This must be first time in your life to heard this new brand in headfi world,however I have long heard Musical Fidelity when I am into this Hi-fi (Home audio setup) last time, it is quite a surprise when I knew that they have just released a Single Balanced Armature in ear monitor named EB50 in the market, after doing some research,Musical Fidelity also has few headfi products in range,including some DAC and headphone Amplifier. This will not be a cheap earphone, as you can expected from the brand, it cost RM854 (USD280),far from what I could named it as budget earphone, especially with this amount of money, a lot of good IEM you can get,regardless dynamic or BA.
I doubt the pricing, but I understand that Musical Fidelity won’t just simply priced it,so it must be a good reason to market it at high price, I contacted Yen from StereoHead, and after a long chat with him through phone call, he lent me this review unit of Musical Fidelity EB50.
Description and Specification
This is a single armature type earphone,drive by neodymium driver unit. Below is specification and product features that I found on the official website and packaging box:
- Ruler flat frequency response – very low distortion
- High sensitivity (>than 100db) – better than 26db noise isolation
- Excellent dynamic range and inertia free reproduction
- Non-resonant mil-spec aluminium body
- Multi-layer,anti resonant internal construction
- Seven pairs of ear tips included for perfect sealing
- Sensitivity: 100dB SPL/mW (1kHz)
- Impedance: 26 Ohms ±15%
- Max input power: 11mW (rated power 5mW)
- Frequency range: 10Hz-20kHz
- Distortion: <1%
- Noise Isolation: better than 96%
- Driver: 6mm balanced armature
- Weight: 28g
- Cable length: 1.2M
- 3.5mm Gold plated Stereo jack plug
- Microphone and answer button included
Packaging and Accessories
It has a nice blue colour packaging box,from far,I thought it is packaging box for Sennheiser /Adidas’series earphone, It is not as elegant packed as some,but it is nicely packed in a simple packaging box.
Accessories wise it is very good, you will get 7 pairs of ear tips (Based on what they said, I get more than 7 pairs strangely) in the box, a 3.5mm to 6.25mm audio jack,a instruction sheet and a good carrying bag,a carrying/tools case/box,earhook,shirt clip,airplane adapter and a cleaning cloth in the box.
There is basically more than enough, some manufacturers often neglect to provide a cleaning tools in the box,I know that you can just buy a spectacular cleaning clothes yourself,but it is always better if manufacturer can including this into the box,it is thoughtful and remind users the need to protect and maintain their headphone.
In this price range,I think the included accessories are more than enough already.
Build Quality and Mechanism/Design
Build quality is top notch, solid and well built, what I would describe as ‘tank like’ build quality. It can withstand a lot of torture,made of aluminium,good and hard type aluminium, not only the housing of it can last long, but every cable stress relief of the earphone is durable,means you can use this earphone for a very long time.
From the very first time I saw this earphone’s picture,I think that it is not nice looking,a bit ugly too be exact. I personally think that it is a bit like Dunu Trident,but once I received it,I am sure that it might not be nice looking,but it is far away from ugly looking,I can only said its design is unique,but when you hold it,I am sure that you will be impressed by the build quality rather than the look.
Sound Leakage and Noise Isolation/Microphonic
Sound leakage is inaudible,it is a in ear earphone,this is its natural strength,no problem at all. Noise isolation is excellent as long as you have got the correct fit, very good.
Microphonic noise is audible, in fact, I am wonder why Musical Fidelity don’t just put in the flat cable for it,because people who bought this might won’t really care in Microphonic aspect.
Pairing and ease of drive
Just like other BA earphone,EB50 is very easy to drive given its Balanced armature design,low impedance and high sensitivity. I drive it nicely with my Hippo Biscuit.
I can really see that Musical Fidelity is not only do great with audio quality of this earphone,but also other aspect. This earphone is not only great in audio quality but also noise isolation,packaging,durability,accessories and now comfort level. It is comfortable and it is light.
