Can’t find the white adapter thingy for your iPhone? Check your Xanax drawer or the container labeled, “Misc. Crap.” Sometimes it’s hard being an iPhone user with all the proprietary nonsense imposed on us. And don’t quote me, but I’ve heard the latest iPhone doesn’t even come with a 3.5mm adapter. So, I’m staying away from Apple on principle, and finding better alternatives to the earbuds they sell. Strauss & Wagner offers buds with a lightning connector and superior isolation to the Apple EarPods. But do they sound any good? Let’s look into it in this Strauss & Wagner SI201 Earphones Review.
Strauss & Wagner SI201 Earphones Review
IN the BOX
If you’re used to your Apple buds, you’ll probably appreciate the fit on the SI201; it does a much better job at isolating sound. I would even say that it cuts out more outside noise than many of the noise-cancelling over-ear headphones out there. It’s also a lot more comfortable to wear than the EarPods. And with three different sized silicone eartips to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a secure seal.
The earphone shells have a simple aluminum design and are small in size. I dig the minimalist look, and it’s a no frills build. But the MFi certified lightning connector looks well insulated and should withstand quite a bit of use. If all else fails, Strauss&Wagner offers a 1-year warranty. So, we’ll let them worry about durability.
The cable comes with a mic and remote that allows you to play/pause, skip and answer calls. Call clarity is good, and the microphone doesn’t let in too much ambient sound.
The SI201 is also pretty easy to drive, and even those who listen at dangerously loud levels should get enough volume from them. The frequency range is a standard 20Hz-20kHz, but we’ll see how that translates into sound below.
A fat and forward leaning bass gives tons of oomph to pop and funk music and plenty warmth to big rock tracks. There’s also some nice sub-bass response, making it suitable for hip-hop as well. But despite its thickness and depth, acoustic instruments, like double basses, still retain a natural timbre and tonality for this price point. Still, classical fans may opt for a more neutral low-end with more detail. So, although they present a relatively versatile sound signature, the low end is most ideal for modern genres.
You’ll find a well-balanced midrange. And the bass usually avoids overpowering the low mids. The upper mids aren’t overemphasized either, so you won’t experience any harshness in this range. Rather, you’ll get a relatively warm and full-bodied when listening to big rock and pop-rock tracks. In terms of clarity, you’ll get a decent amount of definition for the price, especially in the upper mids. Guitar notes are well-delineated, and there’s a slightly “metallic” feel that lends itself well to acoustic steel strings and percussion. And in this respect, the sound profile reminds me a lot of an RHA earphone at this price point.
You can expect crisp sounding percussion in this range, which gives plenty of snap to pop and funk tracks. Transparency isn’t bad either, though you can expect more smoothness than texture when listening to string solos. And although there’s some nice sparkle here, the highs are generally forgiving on the ears; you may hear slight piercing in the highest registers, but as long as you stay away from Miles Davis, you should be fine.
Even though the soundstage isn’t particularly vast, the SI201 presents an impressive amount of dimension for the price. The sense of height stood out more than depth, making instrument placement on the vertical axis feel way above my head. So, although you can’t call it a genuinely holographic experience, the soundstage does add some 3D-ness to the track.
If you’re looking for no-nonsense, everyday earbuds with a lightning connection and more effective sound isolation than the Apple earphones, the SI201 is a fun choice. Ample bass, crispy highs and dynamic vocals make the SI201 perfect for all modern genres. And Bob Dylan sounds pretty good too.
You can find these sound isolating buds for the best price here: