Most of us have never heard about audbos, originated in china, audbos is really new in the market, make its entry last year when Magaosi split up due to some conflict between them, giving the audbos owner an opening to come up with their own line of earphones. They already have some earphones under their inventory. They have a Magaosi K3 clone with 2BA and one DD, there is a single BA earphone too (review coming soon of this single BA too).
What I have here with me is their flagship audbos P4, has 4 BA drivers with a 3 way cross over. One BA for lower frequencies (Knowles 22955), 2 midrange BA (propeietary db-K3), 1 high frequency BA (Bellsing 29689). Priced at around 780 myr or around $200, comes in clear Blue and clear White color only.
It doesn’t face much competition for what it houses inside but within this price range there is Fiio F9 pro, TFZ king pro and even the UE900s with its reduced price should give this a tough time, but will they?
I will compare this with the UE900s, 64audio U3 and TFZ king pro.
I would like to thank Merry from audbos and Yeoh Loo Zheng Wei (Vincent) from Hill audio for this sample unit.
Buy yours from here:-
Some of you might know me, I have more than 80 reviews here in head-fi. I admire balanced sounding earphones without much emphasis on bass and specially mid-bass, and if it has mid bass, decay has to be snappy. Sub-bass is welcome.
I have been called a mid-head, was ridiculed for it, but man, for me all the magic happens here. For some mids are not a big deal, they don’t listen to much vocals but I am more of a person who likes a good balance between vocals and instruments.
I like my highs with good amount of spark and energy, its better if it has good extension. An early roll off is a no no. But then the price of the earphone comes into play. One can’t ask an sub $50 earphone to have fantastic extension and that is understandable. You get what you pay for.
I listen to all kind of music, specially soft, alt and pop-rock, some pop (no K-pop, sorry) with good vocals and instruments, I don’t care about the artist, he should make some sense with his words and should not be a bit too cheesy.
ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING:-
My review unit came without the retail box but came with all the accessories. The faux leather case looks fantastic and has plenty room to store the earphone comfortably. There are 4 pairs of rubber tips in 3 sizes and 3 pair of foam tips S/M/L sizes. There is no cable clip or cable guides ( which people rarely use any way).
BUILD, FIT AND CABLES:-
P4’s build is totally plastic, nothing fancy here at all. The back plate is fused into the main body. Now the transparent shell means the P4 looks gorgeous. Even though the build is all plastic, it doesn’t feels weak or feeble.
The plastic build helps with weight too, where the TFZ series 4 feels heavier with smaller form factor, the P4 is lite even with its bigger size.
With its more ergonomic wing like design, it sits nicely in the ear. One of the most comfortable large sized earphones I have ever experienced.
The stock cable is one of the better ones you will find in the market, its slightly on the stiffer side, not bouncy thanks to its plastic coating and is built to last for years while looking premium too. Let it be the straight 3.5mm jack or the transparent mmcx connector everything looks good. You can obviously use upgrade balanced cables just like me as I think this stock 3.5mm cable doesn’t do much justice to the potential of this highly capable earphone.
COMFORT AND SEAL :-
P4 is one of the most comfortable earphones I have ever came across, it doesn’t get uneasy even after elongated period of listening. It doesn’t fall off either thanks to its slightly deeper into the ear design.
The P4 has better than average seal with stock tips, not to worry about unnecessary noise interrupting your pleasant sessions.
SOUND QUALITY:- (with SGaudiohive 2.5mm balanced pure copper cable)
I find the audBos P4 to be one of the most engaging earphones under $200, I haven’t come across an earphone which can beat this with its balance and accurate tuning, it doesn’t forget about bass either.
With its slightly warm and brighter signature, I dare to say that ” come beat it for under $200″. I just don’t see an earphone with this much balance, details and clarity in this price range.
It won’t please those who like thumping, dominating, impactful and pounding bass, if you can live with bass slightly bigger than the UE900s, you will love this.
I am using stock single flange rubber tips for this review (And SGaudiohive pure copper cables). And using my Plenue R for this review. (only high-res flac).
(P.S:- I would suggest you to get a balanced cable too, the stock cable lacks bass impact and details)
To make one thing clear, It’s not flat, with the stock cable too you won’t feel that its dead flat like the ER-4p or somewhat flatter the EU900s. It packs a punch, if not big enough to knock a bass head out the P4 has enough bass to make its presence felt with good amount of impact and body, body which is nicely rounded and aptly full when compared with similarly equipped BA based earphones in its price. It moves good amount of air too and the impact is on the softer side.
Now keep no doubts that bass is not the forte of the P4, its respectable at it with class leading amount of details and clarity. The amount of details it has is hard to beat, helped by texture, accuracy and fantastic decay, which is neither unnecessarily fast nor lazy to fade off.
It doesn’t have the sub-bass rumble of the King pro but has good presence. There is no unnecessary mid bass bloat but with some Eminem tracks which lacks sub-bass will leave you wanting. There is not much upper bass emphasis saving the P4’s bass from sounding harsh.
Extension too is good, which goes deep into the sub-bass region but doesn’t go past 25hz.
The best thing is P4 manages to pull off a slightly deeper, better and more rounded bass than the DK-3001.
The audbos P4 is a mid centric earphone, aided by two dedicated BA drivers, it delivers one of the best quality mid range for under $300. The first thing you will notice is the amount of clarity it has, let it be vocals for instruments P4 has the clarity to please some of the most demanding audiophiles.
The transaction from upper bass to lower mid even if not as forward as the AF1120 is not as drowned as UE900s either. It retains very good amount of details and energy there.
