The Echobox Finder X1 features a titanium build with interchangeable acoustic tuning filters – allowing the listener to select a filter that offers more balance, bass, or treble. So now that a sample has graced the usual clutter of my review desk, I can finally answer that most pressing of questions: are these things worth the cardboard they were packaged in?
Echobox Finder X1 Review
Yes, the Echobox Finder X1 comes with a bunch of cardboard. It also arrives with six pairs of eartips, including one pair of foam Comply tips. All three acoustic tuning filters are also included with the earphones. To top it all off, the earphones are also packaged with a semi-hard clamshell case, and some light reading in the form of a user manual.
Construction on the Finder X1 strikes me as fairly impressive. The cable is not too thick, while exuding an air of durability. The iOS-compatible in-line mic and remote doesn’t feel cheap, either. And, while the cable thins in diameter after the cinch, it never seems too flimsy or frail.
As already mentioned, the earpieces feature titanium housings and removable acoustic tuning filters. Build quality remains just as impressive here, with the slight profile fitting comfortably in my ear. A lack of any real weight works wonders, and I can easily forget I’m wearing these earphones at all.
Swapping acoustic filters won’t confound or confuse you; simply removing the eartip from the earpiece reveals the acoustic filter. Pinching the filter, you unscrew it and replace it with the desired filter contained in the clamshell case.
Frequency Range: 15-40,000 Hz
Impedance: 22 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 96 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <1%
As revealed via these specifications, the Finder X1 offers an impressively wide frequency range. The low impedance jives well with smartphones and other portable devices. Volume looks somewhat subdued on paper. However, the isolating design of these in-ear headphones more than makes up for this shortcoming. Finally, the harmonic distortion given in these specs may seem deceptively low – but a brief listening session easily confirms the claim.
Note: For this review, I’ve paired the Finder X1 with a FiiO X5 II portable player. All impressions regarding sound quality specifically pertain to the balanced acoustic tuning filter, except for those found in the section of this review titled “Acoustic Tuning Filters.”
Echobox’s Finder X1 supplies tons of detail in the low end. The bass strikes me as lively, but not overpowered. Notes remain clear throughout this part of the frequency range, thanks to precise control that minimizes bleeding. Overall, the low end is strong and vibrant, with ample detail.
Home to excellent detail, the midrange performs admirably when stacked against its competition. Instrumentation and vocals sound true-to-life, and a lack of any perceivable distortion or compression helps to deliver a clean sound.
Bright but never piercing, the high end of the Finder X1 straddles a fine line between accuracy and comfort. Sounding as impressive with strings as it sounds with female vocals, the high end offers a rich and highly-articulated sound.
While the X1 offers ample depth, it may lack a sense of overall placement. I chalk this up to design, as most earphones will have trouble offering a truly immersive sense of soundstage. However, with that being said, the depth and breadth of the sound offered by the Finder X1 stands on its own, and you’d be hard pressed to find a deeper, richer sound at this price.
Acoustic Tuning Filters
As mentioned earlier, the Finder X1 features three acoustic tuning filters to choose from. While the majority of my listening sessions were conducted with a balanced filter, I did pop on the bass and treble filters to get a sense of the sound.
Both filters – bass and treble – skew the sound in their respective directions, but detail isn’t so much as lost as de-emphasized. I quickly noticed the added oomph achieved with the bass acoustic filter, but I could still hear a wealth of nuance in the mids and highs.
Likewise, with the treble filter, I could still hear some life in the low end, while the high end became brighter overall.
I’m shocked at how comfortable and lightweight these earphones appear. Twice now, I have stood up at my desk, only to recall that I’ve got a piece of metal stuck in my ear.
Detail, detail, detail! These earphones don’t skimp on it – no matter what part of the frequency range you’re listening to.
While I’ve been thoroughly won over by the mad scientists at Echobox, I’m going to go out on an objective limb here and drop some knowledge. You could get marginally better earphones from other top-tier manufacturers. Models from the likes of Westone or Klipsh might offer a finer high end (at the expense of low mids and lows), or you could get more bass for your buck with Sure and Sennheiser products (while loosing some detail in the upper mids and highs).
The Finder X1 fails to dominate in any one niche. Yet, it remains the best headphone for a wealth of listening tastes in a durable, comfortable package. Really a single earphone that performs like three, the X1 challenges the best of its competition while appealing to a broad listening base.
Relying on a titanium build and removable acoustic tuning filters, the Finder X1 allows you to switch between more balance, treble, or bass without losing any sense of detail. Audiophiles may turn their noses up at a lack of specialization, but this jack-of-all-trades headphone offers the perfect listening experience for tastes that run the gamut from Snoop Dogg to Glen Miller.