UFOEARS UFO-112 REVIEW: Tuned for Alien.

UFOEARS UFO-112 REVIEW :

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SOUND:7/10

CONSTRUCTION: 6.5/10
DESIGN: 8/10
ACCESSORIES: 8/10
VALUE: 6/10

THE PLUS:

  • Good clarity and imaging
  • Very comfortable
  • Extraterrestrial spacecraft included

THE SO-SO:

  • Thin dry timbre
  • Bass lack weight and impact
  • Small soundstage
  • Slightly artificial sounding
  • Unbalanced treble
  • Cheap looking construction
  • Too pricey

NO BS NOT REALLY RECOMMENDED!!

I’m from the generation who look every episode of X-FILE, so i’m use to Unidentified Flying Object from they otherworld.

So when I see the UFOEARS coming to me, i wasn’t afraid, I was ready!

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As with any extraterrestrial phenomenon, like Mulder FBI detective will do, I investigate about it and discover this :

‘’UFOEAR is a high-end headphone brand created by Dongguan City Huaxian Industry Co.,Ltd in March 2018. It’s also one of the deepened and expanded projects of Dongguan City Broad 3D Technology Co., Ltd. Taking full advantage of 3D printing, UFOEAR earphones are manufactured by integral moulding. The appearance of UFOEAR earphones is full of sci-fi elements no matter in the earphone design, appearance or packaging. Now its independently R&D products are UFO-112 and UFO-111 and More Limited editions.

As the flagship product, the UFO-112 provides extremely rich music detail, incredibly high seperation of instruments and superrealistic musical instrument junction. Besides, it is perfectly designed for ACG music. The UFO-112 is defined as ‘super reference-class’ earphone, that is produced in a limited run of 2000 units world-wide.’’

Okay, 3D printing, Superrealistic music instrument jonction, Sci-fi, super reference-class. Yeah, we are somewhere strange and intriguing for sure.

And it’s chinese. And it’s flagship. And it’s a Dynamic driver plus 2 balanced armature hybrid with UFO shape housing. Geek Alert!!

While I might be a Sci-Fi fan, i’m not credulous to the point of believing anything i didn’t see or ears, and if an UFO worth alot, i want him to either make me travel far or give me intense sensation.

Priced at 360$, this UFO really need to be something as stated ‘’out of this world’’ in sonority to worth the investment in extremely competitive and down to earth ChiFi high end world. Let’s see what it really worth in this review.

The UFOEARS UFO-112 can be buy for 360$ from official Aliexpress store HERE.

DISCLAIMER : I wanna thanks UFOEARS for sending me this sample free of charge. I’m in no way affiliated to this company and just decide to investigate this UFO case for my personal curiosity.

SPECS :

Brand Name: UFOEAR

  • Control Button: Yes
  • Active Noise-Cancellation: No
  • Style: In-Ear
  • Wireless Type: Bluetooth
  • Connectors: 3.5mm
  • Communication: Wireless+Wired
  • Vocalism Principle: Hybrid technology
  • Volume Control: Yes
  • Frequency Response Range: 3-20000Hz
  • Function: Monitor Headphone
  • Function: for Video Game
  • Function: HiFi Headphone
  • Sensitivity: 109dB
  • Is wireless: Yes
  • Plug Type: Line Type
  • Codecs: Apt-X
  • Support Memory Card: Yes
  • With Microphone: Yes
  • Model Number: UFO-112
  • Resistance: 14Ω
  • Waterproof: No
  • Line Length: 1.2m
  • Support APP: No

ACCESSORIES, CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN :

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UNBOXING is like no other with the UFO, and I think its perhaps the best part of whole product experience. The UFO sci-fi concept take its full meaning once you see what its hide in the thick cubic box? Nothing less than an extraterrestrial spacecraft! And a beautifull well crafted one too! Made of beautifully polished alloy this act as both a eartips and earphones case, but only the earphones case is meant to be portable. Yes, this make quite an enjoyable surprise and sure will put a big smile on the face of sci-fi geek out there.
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This is a collectable decorative object in its own right and while the practical side of eartips case is questionnable, the eartips case is sturdy and very fancy looky, tough a little small if you plan putting anything more than the iem in there. In term of accessories, thats about it, you got this crazy spacecraft double kind of case, 6 pairs of silicones eartips, 2 pairs of memory foams eartips and a great 8cores spc cable.

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CONSTRUCTION, apart from extraterrestrial spacecraft and cable, is a little underwhelming to be honnest. At 360$, i was expecting an higher quality housing, not an all cheap plastic looking one even if UFOEARS stated as high quality acrylic material it feel fragile in hand and i guess durability isn’t there. The decorative printing on it look easily scratchable too. 2Pin connector are embeded in plastic housing. Nozzle is where the 3D printing machine do good job, as it have 2 holes. Anyway, apart from plastic and cheap look, the built isn’t disastrous, its well polished without any quality check issue and as seen in Design impressions, it have the choice of light material and the shape of the iem have positive purpose.

