Here are Audio46, we recently got a shipment from a new audio company, Strauss & Wagner! Their first product, the SI201 fills a gap in our inventory for an earphone that can connected directly to Apple’s lighting ports! Say goodbye to that measly dongle! But how do they sound? Let’s take a closer look with this Strauss & Wagner SI201 Review!
Apple Customers Rejoice - Strauss & Wagner SI201 Review
In the Box
-Strauss & Wagner SI201 earphones
-eartips (s, m, l)
Look and Feel
The Strauss & Wagner SI201 has a clean, classic look. Its white and silver color scheme feels consistent with the Apple aesthetic. However, it differentiates itself with the bell-like shape of its aluminum driver housings.
Additionally, the driver housings have a medium-small build, which makes it work well for a wide variety of ear shapes and sizes. Overall, it looks simple and neat. And when I placed the earphones in my ears, I was struck by their strong level of sound isolation!
Comfort and Fit
Putting the Strauss & Wagner SI201 in my ears, it fits wonderfully! The angle of its elliptical nozzle lets it nustle into the canal, without touching the outside of the ear. Additionally, because of its aluminum frame, it feels both durable and light. As a result, it is also comfortable, while also feeling secure.
MFi Certified Cable
The cable of the Strauss & Wagner SI201 is the standard 1.2 m length. It has a little bit of a stiff feel to it. However, the most special part of the cable is that it terminates to a lightning cable! Apple users rejoice! I know from personal experience that it is easy and common to frequently lose the Apple dongle, so this comes as a welcome feature!
The driver inside the Strauss & Wagner SI201 is a 10 mm dynamic driver. As a result, it can handle lots of power and has great headroom!
The low frequencies of the Strauss & Wagner SI201 have lots of emphasis! It has highlighted energy around what sounds like 100 Hz as well as 40 Hz. This big low end makes the sound super fun for mixes that utilize low end for emotional impact like hip-hop, pop and electronic music.
For example, when I was listening to the song Cleva by Erykah Badu, the kick drum and bass guitar boom with lots of energy that gives the song an extra sense of grooviness. And while the top range of the lows feels a little bit cloudy, the energy below it helps to separate the lows from the low-mids.
The midrange of the Strauss & Wagner SI201 feels thick and mellow. The bottom range of the high-mids has a cut. As a result, vocals and snappy drum transients lean backward a little bit. Additionally, there’s a thick low-mid boost which gives added energy to bass guitars, electric guitars, and midrangey synths.
For example, when I was listening to the song Djadja by Aya Nakamura, the bass synth and arpeggiating melodic synths feel thick. Additionally, Aya’s vocal has a smiley face quality to it because while it feels thick, it also benefits from a sense of airiness in the high frequencies.
The high frequencies of the Strauss & Wagner SI201 have a tiny bit of emphasis in the upper treble and upper octave, with a cut in the lower treble. As a result, instruments with high frequency energy lean away from thickness and toward a sense of air.
For example, when I was listening the song Fever by Ray Charles featuring Natalie Cole, the figure snaps, cymbals, and hand drum sounded a bit quieter and less full in the mix than usual. That said, they leaned toward the higher highs which gave them separation from the vocals and a different energy than usual.
Additionally, the vocals have body but lean toward the top range as well. Due to the lower treble cut though, they sound less articulate than usual.
The soundstage of the Strauss & Wagner SI201 benefits from its high frequency and low frequency emphasis. As a result, its vertical range feels long. And although the frequency response shapes the soundstage in a skewed way, it provides healthy contrast to mixes that emphasize soundstage depth, width, and height.
For example, when I was listening to the song I F by Lafemmebear, the highs of the background vocals and lead vocal contrasted in the vertical domain from the thick sub synth and kick drum. The midrangy snyths sat between those two extremes and actually sat a little lower in space than usual because of the high-mid dip. Additionally, the depth is emphasized because the far-off arpeggiating synth contrasts strongly from the more intimate sounding vocal. Lastly, the sense of width feels a bit narrow, but still has a sense of differentiation with the wide panned background vocals and the middle panned synth and lead vocal.
Overall, the Strauss & Wagner SI201 are a great option for those folks listening with an Apple device who are tired of the dongle. It will also be great for those that want a convenient earphone that has good sound isolation. Additionally, it is going to be for those that love a nice big bass, especially for hip-hop, pop, and electronic music!