Intro & Background
This pair of LeEco earbuds support the latest lossless audio technology “CDLA” and plugs directly into the USB-C port to provide the best audio experience. In addition the LeEco Le 2 does NOT have a normal 3.5” headphone socket – the USB-C port is the only audio port on the Le 2. This move is to improve the audio quality by offering a digital output to headphones, with support for 24 bit lossless music. The LeEco USB-C Earbuds are revolutionary in the sense they currently the only earbuds on the market that plug directly into the USB-C port and contain a technology called Continual Digital Lossless Audio (“CDLA”) that allows for this to happen. These earphones integrate an audio chip (shown below) that converts the digital signal from the phone into analogue signal for the sound drivers.
More about CDLA technology
CDLA is a Lossless Audio system develop in China, with a proprietary chip that decodes digital audio on the plug of the earpods (compared to usual earbuds the just convert an analogue signal to sound). CDLA supports lossless formats such as FLAC, WAV and ALAC (up to 24bits).
Cost: 149 CNY (Chinese Yuan) or $20 USD
These are compatible with LeEco 1, 1S, 1 Max, Le 2.
These earpods resemble the Apple Earbuds, it is so similar that I’m surprised they were not being sued for patent infringement. This means these headphones are just as (if not exactly) as comfortable as the iphone earpods.
There is a nice LED light at the back that glows when these earbuds are connected – a cosmetic feature that is not available on any other earbuds (since classic 3.5 mm sockets do not provide power).
The cable also takes on a thicker tangle free form.
These earpods feature a Dupont designed membrane, which LeEco claims provides good resonance and deep base. It is also interesting to note the sound chamber of these earphones, it features a “double” resonance chamber designed to broaden the soundstage:
These earphones are open back, with a slit located at the side-back.
Source: FLAC, mp3. Genres: Rock, Acoustic, Pop, Trance, Metal. Equipment Xiaomi Mi5, LeEco Le 2
These earpods feature visible base which is clean and not overly exaggerated. Bassheads would definitely not be satisfied with the bass level here.
The Mids are clear and have good separation from the bass. Notes are clean, leading to great sounding male vocals. Sound is Full bodied and not congested. It is worthy to note the amazing soundstage of these earpods here. It really enriches the mids and brings about a better than expected experience.
The highs are good and like the mids, very clear. Both female and male vocals sound great. Nothing too special here.
Whats very important to emphasis with these earpods is that the resonance is superb. When I first put these on I was taken to a much larger soundstage than I expected. The sound is transparent without much distortions.
That said, these are open back earphones and a lot of ambient noise can enter the device. If you listen to music in a quiet environment, this is not an issue. However without noise isolation, listeners in noisier environments my find themselves overwhelmed by the ambient noise.
The sound quality isn’t improved very much (if at all) by using the USB-C interface. (Copper cables and connections are very reliable after all)
Overall these headphones are good value for money.