Κυριακή 1 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Betron GLD60 hands-free earphones

Although I rarely use hands free it was broken by an  accident .The  left ear has been  damaged after my daughter carelessly broken it with her  hands .Never mind , its quality was  very  bad with very dull sound  .It was  part of the smartphones pack, a cheap 60Eu  2-core model, used 13 months with now nearly defunct WiFi possibly because I used it  quite  close  to the router. I used it  about 1-1.5  meter far though not very sure if that really happens or is just my opinion. I sometimes  use my smartphones  for more than 2 hours instead of my tablet for just checking the mail, the news ,and the chats and posting photos on Instagram.  Sometimes I use the earphone for experimental dictation.

Now back to my smart phone’s  earphone. It is a typical old fashioned ear bud  with mediocre  fidelity and sufficient microphone sound and fidelity enough good for telephonic usage. There are no trebles  but basses are  right. As in result I decided to look for a new model again from Betron my favorite earphone company .

As you may know the B25 model had  very good specifications  (look on the previous post that tough written on may it was posted end of September  due to many reasons ) Betron has a very broad line of in ear products with very low prices via Amazon.

I decided  to look for a model that can also have volume control so that can be used  for any other gadget say mp3 player or radio. Unfortunately the old fashioned way with the variable resistor is now extinct so that I could not have any fine adjustment on my  smarthphone's  volume. Finally I decided to order  the Samsung  version of GLD60 by chance for a price  of 9GBP plus shipping a total of 17Eu.

Shipment was  a very funny thing: The pack was sent registered and therefore  was tracked by Amazon and then by the Greek post. It has been sent on 6th of Sept,  arrived in Greece on 13, passed  twice  the customs, spent 3 days in Thessaloniki and received on 26. The time it arrived in Greece  I have received an email message from the shipping company with the tracking number to check its route . 

Finally on 26 th I took  the small A5  sized parcel  from Amazon. This is the favorite  company of our post office.

Here you will look on several photos of the box and the accessories: 

Later on the house I opened  the parcel . Betron uses a  15x14x2.5 cm  carton cassette to include everything . There  are many things inside :  the  earphones located in between  a foam sponge that  keeps it quite firm    two  earphone  replacements , a landscape  sized pouch , a folded user guide,   a discount carton   and a cable holder. The carton top  has also a  metallic sheet in between the front part  of the foam base and a magnet  inside the  box to keep the  box firm.

The paunch  is quite uncommon   considering all other  punches looked so far especially from mini  Degen radios so far .Instead of a lace they preferred to use a metal foil that I suppose it will keep the earphone set even stiffer.

Earphones are kept quite stiff inside the protective foam on the box. Nice design huh ?Controls are in the front while buds are shown in the rear of the box. Plug is protected by a small plastic cover. As you will see the plug has three zones the added for the microphone sound. Also a flag is added to  show the model type

These are  the spare parts of the set . Two spare sets of ear plastics and  one cable hook .There are two sets on gray color  and only one in black .The gray colored are in two sizes:  medium and small. Unknown why they didn't put a second small sized black set

The earphones have  a nice slim size and are offered with the  medium  sized plastics. The cable uses tigray colored cables in all  its length.

This is the control system  based on three buttons and the mike in the rear shown as a very small hole. The guide shows just a centre button that totally depends to the smartphones'  specifications .

The plug with its   three bands of connection. Stereo plus mike's or  control pass. And the protective plastic case.

This is the cable  separator system made by  possibly aluminum. The whole  logic reminds me some models of A4 tech on middle 00's that use the same logic in their earphone design.A4 tech today is rather  nonexistent here in Greece .

A nice close up of the ear bud .You may  also see the drilled metal.

This was a  short overview of the model. Now on   its  specifications as measured and compared  by myself .

The immediate first test was using my Bolong radio, the   B25 GLD60 earphones with a audio splitter for faster listening I don’t know if this can affect the operatively of the smaortphone ears but this is the only fast way to investigate the efficiency    between various earphones or  headphones without plugging and unplugging them. And also to check simultaneous cross-bud efficiencies. This is a way I do for more than 15 years. As noticed in other  posts in this site this radio has the widest sound among my radios with increased trebles perfect for testing among headsets. 

This   was the burn-on text for  the GLD60.Separate set listening  shown the  60 have little  less volume than B25,  around 1-1.5 db only little less bass and little less trebles. If I can set B25 as  perfect   I can  rate 60 as 4/5.But parallel listening  with two LEFT ear buds  shown the sound being in exactly the middle. This can mean sounds are exactly the same and there is  no difference between the audio responses of  these earbuds. Exactly  the same happened testing then with the two RIGHT ear buds and then reversing  them into my ears!

Next  step was  to use it alone  into my smart hone and test the microphone with a short recording in a special app. Tested in a radio station with good  sounds and into a mp4 that had also good sound and then  tested the control buttons . I was surprised  that the (+) and middle buttons stopped the player while the (-) button didn’t affect the  smart phone! I sent a email message to the company who advised me that the model is compatible with Samsung models and the mode generic version could not possibly offer anything to my smartphone neither the microphone can work (??)

