Review - Moondrop Chu (sub 50€)

Review - Reecho SG01 (Sub 50€)

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Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 

The Reecho SG01 have been kindly loaned to me by CqTek of hiendportable.com so I could test them out and create this review. Of course CqTek has not requested anything from me in exchange for sending these IEMs over but if you would like to see his review of these IEMs, you can find it here: https://hiendportable.com/reecho-sg-01-english-review/

This means that my review will follow the usual rule of being as unbiased and sincere as possible but, as I always say, I have not actually spent any of my own hard earned cash to try out these IEMs, so you may want to keep that in mind.


Intro…

CqTek has actually sent me a few models of IEMs to try out, for which I am grateful as I hadn’t tried any of the models he sent me, or anything else from the brands.

The loan of these items started with a subscriber to Acho Reviews who commented that he would like to see me review the Reecho SG03. I remembered that hiendportable.com had published a review of them (although I couldn’t remember anything about them), so I reached out to CqTek who kindly agreed to send them to me (the SG03) and also included some more models at the same time, the Reecho SG01 being one of them.

I must say that I know absolutely nothing about these IEMs, so I did a bit of research before sitting down to write this review. From the brief search that I did, it seems that the SG01 are available for just over 40€ (at the time of my search) and features a single graphene 10mm dynamic driver.

Apart from that, I didn’t find much info, without reading reviews of course (which I always avoid doing when I plan on reviewing something myself). I do know that the review on hiendportable.com contains more details and information, so I suggest that you give it a visit to see more details.


Presentation…

As this set of IEMs was sent to me by someone who has the exact same issue as myself, too many IEMs which means too many boxes, which means too little space to store them all, he just sent me the IEMs in their travel case along with a cable that is not the original (without any tips or other accessories).

This means that I can’t comment on the presentation of these IEMs. I can say that the way the reached me, nicely coiled inside a semi-rigid transport case, is something i have absolutely no complaints about. 


Build and aesthetics…

Again, as I just said, the included cable is not the original, therefore I can only comment on the build and aesthetics of the IEMs themselves (well, I can comment on the cable also, which is quite nice, but it is irrelevant to the product at hand).

As far as the IEMs, to be honest, it took me a while to decide if the shells were made from a lightweight alloy or plastic that has been painted to look like metal. In the end, I am 99% convinced that they are actually a lightweight metal in their totality.

This means that they are extremely lightweight and I also find them very comfortable. The size is rather and sits well inside me ear, being almost flush. Using silicone tips I found the seal to be very easy (I didn’t even try Xelastec or foam on these, which is usually a sign of immediate comfort for me) and different tips did do the usual change of sound but none of the ones I tried sounded awful.

As far as aesthetics, they remind me of something that I would associate with Fiio, with the wavy face plates. I don’t mind this look to be honest, it is something that breaks from the normal smooth finish but is not too over the top. 

As far as build quality, I don’t know how old these IEMs are or how they have been treated (although I know that CqTek treats his stuff very well) but they aren’t showing any signs of wear or damage, which is always positive.


Sound…

There are times when specific IEMs or headphones inspire me to listen to certain genres of music, although the day and my mood also play a big part. In the case of the SG01, they were the IEMs I picked up to go back to work on the 3rd of January, without listening to them previously. Upon sitting down at my desk to start making my way through the hundreds of backlogged emails, I connected them to the Atom and started listening. After about 10 minutes, the SG01 just kept making me feel like listening to female pop. 

Who am I to disagree with my subconscious? So the first 5 or 6 hours of my work in 2022 was spent listening to people like Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Macy Gray and many other similar artists, which I feel that the SG01 did a very good job of presenting.

Not everything was perfect, I’ll mention more about the flaws, but I was happy with the tuning and quality of the music I was listening to, and that was before I knew the price of them. Now that I know that they cost 40€, I must say that I am impressed.

