Disclaimer: Yinyoo sent the D2B4 to ohm, straight, for the purposes of a review. I paid nothing for it. It goes for around 110$ YSD, and houses six drivers, two dynamic and four balanced armatures, in a hybrid format. You can find out all about it here: Yinyoo D2B4 2DD+4BA 10mm Graphene Diaphragm Dynamic Hybrid In Ear Earphone.
NOTE: due to a publish error on my part, this review had to be temporarily removed. Apologies. Please check out my Headfonics review of it for more detail.
I knew nothing about Yinyoo before the D2B4 arrived on my doorstep. Yinyoo are fine Chi-Fi fare. The D2B4’s been in my studio for a month or more and in my ears for a little less than that. It is made well, and it sounds damn good.
Haptics and build: ohmage and porridge
I’ve got to admit that I’ve had enough of these custom-cum-universal designs. When perfectly formed, they fit solidly and securely, but when they miss, they cant to one side or the other, leaving gaps in the tragus. Typically, they are big, bulbous, and ugly. The D2B4’s hard edges and bevels, however, give it a smarter, lower profile look.
In my ears, the D2B4 is both less secure and less comfy than Hidizs’s MS1/4. It’s forward, bevelled edge rises clear out of the ear. Hardly anything of it lies flat in my ear. Your ears and my ears are different. Yours may get on well. They may not. I much prefer universal earphones whose central chassis sits low in the ear. Sure they have less room inside, but they sure fit well. Think of what could be done if Beyerdynamic’s Xelento were bigged-up. Too many custom-cum-universals forgo proper ergonomic design for what amounts to cheap faxing of a favoured staff’s ear impressions.
Whether or not you find it comfy, the D2B4 is made well. Check out that grill. Check out that bevel. Even the MMCX port is neat and tidy. Following form is clean, thickly laid type, and slick ports. Clean clean clean.
Yank with all my might, and the cable barely budges. I reckon it could garrotte a horse. (I’ll get back to you on that one.) It’s also pretty microphonic, transferring touch noise - both major and minor - to the ear. The MMCX sleeves have a springy, hardened TPU feel to them. Very nice. They also lack stress reliefs. Instead, they sport tight heat shrink that’s not too much trouble for glasses. It’s well positioned but I can see it fraying at the sleeve in short order.
The slimline y-split is nice and bendy and the low-profile neck cinch does its job. I also dig the 3,5mm plug whose elbows come with a contoured DSLR-style thumb-stop. I likes.
In general, this is quality stuff.
Accessories: ohmage and porridge
The tiny, cardboard shoebox the D2B4 comes in shines metallically in blue or purple. Inside, a cheap, hard-packed foam insert keeps things together. It’s mostly but not entirely free of the icky, chemical smell which plagues Tin HiFi’s T series.
It’s even got a zippered carry pouch. And, gosh, if it isn’t the quality and finish and deign equivalent of the thing included with Ultrasone’s 3500$ Saphire. Pretty? No. And neither is its massive logo. But it does the job.
The ear pads are translucent greyish or opaque blackish. The greyish ones are pretty tough. They also hurt my ears. Their solid cores stay rigid in the ear, and only barely affect sound output. Minor raised belts around the middle do a number on my ears. The black ones are softer sided and for me at least, more comfortable. Depending on your ears, they may also show greater effect on sound.
Both are free of moulding blemishes, and impeccably machined.
Kitsch: ohmage and porridge
Yinyoo’s logo looks like water spitting out from between two halves of a barbel set, or from between a divided hamburger, or a hat. It’s lazy stuff. What is nice is its companion typography. It’s got a bit of the Ninjago in there, with good kerning. It is boxy and hefty. I likes. I dislikes. I is ambivalent.
After the BGVP DM6, the D2B4 is refreshing. It is bright where it needs to be, and boxy where necessary. It spits bass whose sound pressure is about a step and a half above neutral. Yeah, that means a mild dose of rumble in the opening seconds to Marcus Schulz’s Mainstage. And in there is good stereo information in the lows with decent texture thrown in. Me really likey.
The transition to mids is tight, and wow, do mid range stereo cues go wide. It’s possible that they go wider than optimal in the transition zone. The result is an abrupt step up in stereo spread between lows and mids.
D2B4 boxiness here begins.
Mids spread wide, with a behind-the-head stereo wrap. Y-axis stereo information is meagre when pushed forward along the Z-axis, but stands tall and even from end to end along the X. Z-axis detail and spread occupies as much space behind-the-ear as it does in front of it. It’s like sitting between competing stage monitors.
D2B4 boxiness here continues.
If you’re a fan of upscale digital amps, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Stereo spread is yuuuuge and sticky from floor to ceiling; detail within its bounds is big.
Highs are bright but not peaky and there’s no sibilance that I can find. Bass, highs, and mids occupy roughly equal stereo and sound pressure. Vocals jumps clearly out, but have to compete in a crazy-wide stereo spread. Do they there disappear? That’s up to your listening style and preferences. For me, they do not, but upper midrange stereo detail and spread crashes in here and there, softening focus in the voicals. Percussion can get pretty bright. At times, it pushes ahead of mids about a step. Chimes come and go wide along circular paths like flashing stars after a Looney Tunes bump to the head.
Would I prefer a bit less box in the stereo spread? A bit more fade to the sides especially in the lows and highs? Finer gradients? Yes. Maybe. But I’m also as loyal to unabashedly digitally boxy sound as I am to softer, dulcet analogue timbre.
I hope that’s not confusing. The D2B4 is boxy throughout. And thanks to it, compression of the midrange, or runaway highs or lows, is basically null. It’s even keel straight ahead, and every frequency band is energetic, bouncy, wide, and stereo detailed.
Recovery in both lows and highs is fast and, as far as I can tell, the D2B4 is reverb free. It sure is muscly, but it is also generally accent free. I have to be honest, that if you gave me a choice between the warmth of a Hidizs MS4 and the boxy strength of the D2B4, I’d be hard put to to decide a favourite. If I chose the D2B4, I’d surely miss the subtle texture nuances and gentle, warm midrange of the MS4. But gosh, the speed and sheer power in all-spectrum confluence of the D2B4 is addictive. And, for a wider range of music, I prefer the D2B4 to the MS1. But when transitional nuance and clarity alone is important, it’s MS1 all the way.
The D2B4 goes for a little more than 100$ USD. For what you get, that’s a steal. It’s not the most comfortable earphone out there. It’s cable is pretty microphonic.
Alternately, its bass, highs, or stereo spread get aggressively boxy. In the right/wrong genre, its highs can get hot. But never too hot or too boxy. The D2B4 occupies one of the best grounds among wide-set aggressive or shouldery earphones. It’s big everywhere and exciting everywhere. If excitement is your ticket, you’d be a food not to queue for the D2B4.