-impressively wide open soundstage
-Crisp bassy U shape balance
-sub bass rumble, slam and extension
-overall high resolution
-fast attack speed
-crisp speedy airy snappy treble
-extremely generous accessories
-lack of well rounded mid bass definition and punch
-light note weight (mid range)
-percussions can sound too fowards (treble spike)
-not the most natural sounding tonality
-enter the very competitive budget planar market a bit late
SOUND VALUE: 8.2/10
BASN is a rather obscure audio company stated to be from U.S.A, but most likely manufacturing their products in China. They create IEM with interesting technologies, like full range planar, hybrid DD+BAs and such.
Due to my intense curiosity for all type of sub-200$ planar earphones, i’ve decide to contact this company and review their MTpro planar IEM.
The MTpro use a 14.5mm planar driver and is priced 190$.
It was launched in 2022 and pass under the radar, surely overshadowed by numerous planar IEM releast of this time.
Let see in this review if this planar IEM worth consideration among all those great chifi planar IEM like the Letshuoer S12, Tangzu Heyday, Tinhifi P1plus etc.
The MTpro built is all high quality alluminium alloy that fee very sturdy and have a mate finish that isn’t prompt to easy scratching. The housing is quite big and chunky yet not very heavy. The front of the shell is round and smooth, offering a comfortable fit without hard edge that can poke the ears. The nozzle is angled and long enough for both deep or shallow fit.
This IEM use MMCX connector of great quality, its solidly embeded in the metal shell and permit the IEM to swivel for more precise fit.
The side have 3 venting hole, so noise leakage are quite high for an IEM.
Now, in term of accessories, let say the Basn go next level and spoil us with very luxurious carrying case, all made of metal, something that we would expect with a more pricey IEM. But it’s not all, we have 2 decent quality braided cable: one 3.5mm with mic and one OCC single crystal copper 3.5 single ended, both with L shape plug. This is more usefull for new comer audiophile since personally I would had prefer a balanced cable included with usefull 3.5mm cable with mic.
Nonetheless, quality is decent as said and we have alot more of accessories. It’s near overwhelming. Their 9 pairs of silicone ear tips, 3 pairs of memory foams ear tips, a 3.5 to 6.4mm adapter, 1 cleaning tool, 1 cable clip and even an MMCX disconnetor tool (à la Final)….to say this is an incredible unboxing experience is an understatement.
In all honnesty, I wasn’t expecting much about these. This is due to overhyped planar IEM of 2022 that tend to overshadow other chinese companies that aren’t connected to big audio distributor with hyping agenda and marketing sqad. I mean, because of this I do think Basn was an amateur audio company but since I have try near all most known planar release of 2022, I was like: why not give those a try?
So I firstly look at the (very stretched and vague) frequency loudness graph. The fact their one is a good sign and the balance doesn’t seem horrifious at all, yeah, surely quite smoothen, but all graph on the net are over smoothen to make them sexy and curvy, when in fact it’s far less stable in balance.
Yet still, I wasn’t sure about Basn, because of the price range too. 200$ is quite high for being competitive in planar war….but when I open the product box, I understand why the price is a bit higher: accessories are very generous and fancy. This was very welcome but unecessary if the IEM don’t sound good.
And this is were I was surprise: they do sound quite good in fact, especially in unique sens of openess that they offer, that make them no1 planar IEM for big soundstage seeker…and it’s not an open back design!
The tonality of the MTpro is a bright near basshead U shape where the slam is more about sub bass boost and treble have extra sens of air to it. Its a fun and crisp sounding IEM with impressive technicalities and most rumbly bass of all planar IEM i try. It’s quite clean sounding too, well, when the rumble doesn’t stole all the mids air.
Let’s begin by saying the MTpro aren’t for mid range lover, nor for thick timbre and euphonic tone lover, nor for vocal, piano, saxophone lover. Unless your all about presence, then, like alot of Moondrop IEM lover, this might fit your bill.
Nope, those are for sub bass rumble lover, for treble lover, for big soundstage lover and those that seek excitment and fun with high resolution.