This IEM has been burned in for 150 hours before reviewing it. Tetsed by using UD100 DAC paired with JDSLabs CmoyBB V2.03R, Local DIY Objective 2 amp, played through Foobar 2000,and Hippo Biscuit,with Govibe Mini amp sometime. Tested tracks are all in lossless format unless stated.
High : Nothing I want to complain here,it is good,with good extension and details,even if you turn up the volume,you will only get more high instead of annoying or hissed high,sounded good and natural.
Mid : Really good,I can’t said it is already completely satisfying my requirement for vocal representation, but the vocal voice out nicely and has some sweetness,especially it is distortion free,real sound. It excel in vocal,has good layering and ‘taste’. Vocal is natural yet has good texture.
Low : You will be disappointed if you expect bass like dynamic earphone. Its bass is presence and better some of the BA IEM that I ever heard,still,for jip hop song that you urge for more bass and low body,it is far from enough, its bass is hard and have good impact,but decay too fast, no rumble,small body and not deep enough. But it is good enough for most type of songs. If paired with amplifier that has bass boost function such as JDSLabs CmoyBB V2.03R,you can get more pronounce bass,but still a bit lacking for hot songs.
Sound Signature : Audio quality of this IEM is indeed satisfying me enough,especially with the songs that I listened to. It has some warm sound,high and mid is very good,especially in vocal performance,what you will get is natural and true to life sound. It is detailed and expressive. When love and ballad songs playing through this earphone,I melted into music instantly,and see listened how the singer express their feeling. Vocal has some sweetness and good level of detail. Its sound is smooth and has excellent clarity. But it is not boring or analytical,it has the warmness that is I am really enjoy.
Soundstage : The staging and imaging of this IEM is great,positioning is good as well.
Instrument seperation : Instrument seperation is good as well, I can listened to each of the instrument clearly. Positioning is good as well.
Beautiful – Chaka Khan/Kenny G (At last…The Duets album)
Saxophone has good texture,while some of the earphone just rendered it as ‘sharp sounding instrument’ only,which is really good. The vocal of Chaka Khan need not further elaborationit is good.
All by myself – Celine Dion (Grandes Sucessos)
I admit that I listened this song over and over again with EB50,it is really expressive. It will make you cry if you feel the lyric is singing about you. Especially when the chorus come out, I can feel what Dion is singing about,really impressive.
Ocean Deep – Cliff Richard (The Essential Love songs)
Again,it is good and enjoyable. As I said,if you think that the song is singing about you,you will be crying! Expressive and good sounding. Every pinch of the song,is quite true sounding.
I will always love you – Whitney Houston (love,Whitney)
Everything play with great clarity and come out lively.
Someone like you – Adele (21)
The piano playing great,along with Adele’s vocal,this is good.
Single Ladies – Beyonce (I am…Sasha Fierce)
This song is energetic with EB50 but lack the attack that this song needed. After I turned on the bass boost function of CmoyBB,the bass is bigger and hit harder as well as deeper,but sill decay too fast.
Good : Good sounding especially vocal performance, Clarity, Fast, Top notch build quality, Packaging and accessories provided, Resonant and distortion free.
Bad : Price and low frequency response,look (User depend),No marking ‘left’ and ‘right’ on the earphone.
Close your eyes and lets the music lead you to where music want you to go, listen to the story singers wish you to hear. This is not your personal in head Disco,but this is a earphone that really good to have especially you like to listen music in silent night before you sleep. It is great,when hip hop/trance song is playing,it is still good but not the earphone that should be your choice if this kind of songs is your listen priority.
For the price being, it is you that decide worth the money or not,for me,it worth the money. Some of my friend claimed that Beyerdynamic XP3 is better sounding than this, I denied this statement, I am having this XP3 in my hand,and think that it is no match to EB50,except the bass. This flat sound is not for everyone.
I recommended this earphone!