Published on May 8th, 2017 | by Greg0
Echobox Finder X1 Titanium Earphones: You Won’t Miss Plastic!
It’s still a shame when we see folks listening to their ‘stock’ earbuds- the ones that come with your phone or mobile device. With so many great options out there, there are very few good reasons not to upgrade or swap for some that offer better sound and won’t tangle. And sure, there are better plastic models on the market, ones that are waterproof or built for exercise use for instance, or wireless Bluetooth versions that offer noise-cancelling.
But metal is really where it’s at, for durability. And while some metals add a fair bit of weight, the Echobox Finder X1 earphones use titanium- which they boast offers ‘double the strength-to-weight ratio of steel’. These are a single-driver model, without a lot extra features, but a good story- they are actually a first generation product, and an initial product release from the firm. If you haven’t heard of them, that might be because they are only a couple of years old, having raised around $75K on Indiegogo and aiming to release an Android portable music player called the Explorer in the near-term.
Where most earbuds offer a single, distinct sound signature, Echobox goes the extra mile, with a unique system of interchangeable filters they call AFT (Acoustic Filter Tuning). Equally customizable is your fit, thanks to the wide array of tips included- three sets of traditional silicone types and three flanged sizes. We liked the cables as well, a pretty sturdy silver-plated, no-tangle type, with some extra protection where the cables connect to each bud. The cable has a nice color tone to it, matched by the earbuds themselves. Like many well-polished metal buds, it’s hard to tell which one is for which side, though there is a color indicator inside each. It’s also a bit tough to swap filters, though fun once you get the hang of it, and they do make a subtle difference- we preferred the black ones generally. They push a more deep-bass forward than the red ones, which seemed a bit too energetic and bright for our preferred music genres, though the white (balanced) ones were great for classical listening.
Those in search of a fairly neutral, brassy, and clear sound will find a friend in the X1, which even the filters won’t push towards heavy bass. Soundstaging was great, making every instrument and part feel present and vibrant. For those looking for an iPhone-compatible in-line remote and microphone, they are available on the Finder X1i as tested, or with the X1a for Android users- though you can opt to save $10 to forego them. And if these were a bit cheaper, they might just hit a sweet spot, but there is a fierce competition out there and the filters didn’t quite make the difference we were hoping for (and were a bit fiddly). Still, they look great, feel comfortable, and come with plenty of accessories, and the Echobox Finder X1 definitely feel like they will hold up over time. Expect to spend around $149-$159 directly online.