Not too long ago, an earphone design arms race reached a fever pitch. This race challenged IEM designers to cram as many drivers (speaker units) as they could into a single earpiece. This resulted in such incredible earphones as the JH Audio JH16 (with 8 drivers per side) and the Noble Kaiser 10 (with 10 drivers per side). That arms race has since waned, but it has no doubt cemented the idea that more drivers equal better performance.

The question is, why would you need so many drivers in a pair of earphones? The principle behind that is similar to why some cars have V12 engines. Simply put, a larger number of units each doing a fraction of the workload can do the work more efficiently. As a result, V12 engines produce more power and 10-driver earphones sound better. However, such setups have more operating parts, which increases complexity and, in turn, the price – hence why the Ferrari GTC4Lusso and the Kaiser 10 are so expensive.

But what if they don't have to be? This week, we're having a look at the KZ ZS10, the Chinese brand's latest attempt to cram a bunch of drivers into earphones that cost no more than $50. With 5 drivers per side, the ZS10 also happens to be their most complex and most expensive earphone yet at around 45 dollars. Will their efforts pay off in the end, or will this be "just another" KZ?

TL;DR: It’s not the best by any means, but the BTC1 ensures your M6 PRO will live on in a world without the headphone jack.

Back in September of 2016, the iPhone 7 was revealed to the world. Along with it came an ominous declaration: "The headphone jack is dead." Since then, all iPhone audio was delivered either through their speakers or through wireless headphones (or through a silly and overpriced dongle, but that's besides the point). This move didn't really bother me, but the fact that just about every major smartphone manufacturer have done the same to their flagship phones seems to suggest that our beloved 3.5mm headphone jack should be put to rest.

And when you do upgrade to such a phone, MEE Audio has you covered. This week, we're taking a look at the BTC1, a Bluetooth adapter made for their earphones with removable cables. The BTC1 is specifically made for their earphones with a 2mm DC connector, referring specifically to their M6 PRO (another variant, the BTX1, is also available for their MMCX earphones like the Pinnacle series and the M7 PRO. Let's get to it.


The MEE Audio M6 has grown quite a bit over the years. It started out as an affordable, sport-oriented earphone dubbed the Sport-Fi M6, which was later retooled and released as the M6 PRO, marketed for performers and musicians. The success of the M6 PRO eventually led to the release of the M7 PRO, a higher-end pro audio model with a hybrid two-driver design. That's quite a legacy for a 30 dollar earphone.

Earlier this year, MEE Audio made some tweaks to both variations of the M6 and released them as second-generation models, effectively extending the M6 legacy even further. In this review, we'll be taking a look specifically at the new M6 PRO. How will it stack up to its predecessor? Find out after the jump.


Hey guys,

This is thatBeatsguy back again, this time not with a review, but a major update, and a sponsored message!

Now, I know you're wondering, "Wait, we have sponsors now?" Well, we've had them for quite some time now! Gearbest has been kind enough to give me the opportunity to give you reviews on great earphones like the Xiaomi Piston 3, the Superlux HD381F, and the Macaw T60, all of which are (in my opinion) fantastic earphones for those without much cash to spend. Though DB Headphones is technically sponsored, we are still committed to give you our most honest opinions on every review you see on this site.

Anyway, I’ve been planning on bringing some major changes to the site, which I’ll probably roll out over the year if I can get it all sorted out. The way the site looks is really growing long in the tooth, and we have about the worst mobile support for any headphone review blog ever. So over the year, all that’s going to change, and that may mean I will move the site to a new platform. I’m not entirely sure how that will turn out, but that will happen nonetheless, so stay tuned!

And now for our sponsored message. Gearbest has lately become quite a bit of a big shot as a third-party earphone seller, giving people around the world the chance to buy some stellar earphones from Mainland China. Most of the time Chinese manufacturers like KZ don’t sell beyond the border, but third-party sellers like Gearbest instead take up that torch.

The Gearbest team has recently informed me that they will soon be selling the KZ ZS10. It’s a hybrid earphone with 1 dynamic driver and four(?!) balanced armature drivers. To be honest, I’ve always been quite wary of multi-driver setups in cheap earphones, and my experience with the Piston Hybrid is proof of that. I, too, will be quite wary of this model once they come out, but regardless, I’d like to see how KZ will pull off this five-driver setup in an earphone that only costs $45. They’re now available for preorder on Gearbest.com in a variety of colours and with mic/non-mic options. You can check that out HERE.

Anyway, that’s all from me; see you very, very soon!

Intro



Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi has, since their inception, a proven track record of providing well-specced gadgets at very competitive prices. Though their earphone lineup is easily outclassed by many other brands both within and outside China, they still have a sizeable following, and I am one of those followers. In fact, their second-generation Piston earphones were one of the first earphones I reviewed over the course of this so far four-year journey. Hence why we will be looking at one of their latest offerings, the Xiaomi Piston Air. Designed not as a successor to the main Piston earphone lineup (we have the Hybrid and Hybrid Pro for that), the Piston Air — also known as the Piston Capsule — is a non-isolating earphone marketed as being free and lightweight, focused on relaxing, all-day comfort. It is an interesting concept, no doubt, but how well has it been executed? Find out after the jump.

TL;DR: An otherwise decent performer at under $15, its overall design limits its usability to one of those earphones you can only use at home – and it’s not really that good there, either.