Simgot Got It!
PROS: balanced sound signature, all metal build, beautiful design, premium removable cable, leather case, price.
CONS: probably sounds cliché, but at this price point – none.
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
Entering a very crowded market, only a year after its introduction, Simgot already stepped it up from their original EN700 to EN700 Bass and now with the latest EN700 Pro release which I found to be impressive for a newcomer. Actually, I have a little confession to make. Awhile back someone sent me EN700 Bass version which I liked but never got a chance to review due to an overwhelming queue of samples. When I received EN700 Pro directly from Simgot, I was afraid it will meet the same faith, but I ended up liking it so much that I decided it’s time for a full review which I would like to share with you today. So here it goes!
Many will agree that it’s hard to judge a product based on the packaging alone, and I had a few disappointments in the past where the product didn’t live up to its expectations. But as they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression, that’s why I still consider packaging presentation of the product to be important. In case of EN700 Pro, Simgot didn’t disappoint with a clean “shadow” image of iems on the outside sleeve, and a cool company emblem/symbol on the cover of a sturdy gift-box underneath.
With a cover off, you will get an up-close look at EN700 Pro shells, sitting like a jewelry in a secure foam cutout, and a nice leather case below it. Underneath the foam, you will find a premium hybrid cable, and inside the case you will find a cleaning brush and 2 sets of eartips. Simgot refers to its name as being “simple and elegant”, and that’s exactly how unboxing of EN700 Pro felt.
Don’t expect a lot of accessories, but the one included were of high quality and without any unnecessary fillers. As already mentioned, you get a removable premium cable (more about it in the next section), 2 sets of S/M/L eartips with matching color stems, a cleaning brush, and a nice looking brown leather case. The case is probably made of pleather material, but it didn’t feel cheap, actually a very nice compact case with a company logo on a flip cover.
Eartips were organized inside of 2 credit-card size holders with cutouts for a neat storage. Both sets of eartips had a semi-transparent silicone cap and inner stems which had matching colors to go along with IEMs. In my case, I had Red (right side) and Black (left side) shells, and eartips had the matching red/black stems. Of course, it doesn’t matter if you match the colors, it’s all visual details which don’t affect the sound performance. But I think it was a nice idea, showing how much attention Simgot pays to every detail. But there is more to this.
When you look closer into eartips cardboard holder, you will read that each set has its own characteristics and labeled as Type 1 or Type 2. Upon further examination, I found Type 1 to have a wider cap, wider bore opening, and a shorter stem vs Type 2 with a narrower cap, narrower bore opening, and a taller stem. From my personal experience of tip-rolling, these eartips will affect the sound due to a difference in seal (based on the cap size), and the shape of the bore opening which controls the sound flow coming out of the nozzle.
According to the description, Type 1 should be more balanced and revealing while Type 2 should have enhanced bass. Unfortunately, Type 2 eartips had a narrower cap which didn’t form a good seal with my wide earcanal opening, so I wasn’t able to test their enhanced bass sound performance. All the listening was done using large Type 1 eartips.
Making cable removable wasn’t as much of a surprise, but rather a logical step for Pro version. I’m sure Simgot received a lot of feedback from their customers requesting removable cable which enhances the reliability of the product (you replace the cable if it breaks, instead of throwing away IEMs), and the ability to cable-roll, taking the advantage of other aftermarket wires.
So, while a removable cable with a common 0.78mm 2pin connectors wasn’t a surprise to me, including a premium 8 conductor 6N purity single-crystal copper and silver-plated tightly braided hybrid cable – was a bonus! 8 conductor hybrid cables have been very popular lately (4 copper and 4 spc wires), but a typical quality budget cable with a similar wire config goes for at least half the EN700 Pro price.
I found cable to be very flexible, with a nice tight braiding, and no microphonics or memory effect. Straight 3.5mm gold plated headphone plug had a neat aluminum housing and a decent strain relief. Y-splitter is a plastic/rubbery mold, while chin-slider is metal and matches headphone plug aluminum finish/color. There was no memory wire, but instead a pre-shaped flexible earhook heatshrink tube.
The 2pin connector housing is almost transparent and slightly angled for a better wire fit over the ear. The only problem here is that L/R marking on the connector housing is nearly impossible to see. Wish the letters were a little more raised, or maybe have a bump-dot on the left side to distinguish one from the other.
While switching between a few of my aftermarket cables, here is what I found.
Stock vs Ares II (Cu) cable: very similar sound except Ares II adds a little more bass impact and more body to lower mids. As a result, the original cable makes Pro sound more transparent and more balanced, while Ares II copper cable makes it sound warmer and closer to EN700 Bass sound.
Stock vs ALO Ref8 cable: Ref8 has a wider soundstage, which is quite noticeable. In terms of a sound, overall signature becomes more balanced with a brighter tonality and more overall transparency. The balanced part of a sound comes from slightly reduced mid-bass impact, also making bass tighter and more controlled. On the other side of the spectrum, treble becomes crisper, airy, with more sparkle.
That’s a beauty of removable cable, giving you the power to fine-tune sound of EN700 Pro even further. Is it necessary to upgrade the cable? It will depend on your sound preference, and the will to spend as much or twice as much on the cable as IEM itself.
When the original EN700 was released, some referred to it as a mini HE1000 because its egg-shaped faceplate grill reminded many of HiFiMAN full size cans. The transformation of EN700 into EN700 Bass and now into the new EN700 Pro didn’t change the exterior design that much, just added more colors and a removable cable. The shells are still carved out of a single piece aviation quality aluminum using advanced 5-axes CNC engraving and milling machine. The shell finish is anodized and comes in various color combinations such as red/blue, red/black, all red, blue, gray, and black.
The shells are not super light since this is an aluminum material, they do have a little bit of heft with 6g each, and I love the feel of cold metal to the touch, but they are still lightweight enough and feel very comfortable in your ears. I gotta give Simgot credit for a very ergonomic design with an excellent fit. The nozzle has a perfect length and angle, with a lip at the tip to keep eartips from sliding off. A screen guard covers the nozzle to keep earwax away from the dynamic driver. There is an air vent at the base of the nozzle at the top of the shell, and you can also find a bold R/L marking, though when you have shells in different colors you don’t even need that.
The faceplate looks like a grill, but it’s only for decoration. EN700 models are NOT open back iems, and have a decent isolation and hardly any sound leakage. The 2-pin connector socket integrates nicely, and when cable is attached – it looks identically flushed with a shell like in EN700 Bass. As a matter of fact, EN700 Bass design already looked like it had a detachable cable, while Pro makes it a reality.
Inside, there is a single dynamic driver with a polymer composite titanium-plated diaphragm and N50 super magnetic circuit. I know, it sounds like a lot of marketing buzz words, but in reality, it all adds up to a rather impressive sound tuning I will talk about in the next section of my review.
I’m a fan of tastefully done all metal shells, and found Pro design to hit all the checkmarks in my book. Not just a comfortable design, but also a comfortable attachment of the over-ear wire to keep these IEMs secure in my ears.