Alpha & Delta D2

REVIEWALPHA & DELTA (A&D) D2

 






Product linkD2, D2M  

Specifications:

  • Driver unit: 10mm dynamic driver 
  • Impedance: 16 ohm 
  • Rated power: 1mW
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz- 20 Khz
  • Sensitivity: 95 +/- db/ mW 
  • Cord Length: 1.2m 
  • Plug: 3.5 mm 




Price:

D2: SGD 35
D2M: SGD 40



Accessories:

  • 6 pairs of silicone tips in two styles (S/M/L)
  •  2 pairs of foam tips
  • 1 shirt clip
  •   Case
  •   Clip 



Design & Build Quality:

As a first sport model, the A&D D2 takes a over-ear fit design in an all-black color theme. The shells are all plastic with a very smooth surface and seem thick enough to handle some serious workout or long running sessions, featuring a IPX-4 sweat resistant material. The nozzle length is good for the over-ear fit, though the width is a bit more narrow than standard. The strain relief on the shells is fairly good and flexible, though not the toughest I’ve seen for sport use. The D2 is advertised as having “flexible memory wire” but in reality there’s no ‘wire’ or ‘memory’ there; it’s very flexible, though. The upper cable part is very soft, easy to handle and well behaved, which is quite surprising for a low budget earphone. On the other hand, the lower part is not as flexible and carries a strong memory effect and can be a bit springy at times. Apart from that, the whole cable, y-split and (angled) plug are all very sturdy and well relieved. Overall, the build quality on the D2 is great and the design well thought.

 



Fit, Comfort & Isolation:

The shape is quite spherical with zero sharp edges and the addition of the very smooth surface makes the D2 a very comfortable IEM, not for just exercise use but as a daily earphone. The over-ear fit is the same as most similar shaped IEMs as I didn’t find any issue with it; it may still need some tip rolling for some, or even finding the best tip position on the nozzle length. I preferred the shorter red core tips, but also used Sony hybrid and SpinFit which provided a slightly better/easier fit and seal. Isolation is really good and can use it for noise environments without raising the volume. If anything, there’s some driver flex when adjusting the earpieces, but nothing really annoying. Foam tips can fix this as well.




Sound:

The D2 offers the usual consumer friendly sound with a powerful, deep and full bodied bass response. There's plenty of strong and dominant mid bass with a well extended sub-bass, which is quite good for the IEM low price. It may get loose a bit and out of control on heavy bass or more complex tracks, but nevertheless, the low of the D2 is quite impressive.
Finding the right tips is important on the D2, but not too critical; rather, a proper burn-in has a stronger effect. At first, the powerful bass will be too intrusive and overwhelming; personally, I found the silicone red core tips to have the best balance with the D2 and give place for a more clear midrange. Sony hybrid and SpinFit tips also worked well, but the sound was too thick and mid-bassy with the Sony or too V-shaped with the SpinFit.

The midrange of the D2 follows the slightly v-shaped signature formula. With the so powerful low-end the mid frequencies are a bit recessed, taking a step back on the whole presentation. Even though, it's more like the bass overshadows the mids, rather than being distant by nature; meaning that on less bass-heavy genres or with some quick EQ, the midrange will sound cleaner and more neutral. On their own, thanks to the strong bass effect, the mids are warm and full, but not too thick to sound too congested. While lower mids are more affected and distant, the upper part sounds clearer, contributing for a better detail retrieval. Instruments' texture, decay and separation are rather good for the price, and while vocals carry a good level of detail, they are a bit dry; wouldn't be the best pick for vocal focused genres.

The treble is similarly well balanced with the midrange, and maybe just a half or quarter step more forward as to give a more lively sound effect, but still remains on the smooth and laid-back side of things. The extension is surprisingly good, more than could be expected for an earphone at this low budget price range. There's also no hint of sibilance or harshness, just a hidden sense of grain, but nothing I could care about.
The presentation is quite competent, not too spacious of course, but manages to show a wide stage effect. The detail is surprisingly very good, though it only starts to show up after a long burn-in and it’s also much easier to notice at higher volumes. The deep lower end also helps to give a fair sense of depth and detailed background, but the strong mid-bass bloat might still affect the overall resolution; more than acceptable for the $25~30 price, and rivaling more expensive sets.

Value:

At first, the D2 didn’t get to impress too much. It sounded like a nice option for a bass driven sound and meant for just sport use. But, after giving it some more listening and a proper burn-in, I must say that LMUE had released a very impressive product for a so low price, that sometimes make you wonder if there’s any need for so expensive audio gears. Sure, the powerful bass is always present and won’t be for everyone, but I find it well done despite not being a basshead, and the D2 manages to keep a fairly good overall balance. In addition, the design is great with its friendly over-ear and comfortable fit and the isolation level is truly good (which is rarely found in this price bracket). The build quality is another advantage on the D2 and well suited for rainy days. Taken either as a whole package or for sound alone, the A&D D2 is one of the best value IEM available I’d recommend at the moment for those looking a for strong bass and yet a comfortable sound and design all along.