Later same night I continued me tests  with other equipment.

  • First I did some shortwave logs on the ICOM R75 comms receiver and listened to my previously fav radio station RTM Sarawak .The sound is extremely sharp in AM wide and also quite sharp with the narrow  filter very close to the sound of ICOM's internal speaker . This sound annoys me quite much especially mixed with  the local noise caused by various  sources  including DSL flat TV screens  and LED  lamps as example   As in result I stopped listening after 20 minutes  and lowering  the sound with external attenuator  and used again  my20+years m@h40 Sennheiser headphones that are perfect  to  equalize the   receiver's headphone sound .
  • Next test was with  my smartphone. But ...  i was disappointed  that the  sounds between  B25  and 60  were very different , less bassy  less trebly and at least 2db  lower.
  • At next using them in parallel wit the audio splitter to the Q3  player recorder  both  sounded  OK . Q3 is used primarily for recordings from the ICOM receiver but also as mp3 player. 
  • Once  again I used  both of them with the splitter  and both sounded properly with the same audio . Tested in two  online stream programs with mp3 and aac formats.  
  • And finally tested separate having almost the same fidelity. So possibly I can  think that the buds were not properly fitted into my buds though I always try to do.
  • And another day tested  headphones  working properly wit  Samsung smartphone Both vol controls  adjust the volume  while the middle activate  or stop the player.

Please look my previous  posting. Considering a HiFi earphone model B25  relatively the same  bass with  model AKG518  ,higher  audio volume by 2-3 dB and very sharper trebles . As 60  has nearly the same audio we can assure that it follows  the same curve.

Verdict : 60 has  quite good audio fidelity with sharp and bassy sound. At GBP9/Eu10.5 its specifications are  well  above its price. It is now decreased to7 GBP. 

5/5 for this reason (quality  vs. price )
4/5 comparing to B25 


Κυριακή 24 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017

B25 Betron: Very good ear phones!

A bit long ago ,around four  months,   my Sansa in-ears are being very close  to collapse .I ve used them for 12 years . They are  part of an old Sansa 512 MB  mp3 player ,defunct by strong  usage and looong time , that included SD memory socket extension of up to 2GB RAM maximum  . For this reason i decided  to look into a newer performer via Amazon that can reach the quality of my   K512 studio headphones I use in my computer.

I am very satisfied with the fidelity of 512.It as a crystal clear audio with my mp3 collection. A sound technician informed me that most AKG models offer a natural sound. For much time   was searching via the Amazon site with various in-ears or mid sized models with sound close or similar to this AKG model.
Based on my search preferences Amazon sends me nearly everyday recommendation emails with various similar models to what I ve looked. There were a Sennheiser model and also several models from a new (?) British company called Barton. I was  amused that many  Betron models  are top sellers as the RK300 with  around 2800  reviewers  and the  B25 with around 4500 reviewers as of mid May 17 .Quite many don’t you think ?

As jobless I have quite limited budget to make gadget purchases and just keep looking at models that can suit to my money requirements unless I collect some of my   monthly portions to make an 'important' purchase. Some of you I think know my story when I was working in the uni until two-three years ago. It has been posted that time in ipernity.com .I tried then many times to be hired but due to my age and low 'specifications' none can 'buy' me for work. Companies are even decreasing by day due to austerity reasons and high taxing .More than 50000 people have committed suicide in these 8 years of austerity.

Back to the story.  Betron's prices in Amazon are lower comparing to EBay or even much lower to the company’s site. For example the model B25 is offered for 11 GBP (12, 5 Euro) out of 30GBP (36Eu) normal RRP price (?? regular retail price?)  As referred in Amazon. EBay at 15 Eu is nominal price among various sellers .I don’t know if this just an advert trick to promote it via Amazon but I think that the price is good if the model has proper specifications.  Shipping cost is good at 5 GBP (6Eu) via Amazon and quite high at 11.8 Eu via eBay. Amazon's prices surely are lower and lead to a total cost of  GBP16 or 20 Eu which is marginally sufficient  time ,  a little cheaper than  the prices of several Sony in-ear  models in the local market (at ard 25 Eu) Still quite good offer  I think.
B25 has been ordered on April 26th 2017 and was supposed to arrive on May 12 based on Amazon's calculations. I was much surprised to receive it on May 5th just 10 days!

Unfortunately the case   has been dropped immediately after I removed the earphones and by chance it has been jagged by a ..shoe. Anyway I didn't use it except for this photo. There is a nice typical carrying earphone case with some accessories   included. Unplugging from its case is very easy and does not tear the cable. It happened to me many years ago by manufacturer's fault to tear the cable because it was very stiffly hung inside its box base.

