Review: Echobox Finder X1 – New Values

Disclaimer: The Echobox Finder X1 was given me direct at the latest Fujiya Avic. It was handed over by a lad named Tom, whose pomade was out of this world. He didn’t let me touch it. I’ve heard that the X1 will go for about 200$. That’s ridiculous. Utterly. These things are so well engineered that I would expect more. When Echobox’s counter hits 0, you’ll be able to find out more about the X1.

Titanium. Single-driver. Compact. Tough cable. Tough body. Acoustic filters. Contrasty V-shaped sound signature. Well laid-out box and marketing materials. As a first-gen, first-product release, Finder X1 checks all the important boxes.

Spec

Build: titanium housing
Transducers: Dynamic
Frequency Range: 15 Hz – 32 kHz
Sensitivity (SPL): 96 dB/mW
Impedance: 22 Ω
THD: <1%
Cable: 1,2 metres, silver plated
Plug: 3,5 mm stereo

Build

The X1 Finder is impeccably tooled. And while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I believe that it’s objective to say that Titanium commits no design no-nos. Its horn shape is eye-catching. Its mill trails are jewel-like. By and large, the body is blemish-free. Red for right and black for left rubber nubs rest within each earphone. Two gotchas to this design exist: one, by touch, you can’t determine which earphone is left or right; and two, Titanium’s nub offers little relief against acute cable bending. Considering that you can’t really grip X1 by the husk, I hope that cable holds up.

Now, we have to get serious. Titanium’s cable is strong. It’s well-coated, generally friction-free, and thick. I expect those nubs are more than sufficient. But who knows how well the cable is anchored into the earphone body. While I’m not going to try to yank it out, I don’t treat review earphones well. I do my best to sit on them, toss them around, crush them, etc. And both Titanium’s shell and its cables hold up brilliantly under tread.

So that I don’t ruin the next section, I’ll just say that Titanium’s acoustic filters fit securely. Its finely-threaded tight-pitch mount is the cleanest, tightest screw machining I’ve seen in an earphone.

Update: I forgot to mention that getting the filters out of the box took the following tools: Revlon tweezers, Tweezerman nail scissors, and an electronics spludger. I should have used just the last one. The first two put scratches on one of the filters. That’s a tick against Echobox’s box. Ho hum.

Again, I with the plug was backed by a lean L-shaped sheath. It’s not. It’s straight. It’s dangerous both to your hip and to your player, if you, or it, take a fall. Slip I-shaped plugs look better, I get it. But there has to be a way to sync safety and style.

I can’t imagine that X1 was anywhere cheap to make. Well done.

Fit

There’s little bad to say about how X1 goes in. It just goes in. Slip! But despite its neat, narrow sound tube, the horn behind it can pose problems. If your ear holes are large, the horn will slip right in. And there’s an edge you’ll have to contend with. My wife reckons that she wouldn’t listen for too long before noticing a build up of pressure under her ear flaps. My canals are narrow so the earphone sits outside my flaps. Comfy all day long.

Your mileage may vary. As it will with the tips. The X1 comes with six sets of ear pieces, split between single, dual, and triple flanged silicon tips. As per usual, none of them gave me as much comfort as ortofon’s clear tips, with which I paired the X1 for the remainder of this review.

And, you can wear X1 both up or down about as easily and securely as you can a Grado GR10. There’s virtually no difference betwixt the two.

Features

Honestly, I hate acoustic filters. No matter how well acoustically and physically engineered they are, I end up using the standard set. X1 is a bit different. Partially because my set came with the white set installed. I prefer the black ones. According to X1 literature, by default the black set were supposed to be installed.

Whatever.

X1’s brilliant machining makes twisting and untwisting them fun. I do it dozens of times a day. Let’s illustrate this a bit better:

I also have a pre-production version, thanks to Gilly87. Until Tom handed me a production box, and because I read nothing about the X1, I had no idea the earphone evan came with acoustic filters. To my trained eye (I shoot jewellery and high-end earphones for a living), it was a simple ear tip mounting flange; it wouldn’t unscrew. To quote Luke Skywalker (evidently, his surprise that Vader might not have been his father at all), “That’s impossible!” The difference, of course, is that I was most happy. Most happy indeed. The X1 is finely machined indeed.

There are three sets of tips. The literature in the production sample says that the black filters were installed. Again, it was wrong. Mistake number one. It was the silver (white) one, the one EchoBox consider most balanced. That most balanced version is damn bassy and nicely bright. The black one appears to have more emphasis on lower bass, which it then hooks closer with lower mids. As a consequence, its contrast between bass and treble is a bit less than the other tips.

To my ears, the black filter set is the easiest to listen to. Vocals bite most through the red or white filters.

Sound and more after the jump or the click here:

Review: Echobox Finder X1 – New Values
4.2 (84.44%) 18 votes

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

7 Comments

  • Reply December 26, 2015

    Digins

    Thanks for a review. You should try FLC8S, awesome iems with great tuning system.

  • Reply December 28, 2015

    Aaron Goldberg

    Hi there, Ive been quite enjoying these IEMs. Its vital you get good tips for them, the ones packaged with them didnt work for me. I got some SpinFits and Im getting some great sounds with Nine Inch Nails, Sunn 0))), Alice Cooper, Neil Young, Wilco in High Def through my Sony A15. Im now looking forward to the Explorer in April!

    • Reply January 19, 2016

      ohm image

      Great to hear from you. Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply March 1, 2016

    Aladdin Tarakji

    How do these compare to the rha t20? do they have a similar sound signature, with plenty but controlled bass? and soundstage? I listen mainly to EDM, hiphop, pop. Would you say these are some of the best under $200 for a “fun” sound?

    • Reply March 23, 2016

      ohm image

      I’m sorry, I don’t have the RHA T20.

    • Reply March 23, 2016

      dalethorn

      I had the T20i, which I bought at the Apple store. It’s very clean and smooth, and has great presence. Just make sure your music doesn’t have any tendency to harshness, since the T20i is very revealing. Other than that, not much to say – it doesn’t have any noticeable faults.

  • Reply March 6, 2018

    Kyle

    How do these compare to the Fiio FH1s? Are they worth picking up for $70?

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