Current testing methodology is v1.2
March 24, 2022
Price not available
Lafitear is a brand that’s known to manufacture affordable IEMs with decent quality, which is why I decided to get the Lafitear LF1. It costs less than $10 but it could be cheaper depending on where you get them.
Let’s see how it performs in this detailed review.
Impressive sound despite the subpar build
The Lafitear LF1 is a single dynamic driver IEM that has a U-shaped sound signature, providing a warm and neutral tone. Its overall sound is entertaining which I found very surprising as I rarely come across budget IEMs with this sound signature – which it does excellently.
The only problem I have with this IEM is its cheap build as the shell feels plastic-y. I also had issues with fit and comfort because it has a unique shape and extruded flaps on its shell that seem to not fit most ears.
If you can overcome the fact that they can’t sit on your ears perfectly, the Lafitear LF1 is a solid budget-level option for an IEM.
- Driver: 10mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm straight plug/ 0.78 mm 2-pin cable
- Frequency: 20-20000Hz
- Impedance: 20Ω
- Sensitivity: 115±3db
What’s in the Box?
- Lafitear LF1 earphones
- 2-pin detachable cable
- 3 pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
Stuff I like
- Natural tonality
- Accurate instrument presentation
- Good audio separation and layering
- Mids aren’t too recessed
Stuff I like less
- Sub-bass lacks resonance
- Cheap shell quality
The Lafitear LF1’s packaging differs slightly from the usual packaging that you’d see on similarly-priced sets. One thing to notice is that it has a giant sleeve box and colorful graphics from front to back.
The presentation didn’t stand out though as it was quite simple.
The LF1’s design is another step out of the norm with its oval shape and grooves on its resin shell. This design is unique but it wasn’t executed that well since they’re not as pleasing to look at compared to how they appeared in the photos online.
In terms of build, the Lafitear LF1 feels relatively cheap. The material used for the shell appears to be thin, so they’re lightweight, but this makes me doubt their durability in the long run. I feel like I have to be careful to avoid breaking them.
On the other hand, the included cable is quite impressive and for a stock cable, they look pretty good. The cable is silver-plated, which has become a standard nowadays, and it looks and feels well-built overall.
The ear tips are also impressive as they’re softer in the ears and they seem to be of decent quality.
Overall, it’s disappointing that the IEMs themselves are of poor quality while the accessories are quite good. I hope LAFITEAR improves the build of the LF1’s shell.
Fit and Comfort
With its resin shell construction, the Lafitear LF1 is light to wear but it feels too cheap that I find it concerning. Additionally, the shell’s shape and size aren’t very common, which added to the fit problems that I have with this IEM.
Because of its shape, it can get quite uncomfortable to wear. The design was made to have some ergonomic grooves or flaps but it didn’t achieve the wearing comfort that it was intended to have. I also have some problems with how it sits in the ear.
Meanwhile, the ear tips are soft and of good quality. They provided a decent seal and they were comfortable to wear.
In terms of sound quality, the Lafitear LF1 has an overall warm tonality and presentation, with a sub-bass that’s quite prominent and a midrange that’s not overly recessed. It features a U-shaped sound signature, known for having a more present midrange compared to the V-shaped signature.
I enjoyed listening to laidback tracks with the LF1, as its colored presentation works best with them.
The bass of the Lafitear LF1 is phenomenal for its price, with minimal flaws worth.
There’s a good balance between the mid-bass and the sub-bass presentation. I expected a quicker and tighter response but the bass is slightly slower with its attack and release, which was one of my nitpicks.
Another thing to note is that the sub-bass has enough rumble but lacks depth or resonance, which leaves me wanting more.
Overall the bass has a colored rather than a neutral tonality. I think this works well with what it wants to achieve, which is an entertaining sound without sounding too dry or bland.
The U-shaped sound signature of the Lafitear LF1 didn’t push the vocals too far back, which helps maintain their overall body and clarity. This also provides a good note weight rather than a thin presentation.
This gave the vocals more character and detail and a warm presentation, which worked well with both male and female vocals.
The mids also showcased good layering and sound separation with a neutral tonality, making instruments and vocals sound articulate and natural in presentation. There are times when they can get overpowered but most of the time, there’s a good balance.
The treble of the Lafitear LF1 is also excellent, having this characteristic of a laidback tuning with a good amount of sparkle to add spice to the mix.
Although the detail retrieval is average, the treble did great in revealing micro details in the mix, although they’re highlighted as much compared to other IEMs. Still, I like the laid-back treble presentation on the LF1, as it’s not harsh or rolled off.
I’ve tested the Lafitear LF1 on different genres of music to get a proper understanding of how they sound and below are my findings.
- Metal / Rock – The percussions had a decent note weight and an articulate tonality. The instruments, such as the guitars, presented a natural tone and timbre. The vocals were pushed back but not recessed in the mix. They still stood out from the chaos of the mix, which was a pretty impressive performance of the LF1 as similarly-priced IEM fail to do this on busy tracks. Tracks used: I Don’t Love You (My Chemical Romance), All The Small Things (Blink 182), Ignorance (Paramore), Cold (Korn), Cliffs of Dover (Eric Johnson)
- Pop – The vocals sounded good, while the layering and sound separation were above average. The instruments and percussions fought for space in the mix, which muddied their performance. They had a neutral tonality and a natural timbre, and the soundstage was relatively decent. Tracks used: Snooze (SZA), As It Was (Harry Styles), Yours (Maye)
- Hip-hop – On bass-heavy hip-hop tracks, the sub-bass had ample rumble and impactful mid-bass slams that worked well with the test tracks. The bass had a slightly slower attack and decay than I expected. The vocals and instruments sometimes clashed with the bass, but they weren’t as recessed in the mix as with V-shaped IEMs. Tracks used: LOVE. (Kendrick Lamar, Zacari), sdp interlude (Travis Scott), I Wonder (Kanye West), Superhero (Metro Boomin & Future)
- R&B / Soul – The vocals weren’t presented as forward in the mix, which is reasonable for a U-shaped sound signature. Still, they sounded great and neutral in tonality. The Lafitear LF1 maintained a well-balanced tonality to produce an entertaining sound. No harsh frequencies were present on the treble, plus it sounded laidback and not too aggressive. Tracks used: LA FAMA (Rosalia, The Weeknd), Blessed (Daniel Ceasar), Moonlight (Kali Uchis), Traingazing (Sam Wills ft. Honey Mooncie), Always (Daniel Ceasar)
The Lafitear LF1 nails the essence of the U-shaped sound signature as it presents a good body and character to the sound quality. The frequencies showed decent performance and are tough to beat for the price.
The accessories are pretty basic but of decent quality.
The build was unimpressive as it feels cheap but the main problem is the shell’s shape and design. The grooves on the shell can get quite uncomfortable when worn for extended periods. This was a bummer as I loved using the LF1 because of its sound.
The Lafitear LF1 is a budget IEM that I’d recommend for its sound quality but not for its build and wearing comfort. If Lafitear improves its design to make it more comfortable, then it’d be an excellent pair.
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.
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.