DESIGN is well thinked and extremely comfortable. As well, you do not have the housing poping out of your ears, thanks to its wisely designed disc-shape, it fit tighly and deeply. Because of this, you can sleep on the UFO-112 without any discomfort, in fact, they are perhaps the very best iem for sleeping purpose. This do great for jogging or any activity that need secure fit too.

ISOLATION is good, not great, and sound leakage occur due to 2 venting hole in back of housing.

DRIVEABILITY is easy and do not really benifit extra amping, at 14ohm impendance and 109db sensitivity, the UFO-112 are easy to drive with any audio source.

SOUND :
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OVERALL SUBJECTIVE APPRECIATION is a mitiged one but not a disastrous one as I expected reading some others reviews. As i’m sensible to timbre rendering, the UFO-112 displease me at first with its slighty thin and bright presentation, but high level of transparency compensate the dry timbre to some extend. For a rather neutral soundsignature, the UFO lack spaciousness to take full advantage of the clarity of its imaging, as well, its rather soft in attack wich make it lack energy, especially on top where highs sound a little lifeless. In fact, its bass light too, so without any low and highs excitment where do we find our audio joy? This is hard to tell, as the mid range too have some drawback, being a little unbalanced and most of all too compressed. I think the UFO-112 have been tuned for very specific music genre, because sometime it can sound very good with classical and other time very dull with IDM or Jazz.

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SOUNDSTAGE isn’t very impressive for it’s price range, as if it was all about deepnest wich give an intimate rendering with ‘’tunnel like’’ spaciality (without the resonance it should come with).

IMAGING is excellent even if presented in a slightly intimate, compact way. Layering is well done and instrument placement is impressively clear and with clean space between them. Its a mix of transparence and brightness that tend to be very addictive once you get use to it due to its highly revealing (and particular) presentation.

CLARITY is sure head and shoulder above most of any sub-350$ iem I try, but not all, and the way its presented will perhaps be hit or miss depending of your taste. Anyway, even if sometime a little grainy, i find it very sharp and transparent, delivering high level of definition from 500hz to 10khz, wich can be very eye (ears) opening for complex music like concerto and roch orchestra.

TONALITY is slightly bright but smooth, dry and thin, a little clinical and artificial in its color and struggle to offer naturally harmonious presentation.

TIMBRE is flat, textured, sometime grainy but with above average transparency. It’s lack body to it and mix of thinnest and texture give a rather agressive coldnest to it.

BASS is slightly roll off in sub bass region, followed by a very linear presentation that make mid bass more present even if rather restrain in weight and body. In fact, mid bass is agressive and shouty at time, as if the punch did not hit properly. Cello have too much texture and not enough body, making it sound artificial….more similar to a badly tuned violin than real cello. Acoustic bass have same treatment while Slap bass can sound more accurate even if dryish like all bass instrument. This do okay for rock, folk or some classical, but isn’t suggested for anything that need bass body or sub presence, like electronic, pop or rap, even Jazz lover will be underwhelmed.

MID RANGE is very particular with the UFO…perhaps it’s mean only for extraterrestrial music with very unique otherwordly instruments? In some sens it’s quite fowards, with thin timbre and good transparence, but a little unbalanced and spiky, especially in upper mids where it tend to give more presence to female vocal but to the cost of some sibilance. While i consider the imaging excellent, overall mid range sound claustrophobic due to very intimate presentation were all instrument sound too near each other. As well, the attack isn’t the fastest for dual BA’s hybrid wich suggest an average transient response that affect snapiness of notes impact. Agnes Obel singer wich have extra presence of her lush vocal in how her music is mastered sound quite distant compared to any other iem i use, her voice sound too compartmented wich only benifit imaging, not cohesion of musicality.

TREBLE is quite sharp, with excellent clarity and soft decay. It have serious emphasis in lower-mid treble wich make it near analytical, pushing percussions and micro details fowards as well as different texture of instrument. Yep, it make the UFO a little bright but not particularly trebly as their no sudden peak after 10khz, in fact its a drop surely because while you have sparkle and brillianc in highs, the decay is cut off wich affect rendering of acoustic guitar or harpsichord but not electric guitar or violin. Highs are crunchy, with good bite, but not very versatile with music genre as if it was tuned for classical (quartet or orchestra) and rock rather than electronic and jazz. Again, it not the most natural sounding treble here.

LOWER BASS : 6.5/10
MID BASS : 7.5/10
MID RANGE : 8/10
TREBLE : 7/10
TIMBRE : 6.5/10
CLARITY : 8/10
SOUNDTSAGE : 7/10
IMAGING : 8/10
ATTACK-DECAY : 7/10

COMPARAISONS:

VS FINAL AUDIO B2 (300$) :
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The B2 is ‘’just’’ a single balanced armature iemthat take full advantage of the acoustic potential of its uniquely shaped housing. Will it can feel unfair to compare a tripe drivers hybrid to a single BA, final result of this battle can be surprising….or not?

CONSTRUCTION from the B2 is high end looking, extremely sturdy and will certainly have long lifespan compared to cheapish plastic housing of the UFO. Both have great cable, but again, I prefer the one from Final Audio. I cannot underline how much the B2 look like to worth way more in term of luxurious feel and appearance than the UFO, just for construction alone the B2 already win this battle in term of price value.

