Lately I’ve been up to my ears in Echobox headphones, but today I’m looking forward to a pointed look at the Echobox Traveler – a $99 entry-level earphone. Does it sound good? Is it strong enough to handle my abuse? MajorHifi investigates.
Echobox Traveler Review
The Echobox Traveler comes with a cloth carry bag and six pairs of eartips.
Sporting a built-in universal mic and remote, the 4 ft (1.2 m) cable is slim but strong. The earpieces are slim as well. In fact, they’re so low-profile that they sit almost flush inside my ear. If you’re looking for a pair of earphones to fall asleep with, these might be the ones.
Frequency Range: 15-35000 Hz
Impedance: 22 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 96 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <1%
The specs for the Traveler reveal a headphone with a fairly standard frequency range and low impedance (for better use with portable devices). The sound pressure seems a bit low, too, but volume never became a problem during my mobile listening sessions. Finally, distortion seems on par with most other models at this price point, landing at <1%.
The Traveler’s low end hosts some decent bass and an acceptable amount of detail. All in all, this is a pleasing low end with a small amount of bleed – not overblown or sloppy, but on par with what I would expect from an entry-level earphone.
There’s some compression at play in the midrange. Despite this hiccup, there’s also a good deal of detail and clarity here, too. A decent midrange, to say the least.
In the high end, the Traveler suffers from an overly bright (and at times, thin) sound. It’s not a total deal-breaker for the casual listener, but more experienced headphone junkies will find this sound somewhat lacking.
With a surprising level of depth and some okay placement, the sense of soundstage on the Traveler is actually worth writing about. Sure, it won’t stack up to a pair of open-back, over-ear cans, and it won’t be replacing any $1000 flagship in-ear monitors. But the deep, articulated listening experience offered by the traveler is well worth the admission fee.
I’m loving the slim profile. It looks sleek and doesn’t call too much attention to my appearance.
The lows and mids are growing on me. Sure, I still hate that high end, but the lows and mids have some detail to them, and they compliment one another nicely.
I’m not sure how water-resistant these earphones are, but if you’re looking for a pair of earphones to use in the rain, I’d shy away from the Traveler. For almost the same price, you could consider the OutdoorTech Orcas (though they have an even worse high end). Or you could possibly spend a little more for a workout earphone from Sennheiser (though you probably wouldn’t get the same level of detail in the mids).
Really, the Traveler is a decent little earphone when you consider the level of detail it provides, and the overall depth of the sound. It strongly compliments my rock library, but it could pull double duty and handle most of my hip-hop collection, too. With it’s lackluster high end, I wouldn’t be using it for classical tunes. But hey, that’s just me.
At the competitive price of $99, the Echobox Traveler offers detailed lows and mids but may skimp on the high end. While it won’t be the ideal headphone for classical music fans, the rich, detailed sound is perfect for rock or hip-hop.
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