Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Yamaha EPH-20 Quick Review

Yamaha EPH-20 Quick Review

Thanks to Yamaha UK for the sample.

Brief: Solid, big brand quality.

Price: £20

Specification: 1.2m cable with gold 3.5 L-type plug, Weight: 3g (without cable); 10g (with cable), 20 Hz - 21 kHz

Accessories: 3 pairs of tips

Build Quality: Seems all right. Buds seem solid as does the jack.

Isolation: Reasonable, around the norm for a dynamic. Enough to make you road kill if you don’t look where you’re going.

Comfort/Fit: Just fine. Worn up or down they were a case of shove in and done. Comfort wise they weigh nothing so very easy to forget they were there at all.

Aesthetics: They come in 5 colours, I went with blue, blueish purple if you ask me though, and they are nice but nothing special. Of course if you love more dramatic colouring like the bright pink or green then they are likely to appeal greatly. Pleasant but nothing amazing.

Sound: They have the traditional Yamaha house sound, thick, weighty, rich and warm. It’s the sensible choice of sound sigs too in something that’s fairly low end. It makes for a pleasantly rich and enjoyable sound that I found very pleasing to the ear. It’s not dramatic and exciting so if you’re a big rock fan then maybe you’ll find it too soft but I liked its big warm mellowness. The bass quantity is a bit much really but I doubt many will object to that. Likewise the treble is dialled down a bit which is wise in this price range anyway. For jazz, choral or orchestral stuff it works particularly well. Scale, power and a sense of fullness that the orchestral stuff in particular benefits from. When they claim “Concert sound quality” I think this is what they meant and what they used to test the 20’s with. It’s a decent showing that offers a mature and capable sound from a brand with huge name recognition.

Value: Solid, respectable, rather better than I expect from a company that has such a brand name but ultimately nothing more than solid. You can find better value if you know where to look but here’s the rub, these come in 5 colours. Okay, okay, I kid but the real rub is that you can walk into a John Lewis and pick up a pair, you sure as hell cannot do that with most things. For something you can pick up in the high street these are going to be very much harder to best than most of the dross.

Pro’s: Can buy in a real shop, lovely warm rich sound, big brand name.

Con’s: Not the most exciting sound.

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