I analyzed Cupid sound performance across different sources while playing a variety of my favorite test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ariana Grande “Break up with your girlfriend”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Galantis “Hunter”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Robin Schultz “Oh child”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”. Also, considering hybrid design of Cupid, I let it burn in for 100hrs to make sure its dynamic driver is fully conditioned. It’s hard to do a/b comparison by memory, but I recall the sound was a little more v-shaped out of the box, and became more balanced after burn in, suspecting that bass probably settled down a little.
Cupid has a more revealing natural tonality with a balanced signature that has extra emphasis on bass as well as a little bit on treble. In some pair ups, mids have a presentation which is slightly pulled back, but it’s probably due to a perception of a harder hitting bass and a crisper treble. The sound has very good retrieval of details and excellent level of clarity.
The overall tuning has a unique coherency where bass definitely stands out, and at the same time blends in with mids. Though this is a hybrid design with DD bass and PMD mids/treble, both of these drivers blend in and complement each other. Regardless if it’s BAs or PMD, often hybrid designs have a leaner lower mids which create a bigger disconnected gap between bass and mids/vocals. I don’t hear this gap in Cupid, even with elevated bass somehow the coherency of transition from a well-controlled bass to a more natural mids is surprisingly good.
As already mentioned, bass here goes very deep with a healthy amount of rumble, and its punchy mid-bass slams with authority. Low end is elevated, has a nice fast attack and shorter decay, very articulate and layered, and actually performs like a mix between DD and BA drivers. Lower mids are slightly north of neutral, giving the sound a little more body for a more natural tonality. Mids/vocals are clear, detailed, not congested, layering and separation is just OK without too much air between layers. Treble is well extended and well defined, crisp, airy, sparkly, and still under control thanks to its lower treble peak being shifted from a typical 6k-7k region to 4k. I ran multiple sine sweeps just to confirm my measurements, and I can hear a very distinct 4k peak which gives the sound a nice crunchy edge without any harshness or sibilance.
Soundstage is wide and has a nice out of your head depth, but not the kind I would call as 3D holographic. The width has a nice expansion which helps with positioning of vocals and instruments, and the depth puts you a few rows in front of the stage, giving you more out of your head distance, but not too far out. Overall imaging is convincing where you can pick a distinct positioning of instruments and vocals.
I brought up bass more than a few times already, but I don’t want people to get the idea that Cupid is basshead level IEM. Their tuning will appeal to both audiophiles and consumers. It will attract the consumer audience who wants a nice bass slam and a clear treble, and also the audiophile audience who will appreciate the articulate well controlled bass slam and non-fatigue treble sparkle.
I usually don’t have a separate section dedicated to eartips but found its selection to be very important to control the bass and the treble. Here is how I hear the sound using stock and other eartips.
Spiral Dots – powerful bass, a little more forward mids, and crisper more open treble. These eartips push treble energy even higher, but at the expense of making the sound less natural and more analytical.
Symbio W – the bass is very powerful, the same articulate impact as with whirlwinds, but now treble is a little crisper and brighter. For those who want a little more treble energy, these will be great to add a little more sparkle to the sound. Personally, it was a bit too much for my own personal taste.
Comply Foam – these lower the sub-bass rumble, bringing mids/vocals more forward, and killing the treble sparkle and airiness. I didn’t like this pair up since it took the energy away from both low end and top end of the sound, making it less resolving.
Whirlwind eartips – those were my favorite, giving the bass its articulate impact, and giving treble its extended airiness and crisper definition. As a result of that, mids are not as forward, but I still preferred these eartips.