I think the headphone world is dividing into two camps – wired or wireless.
I’ve tried plenty of both. I have a few sets of wireless headphones in the pipeline to review, but today I’m reviewing the Simgot EN700 Pro in-ear monitor headphones ($145.99 on Amazon).
I have to admit that I’ve moved to Bluetooth headphones. When Apple eliminated the iPhone’s headphone jack, I switched to AirPods. I use them for my iPhone, Macbook Pro and my Windows PC at work.
To test the Simgot headphones, I had to dig out the Lightning to headphone jack adapter that came with my iPhone 8 Plus so I could plug them in.
The term in-ear monitor can really apply to any earbud-type headphone designed with an earpiece that partially enters your ear canal.
Usually in-ear monitor refers to the headphones worn by onstage musicians so they can hear their performance at a comfortable volume without the distraction of their surroundings. Performers usually wear custom-molded earpieces for comfort.
The EN700 Pros are universal fit in-ear monitors, which means they are not custom-fitted to the ear. Rather, they ship with six different sets of silicone ear tips.
I tried them all and found that the largest size worked well for me. Look for a fit that forms a seal in your ear canal.
Like most in-ear monitors, the EN700 Pro utilizes an over-the-ear design in which the cable runs upward and around the back of each ear. Once you settle on the right tip, the cable design really keeps the earbuds in place.
Specs for the audiophiles
Every time I write about headphones or speakers, I get feedback from my audiophile readers because I don’t say much about the sound specifications.
I’m not an audiophile, so I don’t understand a lot of what these terms mean, but if you really like sound, this should make sense to you.
The EN700 Pro has a 10-millimeter driver in each earpiece with an N50 high magnetic composite moving-coil transducer with a polymer composite titanium-plated diaphragm.
Frequency response is 15 hertz to 40 kilohertz, and sensitivity is greater than or equal to 101 decibels (at 1,000 hertz).
Distortion is less than 1 percent @ 101 decibels (20 micropascals), and channel imbalance is less than 1.5 decibels (at 1,000 hertz).
Rated power is 10 milliwatts.
The in-ear monitor cables connect to the earpieces with a plug, and the wires are made of eight cores of single-crystal copper and silver-plated wires.
In-ear monitors are designed purely for audio listening. These are not for making phone calls – there is no microphone.
Nice design and sound
The EN700 Pro has a nice design. The earbuds are egg-shaped and come in a variety of colors. The in-ear monitors ship with two types of ear tips – one for powerful mid-high frequencies with clear sound and one for enhanced bass. There are small, medium and large tips for each type.
They have an all-metal housing with each earpiece carved from a single piece of aircraft aluminum. The outside of each earpiece is carved with a cool-looking horizontal grill design.
The EN700 Pros ship with a very nice leather case.
How do they sound? Very good.
I own a set of custom-molded in-ear monitors from JH Audio, and they are my gold standard for headphones.
The EN700 Pros sound almost as good as my custom set and are half the price. I’d say the tradeoff is worth it for the casual user who would never think about custom molds.
I found the sound to be very clear, even up to maximum volume. I did notice a difference in the ear tips (as stated earlier), and I settled on the bass-enhanced tips.
In-ear monitors offer a very different listening experience than my AirPods.
The Simgot earbuds do a good job sealing out ambient sounds, while the AirPods do not – they were never meant to.
My music sounded as it should, and the EN700 Pros were comfortable to put on and wear. It took a few tries before putting them on became second nature. I found taking my glasses off first helped me get them fitted a bit faster.
For less than $150, these are hard to beat.
Pros: Clean sound, no distortion, solid build, comfortable, nice case, inexpensive.
Bottom line: Good in-ear monitors for musicians or just for listening to music.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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