Golden Ears: Mangird XENNS UP: Three Types of Drivers, One Earphone

XENNS, previously often known as Mangird, seemingly got here out of nowhere and exploded onto the earphone scene with the Mangird Tea. We, like many listeners, beloved that earphone. Immediately, we’re its flagship XENNS UP, a $699 earphone that mixes 4 balanced armatures, two electrostatic drivers, and a dynamic driver in every ear for an unbelievable, lush, audio expertise.

That is Golden Ears, our column devoted to exploring the world of high-end desktop audio. Our mission is to discover precisely what makes an costly piece of drugs value its excessive price of entry and simply what the audio group is raving about. Should you’ve ever puzzled why somebody would purchase a $699 headphone, that is the place to seek out out.


  • Present Worth: $699 (Linsoul
  • Driver: 2EST+4BA+1DD
  • Frequency vary: 20-80Khz
  • Sensitivity: 110+/-1dB
  • Impedance: 20+/-2ohm
  • Distortion price: 1.0%+/-0.2%
  • Cable size: 1.2 meters
  • Connector: default 0.78mm 2pin
  • Plug: default 2.5mm balanced plug (3.5mm and 4.5mm plug included)
  • What’s within the Bundle?
  • Earphone
    • 2.5mm balanced cable
    • 2.5mm to 4.4mm plug, 2.5mm to three.5mm plug, 3.5mm to six.35mm plug, U-shaped plug
    • silicon eartips (S/M/L), foam eartips
    • storage bag

What Makes a $699 Earphone? (Overview of the XENNS UP)

So, what makes a $699 headphone, you ask. How might any headphone probably be value that a lot cash? As we dive into this subject right here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Overlook what you already know about worth. Once you enter the world of high-end audio, that will get turned on its head. When you step into the world of HiFi, it’s in no way unusual to see top-of-the-line headphones go for a number of thousand {dollars}. Here’s a list of over-ear headphones that function electrostatic drivers just like the XENNS we’re at the moment. $410 to $6200. That is an costly interest steeped in chasing incremental enhancements that often price extra the upper up the chain you go. 
  • Sure, you may hear a distinction. Regardless of how nice your favourite pair of Sony’s of Bose headphones sound, there’s all the time room to develop and, sure, you may completely hear a distinction. No, you don’t should be an audiophile to listen to it. Sure, placebo impact is totally a factor. However no, that’s not a motive to dismiss an earphone with out listening to it for your self. 
  • Craftsmanship Prices. As you’ll see with this earphone, it’s not all in regards to the sound. Once you step as much as these costly earphones and headphones, you’re paying for the know-how inside it and the craftsmanship on the skin. Hand-painted shells. Distinctive designs. One-of-a-kind finishes. These are all factored into the worth.
  • It’s not all about value. Simply because a headphone is pricey doesn’t imply it’s good. Simply because a headphone is affordable doesn’t imply it’s dangerous. Should you can solely afford $100 on one headphone, there are loads of superb choices that may additionally sound nice. Excessive-end listening could be very a lot a sport of nuance and private style. 

Relating to the XENNS UP, what we now have is a seven-driver system that mixes three various kinds of drivers. That’s fourteen tiny audio system whole — in all probability greater than your property theater. Every earpiece consists of 4 balanced armatures, two electrostatics drivers, and one dynamic to deal with the bass. These are premium Sonion elements for the BAs and ESTs, and the dynamic driver is beryllium coated for improved pace and determination. The mix is what’s referred to as a tribrid. 


The XENNS Up are my first headphones with electrostatic drivers, and so they’re a giant a part of what makes these earphones so particular (and costly). Electrostatic drivers have been round for years, however have solely lately began rising in multi-driver IEMs. They excel at very high-end element, extending the frequency response vary from 20-80,000Hz. That is clearly effectively past the vary of human listening to, however the precision, element, and readability they’re in a position to produce in what you may hear (and the sense of air and house) and extraordinary. 

By combining a number of driver varieties, every is ready to shine within the realm the place it performs finest. The electrostatic drivers are accountable for ultra-high-frequency sounds. The balanced armatures cowl the mids and highs (with two devoted to every band). The dynamic driver covers the bass. These drivers are every managed with somewhat system referred to as a crossover which splits the frequency band and makes positive every driver solely covers its set of frequencies. This manner, these seven drivers aren’t competing with each other and leaving you with a muddy listening expertise. As a substitute, they’re specialised and orchestrated. Inform that to your single-driver Bose (I child – single drivers might be nice too). 


What’s the purpose? By permitting every driver to specialize, the XENNS UP is ready to ship an impeccably clear and detailed sound. When the sounds hit your ears, you’re not listening to seven totally different drivers. You’re listening to your music, damaged into seven high-resolution items, and performed out as a high-resolution complete. Consider the bounce from 720p to 4K. That is what the XENNS UP accomplishes along with your music, whereas additionally including its personal taste and colour 

Again to the practicalities — to the earphones themselves. These are a boutique product: every shell is hand-painted with a wonderful pink, black, and white design. The XENNS brand is stamped in gold cursive, like a signature. The earpieces themselves are molded in conventional UIEM kind, so ought to match most ears snugly and securely. There are small ports on every to alleviate strain and enhance consolation. Above these are the two-pin ports, that are very comfortable (a bit an excessive amount of, in my view, however not less than they will not fall off). 

