Disclaimer: The Rose Gold K10U in this article belongs to Noble Audio. It, along with Noble Audio’s latest universal earphones, are in office for the purposes of an advertising shoot. Because Noble Audio are a client of mine, I must politely decline to review their products. But as an owner of a custom K10 (reviewed prior to landing Noble Audio as a client), I’d like to talk about the differences I perceive between them.
Years ago, and with great excitement, I hailed MMCX cables and connectors a godsend. They twist. They snap into place. They’re hard to bend. But years later, I’ve settled down, and with good reason. Precisely because they twist, at minimum, memory wire-laden MMCX cables require good neck cinches to keep them flat against the head. Full security requires torsional locks (Nuforce Primo 8). MMCX’s weaknesses necessitate over-engineering.
My ear canals are tight, and the K10U stuffs them up pretty well, which is one strike against it versus the K10C. And, since I use Comply tips, there are a few overlaps between the K10U and K10C. The custom version more gently goes from lows to mids and Comply K10U. Ortofon tips are another nice option, but if your canals are like mine, the won’t keep the K10U in as secure.
The K10C’s acrylic-to-the-tip body vis-a-vis the K10U’s aluminium must describe other audio differences. I’m not sure my ears are good enough to go into detail. Comply tips probably best describe the slightly throbbier bass I get via the K10U, and the greater low-frequency stage depth I get through the K10C. And, unless immediate-switch audio memory fails me, the same can be said of a sudden spike of high-frequency energy. I find the K10U drier. Extant though they are, the differences aren’t great. I can imagine Mr. Yamagishi essaying at length about sound tube length, insertion angles and depth, and tip selection. He’d probably end the conversation with a tidy graph, and a cup of tea.
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