In EDC land, palatable is spelled b-a-l-a-t-a-b-l-e, b short for bass. EDC hasn’t gobs of bass. It hasn’t uncontrolled blooms; its bass won’t ride up the midrange’s ass. But it is powerful, gels around a tight stereo ball, and pushes forward a beat through any genre. Decay edges are fast and attack is pretty forceful. It stays clean and fast even with the BPMiest of full-bob trance. As clean as it is, natural bass guitars really thwacked really really pull in the focus. At times it can get a bit.
That bass is drier than it is warm, and sits tight both on the stereo spectrum, and in relation to the EDC’s otherwise rather shallow z-axis. EDC outputs a medium sized stereo image that spreads to within the bounds of the shoulders and rises to forehead level and drops to just below the chin. It’s a semi-tight ball with a lot going on inside. Interestingly, there’s a bit of a hollow centre to that ball, which makes that ball seem larger than it is. Its stereo image isn’t pointed by sharp upper mids or highs, so you won’t get the feel that you’re on the stage. Neither will you get the feeling that you’re sitting back, enjoying from a distance. It’s a super-in-between sort of listen that probably is best aimed at pop music rather orchestral or even concerts.
That said, EDC has the low end power and speed to keep up with a heavy metal concert, it just can’t parse the crowd from the stage as well as a HEM4. What it does really well is push guitars and melodic elements to the sides of the ears, which, combined with its encapsulating bass, makes for one of the most foot-tapping earphones in its price range and well above.
Vocals are a bit wispy and there’s a bit of smear when they reach the upper mids, kicking a bit of a karaoke feel into your favourite tracks. Currently, I’m rocking my lappy back and forth to Dire Straits’s Walk of Life, a song my daughter really, really likes. It’s a song that I can’t sleep to. I just have to dance. And I’ll be damned if EDC doesn’t move my feet more than just about every earphone I own. Its thwacky bass and that minor vocal smear combine perfectly for foot tapping. It’s its clean and flatly extended highs, all balled together.
I’ve begun to really like warm-sounding earphones. HEM2 is magical. But when I go back to less warm earphones, I sigh in relief. There’s something about clarity that does me. And EDC, minor smears included, maintains a good balance of coolness and power. Highs are clear, but not jumpy. There’s no sibilance. There’s no no high end peaks to speak of. And highs extend the furthest laterally of all the frequencies, pushing just outside the bass ball and riding upward around the ears.
As far as I can tell, EDC is pretty flat from the mids through the highs with a minor fall off well past where most music puts out much signal anyway. Bass rises, powerful and fast, but doesn’t swarm into the mids. For 59$, this is a pretty damn even Stephen sound.
It’s a damn good foot tapper and so damn quietly stylized that on the one hand, it speaks HiFi. And yet you won’t get ultimate sense of space or stereo width from it. Some will find its bass a bit too muscly, but I doubt anyone will be bothered by it. It is fast, grippy, and decays timely. Thank god it’s got two cables. The one with a button is a god send. The other looks cool.
Well done Massdrop and Nuforce. EDC is a keeper.