Last time I thought that good sound will only come after a pricey price tag,that is what many of us thought so,and generally,this is the fact. But after I have bought some cheap and good headphone like Creative Aurvana Live!,JVC/Victor Ha-S500,Sennheiser HD202,Soundmagic E10 and some cheap but nice amplifier,I believe that you can get sounding gadget,although probably spending much you will get much more satisfactory sound.
Incase has employed one of the better driver in headphone world,it use 40mm titanium driver. Incase is not a old player in this audiophile or headfi world,in fact,it do not have any contribution or experience (as far as I remembered) in audio world,but this didn’t mean that it can’t make good headphone. In fact, I always think that,it is better if there is more innovative player in this market,so that we as an end user can get the most benefits from it. We can get cheap and better product with similar price someone had to pay before. Practically, Incase do made and designed some casing for smartphone. So this is not surprised that this headphone is designed for Apple IOS users as well,through the cord that function as volume control,remote control with built in microphone function in the chord. Below is the spec that I direct copied from Incase’s official web:
- Drive type = Diaphram
- Driver size = 40mm
- Frequency Response = 20Hz – 20KHz
- Impedence = 32± 15% @ 1KHz
- Sound Pressure Level = 103± 3dB @ 1KHz
- THD = Max 3%
- Number of Drivers = 2
- Number of microphones = 1
Packaging and Accessories
Front view of the box,beautiful
I am starting to be impressed by its packaging once I received it. It might be cheap in price tag but it is not the same case as the packaging,packed in a elegant and large box, I have mentioned in my COP review before,good packaging will make consumer smile,although it is nothing to do with audio quality,but consumer will be always happy and graceful when they owned a gadget with nice packaging and so.
When you flip the front side of the box up,it is beautiful and nice.
What it written at the box
Rear view of the box
Open the box,this is what you will see
You will be getting 2 cables
Instruction manual and warranty
Its box remind me the Nokia high end mobile phone’s packaging box in old day,big and nice colour tone, you can flip the box and look at the content inside. Accessories wise,it provide some of the best in this price range that I can remembered, a 3.5mm to 6.25mm audio jack,2 pairs of cable(in different colour,both with mic built in),a very good and nice to have headphone carrying case,and a Incase Sonic inside a proper and beautiful box. This must be praised so that other manufacturer will takes note in this area and Incase will be continually keep this tradition. The last time I see this kind of good packaging and included accessories is my Creative Aurvana Live!.
Incase Sonic headphone carrying bag
Inside the carrying bag
3.5mm to 6.25mm converter jack
Build Quality,Mechanism and Design
Headphone in grey cable
Headphone in orange cable
Design wise is fabulous and marvellous,innovative yet competitive. It is a over ear,closed back design headphone. Sonic itself has very good design and the appearance of it is very trendy and fashioned. It has nice look and good mechanism as well.
Position of ear cups are adjustable
Incase with the beautiful logo
When ear cup is at its highest position
When ear cup is at its lowest position
The angle and position(High and low) of the ear cups are adjustable. So you can get good fit with this headphone. I have no issue with the build quality of the headphone,in fact I have a lot to praise about the build quality,design,engineering and comfort of this headphone.Although it cannot be folded to be portable use.
This is where you inserted into Incase Sonic
The headphone cable is interchangeable
Remote for IOS device
The right angle 3.5mm Jack
I think photographs can explain all of these (Build,mechanism,design and engineering of Sonic) better, but I will say,its build quality is excellent,design is innovative and nice,mechanism is brilliant,and their engineering spirit is respectable. The cable comes in colour (will get different pairing depended on your headphone’s colour),quality of the cable itself is not really high in quality,although it has a good ‘soft touch’ feeling when you touched it,just like the headphone.
Sound leakage,Isolation and Comfort
Cloth like velour pad,with ‘memory’ function,extremely comfortable
It do leak some sound,but nothing unusual or going too bad. Isolation wise,it is good,but not really your first choice if you are looking for a headphone that can isolate well. It do cot out some noise,but not brilliance enough for a closed back design headphone.
Clamping force is great,so no need to worry on the comfort.
The clamping force of it is average,so it won’t be giving you nice isolation,but the comfort level,among all of my friends that have tested it,have giving two thumbs up in the comfort level of Sonic. It is comfortable,the clamping force is sweet out of the box,the ‘memory cloth’ velour pad is really nice,the only problem is it will absorb sweat,but comfirt wise,it is really nice,combine with the light design.
