As of lately, ddHiFi has been primarily making adapters, cables, and small DAC/Amps. While they are not well-established in the IEM game, they seem to be making a valiant effort to enter the increasingly competitive market. Their new IEM, the E2020B, or Janus2, run for $199, putting these in perhaps the most populated price range in their league.
What’s in the Box
- ddHiFi Janus2
- MMCX Cable
- Silver carrying case
- Silicone tips (3 pairs for treble, 3 pairs for bass)
- 10 MMCX hole dust covers
Look and Feel
The Janus2 follow the same look I’ve seen from many ddHiFi adapters, with their clear body and vaguely space-age design. These have a very high-tech feel, allowing you to see everything down to where the internal wires have been soldered. Comfort wise, these offer two different fits, which is an option I really appreciated. The first is a straight-forward fit, hanging down and anchoring into your ears primarily with the ear tips. The second option is the classic IEM hook over the ears. I personally preferred to have these hanging down.
The Janus2 are a single dynamic driver IEM. Its most interesting features is its dual sockets, allowing it to be used with MMCX or 0.78mm connectors. In addition to dual sockets, the Janus2 also has dual cavities, with air pits on both the back and front. ddHiFi claims this “provides unique sound tuning with six air pits and six tuning papers inside.”
These have a shockingly realistic soundstage for their price, with an impressive amount of air injected between layers. There’s a solid layer of ear candy on the outskirts of the stereo-spectrum, and vocals are given a grand, open feel. Small details can be picked out in intricate mixes and instruments are distributed in a way that creates a nice sense of performance. In this price range, this may be one of the better soundstages I’ve heard in a while. An extra wide soundstage is the first step to creating an IEM that can bring some new life out of a song, and the Janus2 seems to check this box quite well.
These are a bit understated in the low end, though not intensely subdued. I’d say these have a pretty flat, punchy bass response. They’re more focused on attack than sub, as seems to be an increasingly common bass response from many IEMs on the market these days. If you’re into a pretty neutral, unassuming bass sound that will tighten up your lows without adding any extra beef to them, then the Janus2 could be for you. I wanted extra bass from these at times, but not heaps extra.
The midrange on the Janus2 accomplishes the challenging task of being extenuated in the high mids while avoiding excess resonance. It reminded me somewhat of the mid range on some campfire IEMs, with tons of detail and some saturation, though definitely implementing lighter coloring than anything from Campfire. Vocals will get extra presence, especially female voices. Drums get an upgraded snap and crackle, and strings or keys upgraded pluckiness. I wouldn’t mind the low-mid on these getting a few extra decibels to add a hint of extra warmth to the mix. This area of the frequency spectrum didn’t feel subdued, but perhaps slightly overshadowed by the extended mid range.
The Janus2 has bright but extra warm, easy-on-the-ears highs. This high end is lofty but still grounded to the rest of the tuning with some subtle coloring. The softened edge the highs on these have make them very versatile across genres, not bringing out too much detail from bright, hyper-modern sounds, but not leaving too much behind from more old-school mixes. If you want super intense shine, the Janus2 have a lighter touch to their brightness, not sparkling intensely. I appreciated this more balanced high end response, and felt its detail retrieval kept me from missing any extreme sheen.
I feel the Janus2 outdoes much of its competition in the $199 price point, not using its relative affordability to skimp on quality or technical ability. While some listeners may shy away from the unfamiliarity of this brand, I’d say that for many, the Janus2 may be worth the risk. I, at least, found these to be a strong competitor against all the big name brands dominating the market right now.