The bass of MTpro isn’t perfect, but for a planar it’s an impressive and unique take. It have this attack speed and layering only planar can offer, so even with invasive rumble or sub resonance, mids and treble will be well layered enough to avoid muddy transient articultion. This acoustic experience is a bit similar to multi dynamic driver IEM that have a whole DD dedicated to low range. As well, it’s not a grainy bass, some planar tend to texture bass too much and it go all grainy and this affect layering transparency, Basn understand how to avoid this issue it seem.
So while the sub bass is more boosted than mid bass, it doesn’t mean it lack slam, in fact it have a fast warm punch that can only feel a bit mellow with kick drum instrument since the definition isn’t perfect in mid bass. The rumble is quite resonant and have big headroom, it tend to extract bass line very well, which make them easy to follow even is busy tracks.
This deep vibrant extension is very appealing and will surprise you with trap rap or soul that have big sub bass presence, when it happen, you feel the MTpro become basshead, but this happen when the track really ask for it like with SZA ”Broken Clock” track from Ctrl album where the sub bass hit very hard with long rumble sustain that have very big presence and a dense airy resonance to it
When it come to acoustic instrument, it’s a bit hit or miss, synth bass line are very chunky and well extracted, while contrabass lack a bit of definition for proper attack bite and texture so it can feel a bit boomy (slapped).
Nonetheless, the bass performance is quite impressive even if it offer more ”oomph” than hard and tight thump.
The mid range isn’t the star of the show here, yet, it’s responsible for this addictive sens of spatiality openess. Its clean, crisp and airy mids that we got and the sens of transparency is quite good too. Sure, timbre is on the thin side and it’s a bit bright too, but not harsh or sibilant at all, nor shouty or agressive, just a bit dry and recessed compared to sub bass and treble. So, nope, the MTpro aren’t aimed for vocal lover nor for those that seek dense natural timbre, here it’s more about presence of instruments and voice than the body of them.
Yet, it doesn’t mean the female vocal are recessed, but the MTpro will not make all type of vocal pitch as wide and dense in presence. The voice of Nadine Khouri sound beautiful with the MTpro, since her breathy timbre benefit from lower harmonic boost, then with a voice like Rhye, this breathyness seem over boosted and create a timbral imbalance with higher pitch voice.
This make instrument presentation imprevisible, depending of the pitch they play, saxophone can sound thin and compressed, violin too, piano note lack weight so we are in light attack territory too.
All in all, the mids do well for female vocal but not for male vocal nor any instrument that need full mids range covering.
And now the highlight of the show is certainly the treble, which is ultra open, airy, sparkly and snappy. If you love your percussions to be highly resolved, fast in attack and a hint more fowarded than rest of instrument, you’ll be in for alot of wow effect. The highs are super speedy and vivid in dynamic, generous in micro details yet not hissy nor prompt to extract unwanted noise artefacts. We are in a mix of smoothed lower treble texture and bite and boost upper treble snap and brilliance. In fact, this might be among most sparkly treble I heard from planar, or on par with Tangzu Heyday and Tinhifi P1plus, yet in a more airy way.
This is the kind of highs that benefit acoustic guitar, clavichord and harp since it tend to add edgy attack lead bite and sparkle decay feel long enough too, the result is brilliant and airy, resolution isn’t damped or blured, dynamic is vivid and lively. This mean the treble extend quite far too and don’t lack air at all.
Sure, this mean upper treble is a bit spiky too and can put some micro details or cymbals in front stage wich can distract us from mid range instrument in a jazz trio for example, especialy piano trio, but if it’s guitar trio you’ll be in for a treat too.
As well, their no splashyness with cymbals crash, they are in fact smooth and quite natural in sustain-decay, keeping their transparency.
This is all sign of superior treble, only con being slighly unbalanced upper highs that favor metallic instrument, but tend to add sens of openess and extra dimension to spatiality too.
The soundstage is the most impressive aspect of this IEM for me, and I can’t believe it’s not fully open back. Hum, in fact, their 3 venting hole at side of the big housing, so it might act like an open back too.