Pairing and Ease of drive
This headphone is similar to another headphone in this price range,with Sony Xperia S,I can get more than audible listening volume when play at 70% volume level. Amping do give way better sound,but for normal listening, I don’t think amping will be that crucial unless you expecting more.
High : The treble is hot,regardless the song,the treble will be at there ‘sssh’, but in some song only,it will became excessively annoying and disturbing. But the high of the Sonic,is really excellent when you listen to song that need good high extension,as this headphone give good high extension,but strangely there is no much sibilant issue for me.
Mids : Midrange of this headphone is nice,the vocal of its is nice but sometime,it lacks some refinement,texture and clarity that I prefer,treble will disturb this spectrum. Recessed by a little amount but it is not critical,still enjoyable.
Low : It has good bass response,it is emphasized,but not that kind of boomy bass you will get, in fact,you will get good and solid bass response. Depth is okay,but it will be better if can be deeper and harder. Don;t worry,its bass is not loose,just not as hard and tight that I like. Rumble and extension is good also.
shell like ear cup
Details : You can get good amount of detail with this headphone,impressive for the price.
Sound Signature : The sound is detailed,forward although not by very much,fast and considered as a dynamic headphone. is it bright sounding headphone? I don’t think it is that bright to be categorised as bright headphone,but it is definitely not a dark sounding headphone. It is nice,but make sure you won’t turn the volume too high,this will make the hot treble became more apparent. Actually,every bit of its sound is really worth its price,its sound is way more expensive than its price tag.
SoundStage : This headphone is good in soundstaging, width and depth is not a problem for its price, It has a spacious sound considered it is a closed back design.
Instrument Seperation : You can listened to every instrument clearly,seperate nicely.
I have tested Incase Sonic with few songs,with Local DIY Objective 2 amp and JDS Labs CmoyBB V2.03R,through a UD100 DAC,play through Foobar 2000. All audio files are in lossless format unless stated.
Missing you now – Michael Bolton and Kenny G (The Essentials of Kenny G)
The instrument is good sounded,but when come to vocal presentation,it is a bit hollow and thin. This song can be more enjoyable if mid sound thicker. Bye Bye –
Mariah Carey (E=MC2)
You can feel the treble of Sonic is a bit too much especially when Mariah Carey start to sing at the beginning of the song, the bass is punchy and solid. you will get good amount of details in this song.
Photograph – Nickelback (All the Right Reasons)
The mid range is thin to be desired, but it is still nice,and Sonic is fast enough to keep up with the pace of this song,energetic yet sophisticated,although I have detected it has quite amount of sibilant here. But this occur only when I turn up the volume level beyond normal safety hearing level.
That’s Right – Jesse Cook (Vertigo)
The detail you get in this song through Sonic is impressive,the low body do make this song more fun to listen to. The guitar sounded with good clarity.
Sax-O-Loco – Kenny G (Rhythm and Romance)
With good impact and the saxephone sound really nice,I love how Sonic bring up the high.
Good : Spacious and opened sound, superb comfort level,build quality,accessories included and packaging box, detail level, the high is good and is nice when you need it, good bass response, price!
Bad : Sometime the treble is too hot,midrange could be better but actually at this price point I have nothing to complain.
This is a successful product I can say. Why? Because from head to toe,I am really happy with it. True, I admit that the hot treble response might destroying the mood of listening to song some time,but the high is simply brilliant,it bring up the high tone smoothly and effortless, making you ‘cum’ to the extreme, the treble response is not that extreme,but it is better to take note of it before buy,if you are sensitive to this flaw,then I advised you should not considered in this headphone,but for what I have do testing,the case is not really extreme,in a whole music presentation,it is still enjoyable, the most important part is not how a headphone response in which spectrum but it should be has excellent music presentation, this is the case with Sonic,it is nice and enjoyable. Generally,it do well with all the music that I throw to it,but I just can’t denied, the treble should not be that hot, some titanium driver based headphone do well with their high frequency.
it is a trendy headphone with good sound
But Incase deserved our praise as for me,this is a new ‘headphone’ company that have good,innovative and fresh idea in mind,the design is impressive(not surprise really, for the business it started as a casing company),the comfort level is comparable to much higher price products,and the unique soft touch feeling on the headphone, and how it performed in the frequency spectrum,what could I expect more in this RM300(USD 100) headphone? In fact.that all of my friends,love how this headphone sounded. It might be not a true audiophile headphone,but it is more than enough for normal usage and every songs headphone.
I recommended this headphone to you,the build quality,price ratio and comfort level is excellenct,onle mid can be better and if treble is not that hot, but it is really good and worth the money!