Advanced Sound EVO-X: It Doesn’t. Fall. Off!
Advanced Sound, one of the newest kids on the Hi-Fi block, doesn’t seem to want to slow down. After releasing their massively well-received Model-3 MMCX Bluetooth earphones, they are back at it again with their newest set of Bluetooth earphones, the EVO-X. This time, however, they designed it from the ground up to be the active audiophile’s best friend. Does it live up to Advanced Sound’s claims?
Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Advanced Sound beyond this review. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.
I would like to thank Peter for this opportunity.
Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
Source: The Advanced Sound EVO-X was powered like so:
Nexus 6P -> Bluetooth -> earphones
All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.
Advanced Sound claims that the sound signature of the EVO-X is specially designed to increase sonic performance when the listener is physically active. In practice, this ends up expressing itself by drawing out the treble and kicking up the upper-mids a couple notches, resulting in a healthy V-shaped sound signature with a 1–2KHz bump.
Treble is boosted and maintains the same iconic tuning present in all the other Advanced IEMs. I really like it. High-hats sit smoothly in the background. While they aren’t exactly up to audiophile standards, that’s okay. This isn’t an audiophile earphone. It’s a workout one.
The synths of Midnight City were really well defined and pretty smooth. There’s no sense of sibilance at all with the EVO-X. Treble-bound elements seem to always be present, but are rarely separated too much from the rest of the sound, leading to a very slightly congested sound.
The mids are the EVO-X’s strong point. While they are placed a bit behind the treble and the mid-bass, they remain clear and relatively detailed. Given the form-factor and price-point of this IEM I really can’t complain. Guitars are reasonably detailed and have an okay crunch to them. They miss that last bit of roughness to be truly convincing, but again, that’s not unexpected.
Vocals are pleasant as well. The 1–2KHz area seems to be boosted a bit to ensure that you can always hear the singer clearly. This is a bet that worked pretty well, as I never heard the vocals drop out of intelligibility, even when rock climbing or running.
The bass-guitar in Moth was easy to hear, and had some shaping to it. While there is room for improvement, I don’t find it to be imperative to enjoy the bass of this earphone.
Bass-heads will be happy to hear that there is a decent amount of wetness to the bass, with a good amount of impact and rumble. It’s nice to have a heavy electronic song come on mid-workout and have it give you that extra push.
Sub-bass is decent, though not as strong as I would have liked. Extension is good, but doesn’t impress me at this price-point. Given the fact that this is a Bluetooth IEM, I wouldn’t be surprised if these drivers, in exactly the same housing, would sound better wired. However, the average performance of the sub-bass didnt stop me from enjoying songs like In For The Kill and Leave Me.
Packaging / Unboxing
You’ll have to excuse me ripping off the official box image from Advanced’s website, as I seemed to have lost all the ones I took. If you would like to see real-life images, please check out some other reviews, there are certainly some good ones out there.
The EVO-X’s construction is one that inspires confidence in me. While it is primarily made out of plastic, I can’t find any weak points that look like they could mean trouble. The face-plate is made from a shiny plastic (that attracts lots of finger-prints). The rest of the IEM is made from a matte plastic.
There are hard black plastic ear guides that are quite durable. They bend a bit to accommodate your ears’ unique shape.
The cable, short as it is, is quite good. It appears to be a gray translucent plastic sleeve over white twined multi-core wire. It has a nice plasticity and isn’t microphonic at all.
The EVO-X uses a bulb form-factor, likely to prevent the nozzle from moving around too much on the ear while you are active. The bass-port is located on the inside of this bulb, which I think was a poor decision. If you push the EVO-X in far enough, it really impacts the clarity of the IEM as a whole. If this was relocated somewhere else, I would be really happy, as someone with weird ears like mine currently has to choose between good sound and great isolation.
Connectivity / Battery Life
The EVO-X uses Bluetooth for connectivity, and doesn’t have a wired mode (unlike the more expensive Model 3). Battery life is pretty good, and I consistently got close to 5 hours out of the EVO-X .
You can charge the EVO-X through the micro-USB port embedded in the right ear piece.
While I’ve heard a good number of people complain about the EVO’s connectivity range, I can say that I’m not too affected by it. I’ve only had a single bout of poor connectivity over the fifty or so hours I’ve used it so far. While the overall range of the EVO-X could certainly be improved, I found it to not cause a problem for me with my day-to-day use.
The controls are also built straight into the EVO-X, not set to dangle on the cable. This makes it much easier to run with, as both sides of the cable are balanced. The buttons are nice and tactile, and have all the functionality you would expect from a modern workout earphone.
The EVO-X is reasonably comfortable, and never bothered me during my workouts. Now, I don’t work out in the traditional way. I prefer to do extreme sports. Rather than lift, I climb. Rather than hit the treadmill, I trail run. Rather than bike, I BMX. These earphones never fall off. It’s ridiculous. Whether I’m falling off the rock-climbing wall or slamming into the floor coming out of a failed trick on my bike, the EVO-X was always there, faithfully playing whatever song was next on my playlist.
The EVO-X comes with a reasonable set of accessories. Inside the box you will find:
- 3 pairs of black foam tips
- 3 pairs of black silicone tips
- 1 carrying pouch
- 1 microUSB charging cable
I can’t think of anything else you’d really need to enjoy the EVO-X, so no complaints here. As per usual, the case that comes with the EVO-X (which is identical to the one from the Model 3) is really good as it holds the EVO-X and all the accessories with ease.
The eartips, both foam and silicone, are comfortable and easy to use.
The EVO-X is a really solid workout IEM. It sounds good for the price, even when you are active. Furthermore, the hand of God couldn’t shake it off your ears, even if it tried. If you are like me, and your active sport of choice involves lots of falling down and (possibly) hurting yourself, then take a serious look at the EVO-X.
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