Whether you believe in burn in, or loosing up or whatever it does seem to round earphones and gear out a bit more after a few hours of music have settled all the parts.
I recently had a listen of the Chord & Majors I received from the Japan based contact (I guess I must have handed them one of my Gifu washi hand made meishi/business cards) straight out of the box. The sound was similar.
This time I had a listen straight out of the box and tried to compare with my memory of first impressions at the e-earphone show in Tokyo. It was very similar and led me think that perhaps the ones I tried there were also fresh out of the box.
I then set them up and left both sets of earphones to loosen up over a period of 24 hours plus to see If the result would be more palatable. These are the results.
Source used for testing:
Centrance Hifi-Skyn with ipod touch 6G and Flacplayer app.
Definitely has enough bass to please even the most jaded bass lover, seems to be tight enough where is counts, slightly rounded and smoothed and extends down into the sub bass.
The over extended highs and sharpness which i first encountered has disappeared after leaving them to play for a bit, this is also noticeable in the rolloff shown in the specs graph.
They have a height and depth, but not as much width in terms of sound stage.
Separation between instruments is more than adequate. It is not a fast earphone, but well paced.
Vocal are clean and clear and a pleasure to listen to., I really enjoy female vocals with the Rock version.
Strings and guitar comes across accurately.
I find myself liking them the longer they are in my ears.
As expected the Ballad version is a more laid back sound signature with an emphasis on the mids.
Although less dynamic than the Rock version it doesn`t lose out by that simple comparison.
It performs just as well, just quieter and less forward. All the key points that I enjoyed with the Rock version are also present here, a good sound stage, decent separation between the various instruments.
The vocals are more forward on the ballad version, whereas on the Rock version there is a more balanced sense of vocals and music. The height and depth is less than on the Rock, although width seems wider.
There is a spaciousness to them, almost an airy sense without getting too whimsical.
The Ballad version is fairly smooth and non offensive to the ears.
If I would sum up the Ballad in one word it would be tame, there are no particular sacrifices.
I recommend giving the Ballad and Rock versions time to open up to get the best experience. Either through general everyday use or leave them over night playing some music of your choice.
The global prices of the Chord & Major earphones are from 199 USD ~ 239 USD.
Jazz Major7’13 $199 USD
Rock Major8’13 $199 USD
Classical Major9’13 $219 USD
Ballad Major6’13 $239 USD
World Major5’14 $239 USD
The prices are at the low end of mid range and these IEMs seem to fit within that price point well.
They aren`t sub $100 nor are they $500 plus in terms of sound.
Build: I can`t fault the build as it does appear to be rather robust, although albeit I have only had them for a short time.
Sound: The sound fits perfectly within their pricepoint and I have no real complaints.
Fit: They seem to fit reasonably well, much better than when I first tried them at the e-earphone show when I was in a hurry. The metal tab helps with positioning for a comfortable fit. They seem to feel quite weightless when settled in properly. Results could vary depending on tips used and size of ones ear holes.
Value: With the excellent packaging, solid build and proper price point I would say that they are good value. Of course the $200-$250 USD price point is saturated with many choices of good in ears to compete against also.