Anyhow, starting off with the subbass, there is a clear roll off as we reach down to the lowest notes, therefore these are not a set of IEMs that will appeal to those who want plenty of that low end rumble. The subbass is not totally absent, there is enough to appreciate that the music has information in the lowest registers but those looking to tickle their eardrums will need to look elsewhere.

In the mid/high bass rangers, I find that the presence is a little north of neutral for my preference. However, although there is a little too much presence in this area, the SG01 does still manage to be smooth and it is only on occasions when this extra bass is noticeable. For example, the start of “No One” by Alicia Keys comes across as slightly too much and can seem as though it is about to distort.

The transition from the bass to the mids also suffers due to this extra presence of mid-bass and lower mids, with the bass clearly bleeding into the mids on tracks that are a little busy in those areas. Listening to simple acoustic and vocal music, this muddyness is not overly apparent but when moving onto tracks that are a little busier in those regions, it does become a little overpowering. The sensation is very similar to when you are in a venue listening to live music and you end up standing in just the wrong spot for those 300Hz notes. The difference is that in a live venue you can take a few steps sideways and resolve the issue, whereas with the SG01, you can’t fix it that way.

The mids themselves are pretty smooth also, with no real issues until we get to the highest of the mids, the 2kHz to 3kHz mark. Around this area I find that the SG01 are tuned very similar to the Yuan Li that I like so much, however, the SG01 increase this area more than the Yuan Li, and this can present some sensation of harshness depending on the song.  This increase works well to bring back presence to the vocals, and on voices that are not harsh in those 3kHz frequencies, it works very well and gives a nice clarity to the voices. However, when coming across a voice that is overly hot in the 3kHz range, the SG01 make it become rather harsh on the notes that are centered around those regions. It is a shame because this is something that attracts far more attention from me than if the peak was somewhere else. There are occasions when the harshness appears out of nowhere and draws attention to itself, only to disappear again when the damage is already done (in other words, when it has already drawn my attention to it).

Moving into the higher frequencies, I find them to be rather smooth and fairly airy for a single driver. There is a decent extension in the top end but it is not boosted, meaning that it keeps the smoothness that I find constant in these IEMs except for when the 300Hz or 3kHz issue arises. I don’t find these IEMs sibilant, at least on tracks that are not overly sibilant themselves. For example, “Code Cool” is quite listenable on these IEMs, which is a good guide line.

As far as stage width, I find that the SG01 is actually larger than the average I have come to expect from IEMs. There is a decent amount of space which, partnered with that smooth and extended treble, gives room for the music to breath and for there to be space between instruments. I wouldn’t say that these SG01 are the most detailed IEMs I have heard, nor that they are amazing at placing those details with millimetric accuracy, but they are not something that I could really complain about, there are far worse IEMs out there in this regard (some at much higher price marks).


Conclusion…

The SG01 is very close to hitting my preferred tuning for IEMs, if only those boosts around 300Hz and 3kHz were resolved. They don’t need to be eliminated, not at all, they just need to be reduce slightly. In fact, if those two areas (say 100Hz to 300Hz and 2kHz to 4kHz) were reduce slightly, the SG01 would be almost identical to the Yuan Li at less than half the price.

As it stands, those peaks don’t actually affect all the music, I can spend hours listening to certain artists and genres without any negative effects, but then with another artist of genre, the peaks will suddenly become noticeable, at least to me. I guess it is also due to the fact that the 100Hz to 300Hz is a frequency range that I focus on a lot due to being a bassist and the 2kHz to 4kHz range is something I focus on a lot due to my preference for vocal orientated music. This means that these two peaks probably stand out to me more than they would other people.

Honestly, other than that, I have no issues with the SG01 at all. I find them comfortable, they seem well built, the tuning is aimed towards my preferences, they don’t suffer from the single DD drop off in the higher registers… in general they are a decent set of IEMs for around 40€.

I am not going to rush out and purchase a set but I am glad to have been able to try them out and will certainly take more notice of Reecho as a brand.