But now for sound we know outside construction do just a very little part in audio rendering and limite of a single armature against 1DD+2BA’S configuration is impossible to hide because even if SOUNDSTAGE is barely wider than the UFO, B2 do not have as much tallnest and deepnest to it, as well, it feel less holographic and way more intimate.
IMAGING is reallyn where the B2 is put to shame against more resolved and sharper presentation of UFO wich have high level of accuracy in instrument separation wich benifit from more space between each of them making against the B2 feel very intimate and even congested.
BASS is more extended with UFO even if mid bass is less thick than B2, here B2 give all it got and offer impressive weight and natural timbre but its warmer than UFO, less controled and textured. As well, UFO tend to keep midrange clean in bassy track where the B2 will struggle and veil lower mids.
MID RANGE sound more natural with the B2, timbre is fuller and thicker and vocal are less prompt to sibilance, sure imaging of this range with the UFO is from another level and offer better definition and details as well as more accuracy in crowded music tracks, but instrument sound less natural and cohesion isn’t as organic than the B2. Here, I would tend to prefer B2 in minimalist music while everything else go to UFO, wich offer more spectacular technicalies (everything but timbre and transient response in fact)
TREBLE is more extended too with UFO, digging more microdetails than softer B2, but this do not mean the quality of it is better, quite the opposite in fact as it can sound a little artificial and unbalanced while the B2 sound always natural and never trebly. But still, sharper clarity while sounding time to time a little clinical, give more brilliance and presence to highs.

All in all, while B2 exploit perfectly its technicalities and UFO exploit imperfeclty his, the overall more vivid and revealing sound make the UFO more impressive and immersive.

VS VSONIC VS9 (300$) :

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SOUNDSTAGE is wider and taller with the VS9, while the more intimate UFO have extra deepnest to it. IMAGING is sharper with UFO, but have a more intimate presentation wich make instrument sound nearer to each other than VS9. TONALITY of VS9 is warmer and more natural, while UFO is a little dry and cold. TIMBRE is thicker and more opaque with the VS9, UFO is more textured, transparent and thinner. BASS have more rumble and slam, its weightier and thicker with VS9, we have more sub bass quantity too while the UFO is flatter, dryier, more textured and less weighty. MID RANGE is fuller sounding with VS9, vocal have great wide presence while they are very centered and intimate with the UFO wich permit clearer separation but in a sometime unbalanced way that give a clinical and sometime artificial musicality. TREBLE have more emphasis in lower highs with the UFO, while the VS9 extend further in a smooth way, highs have more sparkle-decay with VS9 and dig more micro details, without making it feel unbalanced or too fowards. UFO in other end have thin highs that lack decay, making acoustic guitar sounding dull.
ALL in all, VS9 is slightly more U shape with lusher mids and highs and a more balanced tuning, giving a natural musicality compared to colder, thinner and more unbalanced UFO.

VS AUDIOSENSE T800 (300$) :

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The T800 are incredible 8 knowles BA’s that represent the very best iembuy you can make under 500$…will the UF)-112 will stole it’s place? (spoiler alert : Don’t think so)

Construction is quite underwhelming for this price range, just a full plastic housing one would expect from a 50$ iem. The cable is a nice 8cores SPC, really similar to the one included with the BQEYZ Spring1, but that cannot compete with top notch construction of T800 that have high quality resin body as well as a nice 8cores OCC cable. Again, no surprise, the fit is more natural with UFO and will not encounter perfect sealing research as I have with T800 to get the most out if it.

Now, for the SOUND, well, let’s say the UFO is K.O in every aspect. SOUNDSTAGE is more intimate, less wide but about same deepnest. IMAGING is more about upper range and lack precision and definition in mid range compared to extremely accurate T800. BASS is thinner in lower end with UFO, have less body in mid bass but fowards punch, T800 is thicker, fuller sounding but less textured and dryish. MID RANGE is more recessed with UFO as well as brighter, thinner and more artificial sounding than more present, wider, lusher and more bodied mids from T800, vocal lack body with the UFO wich make them lifeless compared to superb T800 that show what it can do when big bass do not occur. TREBLE is more coloured and peaky with the UFO, wich do not mean it dig more microdetails, just that highs have more decay wich can benifit classical guitar but only in solo if you want it to sound right, otherwise it sound unbalanced opposite to full treble coverage of T800.

All in all, UFO is overpriced while T800 is underpriced.

CONCLUSION :
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The UFO-112 have a unique sound, unique look and unique spacecraft metal case.

I enjoy the product concept, while I find the sound and construction underwhelming for asking price.

Even at half 360$ price, I would still find the sound average and lacking bass weight, timbre thickness, and treble naturalness as well as soundstage size. Sure, clarity is rather good, and imaging is well articulate and do not tend to be messy like inferior iem, but this isn’t mind blowing either.

The highlight of UFO-112 is comfort and that’s about it.

But hey, you got a sci-fi spacecraft with it too!

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