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Massdrop Plus Universal IEMs
Massdrop Plus Universal IEMs
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The IEMs themselves are an earphone fiends delight! Pretty much perfect for cable and tip-rolling to get the best sound-fit for you. As far as the sound goes I'm very pleased. To me, the ad copy of 'creating a reference-grade frequency response with a bit of added bass for fun' is right on the money and makes the Plus a very good all-round IEM. Comfort is excellent (assuming you're used to IEMs that are inserted deeper into your ear canal). The included case can store the IEMs and an extra dongle (see below) very snugly, although I'm not convinced it's got any liquid resistance whatsoever so beware of that. The included accessories have good variety and are mostly great quality (see below), the wax tool in particular was a nice inclusion. The build quality of the shells looks and feels solid. Despite being very enamored with them, I'm giving them 4-stars for two reasons.
Reason 1) The ambiguity around the cable being defective and not covered by the warranty. The warranty does not state that it covers the cable that has been reported by several users on the accompanying head-fi thread (and some of the other reviews below mine) as being defective with no apparent response from customer service. That either says "we have no confidence in the cable" (in which case Massdrop either need to fix the issue or switch to a different cable supplier) or "we don't actually care about our customer base, they'll just buy a third-party one anyway." I'll change my tune if someone gets back to me to clarify whether or not the cable is actually covered by the warranty and people are receiving support for these, but until that time I'm going to call this a dick move on the part of Massdrop.
Reason 2) In order to really shine, these require a source with a low output impedance. Most smartphones do not feature this on the headphone jacks they do have (if they have one at all anymore) which either means you need to get a dongle that will provide it (such as the ifi IEMatch, or the lightning to 3.5mm dongle for iOS devices, sorry I don't know the OI of any of the USB-C dongles that are out there) or you need to have an audio player where the output impedance is already low. Either way, a regular smartphone or a high OI player like the Hiby R6 will push the bass too far forward in the mix at the expense of the mids and treble.
I would highly recommend these IEMs to someone who is looking at taking their portable audio to the next level but doesn't necessarily want to get custom-molded IEMs, but be assured that $299 is the base price and much like buying a new car, there will be extras involved.
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