The design is impressive. The color is "gun metal" as noticed in the rear of the case that seems as like it is a metal base with a rough jagged plastic part in the middle. This is what I thought. I was wrong! Just put a magnet near that. YOU will observe that the base or something inside is metal and can be dragged easily by a magnet. I had a communication with the company. Betron's contact person advised me that nearly all models use metal base.
The cable has a metallic colored tigray surface over it and a plastic surface across its length. Each bud has its own cable of 1 mm thinness of ca 30 cm length connected via a nice 'metallic' 1 inch splitter, around 90 cm of 1.2 mm cable that leads to a 1.2 cm long 'metallic' base of 3.9 stereo plug. The magnet does not affect these surfaces; it can possibly mean it is aluminum made.
Rate: 5/5 you can feel a much more expensive model from its design at a very modest price. 

The earphones are accompanied with a carrying case an impressive set of 13-14 pads of various sizes with black color and one clip to support the cable over your dress. There are three sizes. The provided over the buds are the medium sized ones. As someone referred in a review on another model (RK300) every size offers a different fidelity  sound the  smaller offering a bit more trebles over the fatter  .I have not tested so far but it is  possible but I do not intend to  check it for now . The buds fit properly in my ear canals.

Ear Fitting

My ear canals are a bit different sized. The left ear canal is s a bit wider than the right. Once I had to change the one pad in my Sansa earphones and put with a fatter so that the bud cannot fall from the ear. 
In contrast to another set I have form 12 years ago (and still operating, from a defunct Sansa mini mp3player)
Prior to that their ear pads fit perfectly to my ear canals, though they are a bit tiring after short time but later the one of them was torn and replaced .Of course it depends on how deep they fit inside the ear canal. However as deeper are they become bassier. Once if move my head across the time of listening their cables giving trickling send. 
These sounds do not happen using the Betron earphones. Betron’s set is a bit annoying to my ears.
rate :4/5

Operation /Sound

The  buds are quite loud as most in ear models, louder than any other earphones for the same volume level.
I used a 1:2  audio splitter to connect both earphones to a mini analog  Bolong radio. This is the one with the best though quite trebly audio in FM band. I checked with it several FM stations for comparison. One station transmits Greek folks and Sunshine FM with ambient music with the clearest audio among the local FM stations.
Parallel using with the Scandisk:  Sansa earphones show near identical volume. Both have very trebly sounds compared to other earphones as like removing Dolby in older cassette players.   Sansa shows quite bassier sound while B25 shows a bit higher top band trebles. Both have very clear sound.
Parallel Comparison with AKG model 512 over  Bolong radio  : Sunshine FM  sounds nearly identical to studio quality  with AKG headphones .Betron's  sound is sharper with nearly little richer and deeper  bass as AKG (only if earphones are deep  inside the canal)  but above middles and high frequencies are quite shaper to annoy my ears . In contrast Sansa earphones show the same with much bass that annoys my ears!
Rate: 4/5 Sansa ca Betron

Noise canceling:

Buds are very simple plastic buds with surely low noise cancellation. For higher cancellation I think the buds should have a spongy surface in between the lips and the base to absorb more noise.
As they are advertised 'noise canceling' I could expect a higher anti-noise design by some technical way. Company just follows the old motto   "in ear models are noise canceling" from the time of the Sansa model. Now after 12 and more years I think that this motto is surely outdated and becomes misleading
I use the phones  in quite low levels , just above the mp3's or radio's  threshold and  still hear my wife’s talks and shouts by a  little lower level ! This can possibly mean I have to raise the volume higher until it covers external noise! 
Rate: 3/5

In result: 

Nearly 12 years after, ethnology seems to change much but sound tech not so much. Sansa was easier to wear though trickling sounds from the cable once you move are annoying your ear. Betron B25 on the other side offers good quality with the same depth as middle grade studio headphones (AKG models) with very high trebles .Their noise cancellation is rather poor comparing to what I expected .I think that the ear buds have to be redesigned for this reason   .
Unfortunately after writing this report my old Sansa in-ears was unexpectedly died. Now B25 is my only in-ear-phone!
Overall: 4/5
Addition  2021
Later these earphones have been archived in the drawer after i bought a few cheap and the Soundmagic E10 (or SM10 below) that is since 1019 my top performer. Together with AKG model  have used them offering more time esp in the nights to listen to good quality music with the Ruizu player a replacement of a 15+ yeas old  Muvi 18 which memory was suddenly damaged

In short  SM10 is my standard audio performer with nearly linear sound . 
I was to give the B25 to my daughter earlier this year (April 21) but finally after retesting that  once again preferred to keep that for myself . The reason is shown below.
Both earphones have been tested together on Summer 2021. SM10 has linear and very board spectrum while the B25 has a U curve with a limited span . By adding T400 ultra wide tips the sound is even bassier that mitigates its sibilance to a better listening.
Finally B25 under this setup can be used well with radio and audio gear that needs some treble enhancement
There are two mini problems: the cable nearby the one earphone has been cut  in the silicone part.I  m unsure if in a sudden it was cut by my 12 yo daughters use . Even using the wide tips the earphones are easily dropped out of the ear Do i need to replace them with sponge ie Comply type for better fitting?

Rating : audio 3.5/5 B25 vs SM10 , usage 3/5