Strauss&Wagner EM205 Review
An everyday listening companion
Pros: – Warm and fun sounding
– Good bass extension
– Comfortable and discreet fit
– Tiny and lightweight
– Excellent microphone
– Three button remote control
– Phone friendly, can play loud and clear
– Carrying pouch
Cons: – Not an audiophiles dream
– Tuning and technicalities are only suitable for casual listening
– Remote control not so user friendly
– Thin and microphonic cable
– Limited selection of ear tips
The review sample was kindly provided by Audio46 free of charge after I was selected to participate in the Strauss and Wagner EM205 review tour.
The sample was shipped July 25th and due to the hilarious Greek postal service it arrived on October 10th.
Yes this is correct and I am not joking at all so after all this huge delays here I am presenting you my review.
The retail price is $39.96 and you can purchase it from Audio46.
Brief description of the product
The EM205 is an earphone with a standard 3.5mm connection, a microphone and volume remote control for music and calls.
They feature a 9mm dynamic driver, standard 3.5mm plug for use with desktop and mobile devices plus a three-button remote with volume and playback adjustment, as well as a microphone for calls and voice commands.
The integrated microphone allows for clearer audio quality thanks to a sensitivity of -43 dB.
Build quality and cable
The EM205 is very small and lightweight, suitable for everyday carry since it will fit literally everywhere.
Build quality is very good with aluminum made housings but the cable is quite thin although there are strain reliefs in all connection points to protect it from bending.
The cable doesn’t get tangled very easily, it has microphonic noise and while everything was just fine during my testing time, I wouldn’t swear for the longevity of the cable.
Fit and isolation
Fit is very comfortable and discreet while sound isolation is pretty good and gets the job done in noisy environments.
They EM205 stay in place so they can be used for active sports but mind you that there is no official sweat or water proof rating.
The package includes three sizes of silicone ear tips for personalized comfort and a small carry pouch.
Microphone and remote control
The microphone call quality is just excellent and the other part can hear you loudly and clearly.
The three button remote control is a mixed bag because while you can adjust the volume with the two dedicated buttons, everything else must be done with the central button and a combination of clicks and presses which is not practical at all.
I am attaching a photo with all the available actions in order to have a clearer picture of what is happening.
The EM205 with an impedance of 32Ω and a sensitivity of 108dB is specially designed for playing quite loud from ordinary mobile phones or laptops while not picking up internal noise.
My advice is that unless you have something specifically designed for audio then you should definitely use some kind of a tiny USB DAC adapter like I did with the ddHiFi TC35B and Periodic Audio Rhodium to improve the overall experience because the EM205 surely scales up to this point.
Sound quality is good for casual listening and you are not going to miss a lot as long as you accept that this is not an audiophile’s dream.
The iem is tuned for providing fun during traveling, working, commuting or any other activities that doesn’t call for the listeners full attention, so they have boosted bass and treble to compensate for the noisy environments.
It is a “V” shaped tuning with good sub bass extension (at least for the size), some full bodied and punchy bass that is quite clear, controlled and although it doesn’t avoid bleeding into the mids it is not overbearing the rest of the frequencies as some cheap bass-head iems do.
Mid region, although recessed and not too clear, is still defined and engaging with a darker, warmer tilt to it, as for the treble while accentuated it never becomes harsh or fatiguing.
There is enough sparkle and energy, so the overall presentation is not dull or slow but it lacks in extension and body as for detail it is present to a fair amount.
Soundstage is very decent, with a good center image and nicely arranged soundscape from the left to the right without blind spots and sufficient separation so as not to sound overly congested.
At the end
The Strauss and Wagner EM205 is a fun sounding, comfortable, phone friendly, lightweight and well built iem with a modest asking price, suitable for becoming your everyday listening companion.
Copyright – Laskis Petros 2021