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LETSHUOER D13

LETSHUOER D13

Author:Andy.EF

Foreword

  • At the point of this article, my D13 has undergone over 200 hours of burn in and approximately 80 hours of actual listening.
  • I don't do measurements, I just describe what I hear, from my own POV
  • I don't use EQ.
  • The entirety of my impressions was done with the LETSHUOER D13  Foam Tips.
  • Ultimately, my reviews are purely subjective and biased to my personal preference in sound.

The Build

D13 offers somewhat unique designed shells which suggests Steampunk theme. It is made of CNC machined aluminum enclosures. Thankfully the metal shells are designed to be amply ergonomic especially on the inner side and I did not feel any discomfort due to unsavory edges. In fact I will say that D13 is among some of the most comfortable metal shelled IEMs I have used so far. Credit to LETSHUOER for this subtle yet welcoming engineering feat.

D13 uses traditional DLC single dynamic drivers sized 13mm. Hence the name, D13. With 16 Ohm of impedance and 105dB of sensitivity, D13 obviously designed to be an easy to drive unit from the get go.

To complement the overall neat design, D13 comes with proper set of companion accessories. Most prominent being the handcrafted 4 cores/216 strands of Monocrystalline Copper Cable with premium and sturdy finishing. There’s also simple yet practical carrying case for the array of silicone tips and the IEM itself. The highlight of D13, swappable nozzle filters. Two set of nozzles offered, of which I will describe in details later.

 

Equipment Used

  • Xiaomi Mi 9T (3.5mm SE and USB Port)
  • Sony Xperia X Compact (3.5mm SE and USB Port)
  • Windows 10 with Native USB Drivers
  • HiBy Audio Player USB Exclusive Mode with FLAC files
  • CEntrance DACport HD
  • Cayin RU6
  • Ovidius B1
  • NotByVE Avani
  • VE Megatron
  • MUSE HiFi M1
  • MUSE HiFi M3

Timbre, Tonality & Dynamics:

D13 offers something I would regard as soft U curve tuning. Definitely not a neutral sounding IEM by a longshot. The pronounced elevation of lower frequencies are prominent. The Mids, depending on what genre of music being played, will appear slightly recessed. The high frequencies being mildly tamed in favor of smoother energy and vibe.

The general theme of D13 sound, properly controlled dynamics that offers mature and clean sound with admirable balance of vibrancy that does not sound overly euphonic like most DD based V tuned IEMs. It is fun sounding as it is neat at the same time – I really appreciate this balance which in turn will offer big sound that is spacious and open.

Perhaps, one element that impresses me the most is how well controlled attack and decays being presented. Always clean and resolved – with believable speed and dispersal. Dynamic extensions are not exactly far reaching as some others, but it is not exactly rolled off either – for they appear to be mild in presentation. With highly resolving sources, there’s ample micro details to suggest the depth of extensions – especially on the lower frequencies which offers deep and dense Sub-Bass responses. Even the highs will reveal ample micro details despite not as pronounced

Tonal wise, D13 is assuredly organic and natural sounding. No unsavory or unrealistic metallic element that I can hear of – some may even regard D13 as “warm” especially if the user is used to bright sounding unit. Otherwise, I think the overall timbre and tonality is faithfully realistic despite the coloration of lower frequencies and mild suppression of Mids

 

Mids

As noted with the other LETSHUOER IEM that I have tested, D13 carries similar Mids signature to LETSHUOER Z12. Despite being U curved tuned, I find the Mids to be present enough not to sound outright recessed. Largely depending on the genre of music being played. For example, with the Bluegrass of Alison Krauss or Modern Jazz of Diana Krall/Sinne Eeg, the Mids presentation were actually properly forward sounding – I did not feel that it was recessed at all. The tonality and texture of Mids being rich and dense, natural with good clarity and resolution.

However, when listening to Pop/Indie/Metal/Rock music, then I feel that the Mids are less forward.

The staging of instruments offered smooth edged attack, with enough energy to emit something that is natural sounding – like the piano tones being “warm” yet believable – the saxophone deep and chesty.

Perhaps the point to criticize, at times I feel that the Mids placement may sound slightly “lower” on imaging, as if I am standing taller than the singers in the songs.

Vocals wise, D13 must be commended for projecting natural output be it males or females. Perhaps a slight hint of coloration due to the “warming” effect on upper Mids – which I suspect will appeal to some.

Treble

Smooth is the general theme for D13 Treble. Clean edged, polished attack with equally smooth dispersing decays. It does not offer lengthy decays, but it is present enough to be heard with just the right amount of sparkle and shimmer. I can’t find any element of sibilance or pinna glare especially when paired with natural and neutral sounding partners. Treble being organic enough to not sound unnaturally metallic or plasticky.

