-well balanced vivid to warmish tonality
-2 and more nozzle tuning choice
-beautifull male and female vocal
-fast attack speed
-bodied bass thump
-very big, airy, open and deep soundstage
-realist timbre and tone
-bright but not shouty nor sibilant
-crisp snappy brilliant treble
-mature but not boring
-clean but not thin mids
-crazy sound value
-lack of texture and bass definition
-light note weight in some part of mid range
-texture is overly smoothen for some instruments
-can be a hint shouty with stock ear tips
SOUND VALUE: 10/10
Simgot is a chinese earphones with more than 5 years of experience. Their first best seller was the EN700, then they go in a hiatus due to pandemic.
Then they come back more experienced and focused than ever, releasing excellent IEMs after IEMs. This new revival begin with their budget hybrid IEM, the EM2 that receive great acclaim. Then I regret not having review those and ask for their single Dynamic driver, the EN1000 king wonder. An IEM like no other both in musicality, construction design and tech used, since it include a cable with modular tuning plug, and well, sound fabulous. Again, it was a hit from Simgot, but priced around 200$ they didn’t get the attention they deserve. Why? Well, you can read my review, but Simgot follow it’s own musicality vision, wich is all about crisp open and natural sounding earphones. They don’t need waifu nor irrealist sound promise to earn confidence of consumers, since they are all about sound quality and nothing else.
And then come the Simgot EA500, which was release in China in 2022 and just pop in western market lately. For 2 months I was waiting eagerly my package to arrive, then see an hype about those growing and growing.
For once, Simgot finally get some recognition! I was happy, but sad to wait and wait…which make my expectation about them grow and grow too.
Then it arrive when I was invade with TOTL IEMs like Aroma Thunder, Mangird Xenn Up, GSaudio SE12 and Fir Audio Xe6. But they don’t overshadow them and I was in awe.
I will try to explain why in this review that I just spoil.
Priced 70$, the Simgot EA500 use a 10mm dual magnetic circuit and dual cavity 4th generation DLC (Diamond like composite diaphragm) dynamic driver. It have a changeable tuning nozzle and is all metal built.
Let now begin this review.
The construction of EA500 is simply mind blowing in quality and design. It’s scream quality and for once the metal mirror finish isn’t too easy to scratch, but it’s a finger print magnet and I suggest taking care of them still. Yet, durability wise, they seem near invincible, the metal is thick and nozzle screw is solid. Talking about those nozzle, its make of thick metal too, not thin alluminium.
Since these are a hint heavy, its suggested to use cable with earhook. But the smooth curvy shape of the housing make them very comfortable, even more so with long bore eartips.
The cable included is OK, nothing more. Its a 4cores silver plated cable. This is the only accessories with smal basic carrying case and just one model of eartips, the right one seen above. I would love to see at least 3 models of ear tips since those aren’t the best to achieve a smooth balanced tonality, the left one is way better so my no1 advice about EA500 is to play with eartips until you achieve your favorite dynamic balance.
Oh boy oh boy, the hype is loud about this one enh? But is it legit. Hell yes, as much for treble head than prudent basshead and bright balanced tuning lover.
Why is the hype is so loud? I don’t think it’s due to audio distributor hyping agenda, at least, not from me since I get these directly from Simgot as a follow up of my great interest (and praise) of their very good EN1000 IEM.
The hype is real because we are in this miracle budget audiophile territory where great technicalities meet great tuning balance, where fun meet maturity and even high fidelity. Yet, I would not suggest those for mid-centric listener, nor for warm or dark sounding musicality….but the EA500 have changeable tuning nozzle too that permit to go from one of best harman target U shape tuning to warmer W shape with thicker more euphonic mids.…
And then, you can play with all nozzle tuning you find around, like the one include with Moondrop Kato or Hidizs MS5. Audio discoveries with the EA500 just have no end because eartips too greatly inflict on the tonal balance, for ex, the included ear tips make it bassier and more upper mids fowards, so, hint more shouty too. Which will perhaps explain different appreciation of those.
For this review, i will mostly describe the RED nozzle filter sound, because black filter have a foam in it and it’s easy to imagine what you can get: smoother, warmer, thicker musicality with less treble crispness, mid range openess and bass clarity (and resonance, so, bass hit in a chunkier thumping way).
Let’s begin by saying what the EA500 aren’t: they aren’t plain neutral, they aren’t mid centric, they aren’t extremist basshead or treble centric, nor have the most natural and thick timbre out there.
