You don’t have to go too far to find an Accutone product review of mine. I quite enjoy working with them, as it’s interesting to watch their products evolve over time, and their engineering team learns more and hones its skills. However, as with all companies, it’s not all clear skies. The Taurus, the earphone I’m reviewing today, is a pretty good example of one of those learning experiences.
You can find the Taurus available for $99 on Accutone official website here.
Disclaimer: This review is based upon a sample unit provided to me by a manufacturer or distributor in exchange for my honest opinion and un-edited words. I do not profit in any way from the writing of the review. I would like to thank Angus and Ada for sending me this review unit.
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, 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 Taurus was powered like so:
PC optical out-> HifiMe SPDIF 9018 DAC 3.5mm out-> earphones
Nexus 6P 3.5mm out -> earphones
All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.
I did my initial impressions with the bass filters left in their default position: completely open.
I made sure to listen to a bass-heavy song for my first encounter with the Taurus. I was certainly surprised to hear just how much impact this little thing can generate. I was, however, unsurprising to hear how everything else in the mix sounded. The highs were pretty far back, and rather unresolved, and the mids had the same muffle to them the Gemini and Gemini HD had. I then turned the filters down to 50% open, and heard a vast improvement. While bass impact isn’t noticeably diminished, the vocals do come through much better. Other parts of the mids still fared poorly.
Treble is pretty recessed. It’s also rather unresolving, and doesn’t have that “stereo” feel to it. The vocal effects of White Flag and Midnight City are pushed pretty far back into the mix, making them soft, and giving the whole song a muffled sound.
Outlands also suffered from the Taurus’ fairly low ability to push treble. As such, openness and transparency are also lowered.
As I mentioned earlier, the vocals do come through the mix quite well at 50% bass. I’m still not a fan of the rest of the mids though. Quite a bit of detail is missing, and much of the mids are smudged and smoothed, loosing their detail. The muffled-sound continues into the mids of Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, and Good Life. Reducing the bass as much as possible does help mitigate the issue, but never really gets rid of it.
Bass quantity is definitely there, even at 50%. However, my problem is that there isn’t too much definition, often lending songs a boomy sound when they really don’t need it. However, songs like Gold Dust and Leave me do have a good amount of impact and rumble.
Packaging / Unboxing
Build quality is pretty good. The main body of the Taurus is made from plastic, with a metal mesh sitting on the back, which is likely the bass port. Cut and finish of the Taurus looks nice, with a solid feeling to it. An Accutone branding is raised on the side of both driver housings. While I’m satisfied with the current state of the driver housing, I think it would be really cool if Accutone came out with a metallic version of the Taurus.
The MMCX cable connectors are modified to allow for free cable rotation, letting you easily transition from a wire-down to over-ear listening position. It’s pretty cool, and is implemented well. However, the original MMCX specification wasn’t built to account for wear on the connector do to rotation, so I am curious to see how well the Taurus stands the test of time.
The included cable is identical to the one wired into the Gemini HD and the debatable MMCX connector on the Pisces BA. I think that, while it’s no stunner, the cable is decent for an IEM of this price. A thicker cable (or a braided one) would be a welcome edition to the Taurus, and would take it to the next level.
The Taurus definitely takes some getting used-to. My ears are fairly average in size, so after some adjusting, I had no problems with the hard edges of the Taurus’ driver housings. The Taurus does include Comply, and has them pre-installed, making it easy for me to find a good and comfortable seal instantly. The driver housings and cable are fairly light-weight, so I find that the Taurus does “disappear” while being worn.
The Taurus comes stocked with Accutone’s standard offerings: a couple eartips, a standard Accutone pleather case, and a detachable MMCX cable. It’s passable for this price-range, but isn’t spectacular. I do however really like the way the Taurus sits in its case. The fit is secure, but not tight. The case feels protective, yet it isn’t bulky and hard to fit in a pocket. It also includes a screw-driver to adjust the bass ports.
The Accutone Taurus prides itself on it’s custom sound tuning capacity. However, there is certainly room to grow. High-bass output does hurt the mids and treble, effectively limiting the range of bass output you can reasonably listen to. However, when tuned properly, it can sound decent, and those willing to sacrifice some sound quality for extra bass impact should definitely pay the Taurus some attention.