Thursday, 21 April 2011

Sunrise Xcape v2 Quick Review

Sunrise Xcape v2 Quick Review


Thanks to UKheadphones and Sunrise Audio for the samples.

Brief: Version 2 of the Xcape.

Price: Circa £50 - £60 depending on location and currency

Specification: ?

Accessories: The usual, a bunch of different tips, a shirt clip and a rather nice little case.

Build Quality: They look and feel really solid, weighty and metal. Very, very sturdy feeling in the hand.

Isolation: Rather a lot for a dynamic but they do have a little venting so you’re not totally cut off from the world. Still enough to get you hit by a bus you never heard but not something for a 12 hour flight.


Microphonics: The usual, worn down yes, worn up not really.

Comfort/Fit: Absolutely fine on both accounts. It took a second for the air pressure to equalise in my ears but that was it, just shove in and I was done.

Sound: Here I was somewhat surprised. Having read all the reviews for the original Xcape I thought oh something must be wrong here, maybe they desperately need a burn in? A few hundred hours later I realised that wasn’t the issue. I had a version 2 and Sunrise had altered its sound significantly from the original. I have seen it commented that this was to more appeal to the Far East where a thicker, warmer, Sonyesq sound is more popular. Well that they have done but honestly I was disappointed. I don’t want to come across as bashing the v2 but these were so much warmer and thicker than I expected, so much so the thickness hides things from you. Like the Sony EX500 these are warm and thick and smooth and heavy. They sound good if that’s what you want but it’s just too thick. If you listen hard you can pick out detail but I don’t find it fun. Like the Sony it is so heavy its oppressive and relaxed, everything’s too heavy and soft. Bass is good if you like that weighty smooth type but it isn’t so good at punch or getting lively. Mids too are similar, heavy, warm; smooth which is good if you want that but for artists who demand some air about them it just doesn’t do them the justice they deserve. The v2 just doesn’t offer the versatility that I want. That said if you play some bright treble happy songs (Owl City) it does somewhat balance them a bit. The bass is too big and heavy but the songs brightness finds a bit of a middle ground. Treble on these is good, delicate and shimmery but its well in the back ground and it’s rather obscured by the thickness elsewhere. The treble is in there but you have to look for it.


If you want a really warm, thick sounding IEM this is pretty good but for me I kept wanting that low end tightened up and tamed. Not that such a sound doesn’t have a place in the IEM world but making this the v2 of something so praised is a silly move. By all means make it but call them different products. From what I gather this may be what’s going to happen.

Still if you heard the M2 and wanted more warmth this might be worth you finding as it’s not bad once you get past its sound signature. Actually I think it offers a fractionally better detail retrieval than the M2 does. You just have to really look for it.

Value: Hmm if you want the sound it offers then very good I’m sure.

Pro’s: Bass, big, thick, abundant, super rich thick mids too

Con’s: See Pro’s, you either want how it sounds or you don’t, I couldn’t live with it.

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