The EA500 are very open sounding, airy, heavy in sub bass punch, softed in attack edge, fowards but smoothed in upper mids, very fast in attack speed, very snappy in treble, very well balanced within their W shape to U shape tonal balance.
The bass presentation of the EA500 doesn’t follow typical boring harman tuning, and offer a good balance between sub and mid bass boost that complement each other to offer extra dynamic slam with beautifull natural sub bass resonance that add extra bass richness layer. This is quite unexpected to have this kind of acoustic presentation in sub-100$ price range but thats far from being only thing making the EA500 standing apart. The kick hit with thick physicality, it have this chunky thumping that add sens of dynamic and engagement to the music without emphasis on kick presence and texture and avoiding problematic bleed with a fast attack that keep this sustain resonance at the back of vocals, yet can thicken male vocal too. The rumble is deep, vibrant and transparent while the slam is more chunky and rounded, its a tactile juicy bass, with heavy weight and realist impact. I can’t underline enough how fast, flexible and well controlled is the bass, with a very bassy and fast track like ”Dj Camo Bro” from Skee Mask, where their sub bass and kick hit that need good layering and speed, the EA500 articulate the sub bass tone effortlessly while let the thumping been felt with its punch and doesn’t loose it’s definition. Percussions are super crisp and fast too, nothing go into muddy mess. And again, we talk about a sub-100$ that deal with a track that even good 100-300$ IEM struggle too.
But if i go nitpicking for some limitation, it will be due to texture and presence, acoustic kick drum can be dominate by electric bass line for ex, but never in plain muddy way and well, i complaint about this with way pricier IEM too, good one.
So the main quality of bass is it’s speed and dynamic impact, not it’s well carved and resolve definition, you will not hear every details of contrabass or cello with those, yet, you will not feel it’s lacking too since it’s not plain warm and dark low end at all.
And then the mids, this is where i’m a bit less hysterical in praising even if they are excellent within the tonal balance offering, let just begin by saying bass and treble are more boosted here but the mid range isn’t plain thin or lean. It’s a versatile enough mid range where both male and female vocal are bodied and have presence boosted, male vocal can bit more unbalanced in upper register loudness than female which are more naturaly boosted in this region. Johnny Cash doesn’t struggle to show its fowards presence with the EA500 and listening to ”I walk the Line” is pure pleasure even if the recording quality isn’t top notch, but then, Agnes Obel sure feel more wide in presence and fowards, ok, this is due to the recording but their an airy density and lushness to her voice too, no intense sibilance even if the ”S” spelling have bite. To note that the black nozzle will thicken and soften upper mids bite with this very singer, making timbral balance fuller and even lusher. So, the EA500 are certainly a good choice for female vocal lover and put to shame Moondrop Aria in that regard. Yet, female vocal benefit from upper mids presence, and some soprano singer can have extra loudness that might be too much at high volume for people sensitive about pinna gain.
Sometime, the EA500 can feel a bit light in note weight, especially with piano, which lack a bit of well define note stroke too, in that regard, violin is better presented both in resolution, texture and attack bite lead. It’s not the full range of piano that lack note weight, its more about lower mid range here. But this doesn’t mean it lack energy or dynamism, we just don’t feel the hammer hit weight on piano strings.
In other word, we have a crisp velvety mid range with fowards vocal and woodwinds instrument and lively realist presence of instrument, that are slightly creamy in definition edge yet highly resolved still.
The treble is another highlight of the EA500, its airy, snappy and sparkly but not thin sounding, nor too crunchy or textured. Extremely refined, the highs tend to magnify acoustic guitar and percussions without making it feel unbalance due to vast spatiality and not too recessed mid range. Attack bite is just a hint softed, so the dosing doesn’t make violin or guitar lead attack too blunted, it tend in fact to add a hint of euphonic density, explaining why it doesn’t sound thin perhaps. We have natural decay too, wich blossom in they air quite long, another sign of treble superior talent. This is very clean highs too even if a hint colored with polished sharpness. Tough snappy and brilliant, tt’s not a too spiky nor too lean treble here, the balance within this range is beautiful, with softed texture noise part but liquid brilliance to definition. It’s generous in micro details, but not unpermissive of bad recording with background hiss, it will not boost this section like overly analytical IEM can do, again, underlining the colored texture which doesn’t affect tone rightness at all and in fact emphasis tone over plain boosted presence.
Wow, i’m so fascinated by this treble….and this is without thinking about the price of these IEM, it could be 100 or 500$ and i would still be in total bliss.
