Reviewed on: SoundStage! Solo, June 2019
Except as noted below, I measured the EN700 Pro earphones using laboratory-grade equipment: a G.R.A.S. Model 43AG ear/cheek simulator/RA0402 ear simulator with KB5000/KB5001 simulated pinnae, and a Clio 10 FW audio analyzer. For isolation measurements, I used a laptop computer running TrueRTA software with an M-Audio MobilePre USB audio interface. The headphones were amplified using a Musical Fidelity V-CAN. These are “flat” measurements; no diffuse-field or free-field compensation curve was employed. If you’d like to learn more about what our measurements mean, click here.
The above chart shows the EN700 Pros’ frequency response with tip 1. Note that this is the first set of earphones I can remember measuring that did not fit into the KB5000 simulated pinna; I had to use the RA0402’s stainless-steel coupler to measure the EN700 Pros. This shouldn’t change the frequency response measurement much, but it does support the fit problems I had with these earphones. Measured in the coupler, the EN700 Pros have a “by the book” frequency response.
Here you can see how the frequency response changes when tip 2 is used. It’s a subtle difference, with about 1dB less treble at 8kHz with tip 2 (which could be perceived as more bass).
This chart shows how the EN700 Pros’ tonal balance changes when they’re used with a high-impedance (75 ohms) source, such as a cheap laptop or some cheap professional headphone amps. Using the higher-impedance source reduces the treble by about 1dB at 3kHz, which will make the EN700 Pros sound slightly warmer.
This chart shows the EN700 Pros’ right-channel response compared with two other earphones in their price range, the Campfire Comets and 1More Quad Drivers. I also included the AKG N5005s, which when used with their reference filter are the earphones said to best conform to the so-called “Harman curve,” the response that research shows delivers the most natural sound. The EN700 Pros look pretty close to the Harman curve, although with slightly less bass and more treble.
The EN700 Pros’ spectral decay (waterfall) chart shows no significant resonances.
The EN700 Pros’ measured total harmonic distortion (THD) is unusual. It doesn’t vary with level -- it’s basically the same at 90dBA and 100dBA. It’s also worse in the mids than in the bass; normally the reverse is true. From about 250Hz to 3kHz, the distortion runs between 2% and 3%. For a transducer, that’s not really all that high, but still, something a little different seems to be going on here.
In this chart, the external noise level is 85dB SPL, and numbers below that indicate the degree of attenuation of outside sounds. Isolation of the EN700 Pros (shown with the small tips, which are the ones that best fit the KB5000 pinna) is unremarkable, although if you’re able to get a good fit with these earphones (something I couldn’t really do with the ear/cheek simulator), you may get better blocking of environmental noise than I measured here. For perspective, I included isolation curves of the Campfire Comet earphones (with silicone and foam tips), as well as the Bose QC20 noise-canceling earphones.
The impedance magnitude of the EN700s is almost dead flat at 17 ohms (the rated impedance is 16 ohms), with essentially flat phase response.
Sensitivity of the EN700s, measured between 300Hz and 3kHz, using a 1mW signal calculated for 16 ohms rated impedance, is 108.0dB -- quite a bit higher than the rated 101dB. Even measured at the industry standard 500Hz, sensitivity is 105.2dB. You will have no problem getting loud volumes when plugging the EN700s straight into a smartphone or tablet.
. . . Brent Butterworth