Over the years, we’ve looked at a wide range of headphones. Everything from cheap, $20 pairs on Amazon to $500 audiophile sets. Today is a first because we’re looking at a quad-driver set of in-ear monitors from ALLDOCUBE. It’s the company’s first pair of headphones and the perfect companion to the ALLDOCUBE X entertainment tablet. We’re also giving away five pairs, so be sure to read through to the end for your chance to win!
- MSRP: $39.99 (ALLDOCUBE E-Store)
- Model: F40 Headphones
- Color: Black
- Product Highlights: Three dynamic drivers AND one separate balanced armature
- Driver Unit Diameter: 6mm/8mm
- Freqency Response: 20Hz?20kHz
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Sound Pressure Level: 102dB
- Product Size: 101*101*34mm
- Connector: 3.5mm
- Connector Type: Straight
- Cable Length: 1.2m
- Cable Micphone: Single Control Button, Noise Reduction
- Cable Material: Oxygen-Free Copper
What's in the box:
- F40 Headphones
- Ear Plug Sets (S/M/L)
- Instruction Manual
If you’re not big into the world of audio, you’re probably wondering what exactly we mean by “quad-driver.” Inside each earbud are actually four separate speaker modules. Three are your traditional dynamic drivers; the same style you’ll find in most headphones today. The last is a balanced armature, which has a more limited range on its own but is very effective when paired with other drivers like it is here. In total, these two earbuds feature eight smaller speakers to deliver their audio experience.
Each driver is responsible for its own frequency range. The PET-coated Nanofiber driver is responsible for the bass, the Composite Diaphragm driver handles the middle frequencies, and the Graphene Diaphragm dynamic driver handles the high frequencies. The Balanced Armature, on the other hand, is responsible for the highest of the high frequencies.
The reason for this twofold: soundstage and clarity. By including multiple speaker elements, the sonic composition is being physically separated. In a well tuned setup such as these, the resulting impression is that the sound is coming from around your head rather than inside your ear canal. Instruments, vocals, positional game audio, and sound effects in your environment are all pulled apart, allowing you to better hear each individual piece and identify where on this “make believe stage” that sound is coming from.
Limiting the scope of each driver also helps ensure that none are ever pushed to their limits and distort. I’ve used these outside their design for intense multiplayer gaming where low sounds like explosions and collapsing buildings threaten to overwhelm normal headphones and completely dominate other sounds. Here, that doesn’t happen at all. Everything is present, not distorted, and when you’re playing with team mates, you can even pick out what direction their callouts are happening from in the midst of all that.
Inside the box, you’ll find the headphones themselves and two pairs of silicone ear tips. At $39.99, you shouldn’t expect a lot of extras and like all things ALLDOCUBE, it’s really about value for the dollar. I do think they’ve done a good job presenting the headphones here with the distinctive turquoise plates facing up, the wound oxygen-free cable, and color-coded tips looking nice in the box. It’s a small thing, but well-presented nonetheless.
The headphones are on the larger side, which isn’t uncommon for a multi-driver earbud. They use an over-ear design with memory-wire that’s highlighted with some extra wrapping so you know what to bend. This design helps them to stay in place better once you’ve found the tip that fits your ear. The turquoise cover also means that the pattern on the outside will be unique to your pair.
The ALLDOCUBE branding is very prominent in gold. I’m not a big fan of this since it really draws the eye. Absent branding, I think they would look quite classy and could easily be mistaken for much more expensive earbuds.
The design is plastic, which includes the nozzle. They won’t hold up to abuse the same way as something like the RHA-MA750s will but they also don’t feel chintzy either. With care, they should hold up just fine though we’ll have to see over a longer period of time.
The cable used is actually quite good. It’s oxygen-free copper, the same as found on high-end headphones, and theoretically should help to deliver better sound (the jury is out on that one). What makes it good is that it doesn’t drag or transfer irritating noise into your ear when it moves against your shirt. It also has great memory resistance so it falls straight and doesn’t get tangled nearly so easy as some woven cords I’ve used. The only time I’ve had it get tangled on me is when I’ve jammed them in my pocket without winding them around my phone. The cord also includes a remote for answering calls, play/pause, and smart assistant control.
When it comes to sound, the F40s are surprisingly good. For $40, I really wouldn’t have expected much but that’s applying a U.S. idea of value. Just like their tablets, the ALLDOCUBE F40s really perform much better than anything you would find stateside for the price.
Since they’ve been designed to pair with the ALLDOCUBE X, they’re tuned for fun and entertainment. Instead of using the flat or “uphill curve” found on many audiophile headphones, these elevate the low end. This is great for pop music and hip hop, as well as action movies and big cinematic scenes. The quad-driver design means that the rest of the spectrum isn’t trying to crowd into that same lane, however. Having a punched up low end does accentuate that range above the others but it isn’t destructive to them. Taking the road analogy a bit further, if what you’re listening to is a highway, the bass takes up two lanes where everything else takes up one.
If that’s not your taste, you can easily re-EQ them on your phone or X. Independent drivers really allow you to tailor the F40s to what you like without feeling like you’re pushing them outside of their intended design. They’re quite versatile.
That said, I prefer not to do that. When I look at headphones, what I’m looking for is how they work out of the box without any modifications. For music, I found the out of the box tuning to understate the highs just a bit too much. I love my high-end detail and the additional texture it’s able to provide. Here, it’s quieter and really needs a little bit of EQ to hit my own aural sweet spot. For gaming and movies, I really liked them out of the box because of that tuning.
Like anything, this will come down to personal taste and what you spend most of your time listening to. I was really pleased with how EQ-able they were, however, and after my initial listening tests, I was able to adjust them to exactly what I prefer and really start embracing that wider soundstage.
Quad-driver headphones often cost in the triple digits. At $39.99, these headphones are a great way to experience a higher-end design to modern earbuds. I really liked how versatile they turned out to be. I used them most hooked up to my Galaxy Note 8 while on the go, but they’re great for quickly swapping out to your PC for some quick gaming. Paired with the ALLDOCUBE X and the Hi Fi AKG sound chip, they made a great pair thanks to the out-of-the box tuning. I’d definitely recommend giving these a look.
ALLDOCUBE has partnered with us to give away five pairs of the F40 headphones. Enter below!
If the Gleam widget does not load, VISIT THIS LINK to enter! The competition will be open for one week and is open to U.S. residents only this time.