Review: SonoCore Chrome – 2 Drivers Housed in Chrome

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SonoCore | In-Ear Monitor | $ 100.00

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from SonoCore. The last time this company was featured on iFans was with their release of, the since discontinued, Cindy IEM. They have since come up with new ambitions, this time, with the new SonoCore Chrome. Featuring dual dynamic drivers like the Cindy, the Chrome looks to improve upon the sound of the Cindy.  

Specifications

  • Driver: Dual Dynamic (6 mm Tweeter + 9 mm Woofer)
  • Frequency Response: 16 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB +/- 3 dB

In the Box

  • SonoCore Chrome
  • Carrying Pouch
  • Silicone Tips (Single-flange: S/M/L)
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Design

The SonoCore Chrome get their name due to their distinct design. The Chrome headphones are… Wait for it… Chrome in color (you could’ve guessed that right?). They are very attractive despite having metal housings. A darker grey cable runs out of each housing leading to a y-split with integrated controls following the same silver chrome and grey color scheme. The entire design works very well together and has an overall nice design to it.

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Design: ★★★★

Audio

The sound of the Chrome still remains, like the Cindy, a nice V-shaped that focuses on the lower lows, and upper mids, and upper highs. The signature is very warm and inviting, but has a nice amount of energy this time behind the midrange and has a little more power behind the highs.

Bass

The bass is more controlled on the Chrome than it is on the Cindy. The bass has a nice strong punch to it that can be heard. The impact is well contained but having ample presence and slam behind it. Deep textures can seem to lag back quite a bit behind the punch and impact at times. Despite having a smaller bass body, the bass still seems to be a bit much at times. The bass on the Chrome is on the fun side of things while trying to constrain itself.
Bass: ★★★★½

Mids

The midrange has a slight tilt towards the upper ranges. The result is a stronger clarity among the midrange instrumentals, but vocals as well. The upper vocals have a decent lift to them, but definitely can go a bit higher. The deeper vocal lushness is nicely resembled, but again, can do a little better. Down in the lower mids, detailing is OK, but certainly not the best. Overall though, the midrange remains a very smooth and inviting.
Mids: ★★★★

Highs

The highs have a bit of the focus on the lower-end, but don’t lose out on the upper end. The treble snaps have great extension and good presence. It’s detailed very well. As we go up into the upper range, sparkle is definitely there giving the IEMs a nice bit of energy. Quite a bit of smearing can occur at times as separation in this range can use some improvements.
Highs: ★★★★½

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The build quality of the Chrome has many misses, thankfully, SonoCore does include a nice carrying pouch for you to use while the IEMs are not in use. This accessory is essential, in my opinion, with these headphones. The pouch is flat and very compact in size; it’s just barely large enough to house my 5th generation iPod Touch.

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The housings are probably one of the stronger points in regards to build. The housings feel like they are made of metal and have a stiff, firm feeling behind them. That said, it’ll protect the drivers from harms way. It does, however, have no strain reliefs coming out of them which can be problematic for cable connections in the long term.

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The cable is composed of a grey rubber. Below the y-split, it is very thick and doesn’t tangle. Above the y-split, the cable is thinner, but still has ample thickness to it. It, however, does seldom tangle. Regardless, the upper and lower portions of the cable still feel stiff enough where they shouldn’t break out on you.

Between the cable and headphone jack is a tiny strain relief that is stiff, but offers no flexibility. In addition, the jack is straight, which may lead to problems down the line. The jack does use the same materials used in the housing though, so that’s a plus. Gold plating helps quite a bit as well.

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Build: ★★★½

Comfort

The housings seem pretty hallow inside with a bit of air in the chamber. This takes quite a bit away from the density of the IEMs and makes them a bit more comfortable for long-term use. SonoCore includes 3 sets of tips for use with the Chrome. This will ensure a proper fit and seal. I did run into one problem them, the metal edge of the housing seems to irritate my right ear with a quick, sharp pain. I’m unsure if it’s me, or the headphones.

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Comfort: ★★★★

Value

These headphones come in at 100 dollars flat. For the price, these do fare very well. They can use some tweaks in a few spots sonically, but really are priced competitively well. There is a lack of build quality with the connections, specifically the lack of strain reliefs that brings it down. However, these headphones do have a bit of value running behind them.

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

With another iteration of dual dynamic headphones, SonoCore shows that they can improve upon their previous works with the new Chrome showing a further push of sound quality over the Cindy. It’s able to compete well with the other headphones in the price range, but doesn’t end up being a huge bang for the buck.

I’d like to thank Mario for the product sample.

Overall Score

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SonoCore Chrome

† 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 Mario for the product sample.
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