Sunday, May 4, 2014

[REVIEW] T-PEOS H-100J and RICH200

The Korea based T-PEOS surprised the IEM world with their hybrid IEM a few years ago and still continues to push for more innovative design. As the name suggested, the H-100J is related to T-PEOS’s original flagship hybrid, the T-100. However, the T-100J isn’t meant to be a continuance but rather a rebalance, in order to appeal to those who do not like the V-shaped sound of the original T-100. The RICH200 on the other hand does meant to be a step up from the company’s first dynamic model D-200, but keeping the same high value-for-money factor.







Spec





T-100J
Transducer: 1 BA + 1 Dynamic Dual Driver Hybrid
Power: 3mW / 20mW (normal / max)
Impedance: 30 ohm @ 1kHz
Sensitivity: 102dB @ 1kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 10kHz
Cable: 1.2m with single button + mic
Connector: 3.5mm L-shaped TRRS 24K Gold Plated Plug
MSRP: US$98





RICH200
Transducer: 8mm Dynamic
Power: 3mW / 30mW (normal / max)
Impedance: 32 ohm @ 1kHz
Sensitivity: 102dB @ 1kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 15kHz
Cable: 1.2m Half-Flat with single button + mic
Connector: 3.5mm L-shaped TRRS 24K Gold Plated Plug
MSRP: US$28

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
Nothing spectacular about the packaging on both models, especially compared to the luxurious H-100, but nothing to really complain about either. As you might have expected, there isn’t much about to talk about accessories wise on the cheaper RICH200, which includes just the various size eartips and a shirt clip. The H-100J on the other hand comes with soft pouch, over-the-ear guide, shirt clip, different sized eartips, one pair of form tips, as well as a short TRRS-to-TRS cable adapter, just in case your DAP or amp doesn’t take TRRS plug. Both models come with single button remote + mic so they should work with most smartphone out there.


RICH200


RICH200


H-100J


H-100J

Like the previous reviewed T-PEOS models, both models are quite well built and nothing to complain about. The H-100J has a tiny bit of driver flex but very minor and shouldn’t be a problem at all. Overall, the Korean seems to play a little more attention to detail than most of the Chinese brands. RICH200 does come with flat cable, but it is the slim type so it shouldn’t annoy those of you who dislike flat cable.

Sound Quality


RICH200 has a sound signature that warm and sweet, but specious and tilting toward neutral. Bass has good reach and quite snappy, but quantitatively only slightly above neutral. Mid is well blended, a little further away with good space, but doesn’t sound overly distanced or lacking texture. Treble too has good reach and clarity, though missing some of the top-end sparkle. It is actually quite well balanced between being too dull and too sharp, giving a sense of smoothness yet still presenting most of the micro-detail. Soundstage is quite good with fairly wide image and decent depth. To put it short, RICH200 has a very similar presentation to T-PEOS’s own D-200 series, but with a wider soundstage and not quite as warm, making it a more versatile sound that should go well with all kind of music and not just the mainstream that D-200 is more suitable to. Overall, it is a small but noticeable step-up.



H-100J has a classic warm and sweet sound that is smooth and full overall. Like the original H-100, bass reaches down deep and is abundance. Not bass monster level but more than enough for most except the most hardcore of basshead. Mid is full and very well textured, making vocal quite a treat. Treble is mostly smooth and has a slight roll off near the top, missing most of the sparkle and some of the micro-detail. Lower treble can get slightly grainy on bright music as well, though not always the case. Due to the forward and room filling presentation, soundstage is only average, neither wide nor closed-in. There is really nothing similar between the H-100 and the H-100J beside perhaps a good strong bass. H-100J, which is intended to ‘cure’ the issue for those who find the original sound too V-shaped and lacking mid texture, is definitely achieved its goal. By swapping out the micro-detail oriented driver to the more mid centric SR driver, T-PEOS has managed to reinvent the sound for the H-100 series. But it isn’t really an upgrade per se, more of a trade-off between technicality and musicality. So instead of being more suitable for instrument and Classical like the original H-100, the new H-100J plays more nicely with mainstream Pop, Rock and any vocal based genre.


From left: H-100J, H-100, H-200.

Sum-up
T-PEOS, the company that once surprised the IEM community continues to solidify its status as a strong player in the market, offering seriously good products at a great price point. While RICH200 and H-100J don’t really get as much spotlight as the company top-end models, they are nonetheless great buy on their own right. If that’s any indication, I guess we can expect many more goodies from the Korean for years to come.

Please refer to The List for numeric rating.

Big thanks to T-PEOS and Mellow Work Studio for the samples.

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