ddHiFi Janus (E2020A) Review


Sound performance

My main sources were: EarMen Eagle / EarMen Sparrow / ddHifi TC25i. Trusted sources from trusted brands that I used extensively for the past weeks.

As usual, files were played from either Qobuz / Spotify or my own music library. Some tracks will be highlighted, just so you can try them home too!

Overall signature

Out of the box, the ddHiFi Janus were fitted with the treble type Silicon tips and the Forest 2.5mm cable.

First impressions? Very open sound with a wide soundstage, even if you don’t get that wonderful holographic effect found in higher-tier models like FiiO’s FA9 or Shanling’s ME700. Yet, due/thanks to the weak isolation outside noise blends with your music and gives an open-back sensation, that I found pretty interesting on all my listening sessions.

Layering is great even for a single-driver IEM. The Janus gives you solid bass, but shy highs, even with the Treble-focused tips, which just seemed to tone down the bass. Even if shyer, the highs remained clean, and blended nicely with the rest of the spectrum. In fact, if I had to resume the E2020A with a single word, that would be: balanced.


There are no sibilants, nor harshness in the sound. Resolution and clarity are on-par with same tier IEMs and, I truly believe the foundation of those great results comes from the harmonious sound signature. It goes deep, enough to give you the morning kick you need to fight the filthy crowd, surrounding you in the subway.

Of course, this is much more palpable on a good DAC like the EarMen Sparrow or a DAP like Astell&Kern’s SA700, which were able to create a very nice sound stage, where I could immerse. It’s a great all-rounder, one that can be used daily, if you can cope with the poor isolation. I’m using them at the moment (obviously) and if I heard better IEM, I’m still pretty hooked, thanks to the linear signature.



Highs: chopped off high notes. As I said, the Janus feels very balanced from top to bottom. But, with a single dynamic driver, some frequencies were discriminated. If high-mids are there, passed 5-6kHz you’ll hear a clear difference, especially compared to multi-BA IEM or DLC DD models. Still, that was not a big issue for me, but you might find the Janus pretty shy on that regard. 

Good test-track : Through and Through – Leaving Laurel

Mediums: rich and full. Excellent soundstage and clean mids make for a very pleasant experience. ddHiFi made an excellent job in this regard: voices are sharp, soundstage is wide and even paired with the small TC25i, the Janus achieve unveiled a lot of hidden micro-details.

Good test-track: Money – Pink Floyd

Bass: clean, fast and well-rounded. Even with a sole driver, the Janus was able to give me some nice kicks and rumbles. It’s very dependant of the source and if the TC25i seemed good at first, the Eagle really enhanced the final render. It’s still pretty even and honestly, I was pretty surprised by how well the IEM behave. 

Good test-track : Sacrifice – Sara Landry


Sensitivity / Hiss 

Impedance is low, sensitivity is correct – whatever the settings – so yes, you can drive those IEM’s fairly easily, but it will shine only when hooked on a good DAC or DAP. 

There is some hiss with badly grounded sources, but that’s more than bearable. Once you’ve launched your music, all of that annoying buzz will immediately disappear. Hurray!


ddHiFi Janus + TC25i/TC25B: teen titans go. Of all the bundle you could make with the Janus, this is by far the tiniest and lightest you could pick. What’s even more surprising is how well they sound together, even if they remain outclassed by the Eagle or Sparrow. Still, if you just need a good setup, easy to carry on the go, this is a very clever choice.

ddHiFi Janus + EarMen Sparrow: parfait. There isn’t much to be said here: it’s a terrific combination, sound and ergonomic wise. The Sparrow is able to unveil a lot of details on the Janus and the soundstage widen by quite a nice margin. And with the help of the TC28i, I was able to connect everything neatly to my iPhone. The to-go combo.

ddHiFi Janus + FiiO Q5S-TC: powerhouse. If you want to raise your game, the new Q5S is a good contender for that. In addition to power, this new DAC also gives you Bluetooth connection so that you can pair your phone wirelessly and separate your audio gear from your phone. It’s obviously not as simple to carry than the Sparrow or TC25i, but if you want the extra punch, without breaking the bank, this is my recommendation.



Want to compare with other ears? Voilà:

iBasso IT00: the IT00 and Janus both use a single dynamic driver, but that’s not the only thing they have in common. Both IEM shares a clean, inoffensive sound, and if the IT00 favours the high-mids, the Janus seems to exhibits a leaner signature, where everything seems even. 

TinHifi T2 Plus: compared to the Janus, the T2 Plus seems a lot more aggressive, with a clear v-shaped sound signature. On my usual techno tracklist, the T2 Plus sounded a lot more engaging, but on the long run, I’d rather go for the Janus instead of the T2 Plus. Or raise the bar and take the T4.

Shanling AE3: I really like the AE3. Comfort-wise, it’s a step above the Janus (even if my wife doesn’t agree) and the blue faceplate is simply outstanding. Overall, it outperforms the Janus with stronger lows and razor-sharp highs, yet the ddHiFi gave a good fight with its sole driver, and I’m pretty curious to see what’ll come in a near future.               


Step by step, ddHiFi keep on expanding their range and we follow those tracks. Like the TC25i and TC28i I reviewed previously, the new Janus combines a clever build with real design prowess and a little bit of quirkiness.

Sound quality is very good with a neutral signature, recalling Etymotic, with lesser highs, and paired with a small DAC like the Sparrow or even ddHiFi’s own dongles, the IEM is able to carry you over the day. Yet, all of those feats only work if you can find a quiet room, as those ears fell short in term of isolation. If you like open/airy IEMs, this is a great solution, but if not, you’ve been warned.

All in all, it’s not perfect, but I’m very curious to see how that will evolve! I stay tuned.


4.3/5 - (60 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

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