Vocals on the P4 is not as sharp or as peaky as some of the BA based earphones like AF180, AF1120 or q-jays, these earphones can introduce some vocal sibilance with some tracks but the P4 has nothing like that. It has good amount of sharpness and energy but doesn’t have any peakiness or spikes to cause any discomfort. Let it be male or female vocals, both sound fantastic with good amount of thickness and details.
Vocal notes are presented with plenty of details, beautiful texture, resolution and transparency, it is not as organic as dynamic driver earphones like the TFZ king but then the King doesn’t have the amount of details and accuracy and precision of the P4.
With the P4, instruments have fantastic attack, thanks to the slightly boosted upper mid range, it delivers one of the best amount of details and clarity in its class. Let it be live music, acoustic jams or synthetic music the P4 effortlessly deals with any type of music without showing any shortcomings. Just be prepared to be served with on your face kind of details exhibiting serious amount of bite, not for faint hearted listeners. Instrumental cues placement is fantastic.
I won’t say this stage to be the biggest is class but its bigger than UE 900s, has better depth, better height and similar width. In comparison the TFZ king delivers slightly bigger stage.
If you like lively and energetic highs, you will love the P4’s highs. Highs on the P4 are less forward compared to the mid range but has good amount of spark with it. It has good amount of extension too, not as good as the 64audio U3, ER-4P or af1120 but good enough to keep me seated.
If you don’t like much energy with your highs, this is not what you want. With its accurately sharp higher notes the P4 delivers really detailed highs.
Let it be pianos, trumpets or cymbals the sharpness and the finishing of the note along with the presentation is up to the mark.
If you are the kind of person who enjoys top end energy and spark, you will not be disappointed. Let it be the layering, separation or presentation the audbos P4 is up to the mark. With good amount of air and nicely spaced instruments it’s a delight thanks to its nicely spacious stage size.
AGAINST THE ODDS:- (source – plenue R)
VS King PRO:- ($175)
The king pro is a different creature altogether, it excels with bass impact and stage size, unlike the P4 the King pro aims to entertain and excels. Has far bigger bass impact and quantity and moves more air. The sub-bass reach is fantastic, it gives the feeling of a subwoofer in ears. The King pro has class leading lower end performance with good amount of decay and details. The P4 has faster decay and better precision.
Due to the V shaped signature the king pro lacks mid range attack, if you are listening it after listening to any other $200 earphone you will be pleased but against the P4 the King pro is unable to deliver similar amount of details, clarity, resolution, precision and accuracy, the king pro here is simply, inferior. Vocals sound less attacking and a bit more thicker which lets it deliver more of a organic tonality.
Highs too in comparison lacks the definition and transparency. The king pro do have similar amount of extension but notes lack details.
Layering and separation even though is good, not on par with the P4.
The king pro has one of the biggest stage on an earphone, you can say is 20% deeper and wider compared to the P4, the P4 has better height.
VS 64audio U3:- ($500)
The 64audio U3 is one of the best earphone for around $500. It has bigger bass body, bigger impact, has slightly deeper sub-bass and a hair more details too. It has an immersive stage which is one of the biggest one can find under $500 on a closed back universal earphone, it has better width and depth with similar height. Thanks to this stage the U3 sounds so involving and cohesive that one can easily fall in love with them.
But the P4 beats the U3 yes, it does, the P4 beats the U3 when it comes to the amount of details with mid range, P4 sounds clearer, cleaner and more transparent with slightly better micro details. P4 notes are sharper and ready to attack where the U3 slightly feels veiled. It’s a similar story with the highs too. U3 lacks spark but is aided by bigger stage and slightly better treble extension. The P4 is not far behind with extension.
U3 has better presentation and imaging, P4 has better details, accuracy and transparency.
VS EU900s:- ($250)
Even though equipped similarly the UE900s an old horse, released back in 2014 it’s the 2nd gen UE 900 with slightly better build and different tuning. Tuned to be a flat sounding earphone UE 900s delivers in that front with no part of the spectrum getting the center stage.
UE900s Lacks the impact or body of the P4, 900s has a more active mid bass region which fires most of the time when a bass note arrives. It lacks a bit of sub-bass rumble too but has equally good extension. It lacks a bit of bass details too.
UE 900s sounds a bit grainy in comparison, mid range has nice clarity but the stage is slightly narrow which limits the note’s penetration. It sounds slightly less energetic but has equally good amount of details and transparency.
Highs are the region where the UE900s beats the P4, 900s bas better emphasis and notes sound more forward and active because the 900s doesn’t have the upper mid bump. Highs have better stage, best top end of the lot here. Has slightly lesser amount of transparency but has better separation and extension.
The biggest flaw of the Ue900s is its graininess which reflects all across the spectrum.
Overall if you want more details P4 beats the UE900s handily.
Just for fun I thought I should make a table!! It’s so much fun!! Bas mid and highs have details, quantity, transparency and clarity included in them.
Names Bass Mid Highs Resolution Imaging Stage Build
King pro 8.5 6.5 7.5 6 7 8.2 10
P4 7 8.5 8 8.2 8.5 7.8 7.8
64audio U3 8 7.8 8.2 7.8 8.7 8.7 8.8
UE 900s 6.3 7.5 8.3 7.5 8 7.5 8.3
NOC Avalon 7.6 9.3 8.8 9.3 9.3 8.8 8.5
The P4 has quickly become one of my favorite earphones. It has what I look for in most of the earphones, resolution, details, clarity, transparency and a decent stage.
If you love mid range clarity, you will love the P4 without any thoughts. With its ergonomics its one of the most comfortable earphones around.
I totally recommend it to someone who is looking for earphone under $200 which is loaded with details and clarity. The best $200 earphone, I dare to say, beat it.
Cheers, I hope you liked reading my review. Enjoy!!
Audio gear reviewer at TechMinions.in