This treble extend far pass 10khz, and can clearly present wide range of percussions and high pitch instrument with such accurate precision and dynamism, yet if i can nitpick micro imperfection it will be for example that while it can extend full high pitch range of the harp, in lower register some resonance can blur snapyness, which will result in less clean rendering than higher note, which are beautifully crisp with natural long decay.
Nonetheless, the EA500 deal with classical music beautifull, especially chamber orchestra which have immersive, spacious sound layering with lively musicality.
Spatiality is phenomenaly open, immersive clean and airy with the EA500, its very wide tall and deep, yet, doesn’t make the music feel distant due to an holographic surrounding that make you near a stage curved around you. Sure, eartips will inflict on headroom presentation but none of them will make it feel in your head or closed sounding. You can easily let yourself get lost for long listening pleasure with the EA500.
The imaging is excellent too even if not what I would call analytical or monitoring like since we are in middle of music surrounded with well extracted sound layers, so the headroom being huge their lot of space between instrument but not the sharpest position, yet presence being tactile and well resolve, we don’t struggle pin point the space where the instrument belong.
Firstly, these are a bit sensitive at 124db of sensitivity and scale up with clean source that have low impedance, with high gain source the EA500 can go more energic and bright.
Ear tips included are not enough since their just one model, so I highly suggest to try other model too, for ex, Symbio balance the sound and tame bass dynamic, upper mids as well as attack sustain-release resonance. For this review I use BGVP A07 blue eartips which offer crisp balanced sound with clean imaging and extra spakle brilliance decay.
As said, i use mostly the Red Nozzle, which is suppose to be harman but isn’t like Moondrop harman target at all, to my ear it’s more of a W shape to vivid neutral with slight bass boost, and this nozzle offer highest resolution and transparency and deeper stage too. Black nozzle thicken and warm a bit timbre, make the mid bass more chunky and heavy and less rumbly and concentrate our attention more to mid range by taming treble extension and air.
For this review I mostly use and enjoy pairing the EA500 with Hiby RS6 (more mids presence and dense timbre, hint less crispness on top) and Moondrop Dawn4.4 at low gain(extra headroom and openess, more airy crisp treble, hint more upper mids focus).
VS SONIC MEMORY SM2 (1DD-220$)
SM2 are brighter, edgier and more (DF) Neutral than the EA500. The bass is cleaner, more textured and more mid bass focused than warmer more sub bass boosted EA500, which have louder slam but a rumble that can darken kick drum presence a bit more, so the bass is less thight but more extended.
Mids are more fowards, full and smooth with the EA500, SM2 upper mids is more agressive and give more bite to instrument like violin and electric guitar, which seem a bit more softed in attack edge with the EA500. Timbre is dryer and thinner with SM2, which make tone more natural with EA500 even with the harman target nozzle choice. Treble of SM2 is very unique and hard to describe due to darken zone but sharp and loud highs snap, while if feel a bit faster and more controlled it doesn’t extend as far as the EA500, or at least doesn’t feel as full and generous and micro details variety. Percussion feel more thin and half cook with SM2, as well as less textured, surely due to this darken treble section that try to add air but fail too since the EA500 sound more spacious and open. Something to note is the dynamic presentation which feel leaner and more distant with SM2, while more varied and accurate in amplitude with the EA500. Spatiality is notably wider and taller, while it feel deeper with SM2 due to more recessed center stage (mids). Imaging seem concentrate and compressed in the middle with the SM2, making the holographic instrument placement more realist and well layered with EA500.
Well, OK! It seem the EA500 beat the SM2 both technicaly and tonal balance wise, SM2 feel trebly, thin and distant and very cold sounding compared to EA500 and that, even with less warmish, bassy and mid fowards tuning nozzle choice.
VS HZSOUND HEARTH MIRROR (1DD-50$)
Ok, well, this is it, the EA500 are the HZ Mirror upgrade we were waiting for but it doesn’t mean its notably superior in technical performance, in that regard, they are rather on par but, and this is a big BUT: soundstage is drastically more open and holographic, note weight is heavier, timbre is thicker and more natural and bass have more punch and body.
The EA500 are notably easier to drive too. Tonality is similar with main difference being less vivid treble presentation and just a hint less transparent, and well, the bass boost. About the bass we have more warmed mid bass slam, more resonant rumble which is less linear and clean and lean as HZ, so kick drum and acoustic instrument are a bit more textured and well define with the HZ but less bodied. HZ have faster and better define mid bass hit. Overall clarity of HZ is more boosted and crisp. Mids are a bit thinner, more transparent and textured with HZ as well as leaner, more compressed but not in a muddy way, with EA500 vocal are hint lusher, thicker and warmer, so more natural and pleasant, bot male and female vocal sound wider in presence too, but for classical music the HZ is cleaner and offer crisper imaging, again due to this 0.1% extra transparency.