The only caveat that I can think of, if I am going to be critical on this – I wish there’s a bit more air with the flow of Treble transition between upper Mids to lower Treble – it may appear slightly clustered. This is evident on complex composition like Sinne Eeg recordings.

Most important to note, D13 Treble presentation ultimately depends on which nozzle filters being used. The stock nozzles will exhibit the nature as described above – generally favoring smoothness over edgy attack/decays. But when the secondary nozzles swapped in, then it was evident to me, a bit more of Treble sparkle, shimmer and energy revealed. Now D13 would appear a bit more appealing to those preferring brighter presentation. The caveat, it will also sound less smooth as compared to the “warmer” stock nozzles.

 

Bass

D13 Bass can be described as well balanced. The Mid-Bass being strong but tidy and well behaved – never attempting to overcome anything within the frequencies. Even more impressive is the Sub-Bass presentation. D13 offers deep and far reaching Bass extensions. I dare say that D13 will even satisfy the need of most Bassheads, perhaps not as prominent as LETSHUOER Z12 (which I regard as outright Basshead IEM).

The presentation of Sub-Bass is perhaps the one element of lower frequency of D13 that I find myself enjoying the most. For one, D13 offers the sort of seismic sensations that is felt as it is heard. The reverb of drum machines or twang of cellos – all properly audible and present. It does not matter which type of Bass I am looking at, be it electronic, strings or percussion Bass, they all sounded satisfyingly rich and dense. With just the right amount of body mass and density. At times I can even feel the texture being as great as higher end devices – simply admirable.

For this reasons, I find D13 completely at home for listening to the likes of Russian Circles, Pelican, KRAFTWERK, Kitaro, Controlled Bleeding or any music that offers myriad of rich Bass mastering. Perhaps the Bass responses can be a bit too strong for when listening to modern Jazz or Bluegrass, but even then it does not really bother me much because despite the larger than neutral presentation, Bass remained clean and disciplined for the most part

Technicalities

D13 offers good sense of space and width for soundstage. Perhaps not as tall but I can’t find any reason to complain about the overall staging. In fact being In Ear Monitor, this is a common issues for many. For D13 to sound big and open, it is already something that I regard as a very positive output.

Technically, D13 is a very well behaved unit with clean separation lines, not exactly razor edged nor does it appear blurry even when the output being largely warmish organic. Surprisingly, D13 also seems to exhibit very good handling of Macro and Micro details – thanks to the clean overall resolution.

What I do find interesting, D13 does not seem to be a very holographic unit with spatial positioning. Yes the imaging is clean and clear, but the positioning is decidedly more of traditional Left/Right orientation. This I believe has a lot to do with the native design of single Dynamic Drivers. Obvious to me, multiple driver IEMs will offer better spatial staging. So in this regard, D13 is not suited for gaming or immersive movie watching. But keep it for music, then D13 will be one worthy device to use.

Speed and resolution of D13 also being quite admirable. Despite being warmish sounding unit (with stock filters), D13 does not falter with overall transparency and resolution. And the most interesting bit, D13 seems to be quite forgiving as well with less than stellar recordings – it resolve enough details but somehow manage to dampen recording artifacts – this I find very evident when listening to Lo-Fi Black Metal recordings of the 90s.

Lastly, D13 will be quite resistant to sounding congested or muddy. In fact I would say the speed will handle anything I throw at it. Complex Jazz or outright speedy music, D13 handles them all with proper agility and finesse.

Scalability

D13 is SUPER easy to drive. Straight out of my weak Sony Xperia X Compact, I am already getting great sound with rich dynamics. It gets even better as when paired with more competent partners. Scalability of D13 is nothing short of impressive. Even when pushed with 4.7 Vrms of VE Megatron, D13 does not get shouty or unnaturally edgy – the expanse of dynamics gets a bit more of headroom with richer density. Same goes with my favorite DAC/Amps of CEntrance DACport HD which pumped out 775 mW of power at 4.1 Vrms.

It must be noted though, being low impedance and highly sensitive, D13 will pick up audible floor noises from either Ovidius B1 or VE Megatron.

 

Final Words

Frankly, D13 does not offer the sort of sound signature that I would normally favor. I prefer flatter neutral sound. However, the indulgence of music ultimately is for the pleasure of listening – and in this regard, D13 is one unit that fits the bill perfectly. D13 is fun yet articulate, resolving and technically competent. It has ample maturity for critical listening as it is for casual sessions.

The ability to easily swap nozzles makes D13 a truly versatile IEM – smooth or more energetic, just swap them nozzles and it would be hard not to like any one of them – depending on the moods of the listener.

Worth to mention also, D13 can be worn for long period of hours. The ergonomic design is very thoughtful of human ear cavities – I truly appreciate that. Lastly, D13 will sound great with almost any source partners, versatile yet scalable. Overall, for the asking price, D13 offered positives that harbor very minor cons (most of them subjective to preferences).

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