Anyway, this is gigantic hall like spatiality, which is airy, very wide, tall and deep. It’s the opposite of a sound stock in your head and offer a mix of wide stereo separation with deep center stage that put you far from the stage but not from the bass and treble dynamic as if they were echoed in a very big room without a resonance that would affect the definition edge of instruments.
This mean the imaging is great too, but I would not say it’s realist. It’s not a monitor like spatial positioning. Sound layer have plenty of space to not feel compressed, but accuracy isn’t very precise. As well, static instrument of mid range like piano or vocal can feel recessed and not properly positionned, while high pitch instrument have wider space in separation and are easier to pin point.
VS LETSHUOER S12
The S12 offer a brigther and more energy and punchy V shape. The bass is better rounded and heavier in mid bass impact but not as deep and rumbly in extension, separation is a bit less clean too. Mids are brighter but a hint more bodied, surely due to extra lower mids presence the MTpro is lacking. Yet, S12 mids are less open and transparent, and vocal are more prompt to sibilance and shoutyness, resolution is more blurry too, less edgy in definition than Mtpro.
Treble is more airy, sparkly, brilliant and snappy with the MTpro, but thinner too and not as boosted in low and mid treble section, so the S12 offer fuller and more cohesive highs that doesn’t distract the listener as much as MTpro. Level of micro details is higher with MTpro but percussions can feel a bit too fowards, while with the S12 it’s the opposite, we can feel percussion are lacking edgy definition and proper snap and control.
This affect spatiality of S12, which lack air and sens of openess of the MTpro but put you in middle of music, so your less distant and in hall like soundstage. This extra distance from center stage permit more accurate and precise imaging and layering with the MTpro, while it’s easy to mix up sound layers with the S12.
All in all, tonal balance is more cohesive and engaging with the S12 but technical performance is superior with the Basn MTpro. If you like getting immerse in big spatiality, Basn is your answer, but if you like punchy V shape that favor rock music more, S12 is a great choice.
VS TANGZU HEYDAY
Now, I would say the Heyday are logical upgrade to the Basn, in the sens they offer a more neutral U shape balance with more cohesive treble, it’s smoother and a bit fuller in mid range. Bass is less boosted in sub bass region, so you have less slam and rumble but a leaner and as deep extension, the mid bass and kick drum are slightly thicker and better define too. Mids are lean like the Basn but again a hint denser, timbre is more natural too while transparency feel more liquid, a notch less fuzzy and affect by planar timbre. Yet, it doesn’t feel as wide and open in presence, but its cleaner, more refined and resolution is better too. The treble is again more cohesive in balance, its less bright and crunchy, smoother yet as brilliant, just perhaps less long in decay and less airy.
Spatiality isn’t as wide, tall and deep with the Heyday, but center stage is less flat and one dimension than Basn which have fake deepness due to more recessed mid range.
Imaging is more compressed in sound layers with the Heyday, yet, those layers are more transparent and accurate in positionning, so the instrument separation might have less space between them but the positioning is more realist and less stereo, more of an intimate holographic transparency.
All in all, Heyday is superior both in tonal balance and technical performance, but not as magnify in sens of open spatiality, and less bassy too.
With all these numerous planar release that happen in 2022, one could think their nothing new under the sun to be expected, yet it isn’t exactly the case with the Basn MTpro since it have it’s own unique persona and most of all a superior soundstage size.
The MTpro offer a fun and immersive musicality that mix sub bass boost dynamic with an hall like spatiality complemented by a vivid airy treble. It might not offer the most fowards or full bodied mid range, but this is part of the open sound presentation that make the MTpro so unique too.
All in all, the Basn MTpro are quite impressive in technical performance and out of your head musical experience and worth their asking price if your OK with their tonal balance that have crisp but recessed mid range.
PS: I want to thanks Basn for sending me this review sample after i manifest my attention about it. I’m not affiliated nor compensated in any way by this audio company to write a favorable review. As always: those are my 100% honest and unbiased audio impressions.
You can order the MTpro for 170$ (instead of 200$) HERE on Amazon (non affiliated link):
Or on official Basn website HERE