Headphone Review: AblePlanet SI1050

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Walking away from the active noise cancelling technologies, AblePlanet goes out to produce a product that not too many companies have endeavored to do. Dual-Balanced-Armature IEMs are well known, and used a lot. Dual Dynamics, on the other hand, is a different story. AblePlanet comes out with the SI1050 to create a competitive dual-dynamic made to fight in the 200 dollar range, does it succeed or does it crumble to its upon itself?  Read on the for the full review:

Specifications

  • Drivers: Dual Dynamic Drivers (15mm woofer/7mm tweeter)
  • Frequency Response: 8-20000 Hz
  • Impedance: 24 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB

In the Box

  • AblePlanet SI1050
  • Hard Carrying Case
  • Silicone Tips (Single flanged: S/M/L)
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The included accessories that come with the SI1050s is really scarce.

Design

AblePlanet took the decision to use a simplistic design when it came to the body and stylings used on the SI1050s. The name doesn’t speak much, but does have a professional to it; like the name, the design does have its professional aspects as well. The shape of the IEM is, well awkward, but isn’t problematic. The entire housing is made of plastic, but still feels solid. On the outer side of each housing is the AblePlanet logo on top of a square design. The black, glossy plastic design does work well for AblePlanet here. The unique design may not be the best for popping eyes, but it is attractive and inoffensive.

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The design of the AblePlanet’s does have a professional feel to it.

Design: ★★★★★

Audio

Like many loud-speakers with a duo-dynamic design, the AblePlanet SI1050s provide a woofer for the low frequencies and a tweeter for the highs. Overall, these focus more on the low end. The bass has a mid-bass focus with a slight body but good presence. The deeper lows, however, may seem missing at times. Lush would be the perfect word to describe the midrange, it is smooth, but lacking of energy. As with the mids, the high-end is laid back but with slightly more detail and clarity. The energy, however, just isn’t there for both the treble and mids.

Bass

The bass on these is great actually. The bass is emphasized, but still balanced well with the midrange where it will never intrude upon them. Although it doesn’t dig as deep as I’d want it, it does go down low at times when it’s needed to create nice texture. Still though, I’m expecting a little more here. The mid-bass is emphasized in the bass allowing a punchy, impactful presence that is never too much. They aren’t perfect; however, the lows do provide a great amount of quality with a good amount of quantity.

Bass: ★★★★½

Mids

The midrange is presented in an inoffensive fashion. However, AblePlanet’s presentation of them is slightly too relaxed at times and can lose its energy that it so desperately needs. The detailing is really good though. Clarity-wise, they can use some work with a slightly veiled nature of the midrange at times. As with the loss of energy, vocals don’t pop as I’d want them too. Everything in the mids are laid back, which will work for many, but can use some work.

Mids: ★★★★

Highs

The highs do bring some energy back into the midrange; however it’s done in vain since it just isn’t enough. A smeared effect can dawn on them at times creating a loss of separation, clarity on the treble is nicely done. Detailing is also well implemented, although the treble sounds recessed. Like the mids, they are still laid back, but do provide some sparkle. I was expecting little more from the highs. They aren’t offensive, but need more energy.

Highs: ★★★★

Audio: ★★★★

Build

Plastic, plastic, and more plastic. That essentially sums up the build of the SI1050s. Unlike the actual headphones though, the included case is not plastic. Beveled to camouflage into the case is the AblePlanet logo. The entire case is black and will protect the IEMs fine. Included in the case is a pouch for additional accessories along or even an iPod Nano.

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The included case is a plus, and definitely a good idea to use.

Stepping away from the case, the headphone jack jumps to the plastic design of the IEM. The plastic is sturdy and strong on the headphone jack. The main problem I have with it, however, is the straightness. I would much rather have an angled jack as it puts less stress on the cable. The strain relief is strong and sturdy though.

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The unmarked headphone jack on the SI1050s doesn’t seem as strong as it should be.

Moving up the cable, you’ll find that it’s also plastic. The actual wire doesn’t tangle often, which is a good thing. However, memory effects are prevalent on it and the cable just doesn’t seem like it’ll last. The cheap feeling doesn’t help much either.

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Plastic cables are not the way to go, I feel that memory effects, failures, etc are imminent with them.

The housings do help out a little. The housings themselves feel sturdy in every area except for the little stem that connects the inner part of the housing to the outer part. At times when inserting these IEMs, they just felt like they would snap. Happily, that never happened. The rest of the housing is well built, with large strain reliefs that robust and flexible.

Build: ★★★½

Comfort

One of the first things that came to mind about the housings was the shape. They may look awkward, but they are comfortable. The nozzle is angled to improve upon comfort. This does force you to wear the IEMs down though, which can become problematic in other regards. The housings themselves are light weight and comfortable to wear for hours. AblePlanet includes 3 tips for users to choose from to ensure both good sound, but also good comfort.

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The three included tips are a nice addition to the IEMs.

Comfort: ★★★★½

Value

AblePlanet’s SI1050s do provide a good value, but I was still expecting more from the headphones. At 180 dollars, they are competing with things like the Moshi Clarus, Brainwavz B2s, and even the Monster Gratitude. They fall short in audio quality in comparison. Although they do fall short, they aren’t too far off the trail. Build quality is what really makes me question the value as they could have chosen better materials for the cable. After adding it up, the value on these becomes just average as the audio and build both can use some work.

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For those that need it, the SI1050s doe have a remote and mic.

Value: ★★★½

Final Thoughts

AblePlanet comes to offer dual-dynamics to an audience. However, they still need to work on the build quality of the cable along with tweaking the audio just a tad. Are these good headphones? Of course they are. The sound is good, but not 180 dollars good.

I’d like to thank Mike for the review sample.

Overall Score

AblePlanet SI1050

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Mike for the product sample.
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