But it mean mid range is colder with the HZ too. Then the treble, HZ is sharper here, a hint more sparkly and brilliant too, more edgy and snappy in attack but EA500 is far from lacking edge and both are super speedy, EA500 treble is thicker and fuller sounding, less thin and better balanced for a cohesive musicality, not prompt to slight treblyness like HZ. It’s more open and airy too.
Spatiality is from another universe with the EA500, it’s wider, taller and deeper. Imaging have more spacious layering but isn’t as analytical and crisp as the HZ, which have more compressed layers and less space between instrument but sharper separation accuracy still.
All in all, these are 2 crazy good IEM and I can’t choose a winner, i would say treble is faster, cleaner and superior with the HZ, but HZ tend to magnify presence clarity and lack body compared to EA500, which at they end is more musical and immersive to my ears due to way more open and holographic soundstage and fuller sounding vocal and bass, as well as less agressive and fatiguing treble.
VS TRIPOWIN OLINA (1DD-100$)
Another one of best sub-100$ IEM technical performance wise, the Olina isn’t similar to EA500 and sound more dry neutral with smooth upper mids boost. Bass is more mellow in impact and lack dynamic, in fact, whole spectrum lack dynamic and feel tame in diversify loudness amplitude. So, the Olina feel more neutral but a bit more mid centric too, in the sens piano have more bodied presence and natural resonance and upper mids are different too, the EA500 female vocal are notably more fowards and bodied, and i can say the same (to a less extend) for male vocal, so I think it’s more about mid range presence that is more textured and fully resolve with Olina, yet presented in a leaner way that feel more distant and compressed in dynamic, we have more details going on but no sens of openess like the EA500 so mid range is less engaging, more contemplative. Olina is more prompt to sibilance, while EA500 to slight shoutyness or pinna gain fatigue (especially with stock eartips). Treble is thinner and more textured with the Olina, violin for example are more polished in texture but thicker sounding with the EA500. EA500 highs are more snappy, brilliant and sparky, as well as more airy and less compressed in dynamic. Sustain-release of Olina is more tamed-blunted, so splash cymbals sound less natural for ex, it dig more texture noise and detail, which is more prompt to timbral imbalance than more refined treble tuning of the EA500.
Spatiality this time is similar in wideness,but taller and deeper with the EA500. Imaging is less lean and compressed, making sound layer more articulated in deepness, presentation more 3D and holographic.
All in all, i just can’t enjoy the Olina after having listen to the EA500 which is more dynamic sounding, have better vocal and note weight as well as notably more open, natural and engaging musicality.
It make years i’m waiting for something that will truely impress me in Chifi sub-100$ IEMs release, and it’s deception after deception after my overwhelming admiration for the HZsound Hearth Mirror.
And finally something arrive out of the blue: the fabulous Simgot EA500. So, I will sure not hide my enthusiast about them even if the hype explode from every side of audio communities!
Did this mean EA500 are 100% perfect? Hell no, read my last review about the Aroma Thunder to understand their no IEMs that are truely perfect for all music genre on this audiophile planet. Whatever their insane price range.
No, It mean it hit way way above it’s price range, have a refined musicality with excellent technical performance, offer a well balanced crisp sound that doesn’t feel stock in your head or compressed and most of all: immerse you in music in an engaging, dynamic and revealing way.
As an insider with lot of experience in chinese audio market, i’m very lucid about marketing strategy of IEM maker when it come to sound value: they are aware of it and tend to even tweak an IEM so it sound not as impressive as their higher range one.
Simgot doesn’t follow this secret rule and well, the EA500 might be even superior to EN1000 in fact (ouch, I hope I will not get punish for writing this).
If you seek for a mature crisp near neutral tuning with thumping bass, very open soundstage, great imaging, clarity, fast treble attack and versatile tuning that can be custom to your taste: the Simgot EA500 are no brainer.
Intensely highly RECOMMENDED.
PS: I want to thanks Simgot for sending me this review sample after I manifest my intense curiosity about it 2 months ago. As always, I have no official affiliation and haven’t been compensated in any way to write a positive review.
You can order the Simgot EA500 for 67.15$ on sale now at Linsoul here (non-affiliated link):https://www.linsoul.com/collections/all/products/simgot-ea500
Great writing, Eric. Can’t wait for mine to get delivered.