Current testing methodology is v1.2
January 9, 2019
3.58 x 3.19 x 0.94 in
If you’ve been a regular at this website, then you’d know that this Chi-Fi brand has been known to create “pretty okay” earphones at ultra-budget prices. Let’s see how this one does.
FAAEAL Iris 2.0
A good everyday carry at $10, especially when you get them for cheaper
The FAAEAL Iris 2.0 features a good midrange and treble performance as well as decent technicalities. However, the low end is missing which is a bummer since everything else is done really well for the price.
- Driver: 15.4 PET Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 106dB/mw
What’s in the Box?
- FAAEAL Iris 2.0 earphones
- 4 pairs of cloth covers
- User manual
Stuff I like
- Very affordable
- Natural vocal timbre and crispy transient response
- Decent technicalities and good soundstage width and depth
- Extended treble region
- Good cable material
Stuff I like less
- Low-end presence is weak
Upon unboxing the FAAEAL Iris 2.0, I was greeted with the same MX500 mold. I was expecting yet another clone of every other budget flathead’s build but the cable was thankfully better.
Its cable is noticeably an improvement compared to most flatheads in this price range. However, it isn’t anything new as other brands have also been pairing their flatheads with the same caliber of cables.
It would’ve been nice if these earphones sported a detachable MMCX termination but, alas, the cable is soldered to the flathead units yet again.
Sound-wise they’re pretty good overall. I tried giving it the stress test with some rock and alternative indie tracks but instead of flailing around and messing up, they put on a show.
What I’m sensing though is a rather uninvolving low end. The signature isn’t far off from other budget flatheads I’ve tried but the price is competitive especially when you get them cheaper.
The build quality on the FAAEL Iris 2.0 is okay. As I’ve said, the shells are that of a familiar mold, but the cable is a braided copper twined in a rather rigid knot.
As far as finish on the shells go, I find that I gravitate towards painted shells more than translucent ones. The color I went with was the sky blue variant, which looks nice but far too similar to other flatheads that go this route.
All in all, I like that for the price, you get a better cable than most plus you get a mic and a volume rocker. In sum, if I had to give the build a grade, I’d be hovering around the middle or slightly above, which is good considering its price.
Fit and Comfort
With the risk of repeating myself too many times regarding flathead ergonomics, flathead earphones won’t really nail this section of the review.
Although I find the fit problematic, the FAAEAL Iris 2.0 isn’t too uncomfortable. I do find that the positioning is sensitive and the sound can vary depending on how the earphones sit on your ear.
The seal isn’t going to be a hundred as the form factor won’t really allow that but if you start to play music, noise is going to be somewhat negligible. For the most part, just like any other flathead, they’re manageable.
Let’s get down to the details. Let’s try to pick apart the sound here.
The bass is going to be the weakest link here. With budget flatheads, I kind of go into testing them with this in mind.
With the FAAEAL Iris 2.0, I’m not too disappointed with the complete lack of sub-bass but I’m bothered by the mid-bass. There’s no mid-bass impact so genres like EDM are automatically out of the window. It’s not as bad with vocal-centric genres but even a little low-end goes a long way for anything.
As much as I want to elaborate further, I run the risk of completely throwing shade on these earphones’ bass region – which I won’t indulge in.
So for the sake of burying the hatchet, I’ll end it with “You’ll either love it or hate it”. If you want clarity, well you got a lot of it at the expense of the bass. If, for any reason, you can’t have zero bass at all, then you shouldn’t go any further and just skip the Iris 2.0.
The midrange of the FAAEAL Iris 2.0, for the most part, performs well.
My biggest nitpick would be on the clarity of the notes themselves. I find the vocals to sound a little slurred out on lower volumes. This improves with more volume but, in any case, I still find the texture to be a little lacking.
The lower mids could also be better and the absence of any coloration from the low end is definitely not helping. The note weight is slightly lighter but not anemic. Vocal projection is moderate and I find that they get level with my preferences on more medium audio levels.
The upper mids, on the other hand, are done really well. The instrumentation is very well rendered and presented. Strings, percussions, and synths all have good timbre characteristics distinguishing themselves apart from each other easily. Upper vocal harmonics, as well as higher range female voices, sound natural.
I have no qualms with this midrange apart from wanting more lower midrange oomph and warmth as well as more note texture overall.
The upper end of my ears is on point. The transients sound crisp and unhindered. Splash and brightness are apparent, making cymbal hits and high hats resound naturally as they should. Airiness is also present, which is always welcomed in my books.
All in all, there’s no harshness, let alone sibilance, on the top end of things. In this regard, the FAAEAL Iris 2.0 nails it.
In terms of technicalities, at best, they’re average. Everything with the FAAEAL Iris 2.0 is done to a degree of capability. For what these earphones are worth, I can say that their technicalities are decent.
Despite their inherent faults and the lack of any bass, the midrange and the treble perform really well. The FAAEAL Iris 2.0 is far from being the most impressive pair of budget flatheads but for the price, they can be really solid road companions.
Gavin is a college student who has a lot going on. From collecting IEMs and modding mechanical keyboards, to different hobbies like digital drawing, music mastering and cooking. It is safe to say he is a complete multi-faceted geek (and he's kinda cool too)
This post was last updated on 2023-12-03 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.