The isolation is below above average dues to the openings located on the front and rear side of the monitor shell.

 

  

 

Specifications:
  • Drivers            : 10mm Diameter Single Dynamic Driver
  • Diaphragm      : Composite Materials
  • Impedance      : 32Ω
  • Freq. Range    : 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity       : 97dB
  • Cable              : Detachable
  • Connector       : MMCX & 2-Pin Sockets
  • Plug                : 2.5mm TRRS Balanced

 

 

 

Drivability:

The DD HiFi Janus is an In-Ear Monitor with an impedance of 32ohm and sensitivity of 97dB and fairly ideal for the use with relative weak sources like smartphones, tablets, while it shows its true potential if you pair it with more powerful sources like Portable Amplifiers or DAP’s.

  

 

Equipment’s used for this review: 
  • IEM                 : DD HiFi Janus, Campfire Audio Comet, Final Audio B2
  • DAP/DAC       : FiiO M11 Pro, iBasso DX160, xDuoo XD-5 Plus

 

 

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Spotify)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Twerl – Lishu (Spotify)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)

 

 

 

The Sound:

The DD HiFi Janus is a pretty neutral sounding In-Ear Monitor with a fast and linear bass response, bright and transparent midrange character and slightly laidback treble range with a smooth presentation.

This review is written after a burn-in period of approx 50 Hours. The DD HiFi Janus has mainly be paired with the FiiO F11 Pro in combination with the FiiO Balanced Silicone Ear Tips and the Forest stock cable.

 

 

Bass:

The subbass depth and extension of the DD HiFi Janus is on a moderate level and has not an ear-shaking type of rumble and intensity that could suite the preference of bassheads, on the contrary the subbass presentation of the Janus stands out with their mild emphasis and very fast character.

The midbass region on the other hand shows slightly more intensity and depth compared to the subbass area. The Janus shows a quite linear midbass response with a fast, clean and detailed presentation, while the extension is a bit short. Especially the control, separation and speed are admirable.

Instruments like electro guitars are mildly bright and do have moderate fullness without to show any remarkable negative mixings. Bass guitars on the other hand are shown with an average amount of body, while the speed and tightness will satisfy metal and rock music lovers. I did not noticed any negative situations such like a midbass-hump or muddiness and mixings.

The Janus has a very good bass speed and tightness, which can handle fast recordings easily. This ability makes it to an ideal option for those that are looking for an IEM with a reference type of bass character, which offers a fast bass response.

 

 

Midrange:

DD HiFi Janus has a transparent, neutral, and clean midrange character that neither very upfront nor too to recessed.  Both female and male vocals are close in terms of detail and positioning.

The lower midrange of the Janus has a moderate level of depth and intensity, while the general presentation of this area are quite clean and transparent. Male vocals have good detail and clarity, since the lower midrange are not under pressure of the midbass region.

Female vocals on the other hand are reproduced with a good amount transparency and detail, same like male vocals. Since the upper midrange emphasis is on a moderate level, female vocals do show a quite soft tonality, without any unwanted sibilance or ear-piercing situation. Soprano female vocals, on the other hand, lack some extension due to the upper midrange tuning.

The DD HiFi Janus has an instrument tonality that is neither thin nor too thick in tits presentation. Instruments like guitars are slightly bright and showing good extension. Other instruments like violins and pianos do sound detailed and pronounced, while side flutes do have a bright tonality with good level of clarity.

 

 

Upper Midrange & Treble:

The DD HiFi Janus has a moderate upper midrange intensity, which is in front of the treble range in terms of emphasis and extension. The upper midrange of the Janus shows a neutral, clear and slightly bright tonality. The upper midrange transition in both slow and fast passages are in general quite controlled without to show negative situations such as sibilance sharpness.

The lower treble region is slightly behind positioned compared to the upper treble area. Therefore, the extension of the lower treble is a bit shorter compared to the upper treble. The treble range is in general smooth and controlled, which makes it to an ideal IEM those with treble sensitivity.

The DD HiFi Janus shows a treble presentation with sufficient level of airiness and sparkle. Instruments like Hi-Hats are slightly in the background, while the hits of the crash cymbals are tight and do have a good level of extension.

 

Soundstage & Imaging:

The DD HiFi Janus has suitable soundstage for a precise positioning and separation of instruments and the vocals. The soundstage is pretty spacious and airy, while it shows a better level of wideness compare to its depth, which is on an average level. Instruments are not too close or far from each other, which is an advantage in terms of instrument clarity.

  

 

Some Comparisons:

DD HiFi Janus versus Final Audio B2:

The DD HiFi Janus shows a brighter and more neutral sound character compared to the Final Audio B2 which is an In-Ear Monitor with s single balanced armature driver. The Final Audio B2 has a slightly softer and quite warmer overall tonality.

The subbass of the Final Audio B2 shows more depth and intensity, compared to the DD HiFi Janus which a more linear but faster response. The midbass region of the B2 sound more highlighted and dominant compared to the more neutral and linear presentation of the Janus. The Janus has the upper hand in terms of bass speed and detail retrieval.

The midrange of the Final Audio B2 shows a warmer tonality and fuller character, while the DD HiFi Janus has a more vivid and transparent presentation. The Final Audio B2 is more successful with male vocals due to its lower midrange tuning that shows more weight and fullness, while the DD HiFi Janus has the edge for female vocals due to the higher transparency and level of airiness.

The treble range of the DD HiFi Janus is slightly more highlighted and detailed compared to those of the Final Audio B2, which has a treble character that sounds a bit dull/veiled and recessed.

The soundstage of the DD HiFi Janus shows a higher level of airiness and has the upper hand in terms of wideness, while the Final Audio B2 has an slightly advantage when it comes to the soundstage depth.

 

 

DD HiFi Janus versus Campfire Audio Comet:

The Campfire Audio Comet shows a noticeably warmer and softer tonality compared to the DD HiFi Janus that is an In-Ear Monitor with a more neutral overall character.

Both the subbass and the midbass regions of the Campfire Audio Comet do have a higher level of intensity and depth compared to the DD HiFi Janus, which is superior in terms of overall bass speed, detail retrieval and control.

The midrange of the DD HiFi Janus sound more airy, transparent and detailed compared to the Campfire Audio Comet that offers a warmer and more emotional tonality. The Comet is more successful with male vocals, while the Janus is superior in terms of female vocal presentation.

The upper midrange and treble range of the DD HiFi Janus shows more intensity and better level of extension, compared to the Campfire Audio Comet that offers a softer/smoother presentation with additional warmth.

The DD HiFi Janus has the upper hand in terms of soundstage airiness and wideness, while the Campfire Audio Comet shows a deeper soundstage presentation.

 

Conclusion:

The Janus aka E2020A is the first In-Ear Monitor of the company that offers a neutral & detailed sound experience and comes with some unique features like the “Dual Socket”, a “Flexible PCB” (FPCB) interface and the “Dual Cavity” sound pits design. The DD HiFi Janus comes also with a very rich accessory package of high quality items like the C80B Leather Case, C10B Magnetic Cable Clip and “Air Series Forest” BC120A upgrade cable, which are some great additions.

 

 

Pros and Cons: 
  • + Neutral Sound Signature
  • + Overall Detail Retrieval & Control
  • + Great Accessory Package (2.5mm Balanced Cable, Leather Case, Magnetic Clip, etc.)
  • + Innovative Dual Socket System
  • – Not for Bassheads (Subbass Rumble & Midbass Intensity)
  • – Average Level of Isolation

 

Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

 

 

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