First, I’d like to thank eBay seller little_yy219 for the review sample.
Up for review today is the MC5, a new earbud from Dasetn, a smaller name in the world of earbuds but one that’s well known to earbud fans, having refurbished and modified earbuds from Sennheiser and Yuin, among others, before releasing their own products, the newest of which I have here. So, does the MC5 measure up? Read on to find out.
Accessories: The MC5 comes with four sets of foam ear cushions, two pairs of standard foam ear cushions and two pairs of foam cushions with a hole in the middle (which I call donut foams) and a fish-shaped cable winder.
Design and Build Quality: Featuring a somewhat generic translucent plastic housing design (that’s awfully reminiscent of the Sennheiser MX-400), the MC5’s design is simple but, thanks to the distinctive red cable, quite overstated. It stands out from the crowd of white Apple Earbuds.
Comfort: With the standard foams, the MC5 sits comfortably in the ear but, at least in my case, didn’t seem particularly snug or stable. But, your mileage may vary and, of course, this is something pretty much every earbud suffers from so it’s not at all unique to the MC5.
Listening impressions are based on the MC5 with donut foams.
Upon listening to the MC5 for the first time, the first word that jumped into my mind is “lush” and several hours’ worth of listening later, that word hasn’t left my mind. Another word that keeps coming to mind is “full”, sometimes followed by the word “rich”. It’s an enjoyable sound that’s defined by a forward midrange that puts vocals and stringed instruments front and center.
Bass notes are soft in impact but not lacking in detail and definition. Bass hits with surprising authority and presence given the lack of an acoustic seal but as with just about every earbud I’ve ever tried, the bass is definitely heard more than it’s felt. Still, low end extension is decent and the low end does have good body.
The midrange, as I’ve said, is quite full and rich with a warm tone High end detail is good with solid reach up to the top of the treble range but more subdued and relaxed than the midrange. Personally, I didn’t mind the lack of treble accenting but treble-heads might want to take note. The detail is there, but the presentation is definitely laid back.
The whole of the sound signature is surprisingly forward and intimate. The soundstage is nicely deep with good spacing and air between them. The presentation reminds me a bit of Apple’s Ear Pods, a decent enough earphone for casual listening but not on the MC5’s technical level.
But (there’s always a but), the sound’s characteristic richness may also be its biggest flaw. At times, the MC5 can sound rather…opaque. It reminds me a bit of the PAA-1 Pro, a competent but far from exemplary earbud, but the MC5 is less wooly in comparison. If you’re into a thick, rich sound, the MC5 is a good choice, but if you want something more open and airy, there are better choices.
At around $16, the Dasetn MC5 is a good deal for a detailed, mid-forward and involving earbud. Personally, earbuds aren’t really my thing but they’re definitely useful around the office, for example, where I need to be able to hear my colleagues at a moment’s notice and the passive isolation provided by IEMs is just too much. And for less than $20, the MC5 is a good performer that easily outstrips Apple’s more expensive Earpods and sounds better than I would’ve expected, given the price.