DDHiFi E2020B JANUS 2 Review

You may be familiar with DD HiFi from their large assortment of portable DACs, cables, and other audiophile accessories. Their products are inexpensive compared to most brands selling hi-fi peripherals, aiming to improve sound quality for a broader variety of consumers who are still attached to using headphone jacks. Now, DDHiFi has released its first, full-fledged IEM, the E2020B JANUS. It’s an earphone with a price in line with their neck of the woods. The JANUS features dual sockets, which DDHiFi has been featuring heavily in their marketing. For $199, does the JANUS make a strong impression for their first IEM?

DDHiFi contents

What You Get

  • ddHiFi Janus2
  • MMCX Cable
  • Silver carrying case
  • Silicone tips (3 pairs for treble, 3 pairs for bass)
  • 10 MMCX hole dust covers 

ddHiFi in hands

Look and Feel

For a change, DDHiFi provides an IEM that has a more traditional style. You won’t find any ear loops on the JANUS, or any teardrop-shaped shells to go along with the outline of your ear. Here you get a pod-shaped housing with a clear body melded with a silver-mirrored spout. DDHiFi blends a simple look with a more familiar aesthetic finish you’d see on audiophile IEMs. I don’t know if I’ve just gotten used to ear loops, or the shape most earphones take now but wearing a more traditional earbud took some readjustment.

The lip of the nozzle is small, but the ear tips fit easily and do most of the legwork adding support to the housing while in the ear. There were a few instances where I needed to push the earphones back into my ear, as I thought they were getting loose. However, this sensation went away after many more houses of listening. Overall I think this is a successful fit, but the JANUS might take some breaking in.

DDHiFi Spout

Design 

In addition to using a single dynamic driver, the JANUS also presents a dual-socket system. With it, you’re able to interchange between MMCX and 2-pin cable connectors. Although its stock cable is MMCX, you can replace it with a 2-pin connector as well, making the JANUS a lot more customizable. Inside of the JANUS are also dual cavities that use six tuning papers inside of air pits to provide a much more unique and natural sound signature.

DDHiFi Pair

Soundstage

Going into the JANUS for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect of its sound quality. Although they’ve supplied fine audiophile accessories in the past, transitioning that quality to an IEM can be quite the challenge. Thankfully, the JANUS is extremely competent, especially in its soundstage. With it you get a nice natural output which displays the image with an uncompromised clarity. The stereo image is expanded with some surprising separation, bringing a level of airiness to the space between sound elements. It’s not a particularly deep soundstage, but the separation functions to bring the layers out just enough to immerse you in the earphones’ spatial imaging.  

Low End

You might be left a little unsatisfied with this bass, but it possesses some great detail to enjoy. It’s best qualities reside in just how evenly balanced the timbre is.  While the lows exhibit some good punch and accentuation, the tonality is more flat, like the frequencies exist on a similar plain. The subbass gets some light presence, which helps lift the texture of the sound a bit, but still appears neutral most of the time. How the low frequencies function, make the low play their role well in the overall sound signature.

Mids

Bits of emphasis and texture are better communicated in the midrange. The details here are much richer in comparison to the lows, but doesn’t sound too meaty or broad. In effect you get a much more natural sense of texture, while experiencing a bulk of coloration mostly coming from the upper mids. Electric guitars delivered an extra amount of crunch, while vocals received some impressive fullness, featuring proper tails and accentuation. 

Highs

The JANUS has some slight brightness, but it’s used sparingly across the frequency spectrum, only being used to spice up the sound signature. There are definitely smooth qualities to the treble, but the frequencies are never recessed in response. You end up getting a timbre that ends up sounding very digestible throughout a variety of genres. It has more in common with the lows, but with much more liveliness to its tone. 

Summary

As an affordable IEM option, the JANUS has a solid sound. It provides a balanced timbre with sparks of texture and coloration spread across the frequency spectrum. There’s some interesting design going on within its housing that I haven’t seen attempted before, especially for this price. If you can get past its more traditional earpod design, there’s some great sounds to be heard, at at quite a value.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Rich midrange detail
  • Clear textured treble
  • Balanced bass
  • Unique design
  • Great separation
  • Wide soundstage

Cons:

  • Fit takes some time getting used to

The DDHiFi E2020B JANUS 2 is available from Linsoul and the E2020A is available at Audio 46.

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