The cable is great and options interchangeable ends to match any participant, DAC, or amp you’d prefer to pair it with. It is a thick, rope-like oxygen-free silver that’s terminated in 0.78 pins that connect to every earpiece. The other finish includes a 2.5mm balanced connection (on my pattern), however with adapters for 3.5mm (?”) and 6. 5mm (¼”) and 4.4mm balanced. A cable might sound small, however one of these cable usually sells for $75-100+ by itself. 

Additionally on the field is a collection of silicone ear suggestions and a pleasant fake leather-based carry case. The entire bundle feels very premium and becoming for such a high-end audio product. 

Match and Consolation 

The XENNS Up match my ears effectively. They’re on the bigger facet to accommodate all these drivers however have lengthy sufficient nozzles to suit securely within the ear canal whereas additionally being supported by your outer ear. As all the time, it is essential to seek out the information that suit your ear finest, each for match and sound. 

Regardless of their larger-than-average measurement, they do not really feel heavy or trigger irritation. They don’t seem to be an important match for train, however they are not meant to be. These are earphones made for sitting down and having fun with music and different content material. 

Listening Impressions

Earlier than persevering with, it is essential to do not forget that I am coming from a spot of BA/Dynamic hybrids, single dynamic/BA/planar earphones, and plenty of various kinds of headphones. These are my first EST tribrid, so I can not cross-compare. That stated, everybody has a primary time and that is mine. 

And what a primary time it’s. The XENNS Up are ridiculously good for the kind of music I take heed to and video games I play. These headphones have punch and energy within the low finish and tons of element and air within the mids and highs. Linsoul says this about their tuning:

XENNS UP options an ethereal clean excessive frequency, particularly when play devices and vocals, the detailed adjustments of feelings is so thrilling and transferring. For bass, it’s versatile, highly effective and dynamic. Three frequencies are divided clear however exact, filled with environment and broad soundstage. It may very well be probably the most acceptable IEMs for rock and roll, in style music or vocals.

This is not simply advertising hype. It could be one of many truest descriptions of the sound you may examine a headphone on its product web page. I take heed to a variety of music, every thing from post-hardcore, to ambient chillstep, to Billie Eilish. These earphones are enjoyable, enjoyable, enjoyable. 

On the planet of headphones, there is a chase for neutrality and listening to the music “the way in which the artist meant.” That is nice, however what about the way you prefer to take heed to it? The XENNS Up aren’t about neutrality. As a substitute, they’re about pumping the bass (however not overwhelming you with it) and cranking the element.

The bass is detailed and tight. There’s sufficient of it to fill out songs and create the notion of vibration. The beryllium coating right here actually shines with the pace and management the dynamic driver is ready to ship. It begins and ends precisely when it is speculated to.


Regardless of that low-end energy, the driving force array prevents and bloat or lack of element within the different frequencies. The mid-range does really feel barely stepped again. Vocals aren’t going to be instantly in your ear however will nonetheless be clear, detailed, and candy. 

Guitars dwell within the midrange, and there is an virtually liquid high quality to them. As a guitarist, I hear for texture in the way in which notes ring out. Do energy chords laden with distortion mix collectively or are you able to hear the person notes ringing out? On these, you may hear these particulars. They don’t seem to be etched and maybe not as crisp as some over-ear planars just like the HIFIMAN Ananda, however they’re detailed sufficient that with out that side-by-side A/B comparability, the shift in micro particulars is not one thing most listeners will discover. 

Highs aren’t sharp or sibilant. I admit to worrying about this with such high-frequency-centric drivers driving the “ultra-high-end.” As a substitute, there is a heightened sense of house. Past a sure frequency vary, you cease listening to notes and as a substitute hear a light-weight ethereal sound that provides to the sense of environment. Paired with the pretty large and deep soundstage (which is nice for gaming), this creates an important sense of house and separation that excels past what the vast majority of in-ear headphones are in a position to ship. 


Closing Ideas

The XENNS Up have turn into one in every of my all-time favourite earphones. The sound they’re in a position to ship is nothing wanting excellent, particularly for energetic rock and bass-driven tracks. The tuning and sense of house additionally make them an important match for gaming if you would like to have a single earphone for all your listening. They do not come low-cost, and past a number of hundred {dollars}, diminishing returns set in throughout the audio world. BUT, if you happen to’re climbing the audiophile ladder, these are a uniquely enjoyable hear that left me coming again repeatedly after I ought to have moved onto the following product. They make a powerful case – diminishing returns and all – for what you get whenever you spend additional and why so many individuals are scorching on the chase on this interest. Each every now and then, you discover a gem and that is one. 

The product described on this article was offered by the producer for analysis functions.{hardware}/golden-ears-mangird-xenns-up-three-types-of-drivers-one-earphone-2000123238 | Golden Ears: Mangird XENNS UP: Three Varieties of Drivers, One Earphone


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